10:05 pm EST, February 23, 2020

‘Supergirl’ 100th episode review: What if?

The Supergirl 100th episode does its best to honor Kara's journey so far.

The Supergirl 100th episode gives Kara the opportunity, through Mr. Mxyzptlk’s magical assistance, to look at a few different alternate realities if she had told Lena her secret at various points since they became friends.

Marking a major TV milestone, the Supergirl 100th episode takes the time to reflect on one of their most important relationships: Kara and Lena. That said, the series doesn’t forget to acknowledge where they started, specifically who started it all, and give time for Kara to grow (even more) in new ways after all of these years.

While I wouldn’t say this episode is the strongest Supergirl has ever done, it was very clearly written for the fans, with the return of several notable characters (excluding, unfortunately, Cat Grant, whose only appearance was a photo in an alternate reality where all of Kara’s loved ones died). The ending of the episode felt like a way to move the series forward, though nothing is much clearer, except Kara’s outlook on life and her journey… and maybe that’s for the best.

Supergirl 100th episode

‘Supergirl’ 100th episode review

While I did really enjoy the Supergirl 100th episode, I think it definitely could have been better. While it did honor the past of one aspect of the show, it really dropped the ball on honoring the show’s (and Kara’s) whole journey, particularly with the bond between Kara and Alex.

That said, I suppose Supergirl does deserve some credit, as the Arrow-verse show led by a singular hero that has had so much change behind the scenes and on-screen since it started. Honoring everything that’s happened just might not have been possible in some ways because of that reason. But honestly, there’s no excuse for not focusing more on the relationship between Kara and Alex.

Focusing on the alternate realities, as always, is quite interesting, but it’s hard to take it seriously. If the identity reveal did unfold as we were showed, it’s not like the events following that would have actually played out in such a fashion… there wouldn’t be a show left if they had. So at best, this episode just feels like the writers coming up with lame excuses for why Kara “couldn’t” tell Lena her secret sooner.

I’d say, for the most part, I’m disappointed with the Supergirl 100th episode. While it was a good standalone episode, and one of my favorite Kara-centered episodes because she experienced some major growth, it just feels so lackluster and you know the writers could have done better than this, especially with Alex.

Supergirl 100th episode

What if Kara had told Lena?

I mean, is it really surprising that the first two times Kara told Lena about her identity happened right before some major event on the Supergirl 100th episode? They had to find some reason for it not to work out (even though I’m not buying it).

The third reveal, where Kara started her friendship with Lena by divulging her secret, was my absolute favorite, and truly shows what this show could have been capable of for the last three years. Of course, this reveal also didn’t end well, but with any episode like this, you have to take it with a grain of salt. Had Kara really started off her friendship with Lena by telling her the truth, it’s not like the Supergirl writers would have actually had everyone assassinated. Just another ploy to justify keeping Lena in the dark for so long, even when it no longer made sense (like, say, when season 3 started).

Anyway, seeing the Kryptonian and Luthor work together for years, solving problems together and keeping National City safer than ever was beautiful to see. The potential of telling a story like this was nice. And isn’t it funny that this is the one reality where, despite everything seeming almost perfect, we had to be told that it was bad and got everyone Kara loved killed? We didn’t actually see any consequences, like we did with the other three.

Additionally, and I know this is mostly a timing issue, but I refuse to believe that there were only three times where Kara could have told Lena her secret. I mean, Mxyzptlk was trying to take Kara back to another memory before she called it off, but two of the times Kara went to were just poorly planned times to reveal the truth. Why not go back to a quieter time, when there wasn’t an enormous threat on anyone’s life, and tell her then? You’re telling me that Kara had time to go to spin class with Lena, but never had a quiet lunch break with her best friend to tell the truth?

Supergirl 100th episode

If Kara and Lena never met?

Obviously the darkest alternate reality on the Supergirl 100th episode is the one where Kara never met Lena, the two never became best friends, and her life went on an awful path. I think this story could be easily misconstrued to say that Kara was the end-all-be-all savior of Lena’s life, and maybe that’s what the Supergirl writers want us to think, but I don’t agree.

I think the key part of this story is how it wasn’t Kara that ruined Lena’s life, but instead Lillian did. Kara wasn’t there to save her when the helicopter was attacked, leaving Lena in Lillian’s hands, tortured and forced to become a literal kryptonite monster from the inside. But even after this torment was inflicted on this Lena, she killed Lex, and then tried to accomplish the goal our Lena has had all season: Make the world a “safer” place. Only in this reality, Lena went through things much worse than our Lena did, bringing her down a much darker path to, eventually, becoming a dictator.

Don’t misconstrue what I’m saying above; I don’t think our Lena is evil, nor do I think she’d ever consider going down the path from this reality. I think, after seeing every reality play out, Lena’s intentions are always to make the world a safer place. Depending on how her life goes, it changes how far she’s willing to go to ensure that. Our Lena, as misguided as she is, is taking a non-violent approach to “save” the world with Project Non Nocere and prevent humans from hurting one another, so no one ever has to feel the way she does again.

Even though it was presented as Kara being the ultimate savior of Lena, which I didn’t quite like, I do appreciate that it shows how drastically different Lena’s life would have been without Kara in it. Kara brightened up Lena’s world, after experiencing years of abuse and manipulation from Lex and Lillian, showing her a different way to live. I have hope, now more than ever, that Lena will realize the error of her ways and seek Kara’s forgiveness and friendship in the near future.

Supergirl season 5, episode 12

Kara

I’m so proud of Kara and how far she’s come. I will say that the Supergirl 100th episode did deliver a major change for Kara, which is to accept her mistakes and what she can’t change. Fighting for Lena for so long made sense, but to see the fight go on in the same way would have been unrealistic. Kara did everything she could to apologize and make it right, but now it’s on Lena to accept this fact and move on.

Kara’s always been so hard on herself, but this episode cements, for the fans and for her, that she did what she could. She did her best, and that is entirely acceptable. Kara doesn’t need to be perfect; she’s a wonderful person, a fantastic hero, and a great friend. She’s made many mistakes, as anyone does, but no one is as hard on themselves as her. So, at the very least, I’m so happy we got to see her take a look back and change her outlook on her life going forward. It’s such an important step for any hero, but especially for Kara.

The ‘Supergirl’ 100th episode failed the Danvers sisters

As much as I love the relationship between Kara and Lena, this episode should have focused more heavily on the Danvers sisters, as the culmination of their journey. Kara and Lena’s relationship, while also important, has been getting a decent amount of focus — particularly in the first half of season 5 — for exploration. This milestone should have, 100%, been focused on the Danvers sisters, or at least had more time devoted to that relationship.

The moments we did have, in the current reality, were nice, and Chyler Leigh’s brief performance as Alex in the alternate universe where Kara died was haunting, as we know how incredibly lost Kara and Alex would be without the other. At the very least, the Supergirl writers thankfully acknowledged that.

But seeing as it’s incredibly unlikely Supergirl will get a 200th episode, it’s majorly disappointing that this milestone didn’t honor the one relationship that the show absolutely could not have ever done without. So while I enjoyed this episode as a standalone episode, or another episode in the season, I don’t think it should have been the 100th.

Supergirl 100th episode

‘Supergirl’ 100th episode final thoughts

It was so nice to see Sam again on the Supergirl 100th episode, especially during the scene in the first alternate reality, where Lena goes to Metropolis. Lena and Sam’s friendship was one of the best aspects of season 3, and it’s so heartwarming to see how much Sam will always believe in Lena and how supportive she is of her. I miss Sam so much, and even seeing Reign again was great. There was so much potential with that story that didn’t get followed through on, but the character is still one of the best we’ve had.

I’ve never been a fan of Mon-El, but I didn’t even mind his appearance on this episode. Kara asked him for advice and he gave an actual answer, being supportive and, for one of the first times, showing he had any sort of character development. (Too bad it was all in an alternate reality.) It took Kara a lot to move past their relationship, but she has, and if anything, I see revisiting Mon-El as a reminder of how much she’s grown and how she’s in a better place now.

Honestly, I’m getting real tired of how poorly Nia and Kelly are being treated. I’m not so much criticizing this episode in particular, as it made sense why they weren’t getting their own stories (based on the direction of the episode), but as a whole, it’s so completely unfair that Kelly is lucky to get one line per episode and the same with Nia.

We finally saw Nia using her powers in such a fantastic manner that it’s clear the writers recognize her potential, but why aren’t they doing anything about it? Why has Nia been absent for half of the season, and replaced at CatCo for William? The first transgender superhero deserves so much better than this. Even now, much of her story on this episode was about Brainy, which is the epitome of her story this season.

And as for Kelly, there’s so much more we could see done with her. She clearly has the potential to take up James’ mantle as Guardian (one we would actually want to support) and join all of the super friends at their new headquarters. She’s working at the front for the season’s main villain, Leviathan, but barely gets a chance to talk, much less anything else. And her relationship with Alex has taken place primarily in the background, which is just unacceptable for both characters’ development.

Do better with all of these characters, Supergirl staff. Please. All of us want to love this show so much, and for me, it’s clear from this episode alone that if you can’t even take the time to really acknowledge how the entire show has been built and based on Kara and Alex’s relationship, you aren’t on the right path.

Supergirl continues Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW!

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