Channel: Warner TV (Starhub Ch 515; Singtel Ch 306)
Premieres: 31 Mar, Wednesdays 9.50pm
Cast: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, David Harewood, Jesse Rath, Nicole Maines, Azie Tesfai, Katie McGrath, and Jon Cryer.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Season premieres don't get any bigger than Supergirl's sixth season opener, with clashes in the Fortress of Solitude, outer space hijinks, and the addition of a new superhero's logo to the Tower's roster. And since it's the final season for Supergirl, there's no better way to start this 20-episode sendoff than with an epic battle against her (and Superman's) greatest nemesis.
Supergirl is a superhero drama that focuses on Superman's super-powered cousin, Supergirl. Supergirl's secret identity is that of Kara Danvers, a reporter at CatCo Worldwide Media. The season six premiere sees Supergirl and her allies finally defeating the threat of Leviathan and thwarting Lex Luthor's devious schemes. Unfortunately, their victory comes at a terrible cost.
Supergirl and The Flash both suffered from production delays in their 2019-2020 season, forcing them to end their respective seasons and storylines prematurely. While The Flash soldiered on by shifting their last three planned episodes into the first three episodes of the 2020-2021 season (thus sticking to their original plans), Supergirl managed to take a more elegant approach.
Its previous season already saw a planned 22 episodes being trimmed to 20 episodes, with the storylines presumably rewritten to accommodate it, and production delays hit during the filming of the 20th episode. As a result, some scenes from the 20th episode were transferred to the 19th episode, which ended up being Season 5's finale. This let the series wrap up Season 5's storylines more organically than The Flash did, even though it ended on a cliffhanger. As a result, Season 6's premiere feels more like it belongs to this season, rather than being a refugee from the previous season.
This first episode gave us a spectacular showdown between Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and her super friends (a running joke in the past season) and Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) — in the Fortress of Solitude, no less! How Lex managed to hold his own against a squad of super-beings is best left for viewers to discover in the episode itself, but it was glorious to see Supergirl's main cast fully decked out in their costumes, fighting against what can be considered the series' villain. It was a set piece that was well worth the wait, and a marvellous way to start the new season. Admittedly, Lex was defeated a little too easily... but the series had to give catharsis to his dastardly schemes from the second half of Season 5, so it's understandable.
Rebirth is the title of this episode, which can be interpreted metaphorically in many ways. But most significantly, it refers to Kara and Lena's (Katie McGrath) relationship. Their friendship saw a rough patch in Season 5, and it was heartbreaking to see these two best friends clash the way they did. In some ways, it was reminiscent of Clark and Lex's relation in Smallville, and it's gratifying to finally see their relationship restored in this first episode. And just in time too, because Supergirl's going to need every ally she can get given how this first episode ended.
However, since this episode had to wrap up some of the plots of Season 5, there was a huge, talky chunk of exposition early in the episode to make sure audiences were up to speed on what was happening. It was partially ameliorated by the fact that everyone was in their superhero costumes (thus making the visuals more interesting), but it was quite egregious to have everyone listing out what they had to do and how they had to accomplish it, when this was information that they would all know already.
Leviathan, Season 5's villainous group, turned out to be quite underwhelming. For beings described as gods, they were defeated a lot more easily than Lex Luthor was. There was no payoff to Gamemnae's hushed reference to a greater power that she had to obey, nor did we ever have an in-story reason for the aquatic motif to her costume (in the comics, Gamemnae is an Aquaman villain) or a full assembly of all four Leviathan members (the series' version of Leviathan is more of a reference to the League of the Ancients, rather than the comic version of Leviathan, which is a spinoff of the League of Assassins).
As a set-up for Season 6, this episode worked well. It didn't quite reveal what role Jason Behr would be playing (he's been reported to play a Kryptonian this season), nor did it show us who this season's big bad would be (but we're all hoping it's going to be Lex). But with several mentions of the "Anti-Life Equation" (what DC's biggest villain, Darkseid, is constantly hunting for in the comics) and the predicament that Supergirl was left in at the end of the episode, it's started Season 6 in good stead.
Supergirl's season premiere managed to accomplish two mammoth tasks — ending Season 5's stories while providing a springboard for Season 6's plot to unfold — and it did it with aplomb. It gave us a superhero fight worthy of a season premiere, while also letting us enjoy Lex Luthor's megalomania (if only for a while). If this is any indication of what the rest of Season 6 is going to be like, it's clear that Supergirl is going to go out with a Super-bang.