written by Dayna Abel, Jason Froikin and Cara Russell
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
“I have one pet peeve, Danvers, and that’s not being heard.”
The above were Maggie’s words from last episode, but they perfectly encapsulate everything frustrating and terrible about the relationship between Kara and Mon-El. I don’t know what the show is doing here. Every word out of Kara’s mouth is about how Mon-El doesn’t listen, how he patronizes her, how he’s egotistical and selfish. We’ve seen him demonstrate time and again the lack of respect for Kara’s wishes. This episode alone had “two strikes” against him, but as Kara said, she isn’t baseball.
Everything we’ve seen about Kara and Mon-El’s relationship so far has been Mon-El steamrolling over Kara’s wishes. He doesn’t respect her feelings or her autonomy. Moreover, we see in this episode something very familiar to many women – Kara has been telling Mon-El all along what she needs and wants from him, but he doesn’t actually listen until Winn tells him to listen to her. It’s a sad fact that women’s opinions, ideas and feelings are often dismissed, but when a man says the same thing we are, suddenly it’s important and people listen. Supergirl keeps telling us over and over again, even explicitly, that Kara and Mon-El don’t work. Yet they’re thrown together time and again, and it’s doing a major disservice to both Kara’s character and the viewers who look up to her.
On a positive note, it’s good to see the plot come back in this episode. It’s been a while since Cadmus has reared their heads, and boy howdy did those heads rear. I’m very intrigued to see what Lillian and company have in store for our heroes, as well as what the “deal” they struck with Jeremiah was. I’m worried sick about Alex and what her father’s betrayal means to her, as well as how she may be feeling about the damage she did to her relationship with Kara. Maggie was there in exactly the right way, thankfully, but it’s kind of sad that Alex gets the emotional beats Kara should be having. Alex may not be able to fly or fuse train tracks together, but she’s quietly become the superhero of the season. I’m grateful for Alex – I just wish the showrunners would quit wasting time on Mon-El so we could see Kara be the hero she was in Season One.
(Also, where the hell is James?)
* * *
The Jeremiah Danvers reunion was the first thing on the mind of anyone who watched this week’s episode. It was both happy and incredibly sad, with a little bit of fear thrown in. And then that fear became sadness again as the characters’ worst fears became true. It even broke both of the two strongest characters on the show at once – Kara and Alex. When they’ve repaired themselves, though, it’s certainly going to lead to a renewed urgency to destroy Cadmus.
But from a viewer’s standpoint, that part of the show was almost expected from the beginning, because we’re not used to anything so easily being given to the characters which doesn’t lead to inevitable disaster. The writing was good in this episode, though, because even though we all knew betrayal was coming, we still hoped we were wrong, and we still feel Alex and Kara’s pain along with them.
The part that was more surprising was the sharp turn Mon-El took. He had only just started becoming a sympathetic and helpful character in the show, and then he fell right back into his old habits again. Not that he wasn’t right – but sometimes you can be right and still be wrong when you handle it in a confrontational and arrogant way which irritates everyone. Even more unbelievable was that Winn gave him advice. Hopefully it’ll stick this time, but I don’t have much confidence in that just yet.
* * *
This week brings us back to our regularly scheduled dose of “if you just talked to each other, you wouldn’t be in this mess!”. Jeremiah Danvers is transported from Cadmus, only to be collected by our favourite folks at the DEO and brought back into the fold without any questions or debriefing. Mon-El – the Only Sane Man In the Room – is visibly miffed, as he’s spent several months trying to alleviate the suspicion he gained by virtue of his origin, without having done something like aiding the scientific machinations of a shady organization to genetically modify other humanoids. Eventually, Mon-El gets Winn on his side, and the two manage to convince Kara that Jeremiah really is up to something. However, it still takes Jeremiah’s hostile takeover and escape to convince Alex, who still lets him go, because he’s her dad and he did it all for her – an act that will definitely come back to bite them all in the keister when Cadmus starts targeting the names on the stolen DEO alien registry.
While the repetition and paranoia dragged out the episode, it allowed time for some beautiful character moments for most of the cast. Even if you aren’t down for Kara/Mon-El (I adore the guy, and that relationship even makes me twitch), I hope you can still appreciate Melissa Benoist’s adorable acting as Kara enjoys having a boyfriend that isn’t so fragile that a gentle kiss would break his nose. Dinner for the Danvers clan, and introducing Maggie to dear ol’ dad is my new favourite “coming out” scene. Winn manages to be the voice of reason for Mon-El’s woes and save the day several times over by having crucial intel while keeping a level head. His character growth has been exponential this season, always onward and upward – which is amazing for a character who was so grating and needy at his introduction. And Pam from HR is a nice nod to Archer, whether intended or not.
But for all of these gifts, and all of the dramatics, it’s the absences which are still ringing loudly. James, a friend again, is still gone. Whether you’re part of the shipping war or not, his friendship and guidance has no equal among the rest of Kara’s cadre. Nor does the steady sounding board and voice of reason he often was, or the different perspective Kara didn’t rail against as she always does with everyone else. I honestly hope to see him again in the near future, and to see that bridge rebuilt. And maybe, just maybe, have the opportunity to see Kara treat him like the equal he has always treated her as.
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