We gave it a B
Welcome back, Super-fans! Kara was soundly defeated by Reign in the midseason finale, yet the first episode of 2018 opens with her napping in her apartment.
Then an alien with white hair, a trio of glowing forehead discs, and blueish-purple skin knocks on her door and introduces himself as Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath): half computer, half organic life form, and 12th-level intellect from the planet Colu. His real name is Querl Dox, but his fellow Legion of Super-Heroes call him Brainy.
Mon-El woke him up to check out Kara’s neural pathways during her coma, and Kara’s surprise at hearing about her injuries prompts Brainy to ask, “Did I bury the lede?” (Gotta love that this is still an expression in the 31st century!)
He explains that she’s in a manifestation of her happy place while 31st-century technology heals her body. Cut to the real world, where Kara’s in a liquid-filled pod surrounded by Alex, J’onn, Winn, and the Legionnaires, who are relieved by Brainy’s announcement that she’s okay, but angry.
Hey, remember that Ruby cliffhanger? We find her huddled in a corner of her home, and for a second it looks like things went badly for her. But psych! She and her mom are engaged in a Nerf gun war.
During the skirmish, Sam breaks a framed photo of the two of them, which is not at all symbolic, and then sees the front page of the paper, which is dedicated to the “rogue Kryptonian” and features a photo of herself in Reign gear. Her eyes flash red, and we cut to the Fortress of Sanctuary, where her dark Kryptonian spirit guide tells her it’s time to deliver the awakening by cleansing the world of evil-doers and forcing the righteous to stop looking the other way.
Now to CatCo, where Lena’s fretting over (a) Supergirl’s two-day disappearance and (b) telling Kara that she and James kissed. Then Reign bursts through the window, tosses a criminal on the floor, and demands that an employee turn on his camera so she can deliver a warning to the city that apathy in the face of evil will now be punished.
The Legionnaires tell the DEO that they can’t help stop Reign for fear of jeopardizing their secret mission, nor can they offer much help from their future perspective. In 2455, a third-degree extinction phenomenon wiped out all of Earth’s life, history, art, culture — “everything interesting,” Brainy says. Mon-El’s the one who taught them about Earth, from Aristotle to Bon Jovi, and they have huge gaps in their knowledge. All they can report is that Supergirl survives and Reign eventually leaves, but they don’t know how, why, or the ensuing body count.
J’onn suggests they invoke the Sundown Protocol, designed to take out Superman if he goes rogue. However, he turned all of the DEO’s Kryptonite over to Clark Kent, so they’re only left with the samples from Coville’s probe.
Speaking of everybody’s favorite prophet, Alex pays Coville a visit in prison to ask for advice on how to defeat Reign. But Coville says that Supergirl refused her faith and failed the test, which means that Reign has already won.
In her mind palace, Kara’s thrilled when Brainy tells her that they’re ready to wake her up. Unfortunately, she can’t get her apartment door open, which translates to her remaining asleep in the real world.
Since her body and brain are fine, Brainy suggests that her subconscious may be scared. Kara strenuously rejects that idea, first punching the door and then eye-lasering it. Her eye beams are always my favorite super-effect, and they’re even cooler than usual this week, with sparks and debris flying around as she screams in effort.
Brainy looks on calmly, but in the real world, he tells the assembled team that he’s never seen anything like this before, then offers, “Sorry, insensitive,” which is fabulous shorthand about his logic-driven character. But he warns that the longer Kara stays asleep, the less likely she is to wake up.
When they get the news that Reign has attacked a meth lab and the police who arrived to help, Mon-El and Imra finally explain why they can’t join the fight: They hid the secret for stopping a race of world-destroying creatures called the Blight inside their own DNA, so if they die, that information is lost. Alex isn’t pleased that they’re sitting out, but she and J’onn concoct a humans-only plan to get ahead of Reign. Part of it involves manufacturing new Sundown Protocol weapons, which means J’onn has an hour to kill.
Good thing, because in an awkward encounter with Lena, James ends up blurting out that Kara has the flu, and Lena insists on bringing her bestie soup. James places a panicky call, and the next thing you know, J’onn’s voice is coming out of Kara’s mouth as he bemoans the indignity of suiting up — or technically robing up — to fool Lena.
At Kara’s (real) apartment, Lena thrusts a container of soup at her and makes herself at home on Kara’s couch to talk about kissing James. J’onn does an unusually bad Kara impression, referring to James as “Olsen,” but nevertheless managing to assure Lena that James’ awkwardness has nothing to do with her being a Luthor.
Okay, this scene was funny, but…come on. We’ve seen J’onn do amazing impressions of Kara, Kara’s mother as an FBI agent, and Hank Henshaw, to name a few. Sure, he’s worried about stopping Reign, and yeah, the girl talk was awkward, but his irritation at maintaining Kara’s cover WHILE KARA IS IN A COMA was weird and out of character. (Next page: Time for some feline intervention)