Supergirl, Episode 69 “Not Kansas” Broadcast on June 4, 2018
Written by Gabriel Llanas & Anna Musky-Goldwyn
Directed by Dermott Downs
Previously on Supergirl: Kara learns her mother is alive on Argo which has survived on a piece of asteroid, she asks the council of the city for help in stopping Reign and gets it. Supergirl and Mon-El arrive at the compound where Lena has Reign imprisoned just as the villain breaks free.
Now: Lena hurriedly breaks the black rock from Argo into a form so it can be injected into Reign and change her back to Sam. The heroes have a ferocious battle with the baddie until Lena gets the injector containing the antidote to Mon-El. Once injected into Reign she spectacularly begins to split into another being: Sam. Once separated, Reign rises into the air and dissipates into glowing ash. Sam asks Lena if she has an aspirin. Cue opening title card.
After seeing her mother and her home survived the destruction of Krypton last episode, it was a good choice to have her want to return there. The going away parties for her were split between the DEO and at CATCO, and that was also a nice choice. Often the music that’s played during music montages is extremely maudlin or over the top, but the song played and the visuals accompanying it were very effective. Music was also used well when My’rnn makes an announcement to his son J’onn. The only time music felt out of place was when Kara was in the arboretum, but thankfully that didn’t go on too long. Having a Supegirl-less National City was a neat way to explore how the characters can continue on without her. This lead to a surprising plot that’s extremely topical. Such a heated topic could have been very one sided, but the episode impressively touched on every side of the issue, presenting each side rationally. I expected there would be a character who would be unwilling to listen to an opposing view, but even the ability for conflicting opinions to listen to one another was stressed. This was good. Also good was where the issue ultimately had a character make a decision that will effect an entire group. The decision seems stepped in the reality of where comic book series go, so this was a natural step. I was also impressed to see that not every character in this group accepted this decision. Again, nice work by the writers.
The majority of the actors got some very strong scenes: Melissa Benoist had Kara overjoyed, confused, angry, and lost to her heart; Chris Wood’s Mon-El still continued to pine for Kara, but made a decision that was difficult; Mehcad Brooks got to have Jimmy start very one-sided, but gradually open to other possibilities; David Harewood had J’onn shocked and angered by his father and then caught up in the political firestorm of the controversial topic; Carl Lumbly had My’rnn get out of the apartment, though what the character reveals at that location already has me choking up; Andrea Brooks had Eve Teschmacher get a surprising skill in this episode. Erica Durance is back as Alura Zor-El, though her character only flits in and out of scenes to give Kara nostalgic memories. Jeremy Jordan as Winn starts the episode out strongly, but is gone after the first act. Chyler Leigh doesn’t get too much to do either, though she gets a terrific closing scene without any dialogue when she appears to making a life changing decision.
The final six minutes of the show was a spectacular cliffhanger on several fronts: this is how to keep fans hyped for the next episode. Discussing them would ruin their surprise, suffice to say they were really outstanding.
The good: The story, excellent effects in the opening battle and all that’s done in the last six minutes, the timely debate which presented all sides of the argument rationally without giving one side dominance over the other, the acting — especially between Benoist and Wood in the final act, the majority of the music, Miss Teschmacher!, KARA PUT IT ON!!!, and a very clever visual and audio trigger to show that someone may be returning sooner than the audience thought.
Fun lines: “What’s wi-fi like in space?”, “The time has come to perform the Reach,” “Things get done when we listen to each other,” “You’re not avoiding going home, are you?”, “…But–?”, “Now you are,” and “Now I am.”
The bad: Alura Zor-El didn’t get much to do, making her appearances seem extremely awkward, and the music with Kara among the foliage — Yes, it was that annoying.
The final line: A topical issue is addressed rationally, while the drama involving the characters ratchets up. This was a complete turnabout from the previous episode, illustrating the inconsistency with stories this season. The cast does a great job with this script and the direction makes the most of every element available. There are several moments to cheer for, be they grandiose heroic scenes or characters just talking. Kara and Mon-El together was great! Overall grade: A-