Supergirl‘s fourth season was awesome. It wrote huge checks with its story and its villains. We had a problem Supergirl couldn’t fix with just punches and smiles, and not just Lex Luthor but a really good Lex Luthor that felt authentic in his looks and writing. Even as someone who has enjoyed Supergirl from its CBS days, it was a huge surprise. The season left us with a huge cliffhanger: Lena Luthor knows that Supergirl and Kara Danvers are one and the same. Now, we’re into season 5 and a lot of things are changing. We’ll spoil the entire episode.
The event horizon of a black hole is the point of no return; the point at which light can no longer escape. I’m quite sure the writers did not choose that title by accident. The premiere sets up a lot of stories.
First, Kara continues to hem, haw, and avoid going to Lena with her secret. And then we find out that despite Kara having written a story that unseated an American president, Catco’s numbers are down and the company has been sold yet again. Brainy and Nia Nal are continuing their relationship, but Brainy continues to be evasive about physical contact. And then a little girl turns into a T-Rex and tears Supergirl’s cape to pieces while brain-blasting the Martian Manhunter.
That sets us up for a laundry list of reveals.
Catco, the company for which James and Kara have worked since the very first episode of the show, has been sold to Andrea Rojas, which Superman fans might recognize as Acrata, a character who can move through shadows. We’re not sure if she’ll be an enemy or ally to Supergirl, but she’s a huge thorn in Kara’s side. The hard-hitting journalist now works for someone who wants to see clicks and engagement over stories that matter.
While that’s a frustration to Kara, it’s the final straw for James. Actor Mehcad Brooks is leaving Supergirl as a regular cast member this year, so it makes sense that his position would be made redundant within Catco. He suits up as Guardian in this week’s episode, but we’re betting he’s going to be doing some traveling soon. His goodbye didn’t sound like it was forever, so we don’t expect an epic death scene.
Brothers and Sisters
Kara is set to receive a Pulitzer Prize for her journalistic work, and her “friend” Lena is planning to reveal Kara’s secret identity. But then Kara reveals herself to Lena suddenly and drops what might be the best apology I’ve ever heard someone give; things seem okay. That lets us focus on the villain of this week, Midnight, who has been sent to hunt the Martian Manhunter. Midnight interrupts the awards ceremony, giving Kara the chance to suit up in her new outfit for the first time.
My personal opinion: I love her new suit, and I think her haircut looks weird. It’s like seeing someone without their glasses for the first time. I’ll get used to it, we all will. But for now, it looks weird. The assembled team kicks Midnight’s butt, and the day is saved, but in the final moments of the episode we find out who the real villains of the season will be.
The first is J’on J’onzz’s brother. The Martian Manhunter is as surprised as we are about this information, but this brother has declared all-out war on his unknowing sibling. Across town, Supergirl gives Lena a summoning beacon and then flies off. The peace between the two seemed too good to be true. Lena’s face sours as her former friend flies off, and she tells her Jarvis-level AI that having someone trust you can make them a useful tool. The Lena/Kara friendship is dead and gone, it seems.
It’s been clear for some time that Supergirl would pit Lena and Kara against each other, but it’s still disappointing. The friendship the two shared throughout the second and third seasons of the show was a highlight of the show, and seeing Lena continually resist the seemingly inevitable inclinations of her family to do evil was always enjoyable. Maybe Lena will make a better villain than a friend, or maybe they’ll have a tearful apology sometime later this year, but right now it feels like the show has given up a great relationship to do some lazy writing. Last season was so daring, and this seems like such an obvious, boring move. The house of Luthor versus the house of El doesn’t have to be an inevitability. But here it apparently is.
We have a lot to look forward to, though, all the same. Andrea Rojas/Acrata’s real motivations are a total question mark. The Martian Manhunter’s brother still has much to reveal and could be an interesting character. Mehcad Brooks’ exit is certain to be a big deal, and Jeremy Jones will be returning as Wynn Schott. I hope that Katie McGrath works well as a villain or gets a redemption arc. It’s hard to guess at where this season is going, but despite my disappointment, I’m still excited all the same.