The CW’s SUPERGIRL dusted off its cape and returned to TV with its Season 3 Midseason Premiere: “Legion of Superheroes.” This episode was a spectacle through and through. It definitely fulfilled a lot of fans hopes for this season. Comparing it to other episodes this season is other since Season 3 has been amazing, but “Legion of Superheroes” has enough gold to entice us about the rest of this fabulous show in 2018.

SUPERGIRL Season 3: Darkness Before The Dawn

A City Without Hope

In the last episode of SUPERGIRL, the rogue Kryptonian Reign (Odette Annable) had defeated Supergirl in a climactic battle. Reign had thrown Supergirl to her near demise, and the episode ended with a somber cliffhanger as the Girl of Steel held on for dear life.

Legion of Superheroes
Odette Annable as Reign. Image Courtesy of The CW

Now Reign has nobody left to oppose her. As “the Worldkiller,” an ancient Kryptonian sect tasks Reign with cleansing Earth of its sin. She murders gangs, drug dealers, and burglars throughout National City all for her goal of “Mercy and Justice” (itself a clever play on “Truth, Justice, and the American way.” As Lena Luthor (Kaite McGrath) points out, Reign isn’t really interested in any form of mercy. “Only Justice.”

Reign’s onslaught across National City in “Legion of Superheroes” once again shows that SUPERGIRL isn’t afraid to play with darker themes. Never before has the show had a villain so ruthless as Reign, and that is part of the reason she is so enjoyable as a character.

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Another element that “Legion of Superheroes” plays with is a city without hope. Much like Metropolis in the comics after THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, National City finds itself without any protector. That leaves Reign, much like other villains in the comic THE REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN, free to exact her will in National City without penalty. It is up to the rest of our heroes, the DEO, and the recently introduced Legion of Superheroes, to protect the world from Reign.

Rediscovering Kara

Throughout “Legion of Superheroes” Kara is trapped in her subconscious during a coma. In her subconscious, she is visited by Brainiac 5, a member of Mon-El’s Legion, who psychically attempts to guide her out of her condition. Brainiac 5 or Brainy as he’s called, quickly learns that there is something in Supergirl’s subconscious that is holding her back. They soon discover that it is Kara’s unwillingness to accept herself as Kara Danvers that makes her unable to escape her coma.

 

Legion of Superheroes
Jesse Rath as Brainiac and Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers. Image Courtesy of The CW

 

This season has shown Kara grow frustrated with her vulnerable, mortal human side. This is the part of her that can get her heart broken, that can suffer from anxiety attacks; it’s the part of her that can be killed. Kara needs to realize that Supergirl cannot exist without her humanity.

Kara Danvers works much like Clark Kent; she is the imperfect being that breathes life into a legend. SUPERGIRL, much like ARROW is The CW’s take on Batman, often serves as the network’s take on Superman. Many writers make the mistake of undervaluing the Clark Kent side of Superman. A perfect example of this is the Zack Snyder Superman. However, without the humanity of Clark Kent, Superman is just a cold-hearted, godly figure who people fear not love. He becomes much like Reign in many ways.

SUPERGIRL makes the brilliant decision to show that it is the superpowers or the alien abilities that make Kara Supergirl. As a result, it is her flawed humanistic qualities that truly make her the Girl of Steel.

The Legion of Superheroes

Surprisingly, the Legion of Superheroes is not center stage throughout this episode. Nonetheless, this episode does involve the Legion first appearing as a unit and getting into one seriously awesome battle. So far the team includes Mon-El, Imra, and Brainy.

What the series has done with Mon-El’s character is quite clever. Whereas in SUPERGIRL Season 2 Mon-El was puerile and immature, in Season 3 he has developed into a strong leader. While Chris Wood does not look seven years older than he did in Season 2 (the beard does not fool me), he does do a terrific job evoking age. His eyes scream

“I’ve seen some messed up sh*t.”

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Amy Jackson as Imra and Chris Wood as Mon-El. Image Courtesy of The CW

Imra (Amy Jackson), Mon-El’s wife, on the other hand, hasn’t gotten a lot of development yet. She is only there to create a rift between Kara and Mon-El. Brainy, though, is a surprisingly pleasant addition to the show. As a fast-talking, eccentric genius, Brainy has the potential to become extremely grating.

He never does this as Jesse Rath steals this episode with his charm, humor, and remarkable sensitivity. The CW has enough computer geniuses to fill a several CSIs, but Brainy already feels like a unique character. The show tells us that the Legion’s mission is to preserve the future by traveling to the past.

Mon-El saved the past from a cataclysmic event involving “The Blade” by preserving art, literature, and the musical genius of Bon Jovi (the best running gag of the episode). With this we get to see the Legion of Superheroes go into action towards the end of this episode is the best scene of this episode. It is clear from this incredible action that the show has come quite far since Season 1.

 Other Highlights

While the pitched conflict involving the Legion of Superheroes takes the cake for the best sequence, a runner-up would be when Martian Manhunter pretends to become Kara in front of Lena. Firstly, I was surprised to find out that Lena still doesn’t know that her best friend, Kara, is Supergirl.

I quickly forgot about this as I was too busy laughing about Melissa Benoist playing Martian Manhunter pretending to be Kara talking to Lena about kissing James Olsen. Benoist absolutely nails her impression of her costar David Harewood. If Harewood ever stops playing Manhunter (god forbid), we could always ask Benoist to play both roles.

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Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor. Image Courtesy of The CW

On the note of Lena and James’s (Mehcad Brooks)  relationship, this element of the show is by far the weakest. The romance wasn’t close to horrible. I do not mind pairing these two characters together as they seem to have good chemistry. However, it did feel a little forced and less interesting than the rest of the plot of the episode.  I just don’t see why it is a necessary element for the plot yet. Hopefully, I will grow to like this relationship more soon.

In other news, Chad Lowe continues to be exceptionally creepy as Thomas Coville. I’m glad to see that Coville will continue to be a threat throughout this season as I enjoy Lowe’s performance. Finally, Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) didn’t appear as much as they deserved to this episode. So, I hope they’ll receive more focus the rest of this season.

What’s Next For SUPERGIRL?

SUPERGIRL’s Mid-season Premiere “The Legion of Superheroes” is a splendid return to the series. Among several stellar episodes this season, the 10th episode still manages to have several thrilling and emotional moments.

“The Legion of Superheroes” did everything to make me more excited to see what happens in the conflict between Supergirl and Reign as well the continuing adventures of the Legion of Superheroes.

Make sure to watch SUPERGIRL on Mondays at 9pm EST on The CW!

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