Supergirl Season 2 Finale Recap & Review – ‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’
“Nevertheless, She Persisted” is the much anticipated season 2 finale of CW’s Supergirl, and is the most action-packed this season. Even on a smaller budget than when it was on CBS, Supergirl manages to use its resources to the maximum and make its super-powered fights just as exhilarating as watching it on the big screen.
This week picks up where “Resist” leaves off, starting the episode in a bare knuckle fight between Supergirl and a mind-controlled Superman (Tyler Hoechlin). There are different types of Kryptonite out there, Silver Kryptonite being one of them. It doesn’t weaken a Kryptonian, but it does alter their perception a bit. For Clark, he thinks he’s fighting General Zod, so of course he’s going to go all out. Supergirl eventually beats him and sets her sights on Rhea. She invokes an ancient Daxamite trial by combat. If Supergirl wins, Rhea and her Daxamite forces must leave Earth. If Rhea wins, Supegirl and the rest of Earth’s forces must step down and let Daxam occupy their planet.
Of course, both sides had an alternate plan in case things didn’t go their way. Rhea allows her forces to continue attacking during their fight, targeting vulnerable spots in the city that would yield the most human deaths. Supergirl and the Luthers, as a last resort, readied a device that would put trace amounts of lead into the Earth’s atmosphere. There would be just enough to affect the Daxamites and no one else. Apparently, an eensy bit of lead permanently installed into our atmosphere is A-OK and won’t kill us at all. Cool…coolcoolcool.
There’s just one complication: If Supergirl activated the device, that would be the end of the Kara/Mon-El relationship forever. This turns out to the melancholic heart of the episode, even though it took a while to actually get there.
With Rhea’s forces still attacking National City, Supergirl is forced to activate the device. The Daxamites are driven away and Rhea, too weak from the fight to escape herself, turns to ashes. As for Mon-El, his exposure to Earth’s sun gives him a little bit more time, but he’s not in a good place at the moment. Supergirl rushes Mon-El to the space pod he crashed in on.
I’m not going to lie, the goodbye scene is incredibly heart-wrenching and I cried. (Damn you, Supergirl!) It’s one of those emotionally affecting scenes that is this show’s bread and butter. They hadn’t really brought out the gut punch feels for a while this season, probably not since Alex’s coming out episode. For me, it was a little to see Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist hurriedly say their goodbyes while Wood as Mon-El looks like he’s just seconds away from collapsing as Rhea did. It’s a bittersweet ending for Kara/Mon-El — it speaks volumes to witness two characters in love sacrifice their own happiness to save an entire world from doom.
I’m sorry to see Mon-El gone leave. He was finally in a good place in the show, which put way too much of a spotlight on him than the actual hero of this series. But I can’t help but think he’ll become relevant again somewhere down the line. Otherwise they would not have shown him get sucked into a mysterious wormhole in the final moments of the season finale.
While Kara is bruised from losing her love while everyone else has someone, those around her are keen to remind our hero that she is strong, and unique, and special. There’s still much that she is capable of doing. No one is better at reminding Kara of that than Cat Grant, whom I pray is here to stay given that all of James’ stuff has been moved out of her office.
The beginning of Season 2 of Supergirl had Kara on track to become an intrepid reporter, with Snapper Carr as her hardline mentor. As the season progressed, that focus got pushed aside in favor of Kara’s relationship with Mon-El. Maybe with Cat Grant back at the helm (please?), Kara can remained focused in Season 3.
“Nevertheless, She Persisted” has some great moments, as I said before with the fight scenes (and Cat Grant’s speeches are always the best). Probably the best moment is when Superman humbly concedes that Supergirl is the true Champion of Earth. This moment right here effortlessly demonstrates how this show depicts true male allyship. Clark isn’t begrudged or ashamed. He’s proud that his cousin can handle her own, even against him. (Because let’s face it, Clark has a tendency to step into mind-control situations a lot more than Kara.) Hoechlin as Clark/Superman continues to show us that he is worthy of those tights and that big red cape.
This season finale probably could have waited for a better episode to prove Supergirl’s ability to overcome adversity, but that doesn’t make the choice to call it “Nevertheless, She Persisted” any less appropriate. Kara has been put through more trauma than any other person in her life — I’m including Clark over the fact that he never had a life on Krypton, nor witness its destruction. She’s faced some hard trials, and she persisted.
You know what? I take that back. Choosing to name this episode “Nevertheless, She Persisted” actually fits perfectly if you consider the penultimate episode, “Resist.” In it, Cat Grant tells the citizens of National City to rise up against those who wish to do away with their freedoms. A rousing speech that strongly echoes our current Resist! movement in real life. This week’s episode, Cat tells Kara that women are stronger because we have the ability to show our vulnerabilities, express our emotions, rise above, and persist. Of course this calls back to another great movement in our recent political history.
Let’s just hope now Kara will be able to persist through a more focused season next fall.
- M’gann returns (through the power of loooooove) to Earth to help fight off some Daxamites. She even brought with her a few like-minded White Martians.
- I feel like we’ve mentioned Lois Lane enough. Time to bring her in and teach Kara a thing or two about investigative journalism. Most of all, I need to see this rivalry between Lois and Cat.
- I love that the show retconned the one huge annoyance I had about Ms. Grant: That she allowed herself to be tricked by Kara’s silly ruse to make her think she isn’t Supergirl. She totally still knows that Kara is the Girl of Steel and is merely choosing to pretend she doesn’t. I really, really hope Cat is staying.
- Alex asked Maggie to marry her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- I can’t believe Teri Hatcher got killed off before we got our mini Lois & Clark reunion with Dean Cain. A TRAVESTY!
- Speaking of travesties, James isn’t even featured fighting on the ground with everyone else. He’s actually nowhere to be found. Give Mechad Brooks some work!
- The final seconds of the season finale teases a possible new villain for Season 3. Thirty-five years ago on Krypton, a third ship escaped the planet minutes before the planet’s destruction. I’m betting the mysterious baby is Reign, a relatively new female villain that made her debut in DC Comics’ Supergirl in 2012.