“Better Angels,” the first season finale of Supergirl, was heavy on the pathos, the action sequences were kept to a relative minimum (one at the beginning and one at the end), and it brought several of this season’s ongoing emotional story lines to a nice close. (All of that sounds very similar to another superhero show’s freshman closer.)
The episode picks up where last week left off — with Kara and Alex about to fight. Alex, who is still being controlled by Non, doesn’t hold back against her sister and gets the upper hand. J’onn and Eliza show up right as Alex is about to plunge the Kryptonite sword into Kara’s chest. With her mother’s help, Alex is able to overcome Myriad through her emotions, specifically the memory of her father.
Yes, the resolution of the Kara vs. Alex fight was the tropiest of all tropes, but, it works. (It helps that the show has been preparing us for this kind of thing all season long.)
Once that’s done with, they all get back to the task at hand: broadcasting Supergirl to the entire city. While studying Myriad, Maxwell discovered that it shuts down the part of the brain that feels optimism and hope, and Kara’s fight with Alex confirmed that the only way to wake people up from it is to target that area with as much emotion as possible. And, the best way to do that is by blasting Supergirl’s emblem and a rousing speech to every screen in the city.
“I need you to hope,” she says to National City. “Hope that you will remember that you can all heroes. Hope that when faced with an enemy determined to destroy your spirit you will fight back and thrive. Hope that those who may once have shunned you will, in a moment of crisis, come to your aid.”
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And, the plan works. Supergirl’s emblem wakes up everyone in National City. But, this doesn’t stop Non. Indigo convinces him to kill everyone on Earth and then use Myriad to conquer the rest of the universe. If there’s one quibble I had with the finale, it’s that Non went from a kind of understandable villain — he wants to fulfill Astra’s mission and save Earth — to becoming both a genocidal maniac in a fairly short period of time.
NEXT: Time to say goodbye