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Recap / Supergirl (2015) S3E9 "Reign"

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Kara and the DEO begin to uncover symbols of a dark secret, as Sam is taken over by her urges as the Worldkiller known as Reign.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Amicable Exes: Mon-El wants to be this with Kara, and Kara tries, but she just can't.
    Kara: (to Mon-El) This is worse than the worst thing I could possibly imagine. That's you looking at me with no love in your eyes. So please just... Please... (walks away in tears)
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  • Antagonist Title: After Reign, the Worldkiller.
  • Asshole Victim: Reign targets those she believes need to be brought to justice, and does so lethally. She kills a street gang and come on, who wasn't rooting for Reign when she went after Edge?
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Rather dark example, as it ends with the heroine hospitalized.
  • Badass Boast: "You [Kara] are no God, and I [Reign] am no Devil. I am truth, and judgment, and death, and I will Reign!"
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Kara is left bloody and bruised after Reign is through with her.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Thomas Coville returns to warn Kara of Reign.
    • Also Lena, who hasn't been seen for 4 episodes.
  • Call-Back: Kara mentions beating up Superman during the previous season finale.
  • Christmas Episode: Reign nearly beats Kara to death on Christmas Eve.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Alex and the doctors at the DEO attending to an injured Kara, as Mon-El, Winn, J'onn, and Imra helplessly watch as Kara's vitals go critical. The next day, Ruby cheerfully goes downstairs on Christmas morning, only to encounter what is heavily implied to be Sam succumbing to Reign and possibly attacking her. Keep in mind that this is the mid-season finale, so audiences will be left wondering what happened until over a month later.
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  • The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: In-Universe, this is the case with Coville's proclamations regarding the Worldkiller, Reign. We as an audience know he's right due to what happened in "Wake Up."
  • Crazy-Prepared: Edge has a lead-lined panic room to hide from Kryptonians, just in case.
  • Darker and Edgier: Probably the darkest episode yet, alongside "Alex".
  • Downer Ending: Kara is absolutely clobbered by Reign and it ends with Ruby's Christmas to be implied to quickly become a living nightmare.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Edge is probably full of it, but he seems to at least like some aspects of Christmas.
  • Everyone Can See It: Kara, Samantha and even Morgan Edge comment on how obvious the mutual romantic affection between Lena and James is.
  • False Flag Operation: Edge's mercenary uses his laser gun to burn the Kryptonian skull onto a building before attacking Lena, making it look as if the graffiti artist is responsible.
  • Fangirl:
    • Imra is a huge fan of Supergirl, having been inspired by Kara's example to become a superhero herself.
    • The same goes for Ruby, whom Alex successfully distracts by letting her ask questions about Supergirl so her mother can take a much-needed break.
  • First Blood: Reign actually makes Kara bleed during their fight. When it happens, Kara touches the wound in disbelief.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Several characters appear to totally forget they have powers at all in this episode. While Kara is on the receiving end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Reign, none of the other superpowered aliens even think about helping her. Possibly justified for Mon-El and Imra, who would be hugely outmatched, but especially egregious in the case of J'onn, who has been shown to be both on the same level of power and willing to fight.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Kara's trying to be okay with Mon-El and Imra's marriage, but she's not doing well at it. Not at all.
  • Hope Crusher: After seeing Supergirl beaten and bloodied on the ground, everybody looks absolutely shell-shocked.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Kara and Reign spend the first half of their fight slugging each other in the face or tackling each other into things, with neither having a clear advantage.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Imra trying to be nice to Kara only makes things worse for her, not to speak of all the bill and coo with Mon-El in front of her.
  • Irony: Reign says there's no Devil. Since this show is part of the same multiverse as Constantine, we know that's wrong.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: Edge doesn't hesitate to use the rash of graffiti to disguise an assassination attempt on Lena. Likewise, when Reign comes after him, he holds a press conference to imply Supergirl is responsible. He probably knew she wasn't, but he kept it vague enough to avoid slander accusations.
  • Mook Horror Show: The street gang being killed is shot mostly from their perspective.
  • Mythology Gag: Kara being the Legion's inspiration in accordance with Pre-Crisis comic canon where Supergirl and Superboy were their role models.
  • Neck Lift: At the end of their battle Reign neck-lifts Supergirl before dropping her off a building.
  • Nice Girl: Imra is just so sweet and kind that even Kara can't bring herself to dislike her, which somehow makes their situation concerning Mon-El worse.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Reign earning First Blood on Kara marks a turning point in the fight, with Kara getting progressively more pummeled and injured from then on. She ends up so badly beaten that she has to be hospitalized.
  • No Sympathy: No one at CatCo or the DEO feels sorry for Edge after he is attacked by Reign.
  • Not Me This Time: Lena suspects Edge is behind the Kryptonian graffiti, but he insists one of his schemes would be more direct. He then proves it by hiring a mercenary with a laser gun to assassinate her while framing the graffiti artist for it.
  • Not So Above It All: J'onn reveals that he loves Star Wars, especially Empire.
  • Oh, Crap!: Morgan Edge's smug attitude instantly vanishes when he sees Reign's heat vision in his office.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: Mon-El and Imra's ship got sucked into yet another wormhole during a fight with an unknown baddie, which is how they ended up in the distant past, forcing the crew to go into stasis, hoping to take The Slow Path back to the 31st century.
  • Properly Paranoid: James brings along his retractable shield when he and Lena visit a contact about Edge's finances. It turns out to be a trap, and the shield saves their lives.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Kara and Mon-El attempt to salvage a friendship between the two of them, but given that Kara is still in love with him while he's moved on with a kind, intelligent, and beautiful wife, Kara just can't.
    • Reign hits Kara in the head hard enough to draw blood without exploiting a Kryptonite Factor to weaken her. Kara is clearly disorientated and a shot of her vision briefly blurring implies she has a concussion. This gives Reign a huge advantage in their fight from that point on. A hard blow to the head and concussion is a debilitating injury to sustain in the middle of a fight, even if it takes considerably more impact to do to Kara than a normal person.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Lena makes her move on James, and he seemingly reciprocates.
  • Shipper on Deck: Both Kara and Sam are all for Lena and James hooking up.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Winn brings up the Star Wars Holiday Special after it turns out there's a Martian holiday called Life Day.
    • The blue drug, which has a cut very similar to meth, is a reference to Heisenberg's Blue from Breaking Bad.
  • Smash the Symbol: One of Reign's final attacks is to blast Supergirl's 'S' symbol with her heat vision, leaving it melted and barely recognizable.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Early in Kara and Reign's fight, they crash into an office Christmas party where "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is playing, and the song keeps going while they duke it out, perfectly summarizing An Ass-Kicking Christmas.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Poor Samantha is obviously totally unaware of what Reign is doing.
  • Super Team: Mon-El and Imra explain that, in the 31st century, Mon-El has put together a team called the Legion, inspired by Kara's example.
  • Trapped in the Past: Mon-El and his crew came to the past by mistake and tried to wait it out in stasis until they could return to their own time. Now that the ship is damaged, they're stuck until they can get all the pods working again.
  • Unperson: Krypton underwent a reformation in which they moved from worshiping a number of gods to just one: the sun god, Rao. In the process, they destroyed almost every trace of the past traditions they once lived by, denouncing them as superstition. This was so effective that Krypton's libraries have virtually no information on that subject. Kara only learns of it from Thomas Coville, who met a Kryptonian priestess with knowledge of that time.
  • Wham Episode: Kara has finally met her match as Reign beats Kara within an inch of her life, to the point that she actually bleeds.
  • Wham Shot: Reign hits Kara so hard she draws blood. You read that correctly: The Girl of Steel bleeds, even with solar radiation in her cells.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Downplayed. Kara is able to fight Reign fairly evenly...until she gets hit very hard in the head, enough to draw blood. She's clearly disorientated, and the shot of her vision blurring implies she received a concussion. This is also the point when Reign begins overwhelming and badly beating her.
  • Zorro Mark: Reign burns her symbol everywhere in the city with heat vision. Kara eventually burns her own symbol onto CatCo's roof to challenge her to a fight.


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