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‘Supergirl’ Review: “We Can Be Heroes” But Literally Just For One Day

This week on Supergirl: It’s Supergirl v. Guardian: Dawn of Brooding; Livewire reappears; still no sign of Lena or Cat; J’onn and M’gann for life.

Spoilers through Supergirl season two, episode ten: “We Can Be Heroes.”

This will be my first Supergirl review in eight episodes where I don’t have a segment dedicated solely to my love for Sanvers. Weep for me, my children.

However, since Supergirl has decided to allow my babies some happy couple time, as well as cute jokes about vegan ice cream, it means that we, as viewers, get to focus on other things. Like Mon-El and James finally spilling the beans about their respective secrets and J’onn saving M’gann’s life. Also, Livewire made a Joker-esque appearance, but without Cat Grant, it felt a bit hollow.

Livewire Gets Shocked

Early on in the episode, we saw Livewire escape from a human jail cell. For most of the episode we’re led to believe that she’s in control of the situation and producing her own little lightning bolt minions. However, after Winn obtains footage from Livewire’s Wild Breakout, the SuperFriends learn that she’s actually a victim and Kara has to go and retract some of those horrible things she said about her “nemesis.”

Snack break: Kara calling Livewire her “nemesis” felt wrong somehow. Sure, she’s faced the villain twice now, and won, but Livewire always felt more like Cat’s villain. Don’t get me wrong, Kara talking about her nemesis was ADORKABLE TO THE MAX.

 

 

But it still felt weird.

Winn and James hide the fact that they’re going to rescue Livewire alone because they’ve been visited by the good idea fairy lately and she keeps giving them the BEST IDEAS. Along with Mon-El, the boys shockingly fail to save the electric villain and Supergirl comes to their rescue. THANK RAO for that because I was getting a wee bit tired of dudes screaming at Kara that they could save her. Kara lets Livewire go, presumably because she saw Barry do the same with Captain Cold and that went smashingly.

supergirl 210 livewire

Here’s a probably terrible thought: Livewire should be at least a part-time member of the SuperFriends and here’s why: She’s sarcastic as hell and constantly burns both Mon-El and James.

Exhibit A:

Livewire: “Who are you supposed to be?”
Mon-El: “I’m the other Superman. In training.”
Livewire: “Your cosplay sucks.”

Exhibit B:

Livewire: “You know what I love? Little boys who think they can do a better job than the woman who’s an actual superhero. It’s pathetic.”

Moreover, Supergirl has suffered lately from the lack of an antagonistic “good guy.” For instance, in season one, Maxwell Lord floated between villain and anti-hero, and that made his dynamic with Supergirl all the more interesting. As it stands, everyone in Supergirl’s circle ADORES her (as they should), but she needs someone who won’t placate her feelings or be in love with her. That person could be Livewire.

Can A Human Be A Hero?

The biggest point of contention in “We Can Be Heroes” came from Kara’s realization that James is Guardian. After a tussle with the baby Livewires, James is injured trying to fix Mike’s screw up, and Kara unmasks him (a huge breach of privacy, as seen in Clark Kent’s Superhero 101: Chapter 3) to learn his true identity.

Once Kara realizes that ERRYBODY knew James was the Guardian, she wants some alone time with the budding hero. Alex peaces the hell out of that room because despite being a total badass, she is utterly terrified of two things: Kara getting hurt and Kara being angry with her. (And maybe of eating that vegan ice cream. Jury’s still out on that one.) Mike makes a joke about James being a “professionally handsome desk person,” reminding us all that while he sucks at Superhero First Grade, he’s still pretty damn funny.

supergirl 210 james

Kara and James have it out several times over the course of the episode, discussing the merits of what does and does not constitute a hero. Kara, shockingly, places superhuman abilities over heroic characteristics, whereas James claims:

James: “There’s a lot more to being a hero than having superpowers. Like wanting to make a difference or having a willingness to put yourself on the line for others.”

They argue some more and our little cupcake Kara is completely oblivious to the fact that the Guardian/Mon-El comparison is about so much more than fighting thugs in National City. James does make a good point, however, that despite Supergirl’s strength and unwavering sunshine, she does not get to decide who is and who isn’t a hero. Kara claps back that Mon-El can change his lack of dedication to the task, the audience shares a laugh, and then she slams home that James can’t change the fact that he’s human and weak and the room goes silent. Low blow, Kara. Not cool.

I waffle regularly on James’ development as Guardian. On the one hand, he’s right. Kara can’t stop him, nor should she. If she truly wanted to protect him, she’d train him. Or better yet, she’d have Alex train him, since she’s the most badass human character on the CW. (Sorry, Oliver.) How-to-the-ever, Kara is right in worrying about James. He doesn’t have any training. A blackbelt does not a hero make. Oliver went through hell on an island (and all over Asia) for five years before even thinking about becoming Green Arrow. Even still, he’s a work in progress. All of the other human heroes we’ve seen have had an immense amount of training. Heck, Ray Palmer went through an entire arc where he had to realize that a suit wasn’t the be all, end all of being a hero. James needs to go through a similar pipeline. He can’t be gifted this. He has to earn it the same way the others did. It sucks that he wasn’t handed superpowers on a yellow sun platter, but such is life.

The only thing that worries me now is that he going to do something stupid, like go to Cadmus to “acquire” said superpowers.

Also, I’m tired of him dragging Winn into his shenanigans.

Mon-El’s Got Heart, Yes He Do

Man, do we ever hate Mike.

Don’t get me wrong, Kara and Mon-El are stinking adorable together sometimes, but there’s a heavy brother/sister vibe from them that I can’t get past. And it isn’t just because I’m a supergay shipper and want Kara to be with every female we meet (though please, I really want Supercorp to take off); the chemistry just isn’t there for them. Kara absolutely resonates with Lena; their scenes are, dare I say, electric. And the lack of chemistry between the two aliens was even more apparent when we saw how well Kara matched up with Livewire. AND even though Kara and James argued the entirety of “We Can Be Heroes,” they STILL had more sexual tension than Kara and Mike. You see where I’m going with this?

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A part of me really likes Mon-El and I enjoy the humor he brings to the show (though, he’s no Winn), but he’s had the forefront now for a long time and that means missing out on more interesting stories like J’onn and M’gann or watching Lena bite her lip in a totally-not-uber-sexual way.

I’m happy that Mon-El finally admitted the truth to Kara about his feelings and the kiss, but I’m equally (if not more) grateful that she didn’t kiss him back. We don’t need a romance between those two, especially when we already have Sanvers and the two Martians to keep us warm at night.

supergirl 210 monel

Also: Mon-El is a poor man’s Cyclops with those clothes and the sunglasses. Get it together, Daxamite.

The Budding Martian Romance

Since I sped through Young Justice all those years ago, I have loved M’gann M’orzz. It was my hope that she would be another ray of shining light on Supergirl. However, the writers (rightly so) took M’gann another direction and played her more off of J’onn, revealing her White Martian heritage rather early on in the show. I love the bitter, broken M’gann because it not only affords her character more depth, but it brings out a darkness in J’onn we haven’t seen. It seems almost uncharacteristic to watch this man who took in two girls as his own lash out with hatred, bordering on that brink of despair because he’s been their stable rock, but it’s necessary. And it’s even more necessary that when J’onn is compelled to save a member of the race who killed his family, that these girls, his daughters as far as I’m concerned, are there to be his strength.

J’onn: “Hate becomes your reason for living when you’ve lost everything that you loved.”

J’onn and M’gann have a history that goes so much deeper than any other relationship on the show. M’gann didn’t want to be his friend because at the end of the day, she didn’t believe she deserved his kindness. But she is selfless and ultimately good, so when J’onn needed her, she gave him what little she had left. In turn, when M’gann was attacked psychically by her own kind, J’onn broke down their final barrier and bonded with M’gann to save her from her memories.

M’gann: “I wanted to be your friend. I couldn’t bring your people back to life, but I could make you feel less alone.”
J’onn: “I’m here with you. I see you. You are my friend, M’gann M’orzz. You are forgiven.”

I didn’t think any couple would come close to eliciting the emotions from me that Sanvers did. And while M’gann and J’onn are quite on that level, I adore them all the same.

supergirl 210 mgann jonn

Random Thoughts

WHERE THE FUCK IS LENA.

Supergirl airs Mondays on the CW at 8pm EST.

About Jen Stayrook

Jen Stayrook
Don't let the fancy nerd duds deceive you; Jen’s never been described as “classy.” You can find her on Twitter where she stalks all of her favorite celebrities: @jenstayrook. Or you can find her on Steam or Xbox dying in every game she plays as "Rilna." Email: jen.stayrook@theworkprint.com

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