Regardless of how often I continue to sound like a broken record, I’ll keep saying this until it stops being true. Supergirl is the best superhero show on television right now, and for some great reasons. While the series had its ups and downs in season one, this second season it has embraced everything that made Supergirl a hit last season while also blending some new elements, which has made the show the best on The CW this year.
Supergirl continues to be a badass superhero show whose greater purpose is to address the very real issues of life: embracing who we are, telling others who we are, and facing adversity in the most inspiring of ways.
This week, Alex fully embraced who she is despite the fear that came with coming out to her sister. It was handled in such a very real and inspiring way, which is what Supergirl is known for. We also so Mon-El really question whether or not he can be this good guy hero that Kara believes he can be. While he was lost, it was ultimately Kara’s continuous faith in him that caused him to look inward and accept that he wanted to do good. Then we had James, who suited up as Guardian for the first time in what’s looking to be an even more interesting storyline than I believed earlier. James and Winn both acknowledged that what they did — working together to save the city — was something that they both loved; and something they’d continue to do.
Supergirl continues to thrive in the existence and direction of its characters. When you let your characters be themselves, the plot will follow. That’s the difference between a successful show and a show that needs to reexamine itself and find the real heart: the characters.
Here’s what went down in Supergirl’s sixth hour, “Changing”:
Alex Comes Out
No doubt one of the biggest storylines on Supergirl this season is Alex Danvers’ journey into discovering who she is. It’s perfect because as an audience we didn’t really know her that well from last season (other than Supergirl and DEO stuff) so it’s kind of amazing that we’re discovering who she is just as she is.
Last week, Alex finally accepted the feelings that had been awoken from Maggie Sawyer’s arrival. It was a huge first step for Alex in embracing the real Alex Danvers. For so long she’d kept those kind of emotions pushed down, but Maggie really forced her to look inward. And it’s been amazing. The big part of this episode was Alex coming out to Kara. It was a storyline that was done so well in its honesty and really captured the emotions from both characters as they’re facing something new.
Alex was beyond brave to come out to Kara, and the raw emotion really showed on her face. She was so terrified that Kara was going to hate her or be disappointed in her. It was something that appears to be so natural when one is in that situation. I can only imagine how hard that is for someone to do and how hard it is to be terrified that your family will turn their back on you. While Kara was certainly surprised at Alex’s revelation, she was in no way disappointed or judgemental. Alex initially confused Kara’s shock with judgement, but the sisters talked it out in the way that makes them the best relationship on this show.
Supergirl is doing an amazing job at portraying these real world issues in such a very real and honest way. Alex’s coming out is by far at the top of the leaderboard. It’s so very honest, emotional, and inspiring and everything Supergirl does best.
Can Mon-El Be A Hero?
While Kara might possess this innate desire to save the world, something that made us think was whether that desire defines you as a hero? It’s no secret that Mon-El has been struggling in his acclimation to Earth (we’re sure Kara wasn’t perfect back when she was new, as well). But perhaps the most important thing for Mon-El is to not only find his place in this new world but find the person he is going to be in this new world. While Kara wouldn’t ever use her powers to make money, Mon-El wasn’t against it as a means to survive in this world. But the thing with Mon-El is that he can be a hero if he really wants to. But you have to want it.
When Kara was down, Mon-El’s first instinct was to go drink his sorrow away. That’s where Alex found him as he chose to run away from the first sign of danger instead of run toward it. But Alex made it damn clear how much Kara believed in Mon-El; believed that he had incredible potential to be a hero. It was that call to action that forced Mon-El to take the first step in his journey to becoming a hero. When Kara and J’Onn were down after facing the alien parasite, Mon-El fought it even though he wasn’t entirely sure of what he was doing. But it was Mon-El finally standing up that showed us that Mon-El does in fact want to help save the world. He ran toward the danger and even saved a little girl’s life. It was only the beginning of what’s sure to be a long journey, but this was perhaps the most important step. Mon-El can be the hero that Kara believes he can be. And that’s a journey I’m excited to watch unfold.
Cadmus Kidnaps Mon-El
Well, how’s that for timing? Just after Mon-El had finally acknowledged that he wanted to do good and save people, Cadmus kidnapped him and gave me a bout of anxiety. Mon-El has become one of my favorite characters this season because of his complexity and the potential growth that he has. Chris Wood also does a phenomenal job of portraying that struggle within and that desire to be better. Like damn it, Cadmus, leave Mon-El alone! Given Mon-El’s significance this season, I don’t believe he’s a goner like pretty much everyone else that has gone into that organization. But this provides an opportunity to really get a glimpse of the makings of Cadmus. Mon-El is one of those characters who we’re experiencing this show through, which means we’re going to get an up close and personal look at this terrifying organization. Perhaps this will just solidify Mon-El’s desire — the one he can’t fight any longer — to save people; to save people from baddies like Cadmus. It doesn’t change the fact that next week’s episode is going to hurt — Mon-El, and me, as well. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from our heroes — and future heroes — it’s that they can pull through the storm.
James Debuts as Guardian
I’ll be the first to admit that James Olsen has been one of those characters that I’ve been disappointed with since Supergirl premiered. He almost felt like Laurel Lance in the first two seasons of Arrow where the character wasn’t doing itself any favors; where the writing for the character should’ve been much better. But I’ll also be the first one to admit that this Guardian storyline might be the thing to endear me to James once again. It’s funny because when I heard they were making James Guardian it pissed me off because I thought, Here we go again. Forcing a struggling character into a suit to make he/she relevant. While that might’ve been the case, for James I believe it’s actually working. Like the fact that they’re going this route is pretty daring. But the fact that it’s working so far — given the pacing and the focus on James not just Guardian — is something that gives me hope moving forward.
“Changing” saw James suit up for the first time as Guardian, and it was something that I actually really enjoyed. After Kara and J’Onn succumbed to this alien parasite’s powers, James was forced to step up to protect this city with two of its other heroes incapacitated. And thanks to the amazing suit that Winn designed, he did just that. Long enough for Supergirl to return to pick up the save.
The cool thing about this storyline is that it’s not just about James. It’s about Winn. James might be the one in the suit, but make no mistake that this is just as much Winn’s journey as it is James’. The two of them working together; the two of them doing something that they couldn’t do without the other; the two of them being equal parts in this crusade. That’s what’s working. But the part that has my attention is that James decided to not reveal himself to Kara. We saw it in the conversation that James and Winn had at the end of the episode about willingly keeping it secret from Kara. Both of them agreed that it’d be best to keep it from Kara until the time was right, which translates to: When Supergirl decides to out the secret and raise the drama. Sorry, it’s television. Even Supergirl isn’t immune to that.
What’s Going On With J’Onn and M’Gann?
Ever since last week’s revelation that M’Gann was actually a White Martian, the Green Martian’s nemesis, I’ve been wondering what direction the show is going with this. Is M’Gann merely being used as a spy or bait to lure J’Onn and kill him? Is M’Gann merely a White Martian on the run because she didn’t want to kill? Or was M’Gann sent to kill J’Onn but has developed feelings for him, which is making it difficult to do so? There are even more questions in my mind about this one, folks.
But one of the interesting developments this week came when J’Onn was attacked by this alien parasite and lost a ton of blood. Alex sought M’Gann out to save his life knowing that a blood transfusion was the only way. Only, Alex has no idea that M’Gann is actually a White Martian and not a Green Martian, which is why M’Gann was so hesitant about it in the first place. But with she being his last hope, she went forth with it to force consequences we aren’t fully aware of. J’Onn came to consciousness, but it was obvious that the White Martian blood is affecting him in some way given the shaking of his hand. And M’Gann knows it. So what’s going to happen? Is this something temporary? Is it something that won’t become of anything unless done several times over? Is this far more significant and terrifying than we’re aware of? All the questions, folks. All the questions.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on the CW.