'Supergirl' returns with an episode that doesn't try to skip over the fact that Kara Danvers just experienced extreme trauma.
- 💥 We are finally back on the same plane!
- 💥 Melissa Benoist plays emotional trauma very well.
- 💥 Brainiac-5 remains a gift.
- 💥 Andrea Rojas is being treated as a Cat Grant stand in, but lacks the talent and charisma to back up her awfulness.
- 💥 We need movement on the Dreamer arc. Nia's sadness is warranted, but we're spinning our wheels in favor of other subplots.
This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
Check out our last review here.
Supergirl struggled with the opening half of its final season. Separating Kara (Melissa Benoist) from the team for as long as the series did was a huge miss — particularly for a final hurrah — but the Super Friends are finally on the same plane of existence again. For some reason "Welcome Home Kara" elects to skip the initial reunion when Supergirl and her father, Zor-El (Jason Behr), make it onto the rescue ship. But I'm going to give it pass because this moment is so overdue.
At first, it seems like the episode will stick to the usual Supergirl antics — Kara's back, awkward boss moment, etc., etc. — but this isn't a normal day for the Girl of Steel. Kara Danvers has just been through a hugely traumatic experience. Thankfully, coping with that trauma is a huge theme of this week's story. Kara is happy to be home and around her family again, but she's currently at a stage when she has no idea how she's going to move on from what she's faced. Even her moments with Andrea (Julie Gonzalo) overwhelm her.
Regrettably, Ms. Rojas remains one of the weakest points of the show despite Gonzalo's admirable portrayal. Cat Grant could be a bit of a monster sometimes, but she backed that up by being whip smart and damn good at her job. Andrea is neither. She's clever, sure, but she's the prime example of a character that is all tell and no show. Her relationship with Lena isn't enough to soften the CEO, either. Cat Grant was a successful arc because she could be selfless when the chips were down, and she truly loved and wanted Kara to succeed. Andrea Rojas cares about herself. (And Lena. When it suits her.)
When we aren't focusing on Kara's healing, Supergirl's return is zeroed in on Zor-El and the Super Friends as they try to stop a monster of Zor-El's own creation. In his desperation to stop Earth from becoming another Krypton, Kara's father tries to find a quick fix for the pollution of the oceans. Things may not go as planned, but it's the first real arc we've seen Zor-El get to play with. Based on where the episode ends, it might be his last, but he was a solid addition to the series no matter which way things go.
Brainy (Jesse Rath) has a lot of fun moments in "Welcome Home Kara," whether it be his cake mission or his attempt to stop the trash monster from going nuclear. Nia, (Nicole Maines) however, has become a little stagnant. There's a lot of value in the story the writers are trying to tell with her and her mother. The problem is that it keeps getting pushed to the wayside for other narratives. Week after week we get a reminder that she's hurting, but the lack of effort to really explore that pain makes the reiteration tedious. Give our girl some airtime, y'all!
"Welcome Home Kara" wasn't a perfect return, but it leaves me excited for the future. Lena (Katie McGrath) is about to confront her own matriarchal issues, Brainy is back to being fun, and we don't have to split our stories between worlds any longer. It's bittersweet to look at the beginning of the end, but I can't wait to see what else the writers have in store for the rest of our time together.
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