Friday, June 15, 2018

Supergirl 3x22 Review: "Make It Reign" (Make It Stop) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]

“Make It Reign”
Original Airdate: June 11, 2018 

Fun fact: I almost fell asleep while watching this episode, because whatever the penultimate episode of a television season should be, this one was the opposite: boring, borderline inconsequential, repetitive, and unbalanced. “Make It Reign” is more like “Make It A Lazy Summer Drizzle When You Got Nothing to Do,” and I haven’t studied it with anything close to a scientific eye, but there was something... off about the pacing, which might have been 80% of the problem.

Did scenes last too long? Did action, emotion, and exposition scenes not come in the right order to keep up momentum? Or was it just a case of the show, once again, un-solving a problem we thought was solved, rather than simply streamlining their storytelling in a way that prevents the tedious treading of old ground?

Jeez. One episode after this one, guys. Just gotta hold on for one more episode.


Kara and Mon-El are still stuck on Argo, unable to communicate with Earth because of Argo’s shielding situation. Meanwhile, the Worldkiller priestesses have arrived on Earth and are ready to start their ritual to raise Reign again (note to Supergirl writers: “again” should not be a word I use in describing the main event of your main plot), with the added bonus of now having all the yellow sun powers Kryptonians get. So three evil, super-powered individuals are on Earth, National City’s primary protector is on a floating asteroid city light-years away, and the other good Kryptonian on the planet is absent, probably for legal reasons. Great.

Back on Argo, Kara, Mon-El, and Kara’s mom discover the evil Worldkiller Priestess cave where all the Worldkiller Priestesses have been doing evil things. A hologram of the lead priestess, Selena, pops up just to tell Kara and Company that Sam and Reign are in a Harry Potter/Voldemort “neither can live while the other survives” situation, and the Big Plan is now not to cleanse the universe of wrongdoers, as we have been lead to believe throughout this ENTIRE Reign plot, but to terraform the Earth into a new Krypton. Would that mean turning some Earth rocks into Kryptonite? Because under the yellow sun, that might be a serious flaw in their evil plan.

The Worldkiller Priestess room explodes, hurting Kara’s old friend from Krypton just to get her out of the story and conveniently damaging the Legion of Superheroes beacon that Mon-El has been carrying around, because clumsily eliminating extraneous or potentially helpful elements is this episode’s forte. Kara and Alura scope out ways to get a message back to Earth, finally landing on using the hologram crystals that are used like Kryptonian USB drives, I guess? Kara contacts Winn through the AI hologram of Alura, which is sectioned off in its own AI-specific room in the DEO, and drops all the info the folks on Argo know about the Worldkiller master plan. Alex is there too.

Meanwhile the Worldkiller priestesses have arrived at their Earth-based evil headquarters and, with the help of Thomas “I Started a Cult and All I Got For It Was Inevitable Betrayal” Coville, begin the ritual to bring Reign back in her non-Sam (but still played by Odette Annable) form. They hit a snag in their ritual when they realize that the other two Worldkillers’ blood isn’t in the mix, so it’s real convenient for them that Coville knows vials of Purity and Pestilence’s blood are being stored at the DEO. How does he know this? I don’t know. It’s never explained. Even I didn’t know the DEO was storing Worldkiller blood, and I review this show every week. Did I miss this little tidbit of information? It’s possible, but it’s also possible that the show just pulled this out of thin air because they knew they wanted to have the Worldkillers fight at DEO headquarters and wanted to kill off poor Demos for the drama.

So the Worldkillers attack the DEO, just in time for Kara, Alura, and Mon-El to use a portal cobbled together by old tech Kara’s dad was working on before he died and some mimicry from Winn’s side of things. Winn being able to duplicate Kryptonian technology made by never completed by a now-dead man is just Convenient Plot Point #3,402 of this season. Using the portal, Kara, Alura (wearing a nifty costume!), and Mon-El return to Earth just in time to see the chaos of the Worldkiller attack.

Speaking of the DEO/Worldkiller priestess battle: I noticed two things that struck me as odd. One of those things is, apparently heat vision doesn’t burn people anymore? The priestesses seemed to use their heat vision as more of a concussive blast. The other thing is that Alex fires kryptonite bullets at the priestesses and nothing happens. Why not? I don’t think it was ever established that Selena and her cohorts are particularly stronger than the average Kryptonian, although I suppose it could be handwaved as a side effect of their Kryptonian magics... but it’s more likely that the writers just wanted to up the stakes of the fight without really upping any stakes. So Alex shoots them with kryptonite bullets because you gotta make the audience think the good guys are gonna win! But the bullets do nothing. Just like much of the plot this season, the writers rely heavily on the implication of progress, without actually allowing any progress to happen — it’s the “treadmill to nowhere” approach to storytelling.

Oh, and they killed off a character just because. Way to stick to your comic book roots in some way, Supergirl. It's just a pity that killing off characters for the sake of drama is the worst way to do that.

Kara tries to trick the priestesses by throwing the vials of Worldkiller blood their way and then heat-blasting them in Selena’s hand, but it backfires when the three escape and Selena cuts open her wound and it’s apparently enough blended Worldkiller blood to complete the ritual. Gross.

Reign is back! Again!

Other Things:
  • Selena and her Priestess Pals say they have powers “beyond reason” on Earth, which just feels like a tongue-in-cheek jab at how illogical the Kryptonian powers are.
  • For a second I thought the Selena hologram was a recording and half expected it to interrupt Alura’s shaming-speech.
  • If Earth resets itself, wouldn’t they have to wait a few million years for all the magma to cool down?
  • “Always the hero!” says Winn about Mon-El. I’m pretty sure the entire point of Mon-El was that he spent 99% of his time not being a hero and sucking at trying to be a hero and it was only getting flung into the future that gave him even an ounce of heroism, and even that was lackluster and limited to cape tricks. So... nah, Winn. Not really.
  • Sam has to get her strength back by going to that dark evil Reign forest and finding The Fountain of Lilith. Sweet merciful skies, Supergirl, stop just adding lore to this plot in order to make it last longer.


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