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    Five Thoughts On Supergirl’s “Better Angels”

    By | April 19th, 2016
    Posted in Television | 3 Comments

    Well, we’ve finally reached that moment: the finale of Supergirl‘s first season. We’ve come a long way since we first saw our first look at the show and the show has come even further since the first episode. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that, despite its ups and downs, this has been one of the best first seasons of a superhero TV show I’ve ever seen.

    So let’s break down Supergirl‘s first season finale with our Five Thoughts.

    1. Stronger Together

    Picking up pretty much directly from where the last episode left off with the duelling Danvers sisters, this episode does a pretty good job of wrapping up those cliffhangers early. I, for one, didn’t want to see this fight get dragged out any longer than necessary or have to watch Supergirl deal with Myriad for another hour so I’m glad the show decided to wrap both of those points up before the show’s opening title.

    (By the way: have I mentioned how much I miss opening titles on shows like these? I feel like Arrow‘s single title card has left DC’s shows in a place where they just flash the symbol and title over a music cue after the cold open and that’s the opening title. As much as I hated Smallville, there was a charm to that title sequence. I don’t know, just a thought.)

    Anyway, my actual point here was going to be about how Alex was saved from Myriad: not through strength, but through compassion. We’ll get into this more in a second, but I loved the fact that this was never an actual fight. Supergirl never once took the offensive, only looking to disarm Alex long enough to break her from the mind control and having Helen Slater’s Eliza be the one to break with a speech about family was a great touch.

    2. A Symbol Of Hope

    Speaking of getting rid of Myriad with speeches, I was genuinely impressed how quickly this episode brought me to tears. Seriously, I was weeping through this. Melissa Benoist has always been the key to this show working and here she shows just how much she anchors this show’s emotionality. Supergirl is a show that’s entirely earnest about being about hope and inspiration, weaving that into the text without a hint of subtlety, and that wouldn’t work without someone who can bring that same level of belief to the performance. This is something that Benoist gets pitch perfectly, bringing a warmth to Supergirl that makes her words ring true in the real world and not just in National City.

    The best Superman and Supergirl speeches always have some element to them you can take with you. I’ll always reference the scene with Reagan in “All-Star Superman” where Superman talks to both the character and the reader at the same time. This is a much similar scenario and Benoist brings a much needed weight to that in order to make it work and, boy, does it work.

    If there are any dry eyes in the room after this speech, I’d be worried people were watching a different show.

    3. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

    … and I’m sobbing through an episode of Supergirl.

    After saving her sister and stopping Myriad all before the title shows, the show actually slows things down a bit for a second. Setting up the rest of the conflict with Non and Indigo, proving that stopping Myriad wasn’t the final step in stopping Non and raising the stakes even more by having Non go from brainwashing the humans of National City to trying to kill every human on Earth before buggering off to a Supergirl-less planet, the show takes a breather to let Supergirl say goodbye to her friends and family.

    This was a nice touch, I feel, because it shows the direness of the situation and while I don’t think anyone honestly believed that Supergirl wouldn’t succeed in the mission and survive, having her say her goodbyes let us look at how far all of the characters have come since the pilot episode.

    Speaking of which…

    4. Cat Grant, Truly The Best Of Us

    Now, I’m pretty much skipping the actual on the big climax of the episode cause… well, it’s self-explanatory, isn’t it? Supergirl lifts a heavy thing and saves the day. Now, I don’t blame them for going this route due to budget; it’s an easy way of showing Supergirl powering through an obstacle without having her fight Non through the city. Still, now much to talk about.

    Continued below

    What I want to talk about instead is how Cat Grant is still the best character on the show and what an arc she had. Supergirl, by nature of being Supergirl, was never going to have a huge arc. Sure, she’s had development and she’s learned a lot throughout the season, but she’s still gonna be Supergirl by the end of it. The marker of how far we’ve come, to me, is Cat Grant and how much she’s opened up because of Supergirl.

    That was punctuated by Kara’s promotion at the end of this episode, not only did it represent the show being ready to move up to bigger and better things in a second season (because there’s no way this show doesn’t get a second season, right?), but it represented Cat finally acknowledging Kara on a personal level and how the show has turned the character in a much better person. This is good writing and a great performance working together to make something beautiful.

    5. This Is Such A CBS Ending

    And that’s not exactly a bad thing, but, oh my god, ending on a party with everyone celebrating was so cheesy and schmaltzy that I almost couldn’t handle it. Actually seeing J’onn J’onnz in a polo neck and drinking champagne was such a weird experience after having David Harewood’s wardrobe on the show consist of nothing but black tactical gear. It would have been a sweet if slightly disappointing ending should the show have just ended there (I’m not exactly against happy endings, but it just felt so.. conventional), but thankfully the show had one last trick up its sleeve as a pod identical to Clark and Kara’s crashlands nearby.

    So… let’s start the theorymongering, shall we? Who’s in the pod? Is it Mon-El? Could it be Zod or Faora or some other evil Kryptonian? Or, and this is my favourite theory, could someone finally have the guts to do a live action Krypto? Here’s hoping.

    All in all, this was a great ending to a great season. The show continually upped it’s game with the the episodes after it’s midseason break progressively improving to the point where I’d say this show is easily on par with The Flash as the best in superhero TV. With a second season pretty much waiting to be confirmed, I cannot wait to see what happens with the Girl Of Steel after this.

    //TAGS | supergirl

    Alice W. Castle

    Sworn to protect a world that hates and fears her, Alice W. Castle is a trans femme writing about comics. All things considered, it’s going surprisingly well. Ask her about the unproduced Superman films of 1990 - 2006. She can be found on various corners of the internet, but most frequently on Twitter: @alicewcastle


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