‘Supergirl’: Season 5 Blu-Ray Review – Crisis Crossover Reinvigorates Caped Hero

Supergirl has always been an interesting entry into the ever-growing stable of DC television shows on The CW. While our titular hero fights devious and super powered individuals like her friends Barry Allen (The Flash) and Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Kara also deals with interplanetary threats the likes of which her fellow heroes typically only face when it comes to a crossover event. These are plot points that spring from the rich history of her character and that of her cousin, Superman. Plus, when you have a series that features J’onn J’onzz aka Martian Manhunter (David Harewood) as a main character, you want to see it take advantage of all of the grand elements that can be associated with the character. In addition to the series featuring a more diverse roster of adversaries, the show also stands apart, for better or worse, by tackling a lot of issues facing underrepresented communities. While I have seen no shortage of online backlash to the “wokeness” weighing down the show, it at least has something it wants to say with the platform. It would be disingenuous to say I have enjoyed every storyline the show has tackled over the years, but injecting positive representation into the show has never been a hindrance.

The fourth season of Supergirl ended with certain revelations being brought to light that had been hidden since the beginning of the series. Before Kara (Melissa Benoist) could finally reveal to her best friend, Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) that she is actually Supergirl, Lena’s brother and iconic nemesis Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) spilled the beans to drive a wedge between the two. As we see throughout most of the fifth season, Lex was pretty successful in his execution. The finale also included The Monitor releasing J’onn’s brother, Malefic (Phil LaMarr), on Earth, which is bad news for J’onn considering their highly complicated relationship. J’onn is a personal favorite on the show, and it is always appreciated when he gets to have a more fleshed out story. Add in the declaration of feelings between Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly (Azie Tesfai), and you have the seeds for an interesting new season of a pillar of the CW DC universe.

The fifth season brings about many changes for the characters both personally and professionally. Over at CatCo, newcomer Andrea Rojas (Julie Gonzalo) acquires the company and takes over for James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) as editor-in-chief. Andrea is an innovator, and her drive to bring new technology to consumers lays the foundation for one of the main themes of the season. This season of the show sees the creative team taking a Black Mirror approach to our relationship with technology. There is also the classic trope of a shadowy organization, this time named Leviathan, which introduces some engaging characters that leave you wanting to know more. The show shakes off some of the creative cobwebs by allowing some characters to move on, while introducing new faces to the series. More than one character starts along the pathway to new love this season. Nia (Nicole Maines) and Brainy (Jesse Rath), in particular, have a compelling arc that will have you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Interpersonal relationships are the core of the series, and you will find certain long-standing dynamics shifting more than they ever have before. All of this is not to mention the epic ramifications that reverberate throughout the series thanks to the Crisis on Infinite Earth crossover event.

More than ever before, the crossover event from this year changes the DNA of nearly every DC show on the network. The first half of the season sets up some interesting dynamics, but reckoning with the new reality of the show post Crisis gives this series an immediacy that it has been lacking in recent years. One thing that has never lacked for even a second is the marvelous performance from Melissa Benoist in the lead. She is adorable and silly without becoming a caricature as Kara, while flipping on a dime to kick serious butt as Supergirl. Another highlight of the season is the return of Cryer as Lex Luthor. While I originally viewed his casting with skepticism, his portrayal has turned into one of the things I enjoy most about the show. As you reach the end of the fifth season, you find yourself enjoying the show well enough, but you wonder if it might be time to be mapping out a game plan to wrap up the series. The introduction of the post-Crisis timeline was a big creative choice, so let us hope the renewed energy is not squandered when the new season is being developed.

Video Quality

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season arrives on Blu-Ray with a pleasing AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. The levels of detail this presentation is able to eek out is quite striking, as all of the subtle details in the production design are easily identifiable. The series is quite bright and colorful, just like the main character, and there are some magical instances of beautiful colors popping off the screen. Black levels are appropriately deep and give way to a nice amount of detail in shadows. The bright whites of the show do not fall victim to any blooming in this presentation. Skin tones appear very natural across the entire cast. There are no egregious instances of aliasing or compression artifacts detectable here. The show employs some questionable CGI at times, but that is not the fault of the transfer. The Blu-Ray presentation should be more than satisfactory to fans of the show.

Audio Quality

This Blu-Ray comes with an incredibly active DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track that creates a truly enveloping world. Dialogue always come through crisp and clear without being stepped on by the powerful score or any sound effects. Action sequences and more kinetic moments are given the appropriate power in the mix with a forceful showing in the low end. Ambient sounds are also precisely placed in the rear channels. The soaring score of the show often fills the room with triumphant music that perfectly complements the character. The audio track does not feature an incredibly complex mix, but it gives the sounds being featured a lovely presentation.

Special Features

Disc One

  • Deleted Scenes: Five minutes of deleted scenes are included here featuring more scenes fleshing out Nia and Brainy’s relationship, some trimmed down moments from action scenes and more.

Disc Two

  • Deleted Scenes: Nearly seven-minutes of deleted scenes are included here featuring more scenes with Lena Luther, J’onn’s family matters, evil Brainiac, expanded scenes between Gemma and Margot and more.

Disc Three

  • Deleted Scenes: Four minutes of deleted scenes are included here featuring a lengthy scene with Winn and Alex, an additional scene of Andrea talking about the product launch and more.

Disc Four

  • Deleted Scenes: Four minutes of deleted scenes are included here featuring more scenes with Lex and Lena, additional sleuthing with Kara and William and more.
  • The Best of DC TV’s Comic Con Panel: A 51-minute featurette from the 2019 San Diego Comic Con that includes interviews with the cast and creators of all of the CW’s slate of DC shows. These includes excerpts from the panels for Arrow, The Flash, Black Lightning, and Supergirl. The Supergirl panel is moderated by Jon Cryer and features many interesting insights from the cast and crew including overall themes for the season.
  • Gag Reel: A nearly eight-minute blooper real featuring flubbed lines, malfunctioning props, giggle fits and more. The cast seem like they are having a blast, which is what makes this one of the most enjoyable features on the disc.

Disc Five

  • Crisis On Infinite Earths: All five episodes from the insanely epic crossover event are included on this disc.
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths – The Architects Return: A twelve-minute featurette on the creation of the original Crisis storyline straight from the creative team that developed it. Marc Guggenheim also talks adapting the story fit the television narrative. It is fascinating to hear the reasons behind the original run and all of the blood, sweat and tears that went into pulling it off.
  • Crisis Management: A thirteen-minute look at how the creative team brought various different pockets of the DC universe into the crossover, even beyond the CW universe. There are also discussions of how they planted seeds to build up to the event that would honor all of the stories.
  • Crisis Past and Present – Kevin Conroy Bat Legend: A three-minute look at bringing the iconic voice from Batman: The Animated Series into the crossover event as a live-action version of the character.
  • Crisis Past and Present – Superman vs. Superman: A nearly five-minute look at getting Brandon Routh back into the Superman costume for the event, and how they drew from the comic to inspire where the character is in this universe.
  • Characters In Crisis – Pariah: A four-minute look at the origins of Pariah in the original story and how they portrayed the character during the crossover. Guggenheim gives some great insights into why they made certain choices for the character.
  • Characters In Crisis – Anti-Monitor: A five-minute look at the supreme villain of the series from his origins in the comic book to the screen.


Final Thoughts

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season injects a bit of much-needed energy to the series thanks to the Crisis on Infinite Earth crossover and subsequent monumental ramifications to character dynamics. The actors are all at a point where they know their characters inside and out, which allows them to deliver some of their best performances yet. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has provided an excellent A/V presentation and some fun special features. If you are a fan of the show, this set will be a welcome addition to your collection.

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season will be available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD on September 8, 2020.

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.

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