Let’s Talk Arrowverse – Supergirl, Signing Off

I won’t waste much time talking about Batwoman or Legends of Tomorrow this week (both eps were decent, although “Why would someone who’s trying to protect the timeline want us dead?” Could you have at least a little self-awareness, Nate?) ‘Cause this week is obviously all about the series finale of Supergirl.

I don’t even wanna talk much about the first half of the two-hour finale. That was just a lot of getting pieces in place, and creating temporary drama by having characters rush into plans without thinking. Though it ended with Lex and Nyxly turning into lizard people, which is definitely not something I saw coming.

Really, all that was just to get things where they needed to be for the true final episode, which is practically the playbook for everything people want/expect out of a series finale. Bring back as many old characters as possible (Winn! Mon-El! James! Cat Grant! Red frickin’ Tornado!). Play the hits, giving us a reprise of beloved scenes (from epic battles to running gags to heart-to-hearts on the couch to Supergirl giving an inspiring speech to the entire world). Have the cast members who can sing, sing. Do a big beautiful wedding! Give us a sad death scene, a sad departure scene, and a joyous reunion scene.

And, of course, end on simultaneous notes of “The Adventure Continues” and “Nothing Will Ever Be the Same Again”.

It’s that last part where this finale truly shines. Most viewers expected something would change for Kara as her series comes to a close. Many thought she’d die, or lose her powers, or leave for another world/time period. But her decision to abandon her secret identity proved to be a wondrous surprise!

Not that I was itching for Kara to go public, per se (though given all her friends are some variety of superhero now, there’s not really a normal life left for her to cling to). But this turn lets us step back from the spectacle of giant fight scenes and wedding celebrations, and lets the episode focus itself on Kara Danvers. Not her facing some great tragedy or looming peril or shocking revelation. Just her quietly contemplating what it is she wants out of her life, and working up the courage to go for what she wants.

The strongest aspect of Supergirl, from day one, has always been Melissa Benoist. With no more totem technobabble or hokey speeches to get through, she’s given the chance to dig deep into her character and bring her turbulent emotions to life with such grace and clarity, it makes me wish her chatting with her friends could’ve been the whole episode. Who needs a rematch with Overgirl when there’s more of this performance to watch?

It may have been a textbook finale, with a somewhat anticlimactic finish to the main villains, but with its intimate portrait of Kara Danvers at a crossroads in her life, Supergirl managed to go out on one hell of a high note.

(That said, with all the other returning characters, it’s baffling they didn’t at least have Superman send a text message again, for old time’s sake.)

Question of the Week: What was your favorite episode of Supergirl?