Spoilers ahead for "Nevertheless, She Persisted," the season finale of The CW's Supergirl!
The short version: Superman is brainwashed, but Kara takes him down. She then fights Evil Teri Hatcher for the fate of Earth. Evil Teri Hatcher cheats, but the Luthors have a bomb that poisons the Earth for Daxamites. it works, but means Mon-El has to leave. Bummer.
The good: Supergirl is Earth's champion, Superman, the big returns
Trent: We're two seasons into Supergirl, but this episode finally felt like the moment where Supergirl became Earth's true hero. With Superman brainwashed by silver kryptonite, Kara has to go toe to toe with an evil Superman at full strength. It's one heck of a fight, and Kara takes some big hits along the way, but she wins. Supergirl took out Superman on her own in a straight-up street fight. Supergirl has always had agency, and even during Superman's previous appearance, they did a good job of making sure Kara held her own. But, Tyler Hoechlin's Superman was crazy charismatic, and kind of stole the show last time around. But, this time? There's no question that this is Kara's show. As if that wasn't clear enough, Supergirl literally becomes Earth's champion when she challenges Evil Teri Hatcher to a battle for the fate of the planet.
This episode was pretty good to begin with, but the fact that Cat Grant actually hung around to give a few more pep talks made it downright special. This show needs Cat Grant. It's a different show without her, and put simply, a worse show. But, along with Cat, we also saw the return of Miss Martian, who brings a team of rogue White Martians to help battle the Daxamite forces. This show has an excellent cast when they actually get ‘em all together, and that helped this finale really shine.
Also: Of course Cat Grant knows Kara is Supergirl. Loved the way they handled that.
Dany: I have been saying from the start that Cat Grant knows Kara is Supergirl but that she's just been letting Kara kind of have the secret identity thing. It's a real mom move, and one I think suits the relationship Kara and Cat have had since late season one.
I also really appreciate the pull-no-punches quality of the Superman v Supergirl fight. The ordeal feels surprisingly brutal in places, which I thought was actually kind of cool. Superman and Winn getting along was cute, Mon-El really stepping up to the plate was nice -- the whole episode is really solid. Lena Luthor is a force for good, but you can also see in her work to rid Earth of the Daxamites a path to the dark side.
What else, what else? Hmmm ... oh, right. I guess there's just the small matter of ALEX'S PROPOSAL TO MAGGIE?! I mean, that is rushed as hell, but I can't even care. I was so worried one of them would die in the finale, but instead they're getting married and that is the opposite of dead. So, yeah. I am happy. Thanks, Supergirl.
The bad: The deus ex machina of it all, Mon-El's departure(?), a cliffhanger that's a little too inside baseball
Dany: I kind of care about Mon-El, but not as much as this show thinks I do. There was a lot of build-up to the finale where everyone involved with the show said fans would be upset, that there would be consequences, that we'd all be crying. Crying tears of joy is more like it. No dead, gay women? No dead Cat Grant? Mon-El has to leave Earth?! HOORAY! And, yeah, I know he'll be back. This is actual an adaptation of an old Legion of Superheroes story. So, I won't make any definite predictions for sure, but Mon-El will be back, he might be temporarily evil, and he might also be in disguise at first. But all that being said, I still never cared about his romance with Kara and I'm not sure I ever will.
And also... Reign? That's the cliffhanger? Even I had to look up who that was. She's kind of Supergirl's Doomsday. Yawn. Maybe they'll make her exciting, but after everything else that happened this episode, Reign as a namedrop just didn't measure up.
Trent: Having the Luthors repurpose a toy of of Lex's fault wreaked a bit of convenience, and I have to wonder if poisoning the Earth to keep away some specific outsiders might not be sending the right message — especially for a show that has tried hard to tackle allegories about refugees this season. But, that whole twist came together a bit too quickly for my tastes.
It was a long ride, but Mon-El finally became a pretty good character by the end of this season. Heck, he even got to go be a hero and kick some butt in the streets this episode. If this really is Mon-El's swan song, it's a shame to see him go. He was a good fit with Kara, and the show has moved so far away from the Kara/James arc, it leaves her pretty much with no love interest at all on the board. But, that cliffhanger with him zipping into a mystery portal (the Phantom Zone, perhaps?) makes me think there could be a bit more Mon-El to come.
Lines of the night:
"I love you." - Winn (under his breath, to Superman)
"I learned that move on War World." - Superman
Cat Grant seems to have booted James Olsen out of her office … so does that mean her character will be sticking around a bit more in Season 3? Have they finally worked that out with Calista Flockhart? Here's hoping they're able to squeeze a bit more Cat Grant out of this deal, because the show needs it.
So, Alex proposed to Maggie! Here's hoping those crazy kids get a real-life happy ending next season.
Well, they definitely pulled a nice fake out with Zod, right? Most fans had assumed Zod's appearance in the finale meant he would be the big bad in Season 3. But, it turns out it was all in Superman's head (this also confirms that Superman has already faced and apparently defeated Zod in the Supergirl-verse). But, we do get a hint about next season's Big Bad, which looks to be the character Reign. We flash back to the end of Krypton, and it seems there was one more pod sent off before the planet went kaboom. Reign is a comic baddie who is described as a Worldkiller. Which, yeah, pretty much says it all.
Up next: Summer break. We'll see y'all next season.