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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Supergirl S2E21: Resist

Series 2, Episode 21

So, Cat's back this week, and god knows she's just the shot in the arm that this show needs. Her appearance in this episode just sort of hammers in that this show needs Cat, or at least a Cat equivalent, if it's going to be as good as it can be -- and I so, so hope the CW makes the decision to move the show's filming back to Los Angeles, or works out some other deal, so that Calista Flockhart can return to the series in a more regular role. She clearly adores playing Cat, and from what I can gather, the only reason she left was because she doesn't take roles that keep her far away from home.

Last week, we left off on Rhea summoning her fleet through the transmat gate that Lena built, before escaping with a captured Lena and Mon-El in tow. This week, as Daxamite forces invade National City, Rhea informs Lena and Mon-El that she has taken their genetic material with which to make a child, and that she wishes for them to get married in order to legitimise the child as heir to Daxam. As Lena and Mon-El reluctantly prepare to wed, Kara, Alex, Jimmy, Maggie, and Winn are joined by Cat, and enter into a reluctant alliance with Cadmus and Lillian Luthor. As Kara, Lillian, and Hank head to Rhea's ship to free Lena and Mon-El, and Cat causes a distraction, Alex moves to take control of the DEO's positron cannon -- but a surprise ace up Rhea's sleeve derails their plan.

So, this episode wins a lot of points for setting up a massive sprawling conflict where all of the power players -- Rhea, Kara, Lillian, the President, and Cat -- are women, each with their own fleshed out personalities, agendas, flaws, and relationships with each other. I think Once Upon A Time is about the only other show on television that's done that this year (well, for a given value of 'fleshed out personalities'), and yet I can probably count off a dozen shows where all of the major power players are men. I admit to breathing out through my teeth a little, though, when Cat went on a monologue about how they're all women -- like, yes, Berlanti talking through Cat's mouth, I noticed, you don't need to tell me, and the fact that you are, in a barely-veiled-author-proxy moment, just reeks of you wanting to be praised to high heaven.

This is a very nice wedding dress.

It also wins points for yet again showing Lena as basically incorruptible. Like any episode involving Lena, this episode involves a lot of teasing that Lena could turn evil, with Rhea trying to convince her that Kara abandoned her, and Lillian insisting that Lena should see her side -- and each time, Lena just flatly knocks them down. We do get Lillian telling Kara that when Lena figures out her identity, she'll hate her for lying, but honestly what I want to see is Lena either having already realised, or Kara taking Lillian's words to heart and telling Lena.

This is a really solid episode, though. Rhea makes for a solid villain (although she's no scratch on Astra -- so far, the Villain Rankings for the Arrowverse seem to go Thawne >>> Astra >>> Slade >>> Zoom >>> Lillian >>> Savitar >>> Rhea >>> Merlyn >>> Darhk >>> Ra's al Ghul >>> Vandal >>> Non), and the episode is sharp and well-paced, with drama and comedy neatly balanced together. The twist -- that Clark is now under Rhea's control -- isn't so unexpected, but it's a good twist nonetheless, setting us up for a Kara vs Clark battle in the next episode.

(In an unrelated note, don't think I didn't notice that the episode saved money by, instead of having David Harewood doubling up as Hank and J'onn, having J'onn unconscious for the entire episode. I presume he'll wake up next episode, somehow.)

Kara and Lillian.

The suggestion that Rhea is growing a child out of Lena and Mon-El's DNA (and that she might have Clark's DNA in the mix as well) makes it seem entirely possible that the show is setting up a version of Kon that's part-human-part-Daxamite-and-possibly-part-Kryptonian, or at the very least, that it's establishing the technology that Cadmus might later use to create Kon. Either way, I think this is our first, long-awaited hint that Kon will be showing up at some point.

Interestingly, the trailer for next week has a blond, white-eyed man who I absolutely don't recognise, but might be Match? Maybe? Or Valor? His costume, with an emblem on the side of his chest, is somewhat similar to Mon-El's in the comics. Eh, we'll see, I guess.

Woo, Cat.

Anyway, next week is the series finale, featuring Kara fighting with Clark, a trial by combat between Kara and Rhea, and Cat giving Kara some words of encouragement. Given that Cat could apparently tell who Jimmy was just by his eyes, I have to believe that she's realised that Kara is Supergirl by now -- properly, I mean, not like that time when she realised and then was convinced otherwise.

Incidentally, good news! The show's been renewed for a third series.

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