[Review] Supergirl Episode 2×16: “Star-Crossed”

written by Dayna Abel, Jason Froikin and Cara Russell

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

ENOUGH WITH MON-EL ALREADY. This entitled piece of plywood has sidelined the actual Season 2 story arc of Supergirl for far too long. I’m tired of precious plot real estate being handed over to this schmuck. I can’t say that I’m going to be reviewing this episode as much as just turning this into a bitchfest. Sorry not sorry. It’s derailed so much that it’s painful, especially after it looked like things were finally starting to get back on track with “Exodus.” I’m not some crazed shipper who spits on creators or other shippers but this fuckin’ guy. He constantly fucks up, apologizes, and then does literally nothing to change his behavior. You can only give someone the benefit of the doubt so many times. Mon-El doesn’t even have anyone else’s best interests at heart – he has literally said, more than once, that the reason he’s interested in being a hero is to be close to Kara. Because he admires her.

The thing is, Kara is a hero because that is who she is. She wants to help people. She’s one of the last of her entire species, and instead of falling into despair over it, she chooses to use her gifts to prevent others from being hurt. She sees the best in people regardless of circumstance. She extends compassion to even her enemies, trying to reach out and understand them and work things out before resorting to violence. Mon-El says that these are the personality traits which inspire him to be more like Kara, but it rings hollow. He hasn’t demonstrated innate empathy for the plight of others. Rather, his motivation is “if I do good things, Kara will love me.” She’s not his inspiration; she’s his treat for being a good boy. And that’s despicable.

I want so much for this show to get back on track. The Danvers family drama with Jeremiah, along with stopping Lillian and Cadmus, should be the number one priority. This is the storyline that should have been threaded throughout the entire season, not “Can This Bad Boy Be Redeemed?” It’s insipid, it’s insulting to the characters as well as the audience, and all I can say now is please for the love of tiny kittens, let this breakup stick.

-Dayna

* * *

Mon-El definitely wins the prize for embarrassing parents. Not only do they insult Kara for being Kryptonian, but they exposed everything he ever lied about, effectively ending his relationship with her. I suppose the (hopefully obvious) lesson is that’s the kind of thing that happens when you’re not honest, but that was just painful to see.

The dinner was equally painful to see. Kara wins the prize for courage for even attending such a well-planned ambush. In a way, though, that contained a lesson too – that among people tossing around accusations of who threw the first punch, someone has to have the courage to make it the last one. As a part of that, it was nice that Mon-El finally stopped being his parents’ “prince” and stood up to them at the end, although the damage was already done.

Winn probably had one of the most complex stories since the beginning of the show. It was nearly another case of – as he put it – being a huge idiot, but then there was more to it than that. He still got in way over his head as usual, but for once his usually somewhat misplaced loyalty wasn’t so misplaced. Of course this subplot also followed this episode’s theme about honesty, but it had a much better outcome than Mon-El’s.

-Jason

* * *

A reveal we all should’ve seen coming hit us in this week’s Supergirl, shedding some new light on Mon-El’s origin and the web of lies he has woven. While I can understand and even empathize – when given the chance for a clean start after a tragedy, who wouldn’t take it? – he still doesn’t seem to understand that the crime isn’t in the action, it’s in the cover-up. It still makes a lot more sense as to why he’s so enamoured of the idea and image of Supergirl, and of being a hero, than he is with listening to the woman herself. He has traded the partying of Daxam for our Girl Of Steel in order to cope with all of his baggage, which is incredibly messy, full of trauma before we even get to the part where his whole world blew up while he was on it, caused by the very people who hate him with a passion.

We’re also given a jagged-edged breakup between he and Kara (and Teri Hatcher playing a creepy ice queen again, which is always a delight). While a lot of viewers may be grateful, I find it incredibly fitting that here is one of the messages we don’t see very often on television – that even if you want a relationship to work, for whatever (often bad) reason, it can’t always be fixed. And as much as it hurts to part, staying together only causes more harm. There’s no shame in ending a relationship like this. I just hope it sticks, for everyone’s sake – there are no winners on this sinking ship.

Meanwhile, even Winn’s falling in with the wrong crowd in the worst of ways. You’d think with his history he would know better than to break into places, no matter how pretty his girlfriend is. The leniency shown to Winn and Lyra is pretty striking given the general atmosphere, but even given the resolution, I like to think it made Winn take his obligations more seriously, even if it’s just a distraction from his own romantic breakup. I certainly like to ponder that, more than the fact that his healthiest relationship to date is with a woman under coercion and threat of the murder of her beloved brother. All in all, it sets a tidy stage for the musical crossover with The Flash this week, after which there are very few open plot lines to resolve this season. It’s a strange feeling after the complex tangle we started off with.

-Cara

Supergirl airs Monday nights at 8 Eastern/7 Central on the CW. Dayna can be reached on Twitter @queenanthai, Jason at @Mangacool, and Cara at @virtualcara.

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