Supergirl Series Finale Review: “The Last Gauntlet” and “Kara”
This is a spoiler-free review of the two-part series finale, titled “The Last Gauntlet” and “Kara,” which aired on The CW on Nov. 9.
We live in a world where content is constantly flying at us from all directions. It’s a smorgasbord for anyone craving the next binge or counting down the moments until the next superhero epic. The bounties are endless, but with films and shows and shorts and everything else coming our way, it can sometimes be hard to find the art that’s really great. Rarer still is the art that is special.
Supergirl was, is, and always will be just that. Special. Kind, warm, complicated, messy, silly, bright, hopeful. Thankfully, the series finale was no different.
“Of course it was,” you may think. But that’s so rarely the case with series finales, especially with shows that have lasted more than a couple of seasons. Sticking the landing is tough, especially when you’re running around in a super suit. The endless passion and expectations of fans who have spent years with your hero are tough to meet, but the two-part series finale rose to the challenge.
If there’s any real complaint about the end of the series, it’s that the action is very contained to part one, and that the ultimate climax of the primary conflict is more of a whisper than a bang. This is a superhero show where action plays a key role, but I’d argue that every decision made so far as the battles are concerned feels earned. Kara Danvers’ (Melissa Benoist) and the rest of the Super Friends’ ending isn’t meant to be one last “fight the dragon” moment. It’s meant to close the story in a way that keeps the soul of the House of El driving on in its viewers. Supergirl has never been a series about power. It’s about hope, so it’s fitting that the finale wraps up in a way that wants to ensure that said hope will live on now that we’ll be without our annual dose of Super Friends.
Season 6 has spent a lot of time acknowledging Supergirl’s “savior” issues. She’s a superhero, it’s what she does, but the series has specifically stumbled with Kara’s privilege in the past, sometimes acknowledging it and then promptly moving on. The smartest thing this last season did was consciously choose to face that head on through Azie Tesfai’s incredible (and regrettably short) run as Guardian. This last chapter really made a point to dig in its heels and not only confront the issue, but to illustrate a way forward while constantly reiterating that the work is never done.
The groundwork from “Blind Spots” — also written by Tesfai, a groundbreaking moment for the Arrowverse — set the course for several strong follow ups, all culminating in the scenes and character decisions of the series finale. Kelly and Alex’s (Chyler Leigh) wedding has been well highlighted through all of the promos, so it doesn’t feel too spoilery to reveal that their couch moment from Tesfai’s episode will play a key role in their vows. We’ll see key players from Kelly’s “day job” come into sharp focus in the finale as well.
In fact, a lot of old favorites come to play in this final episode. We’ve seen the gang back together in some of the previews, but those who worry about promotional videos showing too much footage shouldn’t fret. There’s still plenty of surprises in store, so much so that the series finale will undoubtedly be labeled with the much maligned “fanservice” moniker. But what in the world is a series finale for if not lacing in big moments that will resonate with longtime fans?
Supergirl Series Finale Gallery
Seeing Supergirl come to a close is hard, but “Kara” delivers on the type of finale that isn’t what you’d expect but is everything that you needed from the show. Supergirl gets her patented speech moment, but it’s so early on in the story that you’re not left with any kind of “that’s it?” kind of emotions. The finale is both a farewell and an onward call for all of our Super Friends in National City and the viewers alike. It knows that goodbyes are difficult, but it’s happy to leave you with one last call to action. It wants you to remember to hope, and to reiterate that we are all heroes so long as we choose to do right whether someone’s looking or not.
We’ll miss you, Supergirl. Tonight it’s potstickers in your honor.