Supergirl 2×04 Review: Aliens Among Us

Supergirl is my fun, relaxing show. And by fun and relaxing I mean, a lot of bad stuff still happens – this is DCTV, after all. There are battles to be fought, lessons to be learned. But, for some reason, I always go into this show thinking that the battles will be won – the lessons will be learned.

Or, at the very least, that every episode will move the story forward in some meaningful way, which is something that doesn’t necessarily hold true for Arrow or The Flash these days.

This episode was no exception. Sure, it seemed like Kara had warmed up about Mon-El before, but from that to trust there was still a long way. We wanted Alex and Maggie to get closer, but we didn’t want it to be just a thing that lasted 0.2 seconds, and well …it seems like we’re in for quite a ride. And yes, we were all trilled to find out J’onn J’onzz wasn’t the last green martian, but that came with strings too.

All kinds of strings.

But, all is sorta well that ends well. At least with Kara and Mon-El.

So, let’s talk about “Survivors”:

WHAT DOES HUMANITY MEAN?

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The word humanity has a certain meaning for well, humans. It means kindness, compassion, benevolence, in a way, and it’s a quality that we identify with the good parts of the human race. However, in a world where aliens exist, the word seems to fall a bit short, and at the same time, to encompass so many people.

Because that quality we identify with that specific word is present not just in Kara, but in Mon-El, in J’onn and in so many of the other nameless aliens we’ve met in the past few episodes. They might look different from us, but, for lack of a better word, they’re so human. They love and they grieve and they need connections as much as we do.

And that’s what makes us connect. That’s why we can watch a show about an alien and feel like she’s one of us. And that’s why this show’s gamble of making us care about a bigger picture – of making us see the alien problem they’re trying to present in the same way we’d understand racism or misogyny is the biggest reason why Supergirl is, character-wise, diversity-wise, and yes, even plot-wise, leaps and bounds ahead of its DCTV cousins.

LONG GAME

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I’m an old pro at this shipping business. Ah, X-Files days, I don’t miss you at all. So, yes, I think I’ve developed a good sense for when a show is going there. And this show? This show is going there with Alex and Maggie, for sure.

That’s not the good news. You want to hear the good news? They’re going there slowly. They’re taking us on a journey, not just giving us a token relationship that lasts one episode and is promptly forgotten, as if representation is a box they have to check. LGBT storyline, done. Black character, done. Strong female, done. We can go back to more of the same.

And yes, sometimes we still enjoy shows that tell the same story – but can we really connect to them? Do we feel like they make us better as we watch? Do we feel like they’re telling a story worth telling? Not always.

Supergirl is telling a story worth telling. Supergirl is working hard to normalize a relationship that is frankly, normal. The world is a big, diverse and beautiful place, and TV still has a long way to go till it can look even remotely like our every-day lives are.

But this is a step in the right direction. And, unlike other steps, this is a big one, taken by a main character, on a network TV show. And that’s exciting.

Wait, no …that’s groundbreaking.

SURVIVOR’S GUILT

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I have to start this section with: What in the hell was that ending? Because, what in the hell was that ending? Are you for real, Supergirl? Why you want to make me suffer?

Before that, though, before the big reveal at the end, there was something so relatable about fighting till you can’t think anymore, till the guilt can’t drown you. I thought I didn’t like M’gann, but once we got to the heart of the matter, the truth was, she just hit very close to home.

We all hide parts of ourselves. We all find our own ways to cope with strong feelings. And yes, M’gann certainly chose the wrong way, but that just makes her more …well, as I said before, human.

So, now, can we continue to explore her now all-the-more complicated story her? Pretty please, with a cherry on top? And not just because I want to see a dude happy (though I have a soft spot for Hank), but because she’s another badass female on this show that already seems to be filled with them, and all I have to say is, bring it. Bring it. The more the merrier.

PROTECTOR

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I’ve seen that some people have taken to shipping Kara and Mon-El, to which I just say no …no. Kara’s words at the end of this episode just reinforce the vibe I’ve been getting. And it’s not romantic, not at all.

Years ago, Kara was sent to Earth with a mission – to protect Kal-El. Things didn’t work out that way, and Kara never got to be the protector she was meant to, at least not with her baby cousin. If anything, in their interactions you could say that she and Clark are now equals, even if Kara is technically older, and even if he has more experience being a superhero on Earth. The circumstances have put them on even ground.

Not so with Mon-El. He needs someone to take him by the hand and sorta guide him through life. Not because he can’t do it on his own, of course not, but because having someone to lean on, someone who understands what you’re going through, that’s the ideal way of facing any new situation.

Kara didn’t have that – not really, and she didn’t get to be the person guiding someone else.

Not till now.

And, to be honest, better Kara than Winn. Much better.

Other things to note:

  • Alex’s “I didn’t know he did anything personal” regarding Hank is only funny because it’s true.
  • Does Snapper not know what email is? Who the hell delivers hard-copies these days?
  • “You look like crap.” / “Thank you, I saw the mirror this morning.”
  • I’m here for all the Winn and Mon-El romance. Please, give me more. This needs to be a continuous thing.
  • Is the first rule of the underground alien fight club that you do not talk about the underground alien fight club?
  • James wasn’t around. Can’t say I missed him.
  • I do miss Cat, even if I continue to be surprised at how good this show can be without her.

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

Lizzie

Editor of Things, OUAT Know-it-all

Lawyer. Dreamer. Geek. Eternal optimist. Fangirl since the dawn of time. Hates the color yellow, olives and cigarettes. Has a recurring nightmare where she’s forced to choose between sports and books. Falls in love with fictional characters.

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