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Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray Review)

Supergirl‘s fifth season had the task of following and delivering on the elements put in to play following the show’s obvious peak season. Would it be able to deliver? Like the other seasons, this was shortened by Covid-19, but it was also challenged with having to be told with the massive Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover event placed in the middle of the season. That behemoth proved a challenge across the board for the CW’s Arrowverse as it was obviously the focal point of attention for the year. Like the other Blu-ray releases for the previous television season’s CW Arrowverse shows, the full crossover is included here as a limited edition bonus disc, complete with every episode and bonus features. Supergirl itself contains the 19 finished episodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel and that San Diego Comic Con featurette that appears on all releases. You can pre-order the season now to have it for it release date of September 8th.

Season

In season five, Supergirl faces threats, both new and ancient. National City becomes enthralled with addictive virtual reality technologies created by CatCo’s charming-but-secretive new owner, Andrea Rojas. As Kara uses the power of the press to try to expose this danger, she must contend with challenges put up by rival reporter William Dey, renegade Martian Malefic J’onzz, a shadowy organization called Leviathan, and the shocking return of Lex Luthor who, in addition to his plot for world domination, seeks to claim the soul of Supergirl’s best friend (and his sister) Lena. With humanity choosing to lose itself in technology, can Supergirl save the world yet again?

Supergirl‘s fifth season comes on the heels of what was a clear high point, with its fourth season really pushing and finally firing on the potential the show had shown over the first three years. It also began setting up for an ultimate conflict in the friendship of Lena Luthor and Supergirl. The buildup, the delivery and the turn we were left with at the fourth season’s end felt natural, earned and left an exciting possibility.

At the core, the Lena Luthor vs Cara Danvers conflict at the heart of the fifth season does work. Some of the overarching plot and storylines surrounding the season are where things lag a bit. Unfortunately we can’t see how this would all resolve, which weighs a bit when it comes to thoughts on the season. There are some nice guest in the season, including my man Phil LaMarr having some live action work here as he’s normally just providing his vocals.

Post-Crisis, there is an interesting dynamic in play to get Lex Luthor back into the fold and an added overall challenge in National City, which helps in further escapades. Supergirl is the show that plays into social commentary the most of the CW shows, but the virtual world type stuff is a beat weak compared to last season’s strong blunt commentary on alt-right movements/personalities, the media and finding unity. Its fine but its a significant step down and a bit soft ball in comparison. Hopefully, with Crisis over and less pressure on a crossover, they can sink their teeth into more meaty material. Then again, in 2021, I’m hoping we don’t have such things to take bold strides on. But, I have to remind myself we do live in the darkest timeline. Hopefully, there will still be Supergirl.

Episodes

Event Horizon
Stranger Beside Me
Blurred Lines
In Plain Sight
Dangerous Liaisons
Confidence Women
Tremors
The Wrath of Rama Khan
Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour One
The Bottle Episode
Back from the Future – Part One
Back from the Future – Part Two
It’s a Super Life
The Bodyguard
Reality Bytes
Alex in Wonderland
Deus Lex Machina
The Missing Link
Immortal Kombat

Video

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Over the years with these DC shows, the presentation of them comes around like clockwork and they all pretty much line up to their previous seasons’ audio and visual standards. Supergirl’s fifth season comes to Blu-ray with a business as usual image.  The picture quality holds up to its first season and stand strong with its other CW Arrowverse family. Like always, the Blu-ray provides a step up from its HD broadcast appearance.  Motion, crispness, sharpness improve. Detail is very high.  The show is probably the brightest looking of all the other Arrow-verse programming and that lends itself to a wonderful looking image.

Depth:  Background and foreground imagery have a nice spacey relationship with good clarity. This fourth year has a real nice 3 dimensional work going on here, especially during some in air and flying sequences.

Black Levels:  Blacks are deep and inky.  No crushing witnessed.  Good shading and no real detail lost in the darkness.

Color Reproduction:  Coloring is rich and vibrant here.  Setting her apart from the other shows on the network, Supergirl’s city is bright, tropical and features lots of poppy colors, including her blonde hair.  Blues, reds, yellows…everything looks beautiful.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural with a consistent appearance throughout.  Facial details are window-clear in the bright image, displaying make-up, lip texture, wrinkles, stubble and more.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: Over the years with these DC shows, the presentation of them comes around like clockwork and they all pretty much line up to their previous seasons’ audio and visual standards. Supergirl flies into Blu-ray for the fifth time with another terrific 5.1 presentation.  The mix is a great balance of the score/music, vocals and sound effects.  Things punch up and get effectively loud during some intense battle sequences but also let up for a lot of office and apartment scenes with dialogue taking the lead.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  Crashing, explosions, blasting, punching and much more (Including some dance beats) all thump your subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Mostly front focused, there is some great ambiance and enhancements that feature in the rear speakers.  Front channels give a good toss around playing with movement and distance emanating from the screen.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is loud, crisp and provides excellent clarity.

Extras

Supergirl: The Complete Fifth Season is a 5-Disc set that comes with an episode guide insert sheet and a digital copy of every episode in the season. Disc 5, featuring all episodes of the Crisis On Infinite Earths crossover event, is only available on the Blu-ray edition and is a “limited edition” exclusive. Pretty much all the bonus features, or ones with any weight to them, are on the Crisis disc.

Disc 1

Deleted Scenes (HD, 5:18)

Disc 2

Deleted Scenes (HD, 6:32)

Disc 3

Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:16) 

Disc 4

Deleted Scenes (HD, 4:03)

The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2019 (HD, 51:05) – This is a hodge podge of all the CW DC shows’ panels at San Diego Comic Con 2019. This allows them to use this 1 bonus feature across all releases.

Gag Reel (HD, 7:38)

Disc 5

Crisis On Infinite Earths (HD) – All 5 episodes of the major crossover event are here on the bonus disc.

Crisis On Infinite Earths: The Architects Return (HD, 11:55) – Various credible talking heads discuss the original ambitious comic book run that is the source for the crossover. They also go into how they crafted it to fit their universe while also keeping in line with what the comic was.

Crisis Management (HD, 13:08) – “It was not a burden, it was a gift.” The writers and showrunners discuss the collaboration of talents in front of and behind the camera to bring this to life. They talk about how they geeked out and would walk over to other shows’ sets just to enjoy the whole experience come to life.

Crisis Past and Present: Kevin Conroy Bat Legend (HD, 3:17) – This focuses on the decision to bring animated Batman icon Kevin Conroy to be the live action elder Bruce Wayne in Crisis. Conroy discusses how his voice is much more difficult to maintain for a 12 hour live action shoot than a 2 hour voice recording booth session.

Crisis Past and Present: Superman vs. Superman (HD, 4:37) – On this one we look at Brandon Routh’s continuation of his Superman Returns man of steel.

Characters in Crisis: Pariah (HD, 4:20) – This piece talks about Pariah in the comic book arc and how they utilized it in this televised version of the story.

Characters in Crisis: The Anti-Monitor (HD, 4:55) – Subject says it all, as the show story editors/producers talk about how the villain works in the Arrowverse.

Summary

Like the rest, Supergirl‘s fifth season kind of underwhelms. Perhaps coming off of a terrific season prior made it stand out more, but alas. Still, it was a decent watch week to week, just not of the appointment viewing type. The show comes with a your standard terrific audio/video presentation which is an easy uptick from the broadcast quality. Extras are pretty standard across the Arrowverse board and nothing unique here to set it apart. Pretty standard CW release for these shows here. If you collect them, you know the drill.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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