Supergirl Recap: Christmas in National City Is Cloudy With More Than a Chance of “Reign”
And now, back to your regularly scheduled Supergirl! After last week’s crossover event, we’re back where we left off in the main Supergirl story: Mon-El and Imra (A.K.A. Saturn Girl) are here from the 31st Century making Kara’s life awkward, James and Lena get closer, and after weeks of brief flashes, Reign emerges to judge National City, and the world. Welcome to Season 3, Episode 9, “Reign.”
**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
S3, EP. 9 – THE RECAP
- Sam jolts awake in her bed, confused. Ruby enters, and asks why Sam didn’t wake her when she got back from her trip. What trip? Sam asks. She doesn’t remember going anywhere. Uh-oh.
- At the DEO, Mon-El and Imra explain their situation: that when Mon-El accidentally went through the wormhole and traveled to the 31st Century, the Earth was under siege by dark forces, as “conflict is constant.” Mon-El ended up rallying heroes to rise up against them and ended up forming The Legion (or, as Winn calls them, “a Legion of super heroes!” Uh-huh.), of which Imra is a member. Imra then tells Kara that the Legion was inspired by her and her example. Mon-El used Supergirl as an example of what they could aspire to be. Kara is so not comfortable being complimented and admired by Mon-El’s new wife. Anyway, Mon-El and Imra ended up accidentally time-traveling to 12,000 years ago in the ship that was in the ocean. They went into cryo-sleep, and were planning on waking up again in the 31st Century, but then Mon-El was awakened by the incident at the National City waterfront. Now, they want to figure out how to get back to their time. Kara is overwhelmed by conflicted feelings, but still squeaks out an invitation to Mon-El and Imra to her holiday party, which Mon-El graciously declines.
- Everyone else is at the holiday party, though: James and Lena, who are definitely taking their flirting up a notch; J’onn, who is teaching Myr’nn about important Earth stuff like hot chocolate and Hall and Oates’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” much to Winn’s dismay; Alex and Kara, who are still determined to not wallow in their respective break-up scenarios; and late arrivals Sam and Ruby, who come bearing cookies. Alex bonds with Ruby over their shared love of Supergirl while Lena, Sam, and Kara bond further over their deepening friendship as Kara and Sam tease Lena over how obvious it is that she and James are into each other. She denies it, of course. Suddenly, J’onn gets a call…
- Supergirl and J’onn report to the scene of an arson. Someone has burned something into a field, which Supergirl can see more clearly from above. It’s the Kryptonian symbol from the Fortress of Sanctuary. It’s not something Supergirl recognizes.
- Supergirl consults her Alura hologram for answers about the symbol, but the symbol is from Krypton’s pre-history, “low speech” for which no translation may still exist, even though it comes from the people who were the foundation for Kryptonian society.
- As James assigns his reporters to go out and figure out who’s behind the symbols (which are now popping up all over National City), Lena thinks she has an idea who’s behind it. She suspects Edge, who will stop at nothing to come after her. Lena and James then go to Edge’s office to confront him about the symbols, but he denies it.
- At the alien dive bar, Kara and Winn arrive to find Mon-El and Imra laughing over their food. Kara does her best to talk to them casually, but it’s clear that she’s bothered by seeing them together. Winn manages to pull Imra away to let her try beer so that Mon-El and Kara can talk, and they have the most awkward conversation ever. Thankfully, Kara is saved by the bell. Or, rather, by a phone call from the Albatross Bay Correctional Facility…
- …from Thomas Coville. You remember that Children of Rao cult leader played by Chad Lowe, right? Well, since he’s a big ol’ Kryptonian fanboy and has been all over the world collecting artifacts, he’s able to fill Kara in on what the Kryptonian symbol is all about. It’s the symbol of the one who will be known as Worldkiller, and it’s basically the Kryptonian end-of-days story, which pre-dates the Book of Rao. Step One: the sign of the beast (the symbol). Step Two: the work of the beast (cleansing the world of its sin). Step Three: the reign of the beast, and Worldkiller bringing the end of days. Sounds…fun? Kara, however, doesn’t believe it.
- As Sam works late on Christmas Eve, she watches a news report about the 1-7 Gang. Ruby enters, wondering where dinner is, and Sam tells her that she’s having someone come in to deal with dinner, because she has to work. Ruby angrily wonders aloud whether she’ll be working on Christmas, too. Sam calls her to her, and as Ruby sits in her lap, Sam retells the story of a Christmas they shared on the road at a truck stop. It was difficult, and simple with zero frills, but it was the best Christmas either one of them had ever had, because they were together. Sam stresses that they will always be together. She then gives Ruby her Christmas gift early: a Supergirl “S” shield pendant.
- At the DEO, Imra offers to help figure out who’s behind the Kryptonian symbols, as she is the equivalent of a cop in the 31st Century. She then tries to comfort a clearly uncomfortable Kara by telling her that Mon-El loved her so much when he first arrived in the 31st Century and wouldn’t even look at another woman for a long time. This doesn’t really make Kara feel any better.
- As Lena and James are out and about looking for proof of Edge’s involvement in the Kryptonian symbols, they get attacked by some dude. James protects Lena with his Guardian shield (which is basically the only cool thing about Guardian).
- That 1-7 Gang we heard about on the news? They’re committing crimes, you guys. Crimes. Specifically a drug deal, and as they’re dealing, they’re rudely interrupted by some flying menace who takes them all out.
- Back at CatCo, Sam rushes in to check on Lena and James, who’ve just returned after the attack. They’ve connected the guy that attacked them to Edge, and when Sam sees Edge’s picture, she says that “he shouldn’t be alive,” which is kind of a red flag to Lena, but she lets it slide. As Sam leaves, however, she goes into full Worldkiller mode.
- Back at the DEO, Winn has figured out that the Kryptonian symbols have been created by heat vision, meaning that this is being done by another Kryptonian, and that Edge has nothing to do with it. As Kara walks off to find them, Mon-El stops her and attempts to apologize on Imra’s behalf for making her uncomfortable, but Kara dismisses him, saying that she’s trying to be okay with everything, but she’s not, mostly because it hurts her too much that, despite all they’d been through, there’s no longer any love for her in Mon-El’s eyes.
- Lena threatens Edge on the phone, still thinking the symbols are some kind of plot against her, when Reign bursts into Edge’s office and tries to kill him. He saves himself by hiding in his lead-lined panic room as Supergirl calls Reign out by burning her own symbol into the DEO’s roof.
- As James and Lena kiss at CatCo, Imra and Mon-El train at the DEO and are as adorable as can be…as Supergirl looks on, jealous. Winn then tells her that the Kryptonian has arrived, and before she goes up to face her, Alex tells her to “be alien,” because she can’t afford her human heart right now.
- Supergirl confronts Reign on the roof and they FIGHT. They fight all over town, and through many an office holiday party. Eventually, Supergirl is getting her ass handed to her, so much so that she’s actually bleeding and losing her ability to fly. At the end of an arduous fight, Reign drops Supergirl off the side of a building, and Supergirl lands with a crash. She’s eventually brought back to the DEO for medical attention.
- Later that night, Ruby enters and sees her mother with her back to her. She calls out to her, and as Sam is about to creepily turn around, hinting that this is Reign, the show cuts to black. Meep!
S3, EP. 9 – THE REVIEW
FINALLY! The episode I’ve been waiting for! We finally got to meet Reign. While I’ve found the exploration of Kryptonian culture and religion interesting on the show so far, I’m a bit disappointed that they’ve decided to go in that direction with Reign, connecting her to a religious story.
In the New 52, the Worldkillers have been created by Krypton as weapons that eventually grew too powerful to be allowed to live. There were several conflicts there that were really interesting. First, the ethics of creating life whose sole purpose is to kill and destroy. And second, the conflict for Supergirl because her scientist father was involved in doing it. Introducing Reign as an element of old Kryptonian religion (that I’m sure will eventually have a scientific explanation), eliminates some other, possibly more nuanced stories having to do with Kara’s relationship to Krypton and her memories of her family.
Still, I continue to love Odette Annable in this role. She delivers a wonderful vulnerability as Sam, and watching her as Reign in this episode was freaking terrifying. The fight between her and Supergirl was excruciating to watch, because Supergirl is actually getting hurt. Not just hurt, she’s getting pummeled. And that final shot of Reign turning around to face Ruby? I’m so worried for Ruby! (Then again, I’m also secretly hoping that she, too, has powers. Perhaps she’ll use them to fight her mom?)
I also think it’s a wonderful how the show’s writers choose to tell the stories of the Danvers sisters’ break-ups. They’re just not going to get over it in a neat and tidy way, and I really appreciate that the show acknowledges that feelings like this take a long time to resolve. I’ve been enjoying Amy Jackson as Imra, and I love that Kara’s greatest annoyance is this woman who is as kind (if not more kind) than she is. I can’t hate her, now what?
However, in addition to the arrival of Reign, we were also introduced to the idea of The Legion (of Superheroes). I’m very excited about the possibilities for time travel on this show, and Supergirl’s involvement in the 31st Century’s fight against darkness.
James and Lena was expected, though I hated that they basically gave Lena this one-track mind about Edge (even though, in a world where aliens exist, anything should be possible) just to give her and James the chance to hang out. Their entire Edge subplot was boring filler just to set up a not-particularly exciting romance. And remember when Maxwell Lord was a thing? Yeah, I feel like that’s what we’re going to be thinking about Morgan Edge very soon.
“Reign” was good, if imperfect. However, it opened up a lot of storytelling avenues, and I can’t wait to see what the actual direction is going to be.
What do you think of “Reign?” Let’s chat in the comments below!
And remember that Supergirl is now on their holiday hiatus, so there will be no Supergirl recaps until January.
Have a wonderful holiday season!
(image: Jack Rowand/The CW)
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