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Supergirl

Supergirl Review – Future Winn Returns as the Toyman Stirs Up Trouble (5×11)

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Supergirl’s “Back from the Future” episode is a win(n) all around as it brings back a familiar and beloved face that left day one fans excited!

The episode is still feeling the after-shocks of a post-crisis world and continues to set-up the storyline, which means that the lull should be welcomed before the battle between Lex Luthor and Leviathan picks up speed.

Which also makes this the best episode to tap into a meaningful reunion with Winn Schott, a Legionnaire who returns from the future, to fight his evil doppelganger, the Toyman, inspired by his maniacal father.

The callback to the Toyman was just as delightful as Winn’s return as it gave a glimpse into what would have happened if Winn grew up idolizing his father and wanting to be like him rather than doing everything in his power to run away from the tainted legacy.

While Brainy pulled double duty on the Supergirl midseason premiere, Jeremy Jordan mesmerized with two wickedly fun and vastly different versions of himself.

The Toyman was (and still may be as we left off with an open-ended cliffhanger) deranged and ambitious in his efforts to accomplish what his father couldn’t. Plus, he’s an influencer who seems to know how to rally the troops behind his Dr.Evil-inspired social media campaign.

On the flip-side, our beloved Winn was still his sweet and funny self, but in addition, he was more self-assured after living in the future, becoming a superhero with his very own super-suit, and starting a family!

Yes, Winn has a wife and a 2-year-old daughter, Mary, who he is fighting for with his return to the present-day.

It’s exciting to see him jump into the action alongside his former team, but the risk factor is low with the Toyman as it’s obvious they would prevail and save Winn’s family.

This is why the real draw for the episode wasn’t the action but rather Winn’s return as the show’s sweet spot. The series never suffered without him, but he has been missed in his absence, and they scored a huge win with his return.

It brought a familiar sense to the screen that truly felt as you were catching up with an old friend.

Much of the action took place outside of the DEO (owned by Lex Luthor, a point driven home multiple times in case you somehow forgot), and at J’onn’s new secret superhero headquarters, The Tower.

Finally, our heroes have taken it upon themselves to start their own, rogue hero team separate from their work at the DEO.

At the facility, Winn was able to comfort Nia, who was feeling a little blue because of her break-up with Brainy.

The best part of having someone from the future is that Winn knows that all of these little inconveniences don’t amount to much in terms of the bigger picture and that knowledge helps Nia to embrace her powers.

He also told her about her descendant, Nura Nal, and what seems to be his new sidekick now that Supergirl is in the past.

Out of all the people who realize something is not quite right with Brainy, it’s Winn, the person who hasn’t spent time with him on this Earth in a long time.

Brainy’s arc is as befuddling for us as it is for him.

He has distanced himself from his Super Friends and continues to lie to them after hatching an anti-Leviathan plan with Lex Luthor on the female Brainiac’s orders.

But then, Brainy confesses that despite doing something for the greater good, he’s not too confident in his abilities to tame Lex Luthor, a wildcard who does what he wants, when he wants.

It’s unclear if Brainy was being truthful when telling Lena he’s only running on logic after taking off his personality inhibitors or if he simply said that to convince her.

Winn’s reaction also seemed shoddy as he acted as if he was upset at first that Brainy and Lex brought him here and risked his life in the first place simply to get themselves onto the Legion ship before admitting that it was fine. He would never do the lips sealed gesture or keep secrets from his friends. Did the Toyman inhabit Winn’s body or is this just an example of how much Winn’s changed?

If Toyman was that social media savvy, what’s to say he couldn’t hack Winn’s suit?

Jordan’s acting here was superb and left audiences unclear about where he stands, especially since the Toyman arc doesn’t seem finished yet.

With Winn sticking around for game night, there’s a chance this isn’t the last we’ve seen of either of his characters.

As for Brainy, he would be much better off letting his friends know what’s happening and teaming up with them to help Lex defeat Leviathan.

They’ve worked with Lex Luthor before when it made sense.

Lex gets some intel as to who is behind Leviathan while aboard the Legion ship while Lena does her part in patching things up with Andrea, who hasn’t been activated by Leviathan just yet, so that she and Lex are in the loop when it does eventually happen.

Andrea and Lena’s post-crisis relationship seems to be the same as it was prior to it aside from Leviathan’s involvement.

Leviathan is touted as the “greatest threat of our time,” but we don’t exactly know what they want to accomplish yet, do we? All we know is that it has something to do with Obsidian North’s new Platinum package.

I can’t argue that I wasn’t interested in Rojas’ performance of “never again choosing between your life and dream.” That’s a high-selling point.

Lex also proved that he could still be trusted by delivering Lena the Q-Waves she so desperately needed for Project Non Nocere, but I’d be lying if I said that I’m invested at all in anything Lena’s doing at the moment. It’s all so vague and unclear.

As for William Day, he continues to get himself into risky situations as he again tries to figure out what happened to his dear friend Russell.

Instead of making Andrea Rojas the prime enemy, William is now focusing his efforts on Lex Luthor, which is slightly more dangerous but manageable thanks to his new partner and future romantic interest, Kara.

William is observant and has picked up on plenty of Lex’s oddities, so it’s unlikely that Kara will be able to keep her Supergirl secret from him for too long. He’s an investigative journalist after all.

Other Supergirl Musings

  • “Eye of the Tiger” is used in a fight-sequence that last week’s NSYNC’s “Its Gunna Be Me” wanted to be. The song fits only because the super team is fighting Toyman’s laser-beaming lego tigers.
  • Winn throwing up as he’s speedily brought up to speed with everything that’s transpired with the collapse of the multiverses is hilarious. Also, Lex’s “greatness” even seems to extend to the future.
  • Jordan’s portrayal of Toyman kind of reminded me of Chris Wood’s Kai on The Vampire Diaries. Also, why didn’t he give an update on Mon-El? I’m still holding out hope that he’ll reunite with Supergirl!


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Supergirl

Supergirl Finale Review – Lena Aids Supergirl Against Lex and Leviathan (5 x 19)

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(L-R) Kara and Lena take their first steps at reconciling. Still courtesy of The CW.

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.”

SHOW WRITERS:

 

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.

 

ELSEWORLDS:

  • 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.

 

VERDICT:

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


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Supergirl

Supergirl Review – Rama Khan Returns to Rock Kara and Crew (5 x 18)

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Kara, Nia and Brainy used as pawns in Lex's scheme to infiltrate Leviathan during season's penultimate episode.

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.

 

Gamemnae and Rama Khan, the two “big bad” Leviathan aliens this season, and their comic book counterparts.

 

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:

  1. Destruction of the DEO
  2. Leviathan gaining a boatload supply of Kryptonite to fight Supergirl with
  3. Being seen as a hero in the public’s view
  4. Direct access to the Fortress of Solitude
  5. 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.

 

VERDICT:

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

8.0/10.0


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Supergirl

Supergirl Review – Lex Luthor Planned Power Play On Prime-Earth (5×17)

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Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) executes his plans to perfection as shown in "Deus Lex Machina" / Supergirl.

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 titledDeus 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.

 

VERDICT:

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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