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

We’re back with another Supergirl roundtable! Just in time for an episode where the show sets up the inevitable Sanvers breakup , attempts to give us some female bonding – with mixed results – and tries to go deep as it examines the true meaning of faith.

Our Fangirlish writers Lizzie, Lyra, Lacey, Kayla, and Jade and our lovely guest Funmbi, from one of our favorite sites: We So Nerdy,  are breaking down the fourth episode of Supergirl. Here we go!

Describe your thoughts about “The Faithful” using just six words

Lizzie: We could have had it all.

Lyra: Figures even Supergirl has crazy fans.

Lacey: Chad Lowe played eerie too well!

Kayla: No matter what, cults are creepy.

Funmbi: Love the flashback to Season One!

Jade: Inspired by a comic book storyline?

Describe your feelings about “The Faithful” using a gif

Lizzie: 

Lyra: 

Lacey: 

Funmbi: Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory GIF

Jade: I am so weirded out by your gif...

A reporter, special agent, detective, CEO, and CFO had a girls night in where they drank wine and discussed boys. How did you feel about that scene and what does it tell you about the Supergirl writers room?

Lizzie: I feel like this is, in a way, rather normal, and also, a bit tone deaf in that the conversation probably wouldn’t have revolved around JUST guys, not only because there are two lesbians in the room, but also because I don’t think I’ve had a girl’s night out with my friends where we just talk boys since I was like …16, and that was mostly because, at the time, we were all still trying to figure out how boys worked.

These days we discuss politics, sports, OUR JOBS, current affairs, really, most anything BUT guys. And in a way, it’s disrespectful for Supergirl to imply that’s all women talk about, and to me, it shows that the writers room probably doesn’t boast as many women as a female-oriented show like this should.

Lyra: I agree with Lizzie in that this scene is tone deaf and tells me that for being a female oriented show they lack an understanding or maybe the writers to properly represent the female perspective. I’m more likely to talk about fandom stuff with other women than men. If you throw wine into the mix then things get really interesting and ship wars breakout as we try to prove Stucky or Stormpilot are better.

Supergirl had an opportunity to show a different kind of picture when women come together. Instead they fell into an age-old cliche and ended up looking ignorant for it. It also chipped away a little bit more at my faith in the show and how it portrays the women in it. I’m not dropping the show anytime soon but I’m going to keep an eye out and see how they deal with scenes like this again in the future.

Lacey: I liked the normalcy of the scene. It showed the human side of Kara which is nice to see sometimes. But at the same time, it was a little awkward. Kara can’t truly bare it all with Lena and Sam there. And there must be a lot of Kara/Lena BFF scenes we don’t see because I just don’t get where the “best friend” title is coming from. In my opinion, if anyone is Kara’s best friend, it has been and always will be Winn. I get that her and Lena are friends, I just don’t see the best friend aspect; especially considering she hasn’t even told Lena she’s Supergirl yet.

Also, boys aren’t the only thing girls talk about when they’re together. Yes, it’s usually a topic of discussion but it’s not everything. But my heart did break at Kara talking about Mon-El. *insert sobbing emoji*

Kayla: I found this scene to be normal and much needed for the show. Though it is very unrealistic for Lena and Sam to be sharing a girls night with Kara, Maggie, and Alex. While, it’s nice to see positive female friendships on this show, I’ve always felt Kara and Lena’s to be forced.

However, I do feel that the way it was written and the way the characters were placed where they were in the scene was done on purpose. To send a message to a certain part of the fandom. I’ve said that the moment it aired.

Funmbi: I love the idea of Kara and Lena cultivating this friend group of awesome ladies who are badasses in their respective fields. Over the course of the scene, Kara, Lena, Alex, Maggie, and Samantha shared jokes about previous relationships and also offer support to one another, especially when Samantha talked about potentially failing as a mother. I also liked that Kara was able to open up a little about Mon-El and found reassurances from these women. Positive female friendships FTW! At the same time, I wouldn’t be real if I didn’t say that, when Kara and Lena first invited Samantha to join them for the girl’s night, I was all *DNW gif* It’s quite clear that something is going on with Samantha, and I don’t want her insinuating herself into Kara’s life in a way that will backfire on Team Supergirl. Alas, this seems to be the direction we’re heading in.

Jade: I celebrate that they put all these women together, and I’m all for seeing more female friendships on television. It is, however, disheartening that the entire conversation had to do with the men in their lives, past and present. (Except for at the end, when they talked about Samantha’s life as a single mom.) Yes, my friends and I talk about our boyfriends/husbands. We also talk about life and work and movies and everything else. I would have liked this scene more if the discussion of relationships had been a smaller part of it and it had focused on more. All that discussion about relationships wasn’t really needed – not even to remind the audience that Mon-El is gone and Kara is sad. We could hardly forget. At any rate, like Lizzie, I think the writers’ room could use a few more women in it. Then again, there probably aren’t many shows that couldn’t benefit from a few more women behind the scenes.

Alex broke down and finally told Kara about her want for a child and her fears about what it means for her future with Maggie. What does it say about their relationship that they didn’t talk about this child issue before their engagement? Is this something that would tear a couple apart in real life? Whose side are you on?

Lizzie: I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong answer here, it’s as valid for Alex to want to have kids as it is for Maggie not to want to have kids, and as much as it might seem absurd that there’s no compromise to be reached, sometimes, there just isn’t. Sometimes no one is willing to change their minds. Now, granted, this is all moving fast and the show isn’t really showing us Maggie’s side, but I’m assuming that, since Floriana is leaving, this will be one those cases where there’s no compromise to be found.

Do I think they should have talked about this before? Certainly. I don’t find it unbelievable that they didn’t, though, because they sorta skipped a few steps along the way. What I find sort of, if not unbelievable, at least unlikely, is that two people who clearly care about each other enough to consider sharing a life couldn’t just have an open conversation about this now. And the thing is, even if I wanted to take a side, I couldn’t, not yet, because we still don’t even truly know what Maggie thinks …and we don’t really have that much time left!

Lyra: Honestly, I don’t think picking sides is possible with an issue like this. These two women obviously love each other. But they’re on two different paths in this life. It’s not wrong that one of them wants children and the other doesn’t. What is wrong is pretending like everything’s okay and that you are willing to give up a part of yourself and your wants for someone else. If you do that you’re not being true to yourself and heading down a road where you hold resentment for that person in the future.

Believe it or not, things like this can tear a couple apart. Most people assume that because you’re a woman you want children and they always give you that little side eye as if you’re crazy when you say you don’t. I’m trying to have a little faith in the show and attribute this to the reason why Alex and Maggie are having this big issue between them. But the show portrays it in such a way where I think they rushed into this marriage. They needed more time to get to know each other before they jumped to this step. Sadly, now it’s too late and we’re at the end of the line where they break up.

Lacey: I don’t think that they were wrong by not talking about this prior to getting engaged. Yes, it’s something important that couples should talk about but there isn’t a set time limit on when it should be discussed and if there was, I would say before the actual marriage takes place. It is 100% something that could tear a couple apart. I have known couples to split, even divorce over the topic of children. I think what we’re seeing with Alex and Maggie is something that is completely normal and something that a lot of people can relate to. Everyone is different and sees the world in unique way. That’s what attracts us to each other. They are dealing with a real life problem and I don’t think either is wrong in their feelings or beliefs.

However, the conflict isn’t surprising as we all knew that Floriana chose to leave the show, so we knew something would happen that would ultimately tear these two apart.

Kayla: Alex and Maggie not talking about children prior to getting engaged says a lot about their relationship. To me it says that the engagement was rushed and that until Alex saw Kara lose Mon-El, she didn’t even think of spending her life with Maggie.

She didn’t want to follow the same fate of her sister so she freaked out and proposed to Maggie. That is not how marriage proposals work. You marry because you know you love that person so much you can’t live without them, not for fear of losing them. Having children is a conversation you have before you get engaged. End of story!

Is it something that would tear a couple apart in real life? Absolutely. As a woman never planning to have a child, I can tell you that for me finding someone that doesn’t want children is my biggest goal. If my partner tried to force me to do the thing I don’t want to do (this case…have a baby), then the game is over. I definitely can see it from both sides. I applaud the writers for making it very realistic.

Despite my own beliefs on the topic, I’m on Alex’s side. She’s always been very maternal. She pretty much raised Kara. You shouldn’t be with someone who doesn’t make you completely happy. You can love someone so much it hurts, and still have one topic that is a deal breaker. This was Alex’s deal breaker. She didn’t want to miss out on all the Mom things – school plays, soccer games, ballet. Being an aunt is cool…believe me. For me it’s enough, for Alex it isn’t. I can see Alex’s POV, and I’m fully on her side.

Why am I not Team Maggie? Because forcing your partner to not have kids because you don’t want them, when you know that they do is wrong. You know that person is unhappy about the situation and, yet, here’s Maggie doing this.

Again, kudos to the writers on a realistic storyline that I could relate to.

Funmbi: Here’s the thing–I’m very sympathetic to Maggie’s position on this issue. In real life, I think there’s an assumption that surely all women (and maybe men too) of a certain want children. If you don’t have kids, then there must be something physically wrong because, naturally all women want to be mothers, right? I reject this. Not everyone wants to have kids and women shouldn’t be shamed for making that choice. At the same time, I feel Alex’s perspective quite deeply. The scene where Alex watches Ruby perform on that stage and breaks down is so moving. Alex wants to be a mom and I sincerely believe that is an experience she should have. But I find myself in a conundrum. I can’t choose a side. I don’t think the decision to have (or not have) children is something that should necessarily be a compromise. But now Alex and Maggie’s relationship is at a major crossroads and I don’t see how they can move forward together. Maggie shouldn’t feel pressured to have kids and Alex shouldn’t have to give that dream up. I hate that I’m even saying this because I love SANVERS. I mean, I’m sure a relationship therapist would have counseled Alex and Maggie have the conversation about children earlier. Yet, the two of them fell deep in love pretty spontaneously. Even with this disagreement, I think Alex’s and Maggie’s love is strong. But the truth is sometimes love isn’t enough.

Jade: I really don’t think it’s about “taking sides” on this issue. It isn’t about two people viewing the same situation from two different perspectives and trying to figure out which one is closer to the truth. This is a situation about two people who fundamentally want different things.

Should they have had that conversation before they got engaged? Absolutely. Would they be the first couple in history who got engaged thinking they were both on the same page because they didn’t realize they were assuming what the other person wanted when there had never been a conversation about it? Nope. And those situations rarely end well.

As for what it as about their relationship…I think they deeply love each other, but there are clearly conversations that they should have had much earlier in their relationship. I can understand Alex trying to make her love for Maggie enough to overcome her desire for a child. I think Maggie probably thinks at this point that Alex really is okay with it because Alex isn’t really being honest about her feelings. I do wish that we saw Maggie struggle in the same way that Alex is doing – questioning what she wants and struggling with what this will mean. Right now, it’s one sided. Alex is unhappy and trying to compromise (though having a child is really one of those things that you either have or you don’t). But the show isn’t giving Maggie any opportunity to do the same. Even if they still ended up realizing they’ll never find common ground on this issue and have to separate, it wouldn’t seem such a one-sided conflict.

Chyler Leigh, who plays Alex, gave us all the feels in her characters confession to Kara. Use a gif to describe your feelings about her acting and that scene

Lizzie: 

Lyra: 

Lacey: 

Funmbi: Sad Oprah Winfrey GIF

Jade: 

What did you think about the cult that worshiped Supergirl? Were they cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs or were they just over excited fangirls and boys?

Lizzie: I’m going to go with A. It was more than a little creepy, and the sad part is they didn’t realize it, but I guess that’s the way it always is. I liked that the show tried to tie this together with true faith and, in a way, show the difference between the kind of fanaticism these people engaged in and the faith that can truly lift you up.

Lyra: I think it’s a little bit of both. Faith is a powerful thing and when you combine it with such a powerful concept, like being rescued by Supergirl, things get a little twisted up. You see this person, or alien that has rescued you, and you attribute their deeds as things that should be worshiped. They don’t see that their God/hero/Kara bleeds just like they do or they don’t care like we saw at the end.

Talking about the end, I was kind of disturbed by the fact that he thought he needed to save her. He wouldn’t take no for an answer and thought that he knew better than her on how she should lead her life. It’s one of the things that I hate about religion, where one side obviously knows the other is doing wrong and will fix it for them, even by force.

Lacey: One word: Ca-reep-py. While I love the respect and admiration they had for Supergirl, at the end of the day, it was a cult. Twisting the beliefs that people had to fit his own agenda, Coville most definitely crossed the line. It’s one thing to worship an idol, it’s an entirely different thing to plot to harm people to further your agenda. But bravo to Mr. Lowe on his performance because he killed it!

Kayla: After a rewatch of the episode, my thoughts on this were solidified. Yes, it’s creepy. They were nuts. I felt for Kara because to her, she’s just doing her duty. To her, she’s not special. It’s just her biology that gives her the powers that make her “god like”. Even James called her a miracle.

I get having your life saved by a being like Kara would be life changing. I do see the perspective of the members of this cult. However, going as far as Coville went was disturbing.

The teachings of Rao were being twisted and perverted to suit the agenda of the cult (which made Kara angry – and rightfully so). They handled the topic with grace.

It took Kara being exposed to Kryptonite from the beatheadron for them to realize she could bleed…she has a weakness. That she isn’t a god. Once they saw that, they fled.

Sometimes, it’s just that. Seeing someone or something as more than human, and you get obsessed. However, when you see that they are just like you. A human being…or that they have flaws and weaknesses. You flee.

The writers it seems were using a metaphor to fandom culture. Often fans twist things in canon to move their own agenda. However, once some fans see the person you fave as flawed, you criticize, you flee. Instead of realizing they are just like you. They have feelings, weaknesses, and flaws. They are human.

Funmbi: When Kara, James, and Winn walked into that “service” and realized that all the people in that room were worshiping Supergirl, I was totally shocked. At first I was sympathetic. All of these people had been saved by Supergirl and it changed their lives in a major way. Coleville was on the plane that Kara saved in her first act as Supergirl. We know that Kara’s priority was rescuing her sister, but you could see that it completely altered Coleville’s perspective of life in that very moment. Similarly, the one lady that shared her testimony talked about regretting her decision to commit suicide instantly, and Supergirl swooping in to give her another chance. But then, when homegirl’s boyfriend set a building on fire to essentially trick Supergirl into saving him so he could join the group? Nope, I’m not here for that type of deception. Plus it was bonkers! Kara is already stretched thin; she does NOT need people staging accidents in order to meet her! However, one of the themes of the show is the importance of faith and a much healthier representation of that are the scenes where Kara is praying with her mom and J’onn shares religious services with his father. To me, a couple things were even more curious: (1) why would Coleville say he was worshiping Rao? Where did he even learn about Rao? (2) What happened to that lady who approached Samantha at Ruby’s soccer game and said that Ruby was “special”?

Jade: This episode made me pull further back in my memory archives than I’d care to admit to remember one of my favorite eras of Supergirl (and perhaps one of the last times they’ve had a clear idea and direction for her character in the comics). In the era of Supergirl where Matrix had merged with Linda Danvers, there was a storyline where Kara was being worshiped by the Church of Supergirl. Eventually, her friend and complicated love interest died of cancer because he turned to the Church instead of pursuing treatment.

It was creepy in the comics, and it’s creepy on the show. But I always get a little thrill when the show brings a story-line from the comics to life. Though any connection to this arc in the show is inspiration at best, the dangers of blind faith are at the heart of both stories. Faith can be a good thing, but not when it goes too far and crosses the line into obsession. I did particularly enjoy the juxtaposition between the fanatical idolatry of the cult leader and the little girls inspired by Supergirl. A character like Supergirl is going to inspire both reactions, and that won’t always be easy for her to handle.

I also really loved that the episode later compared the near-madness and destructiveness of the cult leader’s obsession and the strength that true faith can provide. Though M’yrnn J’onzz had no lines, the brief glimpse of him praying was a reminder of what his faith helped him survive. It was really well done.

Sam is on the fast track to becoming Reign after being covered in markings, Doctor Who ‘The Silence’ style, and haunted by some mysterious figure while in the bathroom. Speculate on what happens next.

Lizzie: Granted, Sam seems more interesting than about any other villain so far, but I’m still not too emotionally connected with her story and I still want to just ground Ruby half the time, so I’m not the person who’s given this much thought or concocted Reign scenarios in my head. That being said, we know she’s going dark, and I kinda hope Ruby is, eventually, the one who breaks her out of it. I also hope she survives. We need more female friendships on this show.

Lyra: I’m fighting everything in me to not invest in Sam because I know the road that she’s on. There’s something darker in her that she does not understand but is coming to the surface rapidly. Very soon something will overwhelm her and cause her to bring destruction down upon the city and Supergirl. Of course the fact that she has a child means that her daughter will help her hold onto her humanity. But there will be a whole lot of pain and terror until that happens.

Lacey: It’s hard to be surprised because we all know she’s going to become Reign. With characters like Jay Garrick/Zoom on The Flash and Adrian Chase on Arrow, we didn’t see their betrayal coming. I think with Sam, it’s almost hard to get emotionally attached to her because you know she’s ultimately going to be the big bad for S3. I too ask the question “why now?” Sam has been living in National City for probably her entire life and now everything is happening? The only thing I can think of is that something happens to Ruby and it truly triggers her for the worse.

Kayla: Well, as we know, we’ve never seen our Big Bad turn into our Big Bad. It‘s exciting. Heartbreaking, but exciting.

Why now? What’s triggering Sam to turn into the world killer we know as Reign? In the premiere, we saw her use her strength to save Ruby. What triggered her? And what’s causing these, what I guess to be hallucinations that could be in a horror movie. And the Kryptonian writing all over her. Is there a clue in there? Did anyone check?

I speculate that this will keep happening and every time either, Sam is closer and closer to Reign, or she has a split personality and doesn’t remember being one while she’s the other.

What’s going to happen to Ruby? Will Ruby be Sam’s breaking point? Will her fear over possibly hurting her daughter be what makes her realize she’s too dangerous to live. Doubt that, but I’m concerned for Ruby.

The writers have called Reign, Kara’s Doomsday. Meaning once she’s Reign, no more Sam. It will be an interesting journey, but very heartbreaking.

Funmbi: I have no frame of reference for understanding what is happening to Samantha. She seems like a nice enough lady, a dedicated mom and co-worker. But this impending Reign situation feels dangerous. It’s like I said before, I don’t even want Samantha anywhere near Kara and Team Supergirl. We know that Reign is coming and whatever it is that triggers Samantha into embracing that evil side will be something bad, indeed. I’m quite nervous.

Jade: I’m sure the show runners will continue this dichotomy for her as they make Kara and Samantha grow closer to give that story greater stakes. Plus, they clearly want to make sure the audience is completely emotionally destroyed when she becomes Reign. Like Kayla, I worry what this will mean for Ruby and what will happen to her. Or if her father’s identity will end up being important.

The episode ended with a scene of a mysterious pod and it’s occupant awakening. Speculate a little on who you think is in there.

Lizzie: All signs point to it being Mon-El. Supergirl is hardly subtle, and even if we didn’t know Chris Wood was still a regular, him coming back would just make sense. His story just feels unfinished. But, other than that, and the certainty that the Legion of Superheros is going to have something to do with this, I’ve got nothing. And I’m perfectly happy that way.

Lyra: I wanted to speculate big and think that it was somebody else…but it’s probably Mon-el. This would be the perfect time to bring him back just as Kara is working through her pain at losing him. It will make a lot of her feelings resurface and complicate things for sure. Which a show on The CW is basically made of.

Lacey: Mon-El. MON-EL!! Did I say Mon-El?! PLEASE let it be our adorable space puppy cause this fangirl can’t take much more! I assumed when we first got a shot of the underwater craft, that it was Reign’s pod. We see now that it’s clearly not a pod but a ship and everything in my research and those that I follow and talk to points to the Legion of Superheroes so again, PLEASE let it be Mon-El rocking his new Valor suit!

Kayla: I’m deep in the Karamel side of the Supergirl fandom. We speculate. A lot. We have people who searched that scene over and over for the clues that the writers dropped. From the Interlac writing (language of the Legion of Superheroes) to whose hand that looked like. We covered it all.

One, that’s a Legion Time ship. (Yes, that is what you think it is. I’m speculating time travel. We know the Arrowverse has it! And the Legion definitely is capable.) Why is it underwater? Who knows? How long has it been there? Who knows? We can only guess.

However, the person waking up – there was one resounding answer – and I believe it with every fiber of my being – MON-EL.

He’s coming back. He’s awake. What does mean for the next episode? Who is with him? We know Saturn Girl has been cast. Who else? How many more? And is this why Kara’s been dreaming of him for months? Because he and the Legion have been trapped in stasis on this ship underwater and they have been begging her to free them before they die. That’s just a prediction, don’t quote me on it.

Funmbi: OK, I need to be honest. I thought the person in the pod was the lady/being who Samantha saw in the mirror at the end of the episode and said to her “one day soon you will reign…” But after rewatching, I realize that I was confused because there’s another pod, somewhere else, with someone waking up. It better be Mon-El, and hopefully whatever is happening in that pod has made it so he can return to the Earth’s atmosphere without being harmed.

Jade: I would be surprised if it’s anyone other than Mon-El. From the way his story ended last season (and the fact he’s been mentioned in every episode of this season), the show is obviously building to his return. Since I do try to avoid spoilers for this show, I don’t quite know what’s going to happen once he’s back, so all I can do is speculate.

So I’m going to speculate that faith isn’t just coincidentally the major theme of the episode in which his return (as I believe it will be) is alluded to. Whatever happens when he comes out of the pod, I think it will test Kara’s strength and her faith – in him and in the two of them together.

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

Lissete Lanuza Sáenz

Senior Managing Editor

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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