‘Supergirl’ Sails Toward Future in Cliffhanging Season Finale (SPOILERS)

Supergirl Season 2 The CW
Courtesy of CBS

Beyond lauding the pilot, Variety’s initial review of “Supergirl” posed several questions, the most pointed (or at least pragmatic) being whether this sort of unabashed superhero series – having thrived on the network’s kid sister, the CW – could take off on CBS. The answer was not entirely, which didn’t prevent producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and their team from applying a very “The Flash”-like formula to this handsome, fun, chaotic, slightly geeky addition to DC’s stable of TV heroes.

As with their other shows, the series chewed through great chunks of story, revealing Supergirl’s secret identity to multiple characters, introducing additional heroes (as in J’onn J’onzz, a.k.a. Martian Manhunter), and digging deep into comic-book mythology. While those weaned on comics might readily know the effects of red Kryptonite or the rules surrounding alternate universes, these series simply dive in and let the less-formally initiated follow along as best they can.

All that built toward a finale (and SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t watched) with nothing less than the fate of the world hanging in the balance, as Supergirl and her Martian pal (David Harewood, one of the show’s best assets) squared off in a four-way fight with the Kryptonian renegade Non (Chris Vance) and the villainous Indigo. The latter was played by Laura Vandervoort, one of several actors with past ties to the franchise nostalgically incorporated into the show.

The protracted build-up to the slightly anticlimactic showdown underscored both where the series can excel and, frankly, become a tad clunky. Faced with the prospect of death, Supergirl/Kara used the opportunity to go around telling everyone in her life how important they are to her, from her pal Winn (Jeremy Jordan) to her slow-simmering love interest James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) to her imperious boss Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), who paid the whole thing off, sentimentally, by finally acknowledging Kara’s contributions — and even getting her name right. There was even a half-baked rescue of the stricken hero by Kara’s adopted sister Alex (Chyler Leigh), whose butt-kicking abilities against threats alien and domestic have certainly been put to the test over the course of the season.

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Although bullets bounce off her, “Supergirl” has been buoyed throughout by Benoist’s inherent vulnerability, managing to invest both halves of her iconic role with ordinary doubts and longings. The producers have also incorporated a number of winning little flourishes, such as Kara’s texts back and forth with her unseen cousin, Clark, whose boots she has spent the better part of the season trying to fill.

The special effects have also been impressive, credibly conveying battles between super-powered foes. While no one would expect the visuals to rival what’s on display in theatrical blockbusters, “Supergirl” (like “The Flash”) is clearly a major and welcome departure from the bad old days, when TV shows featuring Wonder Woman or the Hulk could afford to lasso a bad guy or break through a wall for about two minutes, twice per episode.

For all that, this latest series proved uneven as the year dragged on, and a slightly shorter episode order — or perhaps an “A” and “B” run, creating more air between flights of originals — might benefit all concerned. Nor did the cliffhanger involving another Kryptonian space pod, or for that matter the lingering questions about the fate of Kara and Alex’s dad, do all that much to whet the appetite for whatever awaits.

From a bird’s-eye view, everyone responsible for the series — from Warner Bros. TV to CBS to the astonishingly prolific creative team — deserves kudos for getting so many key elements right, especially as “Supergirl” took flight. Yet while the show mostly continued along that path, it also underscored the high bar and head winds associated with such properties, and the difficulty, as the finale demonstrated, of completely sticking the landing.

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  1. You’re a tool and this is the most inaccurate review of a show that I’ve ever read. Marvel fanboy. It’s so clear in your entire. They shouldn’t have even let you write this with your affinity for Marvel. As previously stated, you’re a tool.

  2. navyrican911 says:

    This show is great! I loved every moment. So many people complain about not being close to the comics but Mellissa’s Supergirl is so emotional and compelling I love it. Yes supergirl has a different personality in the comics but you are supposed to relate with the main character of a show and the problem is that supergirl from the comics grew up in Krypton so she is alien to this world and doesn’t even really like earth but she deals with it bc of Clark. If they did that we wouldn’t be able to stand this show so they made her an optimist and I love it. CBS please renew this show!

  3. anonymous says:

    Supergirl and Flash Crossover – The Flash needs help with something so he gets Cisco to use his power to open a rift through dimensions to Kara’s world. Barry Goes through and comes back with Kara and Alex- for extra help (Jean Jones can stay and fill in while Kara is gone). Kara helps Barry (at some point probably some type of comment from Katelyn about a woman with powers – since there hasn’t really been that in the Flash) they catch up on things, and maybe they find a way that by using an aspect of Cisco’s powers that they can remain in contact through the dimensional barrier.

    Kara Goes with her friends to a karaoke bar to celebrate for something – (fixes the whole singing want by almost everyone without having a musical – it doesn’t really fit with the show) – that or maybe Barry comes over just to talk with Kara, and they both get in their superhero suits and sing together while Alex, Winn, and James watch happily. This could be at the end of the crossover scenario listed above though.

    Gunman go into CatCo (to steal or something), and Kara can’t get away to go full Supergirl on them (because the gunman threatened to shoot if anyone moves). Cat gets up to talk to the gunman about it… stands about 3 feet away from Kara, and then the gunman try to shoot her. Kara gets Cat out of the way in an amazing tackle/leap, but in the process is shot. The bullet bounces off her, and you can hear everyone in the room saying that Kara’s supergirl. So with her cover blown she unbuttons her shirt revealing her Supergirl suit, takes off her glasses, lasers the gun out of one of the gunman’s hands, and the others drop theirs and surrender. Later Cat pulls Kara aside and says that if anyone who was in the room at the time revealed who Kara actually was that she would fire them, make sure they never got a job again, and would make certain that they would be arrested. Cat doesn’t fire Kara because she saved her life, and she wants Kara around in case she’s needed for something like that again.

    Winn embeds kryptonite protection into Kara’s suit, and it is even strong enough that not even the kryptonite sword can penetrate it since the whole suit is inlined (whatever it’s called) with it. :-)

    Here’s what I think would be awesome to see in season 2. The one with the gunman is what would probably be my top choice for something cool to see, but any of these would be cool to see.

  4. IamNERD says:

    Supergirl’s worst rating episode is 3x more than Flash and definitely Arrow. Arrow is lucky to be on CW, a channel that has really low qualification for the shows to be renewed. CBS is in big league so its “high rating” is way higher than most channel that made Supergirl’s high rating than most hero shows out there seem mediocre. Supergirl brings in 6-8 million viewers weekly and is worried of renewal. Flash’s average 3 million viewers weekly, Arrow is only 2 millions weekly. Yet, Flash and Arrow are golden in CW. CW even renewed Ex Crazy Girlfriend which only brought in 0.8 million viewers. Flash and Arrow aren’t doing that well. They just happen to be on a channel that isn’t doing so well itself. It’s a shame that current rating system isn’t updated enough to take in digital streaming rates as well. Supergirl has one of the highest streaming rates on CBS site especially on the 2nd day when it’s open for CBS’ free episodes. I’ve studied streaming services on multiple channels. Supergirl’s come up really high for streaming and reoccurring streaming. To say Supergirl isn’t doing well is not a fair judgement. TV is no longer the only source for watching a show. The crowds this show is hitting is also leaning toward younger generations. Imagine adding all the streaming rates, it’s doing “super” well. It’s very likely it will be renewed in May. CBS usually doesn’t announce freshmen show that early anyway.

    • Roger says:

      First of all the CW has low expectations. Because they have a more valuable demographic young adults 17-35 they are a more popular audience for advertisers to reach. While CBS is the number one network with older audiences it still has to reach a much larger audience to stay on the air. Streaming helps but it’s not as important to board members as shows at first broadcast. SG started out big but turned off a lot of fans with bad writing and tone. Right now the Flash is the highest rated show on the CW averaging around 4.0 while Supergirls ratings have settled in at around 6.2. If SG was on The CW they’d be ecstatic to have those numbers, unfortunately, they are considered pretty lackluster for CBS with their larger budgets. If CBS brings it back they better make som big changes if they want it to go past season 2.

  5. Opollo says:

    This was terrible…too much crying, whining and sighing. Sorry but SuperGirl season 1 pales in comparison to Arrow, Flash and Smallville’s Season 1.

    • IamNERD says:

      Arrow has the worst rating of hero shows even for season 1. It’s only renewed because it’s on CW, a channel that isn’t doing so well itself. Supergirl’s worst episode rating is estimate to be close to 4x better than Arrow and 3x better than Flash. And this isn’t even including the overwhelming high streaming Supergirl brought to CBS’ site.

    • Maury says:

      Smallville’s season 1 doesn’t justify the money milking garbage series it became.

    • Osiris says:

      Arrow is terrible. It’s all Olicity and flashback with a few fight scenes tossed it to justify keeping the stunt men on the payroll.

  6. Jacques Strappe says:

    Maybe “crawls” to a possible future?

  7. WLee says:

    While I truly hope CBS renews this show I must say I was somewhat disappointed in the season finale. I thought the show would allow a deeper emotional commitment then what it delivered. The writers need to understand that this show need to be extraordinary if it hopes to stay afloat on a big network like CBS. They need to present shows “every week” that bring everything from comedy to thought-provoking to exciting like the Flash/Supergirl crossover offered which was all of those things. I was expecting to have a huge lump in my throat according to some who had seen the episode before the general broadcast but instead I was just left somewhat disappointed. BTW “Spoiler Alert” if you are going to have someone do something insane like fly an alien spaceship it might be a good idea to have some sort of previous episode that prepares us for that rather than just doing it in the end. Kind of looks like you ran out of ideas on how to save SG and just threw that in there at the last minute.

  8. Uh oh........ says:

    Supergirl ” soared” toward tying a SERIES LOW rating for its series finale.
    What’s wrong with this picture?

    • Osiris says:

      Funny thing about that. Even though it was the lowest rated episode of the season by 0.01 point, it was still in the top 25 networks shows of that week. Consider that there were around 100 network shows that week, tying for 18th place just indicates how few people watch a show same day these days.

    • IamNERD says:

      Supergirl has really high streaming rate which isn’t calculated into the traditional rating. It’s a shame. Now days, watching TV on the dot isn’t the only way people watch a show. However, no one is posting about digital streaming data. And those who dunno about the streaming data end up thinking the show isn’t doing well due to the rating.

  9. Tim says:

    Renew the show CBS.

  10. radioronfm says:

    The original reason Kryptonians were “super” on earth was because of the rays of the yellow sun. Krypton had a red sun. As long as they are within the reach of our sun, they have super powers. This includes the ability to fly through and survive in the vacuum of space. “Superman: The Movie” got it right. I do wish that Greg Berlanti would have read a bunch of golden age comics before proceeding with any of the DC shows. If these shows would hold closer to the original storylines, they would be so much better. Heck, as far as that goes, I am refusing to go see super hero movies where the heros fight each other. STUPID! There is enough evil and violence in the world without this nonsense. If Lex Luthor couldn’t kill Superman (Branden Routh) with an Island of Kryptonite (Superman Returns) then he shouldn’t have died in a movie introducing new heros. By the way, Branden was a natural to play the part, just wish he would have had a better script. Hope he has a another chance, maybe a new Superman TV series.

  11. John Day says:

    No she cant survive in space. If you read comic her and superman can hold their breathe a very long time but he uses a space suit. Depends how long they are in space before they die. Honestly not a fan of the show. Supergirl was casted ok but the stories and most characters are just sad. Dont get me wrong they dont have to stay true to the comics but they should use them to get somethings right. The Flash does it perfect gives a little nod to the comics but yet has new stories.

  12. Roger says:

    I really wanted to like this show but it has failed on so many levels. It was really noticeable with the Flash crossover on how much better that it could be. Too much militant feminism, a complete disrespect for the Superman character, and illogical plots (Kara’s sister can learn to pilot an alien spaceship in 5 minutes? Who writes this crap? They need to change the writers and bring in a producer who knows what they are doing. And for gods sake dump the Kara/Olsen romance! They have zero chemistry!

    • IamNERD says:

      hmm…Flash and Supergirl are written by same group of writers. Same producer team.

      • Roger says:

        No they aren’t. Every show on television has what they call a show runner. All these shows (Arrow, Flash, Legends, Supergirl are produced by the same company (Greg Berlanti) for Warner Bros. They don’t have the same people running every show. Ali Adler is in charge of Supergirl. She’s responsible for the tone of the show and how the writers frame it. She apparently has never read a comic in her life and has a vey militant feminist personality. I’m all for feminism but her kind is what turns most people off. It is possible to support women without denigrating men. This show continually emasculates Superman. Almost every episode is focused on Kara being faster or stronger, or able to beat villains that he failed to do. The final indignity was laying his body out on a slab at the DEO where all we see is his boots and her apathy.
        There are plot holes in this show so large you could steer the Love Boat through them. Comic book fans are the biggest base of all of these shows and they don’t like very much deviation from the main source. It’s already stretching the imagination of most to believe in superheroes, at least make their exploits plausible. The final episode of SG, she’s able to lift a megaton mini asteroid into space but in an earlier episode she (and the Flash) have to be saved by the Fire Department? Lock the producer and writers in a room for a week and have them read every Supergirl comic available or at least hire a writer who is familiar with the source material or some kind of science background. And for Gods sake, get rid of the Kara/Olsen love interest. They have zero chemistry and judging from all the postings I see about the show the majority of people agree with me. Nothing showed more glaring proof than the visit from the Flash. She had more fun and more respect with him than she’s had in an entire season with Jimmy.

  13. Andrew Clark says:

    Yes, my wife looked at me when that happened and said, “but Superman can survive in space”. I reasoned that she has never done it so she doesn’t know she can. I think that the character is still learning her powers and abilities and we will see more from her in the second season if they ever decide to. You have to remember she was raised as a human and just really started using her powers this year. Let them develop the characters and her strengths and weaknesses over another season.

    • IamNERD says:

      I’m not the expert of all comic series. However, in the Justice League and Superman animated series, Superman had to use a suit to breathe in space.

      • Roger says:

        Only in deep space. He’s easily able to reach Watchtower, the JLA satellite in space without a suit. Of course much of it depends on the writers at the time.

  14. mephyve says:

    Lost me with the revelation that Supergirl can’t survive in space. Rubbish like that died with John Byrne’s (less than) Superman.

    • Superman and Supergirl need to breathe. Clark has learned to hold his breath for a very long time, but we’ve not seen Kara learn how to do that, or train her limits with it, as of yet. So, yes, she can survive in space, but just like with everything else, she has to learn how to.

      • Osiris says:

        So basically because the show doesn’t get as ridiculous as some of the things in the comic books and tries to be slightly more realistic the show isn’t any good? She saved the whole world and was willing to sacrifice her life for it in a scene with awesome special effects, but one little nit-pick because it wasn’t exactly like some version in some comic book ruins the whole episode? Were is the sacrifice if Supergirl can just pop in and out of outer space like she was going on a Hawaiian vacation? Frankly her being able to survive in space would have been just stupid for anyone not a comic book nerd.

    • John Day says:

      She can die in space…..

      • Roger says:

        Not after 5 minutes. Writers are always tweaking the powers of the Supers. If they make them too powerful the readers get bored with them. If you look at a Superman comic from the 1940’s it’s going to deviate from one created in the 1970’s or the 2010’s. There should be some continuity. Traveling to planets with a red sun requires a space suit to breathe. Under the yellow sun they can still survive without air for at least hours.

      • Mort Dexter says:

        If she’s like her cousin, then no she can’t. Superman flew around the Earth multiple times from high orbit to make time go backwards to save Lois, if he couldn’t survive (and also somehow create friction in a void) that couldn’t have happened.this isn;t actual science, it’s comic book science. She’ll survive.

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