What to Watch Verdict
Brainy and Nia are a delight in an episode that's weakened by everything else around them.
💥 Brainy gets a chance to let loose.
💥 Young Kara and Nia connecting over the loss of their mothers.
💥 Nia's song.
💥 The dialogue written for both young Cat Grant and young Alex makes huge hunks of "Prom Night" hard work.
💥 Too many unnecessary plotlines.
💥 The decision to make CJ unbearable well before she steps into her mogul shoes feels like a disservice.
This post contains spoilers for Supergirl season 6 episode 5 "Prom Night."
Catch up with our review of Supergirl season 6 episode 4.
Who's ready to head back to Midvale? In order to get a bit of Kara's DNA for their tracker, Brainy and Nia have to head back in time to one of only two moments when Supergirl experienced a solar flare (when a Kryptonian's powers are overused and they find themselves briefly vulnerable). As is the case with any time travel fare, things go terribly wrong for the two heroes. "Prom Night" features a good amount of hijinks as they try to remedy their situation. Regrettably, there's an aggressive amount of terrible dialogue that makes good hunks of the episode nearly unbearable.
When Brainiac-5 (Jesse Rath) and Dreamer (Nicole Maines) arrive back at Supergirl's high school days, they find themselves with a broken ship due to a rough landing. Lucky for them, they're quickly found by young Kara (Izabela Vidovic), young Alex (Olivia Nikkanen), and Kenny Li (Peter Sudarso). Despite a hefty amount of trepidation from Alex, the group makes some awkward introductions and splits off into two teams. Brainy and Kenny will work on repairing the ship while Kara, Nia and Alex steal a rare mineral from their mother's lab.
There are plenty of hijinks that could have been pulled from that story alone, but rather than keep to the ways that Nia and Brainy could break the timeline on their own, a young Cat Grant (Eliza Helm) and an alien Tiger King named Naxim Tork (Chris William Martin) are shoehorned into the story. Naxim is a lot, but it's Cat (going by CJ at this point) and Alex that end up being "Prom Night"'s weakest point. Their dialogue is just awful. We knew about Alex's younger tendencies, so this annoyance isn't a revelation. But, showcasing that Grant was cruel and rude before she becomes the mogul we know in the current timeline is both hard to watch and a disservice to a difficult, but important, character in Supergirl's life.
It wouldn't be a time travel episode without the breaking of the timeline. Brainy and Nia's presence results in the DEO no longer capturing Naxim, which means young Kara is in grave danger of being kidnapped and placed in an alien zoo. It's a lot to deal with in addition to telling Kenny she doesn't plan on attending Midvale College and will be moving away from home and dealing with her sister at her most insufferable.
Despite a lot of funny moments with Brainy, some strong scenes between Kara and Nia over the loss of their mothers and a rendition of "9 to 5" that left me a little misty, "Prom Night" is most certainly one of the weaker episodes of Season 6. This is just part 1 of 2, so perhaps they'll make it up in the latter half. But, as a stand-alone, this episode just didn't hit the mark.
Amelia is an entertainment Streaming Editor at IGN, which means she spends a lot of time analyzing and editing stories on things like Loki, Peacemaker, and The Witcher. In addition to her features and editorial work, she’s also a member of both the Television Critics Association and Critics Choice. A deep love of film and television has kept her happily in the entertainment industry for 7 years.