NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Supergirl”, including a major character death, are present in this review
After a fairly solid setup for the true final showdown of Supergirl, the second half of the show’s two-episode series finale wraps up the tale of the Arrowverse’s Kara Danvers for good, at least barring potential future crossover appearances anyway. The very last Supergirl episode, aptly titled, “Kara”, fully wraps up both the season and series arc by capping off the battle against Nyxly and Lex Luthor, while also setting up some major new milestones for the off-screen future of Team Supergirl. As expected, the show’s ending is pretty fluffy and heartwarming overall, not to mention less bittersweet than the final episodes of Arrow and Black Lightning before it.
That said however, there are still some elements within this Supergirl finale that feel undercooked and unsatisfying. The show still rushes through a few character resolutions, wimps out of some of its more dramatic final turns, and mostly fails to wrap up Kara’s character arc on a truly fulfilling note. The final battle is decent though, at least by Supergirl’s low-budget standards, and it provides a good excuse to bring back some of the show’s legacy heroes for one last hurrah. Sure, their return doesn’t always make a ton of sense, especially with Mon-El and Winn inexplicably dropping in from the future, but it is nice to see (almost) all of the surviving heroes working together to save National City, particularly when Lex and Nyxly use their AllStone powers to summon a few of Supergirl’s fan-favourite villains in response.
Many of these villains are simple CGI graphics, consisting of Red Tornado, Parasite, Metallo, and that non-descript dragon, with a masked stunt double also portraying Crisis on Earth-X’s Overgirl, but at least this means that we’re not wanting for spectacle here. James even shows up in his classic Guardian attire to lend his sister a hand, allowing Team Supergirl to gradually destroy the magical conjurings of their old enemies, at which point Lex decides to open the Phantom Zone. This is a pretty shocking final flourish by Lex, one that disturbs even Nyxly, and one that builds very well off of the incredible damage that the beginning of this season created after just one Phantom escaped the Phantom Zone! Too bad this is one of the dramatic developments that Supergirl wimps out of then, since the Phantoms inexplicably ignore National City’s population, and instead whisk Nyxly and Lex into the Phantom Zone, neutralizing the threat of both of them instantly. That’s too bad, because while the final battle against Nyxly and Lex was fairly solid, its Phantom Zone finish is pretty contrived and disappointing.
It also feels pretty unbelievable that the population of National City is suddenly impervious to Phantom attacks, simply because Kara inspired the entire world to resist the totems’ magic using Brainy’s Legion Crown. Yes, the final, climactic challenge facing Supergirl, and its arm of the Arrowverse, is solved with a global pep talk. You might as well down the bottle in this case. It’s very frustrating that this series finale couldn’t find a smart or logical way to solve its climactic obstacle, especially when the rest of this episode otherwise does pretty well at wrapping up the lead characters’ arcs.
Much of the final wrap-up is done via Alex’s and Kelly’s wedding, which Team Supergirl attends, along with several of its former members. The wedding is cute, emotional and well-presented, standing as one of the better Arrowverse weddings we’ve seen so far, especially when it provides a good transitioning for the series’ lead characters into their next major life chapters… In theory. Truth be told, Team Supergirl sees almost no changes in the wake of Supergirl’s conclusion, which feels a little bit questionable. Andrea makes an award program for the deceased William, Nia opens an LGBTQIA+ center, and Lena makes peace with Lillian, who actually does die from her injuries shortly afterward. I guess I have to give belated credit for Supergirl ultimately following through with killing off Lillian. The one majorly dissatisfying final turn among Supergirl’s lead heroes, if we don’t count the fact that J’onn’s resolution with M’Gann happens off-screen, is Brainy’s, since the show just completely wimps out of Brainy having to return to the future and abandon Nia. Instead, Brainy just stays in the present to have a relationship with Nia, because screw the Big Brain and the future, I guess. Why even bother bringing up this blatant false drama of Brainy returning to the future then?!
Unfortunately, another character that sees a questionable final resolution in the end is Kara herself. The show blatantly doesn’t know how to sunset Kara’s character, ultimately deciding on Cat Grant magically coming back into Kara’s life to make her editor-in-chief of CatCo (for some reason), after Cat buys the company back from Andrea. Oh, and Kara decides that she’s abandoning her secret identity, and will come out to the public as Supergirl… And that’s it. Huh? Is Kara ‘being herself’ what the show was supposed to be about the whole time? No, I don’t think it was…
Like I said, Supergirl obviously had no idea how to sunset Kara’s character in the Arrowverse, since it didn’t want to kill her off, nor have her retire as a superhero, the respective two resolutions that the Arrowverse previously provided for Green Arrow and Black Lightning, after their own shows ended. This is a problem that Supergirl was always going to run into, and it’s indicative of one of the biggest issues behind how the series portrayed Kara in the Arrowverse; Kara started out perfect, noble, right and just, and thus immediately had nowhere to go as a hero or a character. She just ultimately went in a big circle over six seasons, with none of her problems mattering, none of her challenges meaning anything, and none of her inner thoughts or feelings ever logically or organically evolving. Even her claim of wanting to empower the world feels like blatant bullshit, because she’s still a superhero, and she’s still presenting herself as a higher moral standard! Kara revealing her secret identity to the world ultimately changes nothing to boot! She’ll still struggle with a double life, she’ll still have to blow off work to save people and fight villains (which makes her ‘promotion’ at CatCo feel even more baffling, since Cat knew Kara was Supergirl the whole time!), and she’ll still mope and whine whenever life doesn’t go exactly 100% her way. How does Kara revealing her identity change her as a character in the end? It doesn’t, because it can’t, because Kara has no room to grow as a character in the first place!
There was just no winning with the core journey behind Kara’s character in the Arrowverse. It unfortunately leans into the worst stereotypes of the Superman Family and their supposed flat, unmoving perfection, and drops so much neo-liberal bias on top of Kara and her friends that this show quickly careens into self-parody. Still, credit where it’s due, Supergirl’s finale could have been a hell of a lot worse, even if it inevitably fails to cap off Kara’s character journey, or lack thereof, in a satisfying manner. “Kara” actually does better by the show’s supporting cast, funny enough, because characters like Alex, Kelly, Lena and Andrea actually did grow and change to some degree throughout their time on the series. We even got a pretty fun final battle with Nyxly and Lex to kick this proper final episode off, even if Lex’s Phantom Zone coup-de-grace spectacularly backfiring feels pretty unbelievable.
I guess that’s it then. Another Arrowverse series is retired, this one with arguably the least impact to date. At least the end of Supergirl manages to feel reasonably uplifting though, if disappointingly lightweight.
- Enjoyable final battle that brings back some old faces
- Alex's and Kelly's lovely, heartfelt wedding
- Most of the supporting cast get solid resolutions
- Kara herself gets a weak, unfulfilling resolution
- Lex's and Nyxly's defeat is unsatisfying
- Brainy inexplicably opting to stay in the present