“Supergirl” Episode Review – Series Finale “The Last Gauntlet” and “Kara”


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

Check out his review of the double episode series finale in which Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and the super friends take drastic action after a loved one is kidnapped by Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) and Lex (guest star Jon Cryer). An unlikely ally steps in to help the team. In the epic series finale, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) is joined by familiar faces from the past to help her stop Lex (guest star Jon Cryer) and Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) for good. Meanwhile, Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly (Azie Tesfai) prepare to walk down the aisle. Mehcad Brooks, Jeremy Jordan and Chris Wood return for the series finale.

Originally Aired: November 2, 2021
WRITTEN BY: Emilio Ortega Aldrich & Elle Lipson
DIRECTED BY: David McWhirter

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)
Staz Nair (William Day)

Julie Gonzalo (Andrea Rojas)
Peta Sergeant (Nxylgsptinz)
Jon Cryer (Lex Luthor)
Mila Jones (Esme)
Jeremy Jordan (Winn Schott)
Mehcad Brooks (James “Grown Man” Olsen)
Brenda Strong (Lilian Luthor)
Chris Wood (Mon-El)
Helen Slater (Eliza Danvers)
Calista Flockhart (Cat Grant)
Jhaleil Swaby (Orlando Davis)
Crystal Balint (Secretary Brown)
Keith Dallas (Al)

5Rating – 5 (out of 5): I’m not going to lie to you. Watching these episodes was emotional for me. When the first show premiered back in 2015 my excitement was fighting with the overall depression that came from being unemployed. I watched the pilot the night before my last day at work and while I was relatively okay financially the quick but slow death of the store I worked for was hard on me. Supergirl was something to look forward to and that feeling kept me going even during the show’s bad times because it meant something to me.

So, it was hard looking at this objectively.

Which is why I ultimately chose not to look at it objectively.

For the most part. There were definitely moments, even during the finale, where I went, “Ooh, that didn’t work for me,” but for the most part, especially in the last episode, I just sat back and enjoyed myself. Series finales are not normal episodes. If the show is lucky, they are used to wrap up most, if not all, of the character’s story arcs while also taking a victory lap on the series as a whole. It also gives the fans of the show one last dance and, again, if we’re lucky, a chance to say goodbye to characters we love.

On both of those levels, I think the show nailed its finale.

“The Last Gauntlet” was more of a standard episode and did a great job of setting the overall story of Season Six up for its conclusion. The action was well done, especially the fight near the bridge, and all of the players were put into place for the end game. My only real issue with the episode was Kara attempting to mainline the sun to enhance her powers for the supposed final battle. It was one of those moments that was very dramatic, but not if you think about it too much. Ultimately, her and Brainy and J’onn trying to do what they did had no impact on the fight that followed. All it did was eat up some screen time before the big fight happened.

I don’t know if it was a true “idiot ball” moment, but it was close.

The finale was everything the final show of this series needed to be. The resolution to the Nxly/Lex plot was quick, but frankly they didn’t need to spend the entire episode dealing with that. Bringing back some of the villains was nice and bringing back James and Winn and Mon-El was almost a requirement. Especially James given that his sister was getting married. The gag with Eliza saying that she could have been a Kryptonian in another life was funny. A bit over the top, but funny.

(This is the part where I do not mention, in a serious way, that technically Helen Slater played a Kryptonian on television on SMALLVILLE but getting lost in that sort of pedantry does me or this review or this site or anyone any good.)

The wedding was emotional and had some genuinely touching moments. Seeing Jeremy and Melissa sing was a nice touch, and it was good to see Kara sing at a wedding where super-villains from an alternate Earth invade before the vows could be taken. Watching the various characters have their final moments and take their bows, so to speak, was great. Especially Kara, James, and Winn having their conversation.

But the show is called SUPERGIRL and while the spotlight was shared the final moments were all about Kara. It was cool to see the DEO get reformed and William have a legacy, but Kara struggling with what she needs to do with her life was the part of the episode I responded to most and I absolutely loved that it was Cat Grant who helped her come to a decision. It was great seeing Cat in general but having her be such a huge part of Kara deciding to reveal her identity to the world felt right and kept Cat’s scenes from becoming a perfunctory cameo.

As someone who was against Clark revealing his identity in the comics, I was surprised at how much I agreed with Kara revealing hers. After mulling it over it came down to the fact that while Kara had to hide her abilities for 12 years after coming to Earth, her life was different from Clark’s, and I think that was the big struggle for this version of the character. Clark was raised by the Kents from either a young age or infancy depending on the version of the story. His identity as Clark was more ingrained. Clark had deep friendships with regular people and, again, depending on the version of the story a wife and kids in the form of Lois and the boy or boys. Even if you buy into the whole, “Superman is the real guy and Clark is the disguise” version of Superman, he needs a place to go to relax and to do the sort of good as a reporter he can’t do as Superman.

Kara has none of those issues. She was 12 when she got here and over the course of the series most of her friends were also either super-heroes, agents as a government agency, or both. She was never really comfortable having a nine to five job. To be fair, the show did a terrible job of developing her as a reporter but given how the series evolved Kara was always more comfortable as Supergirl. Now that her mission has changed, being completely open about who she is makes the most sense.

In a way, this show came to a similar conclusion that Alex Ross and Mark Waid came to in the pages of KINGDOM COME. The idea of working with people instead of above them was central to the conclusion of that story and given how the show had played with what role do the Super Friends play on the global stage it made sense to go in that direction.

This was a great finale. All of the characters were put in a better place, Kara got to resolve all of the issues she’s been dealing with since the pilot, and the door is open for any of them to return.

I liked it. I also think the show is exiting at the right time. The older I get the more I think that shows like this have a limited shelf life and going out on a high note is better than going on and on until the people behind the camera run out of ideas. SMALLVILLE was an aberration, and I would almost argue that it was three different shows over the course of its ten seasons. Six seasons is a respectable run.

So, goodbye, SUPERGIRL. There were some good times and some bad times. You broke ground in terms of talking about real issues, even if it felt heavy handed at times. You also gave us the first transgender super-hero, which was huge. Most importantly, to me at least, you gave me the super vibe I needed at a time I really needed it and I’ll always be thankful for that.

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

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November 13, 2021 8:17 pm

Amazing how much I could relate to your review. 6 years ago, I was massively struggling with a lot of mental health issues. Supergirl, for whatever reason, was the one show that I genuinely looked forward to. Maybe it was the fact that it always focused on “hope.” Whatever it was, hit definitely helped me through some rough times. In regards to the last two episodes, I have mixed feelings. Honestly, I thought “The Last Gauntlet” was a mess. It just seemed all over the place and I thought some of the main plot points were ludicrous (the sun, Kara… Read more »

November 13, 2021 9:12 pm

Spoiler Alert for the Final Episode of Supergirl! Please don’t read my comments if you have not seen the episode yet! Spoiler Alert for the Final Episode of Supergirl! Please don’t read my comments if you have not seen the episode yet! Spoiler Alert for the Final Episode of Supergirl! Please don’t read my comments if you have not seen the episode yet! Ok, now that I have given fair enough spoiler warning. Here I go. I really, really, really wish that I could’ve enjoyed the final episode, and it pains me to say this but I did not like… Read more »

November 16, 2021 3:28 pm

The only problem I have with the finale or question I have is how will Kara revealing her identity as Supergirl to the world affect Superman on Superman & Lois. I know because of the pandemic you couldn’t have a scene with superman in it, but at least a phone call or even a letter from the superman approving her decision to reveal her identity would have been good.

I also think in the final scene where we see Cat Grant interviewing Kara that we could have had a cut away scene of Kara flying of the city as Supergirl.