TV Review & Recap : Supergirl S3E9 Reign

Reign opens with a festive holiday party where Wynn geeks out over Star Wars with J’onn J’onzz and his dad and Kara tells Lena and the woman who will become Reign that she’s so happy to finally have real  friends. When all this saccharine cheerfulness is going on in the first five minutes, you know that this episode is going to end badly. While Mon-El and his wife enjoy all that primitive earth has to offer, Lena and Jimmy confront Morgan Edge and Kara & J’onn J’onzz try and figure out who’s carving Kryptonian symbols all over the place.

Kara is forced to deal with the return of Mon-El under less than stellar, or available, circumstances and the writers spend the parts of the episode where she is confronted with those facts with realism and throughtfulness. There was no backbiting or lashing out at the “other woman”, not once does she cut Imra down or make her feel unwanted. We also got a heaping helping of sadness as we watch Reign say her goodbyes to her humanity in tender sad, longing moments with her daughter. I love that the writers juxtaposed who she was becoming with who she still was without being emotionally manipulative.Visually this episode is stunning, it’s dark and ominous lighting, mixed with pops of light from Christmas trimmings showcase the intricate stories being told. Kara goes and meets her biggest Stan Coville in prison after a warning call from the big house and they talk about the beast and god before Rao , essentially Kryptonian apocalypse playing itself out on our earth. This episode focuses on the human intricacies of becoming  from both sides of the good vs evil , god vs devil, dark vs light, we see the woman who will become Reign start to devolve and Kara becoming full Supergirl. When they reach their final battle it is nothing less than spectacular, even more so than the much anticipated spark filled kiss between Lena and Jimmy, we see Kara taking out her rage against all of her emotions on Reign and Reign taking out the eminent loss of her daughter and life on Supergirl. When Kara sees the scared little girl , she remembers with blood streaming down her face what she’s really fighting for and she uses her feelings as a weapon. Reign is an episode full of emotions and not all of them are happy holiday good time vibes, there’s tension, longing, fear, loniless and duty. There is so much to unpack internally when watching and, the amazing acting and superb direction sucks you in , giving you This is Us level feels. There’s not a dull or wasted moment and even with the fast cuts and bullet point scenes, nothing feels rushed or unnecessary.  This was yet another stellar showing from a writing team that has always maintained a wonderful showing of female strength , rage and passion in a way that is realistic and lacks the formulaic ways that most shows portray female heroes and antiheroes or villains.  The issue doesn’t end the way you’d expect and I love the fact that the writers did not cop out or take the easy route, throwing another jab at the viewers and then hitting us with an emotional two scene combo punch that ensures that we will all be back after this mid season finale because we need to know how this all turns out.

Overall Rating: 9.8

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