For someone who can fly faster than a speeding bullet, Supergirl sure seems directionless lately. This is the show’s final season and so far the story has been Supergirl trapped in a space cave while her friends fight space nosferatu. No one’s going anywhere. What is this season about? Well, this episode doesn’t really provide any answers. Spoilers follow for Supergirl Season 6, Episode 4, “Lost Souls.”
Supergirl is still trapped in Star Trek Backlot Cave World, also known as the Phantom Zone while the Superfriends tangle with the Phantoms.
Out in the real world, things are getting weird. The Phantoms continue to multiply, and the team figures out how to take them down all at once. There’s drama here, because the exact device that Lena invents to track Kara is the same one they need to track down the Phantoms’ source location. And Because Reasons, they can’t make another one or do both.
This whole plotline isn’t without its charms, but it’s silly and directionless. These Phantoms multiply by slashing humans, which then takes over their body and releases their soul (souls are a thing now), and then those Phantom-ized people can then spread things further, multiplying like a virus.
While the heroes are arguing about what to do–save Kara, stop the phantoms–there’s a lot of back and forth, and at one point David Harewood’s J’onn J’onzz says, “if we don’t act now, not only will National City be lost, but the infection will reach a point of no return–a global pandemic.”
That’s what we’re going with right now? We’re keying in on a literal world-changing event by namedropping the words during a side story? In any other year, this would sound like generic superhero save-the-world schlock, but here it feels so weird.
Then, Brainy and Lena make a backpack that fires out a beam that captures Phantoms and, yes, they make lots of Ghostbusters jokes.
The whole storyline is pretty silly. The upside is it gives Katie McGrath lots of opportunities to have emotions on camera, and she’s very good at that. Like Harewood, she can add gravitas to just about any scene she’s in. Though not even Harewood could fix that global pandemic line. Oof.
Imp my Ride Home
Meanwhile, in the Phantom Zone, Kara and her father have been working with the fifth-dimensional imp, Princess Nyxly, to escape. The most obvious thing possible happens here, with Nyxly revealing that she’s been lying all along. Surprise! Kara’s father, Zor-El, gets injured while searching for the Phantom Zone’s exit, which is literally a magic mirror.
Nyxly was acting weird last week, and I’d hoped it was just a weird choice by the actor. Meeting an imp in the Phantom Zone isn’t the wildest thing. The wildest thing is for Kara to find, of all people, her father. And for him to be an absolute bummer. I kind of didn’t believe that it was actually her father. If it was, he’d be way more psyched about his daughter being there and want to try escaping.
Instead, he really is just a huge bummer and Nyxly is somehow both devious and incredibly boring. She rightly points out that Kara’s dad is dragging her down. Nyxly connects her own father-related trauma–he sent her to the Phantom Zone–to Kara’s doom-and-gloom dad, and that totally makes sense. She sees this guy trying to keep Kara in the Phantom Zone, the same way her father forced her there, and sees similarity. But the way it actually goes down in the show doesn’t match the conceptual cleverness of the writing, unfortunately. And then the building they’re in explodes and it’s unclear whether Nyxly or Zor-El lived.
This Phantom Zone storyline has worn out its welcome, and I’m ready for Kara to get back home and get to whatever the season’s storyline will end up being. Right now, things are going nowhere, stuck on a cosmic treadmill.