Television 

Five Thoughts on Supergirl‘s “Immortal Kombat”

By | May 18th, 2020
Posted in Television | % Comments

Welcome back all you Supergirl fans! The season finale is upon us and for all the ups and downs and downs and oh-my-god-so-many-downs of season five, we’re going out on a relatively high point. Think the hills of Scotland rather than the Alps. That said, huge missed opportunity to call this “Immortal Khanbat” and mirror the most fun CW Superhero show. Almost a dealbreaker, honestly.

As always, spoilers ahead.

1. By Your Powers Combined, I Am. . .Underwhelmed

Let’s get this one out of the way first. Leviathan as the big bad has been shockingly dull. Like, I cannot believe how little I care about Leviathan or any, any of the members. Rojas, wasted and poorly characterized. Tessmacher, wasted and poorly characterized. Rama Khan, dullsville to the extreme. Old middle management lady who’s name I don’t remember? My favorite but totally underused and then unceremoniously killed off screen. Gemma? Best of them all but still one-note and has about as much characterization as a plank of wood. . .Scratch that. Plank had more character than she did.

This is supposed to be a shadowy, feared organization that’s controlled world events and/or literally caused the worst natural disasters in human history for millennia. They have their mits in literally everything and presumably control a huge network of assassins, officials and the like, but the most we see from them is, like, three people huddled around a poker table jawing about power or ridding the Earth of humans because we suck or an inter-agency struggle that, let me be clear, was never in any way established effectively for me to give even one one-hundredth of a shit.

They already wasted Manchester Black, why not Leviathan as well? And lest I forget Lightning Lass and Fire Fan. Those aren’t their real names but could we have picked two more generic looking characters? They couldn’t even give one fucking wind powers to make Me’gann’s quip about “Earth, Wind and Fire” accurate. They’re given no lines, all they do is snarl, and are there to royally fuck up our heroes by. . .giving them a couple bruises.

Great.

The effects were rad — green and yellow lightning, hell yeah — but why were they here? Where did they come from? Is Leviathan secretly Captain Planet and hasn’t been able to reform since Andrea was never called in? Earth, Fire, Lightning, Shadow, CGI Nonsense. By our powers combined, we are. . .a crappy set of antagonists!

2. A Blue Dee A Blue Dee A Blue Die A Blue Suit A Blue Eye A Blue Hood A Blue Eye

I’m really digging Alex’s blue suit. It’s kinda weird, and looks like a onesie, but the blue eyeshadow looks so cooool and the design itself is nice and sleek. It’s not super militaristic like her previous armor, or like 90% of superhero TV/Film costume design, and it feels kinda playful in a spy/tech way.

What do you think her code name will end up being? I like the idea of her taking Bluebird since Harper Row is rad and they do not do enough with her character in the comics and I’m sad that no one picks up on the side characters Snyder/Capulo introduced. Duke and Harper deserve better and Damian Wayne should have stayed dead, though I will admit “Super Sons” is great.

. . .Sorry. Got a bit sidetracked there. What was I saying? Oh yeah, codenames and suits. It feels a bit odd to suddenly introduce it here at the end of the season but it’s hard to begrudge them too much since there were originally supposed to be three more episodes and it’s hard to tell what was condensed, what was left out and what was intended to run as is. I still think the costume idea should have been much earlier in the season, since Alex really wasn’t doing all that much after leaving the DEO, and it might have given Kelly something more to do with the team.

Oh, and can we get more consuming like Lillian’s suit next season? Please and thank you.

3. Why Can’t We Be Friends? Why Can’t We Be Friends?

*siiiighhhhhhh*

Okay.

There is a lot to like about the way they handle Lena’s apology from last week. All the pain and misery Lena caused isn’t swept under the run and Kara is rightfully hurt. She doesn’t push Lena away, as is consistent with her character as well as the dire situation they are in, but it is still difficult for her. I have been waiting to hear that speech from Kara to Lena for close to the entire season, or at least since the hundredth episode, and it was oh-so-satisfying to hear it. Melissa Benoist delivered a killer scene and I could feel Katie McGrath shrinking in her skin as Lena. Beautiful.

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But. . .it’s still all resolved in one episode. They make up so quickly after Kara “realizes” that Lena was sincere and Lena stumbles over her many, many, many, many apologies which, are genuine, but feel too little, too late. Supergirl is a hero and so it makes sense that she would accept Lena back but, again, the work was not done well enough for me to buy into the swiftness. The sincerity I believe, perhaps because I have waited for her to realize all the mistakes she’s made all season. However, it’s still forced.

I broke down my thoughts last week so no need to rehash it. . .again. The scenes themselves are fine, some bordering on good, but taken in the larger context of the season, they ring false or too soon. Not everything needs to be wrapped up in an episode emotionally. It can remain a scar and an open wound.

4. Regular Brain: Working with Lex and Betraying Everyone is the Only Way. Galaxy Brain: If I Bottle Them, I Can Give Lex the Middle Finger AND Not Kill Anyone

They did it again, by the way. Lex “I knew you were going to do that” Luthor, with the bottle. Like. . .would it kill them to have him be caught off guard by something at least once? Maybe he’s lying to save face but somehow I doubt that. Brainy certainly doesn’t think so, as made clear by the soul-crushing expression on his face when Lex takes the bottle from him. Much as I malign Lex, I gotta hand it to the writers, they actually got his arc down pat. His hubris and obsession will be his downfall and try as he might to get away from it, he cannot. Brainy realized this in the car, cementing his decision to Bottle Leviathan.

Jesse Rath this week was fan-fucking-tastic. I cried. He made me cry. I will be deeply shocked if he’s actually dead next season but if he is, I will cry even more. I don’t have much more to say on that than this was the sad ending to his arc this season and while, again, I wish they had developed it more, it ended up being one of the few endings that felt earned.

The same is true for Dreamer’s arc. Though, once more, she was out of the season for far too long, when she was around, the grief over the loss of their relationship and the guilt she felt made for compelling TV and got me excited to see how they were going to move it forward. It got cut short but everything was so I cannot begrudge the show for leaving us on a bunch of unresolved plot-threads the way I could last season.

5. Loose Ends, Frayed Edges, and Forgotten Baubles

It wouldn’t be a season finale if there weren’t a bunch of small, little plots and discussion points left over. From Me’gann being back to her and J’onn starting a relationship (ew) to the pointless speeches by characters telling us exactly how we should be reading a scene, there’s a lot I glossed over. Rojas’s shadow stuff is chief among them. Man, what a waste of a character. They went out of their way to try to connect us to her and, while her scene with Lena was quite good, it was still kinda hollow.

And I totally forgot about Leviathan’s secret underboss! If Leviathan itself being a big pointless question mark, turns out there’s ANOTHER person that we know jack all about that’s higher up in Leviathan. Who is this mystery person? Probably the “big bad” that was supposed to be at the end of the season and/or teased for season six. At this point, I really don’t have much to say about this finale. It didn’t feel like much of an ending but for a season as aimless as this one, it never was going to, even under better circumstances. I mean, they abandoned the problems at CatCo pretty damn fast, after all.

. . .Anyone know why Gemma wasn’t sucked into the bottle with the three stooges?

With that, another season is done! Thank you all for sticking with me for another year of articles and for a season as painful as this one. Perhaps the next will be better considered. Regardless, I will be there, charting our way through the season’s choppy waters. I will not, however, be seeing you in the fall. With the world the way it is, and filming ceased for the safety of everyone on crew and cast, the sixth season is not slated to return until at least January 2021. So, until then, stay safe, stay healthy, and may we push our own society to be super.

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Thanks, y’all. See you next year.

Best Line of the Night:

Kara: “Please be careful.”

Alex: “You know me.”

Kara: “Yeah, that’s what I’m worried about.”


//TAGS | supergirl

Elias Rosner

Elias is a lover of stories who, when he isn't writing reviews for Mulitversity, is hiding in the stacks of his library. Co-host of Make Mine Multiversity, a Marvel podcast, after wining the no-prize from the former hosts, co-editor of The Webcomics Weekly, and writer of the Worthy column, he can be found on Twitter (for mostly comics stuff) here and really needs to update his profile photo again.

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