There is so much to like about the CW’s Supergirl that you want it to be brilliant, entertaining, and empowering for its young female viewers. That it is such a muddled mess more often than not spoils that because you admire their intentions and scratch your head at how the execution too often misses the mark.
Out tomorrow is Supergirl the Complete Third Season on Blu-ray with a Digital HD code from Warner Home Entertainment. The four-disc set contains all 23 episodes including all four episodes of the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover with Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow.
We start the season with Odette Annable’s Sam, newly arrived in National City with her young daughter Ruby (Emma Tremblay). They’re in the wrong place at the wrong time when an accident happens and we see Sam affected and over the course of the season’s first third, we watch her become a villain. It’s a wonderful, slow build, especially her growing sense of panic over her blackouts.
As luck has it, she has arrived to work for Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath), who is now spending more time at CatCo, micromanaging James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), and still trying to be besties with Kara (Melissa Benoist). With Wynn (Jeremy Jordan) now at the DEO (and apparently as smart as a 12th level Coluan intellect – who knew), and Snapper Carr absent, it’s just a distraction. The James/Lena romance appears to exist just to give the actors something to do.
Without Cat Grant around, there’s less and less a need for CatCo and maybe they need a fresh break, since it splits the focus although we do get a delightful reveal for Eve Tescmacher (Andrea Brooks) late in the season.
Similarly, the super-secret DEO has become a revolving door with just about everyone wandering in and out, making one wonder about national security. John Jones (David Harewood) doesn’t seem too worried because most of this season his focus is on his father M’yrnn (Carl Lumbly) who has developed Martian Alzheimer’s, giving them some charming moments.
Increasingly, Alex (Chyler Leigh) takes charge, and gets a uniform upgrade along the way. She’s got little else to focus on since she and Maggie (Floriana Lima) break up early, over the perfectly reasonable issue over having children. It’s a natural pause in their romance and one of the best handled plot lines.
On the flip side, we get Sam becoming Reign and she has her own desert-based Fortress (which no one ever seems to notice), chided into performing destructive acts for reasons that continually shifts and never makes sense. We’re halfway through the season before we realize she’s one of a triad then we hastily add the other two and do absolutely nothing with them so viewers could care less, especially as it takes the focus over Sam’s problems.
Reign and her gal pals are such a threat that a mere three members of the Legion of Super-Heroes hurtle back in time to change the future (like that trick ever works). Leading the charge is Mon-El (Chris Wood), who is now married to Saturn Girl (Amy Jackson), who is now a telekinetic rather than a telepath, and for comic relief Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath), with the worst makeup job on network television.
As the show came back from hiatus in January, the series suffered from the usual Greg Berlanti problem of an overstuffed cast, an overly complicated nonsensical major plot arc, and the focus diminished from the title character.
We get diversions as we cross the stars for a visit to Argo City, where her mother (Erica Durance) and others from Krypton have managed to survive (further diminishing Superman and Supergirl’s uniqueness). The Argo revelation should be its own arc or season but shoehorned here, takes away from the specialness of the event. Instead, it’s all to retrieve a Magoffin to save Earth.
Speaking of which, once Superman was introduced in season two, every time the stakes are raised, it raises the question of where is her cousin? The dialogue usually is something about him being in space rather than Kara declaring her confidence in handling the situation no matter how dire. I wish the writers did a better job handling the Big ‘S’.
The climactic episodes are so much sound and fury that you stop caring. The human elements are too lacking in favor of spectacle. Kara is either getting beaten by Reign or moping over Mon-El that’s she a lesser character this year, which is a waste of Benoist’s skills.
In addition to the episodes and crossover, we have a 41-minute Inside the Crossover: Crisis on Earth-X and The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2017 (both appearing on other series sets). As a result, the only unique to Supergirl features are a brief one exploring Annable’s arc, an assortment of deleted scenes, and the gag reel. The high def transfer is just fine for audio and visual.