On the heels of the big crossover, Supergirl comes back to her own series in “Reign,” the mid-season finale. By comparison, fighting her evil twin, being hunted by Nazis, and kidnapped to another Earth was probably a better time than this was for her. A lot of things come to a head here. There’s also a new voiceover, and there’s an interesting line about her being a refugee, which sounds like it’s a comment on our current political situation.
The episode starts with Samantha, who wakes up from a nightmare. Ruby, her daughter, comes in to comfort her, and things get odd. Samantha doesn’t remember going on a trip yesterday, which is when she confronted her adopted mother, got a crystal, and build the Fortress of Sand-itude. Whatever’s going on with Samantha, it doesn’t seem like she’s actively scheming against our heroes. At least, not all of her is.
At the DEO, Mon-El tries to explain the situation in the future. The various planetary governments were overwhelmed, so Mon-El helped organize the Legion, a group of people with special powers to help keep the peace. Winn even comments on a, “Legion of Super Heroes,” which is what the group is called in the comics. Mon tells Kara that he was inspired by her to form the group. He’s been in the 31st Century for 7 years, not the 7 months he’s been missing from National City. Irma also gushes that Supergirl has been a huge influence on her life. Mon, Irma, and unnamed “Others,” presumably more Legionnaires, went on a mission, got sent through a wormhole, and crashed on Earth some 12,000 years ago. They were supposed to be in suspended animation until they caught up with their own time, but the submarine attack on the waterfront damaged the systems. Trying to be a good sport, Kara invites them to her holiday party, but they decline to work on the ship.
At the party, strong eggnog flows and people mingle. Lena and James are actually being friendly, finally. M’Yrnn is there, and delighted by both the Christmas Tree and hot chocolate, which he dubs a “superior brown water” to the coffee J’Onn bought him the other day. M’Yrnn mentions something about Life Day, which sets Winn off babbling about Star Wars, and leads to more fanboying from Winn when J’Onn says how much he enjoyed Empire Strikes Back. Alex talks about how Kara is dealing with Mon and Irma. Kara then ends up chatting with Samantha, talking about how close they are, and she’s never had a best friend before. Isn’t that what she called Winn in seasons past? J’Onn gets a call, and all the DEO folks have to go. They are directed to a field where a Kryptonian symbol was burned into the ground.
Supergirl consults with her holo-mom, Alura, who says the symbol pre-dates recorded Kryptonian history. It’s from a time of chaos among the people that started the religion that would eventually become Rao. Alura also says she’s the accumulation of 28 galaxies of information, so that if she can’t translate it, no one can.
James is running CatCo when Lena comes by. Instead of another fight, they work together. Lena, given recent events, thinks Edge is behind the symbols, which are starting to pop up all over and scare people. James and Lena go pay a call on the current billionaire bad guy. After they storm past his assistant, they confront him. Edge actually looks fairly rough, nowhere near as slick as usual, as he claims his innocence in this matter. He even offers mugs of Christmas candy, which James declines with a, “Bah, humbug.”
Kara and Winn go to the nameless alien bar. Mon and Imra are there, and they end up having some awkward conversation. Imra is playing tourist, learning 21st century customs, and goes off with Winn to see about beer. Mon and Kara have an actual good talk. She asks about the ship, and he says it’s, “Broken beyond my understanding.” More awkward conversation gets broken up by Kara receiving a call from Albatross Bay Prison.
Remember how Alura said if she can’t translate the symbols, no one can? Well, she didn’t take into account cult master and religious obsessive Thomas Coville, who, as an Earthling with no way of getting off-world, somehow knows more than the Kryptonian AI. Coville warns her of the three steps- the mark of the beast (the symbols), the work of the beast (a series of deaths in town) and the reign of the beast. Coville calls her a world-killer, and tells Kara her purpose is to fight her. Wasn’t her purpose to save people into his cult last we saw him?
Samantha watches the news about a gang war and starts getting a weird look on her face. When Ruby asks about dinner, Samantha suddenly announces Mrs. Collier is coming to get Ruby, not what the girl wants to hear on Christmas Eve. Ruby sulks, and they have a mother/daughter moment. Samantha gives her a pendant with Supergirl’s symbols, saying it means “Stronger Together.” I thought it meant hope?
Winn is trying to make sense of what Collier told Supergirl and Imra offers to help. She is a 31st century cop, after all. Imra also knows Kara and Mon used to be together and is sorry for the difficulty she’s causing. Imra tells Kara Mon didn’t even look at another woman for years. I’m not sure if that’s going to make things better or worse.
James and Lena go to follow up on a lead that might know something about Edge. What they find is another symbol burned into the wall and an ambush. James saves Lena’s life by deploying and then hiding his Guardian shield so fast she doesn’t see it. Afterward, she jokes about surviving her quarterly assassination attempt. Elsewhere, a drug deal goes bad when someone with powers wades in and takes down both sides, a bit more violently than Supergirl or Guardian would.
The laser-welding assassin turns out to have formerly worked for a conference hosted by, of course, Morgan Edge. Samantha glares at a picture of Morgan Edge as the others talk. She then suddenly leaves, and, out in the hallway, does the classic rip open the shirt reveal of the black costume the mysterious killer has been wearing. Winn, meanwhile, comments that all the victims so far appear to have been killed with heat vision. After another anguishing conversation with Mon, Kara comments that she going to handle this fight herself. She beat Superman when she needed to, and she can beat this one, too.
After taunting Lena about the most recent attempted murder, Edge has his own run-in with the killer, narrowly avoiding the super powered crazy person with his lead-lined safe room. Winn isn’t sure how to feel about an attempt on Edge’s life, and Supergirl flies off to call out the bad guy.
Edge smirks on tv. Lena and James watch, and then the subplot with them moves forward in a way most of us have been expecting. After seeing Mon and Imra flirting more, Kara looks sad and is happy to hear the villain has taken up her challenge. Kara flies off for a huge, knock-down fight that is really ugly. The killer claims to be on some kind of mission to dispense justice. Supergirl pretty much gets her butt kicked all over the place. The killer finally beats her into the ground and then flies off. Kara is rushed to the DEO and looks a lot the worse for wear. As the team worries about Kara, Samantha and Ruby have a closing scene that leaves a lot in question for when the show comes back from the holiday break.
What I liked: The banter is fun, and Winn’s confusion about Edge being attacked was great. I like that everyone is handling the situation with the Kara/Mon/Imra triangle as well as they can. I’ve been expecting the Lena/James development, and we’ll see where that goes.
What I didn’t: Kara’s been acting weird for a while now, and I had hoped her experiences during the crossover would have shaken her out of some of that. Her charging off to fight alone was just dumb. She’s been given warnings this might be a Kryptonian bad guy, so there’s a chance she’s just as powerful as Kara. Among her possible allies/backup: J’Onn, Mon-El, Superman, Imra, M’Yrnn even. But no, she goes alone to prove a point? What’s that, Kara, that even you need help? At least that what she showed.
I’m giving this a low 3 out of 5, mostly because of the stupidity of that final fight. I hope she gets her act together when the show returns in January.