‘Supergirl’ 1×14 Roundtable: ‘Truth, Justice, and the American Way’

Every week, Fangirlish writers will be discussing new episodes of Supergirl and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and speculation about the hour’s hot topics in a little something we like to call Fangirlish Roundtables.

Today, we’re breaking down episode 13 of Supergirl, “For the Girl Who Has Everything” where we discuss morality, Kara’s newest foe at CatCo, and Alex’s guilt over keeping the truth from Kara.

What were your overall thoughts on “Truth, Justice, and the American Way?”

ALYSSA

While this episode wasn’t huge in the grand scheme of things, I really enjoyed “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” because it forced Kara to examine a situation from what she believed was right to what she knew was right. Moral dilemmas and lessons learned are incredibly significant for heroes. I also loved the introduction of Italia Ricci as Siobhan, who will become Silver Banshee. It’s like a slow burn for her eventual evil self. As for this episode as a whole, it was beautifully shot and directed by Lexi Alexander, who’s also directed an episode of Arrow. DC television is doing great things for women on screen and behind the scenes.

LYRA

It was a slow and steady introduction to a new character and the evolution of existing relationships. I liked the introduction of the new assistant and loathed the extra drama with Lucy and James. She deserves better than a man who fell in love with someone else while with her. You know what that means right? He never truly loved her. And if he did it’s not enough. Kara’s dilemma about power is something that all who see themselves as weak experience in life. (*whispers* remember that Batman vs. Superman quote ‘absolute power corrupts’?) It’s about the people you’re trying to protect being afraid of you because they don’t understand and how you respond.



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Kara faced a moral dilemma when it came to holding Maxwell Lord captive at the DEO. What are your thoughts on the situation and Kara’s decision to release him?

ALYSSA

While I’ll be the first to admit that Maxwell Lord is a walking cockroach, this episode really drove home the fact that what Kara, Alex, and Hank were doing by holding Lord captive at the DEO wasn’t right. I don’t know if it was because I saw this through Kara’s eyes or if it had to do with Lord’s general demeanor, but I was content with keeping Lord locked up forever. But of course we knew he’d eventually get out. I just assumed it wouldn’t be at his own accord.

Something I found interesting about this episode was that we found Kara sort of lose herself for a moment, treading the line between what’s morally right and what she wants to be right. She had so much rage for this man and the terrible things that he’s done that it was almost a no-brainer to keep him far away from the world. But in doing so Kara became as bad as Lord or Astra’s army of Fort Rozz prisoners. That’s the difference between heroes and villains. Villains are acting upon something that they believe to be right while heroes understand that they have to abide by what’s right. It really is a fine line between heroes and villains. But Kara eventually learned her lesson like heroes usually do. While she might believe she’s protecting the world and those she cares about from Maxwell Lord’s reign, it’s not morally right to be holding him against his will. And that was another huge moment in her character’s growth.

LYRA

Her moral dilemma stemmed from wanting to have control of the situation around her and avoid the unexpected. She wanted to suppress Maxwell because it was easier this way. No more crazy drama or his super power company trying to kill her if she had him on lock-down. Letting him go was the right thing to do. It keeps true to what Kara wants to stand for as Supergirl, justice and protecting the human race, even Max. The cherry on top is mutually assured destruction keeps him in line because he’d totally blab if they didn’t have a stockade of blackmail on him.

"Truth, Justice and the American Way" -- Supergirl does battle with the deadly Master Jailer, who is hunting and executing escaped Fort Rozz prisoners. Also, Cat hires a second assistant, Siobhan Smythe (Italia Ricci), who immediately tries to one-up Kara, and Kara and James disagree over the DEO's methods, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, Feb. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured left to right: Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist Photo: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2016 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Alex is feeling immensely guilty for going along with Hank’s lie to Kara about who really killed Astra. Why do you think Alex, who seemed to want to tell Kara the truth in the beginning, chose to keep it a secret?

ALYSSA

I believe it’s because she’s scared of what Kara’s reaction to the news will be. When the situation first happened Alex didn’t even hesitate about wanting to tell Kara the truth – that it was her that killed Astra. But after Hank took the blame and the way Kara has been treating Hank since, you can see the doubt playing behind Alex’s eyes. To Alex, this secret poses the potential to drive a wedge between the two sisters. And while her first instinct was to tell the truth, now that there’s been a lie hanging over her head Alex knows that it won’t end well. But the only way it can end well is if Alex fesses up before Kara has to learn on her own.

LYRA

She’s keeping the secret because she’s finally come to agree with Hank. Her sister needs her. The way that Kara is treating Hank is further proof that to her that the truth will alienate her from her sister. She values her relationship with her sister way too much to let it deteriorate. It’s also a bit selfish. Kara is the only thing that Alex has. She’s alone without her.

Kara hasn’t taken well to Hank revealing that he was the one that killed Astra (or so she believes). What are your thoughts on her reaction, and do you think Kara would have the same reaction if Alex had told her that it was her?

ALYSSA

My first thought was: Did Hank tell Kara what really happened? Well, about the fact that Astra was about to kill someone she cared about (Hank, but in this case “Alex”) and it was a her or her situation. Surely if Kara knew that Hank had done something to protect her sister that she would surely forgive him? Or at least thank him from saving her sister’s life? But my guess is, no, he didn’t tell her. Because perhaps taking the fall for Astra’s death is the extent of his lie in this situation. But with that said, I find Kara’s behavior toward Hank to be very unlike her. And I don’t believe that Kara would’ve reacted the same if it had been Alex. Sure, she’d have been disappointed in the situation, but I believe Kara would understand the position that Alex was put in. But now we have this massive lie hanging over their heads which, as we know in Greg Berlanti’s superhero worlds, doesn’t stay hidden for long. So when the truth comes out about this thing, Kara is going to feel hurt and betrayed. And it’s going to hurt.

LYRA

Hank’s reaction to Kara’s ill will is controlled and precise. He took on the burden of killing Astra to protect and prevent Alex’s bond with Kara from disintegrating. He’s an experienced soldier that can take on the stink eye Kara’s giving off. If Alex had told Kara from the start that she killed Astra to protect Hank…she would have understood. They’ve grown up together and struggled through Supergirl’s journey together. The truth would have been easier now than later on.

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"Truth, Justice and the American Way" -- Cat hires a second assistant, Siobhan Smythe (Italia Ricci, right), who immediately tries to one-up Kara (Melissa Benoist, left), on SUPERGIRL, Monday, Feb. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2016 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Cat Grant brought forth a second assistant to likely show Kara that she’s replaceable. What are your thoughts on Siobhan Smythe and her relationship with Kara?

ALYSSA

First of all I am so incredibly thankful to have Italia Ricci back on my screen. I love her so much, and I’m so thrilled she gets to make her foray into the superhero genre on television like her fiancé Robbie Amell. With that said, I love the manner in which she’s been introduced as a foe for both Kara and, eventually, Supergirl, as she will eventually become the Silver Banshee. Siobhan is a driven woman who knows what she wants and she’s going to o anything in her control to get it. It’s not a matter of it, it’s a matter of when for her. So with the opportunity of being an assistant to media mogul Cat Grant presented to her, of course she jumped. Now, considering Kara is her assistant they both essentially are competing, I’m assuming, to be Cat’s sole assistant. Siobhan, while completely rude and devious to Kara, is a compelling character that I can’t wait to see develop more in the coming episodes.

LYRA

I think she’s determined, nosey, and trying to run Kara out in the most efficient way, by doing her job. While Kara is out putting out fires left and right for the DEO, Cat feels like she’s being left behind. Like she’s not feeling valued. So to each Kara a lesson she snatched somebody up that is clearly superior to Supergirl. This lesson will only last until Kara apologizes and starts committing herself back to Cat. Then she’ll get rid of Siobhan because contrary to popular belief Cat has a heart and likes Kara a lot. Or maybe I’m totally wrong and Cat fires Kara because she can’t wait for her to put her stuff together. This woman’s the wildcard for sure.

What are your thoughts on Kara’s superhero journey thus far?

ALYSSA

So far I’ve felt like this is a very honest depiction of a superhero growing into her destiny. Growing into and being a superhero isn’t about wearing a costume and having powers, it’s about knowing what it takes to defend those that need it. And it also relies on the person’s ability to do what’s right even if it might not always seem that way. So I’ve liked that we’ve gotten to see Kara struggle thus far as it shows how her character is growing as a person and a superhero. It’s so easy to forget that she’s ot technically human – she’s an alien from Krypton and yet she’s more human than some of the human scum she fights.

LYRA

I don’t know how I can answer this when Kara barely understands what she’s going through and has just begun. I think she’s going through the classic superhero journey tropes that define or break a hero. She’s experienced loss, love, juggling two lives, and taking the weight of the world alone despite protests. She’s still got a lot of maturing and lessons to be learned. See how she fell so easily into locking up Maxwell and blaming Hank for her crazy Aunt? A seasoned hero wouldn’t do things like this. Her determination to protect her home will be what keeps her going down this heroes journey.

What are your thoughts on “Truth, Justice, and the American Way?” Sound off in the comments to keep the discussion going!

Join us for another Supergirl roundtable next Sunday.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.

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