The Supergirl winter finale, “Reign,” raised the stakes considerably for the season and the series. The proper debut of Reign and her subsequent defeat of Kara was an incredibly effective way to launch the second half of the dark season 3.

In the winter premiere, titled “Legion of Superheroes,” Supergirl attempts to deal with the fallout of those events. While it’s not nearly as strong as “Reign.” it does manage to keep the strong momentum on pace as Supergirl begins its brief episode run in 2018 before another hiatus.

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Rest and Recuperation

It’s been an unspecified amount of time since Kara and Reign’s big brawl, and the Girl of Steel is still out for the count. Though it would be more effective for Supergirl to just leave its leading lady out, to make her injuries more effective, Melissa Benoist is all over the episode. This is because another member of the Legion has been awaken, Brainiac 5. Using his power of combining organic matter and AI, he’s able to talk to Kara (in her mind) as she’s in her coma. 

The mid-mind conversations are more than a great delivery vehicle for Brainiac 5, a character who’s so entertaining that he overcomes his cheap make-up and terrible wig. It’s just more harping on season 3’s theme of Kara trying to find her way as a hero and person. It doesn’t add much new to the struggle, but Benoist is strong enough portraying Kara’s emotional turmoil that it feels fresh. 

The Legion’s Mission Revealed — Maybe

Outside of Kara’s mind, Reign has delivered her evil mission statement to the world. She’s here to clean the Earth of its sinners. The problem is that her definition of “clean up” and “sinners” is far more aggressive than the DEO would like to hear. It’s especially worrying when Mon-El and the Legion inform everyone that at some point soon the Earth is set to suffer some catastrophic event. Supergirl will survive, but life as it exists will end. 

This revelation starts a lot of Mon-El scowling and being emotionally conflicted. He wants to help Kara’s friends to attack Reign, but his team is on a mission to save some planet in the future. This mission sounds super fake, and it wouldn’t be shocking if Mon-El’s real mission is revealed later. It’s all really just stalling for time to pad out the episode anyway. 

Saturn Girl finally shows some personality and convinces Mon-El that they need to help. They’ve sworn to help people in need, and right now these people are in need. It’s not enough to make the Kara/Mon-El/Imra love triangle feel more aggravating. Thankfully, it’s a step in the right direction.

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J’onn Gets in on Girl Talk

Meanwhile, Lena is freaking out about her kiss with James. Yup, her story is just that disposable. While the kiss is something that Supergirl obviously needed to address, “Legion of Superheroes” spends way too much time on it. It’s especially frustrating because with Kara in her coma, Lena can’t interact with her best friend. This wouldn’t be a problem if Supergirl just let Lena know Kara’s secret, but whatever. That’s clearly not going to happen until it becomes an enormous (and stupid) deal. 

Kara still keeping her secret does require J’onn to impersonate Kara and talk to Lena. It’s the one real moment of levity of the episode, but it’s a great one. Supergirl needs more J’onn overall, but Melissa Benoist playing J’onn playing Kara is inspired. When the conversation turns to Lena fretting over her kiss with James, and J’onn inadvertently giving good advice, it’s total comedy gold.

With Super Friends Like These…

However, “Legion of Superheroes” isn’t about all that romantic angst. It’s about the eponymous superhero group, who teams up with J’onn, armed with a plan from Alex to take Reign down. They will inject Kryptonite directly into the baddie’s bloodstream. This will, hopefully, take her down once and for all. 

The money that Supergirl clearly skipped out on with Brainiac 5’s design goes into this battle between Reign and the Legion. It’s the exact right mix of cheesy popcorn fun and dramatic tension. Reign continues to be the best villain Supergirl has ever seen and is on track to be one of the best from the Arrowverse. Yet as impressive as the Legion is, it’s not enough to take down Reign on its own. Kara finally wakes up from her coma and has just enough power to swoop in and inject Reign with the Kryptonite.

Reign flies off, beaten, but far from defeated. Sam’s alter ego ends up at her creepy Fortress of Sanctuary. Reign’s upset at discovering the Legion, but her hologram mentor informs Reign that there are others like her out there; Reign just has to find them. Entering from the shadows — and right on cue — is Thomas Coville. Coville promises to be the DEO equivalent of Reign’s new evil super team, as they will be “stronger together.” While Reign definitely doesn’t need groupies, this evil super team is a pretty exciting direction to take, especially if Reign’s supporting cast end up being just as creepy as Coville. 

What did you make of the winter premiere? Are you still interested in the Reign storyline? Who do you think will join her evil super group? What did you make of Brainiac 5’s debut? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Supergirl season 3 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supergirl Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.