Originally published on Set The Tape
Supergirl has always felt a little different from the rest of the CW DC shows. It’s set on another version of Earth, and as such rarely interacts with the other series’ the way that Arrow or The Flash does. It started out on another network, and still feels a little like the outside show that was adopted by the CW, instead of having been intended to be a part of it. Despite this, it manages to capture the fun and the appeal of the rest of the DC TV Universe, and has more than earned it’s place.
Season Three has had a rocky start compared to the previous two. Not so much in terms of quality, as the quality has been top notch throughout, but in the journeys that the characters have gone through.
Before now Supergirl has been the ‘happy’ show, the one with hope and joy. This year has had this, but has also been darker than it ever has before. Kara (Melissa Benoist) has been recovering from the loss of Mon-El (Chris Wood), only to then have to deal with his return and the subsequent destruction of their relationship, Alex (Chyler Leigh) has had her engagement fall to pieces, Lena (Katie McGrath) has had several attempts on her life already, and in the mid season finale the big bad nearly beat Kara to death. Yes, the show is still packing in the fun and the laughs, but this year it feels much more balanced against the darker side of Supergirl’s universe.
A large part of this is down to the big bad this season, the Kryptonian ‘world killer’ Reign (Odette Annable). Whilst season two took a long time to introduce the Daxamites and their end of season threat, the build up to Reign has been there in season three right from the first episode. We’ve known that she is coming, and seeing her as a regular person, interacting with Kara, becoming her friend with no knowledge of who or what she is has built tension.
The first half of the season has also managed to pack in a lot of new character introductions, without the season feeling bloated in any way. It’s given us the new villain, though in her regular human life, along with her daughter Ruby (Emma Tremblay), J’Onn’s (David Harewood) father M’ynn (Karl Lumbly), and even the Legion of Superheroe’s Saturn Girl Imra Ardeen (Amy Jackson).
One of the biggest improvements this season, however, was the inclusion in the four part, four show crossover event ‘Crisis on Earth-X’. Whilst the previous years crossover did involve Supergirl, the Supergirl episode was barely connected, with thirty seconds at the end being used to tie it into the story. This season saw it as a major part of the crossover, with all of the episodes feeling like a piece of a bigger whole, rather than a tie in.
The crossover episode also gave Alex a chance to shine, as Kara brought her sister along to the wedding as her plus one. Alex gets to not only fight alongside such heroes like Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and The Flash (Grant Gustin), but also deals with the breakdown of her relationship by getting to sleep with Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), with hilarious results.
Supergirl has always been a good show, but now it’s really feeling like it’s a real part of the CW DC Universe too. With some great new characters, a darker and more dramatic tone, and some deep emotional issues for the characters to work through, the first half of season three seems set to make this the best season yet.
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