It’s an all-girl team-up on Supergirl this week as Kara finds herself working with old enemies Livewire and Psi, and new ally Saturn Girl, for a mission to Fort Rozz. The episode, aptly titled “Fort Rozz,” struggles to maintain its pacing. It’s fun to see the women team up, but the episode doesn’t give time to explore the dynamics between Kara and Imra in particular. And although the episode itself is uneven and struggles in many areas, there are several strong moments that make it good.
“Fort Rozz” functions almost solely on the premise of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Without it, having Livewire and Psi join Supergirl in her fight would’ve made no sense. It still feels like Supergirl hasn’t quite built up their repertoire of characters to the point where their loss is as emotionally affecting as it should be. Livewire has been present since season one so there’s history there. However, the same can’t be said for Psi, who only made her first appearance earlier this season and with whom Supergirl doesn’t particularly bond with. Interestingly, the interactions between Livewire and Kara are good, but given that Kara and Imra have been around each other for awhile now and haven’t interacted much beyond discussing Mon-El, the episode might have been stronger had they been given a heart-to-heart. This way, the show could have risen above the strange love triangle it’s put itself in and given some time for Kara and Imra to properly bond.
What can get a bit irritating is when a show hypes up a villain of the week, in this case Jindah Kol Rozz (guest star Sarah Douglas), and said villain gets taken out almost immediately after coming face-to-face with Reign. To watch someone who seems to have had immense power, and who is the first prisoner of Fort Rozz, be defeated so quickly is underwhelming and takes away from the buildup. Reign is powerful, yes, but having her quickly defeat Jindah and then be knocked out briefly by Livewire is a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see the women taking center stage on a mission and it’s unfortunate that Livewire has to die.
While out of commission, Alex unexpectedly receives a text message from Maggie. Thankfully, Alex is getting some emotional follow-through after breaking up with her ex-fiancee and even though it’s something which seems fairly minor, Chyler Leigh really sells it. As soon as Ruby says who the text is from, you can see the conflict on Alex’s face. There’s dread, surprise and even a little bit of hope. After discovering what the text is really about (a lost passport Maggie would like mailed), there’s also a sense of disappointment that permeates Alex’s demeanor. Perhaps beyond having disappointment that the relationship is still very much over, it seems like Alex is also disappointed regarding how sad she still is about the break-up. It’s really nice that she has Ruby by her side throughout all of this and, knowing Alex’s dreams of motherhood, it’s poetic and that she connects with Ruby in this way and certainly foreshadows what may come. Of all the stories unfolding in Supergirl’s third season, it’s really Alex who’s bringing the emotional connection.
There’s also some movement on the Reign front. Her mission to Fort Rozz proves uninteresting overall. However, it’s Sam’s realization that she’s losing time and panicking over it is what proves to be compelling and gripping. The fear is written all over Sam’s face. She has several missed calls from Lena about her absence from the business trip she’s meant to take. A plane she never boards, a car she never gets into. In the span of a minute, Sam goes from living normally to realizing the horror of what missing time might mean. Odette Annable’s performance is spectacular and she’s one of the strongest actors to have ever joined the show. It’s in this instance that has me intrigued for what’s to come in Sam’s story as Reign.
We’ve become so accustomed this season to Kara questioning herself. Is she more alien or is she more human? Does she need to choose one side over the other? Does she need to set her emotions aside in order for her to do her job as Supergirl? Last week, all of these questions were more or less answered and they crop back up in a major way during “Fort Rozz.” Kara is upset when she isn’t able to tap into the little glimpse she sees of Reign’s humanity while fighting her on the prison planet and is also affected by Livewire’s death. In one of the only moments he’s ever truly been supportive, it’s Mon-El who tells Kara that she may not have gotten through to Reign, but she does get through to Livewire; Kara is able to change her heart. Stuck on Fort Rozz with no powers to speak of, it isn’t Supergirl’s strength that helps, it’s Kara’s need to help people that shines through. “You did that without the yellow sun. That was all you,” Mon-El tells her and it’s genuinely a nice moment.
Ultimately, “Fort Rozz” suffers from some pacing issues. Although the mission itself is interesting, the engagement level isn’t as high because the stakes aren’t nearly where they should be at this point. Bringing in former villains of the week to so quickly take out the first prisoner of Fort Rozz proves underwhelming even though there’s some nice exchanges between Livewire and Kara. However, it’s in certain moments that the episode prevails and Alex’s subplot, Kara’s exploration of what truly makes her a hero, and Sam’s moment of realization are really the true elements moving the emotional story forward.
- Brainiac certainly looked a bit less blue this episode. Also, he’s kind of take over Winn’s job and Winn, who’s been around since the first season, is quickly becoming the show’s least developed character.
- Fort Rozz orbits a blue star that’s poisonous to men. I laughed.
- Mon-El supposedly now knows all of Earth’s history, Aristotle and Bon Jovi songs included, but doesn’t know what Star Trek: Voyager is. Really?
- I truly felt so bad for Samantha. That last scene really cut deep.
- Ruby and Alex are the sweetest and their bonding made my heart melt.
- Sarah Douglas’ turn as Jindah was a wasted opportunity, but we at least learned that there are two more world killers: Purity and Pestilence.
- If Coville got his info from Jindah, how the hell was he able to do that when she’s on a prison planet in space?
- The use of the DEO is a complete waste for the characters. They need to be shown outside more.