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Supergirl - Mxy in The Middle - Review: Actions Have Consequences



Channeling a Harry Potter storyline and revealing a supporting character to be an actual witch were probably not on anyone’s Supergirl final season scorecard. Perhaps the last thing fans expected to see was a final season having Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and her team searching for magical MacGuffins. Yet, with this week's episode, 6x11, Mxy in The Middle that is exactly what the show did in laying the roadmap to the show and one character's finale story.

For several seasons, Supergirl has never hidden the fact that Kara and her friends were fans of the wizarding world of Hogwarts and its most famous alumni. Multiple episodes have featured shout-outs to key plot turns in the magical world of Harry Potter. Sending Kara on a final quest to find seven magical totems which are virtually identical to the paragons of Crisis on Infinite Earths to prevent the evil imp Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) from gaining the powerful All-store and freeing Mxyzptlk (Thomas Lennon) from the orb she uses to find them is its most direct parallel yet. Kara and her friends are on a dangerous final journey to get to the totems of truth, destiny, love, dreams, hope, humanity, and courage before Nxyly does just like Harry, Heromine, and Ron did in locating the horcruxes in hopes of defeating Voldemort. And, in naming the totems they have essentially identified the predominant themes of the show's remaining episodes.
Not since the casting of Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor has the show had such a deliciously, scene-chewing villain as the Nyxly that Peta Sergeant is creating. She's clearly delighting in every wickedly evil twist and turn they are writing for the character. They've even given her an Otis Graves like henchman in Mitch (Matt Baram) the junior zookeeper from Prom Night and Prom Again. She's coming close to topping Cryer's Luthor as the show's most memorable villain, her cavalier, "Nah" to one of Supergirl's noted hope speeches will go down as one of the character's most iconic moments thus far.
Giving strength to Nxyly's story of a supposed misunderstood imp princess seeking revenge was the recasting of the wonderful Thomas Lennon as Mxyzptlk. Since beginning his run as the mischievous fifth-dimension imp that has tormented Supergirl and her friends, Lennon has infused the character with heart and soul as illustrated by his frustration at not being able to help craft a way to stop Nyxly without using his magic. He was entertaining with his song and dance explanation of Nyxly's history. And most importantly, he heroically not only sacrificed himself to save everyone but also used Supergirl's motto of "Stronger Together" to help them strip Nxyly of her power for the moment.
One aspect that helped make this episode stand out was its attention to tiny details that have been missing in previous seasons. At one time Supergirl not telling everyone about Nyxly from her time in the Phantom Zone would just have been forgotten. It was refreshing to see that loophole addressed with Supergirl not only explaining but apologizing for not telling everyone about her earlier. The little detail that both Supergirl and Alex are still recovering from their trauma was beautifully depicted in two brief moments. The first is when Alex jumps protectively in front of her sister, who was cringing in fear when Mxy was waving the accursed Phantom Projector around. Then, the trauma of what that projector could cause was an obvious moment of hesitation for Supergirl when she initially couldn't use it in their decisive battle with Nyxly. Another detail not overlooked is the call back to Mxy's first visit to Supergirl and how Mon-El used a magic amulet to defeat him in their battle for Kara's hand.
Another important message of the episode involved two characters admitting to making mistakes and stood willing to face the consequences of their actions, in keeping with the show's announced overriding season theme of the abuse of power. This resulted in lovely scenes between Benoist and Nicole Maines' Nia Nal, and Jesse Rath as Brainy. It was an important lesson yet was misguided in that these two characters had the courage to face their consequences, the person that most needs to do that has not and likely will not.
While the decision to give the one character on the show known for her abuse of power actual magical powers remains questionable, it did take the opportunity to provide that character with hard truths about her mother. Lena (Katie McGrath) learned that not only was her mother not the kind-hearted saint that she remembered but to some she was an out-and-out villain. And shockingly that her mother was also a witch with great power and a member of a coven. The main lesson Lena learned is that she's more like her mother than she realized in that they are both women of great power whose misuse of that power has caused more harm than good. Her mother and her two friends decided to scare one of the women’s abusive husband together and lost all control on their magic resulting in his death. Lena’s mother seems to have considered herself the most at fault. The show seems to have abandoned any more reckoning for Lena and has been moved on to the new story as the part of setting up new lives for everyone before the show ends. In Lena's case, her story is going to be balancing her scientific side with the new magical powers she has inherited from her mother. She will likely be forming a new sort of coven, probably with her oldest and closest best friend, Andrea (Julie Gonzalo), since her Acrata powers likely come from a form of magic. This episode did an excellent job of revitalizing and illustrating the strength and power of the bond and friendship they formed in boarding school.
Some concern does remain that the show is setting up new stories and futures so far for Nia, Lena, and Kelly, just those closest to Kara, Alex, J'onn, and Brainy seem to have been temporarily reduced to supportive sidekicks. Hopefully, part of the remaining journey will see powerful new stories and futures for them will emerge in the remaining episodes as Supergirl and her team embark on their quest for the totems. Their journey begins next week with the search for the courage totem, and several are likely to face some of their greatest fears, because as Nyxly has prophesized "if you control courage, you control fear."

What did you think of Mxy in the Middle and Lena getting powers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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