After perhaps the best mid-season break of the series, Supergirl’s return felt surprisingly lackluster even with the debut of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Or maybe that’s entirely due to the show’s take on the Legion. Supergirl is definitely taking a different approach on DC’s futuristic team, but so many elements that would get fans excited about their presence on the show were absent.
I’m a little concerned the Supergirl writers don’t truly get the Legion if Braniac-5 (Jesse Rath) was the member used to communicate with Kara while she was in a coma. Especially with Saturn Girl right there. Apparently in the show’s take, Saturn Girl’s telepathy powers have been swapped with telekinesis.
Kara was mentally recovering from her battle with Reign and needed Braniac-5’s help to wake up. Or at least have someone to talk to in her mental time-out. The show’s take on Brainy marginalized his ‘power’ — his massive intelligence to make him more awkward comic relief.
One thing is clear from Legion of Super-Heroes — someone at DC CW hates color. It was bad enough Mon-El, Saturn Girl and Braniac-5 raided the X-Men’s closet, but even Streaky became a black cat. Was an orange cat honestly not realistic enough for the show? The Legion’s costume designs were really disappointing. Black leather is so 2000 and completely negates any originality of the Legion’s outfits. More than most heroes, the Legion uniforms help to quickly explain their powers. Going all black was an odd choice.
While Kara struggled to get out of her head, Reign started busting heads and taking names. Reign is putting an end to crime and apathy in National City and enforces a strict no more mercy policy. That’s an interesting take on Reign as she’s not the typical conquer the Earth style main villain, but a darker side of Supergirl willing to go to greater extremes.
Mon-El spends most of the episode deciding if they should help stop Reign. In their timeline, the Legion is reeling from a galactic onslaught from the Blight, which was first discovered by Ayla aka Lightning Lass. To stop it, Mon-El’s team chooses the weirdest hiding spot — their DNA — instead of say relaying a message to the other Legion members. If they die, the secret to defeating the Blight dies with them. But to help Supergirl, Mon-El is willing to take the risk.
Not that it mattered as they were amazingly ineffective. Brainy used the space ship while Saturn Girl and Mon-El politely waited for Reign to stop him before joining the fight. One of the main frustrations with this episode was how the heroes kept letting Reign retreat. And how J’onn seemed to forget he’s Martian Manhunter whenever a significant threat pops up. I get that the show is called Supergirl, but Martian Manhunter, Mon-El, Saturn Girl and Brainiac-5 should have been more than enough to stop Reign.
This one is on the writers for stacking the deck so heavily against Reign only to have Supergirl make a dramatic save. With Reign clearly wounded, everyone just lets her fly off instead of some token effort to chase her. Were they hoping she saw the error of her ways and is ready to reform now? At least Reign gets some help with Coville offering to help her find others like her. If Kara has a Legion of Super-Heroes, will Reign get a Legion of Super-Villains?
The episode did have some nice moments even if it had little to do with the Legion. Lena expressing doubt over James’ interest due to her last name made sense. I like that pairing a lot as it gives James and Lena something to do besides being underfoot with Kara all the time. Much like the aborted Supergirl/James relationship, it’s very weird that James hasn’t suited up or mentioned the Guardian at all this season.
But the episode’s best scene featured Melissa Benoist doing her best David Harewood impersonation as Lena visited J’onn standing in for the comatose Kara. That was very funny and another example of how great Benoist is when giving good material.
Legion of Super-Heroes didn’t prove very rewarding for those anticipating some great payoff. The Supergirl/Reign battle has proven interesting enough without them especially when they were this ineffective.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW