‘Supergirl’ Returns To Cheesy Form in Kevin Smith-directed “Supergirl Lives”

This week on Supergirl: Kara loses her powers, Sanvers is adorable, Millenials don’t know what an MRI looks like.

Spoilers through Supergirl season two, episode nine: “Supergirl Lives.”

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us lady-folk, what with Trump trying to feed Americans a daily dose of Red Pill. Thankfully, we have real-life Supergirl Melissa Benoist out at the Women’s March and TV Supergirl back on air. It’s the little things that get us through the week. In the mid-season return, directed by the super dorky Kevin Smith, “Supergirl Lives,” Supergirl is having a less adventurous time than her IRL counterpart, spending her days catching boring jewel thieves and bad-mouthing Guardian. 

I know that as superheroes go, Supergirl is still a baby hero and that not all baddies know quite how to deal with her yet, but honestly, who steals jewelry in National City and only brings two missiles?

supergirl 209 two missiles

The Case of the Missing Plotforce

The dull nature of her superhero days causes Kara to feel “betwixt and between,” even leading her to go to Mon-El for advice. Mon-El, the same dude who brought the insides of a stuffed bear for Thanksgiving dinner. He doesn’t help Kara because honestly, Mike is only good for a laugh and the writers aren’t sure what to do with him. (More on that later.)

Kara heads back to work where she learns about a missing girl and against Snapper’s judgment, she goes all in on a rescue mission. Finally! A real hero case for our little puppy! Things must seem awfully tame for our adorable bag of jelly beans after saving Earth-1 from the Dominators. But hey! A mission is a mission and Kara doesn’t half-ass her hero duties.

Mon-El tags along because he’s always oddly near Kara at all times. Like, for real. Kara, I know you’re all naive and trustworthy, but Mike needs a few other friends. They track the missing persons to a clinic that…posts blood test results on the internet? More question marks? I mean, I’m all for doctor transparency, but this dude LITERALLY introduced himself with a villainous “Well, well, well, well.” He doesn’t exactly seem like the type who would follow through on paperwork for potential slaves. Anyway, he goes full creeper and notes that Kara and Mon-El are “strapping millennials” and mother of God, Kara, we need you to be less of a trusting sunflower sometimes. That phrase set off at least seventeen of the “creeper” alarms in my head.

But Kara is a hero, so off she goes into a totally-not-dangerous WAREHOUSE where Dr. McCreepy “sets them up” for an MRI. Now, I know healthcare in the United States is shit, but I also know that Kara has seen at least 8 or 9 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy so she knows DAMN WELL that an MRI machine does not look like alien technology. KARA. YOU PRECIOUS BUBBLE. YOU SPARKLING SPAGHETTI NOODLE. GET IT TOGETHER.

Kara beats up the alien slavers and puts on her “no bullshit” face and tells Mon-El to get Alex and the DEO there ASAP. I’ll concede that Mon-El is likable when he’s doing the whole, “I don’t know Earth culture but I’m madly monotheistic” bits, but he’s also incredibly selfish. Kara tells him EXACTLY what to do to save them, but he’s a dude, a dude who has to save the girl–even though he’s literally never done that–so instead of listening to her and her years of expertise, he thinks he knows best and he follows her instead, trapping them both on an unknown planet without help.

There, they realize that they’re on Maldoria, also known as “Slaver’s Moon,” and it orbits a red moon, which means, no superpowers. Not even enough powers to zap Mike one good time because he was a total freaking Goofus. They meet Joe, a lovable rogue alien who feeds them Thanagarian Snare Beast, in case y’all forgot Kevin Smith directed the episode. Kara and Mike surrender but quickly turn the tables when Kara inspires the captured human slaves to rebel. They fight their way to freedom and run into Alex who has her “Kara is in Danger” Meter turned up to 11. They escape the slave planet, narrowly missing out on a chance to be owned by the best dude the galaxy has to offer:

supergirl 209 prisoner star wars

While I’m mostly okay with the events of the episode’s main plot, I’m irritated that we didn’t get to see J’onn have to face a planet used entirely by slavers. It seems a poor oversight by the writers to just leave him out of this mission given his history and all because presumably the DEO can’t afford a breathing apparatus for J’onn to use on Maldoria’s surface. Yellow sun grenades are in the budget, but a suit to help J’onn, THE LEADER OF THE DEO, breathe is just too much.

Winn and The Hero’s Journey

Winn, the ever-present comic relief on Supergirl, has a crisis of faith in “Supergirl Lives.” For most of his life, Winn has accepted his role as the IT guy behind the scenes. He’s never going to don a mask and fist fight a dude with a gun and he’s okay with that, because honestly, why fight when you could create awesome technology? So when James, drunk on his newfound heroism, puts Winn into that dangerous situation wherein he almost dies, Winn, understandably snaps. I want to like James and have good things happen to him because I’ve seen him be awesome, but James as Guardian is kind of a douche rocket. He doesn’t care about Winn’s well-being. He only cares about the next time HE gets to save the day. Even Mike isn’t THAT selfish.

And it’s that action that leads me to being wholly unable to support James as Guardian. I hope when Kara finds out she burns holes into his smug shield and auto-tuned voice box. If James doesn’t care about the ONE guy who supported his dream from day one, he doesn’t deserve to be a hero. And even though Winn eventually came around and was cute with his celebratory speech to James, I don’t want the two of them to be a duo anymore.

James didn’t help Winn with ANY of his problems this episode. Alex did. Alex built him back up and told him that, “Nobody gets better by running away.” (Which, by the way, Alex, baby, sugar pumpkin, you need to listen to your own advice.) Of course, Alex then proceeded to leave Winn on his own to fight off a Maldorian, buuuutttttttt she at least listened to his feelings on the matter.

We all know that Winn has been beaten up more than once in his life, but sometimes I wish the show wouldn’t make light of the dorky IT dude. He’s a cool, comic relief but his pain and fears are probably the most realistic of anyone on the show.

We Need to Talk About Mike

I know that at the end of the episode Mon-El told Kara that he wanted to be a hero, too, and I’m sure that’s all well and good but I’m so over Mike. He dominated an entire episode so we could be beat over the head with the theory that, what? He’s Daxam royalty?

supergirl 209 kara mike

Mike is great for the occasional comic relief moment and I’m kind of digging the whole brother/sister comfort level between him and Kara, but he can’t be the focus, especially not without more background. Sure, we watched a Dominator (the creepy alien who bought the humans) bow to Mon-El, saving him from a Maldorian fighter, but all that did was reinforce the notion that Mon-El is probably the Daxam prince he referred to as “not being that great.” I’m guessing that the bow by the Dominator is what spurns Mon-El into realizing he wants to be a hero. As royalty, Mon-El would have been complicit in the Daxamites slaves trades and dealings with the Dominators. Given the heavy-headed hints at a Mon-El/Kara romance, I’m assuming that once they finally admit feelings for one another is when she also finds out he’s been lying to her. He’ll sacrifice his life to save Earth from the Dominators and Kara will weep and James will punch a pigeon. 

(Note: instead of that oh-so-cliche romantic pairing, I’d love to genuinely see Kara and Mon-El become enemies. It’d be an awesome turn of events that would have to challenge their planets’ histories.)

Baby Gay Alex Makes a Boo Boo

For the past, oh, six episodes, Alex and Maggie have only had a handful of scenes together on Supergirl, but every damn week they are my highlight. Something about these two together makes me giddy in the pit of my stomach. Maybe it’s the reliability; maybe it’s the chemistry; maybe it’s my head-over-heels crush on Chyler Leigh. But every week, these two manage to reel me in with their puppy dog eyes and dimples and I’m hooked. 





After the end of the mid-season finale, with Maggie kissing Alex, I wasn’t sure how much happiness these two would be granted, but thank Rao it seems like the writers are intent on giving us some happy moments between the two. Maggie stays the night at Alex’s apartment and wears the smitten Danvers’ shirt, causing gays everywhere to have rainbow heart attacks. Alex has the cutest case of the black lung I’ve ever seen and she goes to work as a literal ray of sunshine.

supergirl 209 alex glowing 2

Things aren’t all butterflies and puppies for Sanvers, however. Once Kara is in danger, Alex completely shuts down from Maggie. She pushes away Detective Dimples and focuses solely on her mission: save Kara. While it would be really easy to write off Alex as going from 0-100 in two seconds, it makes a ton of since when you look at how the Danvers sisters describe one another. I’m not saying this as a “who loves who” more kind of thing, but Kara tends to describe Alex as her adoptive sister a lot, whereas to Alex, Kara is her ENTIRE family. I think this speaks volumes about their dynamic and why Alex is so quick to toss Maggie aside when things get hairy. NOTHING will ever come before Kara to Alex. Kara’s job is to protect Earth. Alex’s job is to protect Kara. 

Thankfully, Maggie knows the truth about Supergirl’s identity and she understands Alex’s need to put Kara first. And I don’t think that Maggie would EVER jeopardize their sisterly bond, but Maggie’s also a girl who has been hurt, a lot, so she needs to know that Alex isn’t going to do to her what others have: left her alone. GAH. THEY ARE SO CUTE I LOVE THEM.

Random Thoughts

Roulette was criminally underused this episode. Dichen Lachman has a booming presence on the show and I know this won’t be the last we see of her, but I’m heartbroken by how easily she was taken down in “Supergirl Lives.”

Related: Sometimes I’m baffled by “rules” for fighting in Supergirl. I know that we need to see her fail because otherwise her struggle becomes boring, but to watch her get hit and taken down by a second missile only to then rise above because of a YELLOW SUN GRENADE feels like a huge variation in skill level. I get it. We need the ups and downs, just sometimes they’re too unbelievable even for me.

That being said, nothing makes my heart sing more than Supergirl’s theme.

I miss Lena. How is she gonna save Supergirl in the mid-season finale and we don’t get a “thank you” scene between Kara and Lena? Also, I definitely wanted to watch Lena science her way out of that prison cell instead of listening to Mike whine about being selfish and not having hope and shit.

Livewire is in the preview for next week’s episode and I’m of the firm opinion that we CANNOT have Livewire without Cat Grant. Come on, CW. Do me this solid.

Supergirl airs Mondays on The CW at 8pm EST.

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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