Supergirl: Better Angels
April 19, 2016 5:31 AM - Season 1, Episode 20 - Subscribe

An unexpected enemy forces Supergirl into a battle as she attempts to stop Non and Indigo from destroying all of humanity. (Season finale)
posted by oh yeah! (24 comments total)
I was saying that it was Streaky the Supercat in the pod at the end, but one of my friends pointed out that Streaky isn't actually from Krypton, she got her powers from being exposed to weird kryptonite.

You guys, I was out-nerded SO HARD. I'm so ashamed.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 5:58 AM on April 19, 2016 [8 favorites]

So, Myriad was a Melodrama Ray?
Because, mostly, this episode sucked.

You know Rip Hunter was behind the "Welp, we fucked up sending Alex in, may as well send in Mum" plan.

And the "Superman's asleep bullshit?
Abd the pod was WORSE than Jimmy./Kira.
I only have 4 hours to save the Earth? best go to work and out End of Time End of Time.

On the plus side:
"Kara" (saw it coming.... and yet)
Kelly was remembered.
Cat didn't such, in a run of not sucking.
posted by Mezentian at 7:20 AM on April 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, but BETTER THAN the Murderverse.

That symbol? Now means hope.

Getting it there was painful, but....
BETTER THAN the Murderverse.
posted by Mezentian at 7:24 AM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have some trouble with the idea that Alex can just muscle through the mind control but basic self-preservation wouldn't prevent the three Catco employees from jumping off the roof. If they'd played up the hope angle with her more rather than I know you can do it! maybe, but as-is it's just a little too our protagonists are special for me.

I also wish they'd just let taking care of myriad take longer rather than that seemingly interminable middle section of Kara getting ready to go off to her death. Wow that went on too long, and had way too much dumb. Max tells her he's worried she's out-gunned and he seems to agree not to talk to anyone else about it... even though her failure will mean everyone's death?

I thought we might get a sign that Cat Grant knew who Kara was at the end but now I think they have painted themselves into a bit of a corner. The fact that Kara just fucks off to go be Supergirl when she needs to and nobody seems to care is pretty implausible, but if Grant knows then there's never any more there there. She terrorizes all her employees to the point where they can't say boo to her, so if she's in on it and anyone calls Kara out then Grant just lays down the hammer.

I did enjoy J'onn taking off his own handcuff. Look chump, you detain me because I let you, full stop. You don't even have glowy rocks that work on me. The full pardon struck me as a good thing, the sudden and you can go back to being in charge less so. Why not keep Lucy in charge and let J'onn be more independent, particularly with the Cadmus thing still out there?

Any lastly, now Kryptonian powers only let you fly where there's atmosphere? Didn't we just hear that Clark was off-planet doing something for a while?
posted by phearlez at 8:16 AM on April 19, 2016

Clark could have brought some balloons, or a space suit, or something. Heck, he could have made a big sphere full of air and flown while he was inside it. Or something.

Obviously Cat knows. She's letting Kara create her own job in hopes that Kara can come up with something that won't fall apart if she has to leave every other day to save people.

Also, Cat totally picked up on the fact that Kara's big thank-you speech was an edge-of-death kind of speech. If she didn't know before (and she did), she knows now.

Also, if Lord is now clued in on the fact that J'onn (however it's spelled) is a shape-shifter, and if Lord likes Cat enough to send her special earrings, then Lord would probably share his knowledge with Cat. If Cat knows about the shape shifting, then she can probably figure out how she saw Supergirl and Kara in the same place at the same time.

Also, the writers have to deal with this next season; probably they will. Because otherwise it's just too crazy.

OTOH, Cat probably shouldn't _tell_ Kara that she knows the truth; Kara clearly gets some kind of sanity from having one person she's close to who doesn't treat her as "in charge" somehow; Supergirl is a leader, but Kara doesn't have to be a leader all the time.
posted by amtho at 10:04 AM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Supine Superman's boots, partially in the frame, during that one scene! That was funny and clever.
posted by amtho at 10:05 AM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

"Because, mostly, this episode sucked."

Yeah, I was annoyed and disappointed. There was a lot of lazy TV writing in it. This show -- mean, it has a lot going for it but the one big drag on it are these periodic surges of broadcast television mediocrity. This episode was full of it.

I keep track of my television watching and schedule with and the season episode list for Supergirl included a 21st episode, which meant I didn't expect this to be the finale.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:17 PM on April 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

... hm. Yeah, that was a pretty 'meh' way to cap the season. I was really hoping for more, but I wasn't expecting it after the dumb ending last episode with Alex in the Kryptonite battle suit. Lazy is definitely right.

* The middle section where Kara said her goodbyes was weird and off-putting and seemed to take absolutely forever. Bad pacing: they should've given her the scene with Cat and skipped the rest, tops.

* Superman being in a coma was fine. They should've left him there for the rest of the show's run without further explanation - it'd neatly solve the problem of 'where is Superman?' until they felt like casting him.

* I was disappointed by the climactic battle scene. Indigo was off her game - much as I enjoyed the image of J'onn tearing her in half, that doesn't seem plausible. Kara beating Non by grar-ing harder is one of my least favorite tropes in genre fiction. "Hero wins by being more determined" is dumb and may be consigned to the dustbin of history.

* Cat definitely knows and has gotten the message that Kara wants a sense of normalcy. I'm... surprised at how okay I am with that resolution. Cat just not figuring out? Intolerable. Cat being on Team Supergirl? More awesome than this. Cat offering Kara a reverse masquerade where she just pretends she doesn't know so that Kara can retain her sanity? That is shades of Moleculo, but it's also sorta sweet. I'll buy it - Cat's *good* at managing insane superstars. She's sharp enough to handle Kara this way.

* Kara/Jimmy: ugh. Jimmy's still a dim bulb, and no just no.

* Bringing in their mom was, indeed, so dumb. Alex being rescued that way was frustrating.

* I like their team ups with Maxwell Lord. I hope he retains a closer working relationship with Supergirl and the DEO. He makes a better frenemy than straight up antagonist.

* I am delighted J'onn is just going to routinely team up with her now. The only part of the pod scene I liked was them going together, because... duh, why wouldn't they?

In closing, I was hoping for a lot more, but I'll tune in next season.
posted by mordax at 6:18 PM on April 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

After how slaughteriffic this past couple of months of this tv season have been, I'm just thrilled to get a happy 'shocking death'-free finale. This show has been a beacon of adorable in a sea of grimdark.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:31 PM on April 19, 2016 [4 favorites]

After how slaughteriffic this past couple of months of this tv season have been, I'm just thrilled to get a happy 'shocking death'-free finale. This show has been a beacon of adorable in a sea of grimdark.

Heh. I dunno. On the one hand, Indigo got ripped in half and Non had his eyes literally cooked in their sockets.

On the other hand, for modern DC? That was pretty tame and cheerful.

(And overall, yeah, I love how adorable and peppy this show is. That's truly the biggest selling point for me.)
posted by mordax at 6:39 PM on April 19, 2016

Sure, give the mysterious alien power source to the billionaire super-scientist.

That always works out.
posted by Alexander J. Luthor at 8:42 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

You're just mad his name is Lord instead of something else.
posted by phearlez at 8:43 AM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

This was an alright finale for me. I think it's because I wanted another episode so the ending could be more neatly organized that it didn't wow me. But it's not the worst by far.

If they'd played up the hope angle with her more rather than "I know you can do it!"

I think they did. Alex stated that what finally worked was her mom mentioning her dad and gave her hope because he's still alive and they can find her. Lord also said analysis of the waves showed it cut off the part of the brain that deals with optimism and hope. So even if it's a natural instinct to preserve yourself, it's probably soaked in despair when the 3 humans were made to jump off the building. Although I was surprised none of them had hope that Supergirl, standing right there, can actually save them.

Re: Kara taking her time to say goodbye. Lord said he needed time to find where the signal originated, and then went all doom and gloom on Kara so she felt like she needed to say goodbye. They had 4 hours, that goodbye segment in real time with her abilities probably took like 20 min out of it. It's not like she stuck around to actually do work. If they had another episode the pacing probably could've worked better, with the goodbye capping off this episode and the next one spent more on the final battle.

What I'm more perplexed by is that General Lane knew that Fort Rozz was still operational and hidden but the DEO didn't. That would've been the first place J'onn would think to check if he knew about it, and it's really weird that he didn't. I know differently military branches don't always share information, but it seemed like earlier in the season the writers gave the DEO a lot of resources, on par with the NSA and CIA.

The wrapping up with Cat was also weird to me. Like, does she know and she figured this would be a better way to let Kara do the Supergirl thing while being employed there? And who gives someone an office, no matter how "special" they are, and tell them to figure out what they wanna do "within reason"? All the more clues that she knows Kara is Supergirl. I do doubt that Lord didn't tell Cat about J'onn though, since he's not big on sharing his secrets, even if he really cares about someone (and what's with that hand hold with Alex at the DEO while they were waiting to not have their brains explode??) So Cat probably figured out that maybe Kara fooled her somehow.

That final battle with the beam-off was disappointing to me. I was actually expecting Supergirl to trick Non into shooting his beam at Fort Rozz and blow the whole thing up somehow. I was also irked that J'onn was able to just tear Indigo apart, and that she didn't put herself back together like she did in the last fight where she got blown up. Such inconsistencies really bug me.
posted by numaner at 9:35 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

The text exchange between Kara and Clark at the end was a bit weird to me, in that it almost looked like Clark's replies were coming in before Kara had finished typing.

The song at the end was rather clever, I thought - Charlie Puth's "One Call Away":

I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day
Superman's got nothing on me
I'm only one call away.

Giving that device to Maxwell is almost certainly going to come back and bite the DEO later on.
posted by Roger Pittman at 10:22 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Alex stated that what finally worked was her mom mentioning her dad and gave her hope because he's still alive and they can find her. Lord also said analysis of the waves showed it cut off the part of the brain that deals with optimism and hope.

Yeah they post-facto wanked it, but I felt like it failed on show-don't-tell.
posted by phearlez at 10:36 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Season 2: Beppo the super monkey arrives on earth!
posted by ursus_comiter at 12:00 AM on April 21, 2016

posted by Mezentian at 5:57 AM on April 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

On the one hand, I thought the finale was mostly awkwardly written (oh yeah right, Kara's gonna die in space).

On the other hand, the emotional moments hit pretty well, the use of the song at the end (already mentioned) was good, and I continue to love the Cat/Kara relationship even if they won't just be open about who Kara (oh yeah, and even pronounced right!) is already.

Who's in the pod? Astra, back from the dead. Duh.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:25 PM on April 21, 2016

Actually, I have two questions about the pod:
1. How did they cram two people inside it. It's not very big (as you cam see in the credits) - plus Superman rips the cover off it. I guess they repaired it, but had they tested it in space?

2. If you watch the episode, at about 34'14" Alex doesn't seem to be wearing any protection or breather (and she seems pretty wedged in real good there too). So, she popped out into space, wrangled around with her sister, somehow managed to get the pod resealed and re-pressurised and back to Earth?

And, you know, Fort Rozz really isn't pushed that far from the Earth, so presumably the Videodrome radio waves would still be transmitting, and within range of at least part of the Earth.
posted by Mezentian at 1:09 AM on April 22, 2016

I just figured she nudged Kara back down to Earth with the nose of the pod without getting out.

posted by ODiV at 1:20 AM on April 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

That is a stupid but in-universe plausible response.

Makes as much sense as the episode.
posted by Mezentian at 1:35 AM on April 22, 2016

Huh. Tor.Com says the magic sphere of power Max has is the Omegahedron from Helen Slater's Supergirl film.
(Of course, many people on Tor seem to think that a Superboy is going to be in the pod, which seems like it would dramatically make the show worse... I don't think they'd Sleepy Hollow that bad, would they?

On the other hand, Nicole Beharie is free, maybe she could be someone from Argo City?
posted by Mezentian at 11:31 PM on April 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Renewed for S2! Moving to the CW?

Crazy re-tooling incoming? That never works.
On the plus side, Supergril-Arrow-Flash-Captain Drumpf's Time Team crossover is now, surely, certain.
posted by Mezentian at 12:59 AM on May 13, 2016

I finished binging S1 on netflix recently. I have to say, overall, it's just so shiny bouncy "let's put on PJs and fuzzy slippers and hang on the couch" sort of fun, it's such a pleasant alternative to GRIMDARK over on the movie side of things. Can we send Cat over to the DC movie universe to kick some ass?
posted by rmd1023 at 5:44 AM on March 28, 2017

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