The mid-season finale episode of Supergirl is titled “Reign” (3×09), which is of course the build up we’ve been waiting for for half the season and it does not disappoint.
We’ve been on this journey to find out what it means to be human and for most of the episodes, it’s applied to Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) but in this episode I think that it also really applies to Samantha/Reign (Odette Annable). The main storyline is about Reign’s rise to power and this juggle Sam/Reign playing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in National City. The winter holidays have come National City and we see quite a bit of the holidays and the continued stuck adventures of future Mon-El (Chris Wood) and Imra (Amy Jackson).
So, let’s talk about the holiday party first because that was just adorable. There was some very heavy “What are we supposed to do with this Lena (Katie McGrath) and James (Mehcad Brooks)? Are we shipping them? Are they just adorable? Do the actors just have amazing chemistry together?” vibe going on. We get some other people who are vocal about their noticing of the chemistry between Lena and James, but Lena brushes it off. I absolutely love the relationship that’s developed between Kara, Lena, and Sam. As much as I love Danvers sisters, there is something to having a friend besides your sister. I think that this also adds to Kara’s humanity. She’s had friendship in J’onn (David Harewood), Winn (Jeremy Jordan), and James (and Lucy (Jenna Dewan Tatum), let’s not forget her)…but I truly feel like there’s something special when we have friendship between ladies. I’m still preparing for heartbreak as the Reign storyline continues, but I’m enjoying this as long as it lasts. It’s not often enough that we get female relationships on television that are true and believable and Supergirl‘s been amazing with all of the complicated and authentic relationships we get to see between the women on this show. It’s honestly something that I’m always wishing for on other shows, especially the DCTV shows.
We are just not worthy of the adorableness that is M’rynn J’onzz (Carl Lumbly). Do we get to call him Space Grandpa J’onzz? What do we think? I love that there’s this innocence that’s almost childlike with him, which only makes it better since it is a holiday episode. For a moment, I honestly thought he was boasting of the splendor of the Danvers eggnog being better than coffee, but it made it all the better that it was hot chocolate! I know he’s not a major character, but I hope we get to see more of him and that he doesn’t just disappear. I love that Supergirl does have such great secondary characters that you just want to see as much as possible on the show, they are truly gifts in each episode. I thought it was sweet that J’onn had a favorite Christmas song (Hall & Oates’ “Jingle Bell Rock”) and that he made them play it on repeat because that was the one thing he really wanted his dad to sort of absorb about the holidays and Winn’s response to everyone’s groaning on the repeat with “take it up with papa bear”. Seriously, Winn being at the DEO has done so much for his character and I just love his character and the relationships he has with various characters on the show better because of it.
Can we talk about how lovely it is that we’re sort of getting this colliding of worlds with this season? If you think about it, season one parties (and game nights) mostly consisted of just people who knew Kara’s secret (and Alex’s (Chyler Leigh) for that matter). They’ve slowly integrated other characters into this circle and I think that’s a show of growth on everyone’s part. Sure, Lena and Sam (and Ruby (Emma Tremblay) too) are basically the only ones who don’t know about the DEO or Supergirl’s identity, but it’s still a big thing. I’m wondering if they call the party to an abrupt end to deal with the Reign crop circle or if James and Winn awkwardly take the reins of the party and babysit M’rynn along with Lena, Sam, and Ruby.
So even though this episode is a huge deal, we finally get to see Reign and the costume and everything…surprisingly in the grand scheme of the episode, it’s not that Sam/Reign intensive (even though it feels like it is). I don’t know what everyone else expected when it came to Sam/Reign after the last episode we saw her in, but the start of the episode honestly surprised me. I very much expected Sam to be MIA with one of the ‘aunts’ having to look after Ruby or to just be flat out full-blown evil Reign burning the city. Instead, we see a disorientated and confused Sam at first who then just launches into mom to make pancake mode. Honestly, in Sam’s place, I would be more concerned about thinking I’m late for work and not knowing what day it is. I do love that they show Sam and Ruby’s relationship in a very true light, the struggle of a single working mom and a teen daughter who wants more.
I was very surprised that we continued to see Sam as Sam throughout this episode since it was made very clear by the hologram that Ruby was a mistake, so it seemed like they would be fully erasing her and Sam’s life. But we get this complicated, yet sweet scene between Sam and Ruby at L Corp on Christmas Eve. Ruby is ready to go home and starving (apparently she’s eaten all the chips they have there, you’d think this kid would have learned how to use door dash or something to bring her some real food), but Sam has to keep working. Ruby ends up getting a very special present early from her mom, something that I thought was sweet and surprising while also sort of foreshadow-y feeling. Sam got her a gold necklace that has a House of El symbol pendant on it. She explains, “Did you know it means stronger together? We are always.” Now, I sort of wondered where Sam got that information, maybe it was a tiny bit of Reign in her mind or maybe it’s been said in a previous episode that Supergirl transmitted on the media, but it still made me stop and think about it. I thought it was still really cute because technically Ruby is half Kryptonian and when Sam found out her origins, it was Supergirl that she actually wanted to be like (not the world killer). The final scene of the episode ends up being with Sam and Ruby and how it’s left, it leaves me thinking that Sam might go full blown Reign on Christmas morning. Maybe it’s the evil writer side of me, but I’m sort of hoping that Reign fully takes over and we get to see Ruby taken under the wing of Lena or Alex and Kara and the DEO. Alex and Ruby had had this adorably sweet moment (there were a lot of adorable and sweet moments in this episode) and it made me want to see Alex taking care of the girl. We’ll definitely see though. As much as I would love to see Alex adopt Ruby, I really don’t want to lose Sam. So, let’s see what they do with this Reign storyline.
So, the future people are still stuck there in the past. Their ship is like a million times broken and Mon-El apparently thinks it’s so broken he can’t fix it. I’m just waiting for the Time Bureau to show up and fix things, like they’re seriously taking their time. Since we’ve gotten Mon-El back, I can’t help but thinking that the DEO gear he’s wearing (and Imra in this episode) is just fantastic. I can’t help it, it’s just like it seems like every other show you’d see people get thrown a nice pair of blue scrubs or some generic sweatsuit that they’d wear for an ep before they get real clothes. Apparently Mon-El and Imra really like the sweet new DEO gear they’ve been provided though (well, until later in the episode). We get to hear a little about the future, apparently Mon-El formed a peacekeeping group (which Imra is a part of, as well) that protects Earth and those beyond. They’re called The Legion. So, buckle up comic nerds for the Legion of Superheroes on TV. There’s been a lot of talk about this since we saw that super shiny Legion flight ring in the Fortress of Solitude way back in the episode called “Solitude” (1×15). Well, I keep looking for it on Mon-El’s hand, but not seeing it. Now, the question stands…does he have it in the future when he forms his Legion? Or is it something that he gets from the past and then magically he and Imra get to go back home and use it? We get a little more background about what happened, but it’s basically what we knew…they’re from the future, got stuck back in time, and were in cryo-sleep until something went wrong…apparently they should have stayed asleep until they reached the time they originally left from. Well, that didn’t happen. So, we get this insane amount of tension and high emotions for the remainder of the episode. It really speaks to Kara’s humanity as we see her struggle and I’m sure all of those Karamel shippers were struggling as well. The dynamic of Mon-El and Imra is definitely different than Mon-El and Kara, but I think that this future version of Mon-El in the end is too different for some kind of reunited ship to work. Speaking of Karamel, we get to hear from Imra exactly how hard it was for Mon-El at first…how he only talked of Kara…how he wouldn’t even look at anyone else…and how it took him basically forever before accepting he was never going home. While this was nice to establish that he didn’t revert to party boy Mon-El from Daxam, it still doesn’t fix this whole mess. I’m honestly hoping that it gets resolved in some form quickly.
So, though I stated that there really wasn’t as much Reign screen time as it felt, we’re going to talk about why it felt that way. We might have seen the Kryptonian symbol more times on the screen than the House of El symbol. So, first of all, am I the only one who thinks it looks like a creepy screaming skull? Is it just me? Honestly?
We’ve got two groups that are investigating this week: the DEO and L Corp/CatCo. This really isn’t that surprising, except that Kara is left out of the latter one. The first appearance is a crop circle on L Corp property, which really isn’t that exciting…except that we get to see the return of Vasquez (Briana Venskus) to the DEO! Who else was excited? There’s this whole sequence of the symbol all over National City (seriously, it feels like what isn’t tagged by the end of the episode with all the pictures we see on media throughout).
Since the first symbol is on L Corp property, Lena thinks that Morgan Edge (Adrian Pasdar) is behind it and James tags along. To me, this felt like they really wanted us to see the two of them in a different situation than we’ve seen this season, which was nice. Edge is, of course, not having any of it when he’s visited. He’s amused more than anything. As Lena and James continue their Nancy Drew antics through the episode, they end up finding another symbol and being attacked by the guy with the laser guy who etched it, which leads us to an interesting fight. James apparently wears the gauntlet with his Guardian shield with him at all times and that was what saved them…and yet again, Lena is in the dark. It seriously felt like a “squirrel!” moment from Up. I sort of hope when it all comes out that Lena just knows, like Cat Grant. They manage to ID the guy as someone who had worked with Edge in the past, which only continues Lena’s suspicions. Sam walks in, alarmed that Lena could have been killed, and when this information comes to light, she goes into activate-Reign-mode and mumbles “he shouldn’t be alive” and just disappears from the office…and we get the shirt pulling open to reveal Kryptonian symbol that we’re so used to seeing from Kara. Though Reign goes after Morgan Edge, he manages to live by hiding in a lead-lined panic room in his office. Everyone else thinks it’s a random attack, but the viewers know otherwise, which if you think about it…Reign has (I think) only attacked people that would be labeled bad guys this whole episode up to this point. This doesn’t help Supergirl, though as when the media questions Edge, he states “I can’t say it wasn’t Supergirl.”
So, during these investigations, Kara had been summoned to prison. Remember Thomas Coville (Chad Lowe) from “The Faithful” (3×04)? Well, he’s back. While traveling the world to collect Kryptonian artifacts, apparently he came upon information that not even Kara can get from the holographic Alura (Erica Durance) answer machine. He quotes, “They will receive a blasphemous sigil and in its wake, many cowards and killers and vile men will burn, and every eye will look upon the heretic and they will call it worldkiller”. Now, we already know that when Sam was in her fortress that the hologram told her that she would be called that, so this just confirms fully that Reign is the person that Coville is talking about. I’d really like to see the Kryptonian priestess from Fort Rozz in an episode in a later season, also…can we see an updated list of who they’ve found or decided aren’t a threat to society so it’s fine they’re still out? Coville explains that there are three steps that will lead to the end of days…the mark of the beast (the symbols burnt everywhere), the work of the beast (in the form of many deaths), and the Reign of the beast (“this is when she comes”…”worldkiller”). Coville goes on to tell Kara, “This is your purpose, to fight the devil”, which plays so well into his Rao/Supergirl religion because he sees her as a God who will defeat the evils of the devil.
With them unable to bring Reign out, Kara decides to play things her way and burn the House of El symbol into a rooftop. Later Reign appears and just hangs out until Kara shows up…and then it’s all about this ultimate fight. Kara’s not worried since she managed to knock out her cousin in a past episode, but Reign is genetically engineered and it shows in this fight. Reign tells her, “The devil isn’t real. I am from the time before fathoming, born to cleanse the scourge and deliver the awakening. I am Reign.” When Kara challenges her, Reign simply replies, “Then I will dispense my justice on you”. It felt very much like a moment we might have had if Alura and Astra had ever had a head to head match in the present day on Earth. The fight goes from the rooftop to crashing a Christmas office party (at least that’ll something to talk about through the next year?) to a container cargo ship and then into the streets of National City. James and Lena are there among the civilians, who just stand around and watch. Why is no one running away to safety? Someone will have it on youtube later. I don’t understand the sense in that, especially since there are families there. No matter how much faith you have in Supergirl, you still get your babies to safety, just saying. The big thing is that we see that Reign can seriously injure Kara. It’s not something that we really see unless kryptonite is involved and I’m not really sure about the science behind it (hopefully this is addressed in a future episode because I’d honestly like to know). Kara looks horrible, but she still tries to continue. Reign continues to beat her before holding her from a rooftop and telling her, “Truth, judgement, and death…and I will Reign” before dropping her. Now, I kept waiting for J’onn J’onzz to show up and at least catch her. It’s an episode I’m severely disappointed in the lack of Martian Manhunter and flying abilities. Sure, this is likely because they wanted it to be Kryptonian versus Kryptonian, but still…it bothers me. Everyone is still around, including Lena, James, and Edge, just watching as Alex and the DEO arrive to get to Kara. A small child asks, “Is she dead?” which is the question on everyone’s mind (though, come on, this is Supergirl’s show so we know she isn’t…or can’t stay that way). Kara is taken back to the DEO where Alex is working to save her sister with everyone watching on and this sort of creepy (and a little too happy) Imra moment of “she’ll be okay” to Mon-El. Like, I know you’re from the future, but what if you guys being there has messed up time? You could have changed the timeline as you know it. I sort of expect Alex to have a breakdown in the next episode because she absolutely loves her sister and she’ll just be guilt-ridden.
Not that I haven’t already talked about relationships, but let’s talk about them a bit more starting with our favorite super sisters, the Danvers sisters. Their relationship has always been my favorite on the show and I really appreciated the two big moments we got between the sisters in this episode. At the beginning we got this more light (even though it was a we-are-not-going-to-be-depressed sort of agreement) moment between the two of them at the holiday party. I think it’s important and it reminds us that they’re both having a hard holiday, but they’re both trying. Towards the end before Kara goes out to fight Reign there’s this two-part moment between them, there’s an unsaid moment and something said. Kara walks in on Mon-El and Imra working out together and you can just see the sadness written all over her face and Alex sees it and she knows what this could mean, especially since she’s about to tell her sister that it’s time to face Reign. It’s this moment where you expect Alex to give Kara a lecture about not being emotional and in a way, she does. For these nine episodes we’ve seen Kara struggle with being human or Kryptonian and we’ve seen Alex tell her about her human heart. In this fight, though, Alex wants her to do it differently. “I have been trying to get you to embrace your humanity, but forget that…be cold, be Kryptonian. I don’t know why but this thing really scares me. So please, be alien”, Alex pleads with Kara. It’s unexpected, but at the same time…it’s understandable. Alex just wants her sister to come back and it takes a Kryptonian to bring a Kryptonian down most times, it also skips the emotional lecture without bringing up Mon-El. I fully expect that we’ll have a lot of fall out and guilt in the next episode and struggles with both sisters.
For those who are shipping Karamel (there’s never a reason to stop shipping, even if it seems like it’s stopped being canon), I think it’s hard…but at the same time…there’s that great moment between Kara and Mon-El in the bar after Winn distracts Imra. I think that it shows that even though Mon-El has been gone seven years (as far as he’s concerned) and he’s from the future, even though he’s changed, that deep down he’s still the man that she loves. That’s both heartbreaking and I think sort of a relief for those who ship.
So, I’ve brought up this what-the-heck-is-going-on conversation when it comes to James and Lena. It seems like the will they/won’t they are out the window as of this episode. After playing detectives all episode, they end up kissing in James’ office at CatCo after nearly dying. I think it’s interesting that Lena is the one who initiates it and there’s really no conversation about what they feel first because it’s going to be complicated, but at the same time, I sort of liked it more this way. Sometimes less is more and I think it was in this case. I’m not entirely sure my feelings on this ship as of yet, I like to give it some time and see where it goes. These two definitely have chemistry though and I do like their bantering. Anyone have an idea for what they’re calling this ship?
I have seen some people that are extremely upset about the loss of Sanvers and this kiss (which might very well be the start of something more), as something lost. It’s extremely hard when your ship isn’t canon, but sometimes I have found I prefer that. I have gone from being a person who is OTP only to be fairly happy with all kinds of ship possibilities. My friends always put it as being able to have one slice of cake or all the slices of cake. That doesn’t mean I ship every single thingbut in Supergirl…most. If you ship it, the thing is…the actors have chemistry and there’s possibility. Relationships (especially in comic book based shows/movies) are never certain. I’m still one hundred percent hoping for SuperCorp (or at least some precious Kara/Lena scenes) as well as Sanvers…and I’d love to see a true reunion (or at least some kind of happy tie-up) for Karamel. I basically just want the characters to be happy.
With the winter holidays about to hit, new Supergirl will not return until January 15th. What do you think is going to happen with Reign? Do you think Team Supergirl can save Sam? What do you think of the kiss between James and Lena? Do you think it’ll lead to something more? What else would you like to see for the second half of the season? Tell us!
Photo Credit: The CW