REVIEW: Supergirl, S3E17 – Trinity

Supergirl‘s “Trinity” only lasted an episode, but they managed to put the fear of God into Kara (Melissa Benoist) and the audience even as the narrative failed them on several levels. But as the DEO prepares for their toughest battle yet against the Worldkillers, they must also contend with the aftermath Lena’s (Katie McGrath) apparent betrayal in a manner which tests several relationships.

White is right?

It would be hard to judge the rest of “Trinity” without talking about the most glaring issue with the episode, one which we have already accused Supergirl of perpetuating in the past. The fact that the only significant women of color to be found on the show were the villains was bad enough in and of itself, but their treatment this week was unconscionable. When the Trinity of Worldkillers join forces, it is revealed that Grace Park, the human side of Pestilence, is already dead. She is eliminated from the story without a second thought, after being stripped of her humanity and any sympathetic qualities in her first appearance. Then the dark Trinity’s space is invaded by Kara, Lena and Alex (Chyler Leigh) – and I probably don’t need to go over the optics of three white women forming their own trinity of goodness and light against a trio of evil WOC. Considering that they could’ve added Imra to the mix of heroines fighting for truth and justice, the racial dynamics of the show are thrown even further out of whack.

It is to Kara’s credit that she still wants to save the remaining humans trapped inside the Worldkillers, and Odette Annable once again gives a powerhouse performance while trapped in the nightmare realm. Sam’s attempts at breaking through to Julia (played with equal pathos by the talented Krys Marshall) are easily the best part of “Trinity,” but the narrative chooses to make Kara and her friends the saviors instead of allowing Julia a true moment of triumph or agency. The crux of the episode revolves around an eclipse which zaps Kara of her powers but not the Worldkillers, and so Kara must inspire Julia to tap into Purity instead of going into battle herself. This is seen as a victory – Kara even tells Imra “we saved Julia” after all is said and done – even though Julia dies in the process and kills what’s left of Grace too. Aside from a cursory apology to Julia’s disappearing corpse, no one mourns these women or admits that the DEO failed them. They are hardly thought of as human, seeing as Imra only cares about saving her present and Lena only cares about saving her friend Sam. Supergirl really should have just stuck to one Worldkiller in Reign and saved us all from their attempts at diversity.

But onto the rest of “Trinity,” which did feature some great girl power moments with Kara, Alex and Lena. Winn (Jeremy Jordan) fashions Alex a new-and-improved gun and suit, and her joy at having them both was infectious. And while Supergirl’s argument with Lena over keeping secrets feels unnecessary and hypocritical considering all the lies Lena has been fed this season, it’s refreshing to see them overcome their distrust and work together. The fact that Lena is hiding her ability to create Kryptonite is certainly going to come back to bite this friendship in the butt, but then again so is the fact that Kara hasn’t revealed herself this entire time. At some point it becomes impossible to accept that Lena doesn’t notice how everyone everyone in Kara’s life works with the DEO, so here’s hoping that she’s knows Supergirl’s identity since the beginning and it just being polite.

James would do anything for love…

Speaking of the secret Kryptonite creation, James (Mehcad Brooks) goes out on a pretty big limb for his girlfriend in “Trinity.” First, he defends Lena’s actions to Kara and vouches for her character, which is admirable. Then he breaks into her office to check on her Kryptonite stash before choosing to lie to his teammates instead of breaching her trust further, which is questionable. And finally he reveals himself as Guardian and appears to keep Lena’s rather dangerous secret, which is so surprising that it may take another week to process. Guardiancorp finally feels like a serious ship, but might it come at the expense of James’ friendship with Kara? Or even Lena‘s friendship with Kara, which has hardly seen the light of day since before the hiatus?

The other ship of Supergirl had some moments its fans should cheer about, seeing as Mon-El (Chris Wood) kept his promise to let Kara fight in the alternate dimension on her own and seemed rather glum about leaving for the future. Karamel has taken up much less space this season than last, so it’s unclear how fully committed to it the show is – especially since a divorce isn’t anywhere on the horizon yet. But on the other hand, the only other romantic option for Kara at the moment is Brainy (Jesse Rath), and there’s been no development on that front since his minor crush on her was acknowledged months ago.

Romances aside, there’s still a fight against a more powerful Reign to watch out for. And the team’s going to have to protect Ruby Arias from her own mother, so upcoming episodes are sure to bring the pain.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on the CW.