SUPERGIRL 3.23 Review “Battles Lost and Won”

They never showed Brainy a single Star War!

This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Check out our review for last week's episode here.

After a season of highs and lows, Supergirl closes out its year with an episode of just that. The parts of “Battles Lost and Won” that are good are great, and the parts that are bad end up being pretty unfortunate, but it accomplishes exactly what a show revolving around the Girl of Steel should do; it inspires hope.

The final battle between Reign and the Witches of Juru is a joke, wrapped up in the emotional package of the loss of M’yrnn as he sacrifices himself to end the terraforming. The culmination of an entire season’s worth of lead-in is so lackluster that the writers have it wrapped up in a bow twenty minutes before the episode ends. That said, Sam Arias will live to continue on in the show, and Kara found a way to not sacrifice everything she believes in to defeat the big bad. Never mind that to do so they have to make a callback to one of the worst “powers” in Superman history by making Kara turn back time. At least she doesn’t fly real fast around the Earth to do so, and, as of yet, no saran wrap “S” symbols have flown off of her chest, so she’s still beating her cousin there.

By and large, that’s the brunt of the unfortunate moments in “Battles Lost and Won”. The rest is emotional, filled with hard decisions and changes for the majority of the show’s main players. J’onn will walk among the people to promote peace and to be happy as his father instructed, but he will not be out of his girls’ lives. He will be there whenever Alex needs him as she adjusts to her new job of leader of the DEO, and to help with the future baby we’ll likely see her adopt in season four. J’onn is, unfortunately, not the only one departing the agency. Winn will be heading to the future to help the Legion of Superheroes defeat Brainy’s “distant cousin” while the AI stays in Kara’s timeline and safe from being taken over. Winn won’t find himself friendless in the future, because Mon-El will be returning as well.

Mon-El of Daxam’s journey went from a chore to a privilege to watch over his two season arc. Though this likely won’t be the last we see of the leader of the Legion, he and Supergirl finally got the closure that they both craved. His departure will likely last just long enough for Brainy and Kara to start smoochin’, because this is the CW and that is just how these things go. All the same, a surprisingly rewarding end for a relationship that started off less than great.

James Olson remains the sleeper MVP for Supergirl’s third season. “I can’t keep waiting on the world to change. The future is now,” is solid advice that most of the world would do well to listen to. Humans spend so much of their time waiting for a hero to come along that they rarely ever notice that the hero they’ve been waiting for is themselves. Jimmy has spent his life hiding behind a camera, then a shield and a mask, but in the wake of seeing the result of trusting someone with his identity in a moment of crisis, he reveals himself to the world. Countless repercussions will undoubtedly spiral from this, many of which revolving around his running of CatCo, but those repercussions are exactly what make his reveal so important. Supergirl will always need to hide her identity from the world, but the Guardian has an opportunity to be a beacon of hope both as the hero, and the man.

And then there was Kara Zor El. In the midst of all this change, Kara remains mostly the same. She’s a bit more centered, and has finally started to realize where her home truly is, but the Girl of Steel still has a lot of the same issues she started the season with. The thing about the Kryptonians is that their lives will always be a troubling balance of remembering their home, their morals, and their heritage while still finding a way to fit in on Earth. That struggle will always be there, but it’s the humans and other heroes that they choose to surround themselves with that make them great. A woman who can bend steel with her bare hands would undoubtedly come in handy, but it is the humanity in the hero that will save us all.

Thanks for tuning to the reviews through this season. Supergirl was shaky from time to time, but the messages of heroes like Kara Danvers become all the more important. I hope we’ll see you again next season, but you know what to do if you had thoughts on tonight’s finale in the meantime.