In a season where DC Comics shows haven’t been at their best, Supergirl has been the class of DCTV this season (alongside Legends of Tomorrow) with a second season that has been all kinds of impressive. Perhaps moving from CBS to The CW was the perfect fresh start Supergirl needed to focus on what works and introduce newer elements that have made this second season so much better than the first.
While Supergirl hasn’t been perfect — though it’s been close — it has been leaps and bounds better than its freshman season, which was endearing yet didn’t quite find its footing. Supergirl just didn’t feel comfortable in its own skin. Luckily, Supergirl learned what worked (the tone and addressing important issues) and what didn’t work (Kara/James and the Big Bad) and was able to make adjustments heading into season 2.
And those adjustments certainly worked. With a new theme in Kara’s journey introduced — balancing her life as Supergirl and learning that she can also have a personal life — and introducing new characters that have given direction to existing characters while also teasing a bright future, Supergirl’s heart continues to be the heart of its characters. And that’s always the most important part about this series.
Supergirl continues to deliver with its heart pounding action; it continues to deliver powerful messages about issues that we face in our reality; and it finally gave us not one, but two beautiful romances for our favorite pair of sisters that has everyone talking.
Here are 11 reasons why Supergirl is even better in season 2:
1. The New Characters Provide Depth
Usually when a show introduces new characters, especially several that have the potential to develop into more significant roles, it can often weaken a show or feel like these characters exist for no reason at all. But Supergirl has not only introduced some pretty solid characters with amazing potential, including Clark Kent, Mon-El, Lena Luthor, and Maggie Sawyer, but the show has managed to do right by them.
Naturally, Superman isn’t going to serve a significant role in Supergirl. This is her show. But the time that he has been involved (three episodes this season), it’s felt so natural and has delivered some amazing moments between the cousins. Plus, the door will always be open for him to return. With Mon-El, we’ve gotten to see a story of redemption that has been as inspiring as it’s been intriguing. He’s received some unwarranted hate, sure, but people just can’t stop talking about him. His character has reminded us that people aren’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean they can’t aspire to be better versions of themselves.
Lena and Maggie are two characters that have been introduced and seen a focus, but I feel like they’re more along the lines of characters being set up for more in depth focus next season. But from what we’ve seen from Lena and Maggie as individuals, the trend of strong women continues to reign strong on Supergirl. There is so much that this show can do with both Lena and Maggie that has me even more excited for season 3.
2. Focus on Kara Juggling Her Hero Identity and Personal Life
One of my favorite things about this second season is that Kara’s been allowed to grow as a character. She isn’t stuck in a second season of “Can I be Supergirl?” No, she’s dealing with a new issue that is a huge part of the hero that she is. Kara is learning to juggle her life as Supergirl and having a personal life. While it hasn’t been easy, she’s come to understand that she can in fact do both. Some seem to think Kara has been overshadowed this season, but that isn’t the case. Sure, not everything is about here like it was last season. But that’s not a bad thing. It hasn’t taken away from Kara’s story. We’ve seen her focus her attention on being a reporter, which has taken a temporary break due to Kara’s struggles with conforming to what Snapper Carr expected of her (not Mon-El, like haters believe.) But even that’s a story that isn’t over. Kara has had to deal with a lot this season, including two potential Big Bads that have certainly tested her.
Season 1 was all about Kara becoming Supergirl. And while that’s always going to be part of her journey on this show, it’s not the only part of her journey. There’s always that stigma of “ugh, too much romance.” But that’s typically coming from the people that aren’t seeing the romance they want to see. (Exhibit A: Arrow). But for people to diminish the importance of romance, which at its core is in fact a relationship, is laughable and sad. There are some people that think romance is different from relationships. Sure, it’s a different kind of relationship, but it’s a relationship nonetheless. And relationships serve to further characters. Isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?
3. The Magic of Karamel
Say what you want about Karamel, haters (we don’t care), but there’s no denying that Kara and Mon-El’s relationship has been the talk of this second season. Not only that, but it’s actually given our central hero a love interest with which she actually has chemistry with. I like James, but the romance the show tried between him and Kara in season 1 just did not work. Not only was he in a relationship with another woman, when the two did finally get together in the season finale, it just wasn’t the epic romance I’d hoped for. Then Mon-El snuck up on me in season 2.
A lot of the great romances on television are the ones that are unexpected. They’re the ones that happen naturally due to the chemistry between actors. Then the writers just let the story play out between the two characters, and you usually get magic. Karamel was a relationship that completely snuck up on me. I didn’t know how much I needed it until it was a thing. And then things made sense. This wasn’t a romance for the sake of romance. This was a romance that was helping progress our leading heroine’s journey in season 2, as she’s learning that it’s possible to be more than just Supergirl. That she, Kara, isn’t Supergirl. But Supergirl is Kara.
Kara’s relationship with Mon-El, which has been controversial to say the least given that’s the case when people ship different things, has allowed us to explore a new side to Kara that we didn’t necessarily get to see in season 1. Season 1 was all about Kara becoming Supergirl. And while that’s always
4. Continuing to Address Important Issues
Something that Supergirl has always done so well is addressing issues in its own world that are related to the issues we face as a country and as a world. One of the episodes that still stands out to me this season was “Exodus,” which dealt with the issues of deportation and immigration in a way that was unique to Supergirl but also personal to the audience as those are both issues that affected our country.
Supergirl being a show about an alien — in a world where aliens are a thing — kind of allows the show to tackle these issues in a way that’s fictional but oh so very real. It uses a fictional element to bring light to these very important issues. And as we watch, we realize that we’re living in that same type of world. Only the hero we have isn’t Supergirl; it’s everyday heroes like you and me.
5. The Beauty of Sanvers
One of my favorite things this season has certainly been exploring Alex Danvers as an individual. While she was a huge part of Kara’s journey last year, we never got to see who Alex Danvers was. And this season has explained to us exactly why that is: Alex’s life has been all about Kara. That is, until Maggie Sawyer.
Maggie’s arrival jump started an amazing storyline in which Alex discovered her true self and brought to life a beautiful love story that is allowed to flourish in all of its glory. Supergirl doesn’t treated Alex and Maggie’s relationship like a gay relationship — they just treat it like a relationship, which is refreshing. These two have been allowed to grow into their relationship and themselves. They’ve faced issues together as a couple. They continue to be a beautiful representation of love in a world of evil. And that chemistry is enough to make our hearts race. But the beautiful thing is that there’s still so much more to tell with Sanvers’ love story.
6. Female-Led Big Bads
While the true Big Bad’s identity isn’t quite certain, one thing that we are certain about is that both Lillian Luthor and Queen Rhea are both solid villains that have tested Kara as a hero and individual. Given how Supergirl failed with Astra last season — killing her and attempting to sell Non as this indestructible Big Bad — it looks like they’ve learned to at least make these villains that Kara faces have an advantage over her; an advantage that’s actually convincing.
Supergirl is a superhero show led by a female hero. So it’s not only an opportunity to see a female hero in action, but it’s an opportunity to see more strong women on display. When we think of Big Bads, we tend to think of this big, strong, ruthless man out to destroy the world. Why? Because it’s what we see on television. But Supergirl is showing us that, not only is it possible to have female villains, but that they can be even more terrifying than the physical presence of a man.
7. Introducing Superman Into the Universe
There are two reasons why Superman doesn’t serve a significant presence on Supergirl. One: This is Kara’s show; the focus is on her. And two, Superman lives in Metropolis and Kara lives in National City. These cities each need their own hero.
But with that said, Supergirl’s decision to introduce Superman into Supergirl’s world in the season premiere was an amazing decision. In the first two episodes of the season, we were treated with a phenomenal portrayal by Tyler Hoechlin and a breath of fresh air with his version of Clark Kent. This show has allowed the door to always be open for Superman to stop by, but it’s also made it clear that this is Kara’s story. There’s no need for Clark to serve a significant presence just because he’s a part of this universe.
8. Giving Focus to Other Characters
Yes, this show is called Supergirl and is about Kara Danvers. But Supergirl is so much more than just Kara. It’s about the people in her life that surround her and eventually there needs to be a focus on them as individuals outside of Kara. We’ve seen that with Alex, J’Onn, and Mon-El, who have all gotten to explore a side of themselves that we hadn’t seen.
Supergirl is an ensemble show made up of an amazing cast that portrays some pretty amazing and interesting characters. Still, 43 minutes a week isn’t nearly enough to do everyone justice. Especially given that there are so many amazing new characters that I would love to learn everything about. But even if there was the time, we wouldn’t watch a show just about Kara because then that would mean that we’d miss out on the people and relationships that define her as a hero and an individual. There’s been a lot of talk this season that Kara hasn’t gotten her rightful screen time, and I have to laugh. She’s in nearly every scene. This is her show. Nice try.
9. Mon-El Is Not A Problem
There’s all this whoey about Kara taking a backseat in her season. And people tend to blame Mon-El (which is ridiculous.) Sure, he’s new. Sure, he’s gotten a good portion of attention as a series regular with a significant role in this series and in Kara’s life, but so have Alex and J’Onn. And I don’t hear people complaining about that. No, they’re complaining because it’s Mon-El, who has been the most unjustly criticized character I’ve seen in recent history on these comic book shows. Surprising too, considering he’s a hero in the comics.
Mon-El is a great character because he is flawed. Back on Daxam, he was playboy royalty — and he himself even admitted that he was ashamed of who he used to be. But Mon-El’s time on Earth has allowed him a second chance. Kara, as she does for most, inspired Mon-El to be the best version of himself. He’s flawed. He makes mistakes. But he continues to try to better himself day-by-day. Basically, he’s the perfection representation of all of us.
10. Teasing a Friends-Turned-Enemies Dynamic Between Kara & Lena
It’s not lost on me that some six years after Smallville took its final bow that The CW now has a show centered around his cousin, Supergirl. So naturally there were going to be comparisons. But one of my favorite things about Smallville was the dynamic between fated foes Clark Kent and Lex Luthor, who started as friends and became enemies. So when Supergirl introduced Lena Luthor, I was already seeing the parallels between these two relationship.
Supergirl has developed a nice friendship between Kara and Lena (and Lena doesn’t know Kara is Supergirl). Following the “Luthors” episode where the show essentially teased Lena could go either way in regards to the Luthor name — follow her family to evil, or continue to forge her path to good. While Lena yearns to make good of the Luthor name, there was a tease that perhaps it’s not as simple as we thought. After all, she is a Luthor. With Supergirl introducing this dynamic between Kara and Lena, we could be in for some damn good television as these two friends might soon find themselves enemies.
11. Exploring Kara & Alex As Individuals
While my favorite relationship on this show has always been Kara and Alex — and while there hasn’t been as much about their relationship in this second season — I’ve admired how Supergirl has allowed these girls to explore themselves outside of each other. It’s always felt like they relied too much on each other and were afraid to live their own lives, as we saw specifically with Alex this season.
Trust me, I long for more Kara and Alex scenes (and it sounds like we’ll be getting them coming up), but I also love that they’ve been allowed to discover themselves as more than just a sister; they’re discovering themselves as individuals.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.