Supergirl Season 5 sucked. This show turned me into a Supergirl fan thanks to Melissa Benoist’s charismatic, positive performance and the writing the show gave her to work with. It powered me through lesser parts of earlier seasons, and thrilled me through the show’s excellent Season 4. Season 5, though, was continually frustrating thanks to weird character decisions, boring technology, and a continued focus on Finding Kara A Boyfriend. Then, the CW hit us with the news that Supergirl Season 6 would be the last as Benoist is looking to spend time with her new child and work on her newly-formed production company. That puts an extra onus on Supergirl Season 6 to send the show off on a positive note. If the season premiere is any indication, we’re in for a good time. Spoilers follow for Supergirl Season 6, Episode 1, “Rebirth.”
Thanks to our good friend COVID-19, Supergirl‘s final season premiere is a little messy because it’s also a season finale, but I enjoyed enough of it that I’ll give it a pass. It’s absolutely a better conclusion for the previous season than what The Flash did with Mirror Monarch.
The show starts exactly where Season 5 left off, with Brainy dying in Leviathan’s control center. This part is cheesy as heck, with some truly terrible CG that feels less like a 2021 television show and more like an episode of Beast Wars. That’s not a dig on Beast Wars.
The ending happens so quickly and haphazardly that it took me a long minute to figure out it was all over. Even David Harewood couldn’t make the line “She’s in the computer!” sound serious, which says a lot. The Leviathan base is cheesy, with spackled yellow columns and super-high ceilings that make it look like something out of the 1970s, and not on purpose.
I’d be more annoyed if the rest of the episode was as bad, but things quickly shift over to the fun villain, Lex Luthor and his terrifying mother.
Onto the Headliner
Lex, as always, had a plan within a plan, and used the Obsidian VR satellites and Lena’s “Non Nocere” technology to upload a little idea into peoples’ heads that Lex is their hero. Then, the satellites that Leviathan was going to use to kill half of the Earth would… still kill half of the Earth. Just, the half that doesn’t look at Lex as a savior. Lillian tells him that he can’t kill Lena, and he says “What? Why? She killed me first!” I love the way the show lets Lex both be the smartest person around and the only one who can see how absurd the things happening around him are. He might be a super-scientist, but he’s also a writer with a flair for the dramatic.
The cast is the best thing Supergirl has going for it. Benoist is great as always and Jon Cryer has been such a great surprise as a villain that can cause trouble over and over without getting boring. But actors like Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor) and David Harewood (J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter) are equally important.
Lena & Kara
The relationship between Lena and Kara has always been one of the best parts of Supergirl. I found myself frustrated with the heelturn she did last year, but I’m pleased with how they resolved it. Kara and Lena hurt each other, but the actors do such a great job of making it feel like the two characters miss each other dearly that it’s hard not to tear up as they start working together again.
One especially nice bit of writing has Lena talk about finally understanding why Kara felt she had to keep her identity as Supergirl a secret even from Lena, and it feels like the pair have reached a true understanding and can move on and start working together again. Just this part made the whole episode worth it.
You skipped something
The story ends with a climactic battle that pits Supergirl and her whole team against a semi-immortal Lex, who is now infused with the DNA of the aliens who made up Leviathan. I had to watch the beginning of the show a second time to figure out what they were talking about with their plan to defeat him because they talk about using a planet’s crystal the same way that people use Kryptonite against the House of El. They don’t say right-out that the planet is the one the Leviathan members come from, though. This feels like something they could’ve spent another 30 seconds on for those of us who haven’t seen the show in literally a full year.
We get some much better–but still not great–CGI when Super-Lex takes on Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, Miss Martian, Dreamer, Brainy, and Alex all at once. But at least it was passable and ambitious–a pretty good combo for a CW superhero show.
Supergirl also does Alex some justice by giving her a superhero codename like, you know, basically all of her friends have. I still think her suit looks like “Hot Topic Trackwear” but she’s finally moved fully out of her days as a cop, but for aliens.
Where did Supergirl go?
In the final moments of the battle, Lex sends Supergirl to the Phantom Zone, where Kara magically loses her bangs. This is one of my only issues. Some of these CW superhero shows have a tendency to drag out “what if superhero is gone” storylines, and Season 6 is Supergirl‘s last season. I worry that the show will drag this on longer than it needs.
With that said, this is a great start to Supergirl‘s last season, and I hope it can send the show off on a positive note.