Sunday, May 17, 2020

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - Kara and Lena Finally Work Together Again to Stop Lex and Leviathan in 'Immortal Kombat'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 5.19 "Immortal Kombat"

Supergirl realizes that in order to stop Lex and Leviathan she must work with the one person she never thought she'd trust again - Lena. Nia keeps dreaming about Brainy but struggles with what the dreams are trying to tell her. Meanwhile, Brainy realizes there is only one way to stop Lex.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season finale of The CW's Supergirl.

"Immortal Kombat" was directed by David Harewood with story by Derek Simon and teleplay by Emilio Ortego Aldrich & Nicki Holcomb

What has been the greatest threat Supergirl has had to contend with this season? That is an open question because these episodes have tried to juggle a lot. It has presented a narrative a little inconsistent and scattered at times. It all came delivered through a message of the perils of depending too much on technology. That can't replace human interaction. Of course, it's ironic that was the message considering the audience is now stuck inside and the final episodes couldn't be produced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the rise of Obsidian Platinum was just a delivery mechanism for several villainous threats. It was the latest way for Leviathan to curb the human population. But that plot was soon taken over by Lex Luthor who wanted to infiltrate the organization that has been trying to play him for a long time. The appeal of Lex as a villain comes from his ability to foresee the future and map out a way to account for human behavior while still fundamentally pursuing his quest of world domination. He remains steadfast in his belief that humans must protect themselves against any alien species. Superman and Supergirl can't be trusted because they come from a different planet and have abilities humans can't compete with. They aren't heroes in his mind. He just feels defeated because there is no reality in which he is allowed to be the most respected and revered figure in this world. He craves that appreciation and admiration. And yes, the audience can frequently give that to him because of his ability to predict how others will react. It makes him a formidable foe. But there are some twists and turns that seem almost a little too impossible for him to predict. Here, he remains in control because he counts on Brainy being more loyal to his friends and not following through on his plan to kill the immortal gods of Leviathan. Brainy believes he is making a noble sacrifice. He is using technology that brought great shame to his species for years. It was a way to dictate which alien races could survive and which had to be rendered extinct. He sees the threat present from Leviathan. He also has a strong moral code. One that has made him question everything Lex has done. That has probably been annoying to Lex as he plans so meticulously. But again, the show wants to make it clear that Lex is the ultimate villain of this story. He wasn't banking on the success of Gemma's plan with the Unity Day celebration. He didn't care what happened as a result of that. He just wants to emerge victorious while eliminating the supers in the process. He knows when Kara is vulnerable. He convinces Gemma that activating Andrea as an assassin is the right move. But the show lost the narrative thread and agency with Andrea a long time ago. She hasn't been all that important to this season. She was exciting once because of her secret identity and having to work for Leviathan. And now, that twist plays out again and feels shortchanged as a result. It does pivot around the redemption of Lena though. That has long been the most rewarding story of this season. She felt betrayed by Kara because she kept her secret for so long. Lena has done some horrible things to Kara this year. Those actions may not be easy to forgive either. That is the resolution that happens here. It works too because they are able to see how the other person felt in those moments. It's also about the actions they are willing to take right now to save the human race. Lena protects Supergirl. She sees that as what she needs to do to earn that forgiveness. Kara doesn't want to dwell on the past. It may be inescapable. The future is still full of possibilities though. Lex is still out there. Leviathan has been shrunken and neutralized as a threat. That may have killed Brainy in the process though. Nia's dreams of him warned that something dire was happening. She refused to see it. That has been the one character note she has been asked to play ever since she and Brainy broke up though. So, there is no immediate payoff here. That's disappointing. This was just an odd season all around. It being cut short may be for the best. There will be a long hiatus before the show returns due to Melissa Benoist's real-life pregnancy. That is happy news worth celebrating. And hopefully, the show can return for a sixth season with a renewed sense of focus and drive with its characters as it continues to battle some out-of-this-world threats.