For the last five years, I’ve been able to see my favorite character soar on the small screen. Melissa Benoist has fully embodied everything I love about the character, and she will forever be the person I see when I think of Supergirl. The show has also been a professional highlight of my career, being the first big interview that I was invited to partake in. So when it was announced that the series would end with the sixth season, it was bittersweet. But I’m glad I’ve been able to enjoy the series for so long. After all, a movie trilogy provides you with about eight hours of material, whereas the six seasons of television will wind up giving me about a total of ninety hours of Supergirl. As Superman & Lois takes a short break, the final season of Supergirl starts with a “Rebirth.”
Supergirl (Season 6)
Jesse Warn (director), Robert Rovner, Jessica Queller, Jay Faerber, Jess Kardos (writers)
Melissa Benoist, Jon Cryer, David Harewood, Chyler Leigh, Nicole Maines, Jesse Rath, Azie Tesfai (cast)
March 30, 2021
Like many shows, Season 5 of Supergirl was cut short by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most shows were in the tail end of their shooting schedules when things came to a grinding halt, and Supergirl was no exception. Unlike most of her sibling shows though, Supergirl only got caught with a single episode uncompleted. That of course means that this premiere episode is mostly the repurposed unfinished Season 5 finale. What served as the ending of Season 5 was never meant to be a finale, and indeed, the character in mortal peril wasn’t our main character (as you usually see in finales), but supporting character Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath). Left for dead by Lex Luthor, he’s saved by the rest of Team Supergirl in the Season 6 premiere.
Being that this was initially meant to be last season’s finale, it should come as no surprise that this episode was full of action, and felt like a natural climax to the events that had occurred in the season before. Lex and Supergirl fight, and honestly, in the end, he comes out with what he might consider a win, taking Supergirl off the table for at least the foreseeable future.
This might seem like an odd thing for a show to do, taking its title character off the board as a season starts. But looking at everything surrounding the season, it makes sense. When production halted, Melissa Benoist was about to go on maternity leave, so it’s understandable if they were unsure when she’d be available once they started filming again. For all the shows hurt by the pandemic, Supergirl was probably the one that fared the best, as most of the halted production times coincided with Melissa’s break. (The production also did their best to work around her schedule, per Deadline.) It’s likely Supergirl will reappear much quicker in the season than one might expect. “I came back from maternity leave in January and I had some catch up to do,” Benoist alluded to Entertainment Weekly. “So, I’m not absent from the first part of the season, but I’m in a different place. Supergirl is quite isolated.”
So why is the premiere entitled “Rebirth”? Well, honestly I’m still not quite sure about that, myself. Obviously, it’s a reference to the oft used title of DC Comics, but it really doesn’t apply well to this story at all. The only thing I can think of is that the Lena and Kara friendship is in a better place than it’s been in a season, but that’s still not really enough to justify the name of the episode.
All in all, “Rebirth” is an interesting start to Supergirl’s final season, and leaves me excited to see exactly what’s in store for the next few episodes. With Supergirl off the table, I hope that gives plenty of time to focus on Dreamer (Nicole Maines) and Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), two of the strongest supporting characters in the CW DC Universe.
As for the rest of the season, without getting too spoilery for the premiere, I do have some hopes. Unlike her compatriots on Flash and Arrow, Kara’s never had a long romance, the closest being a season and a half of Mon-El way back in seasons two and three. That’s fine and she doesn’t need one (though a small part of me wishes that they’d utilized Brainiac 5 in that way for the final three seasons). I don’t want to see that shoehorned into this season’s arc either; she’s gone this long without it, and she doesn’t need it tacked on at the end. The other thing I’d really like is for the series finale to not really be an ending. I don’t want Kara to die, and I don’t want her to retire. I just want her current stories to come to a close while not taking her off the board forever. This universe is expansive, and with Superman & Lois getting renewed, it would be very nice to see Kal’s cousin pop up occasionally, just like he has in her series. Get Melissa to pop in for an episode a year or to partake in the crossovers. Don’t remove her from the universe. Same with the other characters. I’d love to see J’onn, Brainy, and especially Nia find new homes after the season ends. These characters have been developed so well that it would be a shame to lose them all. Most of all, I want happy endings. These characters deserve that.