The milestone 100th episode of Supergirl titled “It’s a Super Life” successfully blends a nostalgic trip down memory lane with alternate universe fan-fiction rolled into a fun clip show format sprinkled with cameo appearances from several fan-favorite characters from the show’s roster of both heroes and villains from the past, present, and alternative futures.
At its core, this episode revolves around the relationship between series protagonist Kara Danvers / Kara Zor-El / Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), and her ex-best friend Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath).
With the help of Mister Mxyzptlk (Thomas Lennon), a magical trickster from “The Fifth Dimension,” who re-visits Kara in this episode now in his “true form” (he was previously played by actor Peter Gadiot in season 2) wanting to make amends from their previous encounter. Mxyzptlk, in the most meta way, effectively retcons his previous incarnation by saying he only took his season 2 form in order to woo Kara.
(Side note: Lennon does a wonderful job playing this role, and is a much more whimsical and accurate interpretation of the source material, which I think should give him leeway to reprise the character at some point in the future, at the next milestone episode, perhaps?)
“Mxy,” as he is endearingly nicknamed by Kara, offers the chance of a “do-over” for Kara and Lena’s failed friendship by allowing her to re-visit specific points in time in the past in order to drastically change the outcome of their current reality to one she desires by revealing her secret identity at the “proper” time. (At one point, Lena jokes how foolish she felt when she couldn’t distinguish between Kara and Supergirl all because of eyeglasses – I mean… come it works on everyone, right? Just ask Lex Luthor.)
As Kara tries different points in time to fix her mistake with Lena, Mxy and Kara watch these new timelines unfold and review them via the cleverly named “Mxyflix” app – which changes to “BetaMxy” as they go back further in time.
(SPOILERS AHEAD: IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED THE EPISODE PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION – EPISODE SCORE IS AT THE BOTTOM)
Kara’s first re-do happens at the moment before Mercy Graves (Rhona Mitra), Lex’s cyborg bodyguard, assassination attempt on Lena. Kara reveals her secret, and proceeds to intercept Mercy, but when she returns Lena is no longer there.
CAMEO #1: Samantha “Sam” Arias / Reign (Odette Annable) – as Mxy fast-forwards in this timeline, Lena is shown confiding in Sam about Kara’s reveal, and seems to develop distrust toward Kara.
This timeline ends with Kara suffering from Kryptonite poisoning, and since Lena, as a result of her hesitation to help Kara, fails to help save her. Kara dies as Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) is shown visiting her grave.
So, suffice to say this scenario was a failure.
Re-do number two happens when Kara, as Supergirl, tries to convince Lena not to create more Kryptonite by revealing her secret. This leads to Lena completely getting angry with Kara and rejecting her offer to begin a partnership.
Mxy, again, fast-forwards through this timeline and as she and Kara watch it unfold, they see a clip of James Olsen / Guardian (Mechad Brooks). Also, Mxy makes a Bizarro reference before letting Kara jump back in.
CAMEO #2: Lar Gand / Mon-El (Chris Wood) – A long-time fan favorite and love interest to Kara, Mon-El had a compelling re-appearance as he and Kara have a heart-to-heart talk before battling Reign.
CAMEO #3: Patricia Arias (Betty Buckley) – Reign’s adoptive mother makes a sweet, but brief appearance because…
Unfortunately, this timeline ends in disaster too as Reign, in full Worldkiller costume, battles Supergirl, Mon-El and Lena.
During the short scuffle, Reign kills Lena, then Mon-El and Reign kill each other as Supergirl is left distraught.
Mxy brings her back and they brainstorm again.
This re-do happens at the very early stages of Kara and Lena’s friendship. While visiting Lena at her office, Kara shows off her superpowers, effectively revealing her secret. Lena responds positively and the duo seemingly begin a formidable partnership.
Mxy makes a Daily Planet reference.
CAMEO #4: Lena testifies against her mother Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong)
CAMEO #5: Thomas Coville (Chad Lowe), the Cult of Rao leader, is kidnapped and used as bait along with Lena to force Supergirl to reveal her identity to the world.
CAMEO #6: Thomas Lockwood / Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer) kidnaps Lena and Coville, and – after learning Kara’s identity – systematically kills everybody she loves in this timeline and successfully breaks Supergirl.
CAMEO #7: Otis Graves (Robert Baker) – assists Lockwood in supervilliany in this timeline.
CAMEO #8: Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) – has heart-to-heart pep talk with Kara before dying.
There’s also a picture of Cat Grant (Calista Flockheart) that flashes when Mxy shows who Agent Liberty murdered in his crusade.
After seeing the potential of what her and Lena’s partnership can do, but still have it taken away with deadly consequences Kara grows frustrated and figures they are better off not becoming friends in the first place, which leads us to…
Mxy loses his powers as they enter a dystopian fascist timeline and they’re attacked by Luthor-tech robots before being rescued by…
CAMEO #9: Nia Nal / Dreamer (Nicole Maines) – after rescuing Kara and Mxy she brings them back to the secret headquarters of a superhero resistance group that’s comprised of Martian Manhunter, Mon-El, Toyman, Alex Danvers and…
CAMEO #10: Kelly Olsen (Azie Tesfai) –who dons Jimmy’s Guardian gear.
Moreover, in this timeline, Reign and Braniac-5 (Jesse Rath) form a supervillian alliance with Lena Luthor, who has been turned into a Metallo by her brother Lex and mother Lillian.
Lena almost successfully kills Kara with her Kryptonite laser. However, the fate of this timeline is left up in the air as Mxy regains his powers and brings Kara back to the original timeline.
END OF RE-DO ATTEMPTS.
Even though this time-traveling shtick seems to be an overused tool in superhero genre story-telling (i.e. The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Avengers: Endgame & X-Men: Days of Future Past, just to name a few), this episode of Supergirl is different because Kara, in the end, decides not to follow through with any of the changes she tried to make.
After going through the four drastically different timelines, which seemed to go from bad to worse, Kara realizes that no matter which time she decides to reveal her secret identity to Lena, there will always be consequences that are out of her control, and ultimately, she as well as Lena must decide for themselves how each will proceed as “frenemies” moving forward.
Overall, even though this episode felt like a glorified filler, it succeeds in bringing back characters and exploring them in ways that the show has never done before.
This installment of Supergirl is an action-packed, colorful, love letter to its fans that promises exciting things to come in the future while staying true to the heart and soul of its past that’s made the show so engaging and relatable.
“It’s a Super Life” deserves a super score of 9.5/10!
Supergirl Finale Review – Lena Aids Supergirl Against Lex and Leviathan (5 x 19)
Kara and Lena are reunited in the season finale, “Immortal Kombat.” Will they be enough to stop Lex and Leviathan’s evil plans?
In the previous episode of Supergirl, Lena realizes too late that she’s on the wrong side of the fight, and goes to Kara to seek redemption.
However, her involvement with Lex, and by extension Leviathan, with her Non-Necere project has put her former-BFF and herself at a disadvantage.
Meanwhile, Brainy still insists on going along with Lex’s plans, even though Lex clearly has no sympathy for anyone but himself.
And Alex, Dreamer, the Martians and the rest of Supergirl’s squad standby to defend against Leviathan’s plans.
As far as season finales go, the execution of Supergirl’s finale this season is as safe as it gets.
It’s not necessarily bad, but given the build-up from the previous episodes, it just came off as too safe and ultimately became almost boring and predictable.
First off, the grand lesson or theme that the show has been exploring with the virtual reality bit of Obsidian did not feel as high stakes as they intended it to be.
While it’s true that the ideology behind it is intriguing.
Namely, that people would rather escape into a fantasy world where everything is perfect and no pain or suffering can befall you, instead of living in the “real” world where life is messy and chaotic.
(Which does sound extremely appealing considering the condition the world is in right now)
But despite the extremely poignant and superbly relevant topic that the show has been trying to wrestle with all season, they fell short in achieving a true payoff.
To no fault of her own, Melissa Benoist, unfortunately, becomes central in how the show finished on a flat note this season.
The scene where she goes into the Obsidian virtual reality and basically “hope speeches” 2 billion people to end their simulation seems utterly preposterous.
Though the speech was magnificent, as expected from Benoist’s execution coupled with excellent inspirational quote-like writing, it simply did not drive home the point because it just wasn’t convincing.
There was no real argument made against the benefits of going on virtual reality to ease one’s pain.
Because essentially, what Kara’s poorly conceived argument boils down to was:
Living in a fantasy world is not good for you, so get out because you’re in danger, and go deal with the pain of the real world, please?
It’s a lackluster paraphrasing on my part, but I for one, do not find that line of argument convincing, so how would it work on 2 billion different people?
Nevertheless, Supergirl and her team are able to save the world again.
Despite the implausible scenario regarding Obsidian, however, there were elements of this episode that were quite enjoyable.
The fight scene between the Leviathan aliens, including Rama Khan, versus the Martians, Dreamer, and Alex was a visual spectacle that spared no extravagance.
As far as special effects for a television show goes, this was as decent as they come.
Unfortunately, when it was all over, the fighting seemed pointless because the good guys won almost too easily, and the idea that the Leviathan aliens were “gods” was not vindicated at all.
Yes, as the title suggests they were shown to be “immortal,” but the way they were defeated by Brainy seemed almost too convenient as well.
As for Brainy, he was billed as making the ultimate sacrifice at the early part of the episode, and all he had to suffer through was an alien radiation-induced headache for 10 minutes?
On a positive note, we get to see Brainy’s comic-book-inspired blonde hair again.
BRAINY: “I don’t want to die alone.”
Dreamer even dreams of Brainy suffering, but he survives anyway, and Lex just takes the device he used to defeat Leviathan as a trophy for his personal use.
This is another poorly executed payoff because Lex and Brainy, who both possess supposed “12th-level intellect,” seem to become too emotional and careless in the most crucial moments and “miscalculate” each other.
Lex underestimates Brainy’s loyalty to his friends, and Brainy underestimates Lex’s ego.
In the end, they simply canceled each other out.
In short, Lena’s help in providing Kara another Anti-Kryptonite suit proved key to helping the team fend off and ultimately defeat Lex and Leviathan’s plans with Obsidian.
However, the episode ends in a cliffhanger as it’s revealed that Gemma answers to a higher power, and Lex is not done with the next phase of his plans.
And somehow, it involves his mother getting involved in her dirty work once more.
Too bad the show had to prematurely end this season because it would have been awesome to see where these new plot points would have gone.
But for now, they can serve as tasty teasers for next season’s storyline.
- Alex Danvers debuts her “vigilante” costume, and it has an homage vibe to the Green Arrow’s costume, but with Alex’s personal spin.
- Eve Tessmacher is reunited with her mother, so she’s no longer a viable blackmail target for Lex.
- William lives to fight another day but is still oblivious to Kara/Supergirl’s dual identity.
- Andrea Rojas was “awakened” by Leviathan to try to assassinate Supergirl, but Lena successfully stops her with a hug, so that’s nice.
Though this season finale left much to be desired, it did deliver a number of decent thrills, drama, and superhero versus supervillain action.
The good guys won, for now, but no real high stakes situation was ever conveyed.
And none of the characters had to make a heroic sacrifice.
Pretty much the highlight centered around Kara and Lena’s relationship getting repaired, and the potential trouble Lex and Leviathan will hatch up next season.
“Immortal Kombat” scores a
7.0 / 10.0
Supergirl Review – Rama Khan Returns to Rock Kara and Crew (5 x 18)
Kara and her friends battled Rama Khan, while the Luthor siblings get stuck in their prison full of berserk inmates in this week’s installment of Supergirl.
The penultimate episode, titled “The Missing Link,” was a pleasant surprise because even though they crammed a lot of action and story elements, it oddly worked.
Rama Khan, who was introduced in episode 8 this season (“The Wrath of Rama Khan”), returned with a vengeance to attack Kara and friends by order of Leviathan leader Gamemnae.
He is, at first, seemingly defeated, but ultimately destroys the DEO because of a magical staff gifted by Lex Luthor that amplified his powers enough to deal with Kara, Nia, and Brainy combined.
DID BRAINY TRUST LEX TOO MUCH?
Speaking of Brainy, he finally confronts Lex this episode about all the shady actions he’s been letting slide because of their alliance, yet he still ends up being manipulated by Lex again!
He even flexes his “12th-level intellect” while threatening Lex, but is still reduced to a reluctant lap dog.
There was even a moment where Brainy was given a chance by Nia to confess what’s been going on with him and Lex, and he once again retreats to his “logical” endgame of defeating Leviathan at all costs.
Moreover, partly because of Brainy’s misplaced trust, Lex gains the following advantages:
- Destruction of the DEO
- Leviathan gaining a boatload supply of Kryptonite to fight Supergirl with
- Being seen as a hero in the public’s view
- Direct access to the Fortress of Solitude
- Gained favor with Leviathan to access their alien ship
If there was a degree in manipulation and acting as a double-agent, I’m pretty sure Lex Luthor would have a Ph.D. because he masterfully played both sides, and is primed to play a big role in this season’s finale.
Whether that means good or bad news for everyone though remains to be seen.
LENA FINALLY TURNING BACK GOOD?
This episode explored the Luthor siblings’ relationship when both are stuck dealing with inmates in their prison who experience violent episodes when Lena’s pet project, Non-Necere, proves to be a catastrophic failure.
Lex admits he predicted her sister’s project to fail from the start.
He says he let her go through with it because he wanted to “support” her, so she can eventually see for herself that human beings need to be “guided” by the Luthors.
Unfortunately, Lena disagrees with this notion, which basically makes Lex snap at her.
Lena, finally realizing that Lex has been manipulating her calmly says,
“You’re a monster. But that doesn’t mean I have to be one too”
The dialogue between the two was such a great highlight in this episode, and Lex Luthor being legitimately angry is actually pretty scary especially when Jon Cryer’s voice became almost unrecognizable from his usual tone.
It must have been tough for Katie McGrath to deliver her lines when Cryer could have literally made anybody roll up into a ball after that signature Lex megalomaniac outburst.
Nevertheless, the rift between the Luthors prompts Lena to visit Kara at the end of the episode to offer her help in defeating Lex and Leviathan, and ask for Kara’s forgiveness.
After what the two former best friends have put each other through, however, will they truly be able to reconcile?
For now, at least, they seem to be willing to take steps in that direction.
OTHER NOTABLE PLOT POINTS:
- J’onn and M’gann rekindle their romance, and we see both Martians take their superhero form while battling Rama Khan.
- Brainy knows the ancient language the Leviathan aliens speak.
- Is there nothing Brainy doesn’t know? Except not be outsmarted by Lex or face his feelings for Nia
- Alex Danvers is teased at having a vigilante persona when her girlfriend suggests it.
- First a signature weapon, and now a mask coming soon? I can’t wait, and it makes complete sense because she’s basically the only one running around without one, well aside from Supergirl.
- Sean Astin (aka Samwise from The Lord of the Rings) reprised his role as Pete Andrews from the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline.
- William is caught tailing Eve Tessmacher, and his fate is left up in the air as she puts a bag over his head to knock him out.
Supergirl spared no expense in visual effects this episode as we saw both Martians transform, costume and all.
Plus, Rama Khan’s powers were in full display while battling Supergirl and friends, and it’s actually believable that he would give them trouble.
That, and the excellent acting and writing, despite being crammed into a tight timeframe made the penultimate episode of this season a successful installment.
“The Missing Link” scores an
Supergirl Review – Lex Luthor Planned Power Play On Prime-Earth (5×17)
Lex Luthor’s plans are revealed and he’s responsible for everything that has happened so far this season – from the Obsidian VR glitch to the death of Jeremiah Danvers.
The May 3, 2020 episode of Supergirl titled “Deus Lex Machina,” shows how Lex had a hand in manipulating nearly every situation to his advantage.
His goal: eliminate Leviathan, the mysterious ancient alien organization, and Supergirl, so he can rise to power in the Post-Crisis Earth-Prime.
SINNER, SAVIOR, OR SAVANT?
As revealed in the episode, contrary to what Lex has been claiming all season, he does remember the Crisis of Infinite Earths.
He is not the heroic Luthor of Earth-Prime he’s been billed as, which is why even Brainy, one of the most intelligent beings in the DC universe, was so easily deceived.
Simply put, Brainy’s data from the future about Lex is flawed because he is not the same Lex.
Also contrary to prior knowledge, Lillian Luthor is apparently alive and well, and has been talking and playing chess with Lex from time to time.
The topic of their discussions mostly seems to be Lena’s allegiance to the family, and how Lex may be able to “turn her around.”
They also share a great scene where Lex checkmates her mother as he explains how he successfully executed every aspect of his convoluted plan.
I’ve said in the past that I enjoy Jon Cryer’s performance as Lex, but this episode just cements him as arguably the most prolific villain the show has ever had.
(With Reign probably coming in as a close 2nd, but I digress)
I can’t help but draw comparisons to The Flash’s Tom Cavanagh’s performance as Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash or Manu Bennet’s run in Arrow as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke.
However, what makes Lex so appealing is that he does not have superpowers or physical enhancements like the aforementioned villains have. He basically is just smarter than everyone else.
This appeal is similar to what makes Batman compelling as a character – both are just human beings that fulfilled their utmost potential – something everyone can relate to wanting to achieve at some point in their lives.
However, honestly speaking, if one is familiar at all with Lex as a character, his actions should not come as a surprise this season.
With the exception of Earth-3 Alexander Luthor from the comics, nearly every incarnation of Lex almost always turns to the dark side. (Star Wars reference because it’s May 4th)
But alas, Supergirl’s version of Lex is not heroic at all, even though he believes he is.
To sum it up, at the end of the episode Lex accomplishes the following:
- Make himself look like a hero by killing the Leviathan alien Margot, the scientist who’s been collecting Obsidian VR users in comatose, and masterfully sets himself up to save them even though he was essentially the one responsible for putting them in a coma in the first place!
- Elude Brainy, J’onn J’onnz, and basically every other so-called “genius-level” character in the series from uncovering his plans.
- Manipulate Eve Tessmacher to doing his bidding by feigning romantic interest, and acting as his protector, then betraying and blackmailing her.
- Gain Leviathan’s trust, which gives him direct access to destroying their organization from within.
- Pitted Supergirl, and Gemma/Gamemnae, Leviathan’s eternal living god, on a collision course to mutual destruction.
- Manipulate Lena into hating Supergirl, and handing him direct access to the Fortress of Solitude.
Because of his nigh omniscience in perfectly executing his plan, Lex sets himself up at a chance to become untouchable.
He is proven to be the most formidable evil mastermind in this episode, and it brings an element of a villainous gravitas to the show that’s never been showcased before.
7.5 / 10!
“Deus Lex Machina” is an equal parts clip show, call-backs, and a mystery wrap-up reveal rolled into one that definitively places Lex Luthor at the top of the Supergirl supervillain heap.
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