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‘Supergirl’ flies into the sunset with a showdown, wedding and funeral in its series finale

<i>Colin Bentley/THE CW</i><br/>Chris Wood as Mon-El and Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in the 'Supergirl' series finale.
Colin Bentley/THE CW
Colin Bentley/THE CW
Chris Wood as Mon-El and Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in the 'Supergirl' series finale.

Review by Brian Lowry, CNN

First, a confession: Unlike many fans who have surely stayed loyal through thick and thin, “Supergirl” long ago lost this humble critic, who continued watching out of a sense of curiosity and obligation through a convoluted sixth and final season.

This comes from someone who liked the show when it first premiered on CBS, tethered to the all the baggage of the Superman mythology. As the series moved to CW and kept piling on characters, the whole “Superfriends” concept took over, becoming more of an ensemble show and spandex-clad soap opera than one centered on Supergirl/Kara Danvers, played by Melissa Benoist, whose pregnancy also impacted scheduling of the final season.

With that disclaimer, the two-hour series finale that aired Nov. 9 certainly threw everything including the kitchen sink at the show in terms of satisfying its fans. The list of moments spread across the two episodes included the return of original cast members, a wedding, a funeral, a musical duet, a pretty massive (if chaotic) superhero fight, and finally a so-much-for-secret-identities “I am Iron Man” disclosure.

The main plot throughout the season has involved the protracted battle with the fifth-dimensional Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) and Lex Luther (Jon Cryer), who took the rather tired step of kidnapping a child in order to make the Superfriends really, really mad.

The villains were defeated, somewhat anticlimactically, early in the final hour, allowing time to present the long-awaited marriage of Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly (Azie Tesfai), a sweet scene between Kara and Lena (Katie McGrath), and finally Kara’s coaxed realization that she was denying her “full self” by living a “bifurcated” existence.

Getting to that point, however, also required Supergirl to let go of her impulse to always be the world’s savior, after a “Be all that you can be” sequence in which she told the world, “We need to actively empower every single person to be the hero of their own life.”

In some respects, “Supergirl” has suffered from the proliferation of the CW’s DC dramas in general, whose multiple-Earth, interlocking storylines have catered to a very specific audience willing to hang on each ripple through what’s known as the Arrowverse. (“Superman & Lois” has been a happy exception thus far, carving out its own identity in the married-with-children phase of the Man of Steel’s mythology.)

Yet the finale of “Supergirl” also exhibited tics that represent a particular excess of this series, with the heavy-handed delivery of its “Become your own hero” message and the dragged-out showdown with Nyxly and Lex, which included Supergirl draining the sun’s power to super-charge herself in order to combat them.

All told, “Supergirl” had a good run built around Benoist’s portrayal of a superhero who could be both strong and vulnerable. But if the last two hours went the extra mile in trying to get fans to shed a few tears, they also reinforced why the series had reached the point where it was clearly time to fly off into the sunset.

“Supergirl” is produced by Warner Bros. Television, which, like CNN, is a unit of WarnerMedia.

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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