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 the season one finale of Supergirl, “Better Angels,” where we discuss Kara’s journey this season, Kara’s sacrifice, and while we enjoyed it we ultimately felt let down by the season finale.
What were your overall thoughts on “Better Angels?”
For about three-fourths of the episode I was really loving this season finale. There was this build-up of raw emotion and high stakes that was surely going to payoff in the final act of the show. Only it never happened. The ending of this episode felt like a typical episode. Only this wasn’t a typical episode of Supergirl – this was the season finale.
Look, I don’t need anyone to die in a season finale, but I needed there to be some sort of high stakes coming at the tail end of the season. I understand that the producers wanted Kara to be happy, but that would’ve been the perfect time to take that happiness away from her. To make her believe that she finally has everything she’s ever wanted only to learn that it’s a hallucination and she’s still floating in space. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that she’s in a good place. But for a season finale there needs to be this feeling of, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die waiting to see what happens next!” instead of “meh.”
I feel awful saying this, but I was disappointed. It was a good episode, and had it been anything but the season finale, I would have even said it was a great episode, but it was the season finale, and the thing that Supergirl did to make this episode stand out from all the other was ….eh, try harder?
Maybe it’s that they’d been building up the finale as something big. Maybe that they actually killed someone in the next to last episode, so I was under the impression the stakes were higher. Or maybe it’s just that Supergirl’s cousins, Arrow and The Flash live in a world where actions have serious consequences, and I thought she did too. Either way, I expected something other than a happily ever after and a final moment that has a question I don’t even care to see answered.
It wasn’t the season finale that Supergirl deserved. She’s been building up for something amazing the entire season. “Better Angels” fell flat. The enemy was defeated easily, begging us to ask ourselves why it actually took this long to kill him and what did her Aunt really die for? Also there were no lasting consequences for everything that happened. She just defeated Non and everything was perfectly alright. It was a let down for all the excitement that this episode began with.
Kara has finally come full-circle as Supergirl. What are your thoughts on Kara’s journey this season?
One of my favorite things about Supergirl has been Kara’s heroic journey this season. While she suited up as Supergirl in the series premiere, she was far from the hero that she needed to be and would become by season’s end. Being a hero is always an ongoing journey. Even the most experienced of heroes are always learning how to become better; they’re always learning. But this season served as a huge learning experience for Kara, who never believed that she could amount to anything – where she initially felt shrouded in her cousin’s epic shadow but then came to understand that she’s a hero in her own right with or without Superman. This wasn’t his story. This was never his story. This is Kara’s story, so it was nice to see her battle her way through adversity throughout this season with only an assist or two from her cousin.
Kara is my favorite character on Supergirl, which is good, because this show is all about her. I don’t know that she’s come full circle, she hasn’t really gone through the lows (not yet), but I have to say I liked where she ended up. She started off as more of a reluctant hero, she wanted to do good, but she was mostly relying on her superior strength. Now, she’s not. She knows who she is and what she can do, not just with her powers, but with her presence. Kara has stopped being just a girl who has all the qualifications to be a superhero, and she’s owned the role of Supergirl. And I’m proud of her for that.
I don’t think she’s come full circle. She’ll come full circle when everything goes down the drain, when you’re completely broken and beat, but you somehow find the strength to keep on going. Kara hasn’t faced that yet. Just because she hasn’t come full circle doesn’t mean that she hasn’t learned and grown since the beginning of her heroes journey. She’s learned about sacrifice, strength, friendship, love, and how far she’s willing to go. Kara still has so much to learn and I can’t wait for it.
We saw Kara willing to sacrifice her life to protect this planet from destruction. What were your thoughts on Kara’s sacrifice and her many emotional goodbyes?
It was the highlight of the episode for me, and I wasn’t expecting to get that emotional. While I never suspected that Supergirl would die – come on, we’re one season in – it felt like there was a separation coming that would make this painful hiatus even more painful. So given the highly-emotional circumstances watching Kara say goodbye to those people that she cares about was emotional. Watching Kara say what she felt she needed to say because she wasn’t sure she’d make it back alive given Maxwell Lord’s warning. Kara was making the ultimate sacrifice here – risking her life to preserve this planet, something that her mother had failed to do for Krypton before it was too late. Kara knew that she had been sent to Earth to protect Kal-El, but she had discovered her own purpose: to protect this Earth, which made her sacrifice all the more noble.
I thought this was the strongest part of the episode. Melissa Benoist brought it, and the reasoning behind the whole thing, the “I need to do this, say this, before it’s too late” is so powerful that, even if you’re an alien from the planet Krypton, it still resonates. We all have regrets in life, as does Kara. She regrets not letting the people she loved back in Krypton know she loved them, every day. I know how she feels. When you lose someone you love, no matter whom that is, and no matter how much you did or how much you said, you always wish you had a final second to make sure that person knew how you felt – how much you cared. In our final moments, all we want to say is “I love you” and Kara was saying that, to all the people closest to her, over and over again.
I loved all her goodbyes, even though it was glaringly obvious that something was wrong with her. I wasn’t certain if everyone else was either oblivious or ignorant of what was going on with her. I’ll go with the latter. Back to the point on hand, her sacrifice shows how much she’s grown from the hero we saw in episode 1. It takes a big heart to put all on the line for a planet that doesn’t love or want you around.
What do you think is in that spaceship that crashed-landed on Earth at the end of the finale?
Honestly I have no idea other than it’s someone that will definitely be a major player come season two. And that’s definitely a Kryptonian pod that crash landed. But I’d guess Superboy, which would be fitting and pretty cool. But I’ve seen even cooler theories suggesting that Zor-El, Kara’s father, is the pod or even a little big bad known as Zod. But if I had to bet I’d guess that whoever is in that pod will serve as a threat to Kara next season. Think about it, when it comes to big bads that serve as a threat to Supergirl it would almost have to be Kryptonian. While chances are it isn’t Zod, whoever is in that pod likely isn’t friend but foe.
Eh, Powergirl? I don’t even know. I don’t even care. This is not the OMG WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT finale that I was expecting. I still want Season 2, but I’m not going to be counting the days till it premieres, and that’s because the show failed in creating interest. Considering it did a lot of other things right, I’m going to give it a pass, but let’s hope this is the only time.
Krypto. It has to be someone who can change the scope of the story but isn’t going to take away focus from Kara. Plus wouldn’t it be nice if Kara had a companion that was super powered? Imagine those adventures? OHHHH would he get a cape too?
Kara and James appear to be in a good place following the finale. What are your thoughts on Kara and James as we head into season two?
Still not a fan of these two no matter how much the show tries to make me. It’s a shame really because in the first few episodes I enjoyed Kara and James’ relationship as they came to know each other. But then they introduced Lucy Lane as a romantic foil and essentially used her as a source of drama that never really worked. Perhaps this would’ve gone better if the show had let Kara and James’ relationship develop more as friends first before moving into the romantic department. I don’t know, it kind of felt forced there at the end. Because this is Supergirl and Supergirl is all about hope, I continue to hope that this show can somehow salvage this romantic relationship or move on if it doesn’t work.
Yuck. I mean, nope. Do not want. Even if I could get over the fact that James has basically been a walking hope speech/emotional cheater/liar, I just don’t see the sparks there, not the OTP sparks, at least. James, to me, is the guy a superhero loves and loses, and then that pushes her on the path towards actually understanding what being a hero means. And hey, if that’s what they’re going for, I’m in. If this is supposed to be the pairing of the show, though? Yeah, I don’t think so. Give me someone else. Or, give me no one for a while. Kara can still be a total badass without a romantic partner. It is possible.
*head on desk* Kara and James are a relationship that I simply don’t understand. They don’t work well together or have any spark in between them. The only reason that Kara believes she’s in love with him is that he’s one of the only people who knows about her. She needs to understand that there are plenty of humans out there that would love to get to know her, that would hold her secret safe. She doesn’t have to settle for a man who emotional cheated on his girlfriend for Kara. That’s not something that great romances are made of. That’s what bland romances that fizzle out after a season, are made of.
Kara got promoted at CatCo complete with a windowless office. What are your thoughts on Kara and Cat’s relationship?
First off, I’m so glad that Kara got promoted because if anyone deserves it, it’s her. Kara has been, as Cat said, the best assistant one could ask for as she seemed to take care of Cat’s needs with ease. So kudos to Kara. But also, what is she going to choose for herself? Perhaps she’ll go down the same path as her cousin and become a writer. But I’m hoping she chooses to forge her own path and do whatever she wants to do.
Now, regarding Kara and Cat’s relationship – this has been one of the most surprising yet satisfying elements to come out of this show. We’ve watched from the beginning as Kara was none other than Cat’s assistant and watched as their relationship evolved into something beautiful — both with Kara/Cat and Supergirl/Cat. They’ve both changed each other for the better, and it’s been a joy to watch. It’s something that I can’t wait to see continue explored in season two.
I know I said Kara was my favorite, but Cat is a close second. Their dynamic, along with Kara’s dynamic with Alex and Hank, were really the bright spots of this season. In fact, if I had to pick an MVP for Season 1 of Supergirl, it might just be Cat Grant, because we expected her to be the Perry White kind of boss, present, but not really, but instead she was the inspiration, the touch of humor, the hands-on presence that this show needed. And I don’t even mean just for Kara, but for Supergirl as well. And she was also an inspiration, in a way. There are two types of superheroes in Supergirl, the Kara and the Cat. Both are great role models for little girls who look at this show and think, look Mom, I can be a superhero! Look Mom, I can be the boss of a big corporation.
I can be anything.
I think Cat realised that she carries the same faith in Kara that her assistant has for her. Before her eyes she helped shape a woman and formed a bond never thought imaginable. As for Kara, she’s having a surprise and reaffirming life experience. She thought she could only have so much when it came to Cat. Turns out there is so much more to her relationship with the woman. They depend on each other to be better and stronger people. I’m interested in seeing how this changes them in season two.
What would you like to see in season two?
Supergirl needs to continue to embrace itself for who it is, which is a show with strong female undertones and preaching hope that inspires both the city and the audience. It’s so different from the other superhero shows on television in a good way that distinguishes itself and serves as a role model to young women especially with Supergirl being the first female lead hero in decades. Speaking of other superhero shows, I’d like another crossover with The Flash – because I still ship Kara and Barry more than anything – but we need to get Arrow involved this time. Give me Oliver Queen standing in between the two adorable puppies that are Kara and Barry. Give it to me now.
But the big thing I want is for Kara to finally open up to Cat Grant that she’s Supergirl. I know that Kara went to great lengths to assure Cat that she’s not Supergirl – thanks J’Onn J’Onzz for the assist – but I feel like the way their relationship, both as Kara and Cat and Supergirl and Cat, is concerned that we’ll be coming to a point where Kara wants to make that decision to tell Cat who she really is. Granted that wouldn’t happen until the midseason or season two finale, but I’m willing to wait.
Also, I’m not going to lie, I’d perhaps like a glimpse at the Man of Steel next season. Something other than his silhouette or legs. Give me a face. Preferably Henry Cavill’s (which I know is not feasible in the slightest).
Stakes. No James and Kara, unless that’s about setting up a tragedy. Winn being more than the sidekick with an unrequited crush. A show that breaks barriers not just for women, but that throws all stereotypes out the window. A romance between Alex and Maxwell Lord, one that ends in disaster. Hank being Hank and never ever leaving. Jeremiah Danvers, once and for all.
In short, more Supergirl. I want more Supergirl. You hear that, CBS? I WANT MORE.
I would like to see some consequences and prolonged angst. I know…crazy right? But who wants to watch happy all the time? Who wants things to work out perfectly every time? That would be boring and wouldn’t keep you coming back for more. This season finale was too easy. Every thing concluded perfectly even though Non had been working on a similar plan on his home planets decades ago. Kara getting the upper hand, was too easy. And where’s the angst for that random girl getting killed by Non? That’s something that sticks with people and defines them. Kara just brushed it under the rug and said, “Hey let’s have a party! We all survived!” You didn’t even deal with it Kara.
I’d like to see Kara deal with some of this pain, not roll around in it and brood like Oliver Queen in the beginning of Arrow, but face some real pain! It’s a part of human life and I feel like there’s a disconnect when it comes to me connecting with this show. They don’t face prolonged…anything.