I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Supergirl this season. On one hand, I love how they’re tackling realistic politics in the Children of Liberty storyline. Not to mention the introduction of Nia Nal, who’s been a breath of fresh air. On the other hand, I hate the direction they’ve chosen to go when it comes to splintering the Kara/Alex dynamic — especially when it’s fundamentally changed the very person Alex is — is quite off putting.
In “Blood Memory,” we got to travel home with Nia Nal and learn a little bit more about where she grew up and what the dreamer gene entails. We also got a glimpse at the effects of Alex’s decision to have the whole “erase the fact that Kara is Supergirl from my head.” Spoiler alert? It wasn’t good.
Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the so-so.
Nia’s Origin Story
While Supergirl has seemingly taken away my favorite characters, it’s also given me my new favorite in Nia Nal. I’ve been waiting to get to know her a little better before she suits up as Central City’s newest hero, and this episode gave us her backstory when it comes to her premonition-like dreams. Turns out it doesn’t just run in the family, as she previously said, but it only happens to one in every generation. Now, obviously that person is Nia. But everyone — from Nia’s mom and her sister — believe that person is her sister, Maeve. Maeve has been preparing for it her whole life because her mom had a dream it was her. What ensues at the Nal household is anything but heartwarming and heartbreaking.
Nia is pure at heart. So much so that she wants to find a way to give her sister her “dreamer” ability and just go one living a normal life. When she goes to her mom for advice it’s almost too obvious. But before we can get a reaction, Nia’s mom is bitten by a deadly spider. Nia goes to her mom in her dreams and is able to talk freely — so it appears as if Nia can both see the future and go into people’s dreams/subconscious. There, her mom can’t believe she’d always assumed it was Maeve that would inherit the gift. But she is so proud of Nia and has faith that she can do this. She doesn’t need her. And Nia’s sister — when she learns — isn’t exactly thrilled that Nia was the one that inherited the dreamer ability. In fact, she’s rather hateful when she tells Nia that “she’s not even a real woman.” And right then and there, I hated her sister. But not Nia. Because she’s too good of a person.
Kara and Nia Friendship
I feel like I’m constantly teetering between the area of searching for female friendships in shows and desperately clutching the few that are given to us. We need more women supporting women, more women leaning on each other, more women teaming up rather than conspiring against. Too often, women are pitted against each other or female dynamics ignored because they don’t do enough to prop up their male protagonists. But just as much as it’s important that those male protagonists get those friendships and relationships, it’s equally important that the female protagonists get that, too.
And I’m hoping that Supergirl can give me that with Kara and Nia. There’s a sort of mentor/mentee dynamic between Kara and Nia — whether it was as a reporter for CatCo or now as one superhero training a future hero. There’s already been some nice moments of friendship — encouragement, game night, etc. — and there’s a real potential for what this relationship can be. You could say these two are going to be spending a lot of time together. CatCo. Superheroing. Let Kara and Nia bond with their current sibling conflict, which has lined up perfectly for this kind of bonding. Nia’s sister hates her because she has powers. Alex doesn’t know Kara has powers. There’s so much potential here. Give it to me.
What Have They Done To Alex?
While Supergirl has given me my favorite character of Nia Nal, they’ve also taken away my favorite character in Alex Danvers. Look, I understand that what they’re doing with Alex — erasing her memory of Kara being Supergirl — creates the drama that they love, but I just don’t see the point. Why is the only way to create areas of growth to hurt characters or hurt the growth that’s already been accomplished?
Just like I knew would happen, making Alex forget that Kara was an alien — Supergirl — fundamentally changed how Alex viewed aliens. While she doesn’t hate aliens to the extreme of the Children of Liberty, Alex isn’t as trusting as she was when she grew up with Kara. When an alien was defending itself against a super-drugged human, Alex swooped in to defend the human rather than the alien. She doesn’t view aliens as equals. She’s just dealing with them as acquaintances. In choosing to take Kara as an alien out of Alex’s life, she’s fundamentally changed who she is. Which I’m guessing is the point. A stupid point.
So Is James Going To Support Lena Or Not?
Don’t get me wrong, I can sort of appreciate what Supergirl is trying to do with James and Lena. But then other times I have no idea what this show is trying to do with them. Is James there to support Lena? Is he there to question her moral compass? There have been parts of their relationship that I’ve enjoyed, including the support that both have provided at times. And I feel like Lena opening up to James has opened her heart and showed her that she’s someone that deserves love and someone that will support her. But what I also need is some clarification on where James stands when it comes to Lena. Whatever he decides to do — call her out on what she’s doing or fully support her — he needs to make a damn choice. Because in the last episode he looked troubled when Lena told him that she’d discovered a way to enhance human abilities when trying to rewrite DNA to cure diseases. But in this episode he was doing everything he could to defend her character when one of his reporters tried to investigate her. C’mon James, make up your mind.
What’s The Deal With The Red Kara?
While we’ve gotten bits and teases about “Red” Kara over in Russia, I’m still not really sure what to think. We’ve gotten so little and it’s more potential than it is guarantee. All we know is that there is a Supergirl over in Russia, who is being used by their military as a weapon rather than a hero. But there’s something intriguing about who this Kara is. Is she ally? Is she enemy? Is she somewhere in between? I’m torn between wanting to know everything now and not knowing anything until the show decides to unleash Red Kara on the world. And from the sound of it — the Russians reaching out to someone in the United States — perhaps that’s sooner rather than later.
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8/7c on The CW.