Supergirl 2×04 Roundtable: 'Survivors'

A new season of Supergirl means a new season of roundtables where Fangirlish writers Alyssa, Lizzie, and Lyra discuss the hot topics from every Supergirl episode.

In the fourth episode of Supergirl‘s second season, we saw an overarching theme of humanity and what it takes to be good, as well as an interesting revelation in the form of an alien fight club. Supergirl also brought the sizzle with a couple of blossoming (future) couples in Alex & Maggie and Kara & Mon-El. Don’t even get us started on that final M’gann reveal!

1. What were your overall thoughts on “Survivors?”

Alyssa: It’s always such a pleasure and blessing to never have to worry about Supergirl each week as it continues to prove why it’s the best DC Comics show on television this season. It’s really relying on the elements that make it a success, while also mamnaging to incorporate new characters in a meaningful way to the story and characters. Given this is Supergirl’s second season, I haven’t really glommed on to the characters in the same way I have with Arrow or The Flash, but I feel like that’s beginning to change. The more of Supergirl I see, the more I’m becoming emotionally connected to these characters and this wonderfully written show.

Lizzie: I enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed Supergirl this season – and when I say that, I mean that I’ve enjoyed it evenly, there hasn’t been episode that’s been a huge disappointment, and there were some that were big highlights. I always keep my expectations somewhat lower with this show, because I’ve never connected emotionally to the characters the way I connect to some people on Arrow or The Flash, but being objective, this is the best-written DCTV show out there by far. And I’m invested in good writing.

Lyra: It’s always such a delight to see Dichen Lachman on my screen. She looked absolutely killer in that red dress, had a presence that commanded your attention, and presented an opposing view to everything that Supergirl was fighting for. Since her “contacts” saved her from being locked up, there’s a chance we’ll see her again! As for the overall episode…I didn’t expect much from this season of Supergirl. In fact DC has been quite a let down this year when it comes to it’s plot and characters. (You know who I’m talking about!) But Supergirl seems to have listened to the complaints and concerns from last year and turned a new leaf. There’s more consistency, interesting storylines, and I can see myself investing in THESE characters.

2. The message at the center of this episode was humanity and what it means to be good, to have compassion, to fight for each other – alien or not. What were your thoughts on that? Can aliens and humans ever truly coexist?

Alyssa: I think one of the beautiful things about Supergirl is how it always manages to delve into these very human circumstances and manage to not only involve but focus that on the aliens, like Kara, Mon-El, and J’Onn. Regardless of race, the beings of this world all have an innate need to belong. For some, we’ve seen how they possess more humanity than the humans that walk this Earth. There’s a divide between more than just the aliens and humans. We’ve seen this divide between aliens, as well. We’ve seen it with Kara and Mon-El’s conflicitng worlds, with the very emotional battle between the Green Martians and White Martians.

It’s a reminder that conflict isn’t something subjected only to humans. These aliens are just as much a part of this world and this story as humans are. As for whether humans and aliens can ever truly co-exist, I believe so. It’s definitely one of the overarching stories of the season. We’ve seen it addressed directly in the previous episode with the President of the United States taking a stand, and I believe it’s something we’ll continue to see. But to be honest, it’s not pretty right now. There’s still a long ways to go in this fight before humans and aliens can co-exist in a positive manner.

Lizzie: I think the way this show is trying to tell a story about aliens that’s a familiar story to us, even if aliens don’t walk among us (that we know of, at least), is brilliant. Racism has a long history, misogyny has a long history, and Supergirl is sending some important messages with its storylines about the way prejudice affects us, and how wrong we can be when we just believe what others say without trying to figure out things one way or another by ourselves. The message is not just about Kara and Mon-El, I’m guessing they’re going to same way with the Green Martins/White Martians and maybe even with Alex and Maggie, and I’m here for all of this.

Kara’s speech at the end, the one about “don’t let them be right about us” was nice – it was the kind of moment that’s the highlight of an episode, but it’s not as simple as saying some pretty words. And I’m glad Supergirl is taking the time to teach it’s characters, and us, what means to be diverse and accepting.

Lyra: Aliens and humans can never truly exist together. They’ll have fleeting moments, some exceptions, but it’ll never truly be perfect. Why? Because then the show would end! Show’s like Supergirl and anything with an alien hero, will always struggle with an ‘us vs them’ theme. That’s where villains and enemies to keep the hero fighting and struggling, are born.

That’s not to say that Kara, the humans, and the aliens of the world should just give up. Little by little, and together, they can work through the prejudice surrounding them and come out on top of it all. They can be united against those that still see aliens and humans getting along, as an impossible feat. Not everything can be dark and dreary. Hope and kindness with be found in the most unlikely of places and keep them going against the truly evil of this world.

3. The sparks keep flying between Alex and Maggie – and yet it seems that, if this show is going there, they’re taking the long road. How do you feel about that? Do you ship these two?

Alyssa: I’m all for the slowburn. And to be honest, if a show isn’t taking its time on a couple, it doesn’t spell good news for that couple in the future. If there isn’t a struggle, then the writers aren’t invested in the couple. And if the writers aren’t invested in the couple then they’re not going to go there with them. But luckily it appears as if Supergirl is embracing the potential of this relationship and taking the long and emotionally painful road.

Alex and Maggie is one of those relationships that in just two episodes I’m already emotionally invested. It takes a lot for that to happen, but Supergirl has accomplished that with its brilliant storytelling and the sensational chemistry between Alex and Maggie. I ship it. I ship it hard. It’s one of those relationships that doesn’t seem forced. It’s very natural in its inception and how it continues to play out. Not gonna lie, I was pained when I heard Maggie had a girlfriend. But in the immortal words of Hamilton, “I’m willing to wait for it.”

Lizzie: Thank God. I was afraid this was going to be a token relationship, there for one episode, check the box of representation and that’s it. I shouldn’t have underestimated Supergirl, though, because they do seem to be taking this seriously – aka treating this relationship like any other relationship. That means there’s going to be up and downs and it’s going to be a slow burn and we’re going to have angst – and that’s brilliant.

Personally, I ship it. I like Maggie, I love Alex and I think there’s a spark there. They could be great together, and I want to see them become partners in more than just catching bad guys.

Lyra: I ship Alex and Maggie to the moon and back. So what if Maggie has a girlfriend right now? We’re going for the slow burn and I like it. Gives me enough time to come up with ship names and explore if Tumblr’s wayyyyy ahead of me. Since the beginning of this show, I’ve felt that Alex was living in the shadow of her sister. All of her adventures and storylines were guided by Kara. This is all Alex. Whatever her journey is with Maggie, it’ll be one of self discovery, companionship, and self exploration.

I want to see Alex fall in like with someone and have the butterflies throw her for a loop, cloud her judgement, and make her question her place in…EVERYTHING! Her city, her home, her relationships. Just give me time with Alex where I can truly see the woman beneath the hard exterior and DEO garb.

4. Kara once again let her prejudice get in the way of her relationship with Mon-El, and she, once again, learned her lesson. Do you think Kara can really take him under her proverbial wing and teach him how to acclimate to Earth? Do you like where this storyline is going?

Alyssa: This is one of my favorite storylines that Supergirl has introduced as it gives Kara a chance to see herself struggle and then work to overcome it. Twice now Kara has seen how her prejudice can get in the way, and twice she’s acknowledged it knowing that she can get better. Barry Allen could really take a page out of his girl’s book. I really love the dynamic between Kara and Mon-El. Supergirl could’ve opted for the contrived drama and pit Kara against Mon-El, but instead it’s choosing to use this as a learning opportunity for both, as well as explore a dynamic that has definitely caught the audience’s eye.

Not gonna lie, I ship them already. There’s a natural spark between them, and their stories are nearly parallel in how they came to be here. I definitely think that Kara can take Mon-El under her wing and show her how it’s done. I love how it came full circle after Kara admitted she was finally going to fulfill what she was sent to Earth to do: to protect someone who needed it. I think this will be a great way for these two to bond even more and really explore the emotional dynamics of their characters and potentially a romance. Not that I’m biased or anything.

Lizzie: I can’t put into words how excited I am about where this storyline seems to be going. Romance? I wasn’t here for that. Mon-El the bad guy? I wasn’t here for that either, not from the get-go, at least. And Kara is a protector, she was meant to show Kal-El the ropes and she never had a chance to do that. In a way, this is like destiny that she gets to do it for someone. Plus, how hilarious can this be? Win and Mon-El was already funnier than I expected, and Kara’s ‘alter ego’ plus Mon-El has the makings of comedy gold.

Can you imagine him running into Snapper? Yes, please. Yes.

Lyra: I love where the storyline is going with Kara and Mon-El. This is her real hero’s journey. It’s not about putting on a suit, strapping on that cape, and flying about. Being a superhero is about setting an example for others and helping those in need, no matter your personal prejudice, like the fact that your people were enemies. You can’t judge a person by the entirety of their race. Kara wouldn’t want to be judged based on the worst of aliens would she? She can’t do that to Mon-El either. While she’s teaching him about the world I suspect she’s going to learn so much more about herself and the kind of woman and hero she wants to be.

5. Miss Martian had a rough episode, and just when we thought we might be getting to know her, she was revealed to be a White Martian. What did you think about this revelation? Do you think she and J’onn can ever truly see eye to eye?

Alyssa: My jaw literally hit the floor. I was not expecting it in the slightest. There was such an honesty to her when it came to her opening up about who she is and surviving all these years, that it was such a shock to realize it was all just a performance. I really don’t know if J’Onn and M’gann can ever truly see eye to eye. Right now, my heart is telling me no.

But if I know anything about Supergirl is that it’s directly addressing these prejudices and feuds across not only the human race but alien race. It’s slowly becoming one of the overarching themes of the season. With that said, I’d like to hope that at some point this season that we could see a resolution between the Last Green Martian and this White Martian. Given the continuing theme of overcoming prejudice, that just might actually happen. Of course not immediately. Strap in.

Lizzie: I knew nothing about her comics counterpart, so I didn’t see this coming. That being said, it really goes hand in hand with the message the show is trying to send this season, and I’m glad they went there. It explains why she didn’t want to be linked to J’onn and I’m guessing we’re in for a nasty reveal in the foreseeable future.

Can they ever see eye to eye? My gut says yes, my heart says no. I’m going to guess the answer is somewhere in the middle. J’onn hasn’t really gotten to deal with what happened to his home planet, not with the direct “aggressor” in front of him, and this will be a nice chance to get all of that out in the open. Hopefully M’gann is there not just to further J’onn storyline, but to find some peace of her own.

Lyra: M’gann’ revelation that she was a White Martian…SO UNEXPECTED! It makes me look at her motivations and everything she’s done so far in a new light. She didn’t want to link with J’onn because of this. She gave him up to the ring because if he ever found out he’d kill her before she could open her mouth to explain. I do think that Miss Martian was actually going through survivor’s guilt but not in the way we say in the show and not from the perspective of the Green Martians. Her people did something horrible and she saw it with her own eyes. Her guilt and her anger is for herself and the monster she believes she is.

This season of Supergirl has a prevailing theme of moving past prejudice and seeing the kind, generous, loving people inside. Kara is dealing with it with her new alien buddy. Hell, everyone in her city is dealing with it when it comes to accepting Supergirl. J’onn will also have deal with this when it’s finally revealed that his new friend, and last hope of the Green Martian race, is not what she seems. It’ll be the ultimate test for him.

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Stay tuned Sunday for another Supergirl roundtable!

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