Kara's investigation into a mysterious symbol that keeps popping-up around National City determines that it is tied into an ancient Kryptonian prophecy.regarding The World Killer called Reign. Meanwhile, as tensions flare between Morgan Edge and Lena Luthor, James Olsen finds his relationship with Lena changing as he saves her life a second time.
The Michael Green/Mike Johnson run on Supergirl (character of Reign), The Krypton Chronicles (information on Old Krypton), The Legion of Super Heroes comics of The Silver Age and The Death of Superman (the final sequence with the defeated Kara being surrounded by a crowd.)
The sequence of Reign attacking the gang members tries to evoke feelings of a horror movie. All it manages to do is look badly lit and poorly edited.
The fight scene between Supergirl and Reign in the office building near the end of the episode is not much better, being shot too close and lit entirely with strobe lights. What little we can see of the fight choreography is terrible.
The chemistry between Chris Wood and Melissa Benoist is as strong as ever.
It's a subtle touch in the script, but Alex taking care to make Ruby feel comfortable at the Christmas party is a nice nod to her recent maternal desires.
The final scene, with the crowd coming around a fallen Supergirl, is the one bit of melodrama in the whole episode that honestly works.
Imra says that Supergirl's example helped to inspire The Legion of the 31st Century. In the original comics, the teenagers who built The Legion of Super-Heroes were inspired by Superman's tenure as Superboy. They first appeared in Adventure Comics #247 (April 1958), when Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl traveled back in time to test Superboy's worthiness to join The Legion. Their tests, which Superboy failed, turned out to be a hazing ritual of sorts and The Legion had already voted to allow Superboy membership on their team.
In the comics, Supergirl was later given membership in The Legion of Super-Heroes as well and spent some time living in the 31st Century while serving as part of the team.
Imra makes reference to "a darkness" spreading that threatens earth in the 31st Century. This is likely a reference to The Great Darkness Saga - a Legion of Super Heroes storyline widely considered to be the best Legion story of all time.
M'yrnn J'onzz compares Christmas to a Martian festival called Life Day. This leads Winn to assume he is talking about The Star Wars Holiday Special, which focused upon a similar holiday called Life Day which is celebrated by Wookies.
J'onn takes offense to the idea that he would not have seen Star Wars. Various comics in the past have hinted at J'onn being something of a film buff, having used movies and television to learn about Earth customs shortly upon his arrival on Earth. Perhaps the most famous example of this occurred in DC: The New Frontier.
Mention is made of the Krypton continent of Urrika, where life on Krypton supposedly began. Urrika was first mentioned in The Krypton Chronicles #1 (September 1981) - a mini-series which detailed the early history of Krypton.
The Juru are identified as the first people born on Krypton. In the original comics, Juru was the name of the one unexplored region of Krypton - a lost valley located on the continent of Lurvan. It was home to a race of mystics - The Wizards of Juru - who practiced their magic in secret, far away from the science-minded society of Krypton.
Imra says that she is the future equivalent of a police officer. In the original comics, Saturn Girl had trained to be a police officer before joining The Legion of Super-Heroes.
Samples taken from the victims of Reign's attack on the gang members confirm they were killed by heat vision.
Mon-El: Strange as it may sound, the 31st Century is actually not that different from today.
Winn: What, better smart phones?
Imra: What's a phone?
Winn: "What's a phone?" Ohhh... the future is awesome!
(Having overheard M'yrnn mention Life Day, Winn wrongly assumed he was making a Star Wars reference. His attempt to explain what he is talking about does not go over well.)
Winn: Oh my God! You don't know what Star Wars is. (To J'onn) You probably don't know what Star Wars is!
J'onn: Excuse me?! The Empire Strikes Back is the best movie sequel of all time!
Winn: Man, I just love you more and more each day.
(The two chuckle.)
M'yrnn: (confused) What's a sequel?
Morgan Edge: Jimmy, I get the feeling your dislike for me is... more than just purely professional.
James: You get feelings?
(Mon-El tries to talk to Kara about the situation with her and Imra. She cuts him off.)
Kara: No, stop. Please, Mon-El. I... I see this very clearly for what it is. We're just three good people stuck in a really crappy situation. But you know what? At least two of us will get to be happy.
(Kara sighs and turns around to walk away. She stops and turns back around to face Mon-El.)
Kara: And, just for the record, Mon-El? I really am trying to be okay with this. But.... This is... (choking up) This is worse than... the worst thing I could possibly imagine and that's you looking at me with no love in your eyes. So please, just... please.
According to Mon-El, technology in the 31st Century has advanced far beyond what 21st century Earth can imagine, yet it is still devoted towards communications, entertainment and killing other people, just like in the 21st Century.
Mon-El says that he, Irma and the rest of their team crash-landed on Earth about 12,000 years before 2017. They had planned to put themselves into cryogenic suspension and set their ship to wake them up in the 31st century but the torpedo blast in 301 woke up Mon-El early.
J'onn believes the Hall and Oates cover of Jingle Bell Rock to be the greatest Christmas song of all time.
M'yrnn J'onzz believes hot cocoa to be superior to coffee.
M'yrnn J'onnz compares Christmas to a Martian holiday called Life Day.
J'onn does know about the Star Wars movies and believes The Empire Strikes Back to be the greatest sequel of all time.
Alex refers to the events of 222 and how Supergirl caught her after she jumped off a skyscraper.
Kara recognizes the Reign symbol from a field trip to the ruins of Old Krypton.
The Reign symbol predates recorded history on Krypton. It is an example of "Low Speech", which was used by the people of Urrika - the Kryptonian continent where life began.
The first people on Krypton were a tribe called The Juru. They were matriarchal, tribal and polytheistic. In time their sun god became known as Rao and they began to worship Rao alone. Their society gave birth to the modern Kryptonian culture.
The Ruling Council of Krypton destroyed much of the information regarding the superstitions of Old Krypton.
The first Reign symbol was burned into the grass on L-Corp property.
Lena and Morgan Edge both refer to the events of 305 and how they both tried to kill one another.
People in the 31st Century do not eat with their hands, according to Imra.
Mon-El refers to 206, when Kara first had Aldebaran rum.
Thomas Coville - the leader of The Cult of Rao from 204 - appears again, with information on the symbol that Kara is investigating.
Thomas Coville spent two years traveling the world, researching Rao but also talking to escapees from Fort Rozz. One of these was a disgraced Kryptonian priestess, who told him about the prophecies regarding an "end of days" which predated The Book of Rao. He also learned of the god before Rao - a "Lilith" made of darkness and teeth who ends everything.
The prophecy speaks of three steps leading to the End Of Days. The first is The Mark of The Beast - the symbol of the dark god showing up mysteriously. The second is The Work of The Beast in the form of many deaths. Last comes The Reign Of The Beast and this is when The Worldkiller arrives.
Samantha once got a job in Central City that required her moving in the middle of the holiday season. She and Ruby spent the night at a hotel and had dinner at a truck stop.
Samantha gives Ruby a pendant with the House of El symbol for Christmas.
Imra says that she's the future equivalent of a police officer.
Lena is attacked by a man armed with a laser gun who used to work for an expo that Morgan Edge sponsored.
Reign attacks Morgan Edge in his office. He is saved only because his panic room is lead-lined.
Morgan Edge later calls a press conference where he makes it sound like Supergirl was the one who attacked him.
Lena refers to the events of 305 and how James took a bullet to save Lena's life.
Lena and James kiss for the first time.
The episode ends with Kara in a coma after being beaten to near death by Reign.
The Bottom Line
It's telling that the best parts of the episode are the ones that have absolutely nothing to do with the main plot. As it is, I'd much rather watch Winn trying to introduce M'yrnn to the glories of Star Wars and geeking out as M'yrnn explains how the Wookie Life Day is similar to the Martian one than watch Reign a second time.