This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Check out our last review here.
It’s with a heavy heart that I tell you that, despite having its most solid season yet, Supergirl failed to stick the landing. A lot happened in “The Quest for Peace”, which ultimately ended up being its downfall. There are so many threads that they tried to conclude at once, which meant that none of them wrapped up with any sort of satisfaction. With the season acting as a painful look at current events, it's possible that part of that was intentional. There’s no big inspiring moment that brings an end to big political baddies, or brings a stop to hate, but in a show with an alien flying around in a cape, maybe we can allow for a little wish fulfillment?
Make no mistake, there is an end to the President’s career. And we do see Ben Lockwood’s son speaking out against hate after watching what it did to his father. Both scenes are so fleeting that they almost seem not to matter at all, but let’s take a look at how we got there before we go round and round about how lackluster it all was.
The first five minutes of the episode serve as a recap. The sole new tidbit in these minutes is Red Daughter realizing that Lex Luthor is a snake. We will rehash that same conversation after she wakes up in one of his pods on Shelley Island, where Lex will close the conversation by telling her that he has bigger plans for her than simply killing her off. Then he invites his mom and sister over for some tea!
Ok, he invites Lena and Lillian to the Oval Office to gloat. Then he quotes Hitler, and Lillian tries to poison him. It’s a grand old time! It’s also one of the strongest moments of “The Quest for Peace”. Lex's monologue while the women of the Luthor family are profoundly done with his nonsense is a fun watch, and it serves a greater narrative purpose than listening to a Luthor gloat. Lex’s big bad plan is to use the powers of the aliens to power an energy source that will blast Argo out of the sky. Friendly reminder that Clark and Lois (and their unborn child) are currently on Argo, because of course it was always about Superman.
And so, everyone faces off. Martian Manhunter and Dreamer are both trapped on Shelley Island with the other aliens thanks to Brainy’s logical shittiness. The two work with the other aliens to cause a distraction while they get the power dampeners offline, but are faced with the problem of the whole energy cannon thing shortly after. Brainy joins them to stop said cannon while Supergirl, James, and Alex briefly face off with a juiced up Ben Lockwood. He gets a cutesy “love conquers all” moment when J’onn and Nia both risk their lives to overload the device and he’s worried that he may lose his lady love. Like all of the other good moments in the finale, it’s fleeting.
Supergirl eventually breaks off from fighting Lockwood to take on Lex and his Lexosuit. She’s equipped with some Luthor tech of her own, using the armor that Lena built for her to combat the kryptonite, but Lex’s suit is simply too powerful. A distraught Red Daughter throws herself in front of a blast that ultimately kills her. She’s then absorbed back into Kara, giving Supergirl enough strength to overpower Lex. We’re going to pause there to acknowledge the deeply unsatisfying end to a character arc that took up a large amount of Supergirl’s fourth season. No big speech, no big moment, no closure on her little Kaznian pal, just a quickie sacrifice and poof! Done.
It bears mentioning that before all of the Super Friends ran into battle, Kara published her story on Lex Luthor and the corruption of the White House. We’ve been building up to this huge moment since well before she briefly hung up the cape and turned to journalism to make a difference, and yet when the time came for it to be a thing, we zipped right past it like we did every other conclusion. We would then see Lockwood and the President both arrested. We skip right past those moments too.
Which takes us to the murder of Lex Luthor. Lena knew where her brother would run off to and meets him there with a gun. He goads her on, telling her that she didn’t have the stones to kill him. She responds by shooting him in the chest. The thing about the Luthor family is that none of them are particularly good at losing, so Lex leaves his sister with one parting gift: he tells her that Kara is Supergirl.
This is where the show finally decided to spend some time on one of its plot points. Not Red Daughter, not the political win, not journalism being what ultimately saved the day. The rage. Rage that we all knew was coming and, frankly, she’s not entirely wrong to feel. Having Lena end up just like her family feels deeply lazy, so here’s hoping that these crazy kids sort things out next season.
Like the rest of DCTV, Supergirl closes out with a visit from The Monitor. He’s not there to see Kara or any of the other Super Friends, though. Instead he’s there to pull Ma’alefa’ak out of a portal. As always, he’s pretty pissed at his twin. Hopefully that means we’ll get plenty of Martian-y goodness in October! Along with Ma’alefa’ak baddy vibes comes The Leviathan. It turns out Ms. Tessmacher was working for the crime syndicate the whole time. They’re actually tied to the League of Assassins, and typically led by Talia al’ Ghul, so Crisis on Infinite Earths might lead to some fun crossovers between Batwoman and Supergirl sooner than expected.
The Girl of Steel left not with a bang, but a whisper. While that’s unfortunate, it does drum up some excitement for its return. There’s plenty of new pairings on the shipper front, with Alex and Kelly officially making heart-eyes at each other, and Brainy finally spilling the beans to Nia. James is currently Nick Fury-ing it at CatCo, and Game Night stops for no man, woman, or villain. See you in October!