“Supergirl” Episode Review – S06E13 “The Gauntlet”

The Gauntlet

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 6 in which Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and team race Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) for control of a magical totem that controls courage. Supergirl and Nyxly battle and each get a piece of the totem but learn the first person to pass the test of courage will gain control of the entire thing. Meanwhile, Lena (Katie McGrath) is still struggling to make sense of her newfound gift.

Originally Aired: September 28, 2021
WRITTEN BY: Jay Faeber and Brooke Pohl
DIRECTED BY: Tawnia McKiernan

Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Jesse Rath (Brainiac 5)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Nicole Maines (Nia Nal/Dreamer)
David Harewood (J’onn J’onnz)
Azie Tesfai (Kelly Olsen/Guardian)

Julie Gonzalo (Andrea Rojas)
Peta Sergeant (Nxylgsptinz)
Matt Baram (Mitch)
Rosemary Hochschild (Vita)

3Rating – 3 (out of 5): This episode was a step down in terms of quality compared to the run of episodes we’ve been getting since the show returned. I don’t know if this is because the story itself is kind of shaky, so the more we see of it the more that shakiness becomes apparent or if it’s that the silliness of some of the scenes brought down a good examination of how people react to trauma.

It’s a toss-up at this point.

There were some good moments. David Harewood looked like he was having a ball being the kinder, more expansively positive J’onn and it made me chuckle. Watching William Day go through his trauma was also well done, though they could have done a little more with it. I get that William is a side character that isn’t, at the moment, planning to suit up and fight crime but I feel they could have done more with William and less with Brainy getting possessed by a Kryptonian witch. I also liked the exploration of Nxly’s backstory and watching her deal with the fact that it wasn’t just her father that betrayed her. These were all well written and well-acted moments in the episode.

The problem is that the rest of the episode was overly silly. Jesse Rath is a gifted actor and, similar to Harewood he looked like he was having fun playing Brainy getting possessed by Vita, but it didn’t work for me. It walked up to the line of silly and vaulted over it. I get that a brief bit of humor can lighten up an otherwise serious storyline, but this was not fun silly. It was cringe worthy silly and didn’t serve the story or the episode in any way. I like that Lena is back with the main cast, but the “she’s coming to terms with the fact that her mother was a witch” plotline has the potential to be one of those moments in a television series where a character is saddled with an ill-conceived story arc that turns into a punchline for fans and ends up being that one thing that no one on the show ever talks about again. The problem is that this is the last season, so the Lena is a witch idea is how they’re choosing to close out this character. It’s going to be the last thing viewers are left with and that’s unfortunate.

The “lets find all the parts of the MASS device” plot structure is also a weak way to close out the series. Again, if this was just another season I might respond to it better, but it’s not and the ending to this story is going to have to be amazing for the show to go out on a high note.

But at least they paid lip service to Kelly’s character growth from the last episode. I honestly wasn’t expecting that. It wasn’t much but at least there was some commentary on it.

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

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October 1, 2021 11:42 am

Spoiler Alert! Don’t read my comments unless you have already seen the latest episode of Supergirl. Spoiler Alert! Don’t read my comments unless you have already seen the latest episode of Supergirl. Spoil Alert! Don’t read my comments unless you have already seen the latest episode of Supergirl. Ok, this episode was better than last week’s however there were things that about it that I wasn’t to fond of. On the plus side, there was more of a focus on Supergirl in this episode. We saw her try to relive the events that made her decide to become Supergirl over… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Superman2878
October 1, 2021 12:24 pm
Reply to  Superman2878

In my opinion, they should have had at the very least an advisory warning saying” Advisory warning. The topics and material in tonight’s episode might be offensive for some viewers with religious beliefs.” Or something like that.

Last edited 2 years ago by Superman2878
October 3, 2021 12:43 pm

“She’s a Kryptonian witch”!!!! This series has officially gone off the deep end.

October 3, 2021 6:37 pm
Reply to  redcape

Unfortunately, yeah I think you’re right about that. I still enjoy watching Melissa as Supergirl though. So at least there’s a plus there for me. There’s still time for a recovery for the remaining episodes between now and the final episode. So maybe it will get a bit better. Of coarse most likely at this point there’s little chance of that happening, but who knows? Maybe they’ll surprise me.