“Supergirl” Episode Review – S05E13 “It’s a Super Life”

Superman Homepage writer Michael Bailey reviews episodes from the “Supergirl” TV series, airing on The CW.

Check out his review of the 13th episode of Season 5 in which Mxyzptlk (guest star Thomas Lennon) returns with a proposition for Kara (Melissa Benoist) – what if she could go back in time and tell Lena (Katie McGrath) her secret before Lex did, would things turn out different? Looking back over key moments throughout the series, Kara must decide if she wants to change history to become friends with Lena again. Familiar faces return in this special episode.

It's a Super Life'Originally Aired: February 23, 2020
WRITTEN BY: Derek Simon and Nicki Holcomb

Melissa Benoist (Kara/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Jesse Rath (Brainiac 5)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Nicole Maines (Nia Nal/Dreamer)

Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott)
Chris Wood (Mon-El)
Thomas Lennon (Mxyzptlk)
Odette Annable (Samantha Arias/Reign)
Sam Witwer (Ben Lockwood/Agent Liberty)
Betty Buckley (Patricia Arias)
Robert Baker (Otis Graves)
Chad Lowe (Thomas Coville)

4Rating – 4 (out of 5): The main reason this episode gets a four instead of a five was the wig Melissa Benoist wore in the flashbacks. I realize it’s a silly thing to get hung up on, but it looked really obvious to me. In places it was distracting.

Other than that, this was a great episode and fine way to celebrate one hundred episodes. It’s nice to be writing about the centennial episode because, after season one, there seemed to be some concern over the series surviving. There have been some bumps in the road, but this show has been something special and is, more often than not, a lot of fun to watch.

The story in this week’s episode not only provided a neat way to celebrate one hundred episodes, it also served to solve a serious problem I’ve had with the fallout from Lena learning that Kara is Supergirl. I felt that Kara was blaming herself a little too much and that Lena wasn’t taking responsibility for the sneaky and sometimes deadly things she’s done. By having Kara go through the various scenarios with Mxy, she came to terms with what she did and why she did it. I appreciated that. It’s not like Kara was trying to duck her culpability in lying to Lena, but the scene where Mon-El tells her that she didn’t lie to hurt Lena, but protect her led me to shout, “Thank you!” at the television. The ending, where Kara tells Lena that she accepts responsibility for what she did but now the ball is in Lena’s court, was just what I wanted as a resolution.

Mxy was a lot of fun in this episode. The writing for him was strong and the performance rose to the occasion. It’s funny to see a contrite Mxyzptlk and he seemed to be legitimately trying to atone for his previous appearance. I liked that they poked fun at the season 2 episode he first appeared in but didn’t go overboard with the snark. The different gags the writers gave him landed every time and I liked the chemistry between Melissa and Lennon.

The different scenarios played out nicely and ultimately served to show why Kara telling Lena when she did was the best possible outcome. The device of Kara and Mxy watching the scenarios on television was clever and the fact that they name checked Betamax as a format was shocking. Seeing the characters from previous seasons return was yet another good move for an anniversary episode. Sam Witwer, in particular, seemed to be having a ball hamming it up for the return of Ben Lockwood and it was a legit surprise to see Chad Lowe’s character return.

All in all, this was a very enjoyable episode with a very questionable wig. I am so happy that Supergirl made it to its 100th episode and it makes me even happier that the show is going to a sixth season. It hasn’t always been a smooth ride, but this show has given us an inspirational version of Supergirl that unlike most of her comic book incarnations in the 21st Century that seem to exist mainly to be angry (outside of the wonderful Sterling Gates/Jamal Igle run) this Kara has been a symbol of hope and love, even when she has fought against her doubts and setbacks. The supporting cast continues to be great and I am just so happy that this show exists.

Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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February 25, 2020 12:25 am

Outside of the Crisis crossover, this was the best episode of the season so far.

And you left David Harewood out of the regular cast listing.

February 25, 2020 11:50 am

I have to ask, but does anyone know a good reason as to why the wig would even be a thing? Why couldn’t Benoist or the make-up artists just put her real hair the way it used to be? Why a wig in the first place?

February 25, 2020 12:30 pm

One of the better episodes. There was even some actual Supergirl feats but I wasn’t sure if they were past footage from previous seasons. What made this good was the story itself. The show for some time has been very slim on the action end of things. I don’t expect that to change as we move forward.

February 25, 2020 3:44 pm

Her old costume and hairstyle were much better but yeah CW doesn’t have a good track record with wigs. See Oliver Queen flashbacks.

Glad to see the writers finally get her past this guilt over Lena thing. For awhile I was beginning to think they were drinking the Bendis Kool-Aid on secret identities.

February 25, 2020 8:55 pm
Reply to  MattComics

Yeah, I’m glad Kara is now moving forward and coming to terms with the realization that her friendship with Lena is over. Kara doesn’t need someone pretending to be her friend when she has real friends.

Steve Eden
February 25, 2020 6:37 pm

Yep, it’s agood thing it’s been renewed for another go. Now if only DC would reverse it’s decision to end the comic.

February 28, 2020 9:18 am

Supergirl episode 100 It’s a Super Life was amazing so many cool moments and a nice tribute to this amazing series !!!