May 23, 2017

SHOWBUZZDAILY Season Finale Review: “Supergirl”


SUPERGIRL undertook a journey this season more unusual than its own heroine’s passage from Krypton to Earth, transferring from CBS to CW.  It suffered little if any damage in the process–other than in the ratings, since CBS’s universe of viewers is far larger than the one at its new home.  Budgets were reportedly slashed, the production moved to Vancouver, and featured co-star Calista Flockhart chose not to move with it, but the series was much the same as the one that had premiered on CBS.  (For those of us who felt Flockhart’s non-stop archness as Supergirl’s boss Cat Grant was a bit much, it may have even been a little better.)

Those budget restrictions were clearly eased for tonight’s Season 2 finale, with a script by Executive Producer Richard Rovner and Co-Producer Caitlin Parrish, from a story by co-creator Andrew Kreisberg and Co-Executive Producer Jessica Queller.  Director Glen Winter seemed to have plenty of resources for the action-packed hour, which brought to a close the battle between Supergirl AKA Kara Zor-El AKA Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and Rhea (one-time Lois Lane Teri Hatcher), evil queen of Daxam.  There were loads of digital Daxamian spaceships, Martians as well as Daxam warriors, and intense one-on-one combats between Kara and not just Rhea, but her own cousin Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), who had been deluded (by way of “silver Kryptonite”) to think that Kara was General Zod.  Even Flockhart made a return appearance, for what one assumes was a hefty guest star fee.

All of this spectacle actually obscured what Supergirl has come to do best, which is to find the character beats between the action set-pieces.  The season did a very deft job with what could have been the difficult story of Kara’s Earthling sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) realizing she was gay and in love with police detective Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima), and the show also found some emotion in the relationships between Winn (Jeremy Jordan) and alien Lyra (Tamzin Merchant), and Martians J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) and M’gann M’orzz (Sharon Leal).  Ironically, the season’s weakest romance was its most important, the one between Kara and Daxamite Mon-El (Chris Wood), which was meant to reach a tragic conclusion in tonight’s finale when the only way to defeat Rhea as to render Earth’s atmosphere deadly for all of Daxam, forcing Mon-El to fly away into a black hole.  The Mon-El arc was fairly predictable rom-dramedy all the way through (Mon-El became a better man through his love for Kara), and it was hard to miss him as much as the script insisted we should.  The show also seemed to lose track of James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) for extended periods of time, half-heartedly turning him into a crimefighter without superpowers for lack of anything better for him to do.

Even tonight, though, Supergirl was wise enough to end its action sequences before the last commercial break, and devoted the final act to some effective touches, as Alex proposed to Maggie, and Cat seemed to reveal after her Girl Power pep-talk to Kara, that she’d known Kara was Supergirl all along (which was a good thing, because otherwise Cat would be very, very stupid).  A tag set the stage for Season 3, as we learned that another, presumably nogoodnik, Kryptonian was sent to Earth before the planet blew up.

Supergirl‘s ratings dipped even more in the move from CBS than CW might have hoped (down 60% from where the show was at the end of Season 1), but the numbers were still in keeping with all the network’s non-The Flash shows.  The cast, both holdover and new, has settled into their roles–with the bonus this season of a delightful musical hour featuring one-time Glee cast-mates Benoist and Grant Gustin that aired as an episode of The Flash–and seem more than capable of sustaining their appeal for more seasons to come.  Supergirl has so far avoided the brooding that’s afflicted The Flash and Arrow, and right now it may be the most purely enjoyable of the DC/Greg Berlanti superhero sagas that define the identity of its new network.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."