Kara douses Reign once and for all, while her teammates all embrace major changes

By Sara Netzley
June 18, 2018 at 11:19 PM EDT
Katie Yu/The CW
S3 E23
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Is your heart warm? Mine’s positively glowing from the variety of joyful, bittersweet, and surprising life changes doled out in Supergirl’s third season finale, which will certainly alter the shape of the show when it returns in the fall. For the last time in season 3, let’s recap.

In the first battle of the night, the DEO and friends spring into action to stop the Krypto-forming, with Alura following her daughter’s lead in deploying eye-lasers and ice-breath. They get a surprise assist from the Legion, who received Mon-El’s beacon even after his tech was destroyed and zipped back to help.

The real hero of the fight is Myr’nn, who performs one rushed final transfer of memories with J’onn to share with him the dawn of their kind and the first keeper of the sacred scrolls.

J’onn still isn’t ready to say goodbye, but Myr’nn assures him, “I had a good life,” and urges his son to promote peace and find happiness. Then he merges with the Earth and sacrifices himself to stop the Kryptonian witches’ plan. I… don’t fully understand how that worked, but it was a huge, emotional beat.

At the DEO, the Danvers sisters greet J’onn with a hug, while Mon-El and Imra agree that absence made the heart realize, hey, our marriage was kind of garbage so let’s just be Legion buddies.

Then Brainy tracks down Mon-El and Winn and tells them an extremely distant relative of his didn’t die in the Blight, and as a result has started wiping out all other A.I.s, so the future is no longer safe for Brainy. (Side note: He doesn’t drop the name, but this is totally Brainiac, right?) He asks Mon-El to lead the fight and Winn to take his place as the tech genius.

Winn questions how his sub-12th-level intellect will be enough, and then Brainy blows his mind by showing him an ancient piece of paper: Winn’s sketch of the non-lethal weaponry he produced last week. Brainy explains that it’s the foundation of some of the future’s most groundbreaking and lifesaving technology, and the original sketch is a treasured artifact centuries from now.

Winn chews over the offer with James. While going to the future is his wildest dream, how can he leave his family behind? In return, James tells him that he took off his mask during the Krypto-forming battle to calm a panicking woman, and “that makes me want to unmask all the time.”

The distress signal from the witches’ stolen spaceship interrupts their conversation. Turns out the witches weren’t thorough enough in killing Thomas Coville last week, and he managed to sneak into the ship to alert the DEO of their location. Good thing, too, because the witches and Reign were attempting to restart the cauldron.

While the DEO supers head out to do battle, Sam is back in the Dark Valley, looking for the Fountain of Lilith. She encounters her adoptive mother, Patricia, who’s still all apologies about her poor treatment of Sam when she was alive. She guides Sam away from the waters that would weaken her and toward the fountain that provides strength.

As Sam drinks, Patricia sings a song from Sam’s childhood. Sam forgives her before waking up back on Earth, levitating. “Mom, you’re super!”  Ruby exclaims, and Sam speed-runs out of the room to join the fight against the witches.

Against Kara’s better judgement, she agreed with J’onn and Alura’s suggestion that she violate her “I don’t kill” policy and deliver a lethal dose of Kryptonite to Reign if it’s the only way to stop her. In the midst of the heated fight, Reign manages to snake an arm around Kara’s neck, gloating that no one on this planet can contain her or kill her.

“That’s what you think” Sam taunts, arriving to surprise Reign with a blow to the back that allows Kara to kick Reign into the cauldron. Reign dies like a malfunctioning Terminator in the fire, her out-of-control laser eyes shooting wildly around the room and killing Sam, then Alura, then Mon-El, who takes a blast meant for J’onn.

Her enemy defeated, Kara looks in disbelief at the bodies of her loved one and blames herself being prepared to kill Reign instead of finding another solution.

Then she realizes she has one chance to make things right and orders Winn and Alex to find her a disruption so she can travel back in time like the Legion, with Mon-El’s flight ring protecting her from the vaccum of space.

As she flies up, up, up, we see the battle scene flashing in the background and hear key bits of dialogue from past episodes: Alex saying that Kara Danvers is her favorite person, J’onn telling her that loss made him stronger, Alura promising that Kara will do extraordinary things.

And then she’s back in Reign’s grip, but this time she doesn’t allow Sam to land her blow. She instead flips Reign over her head and shouts at Mon-El to toss her the Harun-El, with orders to use its electricity to pull them out of the Dark Valley in five minutes.

In the Dark Valley, Sam launches an attack, deliving blows to Reign on behalf of Ruby, Patricia, and herself. She then forces Reign to drink the weakening water, and black specters arrive to carry Reign away like the villain at the end of Ghost. When Mon-El pulls them back out, Reign’s gone, and Sam’s 100 percent human.

And, okay, the science and mysticism of Kara’s plan here is all a little ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but her bright, triumphant smile at finding a better way to defeat her enemy paves over miles of plot holes in my book. (Next page: Two Karas??)

At the DEO, Kara tells Mon-El that living as a Kryptonian on Argo isn’t who she is anymore; she’s at home on Earth, balancing humanity and heroics as she protects her planet. Mon-El, meanwhile, tells Kara that the future needs him to fight with the Legion, and he can’t abandon them. As he leaves, he tosses her his flight ring, “In case you ever need me.”

This scene is a lovely bookend to the rushed, agonizing goodbyes the pair made at the end of last season. This time, they have choices, and with Mon-El’s marriage over and a possible future spread out before them, they made the selfless choice to protect the people who need them most. They’ve both walked a path of growth this season, and it yielded a satisfying payoff.

Speaking of growth, Winn answers the call to save the future, and James decides he’s done waiting for the world to change, confirming his identity as Guardian for CatCo to report to the world.

Alex is also ready to grab her future with both hands, telling J’onn she wants to resign from the DEO so she can stop risking her life every day and pursue motherhood. But J’onn offers another solution: Alex will become director of the DEO so she can chase the personal and the professional without daily threats on her life. (Let’s all just politely ignore the many times J’onn has gone into the field himself, hmm?)

As for J’onn, his father reminded him that the Martian way is to live among the people, rather than hide behind walls, so he steps down, dons the world’s jauntiest hat, and joins the throngs of humanity on the street.

Alura prepares to return the witches to Argo to face trial, but before she leaves, she tells Kara how proud she is of her. Then Lena hands over a case of her (wo)man-made Harun-El, along with the recipe to make more to keep Argo alive, and Alura says she’s relieved that none of this dangerous, unknown material will be left on Earth. If Lena had a thought bubble above her head at that moment, it would clearly say, “Ummm….”

Winn and Alex share an emotional hug before Kara says goodbye to the first person she trusted with her Supergirl identity. On the Legion ship, Mon-El helps Winn get used to the Brainy chair, while Brainy finds a sketch that Winn left for him at his new DEO workstation of Winn’s universe-changing tech. Excellent passing of the torch!

The Danvers sisters end the day at Kara’s, digesting all the big choices their loved ones just made. Alex applauds Kara’s courage in choosing to stay on Earth, and Kara assures her, “This is my home. With you. On this couch.” SHOUT IT TO THE HEAVENS, SISTER! Then Alex asks, “Are we gonna be okay?” and Kara assures her they are.

So everything is hunky dory… except for two things. One is Lena calling Ms. Techsmacher to instruct her to begin the second phase of their Harun-El trials. And the other is a flashback to 48 hours earlier, just as Kara was traveling to the Dark Valley thanks to the Harun-El. At that moment, a Kara double appeared on the Siberian border, wrapped in a blanket, and oh my Rao, are we getting Red Son next season? Time travel has consequences, people!

Snaps of the cape

  • There’s no pizza on Argo. Kara clearly made the correct choice.
  • Shall we go ahead and assume that Clark’s been chilling in Madagascar all season long, conveniently on hand to save that portion of the Earth? Also, what became of Thomas Coville? Did he live to proselytize another day?
  • For those keeping score, Mon-El’s time on the show is done, Winn will recur next season (all the better for him to make new outfits for the Legion), and Brainy will be a regular (all the better for Kara to rectify this egregious oversight: “We never showed you Star Wars? Not a single Star War?”). And with James’ identity no longer a secret, Lena edging toward darkness, Alex as the new HBIC, J’onn wandering the Earth like something out of Kung Fu, and another Kara out there, season 4 could look verrry different.
  • Well, Super-friends, season 3 had its highs and its lows, but in the end, I’m glad to have spent 23 episodes with the CW’s sunniest, most optimistic superhero. Here’s hoping Kara and company enjoy a Worldkiller-less summer and fly back to our airwaves in the fall ready for more thrilling heroics. See you then!

Episode Recaps

Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.
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