'Supergirl' 2×21 Review: 'Resist'

There’s a sizeable difference between Supergirl’s freshman season and its current sophomore season. Not that the first season was bad, but this second season is so phenomenal by comparison that it can sometimes seem that way.

Let’s just take a look at where we were one year ago. Where our villain was Non, a bland particularly forgettable villain that never felt like a threat yet we were supposed to believe he was. While the show was able to hype the threat up enough, it didn’t have as great of an impact as it should’ve. Your threat is as great as your villain and their cause – and how their cause affects these characters in personal ways.

That was certainly lacking last season whereas this season I feel legitimate concern for these characters. Job well done.

This season’s penultimate episode, “Resist,” was exactly what you want out of a penultimate episode. It’s the episode that delivers thrill after thrill and lures you into a false sense of security like, “Oh, we must be going out for some ice cream in the season finale.” When in all actuality, it’s about to lay the smacketh down upon you in a tidal wave of feels.

Not to mention, this episode marked the grand return of Cat Grant. And even though I knew it was coming, I screamed my head off when she popped up on my screen wearing her signature swag and snark like a well-fitted dress. I’ll be damned if this isn’t proof that Supergirl needs Cat Grant. I know that it’s all about Supergirl filming in Vancouver, but it’s the damn truth. While Supergirl hasn’t been exactly lacking, there’s no denying there was this massive breath of fresh air and nostalgia that came with Cat’s return. Her signature snark and her phenomenal motivational speeches that help save National City. I’ll never be over Cat Grant.

Something I’ll never be over and will never get enough of is how Supergirl manages to deliver messages reflective of real-world issues. This entire season has been a big “F you” to a certain Cheeto President, and it’s been so damn glorious. But it’s also been terrifying to see our world reflected in a fictional universe. Because the things that are happening in our reality are the kind of things that should be reserved for fiction, not reality. But listening to Cat Grant deliver that speech to National City – it was like she was delivering it to us. Rise up. Don’t ever back down. You need to be a superhero. We’re all superheroes. We will not be submissive. I’m getting choked up just writing about it.

This episode also did a lot to touch upon the unrest between factions of this Supergirl fandom when it comes to Mon-El fans and Lena fans. Which I’m all for people being fans of characters – hell, I’m a fan of both – but there’s been an obvious divide and toxic hatred that stems from that as a result. Trust me, I was on the receiving end last week after writing a single line in my review. It’s crazy to me. I feel like we should all respect each other’s opinions and the different reasons we love this show. Because first and foremost, we’re all fans of Supergirl.

We all love Supergirl for different reasons. I love certain aspects of the show more than others, but I respect people that feel differently. It was nice to see Mon-El and Lena getting along and acknowledging their mutual love for Kara – for Mon-El as his girlfriend and for Lena as her best friend. If Mon-El and Lena can get along, surely this fandom can? But at the same time, the divide makes sense. It’s prevelant in all fandoms. Why? Because that all stems from deeply-rooted passion. We care so damn much that we’ll go to extremes to protect those that we love.

Thank you, Supergirl writers. If this penultimate episode is any indication, we’re surely going to die next week after what’s gearing up to be a breathtaking season finale.

Let’s break this sensational penultimate episode down.

Supergirl — “Resist” — SPG221a_0296.jpg — Pictured: Teri Hatcher as Rhea — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Resist the Hatred

One of the most amazing things about Supergirl is how it’s so easily able to convey stunning parallels between their world and our reality. This entire season’s main challenge has dealt with alien relations, basically how others have hated and resorted to violence because of differences in genetic makeup. Sound familiar?

It should because it’s exactly what’s happening in the United States and the world.

Supergirl is so damn good when it comes to addressing real world issues. It’s so effortlessly transcribed into a fictional aspect while also maintaining enough truth in its essence that us, as an audience, can recognize and appreciate the message.

The parallels were not lost on me. Rhea was Trump. The Daxamites were the Trump supporters. And the citizens were us as a society as we are afraid of the future we wake up to every morning. The society that every morning still wakes up and fights back even though we’re terrified of what awaits us. We are a society of superheroes. We might not be Supergirl, but we all do what we can to help. That’s all anyone could expect of us. We’re fighting for a better world. Even as we get shoved to the ground.

Words cannot express how important Supergirl tackling our country’s political woes this season has meant to me. For those that aren’t aware of what’s happening in reality, they watch Supergirl and notice the oppression and it’s almost sort of a wake-up call. Supergirl continues to drive home the importance of standing up for what you believe in while inspriign an army of people to never give in and always rise up.

Not to mention gems like this: “Please tell me you’re still a Democrat,” are everything. Gotta love Cat Grant. Gotta love these writers.

Two Kinds of Love

The idea that people can love people in different ways is nothing new to Supergirl. In fact, we saw this a couple of weeks back when it came to Kara and Maggie both loving Alex in different ways. But in a way, this was a message that needed to be stressed at exactly this time in regards to Mon-El and Lena’s love for Kara, and vice versa.

Kara loves both Mon-El and Lena. Mon-El and Lena both love Kara. Got it? Got it.

When Kara was standing outside with Cat thinking about the two people she loves being on that ship and the possibility of losing them, she felt selfish for wanting to save them. But, as Cat said, it’s not selfish. It’s human nature. And once again this show proves what I’ve been saying all along: Kara is more human than most humans. She might be an alien genetically, but when it comes to humanity and what that represents, Kara Danvers is the walking definition of humanity.

Kara loves both Mon-El and Lena – in different ways. She was concerned about both of them for different reasons – she was worried about her boyfriend and she was worried about her best friend. Both loves are great. Neither is demeaned in the slightest.

I love Karamel so, so much. They’ve been one of my favorite couples on television this year. I love how they’re two flawed people that have made each other better. And that chemistry is beyond words. Don’t even get me started because I won’t be able to stop until 2,000 words later.

But at the same time, I also love Kara and Lena’s friendship. These two incredibly strong and intelligent women have been able to form a friendship despite the many obstacles standing in their way. It’s beautiful.

When it comes to ship wars, they’re ludicrous because these ship wars seem to imply that another relationship is more Significant than another, when in fact it’s not true. It’s all about how it’s perceived in the eyes of the viewer. You might care more about one relationship than the other, but that doesn’t automatically erase that other relationship or its significance.

The problem is that we have such a great passion for the stuff that we love that we have this innate desire to protect it at all costs. Whenever someone is trash-talking something you love, you feel the need to defend it because it’s meaningful to you in a deep way. But when that hate starts it’s like a domino effect that can get out of hand like it does in every fandom. Let’s be honest, the hatred didn’t start and won’t end in the Supergirl fandom. It lives throughout all fandoms.

But back to Kara and her love for Mon-El and Lena…I want to thank the Supergirl writers for taking the time to illustrate the importance of this message. This ship war between the Karamel and Supercorp fandoms isn’t anything new, so I’d imagine that the writers have seen it at play. I like that they took the time to imply the significance of both relationships on this show. It might’ve been organic or it might’ve been intentional. Regardless, I’m glad they took the time to point it out.

Supergirl — “Resist” — SPG221b_0299.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Lynda Carter as President, Olivia Marsdin and Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Cat Grant Returns

I’d like to thank God and also Jesus for the return of Cat Grant. Because I didn’t realize just how much I missed Cat until she reappeared on my screen. You can’t plan for a character like Cat Grant. A character that you think is going to be the stereotypical, one-dimensional hard-ass that actually ends up being perhaps the most dynamic character on this show. It’s what made her departure as series regular so damn hard to stomach.

But from the moment Cat Grant reappeared on screen, it was pure magic. That’s the only way I can describe it. I could feel the rise when she walked on screen carrying herself with that inspiring confidence, sassy one-liners, and all of the motivation that one could ever need. I’ve never missed a character more than Cat Grant. She’s such a vital part of this show. Not that this show was bad without her, it’s just Cat Grant provided that extra lift that elevates this show even higher.

Cat Grant is a lot of things. A pushover is not one of them. You’d think that being put in dangerous situations would send her running away. But in fact, Cat ran straight for the danger. She’s not someone that shuts down during tough situations. She rises up.

Perhaps my favorite thing about Cat Grant is her ability to inspire people by sheer force of will and those beautiful, beautiful words. She’s so damn good at remaining cool, calm, and collected while others lose it, and she’s able to not only calm them, but inspire them even in the most dangerous of situations.

Just like she did last season as Non (hah) threatened to destroy National City, Cat delivered one hell of a pep talk to the people of National City. Cat Grant spoke to National City delivering a sermon of epic proportions as she urged its citizens to keep fighting. About how this city, this world is made up of strong, incredible people and that nothing can change that. How an opposing, hating force cannot beat them into submission. She inspired them to rise up and not back down. She inspired them to be the superheroes that they all are. Each and every person has a superhero inside of them. It’s all a matter of how and when you access it. Cat Grant urged them to embrace their inner hero and rise up. I was sobbing and applauding throughout that entire scene.

I also appreciate that Supergirl took the time to address Cat’s absence. It would’ve been easy to ignore it. But the show took the time not only to talk about it but to make it a grand character moment for Cat Grant. Cat left CatCo in order to find the meaning of happiness. She journeyed to the Himalayas and got a glimpse at what happiness really means. It’s not about having everything and being on top of the world. It’s not about what you have or what you do. It’s about who you love. It was a deeply profound conversation, which I’ve missed sorely.

God, I’ve missed Cat Grant’s snark, her wisdom, and her badassery. What a f**king role model she is. I know that her stay isn’t permanent, but I can’t help but pray by some miracle she’s able to contribute more to the show. Because this show needs her. Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they wear shades and heels.

Supergirl — “Resist” — SPG221a_0499.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and Brenda Strong as Lillian Luthor — Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

A Common Enemy

When faced with an overwhelming enemy, sometimes you have to turn to your enemies in order to defeat a bigger threat. And that’s exactly what Kara and Lillian had to do when they teamed up in order to take Rhea and the Daxamites down and rescue Mon-El and Lena.

While Lillian Luthor is in fact a villain, I can really appreciate her intelligence and how she’s proved that even villains can be right sometimes. As was the case for Lillian when she waltzed through the door offering her help and proclaiming this obvious – She called it. This is why she was trying to contain the aliens. She knew a takeover would happen. Well damn, double take when the big bad is in the right.

While Kara was very much dismissive of the idea of working with Lillian in the beginning, the extenuating circumstances changed things. When the president ordered Rhea’s ship destroyed – the ship where Mon-El and Lena were being held – Kara realized that in order to save those she loves, she had to be bold. So she went to Lillian Luthor.

Lillian made the obvious clear: While they were working together now, once this was over they’d go back to being enemies. Obvious, but it had to be said. Because Cadmus is definitely going to be a big bad moving forward. It might be next year’s big bad. Or it might be a steady one throughout the series. Either way, Lillian Luthor and Cadmus aren’t going anywhere.

While I wouldn’t say I was shocked necessarily, I will say, “What the hell, Lillian?” when she grabbed Lena and left Kara and Mon-El for dead. But Kara wasn’t shocked either considering she had Winn make a fail-safe knowing that this would probably happen.

Kara and Lillian’s dynamic is becoming one of my favorite relationships this season. There’s so much complexity there in such a short time – basically, it feels like they’ve been at it for years instead of months. There’s so much animosity there but also a level of respect. It’ll be interesting to see more of their dynamic and its implications moving forward.

Supergirl — “The Last Children of Krypton” — Image SPG202b_0087 — Pictured: Tyler Hoechlin as Clark/Superman — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Superman Returns…As A Foe

Well, Superman has a knack for being controlled when it comes to season finales and penultimate episodes. Clark really needs something to control that. Come on, man.

A sign that “Resist” was a damn good episode was that it somehow made me forget that Tyler Hoechlin would be returning as Superman in this episode. So, when he appeared on screen in the final scene – when he threw Kara across the ship, obviously mind controlled, my mouth hung open wide. Talk about a cliffhanger. Holy hell, I won’t survive.

As we head into next week’s season finale, we’re obviously going to get a Supergirl vs. Superman showdown, which Rhea is going to use to her advantage. Let’s get one thing clear: Rhea is using a mind controlled Superman to distract Kara so that she can take over National City and then the world. Just when we thought Team Supergirl had gotten ahead of her with the evaporator gun or whatever scientific term Winn used, Rhea was already expecting that. She just wanted them to think that she would be subdued. Rhea might be a conniving bitch, but she’s smart as hell. Give credit where credit is due.

So, we know we’re getting a Supergirl vs. Superman fight. But the real question is: How is Kara going to unhypnotize Clark? Because given the massive alien invasion already happening, Kara’s going to need all of the help she can get. Especially from the man named “Superman.”

One of the things I really appreciate heading into this season finale is that the stakes are far higher than last season. Like, while I know that Kara and co. will ultimately save the day at the last minute, I also feel real concern for these characters that’ll do battle. Especially Mon-El. Because if you’re doing season finale cliffhangers, like pretty much every show I’ve been watching this season has been doing, you go after the hero’s love interest. While I know they won’t kill Mon-El, they’ll probably do something to separate him and Kara and bring that angst. Hey, that’s good angst as far as I’m concerned. It’ll breed a ton of Karamel and Mon-El articles during hiatus. Bring it!

Five Things

  1. CAN WE TAKE A MOMENT TO APPLAUD THE BRILLIANCE THAT IS CAT GRANT? I don’t think I’ve missed a character as much as I’ve missed Cat Grant. I feel like the hole in my heart has been healed, and I need her to stay. She won’t. But I’m going to enjoy next week’s finale and my last dose of Cat for the foreseeable future. Her one-liners and her inspiring speeches are just two of the things that make her an amazing character and role model.
  2. CAN WE ALSO APPLAUD HOW SUPERGIRL TOOK A SHOT AT DONALD TRUMP AND HIS HATRED? Because the moment the words were out of Cat Grant’s mouth, I swear to God she was talking to the audience about this f***kery that we’re experiencing in our country. And I was inspired as hell.
  3. I loved how this episode showed that there are two different kinds of love, and how neither is lessened as a result. Kara loves both Mon-El and Lena. Novel concept, I know. While Kara loves Lena as her best friend, Kara is actually in love with Mon-El. But she loves them both. Thanks to the show for blatantly pointing that out for those that couldn’t see it.
  4. If Mon-El and Lena can get along, why can’t the two fanbases? There’s a common enemy – and it isn’t the other – it’s the villain that nearly forced them to marry against their will and is threatening to destroy Earth. Also, there’s the shared factor of loving this show. We all have our reasons for loving it. So let’s not demean others for the reasons they watch.
  5. WHY IS SUPERMAN ALWAYS BEING MIND CONTROLLED IN SEASON FINALES? My goodness, Clark. Get ahold of yourself. Only this time, Kara is going to have to actually fight you. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of curious to see how this plays out. But I’m also going to marvel in the beauty that is Tyler Hoechlin.

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

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