NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Supergirl” are present in this review
Supergirl’s two-part Midvale event comes to a conclusion this week, ahead of next week’s midseason finale. The first half of the show’s Midvale event was a little bit weak and ineffectual, but fortunately, the second part, “Prom Again!” proves to be a superior offering. As Brainy and Nia find themselves captured by Mitch and Tork, Kara is forced to put her identity on the line in order to save them, threatening to undo the course of the timeline. Meanwhile, the young Cat “CJ” Grant remains on the trail of Midvale’s resident Kryptonian hero, creating another obstacle when it comes to Brainy and Nia trying to preserve history.
Putting aside the weird fact that Brainy and Nia somehow don’t provoke the Legends through their time travel antics (I guess the Legends are too busy with their new alien problem?), most of this episode’s events revolve around the two simply trying to hold the timeline together, after Kara manages to save them from Mitch and Tork. Brainy sets the Bismolians’ ship on cloak and prepares it to automatically fly off to Venezuela, where the DEO captured them in the original timeline, thus setting affairs correctly, but, of course, this doesn’t end up happening. Nia instead continues to be plagued by dreams of a pink cougar escaping a cage, and before long, during Midvale’s prom night, Cat fulfills Nia’s premonition after accidentally freeing Mitch and Tork from Brainy’s imprisonment.
Yeah, this is pretty ridiculous, frankly. Maybe it’s supposed to be a joke, but why is Cat just going around pushing buttons and screwing with random alien technology that she doesn’t understand? Is she really trying that hard to emulate the reckless approach of Lois Lane?! I suppose we did need an excuse to kick off this week’s proper conflict though, which results in Cat being imprisoned on the Bismolian ship, before Mitch and Tork fly above Midvale High School, threatening to kill everyone if their Kryptonian quarry doesn’t surrender herself. Unexpectedly though, Kenny ends up getting himself captured in Kara’s place, buying Kara time to punch away the Kryptonite-filled meteor, as Brainy and Nia were anticipating.
With Cat inadvertently disturbing the timeline however, Brainy’s and Nia’s initial mission attempt is nonetheless a failure. It still lead to a pretty awesome story turn for Nia though, namely when she accidentally conjures the pink cougar from her dreams to attack the invading Bismolians! This is not only a great evolution of Nia’s powers, but also helps to better define them. Nia’s writing has become a lot better since her very uneven introductory narrative in Season 4, but even then, it sometimes feels like Supergirl is just making up Nia’s powers as it goes along, simply having them do whatever the plot needs them to. Through concretely proving that Nia can manifest and recreate dreams in the real world, her powers suddenly make a lot more sense, and feel much better defined, without consciously making her an overpowered character.
Regardless, Kara ends up easily defeating the Bismolians, but in the process, she also ends up getting herself, Kenny and Alex caught by the police. Not only that, but Cat also plans to expose Kara’s identity to the world (despite Cat humourously still referring to Kara as, “Kira”, even here in the past!), thus causing irreparable damage to the timeline. Left with no choice then, Brainy and Nia must return to a few hours back in the past, and yeah, this also feels a bit contrived. Considering the Arrowverse’s well-defined time travel rules, as frequently established on both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, this is a terrible idea, and basically feels like a cheat. Perhaps the narrative really didn’t have any better ideas, but Kara stowing away on Brainy’s and Nia’s ship feels especially ludicrous. Is this really the best that the storyline could do when it comes to setting everything right?
Putting that issue aside though, the ultimate resolution achieved by Brainy and Nia does still manage to be sweet and rewarding, even if it would probably also merit a pretty hefty lecture from Jay Garrick and/or Ava Sharpe. Despite some events with the meteor ultimately being changed, Brainy and Nia successfully get ahold of Kara’s DNA on one of the Kryptonite rocks anyway, while also ensuring that Kara ultimately leaves Kenny to pursue her dream job in National City (their presence originally motivated her to stay in Midvale), plus Cat finally quits her thankless gossip job at the Daily Planet, in favour of starting CatCo. These scenes are all sweet and rewarding, and flex the best elements of Chyler Leigh’s direction, as she steps behind the camera for a change, while present-day Alex can conveniently await Brainy’s and Nia’s return to 2020 (it would logically still be 2020 at this point in Supergirl’s timeline, right?), which is kicked into motion with the end of this episode.
Both halves of Supergirl’s two-part Midvale event feel light-hearted and fluffy for the most part, and their progression doesn’t really move Kara’s plight forward beyond giving Brainy and Nia the macguffin they need for next week’s midseason finale. Still, I suppose I did find this second half of the Midvale storyline more effectively fun and sweet compared to its first half. “Prom Again!” provides a nicely bittersweet resolution to the revised Kara/Kenny relationship, now that Kenny lived past high school in Supergirl’s revised Earth-Prime history. It also delivers a surprisingly enjoyable origin for Cat Grant, despite Callista Flockhart still showing no signs of returning to Supergirl, even during its final season. The Midvale narrative still has to rely on some really forced turns to keep the plot moving here, but even if not everything feels believable, this likely last trip to Midvale before Supergirl’s conclusion nonetheless has a solid amount of heart. Now, let’s get Kara out of the Phantom Zone already!