As the third season of Supergirl came to a close, Superman had headed off to Argo, leaving Kara to be the sole protector of Earth and National City. J’onn J’onzz had quit the DEO, making Alex Danvers the new director. And James Olsen faced an indictment from the DA for his role as the vigilante Guardian.
The fourth season picks up a short time later. At the DEO, Alex is still getting used to her new role, struggling to get along with Brainy, who doesn’t follow her orders the same way that Winn used to. J’onn is trying to lead a more normal life, joining an alien support group, where he meets friend Fiona Byrne (Tiya Sircar). James gets girlfriend Lena’s help to get the indictment squashed, but is warned that if he ever picks up his Guardian shield again, he won’t get a second chance. Meanwhile, Kara meets her new CatCo mentee, green transgender reporter Nia Nal (Nicole Maines), whose wide-eyed nature and awkwardness reminds Kara of herself when she first arrived at the company.
As the second anniversary of President Marsdin’s Alien Amnesty Act approaches, there is an uprising of anti-alien sentiment. The DEO soon finds themselves trying to stop a series of alien murders perpetrated by former Cadmus members, brother and sister team Mercy (Rhona Mitra) and Otis Graves (Robert Baker). They are on mission to fuel the flames of hatred and division, and it seems to be working. They have teamed with a masked man who calls himself Agent Liberty, to help expose President Marsdin and gain many violent folks who are sympathetic to their cause. While Kara believes that the good of humanity will win in the end, this new anti-alien faction seems to have an arsenal of weapons and technology at their hands, and will stop at nothing to take her and all of the other aliens down. In addition to their violent attacks, the group is also slowly infecting the ranks of every branch of the government.
The group has weapons that can affect Kara, and so the others need to step up to take up the mantel. But will James risk being locked up for becoming the Guardian again? And while J’onn had made a decision to step down to follow a more pacifist life like his father, his increasing anger when Fiona goes missing, may push him over the edge. Especially when he teams up with Fiona’s fiance, Manchester Black (David Ajala), who’s out for vengeance. Can Agent Liberty and his Children of Liberty be stopped before they spread their hatred too far?
In its fourth season, the Supergirl writers have done a good job of keeping things moving throughout the season, instead of dragging on a single storyline or villain on for all 22 episodes. Given the overall theme of the season, and the current political climate, I was afraid that the series was going to get way too political this season. However, the third episode of the season does a good job of showing how professor Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer) goes from someone who has no gripes with the aliens, to someone who finds his family and livelihood destroyed by them and the irresponsible destruction they leave in their wake. It is all of this that causes him so much hate that he dons his mask and outfit and turns into a leader of the anti-alien movement. While his actions are still bad, the writers have at least given him an understandable backstory to justify those actions in his mind.
The new additions to the cast were really good, and provide some exciting new storylines. Throughout the season there are some surprising twists and turns. We learn that there is a lot more to Nia than just the awkward young wannabe reporter that she appears to be—and that she has a much greater destiny to fulfill. Kara is also faced with one of her toughest decisions in order to protect her identity and those she loves. Brainy continues to explore the range of human emotions. And throughout the first half of the season, we get teases of a Russian Supergirl clone. In the second half of the season, we finally meet the villainous Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer), and learn the truth behind this Russian Supergirl.
The Blu-ray release of this fourth season includes all three hours of the show’s big Elseworlds crossover event with Arrow and The Flash—the DVD release only includes “Hour Three”, the Supergirl episode. While this crossover event was a lot of fun, it doesn’t really affect the season storyline of Supergirl, especially since it takes place on another Earth. But it does bring in Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) and Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch).
The premise of the crossover is that an other-worldly being known as Mar Novu/The Monitor shows up on Earth-1 where he hands psychiatrist Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) a book with the power to rewrite reality. In the first hour, the The Flash episode, we see that in Deegan’s new reality, Barry Allen and Oliver Queen have swapped places (whether this is a Freaky Friday or a Quantum Leap situation is constantly up for debate). Oliver wakes up in bed next to Iris and discovers that he is Barry Allen, despite still looking like himself. Meanwhile, Barry discovers that he is now the Green Arrow. None of their friends know about the swap, or believe them when they try to explain the situation. Barry, of course, has fun with his new abilities, while Oliver is understandably upset—especially when he has to embrace his inner joy in order to effectively be The Flash. When a killer robot that absorbs meta powers starts destroying the city, the guys head to Earth-38 to get Kara’s help, and to see if reality has been effected there as well. And so Superman and Supergirl return with them to Earth-1 to fight this new threat.
The second hour is the Arrow episode, though it feels more like a Batwoman backdoor pilot as the majority of it takes place in Gotham City. The red skies and odd lightning have followed Oliver and Barry to Star City. Cisco vibes to see the meeting where The Monitor handed the book to Dr. John Deegan and notices the Wayne Enterprises building in the background. So the team heads to Gotham City to find Deegan and get the book so they can restore reality. There they cross paths with Kate Kane (Ruby Rose), cousin of Bruce Wayne, who warns them to leave the city. There is a breakout at Arkham Asylum, and a masked Batwoman arrives to help the group.
The third/final hour is the Supegirl episode. The Monitor had given the book back to Dr. John Deegan, demanding that he really shake things up this time. Oliver and Barry become a bank-robbing duo known as the Trigger Twins. All of their family and friends have also had their reality altered. Meanwhile, Deegan has tuned himself into an all-powerful, black-suited, evil version of Superman and has locked up Kara so she can’t use her powers against him. So Barry and Oliver enlist the help of Cisco, who is now a bank-robbing gangster, to retrieve the real Superman from Earth-38 to help save the day.
All 22 episodes of the show’s fourth season (plus the 2 additional cross-over episodes) are split across four Blu-ray discs. The release provides a solid video and audio presentation. The picture looks excellent and captures the special effects, colors and sights of National City (and everywhere else in the world Kara flies to) beautifully. The audio track provides clear dialogue and an immersive viewing experience. The discs are packed in a multi-disc HD keepcase with a cardboard slipcase. Inside is a sheet with digital copy redemption instructions as well as an episode guide insert.
The bonus material consists of over 22 minutes of deleted scenes, an 7-minute gag reel, and three longer-form featurettes that encompass many of the DC TV shows. While these common features are quite well done, they have been included on all of this year’s DC TV Blu-ray releases, so they will be repetitive for those who collect all of these shows. Some of the material also may not be of great interest to those who don’t follow all of the DC superhero series. That said, I can see the benefit from a production standpoint of creating one common set of bonus material (besides deleted scenes, gag reels and the odd show-specific feature)—plus they make good promotional material to help sell some of these other shows to folks who may not already be watching them.
- All 22 episodes of the fourth season, plus 2 full crossover episodes:
Disc 1: “American Alien”, “Fallout”, “Man of Steel”, “Ahimsa”, “Parasite Lost”, “Call to Action”
Disc 2: “Rather the Fallen Angel”, “Bunker Hill”, “Elseworlds: Hour One”, “Elseworlds: Hour Two”, “Elseworlds: Hour Three”, “Suspicious Minds”
Disc 3: “Blood Memory”, “Menagerie”, “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?”, ” Stand and Deliver”, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, “The House of L”
Disc 4: “All About Eve”, “Crime and Punishment”, “American Dreamer”, “Will the Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?”, “Red Dawn”, “The Quest for Peace”
- 1080p / Widescreen 1.78:1
- Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH
- Digital HD copy of the episodes redeemable via Vudu.
The code was not yet redeemable at the time of this review, but it is highly likely that the digital version will only include the third hour of the crossover, the Supergirl episode, and not all three parts.
- Deleted Scenes (22:31)
Collection of 35 unaired scenes, found on the discs containing their related episodes.
- Disc 1: 7 scenes from “Ahimsa” (Scenes 6, 46, 49, 58), “Parasite Lost” (Scenes 37, 37C) & “Call To Action” (Scene 17) (2:28)
- Disc 2: 6 scenes from “Rather the Fallen Angel” (Scenes 16, 29, 33, 65-67) & “Bunker Hill” (Scenes X46, 65) (3:01)
- Disc 3: 8 scenes from “Blood Memory” (Scene 59), “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?” (Scene 31), “Stand and Deliver” (Scene 44.1), “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (Scenes 26, 36, 57A) & “The House of L” (Scenes 10, 73-74) (6:35)
- Disc 4: 14 scenes from “All About Eve” (Scenes 17, 32, 35), “Crime and Punishment” (Scenes 5, 7, 63), “American Dreamer” (Scene 28-28A, 69-70), “Will the Real Miss Tessmacher Please Stand Up?” (Scene 23, 36-40, A67) & “Red Dawn” (Scenes 21, 40, 48) (10:27)
- Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2018 (1:00:59)
The cast and creators of four of the DC TV shows visit San Diego Comic-Con 2018. Includes interviews with the stars from the press line and at autograph signings, and clips from the shows’ Q&A panels. Participants include Supergirl (executive producers Robert Rovner, Jessica Queller & Sarah Schechter, Katie McGrath, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh, Melissa Benoist, David Harewood, Jesse Rath & Nicole Maines), Arrow (executive producer Beth Schwartz and stars Rick Gonzalez, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes, Echo Kellum, Juliana Harkavy, and Stephen Amell), Black Lightning (EP Mara Brock Akil, director Salim Akil, and stars James Remar, Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones, Nafessa Williams, Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Christine Adams & Damon Gupton), The Flash (executive producer Todd Helbing and stars Danielle Nicolet, Hartley Sawyer, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanaugh, Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes & Jessica Parker-Kennedy), and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (executive producers Keno Shimizu & Phil Klemmer, and stars Jes Macallan, Matt Ryan, Nick Zano, Maisie Richardon-Sellers, Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Dominic Purcell, Tala Ashe, Courtney Ford & Adam Tsekhman).
- Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds (45:01)
Host Hector Navarro sits down with the showrunners of the series to discuss the process of planning and executing this epic cross-over event. Also includes behind-the-scenes footage, and cutaway segments with interviews with DC Entertainment folks who discuss how the original comics dealt with alternate realities in the Elseworlds stories. Participants include executive producers Beth Schwartz (Arrow), Todd Helbing (The Flash), Caroline Dries (Batwoman) & Robert Rovner (Supegirl), consulting producer Marc Guggenheim, and from DC Entertainment, animation creative director Mike Carlin, co-publisher Dan Didio, co-creator of Batman: The Animated Series Bruce Timm, Warner Bros. Animation screenwriters Alan Burnett & Heath Corson, and Mad Ghost Productions writer/producer Geoff Johns.
- Villains: Modes of Persuasion (38:05)
The cast and creators of various DC TV series, including Gotham, Krypton, The Flash, Arrow & Supergirl, discuss the rationale and pathos behind the various shows’ villains, and how these characters are often the heroes of their own stories. Participants include Supergirl executive producer Robert Rovner, Krypton executive producer David Goyer, Gotham executive producer John Stephens, licensed clinical psychologist Andrea Letamendi Ph.D., Gotham staff writer Seth Boston, Arrow consulting producer Marc Guggenheim, Arrow producer Oscar Balderrama, The Flash executive producer Todd Helbing, and Gotham actors Robin Lord Taylor (“Oswald Cobblepot”), Cory Michael Smith (“Edward Nygma”) & Ben McKenzie (“James Gordon”).
- Gag Reel (7:28)
This gag reel finds the cast dancing, flubbing their lines (often followed by bleeped cursing), making each other laugh, and just having fun on set.
Digital: (Redemption deadline 9/30/2020)
Bonus material is spread across all of the discs.
The fourth season of Supergirl is quite entertaining, tackling the theme of anti-alien resentment, but not in a way that feels overly heavy-handed or political. There are several interesting twists and turns to the season, and some fun new additions to the cast, including the iconic Lex Luthor. The Blu-ray release looks and sounds great, but includes a minimal amount of exclusive bonus material—just 22 minutes of deleted scenes and a 7 minute gag reel. The remaining three featuretees have already been included on several other DC TV show Blu-ray releases this year. That said, this release comes recommended for current fans or potential new fans of the series. This is a show that’s easy to jump into even without having seen the previous three seasons.