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‘Supergirl’ Review: Kiss The Girls You Want to Kiss

This week on Supergirl: The writers have been reading my #Sanvers diary, Cadmus attacks the city, and Lena Luthor chooses a side.

Spoilers through Supergirl season two, episode eight: “Medusa.”

Day one of the CW crossover event and well, I’m sorry if any of y’all tuned in just for the crossover because it was miniscule, at best. I’m not that sorry because I want more people watching Supergirl, but if you’re going to watch, watch from the beginning. As it stands, “Medusa” was much more of a regular Supergirl episode with a smattering of crossover plot where Barry and Cisco showed up at the very end to steal Kara away. I’ll get to my theories on the importance of this episode later on, but for now, the re-re-re-recap!

Mon-El Goes Full Mike

Supergirl starts off with a Thanksgiving theme and suddenly it’s like that episode of Friends where Ross is all, “It’s THANKSgiving, not TRUTHSgiving.” Both James and Alex want to spill their respective secrets but before they both get drunk enough to blurt out the truth, a breach appears over the table and presumably everyone has a very quiet dinner after that. Mon-El brings actual stuffing (like for pillows) to dinner in an attempt to make him more likable. The jury is still out on whether or not it worked.

I want to like Mon-El–he’s very pretty–but every time he starts to move forward in becoming a likable character, he takes two steps back. Let’s start with the obvious issues: twice now he’s fallen for the fake J’onn thing. Now, the first instance I can forgive. He was kidnapped in Cadmus and blackmailed. However, in the alien bar, Hank wears an evil-looking hood and is acting 50 shades of suspicious. Against all logic, Mon-El assumes he’s the real J’onn, again, and runs out of the bar after him. Granted, if he hadn’t chased after Hank, he’d have died and we might have missed out him and Kara playing two-person Monopoly. (Which, honestly, seems like a punishment, not entertainment.)

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Hank/Cyborg Superman’s attack on the bar that killed dozens of nameless aliens was orchestrated as a test by Cadmus to see if their restructuring of the Medusa virus had worked. Spoiler alert: it did. Mon-El isn’t killed right away because he’s a named character and this is TV where white dudes have 10 lives, but he inhales enough of the stuff to at least be on bed rest for the rest of the episode. At least he sticks to what he’s good at on Supergirl: Laying there and looking pretty.

But hey, since Eliza cured both Mon-El and J’onn in record time, don’t you think the DEO would want to hire her ASAP?

Cadmus Comes To Dinner Empty-handed

I know that the Luthors aren’t exactly the conventional family, but Mama Cadmus visits baby Lena at the OFFICE during Thanksgiving weekend and can’t even pretend to be familial? “Oh hey, Lena, you’re working, I’m working, let’s go get a pumpkin spice latte and pretend it’s lunch.” I guess that’s not how Mama Cadmus bonds with her children, though, especially not the one she openly admits to disliking.

After the attack on the bar, the DEO learns that Cadmus stole Kara’s blood, not to clone her (or maybe they will, eventually), but to access Fortress of Solitude and steal the plans for the Kryptonian-made Medusa virus. Kara, after having an existential crisis over the truth about her mother last season, is faced with the reality that her father wasn’t as squeaky clean as she once imagined. I know some might think this is a rehash of old plots, but I actually think it’s important for Kara’s growth to come to terms with the fact that both of her parents were flawed. She’s quick to make assumptions about Daxamites when she first meets Mon-El, but over time she’s learned that not everyone is good or evil. Sometimes, like her aunt Astra, good people do bad things because they think it’s right. On the surface, Zor-El making the Medusa virus seems wholly evil, but when faced with the extinction of life on his home, what else could he have done? Kara would argue there’s always another way, but as my friend Dumbledore says, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” I fully expect dark times ahead for Kara and she’ll have to remember the decisions her parents once made and make tough choices of her own.

After Cadmus reworks the virus to kill aliens instead of everyone but Kryptonians, they plan let it loose on National City. Cyborg Superman attacks L Corp, but Kara is one step ahead of him. Besides, he’s skulking around in a totally not guilty trench coat and hood. OF COURSE she found him. You’d think for a group so hell bent on being intelligent and tech-savvy, they’d have thought of a better way to steal L Corp’s isotope instead of sending in a brute to make as much noise as possible. But two good things happened during this scene. The first was Kara saving Lena’s life, giving me us this beautiful interaction that will fuel my SuperCorp fanfiction for weeks to come:

 

 

“I looked into Lena’s eyes. She doesn’t know anything about Cadmus and her mother.” GAAAAAAAAAAAY. <3

The second was that the lesbian love interest, Maggie, was shot by Cyborg Superman, but instead of falling victim to the “Bury Your Gays” trope, she wore a bulletproof vest (Like my boo Nicole in Wynonna Earp!) and she ultimately recovered. Thank goodness the CW is looking to make up for all that heartache they caused us last spring.

After a sexually tense moment between Supergirl and Lena, wherein I was almost certain Supergirl was going to kiss Lena to bring her to the light side, Lena denies her mother’s involvement with Cadmus. Lena is a character who knows she has been an outsider her whole life. She’s not really a Luthor to the actual family but she’s still seen as one by everyone else. She throws herself into her work because that’s all she has. No one will ever see her as anything but someone with the potential to be evil.

Except Kara.

And I fully believe that it’s Kara’s faith in Lena that helps keep her grounded in the good side. It would be easy for Lena to become a Draco Malfoy (like all these HP references?), swept up in a family legacy, eager to fit in, but Lena is stronger that that and she uses that family name to her advantage when she takes Mama Cadmus by surprise. By switching the isotope in the Medusa virus, she effectively neutralizes it and saves the aliens in National City, returning the Kara’s heroic favor.

Two Kisses: One Good, One Bad

As I mentioned earlier, Mon-El spends most of the episode on bed rest because he’s, well, dying. It’s clear to everyone but Kara that Mon-El has feelings for her, but why he doesn’t just act on them is beyond me. Mon-El has been forward about everything so far, so there has to be more to him not wanting to be with her other than the possibility for rejection. I have a hunch that our boy Mike is actually a prince on Daxam, which is why the other Daxamites (I assume) are looking for him and his pod. This would explain why he’s okay with one-night stands and kissing Kara when he thought he was dying: those aren’t long-term promises. I have to assume he’s romantically promised to someone else back on Daxam. I suspect we’ll spend the second half of season two learning more about him and I hope it turns out well because right now? He’s dry toast.

That’s not saying he can’t be with Kara for a while. “Karamel” is an ADORABLE ship name. They’re cute enough and I like the whole “our families are enemies” plot because I’m a romantic trashbag, but ultimately I still ship Winn-El and SuperCorp because I want Supergirl to be Supergay.

(I will accept Kara/Barry Allen as a consolation prize but I don’t like the idea of breaking Iris’s heart to get that ship.)

Our second kiss, and the better of the two, came as a complete surprise to me. I knew that Alex would be coming out to her mother in “Medusa,” but I certainly didn’t think Maggie would act on any feelings. Remember: I was a fan of the slow burn.

Was.

While we didn’t get to see the pool reunion scene between the pair, we did get something better, a scene pulled straight out of my “Sanvers 4 Ever” notebook. After Maggie is shot, Alex tends to her wounds (chicks dig scars, y’all) while also telling Maggie about her latest revelations. I’ve enjoyed Alex’s journey a lot. I think that much is obvious in all of my reviews. In three episodes, she gone from smitten to bitter and confused to accepting of her new normal. I appreciate that she’s been given the time to learn about herself instead of just kissing Maggie and then going, “Yup. I’m gay.”

Maybe it was being shirtless during Alex’s “new normal” speech, maybe it was the near death experience, or maybe it was the flattering pajama bottoms, but Maggie decides that enough is enough. Life is too short to not kiss the girls she wants to kiss and dammit she wants to kiss Alex. And Alex, a girl after my own heart, takes the romantic moment and ruins it with her humor. And it’s WONDERFUL.

Maggie: “You’re not gonna go crazy on me, are you?”
Alex: “Probably.”

ALEX IS SUCH A NERD. MORE NEWS AT 10.

I know I wanted the slow burn, but that’s only because I want Alex and Maggie to be end game. I love the two of them together so much it hurts and their growth over the past few weeks has been more than I ever thought possible on network television.

And then all of those beautiful emotions were wrenched from my heart just so I could watch Barry and Cisco bicker. I know that the episode HAD to end that way, but come on. At least give me a softer fade out than, “BAM. BARRY’S HOME.”

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“Help me, Kara Danvers. You’re my only hope.”

Random Thoughts

I think the reason why Supergirl was included in the crossover was not to make the character feel left out but because I imagine she’s going to bring an important weapon to the table when it comes to defeating the Dominators: Medusa. Kara is currently struggling with the notion that her parents weren’t the heroes she thought when she left Krypton. They were flawed like she is now and I think once she’s faced with a situation where she has to alter Medusa to kill Dominators, she might have a greater understanding of both her father and Cadmus.

I know there are some folks who are upset about the screen time Sanvers is getting and to those of you I say: shove off. Alex’s arc and her newfound relationship with Maggie have been given VIP treatment, something rarely afforded to any gay character on television. If the romance and the character development makes you not like the show because you want more action, you’re watching the wrong DC show. Supergirl has always been more about the relationships between these characters. If you want action or pulpy fun, try Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow. Let me keep my romantically hopeful Supergirl as it is.

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On a related note: Kara made mention on the balcony that the view reminded her of Krypton, a view she often quietly shared with Cat Grant. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but Kara connecting Cat to something from Krypton is beyond sweet to me and my goodness, can we please trade Mike for Cat? I miss her.

What the heck was that off-screen save of Martian Manhunter? In two seconds Eliza Danvers manages to reverse what is happening to J’onn’s blood? Can she manufacture that and possibly save some other green-turned-white Martians? Why isn’t she currently working for the DEO with that brain? Also that “save” was lame and completely wrecked what should have been some amazing character development for J’onn. I hope he and M’gann aren’t being pushed to the side.

Also, is M’gann still in a cell? Did someone bring her Thanksgiving dinner? Y’all are cold at the DEO.

Things I want to see after the development of these two budding relationships:

  • Kara bonding with Maggie
  • Maggie being part of the family game and food nights
  • J’onn protecting Kara whenever Mon-El is involved
  • More Winn/Alex interactions because they are my BrOTP

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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4 comments

  1. I’m sorry, how can you mention drunken alex without mentioning alex getting her beer taken away from her only for her to sneak into the hiding place it was in and steal the hard liquor instead?

  2. I have hope for Meghan because they very conveniently sequestered her JUST before villains targeted aliens at her bar, saving her for future shenanigans. Also, thanks for calling out the annoyed straight people. This arc has been so stunningly effective to me because I am going through all the things (except the actual tough or any love interest) along with her, and they are getting all the questions and hesitations right. They are going through it at light speed, to be sure, but that’s just network TV and compassionate writers. They COULD have made us WAIT 7 weeks.

    • I thought it WOULD be 7 weeks, the ending of episode 7 lied to me! Mind you, this isn’t to say Sanvers shouldn’t have been end game… just that the hallway convo screamed “slow burn” but instead we got “light speed”? Then again, I half-suspect that the writers did this in part because they knew that fanfiction would come through (and HOW!) and basically form the “what happened in between” headcanons for us…

      P.S. Also not happy at the seeming sidelining of M’gann… but I do have a certain amusement in hindsight at just what “an important weapon to the table when it comes to defeating the Dominators” was.

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