After last week's amazing four-part, Nazi-punching, mega crossover Crisis on Earth-X, you might expect this week's DC/CW shows to take a bit of a breath before the holidays begin. Instead, Supergirl gave us an unbelievable fight scene, focused solely on Kara Zor-El taking on the new Krypton villain/superwoman Reign, and the result was a battle as epic and awesome as anything we saw in Crisis.
Supergirl got wrecked.
The character has been beaten before - last week she nearly got her heart carved out of her chest by her Nazi Earth-X counterpart. Yet this week she faced off against Reign, a character whose arrival was preceded by a growing sense of dread that would have been at home in the first few pages of "The Death of Superman".
Reign is known as a "worldkiller", and on Supergirl that means she's the genetically-engineered reincarnation of a Kryptonian god. Chad Lowe, who returns as a mad human prophet for the dead Krypton's faith, likens Reign to Lilith, a demonic creature featured in Jewish folklore. According to him, she's a fallen god who has risen again.
While the allusions to Lilith are fun, I found myself thinking more of Doomsday, another genetically engineered Kryptonian weapon that has a habit of showing up and beating Superpeople to death, particularly as this week's battle with Reign was the biggest and most brutal beatdown Supergirl's experienced. It was so bad that she was near death's door by the end of the episode, with not a single sliver of Kryptonite in sight.
The battle, which took up a huge chunk of the last quarter of the episode, was surprisingly epic despite the CW-appropriate budget restraints. Vicious punches were traded in the middle of a random holiday party, on the deck of a cargo ship in the Pacific, and then finally on the streets of National City, where James Olsen, Lena Luthor, and the rest of the city looked on in horror as Kara was beaten nearly to death.
Then, after a combo that would have made a Street Fighter player proud, Reign dropped Kara 40 storeys and the Girl of Steel slipped into a coma. Could this have been her iconic "Death of Superman" moment, absent a Pieta pose in the arms of a loved one? Maybe! The fight was that epic!
While it seems unlikely Supergirl will borrow more from "The Death of Superman" (Kal-El's best-known storyline) and kick the bucket when the show returns after the holidays, this week's epic super-brawl didn't need to actually kill Kara to be awesome. It was completely awesome all on its own.
Although if Kara does die and comes back as armoured Supergirl, cyborg Supergirl, evil sunglasses-wearing Supergirl and kid Supergirl, I am in.
- The episode was kind of a mess outside of the rise of Reign.
- James and Lena made out. They're very attractive, but the sudden lust felt forced to me.
- Same with Kara declaring Lena and Sam were her best friends. I think we've seen her and Sam interact, socially, twice?
- Reign's outfit is bad, and the only reason I could tolerate it was because she appears in complete darkness 90 per cent of the time. Let us hope she never fights Kara at, like, noon.
- There were zero callbacks to last week's super-fun crossover, which made things awkward when Mon-El and Kara finally tackled his marriage status. Like really - these two let that fester for a week?
- Mon-El is way, way, way less irritating this season. All it took was a wife and a beard to make him tolerable again.
- But really, this episode is worth it for that final fight alone. It was a total CG cheese fest, but still more epic than any one-on-one fight we've seen any superhero film this year.