Airing in the UK on Sky 1, new episodes every Monday
Writers: Caitlin Parrish and Paula Yoo
Director: Glen Winter
Essential Plot Points:
- Sam’s hidden powers have awakened, and it’s time for Reign to take charge and pass judgement on the world below.
- Kara and Co. are confused by the appearance of a mysterious alien symbol, which they later discover to be ancient Kryptonian. After a bleak prophecy from Coville, Kara learns she must defeat the ‘devil’.
- Lena and James believe that Morgan Edge is involved with what’s going on around the city, but he says he’s not, despite many hints that he is.
- Mon-el and Imra talk about their time in the 30th century, the way things have changed and the Legion of superheroes.
- Kara and Reign go head-to-head but it doesn’t end well for Kara.
This is it, the time has finally come, Reign has made her move on National City, and boy was it worth the wait. Capping off the first half of the series before the show goes on break over the holidays; “Reign” is a strong episode to end the year on even if it features a bit too many sub-plots that distract from the main story at hand. That being said, it’s definitely one of the strongest episodes of series three so far, and it showcases the best of the Girl of Steel’s tale.
Now that her power has awakened, this episode sees Sam embrace –unconsciously- her abilities and purpose the world-killer who survived the end of days on Krypton. The character development for Sam has been impeccable this season, and has meant that the writers have achieved what they’ve been unable to do previously — create a strong, well-rounded, villain for Kara to face. We’ve got to know Sam, become invested in her life and her relationship with her daughter Ruby, and while we’ve known the path she was bound for long ago it was so great to see her grow close to Kara. The beginning of the episode made that last part evident, as a Christmas party at Kara’s house saw her, Sam, and Lena get a bit teary-eyed over the strong relationship they’ve developed together in the past few months. We’re not going to lie; we got a bit emotional too.
Reign’s slow reveal was a good way to build momentum during the episode, and left many of the character’s wondering what on earth was happening to them. The return of Coville with his prophecy of doom and gloom that only Kara can stop also worked well. But, it was the much-anticipated fight between Kara and Reign that really made the episode shine this week. While Sam has a strong presence as herself on the show, as Reign she exudes power and wrath which created an unrelenting tension during her scenes with Kara. There felt like there was a real sense of danger for Kara, and the fight gave both super-powered beings the chance to show their strengths without making it clear who was going to win until the last few seconds.
The fight was intense and really helped round off the first half of the season with a bang. That being said, the episode wasn’t completely perfect, mainly because of the many subplots that were used to fluff-up the narrative until it was time for the big fight. In particular the many Christmas references, office work parties, and romantic sub-plot between Lena and James. One thing that did work, even though it slowed down the momentum of the episode, was the introduction of Mon-el’s life in the 30th century and the Legion of Superheroes inspired, in this version of events, by Kara. It was good to get a bit more back story on where he’s been and what he’s experienced in the future. It was probably introduced here to help set-up the rest of the series, but it felt a bit out of place when compared to the big threat of Reign’s world-domination.
All in all, though, this was a strong episode to end the first half of the series on. Sam/Reign was a definite highlight, particularly because of the menacing presence she had throughout the narrative. Her battle against Kara worked really well, and made sure that the Girl of Steel had to face some real danger for once, enhancing the impact of Reign’s character to the series. Some filler sub-plots did slow down the story before the main event, but it didn’t detract from this impressive outing.
- Everything about Reign.
- This is, in general, a strong episode to end the series on.
- The sub-plots detracted from the main plot and slowed things down when it wasn’t necessary.
And the Random:
- In the comics Reign is one of five genetically engineered “Worldkillers”, and she’s the first one to reveal the fate of Kara’s homeworld to her.