[Review] Supergirl Episode 2×17: “Distant Sun”

written by Dayna Abel, Jason Froikin and Cara Russell

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

I barely made it past the credits before I made my decision: I’m not watching Supergirl for the remainder of Season Two.

I have loved Kara Zor-El for twenty-five years now, and this is simply not who the character is. She doesn’t bend, break or stand down for anyone – except her horrible, lying, patronizing boyfriend, apparently. “I deserve better than being lied to,” except she forgave him and took him back. For no reason. On someone else’s show! So boy, are you going to be confused this week if you don’t watch The Flash.

Kara Zor-El stands for hope, help, and compassion for all. But that must be tempered with wisdom. She obviously has forgotten how to apply her core tenents to herself. Kara has given up any desire to be a reporter – her self-proclaimed calling, the thing which made her feel like Kara – to spend more time with Mon-El. And she’s happy about it.

No.

I refuse.

The character and the audience deserve better than being played like this. It’s not healthy, it’s not right, and it normalizes a totally unhealthy relationship and disrespects all of us by doing so.

I deserve better than that.

See you next season, Kara. Hopefully you’re actually Supergirl again when I come back.

-Dayna

* * *

I haven’t been getting lazier. These reviews have been getting harder to write because the content in the most recent episodes of Supergirl have been a little thin on plot. It seems like the writers had too many episodes to fill this season, and simply ran out of plot before they ran out of episodes. While the earlier ones in Season Two had enough story that I had to make choices what to write about, with the most recent ones, I find myself trying to figure out how to stretch it into more than one paragraph. Which is why I’m bringing up this topic – to take up a lot of space, so I don’t have to worry about what to write.

I’m hoping the true reason why the latest episodes have been so thin is the same as the reason why stocks run low of a product just before a major update. We’re nearing the end of Season Two, and if the writers have something huge planned for Season Three, they would definitely both want to keep any and all hints out of this season. Maybe they want us to get a little complacent and bored so we don’t see it coming.

In a previous review (or two), I pointed out that Mon-El’s relationship with Kara seemed a little forced. It still feels like he’s who’s on her plate not because she sought him out and chose him, but because he was who was left after she burned through all of her other choices – and with the rest of the main cast having much more natural love interests, the writers felt Kara needed one too.

Problem is, they cast him initially as the “intergalactic frat boy”. Everyone knows that first impressions are the most lasting ones, so now they’ve spent an inordinate amount of time trying to prove that our initial impression of him was wrong, and he’s really nice, and perfect, and it’s his parents who are the bad influences.

Except Winn found someone who’s decidedly imperfect. So did Alex. I like Maggie and how secretly messed up she is. I like Winn’s mysterious girlfriend. Yet Mon-El still feels like he really doesn’t quite belong. He probably would have been a better character if he’d stayed an intergalactic frat boy and remained on the fringes, because maybe Kara needs a little comic relief sometimes.

-Jason

* * *

In case you missed it, Kara and Mon-El made up and got back together, after a near-death experience in last week’s episode of The Flash. While this is a disappointment (to say the least!), it’s also more than a little jarring, considering how last week’s Supergirl ended. As much as I love the interactions between Kara and Barry Allen, I can’t honestly say I’m behind these network TV crossovers, particularly when I’m not a faithful watcher of the other DCU shows, and the crossover offerings haven’t made a convert out of me. On the bright side, we do get a nice scene affirming that Kara’s first and truest love is still her own appetite.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Mon-El’s parents haven’t left Earth, and an intergalactic bounty has been placed on Supergirl’s head. If you think these things are related, you’re absolutely right. It’s a setup for a heroic sacrifice, with Mon-El offering his return to Daxam in exchange for Kara’s life so his psychotic mother Rhea doesn’t murder his One Twu Wuv. Our heroes mount a rescue mission, during which the vicious violence is only stopped when Mon-El’s father, Lar Gand, concedes to let him go. Of course, this is to his own detriment, as Rhea kills him for it later – which makes nearly no sense, as Daxamite genetic material for repopulating seems to be in great demand…and presumably, Kryptonians would be genetically compatible, so her whole motive seems slightly off.

I honestly like that we’ve returned to “family” as a driving conflict, after Astra and Non in Season One, but I still don’t like that we have to put up with this romance to get it (two people of the opposite gender can be friends while still liking and admiring the other greatly! Geeze). At best, there’s nothing redeeming about this ‘ship, and at worst, it’s creepy as Mon-El is a serial liar (whether you can square that with his motives or not), doesn’t respect Kara’s boundaries in favour of his own wants, and has a penchant for regressing to bad habits, which are blamed on his upbringing. In any other character with these traits, we’d find ourselves a villain, not the guy dating the heroine. Furthermore, between Mon-El’s parental drama and Alex Danvers continuing to be the queen we don’t deserve (but really need right now), it’s still very off-putting that our title character’s development isn’t the driving force in this show – and in fact, whenever Kara does seem to develop, she backslides almost immediately, as with her incredibly quick reunion with Mon-El. There’s a glimmer of hope yet, as next week’s episode hints at a new chapter in Kara’s career prospects, so my fingers are crossed!

-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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