“Nevertheless, She Persisted” is the title the Supergirl writers chose for the season finale and they deliberately picked a phrase that has been appropriated as a feminist slogan in the past months, reminding the audience once again what Supergirl is about: once you take away the superhero narrative, it is the story of a woman who refuses to give up.
The season finale starts picks up where we left off with Queen Rhea (Teri Hatcher) revealing Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) is her weapon, and so Kara (Melissa Benoist) is forced to fight her cousin who has been drugged and thinks he is fighting his nemesis. After a long fight, Kara comes out on top and this one universal truth, that will be reiterated throughout the episode, is established: Supergirl is stronger than Superman.
Kara wakes up in a dream-like sequence with her boyfriend Mon-El (Chris Wood) and the two are happy and in love. When Mon-El asks her about her necklace, Kara explains it was her mother’s gift to her on the day she left Krypton and as long as she has the necklace, she will never be alone. But unfortunately the whole scene was indeed just a happy dream and Kara is actually in the Fortress of Solitude with Alex and Kal-El, who finally recognizes her.
Keeping Up With the Luthors
Lena (Katie McGrath) is joined by her mother Lillian (Brenda Strong) and they have a heart to heart about their choices and mistakes where Lillian apologizes for always choosing something else over Lena. She also scolds her daughter for believing Rhea could be a friend to her: she raised her to scientifically question everything and not to blindly trust, but it seems Lena can be the Luthor who saves the world by adapting a weapon from Lex’s vault.
No, what you taught me was to doubt myself. To look for validation elsewhere, so much that I was willing to take it from the first mentor that offered it to me.
At the DEO
Kara, Alex, and Kal fly to the DEO, where Winn (Jeremy Jordan) has a huge fanboy moment over Superman remembering him, and Mon-El also makes the acquaintance of Kara’s cousin. Kara decides to invoke the sacred rite of the Dakkam Ur and challenge Rhea to fight her in single combat: if Supergirl wins, the Daxamite will leave Earth.
J’onn (David Harewood) is still in a coma, and dreams of M’gann (Sharon Leal) telling him to wake up. When he wakes, Alex updates him on everything he’s missed and the others are incredibly relieved to see him awake. We also have to mention the hilarious moment where Winn runs to J’onn calling him “Papa Bear!” and tackles him in a hug.
Before the Battle
Kara and Clark ask Cat (Calista Flockhart) to tone down the sensational impact that the battle between Supergirl and Queen Rhea is receiving in the media. Cat pointedly asks Kara if Supergirl is ready for this fight (…does she know?), and Kara says that Supergirl is. Cat, as always, is betting on the Girl of Steel. The super cousins then fly to L-Corp, where Lena and Lillian present the Daxamite-killing device.
Mon-El begs Kara to use the device instead of fighting, despite the fact that it will cause his death, but Kara refuses. She trains with Kal and after repeatedly coming out victorious, she confesses her fears to him. She has everything she’s ever wanted: family, friends, a job she loves, Mon-El… and she might lose all those things in one fight. Kal says the people she loves are another secret super power, and she should always keep them with her.
Kara and Rhea face off, but the Daxamite forces fire on the city so Kara tells a reluctant Mon-El to go save the city and “be a hero”. Superman and J’onn put aside grudges to team up to protect National City and M’gann lands with an army of White Martians to help. Meanwhile, Rhea uses kryptonite to weaken Kara, and taunts her with grim images of what she’s going to do with her planet once Supergirl is dead, but only gives Kara the strength to fight back. The Daxamites are destroying the city so Kara looks to Mon-El, who came back to support her, and apologises as she activates Lena’s device. The Daxamites flee back to their ships and Queen Rhea dies.
Mon-El is dying too, but she makes sure he survives by putting him on a pod and sending him to space, but not before they share a heartbreaking goodbye. Gasping for breath, Kara gives him her mother’s necklace to keep him safe and finally tells him she loves him.
Back at the DEO the celebrations are in full swing, but not for Kara and she tells Alex to never let Maggie go so Alex listens, because she proposes on the spot.
At CatCo, Kara tells her old boss that she’s hurting because for the first time and dared to fall in love with someone and it sees Cat go back to being her mentor with a beautiful speech:
The thing that makes women strong, is that we have the guts to be vulnerable. We have the ability to feel the depths of our emotion, and we know that we will walk through it to the other side. But you, my dear, are on a hero’s journey. And yes, you have hit a bit of an obstacle, but you will soar right over it. Just like I would.
Kara then hears the news reporting a building is on fire and as Cat watches her exit, she whispers to herself, “Go get ‘em, Supergirl”, revealing in the most Cat Grant way possible that she has always known Kara’s secret. While Kara soars the National City sky to save the day, somewhere outside Earth’s atmosphere, Mon-El’s pod enters a portal, which could be to the Phantom Zone.
The season ends with a flashback from the day Krypton ended, when Kal-El and Kara, but we discover that another child left Krypton that day, launched by hooded figures who prophesize “It will grow strong on Earth and then it will reign.” So Season 3’s villain will be Reign played by Odette Annable (You Again). We also know we can expect to see Lena Luthor (who has been promoted to series regular), Cat Grant, and Mon-El again next season.
Kara’s Journey: Was Supergirl less of a feminist this season?
The second season of Supergirl has been criticized by some fans because apparently being in love with a man-made Supergirl weak and unfeminist, but this episode proved just how wrong they were. Kara has always been strong and able to stand on her own and being in love didn’t stop her from making a drastic decision to save the world, no matter her personal cost. The theme of the episode is just that: no matter what you throw at her, she will persist.
Kara’s strength does not need to be validated by the fact that she chose the planet over her boyfriend’s life, because her strength should have never been doubted in the first place. This choice was not a revelation of her newfound feminist spirit, because the show made sure she never lost that. The show even made sure that the typical gender roles were completely swapped: we saw the daily routine where Kara went to work and Mon-El was her stay-at-home trophy husband, who cooked and cleaned and did the laundry while she brought him flowers on her way back from saving the world. When Kara was fired from her reporter job at CatCo, the anti Mon-El squad screamed that the fact she did not look for another job was anti-feminist, but they were forgetting Kara already had another job: first and foremost as a full-time superhero, and second, as a part-time DEO agent.
One of the sub-themes of Season 1 was that despite the fact that Earth was her home, Kara didn’t feel like she fit, and she never would. She never thought she could find a partner who fully understood her, but she found that with Mon-El, and in the past episodes she kept marvelling at how happy she was, because he was like the missing piece that made her life a perfect puzzle. Renouncing to all that did not “make her a feminist icon again”. It makes her a good and consistent superhero, who puts the greater good before her own happiness. Superman confesses he probably wouldn’t be able to make the right call in the same situation, and he is humbled by Kara; Alex tells her she is so proud of her; Cat promises she believes in her. What makes Supergirl a “strong” woman is not that she chose the planet over the love of her life. No. What makes her strong is that, despite all the pain and despair that choice caused her, she didn’t pause her superhero-ing for one second. Nevertheless she persisted, indeed.
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