Warning: This contains spoilers. For how to watch Supergirl, click here.
Supergirl continues its superb run of action-packed instalments with Fort Rozz, the 11th episode in its increasingly epic third season. Epic, that is, in a very real sense, as war is brewing between a whole host of superheroes and a gathering legion of Worldkillers.
The Worldkillers we were warned about last episode, as the writers continue to scale up the cast and amp up to match. And so we end up on a trip to Fort Rozz, as our good guys hope to get ahead of Reign’s plans by talking to an ancient priestess with knowledge of her mission. The catch? Fort Rozz is currently drifting near a blue star, which strips Kara of her powers and also emits a radiation that kills all men. And so Supergirl has to turn to some unusual allies to make the trip safely: not only Imra, but also Livewire and Psi.
Yes, it’s an all-female team-up, and Supergirl once again delivers on its superb ability to craft complex villains as well as heroes: Livewire and Psi were both interesting characters when they were in previous episodes and they thrive on the bonus added screen-time here. Leslie, the former shock jock DJ, is the best of the four, as she takes the chance to bring out her good side, first agreeing to help Kara to stop Reign then going after her, but also because of a lingering, grudging respect between the two. It helps that her powers are the most visually impressive, too, and the resulting sparks that fly are genuinely exciting. (Bonus points, too, to the show’s re-using of existing sets, most of which are indoors, to keep the costs low but the spectacle high.)
All of which makes it surprisingly sad to see her give her life for Supergirl at the end of the episode, as Reign follows them to Fort Rozz (her powers aren’t dimmed by the blue star – another reason for her to seem ultra-threatening) and starts to beat Kara down. Psi, however, saves the day, as she brings Reign’s fears to the fore of her mind – a neat way to refocus on the duality between Reign and Samantha.
It’s easy to forget Samantha amid all the punching, red-staring and mask-wearing, but this episode gives us a fresh insight into her split identity. We learn that she’s unaware of what she does when she’s Reign, telling Alex fearfully about a business trip that she left her daughter for, only not to go on it at all. It’s only a matter of time until the two parts of her personality collide, and the show is doing a top job of stringing that discovery out without resorting to tiresome padding – padding here, for example, takes the form of Alex agreeing o babysit Ruby, which is an absolute joy, as she goes with the young teen to visit her school bullies at their homes and intimidate them with talk of the FBI. Just when you thought it was impossible to love Alex more.
And what of those Worldkillers? Well, the priestess reveals that they’re called Purity and Pestilence and that they’re already in place, waiting to rise. A glimpse of one at the end of the episode promises more danger to come, as she is hit by a car, only to find herself unscathed and her powers awoken. Which would be scary, were it not for the continued presence of the Legionnaires in Kara’s corner. They may not be able to travel to Fort Rozz, but Winn finds a nifty way to ping a signal to Imra’s ship by the prison planet using the Voyager 2 probe. That’s much to the annoyance of Brainiac, who spends most of the episode competing with him to be the smartest guy in the room. After his cute introduction last episode, it’s a shame to see him reduced to a know-it-all, but we’re distracted from that by battle-hardened Mon-El, who earns his Beard of Inner Turmoil by providing an emotional rock to Kara, as she grieves and feels guilty for Livewire’s death. With no sign of the good guys going anywhere, and the bad guys continuing to line up, Season 3 is setting the stage for one heck of a showdown. If the series keeps up this pace, There’s no risk of you not tuning in.
Supergirl Season 3 is available on Sky 1 every Monday at 8pm. Don’t have Sky? You can stream it live or catch up on-demand through NOW TV, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription, no contract. A 14-day free trial is available for new subscribers.