Sunday, April 4, 2021

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 6, Episode 1 - Rebirth

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Plot

Leviathan is defeated, but Lex Luthor is more powerful than ever and Brainiac-5 is at Death's Door. As the rest of the Super Friends rush to save him and the world, Kara considers the possibility that she may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


I
nfluences

Superman III (Gamemnae's final appearance resembles the computer woman from this movie), Supergirl: The Movie (Supergirl becoming trapped in the Phantom Zone), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Dreamer and Brainiac 2's scene through the glass wall), Adventure Comics (character of N'orr Cott) and the Supergirl: Rebirth series (the title and the promise of a new direction, rather than the contents of the book)


Goofs

In the official synopsis for the episode, Gamemnae's name was misspelt as "Gamenmae".

The highly-vaunted radiation shield Leviathan employs doesn't work on Martians and Kryptonians for some reason, for no apparent reason other than it requires the team to split up during the fight with Gamemnae.

M'Gann is suddenly back in the control room with Kara as Kara yells for everyone to get out while Gamemnae dies, after vanishing for most of the battle after phasing J'onn through a wall.

Nobody questions the morality of their basically killing Gamemnae. (Granting that she's said to be an electronic life form now instead of an alien, that's still a fine line especially with a techno organic being like Brainiac-5 on the team.)

Andrea Rojas gets off scot-free for her part in aiding Leviathan's plans. Granting that she was a pawn, she still ignored every single problem that Kelly Olsen or William Dey brought to her about how her company was endangering people's lives. Worse yet, we're expected to sympathize with her being held responsible for her criminal negligence by her father, even though he only does this to save his own skin.

Beyond that, it's idiotic to think that nobody is going to find it suspect that he suddenly bought all of his daughter's stock in Obsidian North after publicly calling her out.

Jarhanpur is implied to be in the Andromeda Galaxy, as the Jarhanpurium weaponry in the Fortress of Solitude is stored in a section of the armory devoted to weapons from that region. Yet Jarhanpur was said to be a sister planet of Krypton in earlier episodes and Krypton was said to be located only 2000 light years from Earth. The Andromeda Galaxy is located over 2.5 million light years from Earth. (This could have changed following Crisis)

Why do they need a special Jarhanpurium gun to shoot the Jarhanpurium?  Can't the Hand of the Warrior make something appropriate? (Alex is still mastering the Hand of the Warrior and can only use it to fashion weapons and devices she is familiar with. Of course she winds up using it to hit Lex with the Jarhanpurium anyway...)

The CGI for this episode looks terrible across the board, even allowing that Dreamer's visions are usually distorted and dream-like.


Performances

Jesse Rath and Katie McGrath get a brief but memorable scene as the two most morally flexible members of the Superfriends vent to each other and assure one another that, whatever else may happen with the rest of the team, at least they understand one another.

Jon Cryer is clearly having the time of his life playing Lex Luthor.


Super Trivia

The title of this episode is likely a nod to the 2016 Rebirth movement in the DC Comics Universe that led to the restoration of various classic elements that had been removed during the 2011 New 52 reboot and an effort to launch new titles devoted to characters like Green Arrow and Supergirl who had television series based on their exploits but no monthly comic title. In the case of the monthly Supergirl comic, a teenage Kara Zor-El was made to live as a foster child with scientists Eliza and Jerimiah Danvers and began working with the DEO to fight alien menaces.

Near the end of the episode, J'onn mentions that his partner in the police force on Mars was a Martian woman named N'orr Cott. In the classic comics, N'orr Cott was the name of a male Martian who had been commander of the Martian army and J'onn J'onzz's former best friend.

The Arrowverse version of N'orr Cott was a Martian woman, who was known as the Sentinel because she always stood guard against surprise escapes or ambushes.

Alex adopts Sentinel as her superhero codename at the end of the episode. The code name Sentinel was also adopted in the comics by the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott, during a time when he no longer needed his ring to channel the magical fire energy of the Starheart. 


Technobabble

Alex uses a mixture of Martian nanites and potassium iodide as an antidote to neutralize the radiation poisoning in Brainiac-5's system.

Alex reshapes the Hand of the Soldier into both a hypodermic needle and a portable electronic storage unit.

Lex acquires a new weapon -  a metallic band, similar to brass knuckles, which allows him to fire focused lasers of Kryptonite energy or controlled bursts. The laser is capable of burning a precise image into concrete.

Lex reprogrammed Obsidian Platinum so that all the people who signed into it have become incapable of believing that he can do anything wrong. He calls this program :"I Love Lexi."

Lex also installed sonic weapons in the satellites power Obsidian Platinum that will kill everyone who didn't get the "I Love Lexi" upgrade. Lex created a special device which makes a person immune to these weapons and gave them to Lillian Luthor and Otis Graves, who were already loyal to him without being brainwashed.

The Dorkri Surth-Uh ( or "The Binding" in Martian) is a ritual which allows two Martians to synchronize their thoughts, creating a web of psychic energy that can literally bind onto several things and move them in unison.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Lex explains his evil plan to Lillian.)
Lex:
My satellites will be aligned to beam the kill frequency in about five hours.
Lillian: I assume I will be safe without being brainwashed to love you, since I already do.
Lex: Of course, Mother. There's a special do-hickey with your name on it.
Lillian: And your sister. You can't kill her either.
Lex: Why not? She killed me first!

Supergirl: We know you've placed satellites around the world, and when they sync up, they'll send out a signal killing everyone you haven't brainwashed.
Lex: What do you want? A gold star?
Supergirl: I want you to disable the satellites. You do that, I'll give you what you've always wanted.
Lex: What's that? And don't say hair, that's low-hanging fruit.

Brainiac-5: Lena, I... I need you to know that I had no idea that this was Lex's plan. I thought that if... if I was... close to him, I would be able to know... how and when to stop him, but I... (taking a deep breath) I didn't. I was so worried that... by working with Lex I was becoming the villain, that... that I lost track of... of what he was up to. I thought... that by doing this I would help save the world, but... look what it's done...
Lena: Brainy, you were willing to sacrifice everything to save your friends. On the other hand, I was the hypocrite who believed that she had the answers to all the world's problems. It's the closest I've ever come to seeing things through Lex's eyes. Self-pity and blinding hubris should be the Luthor family motto. So if anyone's gonna win the culpability award, I've got you by a landslide.
Brainiac-5: What do we do now?
Lena: Try and cope with the mistakes of the past and... appreciate that we have friends who still believe in us. 

(Alex has just refused to watch the hologram Kara recorded while waiting for Lex.)
Alex:
We are bringing her home. (turning to face Lex) And you are going to wish that you were dead while you are rotting in that cell.
Lex: Hmm. About that... I'm not going anywhere near a cell. Unless you want me to reveal Supergirl's identity. She may be gone, but she still has an awful lot of enemies out there. It would be tragic if Mama Danvers or your lovely Kelly Olsen were to become the target of one of...
(Lena punches Lex, knocking him down with one punch.)
Lena: (To Alex) Sorry. Did you want to do that?
Alex: No. Family first. 


Dialogue Disasters


Gamemnae: You cannot kill technology, but technology can kill you!

Kelly Olsen: Your father... is a selfish narcissist. You are a brilliant woman... who built this place from sheer force of will. The mistake was doing it for him. (Well, that and ignoring repeated warnings about how your VR technology was going to doom the world...)


Continuity

Gamemnae reconstitutes herself inside the Leviathan base.

Dreamer is able to follow her vision to find the entrance to Leviathan's base and a dying Brainiac-5.

A delirious Brainy tells Dreamer that he loves her but that the team will have to work with Lex to stop Leviathan. 

Dreamer astral projects her mind to open the door into the sealed control room and immediately falls prey to the radiation shield.

M'Gann evacuates Alex and Brainy while Kara and J'onn fight Gamemnae.

Brainiac-5 determines he can stop Gamemnae with the Anti-Life Equation, which he acquired in 510.

Alex loans Brainiac the Hand of the Soldier, which takes the form of an electronic data storage device.

Alex tosses the Hand of the Soldier to Kara, who uses it to destroy Gamemnae.

Lex uses the power of Leviathan to give himself god-like powers using the alien-energy absorbing machinery on Shelley Island, which was last seen in 422. Lillian Luthor assists him with this.

Among the powers Lex displays are super-strength, energy projection, flight and telekinesis. (He also creates a forcefield, but this seems to be a second feature of his new Kryptonite laser weapon)

Lex will be broadcasting a signal that will kill everyone on Earth who didn't receive his "I Love Lexi" upgrade through Obsidian Platinum in 5 hours.

Lex plans to use the same technology to eventually conquer the universe.

Lena Luthor and Kelly Olsen meet with the rest of the team at The Watchtower.

William Dey is said to have taken Eve Teschmacher and her mother to the CatCo offices, where Eve is going on the record with everything she knows about Lex Luthor's crimes.

Lena determined that Lex twisted her Non Nocere program to create "I Love Lexi."

Eve reportedly told Lena about an experiment that Lex performed on two mice. One had gold eyes and adored him. The other exploded after being exposed to a Q-wave transmission.

Dreamer has a vision of herself in space and Lex Luthor dressed as the Anti-Monitor destroying the Earth. She also sees Shelley Island and a glowing green bottle.

J'onn detects Lex's sonic weapons on 12 of the satellites he launched into orbit in 516. Each of them is armed with claymore cannons that will fire on anything that attempts to tamper with them physically and they are all linked together.

M'Gann and J'onn decide to attempt the ritual of The Dorkri Surth-Uh so that they can safely disable Lex's satellites. 

Lena says she can reverse the "I Love Lexi" code if Kara lets her borrow the Myriad device.

Kelly says she can go to Obsidian North and get them the information on every person Lex has infected.

Brainiac-5 says that Jarhanpurium could weaken Lex and make him mortal in the same way that Kryptonite weakens Supergirl, but there's almost no chance of finding it.

Lena says she can use the machine that made synthetic Kryptonite to make synthetic Jarhanpurium. When she says this, Dreamer mentions the green bottle and Shelley Island from her dream.

Dreamer and Alex elect to go to Shelley Island to get the bottle.

Brainiac-5 stays in the Watchtower to help Lena with reprograming Myriad and making the Jarhanpurium.

Supergirl goes to get Myria from the Fortress of Solitude, along with any weapons that might be used to implement that Jarhanpurium.

When it is pointed out that Lex will be able to track their movements with the power he now has, Supergirl offers to sacrifice herself to act as a distraction while everyone else is dismantling Lex's power base. 

Kara contacts Lex while wearing a Truth-Seeker and promises to meet him in 1 hour at a location of his choosing and let him do whatever he wants if he agrees to disable his satellites.

Lex agrees and names the Fortress of Solitude as their meeting place.

As Kelly is getting the Obsidian Platinum data, she runs into Andrea Rojas. Andrea reveals that her father has blamed her for everything Leviathan has done to their company and that she and CatCo will be bankrupt when the stock market opens the next day.

J'onn is nervous about performing the binding ritual with M'Gann as it will allow her to see everything in his past, including all his memories of his wife and children and every violent thought he's ever had about White Martians. He fears this might derail their ability to disarm the satellites.

Alex points out that M'Gann has gone through just as many problems and she'll have to expose her secrets to J'onn as well.

Brainy loans his Legion Flight Ring to Dreamer until he's recovered.

The Fortress of Solitude armory is divided by where the weapons originally came from and has an area devoted to weapons from the Andromeda Galaxy. This is where the Jarhanpurium weapons are stored.

Lena tries to reinforce the L-Protocol from 507 in the hopes it might slow Lex down. (Apparently it was just disabled in 517 or had been reprogrammed not to attack Lena.)

Kara makes reference to having been trapped in the Phantom Zone for the better part of a decade, having nightmares of her planet's destruction. 

Andrea Rojas uses her Arcata powers to teleport inside her father's house, where she hacks his accounts and buys all her Obsidian North stock. 

Alex takes a Jarhanpurium gun and a portal watch from the Fortress armory. She jokes that she may keep the watch.

Kara stays in the Fortress to wait for Lex, as Alex and Lena leave to go to their respective targets.

Kara uses the Fortress technology to start recording a hologrammatic simulation of herself containing all her knowledge. She gets one volume complete before Lex arrives.

Alex and Dreamer use the portal watch to go to Lex's base on Shelley Island, but Otis Graves and Lillian Luthor are waiting for them.

J'onn and M'Gann are able to disable Lex's satellites. 

With that accomplished, Brainiac-5 and Lena are able to reverse the "I Love Lexi" program.

Dreamer and Alex are able to get the bottle, which Otis drops as he and Lillian escape with their own portal watch.

After Lex blasts Kara repeatedly with his Kryptonite laser and leaves her for dead, the Fortress computer activates the Lena Luthor Protocol, which sends a mobile projector down to saturate Kara's body with yellow sunlight.

Lex starts trashing for Fortress of Solitude while listening to Queen's "We Are The Champions."

Dreamer tries to shoot Lex with the Jarhanpurium gun, but it doesn't work.

Lex arms himself with the Phantom Zone Projector and blasts Kara with it, just before Alex is able to recover the Jarhanpurium and shoot Lex with it.

The data on the Projector is wiped so they have no idea wherein the Phantom Zone Kara wound up. This prevents them from opening a transmat portal to get to her, like Lena did to move the population of Earth-38 during Crisis on Infinite Earths

J'onn says he'll take Lex to the authorities and then will travel to Mars to talk to his brother and seek his advice on navigating the Phantom Zone.

Alex wonders how she is going to explain Kara being Supergirl to Kelly Olsen, establishing that Kelly somehow didn't know this despite being privy to the secret identities of all the rest of the Superfriends. 

Andrea Rojas uses the money from the Obsidian North sale to revitalize CatCo and promises to turn the magazine into a bastion of journalistic integrity once again.

William Dae's story about Lex Luthor and Leviathan is making waves in the wake of Luthor's arrest. He shared the byline with Kara.

Nia covers for Kara's absence by saying that she's working undercover on a story with Cat Grant.

William asks about Kara. Nia tells him that he's sure she would have called him if she could have.

Lena breaks into Lex and Lillian's prison sell and uses Myriad to erase their memories of Supergirl's secret identity.

Lena later admits to erasing the minds of everyone who knew Kara Danvers was Supergirl before returning Myriad to Alex and J'onn.

Dreamer returns Braniac-5's ring to him.. 

Dreamer and Brainiac-5 decided to give a romantic relationship a try after Dreamer says that she loves Brainiac-5 as well. They agree that there will be no more secrets between them.

Malefic was only able to find Midnight in the Phantom Zone because he knew her exact location. He did know someone who once mounted a rescue mission in the Phantom Zone. He doesn't say who, but M'Gann is already searching for him.

J'onn tells Alex about his partner, N'orr Cott, and suggests that she adopt her nickname and symbol as her own. 

Alex officially takes up the name Sentinel for when she's fighting crime in costume.

Lena encourages Alex to tell Kelly about Kara and he secret.

The final scene shows an unconscious Kara in the Phantom Zone, surrounded by snarling spectral creatures.


Location


Shelley Island
The Fortress of Solitude
Buenos Aires - The Rojas Estate.


Untelevised Adventures

J'onn travels to Mars and visits his brother to ask him about 


The Fridge Factor


Kelly Olsen comes off as the biggest idiot ever to not realize that Kara Danvers and Supergirl are the same person, given all the other superhero identities she is aware of in her circle of friends. And she makes a living observing people!


The Bottom Line

A bit of a mess all around for multiple reasons and it is unclear how much of it was the result of the pandemic. The best thing that can be said is that, unlike The Flash Season 7 premiere, it was able to get all its old business summed up in a single episode, even if this does mean rushing through some suddenly nonsensical subplots like everything involving Acrata. Best summed up by the fact that whoever wrote the press release summing up this episode couldn't be bothered to double-check that the characters' names were spelled properly. (Lex Luthor becomes Lex Luther in the Closed Captioning as well.)

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