Martin Carr reviews the twenty-second episode of Supergirl season 3…
Redemption in televisual terms is not normally centred round seismic shifts, tectonic anomalies or terraforming land masses. Murderous villainy, rampaging covens and battles over valuable blood types are also not commonly associated with such things. By definition redemption implies forgiveness, a coming together and understanding or coalescing of common ground. However we are Not In Kansas anymore as Supergirl breaks the chains of formulaic storytelling and prepares to Make It Reign.
Back on solid ground and combining emotional resonance, seasoned acting performances and no saccharine in sight this is the beginning of the end. Drawing on the original Donner sequel and allowing time for Harewood and Lumbly to centre proceedings is just one of the tricks episode twenty-two pulls off. Odette Annable continues making Reign and Sam distinct yet defined in opposition without either feeling derivative. Plot points are dropped in, nothing is signposted and everyone gets their moment in the sun.
There is pathos and investment as National City genuinely feels under threat and yet the comic book threads are carried through without taking precedence. Chad Lowe’s Thomas Coville adds his own sense of reoccurring reality in opposition to the dark Kryptonians who broaden our perspective. Clearly Shakespearian in inspiration these witch like apparitions are all thick cloaks, ominous prophecies and world ending gameplay merchants. They represent a clash of old world mentality with new world progress aiming to restore order through regression. Viewpoints which have some credence here if juxtaposed with J’onn and his father who seek a similar fulfillment for more honourable intentions.
Here then is a balance of action based set pieces coupled with real world issues as filtered through fictitious scenarios. As the terraforming begins and National City crumbles there is a sense of self-sacrifice, emotional closure and impending lose. Severed without concern we are left hanging as the fate of this world hangs by a thread. Mid-flight, mid-chaos but no longer occupying the middle ground, Supergirl promises an endgame worthy of remembrance. Revelling in the newly injected darker tones which has gone some way to making season three a more rounded experience, it now sits atop a precipice of its own creation. Gone is the fluffy all American element banished forever due to adversaries of note shaking things up.
No more are we in the presence of a millennial exercise in televisual programming filled with whimsy. These people have backbone, indulge in crisis and embrace untenable situations of citywide circumstance without restraint. Remaining headstrong yet embracing maturity has morphed Supergirl into something of substance not easily dismissed, which bodes well for season four.