We made it! After a season of ups and downs, Supergirl has finally reached the finish line with a season finale full of surprises, goodbyes, and new character journeys. Elizabeth is up in the Canadian coast this week, so Kori is here to break everything down.
Well, holy shit. After sitting through some of the most painful episodes in Supergirl‘s history, I have been rewarded for my patience. Where to begin?
Oh yes, I did, indeed bawl like a baby as M’yrnn sacrificed his life for Earth. Carl Lumbly has been a treasure, and I’m so happy we got to have him this season. While we saw J’onn reunited with a father he long thought dead, this happy reunion didn’t last for long. Soon it became apparent that M’yrnn was developing Martian dementia, and thus his time with his son now had a countdown clock. Only instead of a long, slow decline, M’yrnn was able to go out a hero, still in possession of his mental faculties, and able to impart one finale memory and a piece of wisdom to his son.
And with that, M’yrnn merged with the Earth and gave his life to keep the Kryptonian witches from killing humanity and terraforming the planet into a New Krypton.
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
For a bit of levity, we see that the Legion has come back to the rescue. Or at least Imra and Brainy. We are treated to a really awesome display of Imra’s power as she telekinetically holds back a massive tidal wave from leveling National City until Supergirl and Alura are able to reach them and freeze it. (Alura and Kara flying together and fighting together, while I still feel that the reunion was rushed, was touching to watch). Then, in a highlight of the episode, we see a bright, shining glimpse of Kara aka a living embodiment of a golden retriever. She makes an off-hand Han Solo quote, which Brainy assumes is a pop culture reference.
And in the middle of trying to save the world from a crumbling planet, all Kara can think of is her dismay that “We never showed you any Star Wars? Not one Star Wars?” Because yes, she would.
Elsewhere, Guardian is trying to save people and has to unmask to calm a frantic mother in search of her son.
After M’yrnn’s sacrifice, it’s back to the DEO to plan. Sam is still back in the not completely explained but I’ve just decided to go with it Valley to find a fountain that will give her Kryptonian strength to fight Reign. Ruby, Alex, and Lena worry about her. In the valley of shadows, she meets a fragment of her adoptive mother one final time. Patricia (played by the incomparable Betty Buckley) only remains because of her love for Sam, and helps guide her to the fountain, and prevents her from drinking from the pool that would kill her. But back to these two in a minute.
Back at the DEO, Imra and Mon-El seem to agree that their marriage is over and gain closure with each other. Brainy then drops a bombshell. Yes, they stop the Blight. Unfortunately, that means one of Brainy’s extremely distance relatives (Brainiac) survives and has now created a plague to wipe out all other AI’s. It means Brainy is no longer safe in the future, and he needs Winn to take his place to help find a cure and a way to stop Brainiac. Winn scoffs until Brainy shows him an “artifact” that is actually Winn’s prototype sketch from last episode. It couldn’t save his co-worker, but it wound up being the foundation that much of the future tech is based on.
But it also means that Mon-El is needed in the future to help lead the Legion against Brainiac. Mon-El is less than pleased.
A mini-war council is convened after Tom Coville, who was just clinging to life, manages to activate the distress signal on J’onn’s ship. The team talks about how to deal with Reign, and Kara is adamant she won’t kill her, before being convinced by J’onn and Alura that she needs to do whatever is necessary to stop Reign.
Now let’s go visit Sam and Patricia again. Sam is weak and needs to drink more of the water, but is struggling. Patricia tells her how much she loves her, and sings to her one final time like she used to when Sam was young and had a nightmare. Sam finally drinks enough of the water and is restored. She tells Patricia she forgives her and loves her, and it’s their final goodbye.
Winn and James discuss their futures, and Winn is struggling with whether to go with the Legion or stay with the family he built for himself here. James admits to Winn that he can’t wait for the world to change before he unmasks.
The final boss fight is here! And it kind of all goes to hell in a handbasket. The Kryptonian witches are dealt with easily enough because they’re not fighters, but Reign is a different story. She and Supergirl blast into the sky to fight, and on the way down accidentally blow a giant hole into the Legion’s ship carrying Imra and Brainy. Unable to regain control, we see them crash to their deaths. Back in the cave, Sam shows up and stabs Reign with a sword. It’s enough time for Kara to throw her into the terra-lava-doom pit to finally kill her. Unfortunately, Reign unleashes her laser vision in her death throes and kills Sam, Mon-El, and Alura. Kara is devastated and tells a barely alive J’onn that this is her fault. She lost who she was and what she stood for somewhere along the way.
Then she realizes that they might not be able to build a prison to contain Reign on this plane, but the Valley could hold her. She takes Mon-El’s Legion ring and tells Winn and Alex to find her a remaining time disruption. Then in a nod to the classic Superman movies (and honestly, this made up the entire season for me), Kara flies back five minutes in time and merges with her former self. (Time travel works weirdly in Supergirl’s universe compared to Earth-1, but whatever). She stops Sam from stabbing Reign and yells for Mon-El to throw them the black Kryptonite. She catches it, ignoring the pain, and she, Sam, and Reign are transported back to the Valley.
This time Sam finally gets to beat the snot out of Reign, landing blows for Patricia, Ruby, and herself, before forcing Reign to drink from the fountain that will weaken her. We watch as some kind of Kryptonian dementors come to carry Reign off to her assumed eternal imprisonment, and then the fight is over.
Now it’s time for the goodbyes. Alex, wanting to not miss out on the rest of her life, tries to resign from the DEO. J’onn doesn’t accept her resignation and instead promotes her to Director. He’s going to step down, and with the final lesson of his father, embrace the Martian way of compassion and living out among the people instead of hiding in walls of the DEO. Alex will be in charge, and not have to be on the front lines every day and in danger, letting her get back into the world of dating and potentially start a family.
Winn decides to embrace his destiny and leaves with Imra and Mon-El to go to the future while Brainy stays in the present time. I didn’t at all cry at his farewells with the Super Friends.
But speaking of Mon-El! He and Kara both realize that they’re needed in their own timelines. National City and this time are her home, and Mon-El can’t abandon everyone he swore to protect in the 31st century. They say goodbye for a final time, now with the closure they need to truly move on. As a final parting gift, Mon-El tosses her his Legion ring, declaring she earned it.
Alura can’t leave Argo, however, and has to return. It’s a teary farewell, inadvertently made hilarious by a bit of background acting by Katie McGrath. As Lena gives Alura a briefcase containing what we think is the last of the black kryptonite and the “recipe” to make more if they need it, Alura says she’s happy that none of this will be left on earth as they still don’t know what it can do. Lena’s out of focus “don’t look at them!” shifty eyes may not have meant to be funny, but I was howling.
We end the season refocusing on the Danvers sisters, as they sit on the couch in Kara’s apartment and ponder their future. J’onn is seen walking into the streets of National City, and James officially confirms he is the Guardian. Lena, of course, still has some black kryptonite and tells Eve Teschmacher they’re ready to start phase two of testing.
We cut to Siberia. Russian soldiers at a small military base are scrambling to formation as we see a figure walking in the distance. We cut back to the moment Kara grabs the black kryptonite and realize that she didn’t do so unscathed. Another version of Kara walks into focus, blank-faced, and covered in only a blanket, as the Russian soldiers look on in surprise.
And I end the season on the ceiling, screaming because we’re getting a Red Son adaptation for season four!
That’s a wrap for season three, as uneven as it was. Still, I’m more than excited for season four now, so that’s a plus. Be sure to tune into this week’s Ladies First, where Elizabeth and I are gonna analyze the hell out of this season of Supergirl.