‘Supergirl’ 3×04 Review: ‘The Faithful’

Even when Supergirl isn’t wowing with particularly thrilling hours, it always manages to find a way to touch your heart. It always finds a way to communicate through the human side of things. That’s something you can always have faith in.

Speaking of faith…

In Supergirl’s latest episode, aptly titled “The Faithful,” there was a prevalent theme of belief and faith sprinkled throughout, which really tested some characters, while also revealing another side to them.

It addressed an issue that a lot of shows tend to shy away from. And the beautiful thing about Supergirl addressing faith and religion is that it wasn’t in your face. Sure, the episode is titled “The Faithful.” Sure, the main villain created a cult that revolves around a religion devoted to Supergirl.

But the message — the heart of the episode — wasn’t something that was shouting in your face. This episode wasn’t about preaching your faith so much as it was about accepting what you believe in. Everyone believes in something, whether it’s a higher being or a loved one or a favorite sports team. This episode really honed in on that aspect of belief.

It’s amazing how a show about an alien continues to weave beautiful stories of humanity and the human spirit in ways that others can’t. Supergirl isn’t flashy. And by that I mean it’s not looking to simply wow you with big action and special effects.

While those are certainly aspects in a superhero show, the heart of the show is its heart. And every single episode in season 3 — even dating back throughout seasons 1 and 2 — have preached powerful messages that speak to the heart. It’s one of the aspects of the show that makes it so important.

This isn’t just a show about a superhero. This is a show about the human spirit.

Let’s break this down:

The Power of Belief

The CW

Belief was at the forefront of Supergirl’s latest hour, “The Faithful,” as one of the people saved by Supergirl — back in the pilot! — created a cult dedicated to serving Supergirl and Rao. While the intentions weren’t bad, anytime there’s a cult, things aren’t going to end well.

It was an interesting question raised: Why do people view Supergirl as a God? As this miracle?

Well, it’s easy to see. Supergirl is unlike anything that us humans could’ve imagined. In a world filled with hate and tragedy, we expect to fall. We don’t expect for a hero to save the day. So, while we don’t have a Supergirl, National City has been granted a reprieve. They’ve seen what life’s like without and with Supergirl. And she represents hope. But she also represents safety and protection. And for those that have been saved by Supergirl, it’s something that has stuck with them.

It’s not hard to see why so many people look at Supergirl like a God. It’s not hard to see why so many people wanted to dedicate themselves to her. Because she saved them. She is what they believe in.

We got a glimpse of that when James opened up to Kara about the first time Superman saved him. When he was on the job trying to get a really cool shot, and he fell. He expected to die. He didn’t expect to make it out of that. But then Superman swooped in and saved him. Like he was being given another chance at life. And while James didn’t show that gratitude and belief the way our “villain” did, that doesn’t take away his belief.

But there’s also a danger that comes with being viewed as a God, as we saw with this cult. There’s always the possibility that things can get out of hand. That preaching what you believe in can morph into something else. And that’s what happened.

Our “villain” wasn’t a villain. He wasn’t intentionally trying to harm people. He truly believed he was helping save them. While his intentions weren’t of ill-will, there was a certain lack of awareness in this situation. But he continued to believe in Supergirl long after he was locked up. Because when you believe in something — really believe in something — it’s not something you can turn off.

But this was also about belief in yourself. Not as some higher being, but just a general belief in yourself that you can aspire to be who you want to be. Belief that, even in the harshest of times, that you can rise above. Even when the grief is unbearable, you can find a way to rise above it. Even if it’s not necessarily immediate.

The Inevitable End for Sanvers

The CW

With each passing episode it feels as if I’m counting down the end to Sanvers. And trust me, it’s not something that I want to do. But since news came of Floriana Lima’s stepping away from Supergirl, as well as the continued foreshadowing to unhappy endings, it’s a foregone conclusion at this point. And the Supergirl writers know it.

The issue that the writers have chosen to infiltrate this relationship appears to be a disagreement over wanting children. Alex wants children. Maggie does not. And while they briefly talked about the issue — which was basically Alex asking and Maggie being direct with “No” — it’s been an issue that has lingered in the background over the past couple of weeks. There were small references and looks from Alex, and that was definitely present in “The Faithful.”

Alex Danvers, from the start, has wanted to please Maggie. She loves that woman more than words, and she thought that was enough. But ever since they had that discussion about kids in the future, it’s been lingering in her mind and taking over her thoughts. Alex knew that the only thing she could do, in this instance, was grin and bear it. She’d have to live with it if she wanted to be with Maggie. Because Maggie wouldn’t ever go back on that.

But this was the breaking point for Alex. Hanging with Sam and Ruby, a beautiful mother-daughter duo that was reflective of exactly what Alex wanted, certainly brought this issue to the forefront for Alex. Alex isn’t content with being “the cool aunt.” Alex wants to be a mother. And, at this point, I don’t think there’s any going back.

There was a beautiful and heartbreaking sequence as Alex watched Ruby shine on stage as she stared at her mother that was so overwhelming that Alex had to bolt from the auditorium. And we all know that Alex Danvers doesn’t cry. But the emotions were getting the best of her. There was a beautiful scene between Alex and Kara where Alex opened up about what she’s been feeling but knows she can’t say to Maggie.

Alex loves Maggie so very much. But Alex wants kids. Alex knows Maggie’s mind will never change. Alex originally tried to ignore it and push past it, but she couldn’t do it anymore. She couldn’t deny what her heart yearned for. And she said it for Kara — and herself — to hear: “I want to be a mom.”

We always knew that the Supergirl writers needed to find an out for Maggie. We knew it wasn’t going to be particularly pretty. But it’s upon us. And the end might be much nearer than we imagined. Because if that image of Alex climbing into bed next to Maggie, holding her, and silently crying didn’t shake you or tell you everything you need to know, then I don’t know what to tell you. The question now becomes: When?

She Will Reign

The CW

I don’t know if I’ve ever been this hyped about a big bad before on any superhero show. Except maybe Reverse Flash in The Flash Season 1. But where Supergirl looks to be headed with Reign this season, that could possibly change.

I don’t think we’ve ever witnessed the big bad before she was the big bad. Like she’s not pretending not to be evil. Sam Arias truly believes that she’s a normal woman that happens to be a dedicated mother and a badass business woman. She has no idea that she’s a World Killer.

We’re meeting our big bad as a human being. She’s someone that’s nice, a loving mother, and a badass woman that we should all aspire to be. She’s quickly becoming friends with Kara, Alex, and Lena, and it’s something really beautiful. I’m marveling in their beautiful dynamic until I remember that she’s going to be the big bad. And there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Even though I want to. Desperately.

And Supergirl is making me hate them for knowing exactly what they’re going to do to Sam — and what that could mean for her daughter; and what that could mean for Sam.

Damn, Supergirl. You’re f***ing good.

If that brilliant storytelling doesn’t excite you, then I don’t know what to say. This is something we haven’t seen before where the big bad is slowly evolving into the big bad in front of our eyes week by week. And the thing is, it’s not Sam’s fault. It’s the Kryptonians that created her. Well, created Reign.

It made me think back to our interviews with the executive producers and Odette Annable at SDCC. Where they really stressed the notion that a lot of people were going to sympathize with Reign. And I thought merely just the situation. But that’s not it at all. It’s also the fact that Reign is Sam. Sam has a life. Sam has a beautiful daughter. Sam and her daughter are going to pay the price. And we’re going to have to watch.

Yes, absolutely, I can sympathize with Reign. And that’s not even getting to the whole World Killer part! Because then there’s Reign’s backstory. All we’ve seen so far is Sam. But Reign’s heartbreaking past will soon come to light. And if that dual storytelling isn’t the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.




Obviously the question isn’t if Sam becomes Reign. It’s when. And with the recent photo of Reign in costume released, it’s only a matter of time. And that time could come sooner rather than later, especially as evidenced by Sam getting the scariest “vision” to date.

9 Things About “The Faithful”

The CW
  1. WAS THAT MON-EL IN THAT POD AT THE END?!
  2. While that wasn’t the most thrilling hour of Supergirl, it was one of those hours that, as a human being, you can really reflect on. The power of faith and the belief in a higher power — whatever higher power you believe in — is impactful. It was a great message in this episode, which highlighted the highs and lows.
  3. SOON SHE WILL REIGN. Seriously, I’m loving how they’re introducing Reign into this season. Sam Arias isn’t a villain. She’s a badass, hardworking mother that has no idea what is about to happen to her. I am already sympathizing with her. I don’t want her to turn evil. Damn, these writers have me good.
  4. Well, that’s surely confirmation of the end for Sanvers. I respect how Alex attempted to adapt to Maggie’s wishes. But when you feel as strongly as Alex does about being a mom, you can’t hold yourself back from that. Still breaks my heart that this is happening. First, Karamel (temporarily, of course), and now Sanvers? My heart!
  5. Also, that scene between Kara and Alex?! God, my Danvers sisters feels knocked the wind out of me!
  6. Can we have a badass ladies night every Monday night? Supergirl is an amazing show that preaches the power of feminism and badass women slaying in personal and professional aspects. Bow down!
  7. I am all for these amazing women on Supergirl raising badass daughters to be badass women, whether that’s Sam or Alex. Raise your daughters right, ladies!
  8. I loved James opening up about his faith and how Superman first saved him. It was a beautiful, raw moment for James, and it was one of the most touching moments of the show. Wonderfully done by Mehcad Brooks.
  9. Also, WAS THAT MON-EL IN THAT POD?!

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



Alyssa Barbieri

Senior Managing Editor

Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment. Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes. Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters. TV Editor and Sports Editor. I write about DCTV, This Is Us and so much more.
Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.

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