Supergirl: 3.13 Both Sides Now
Hope hope hopey hope hope-hope. This episode mentions hope A LOT, even more often than Rogue One.
I’ve been drifting from this show for a while now and an image of Supergirl arriving at a house with a massive DEO swat team is just pushing me further away. Supergirl is starting to feel like she’s slipping into the role of a Frank Miller-esque tool of the US government with the amount of time she spends at the DEO. There is something just a bit too militaristic about the whole set up now and I’d like to see a bit more of Kara at work (her proper job as a journalist) and Supergirl just saving people and fighting bad guys without clandestine military back up.
The house she’s at is the home of Julia, the newly introduced World Killer. I took an instant liking to Julia and her struggle; I’m oddly more concerned about this characters than Sam. Maybe because Julia is an outsider, just dropped into this world of gods and monsters, whereas Sam, because of her involvement with other key players in the show, lacks the (perceived) innocence?
The main thrust of the story is that Kara believes that Julia is still inside the newly emerged World Killer, Purity, but Alex doesn’t. Supergirl looking for the humanity in the villains she has to face is more what I want to see from the show. Also, Alex is being a bit of an unnecessary dick throughout this whole episode. I think we can maybe put it down to her conflict about Maggie but she really feels like she’s stepped back a couple of seasons in terms of character development; she criticises Kara for being too hopeful and flips out a couple of times with little provocation. Barely a week ago she was being the worlds bestest babysitter for goofy Ruby; its all a little inconsistent here.
The guys have a side project/plot which is really boring. Mon-El needs to fix his spaceship (car) and needs to borrow a part of J’onn’s car (spaceship) to help charge it back up. This leads to some ironic dudes and cars stuff between J’onn/Mon-El/Winn and a convenient way of keeping them away from the action when things go south. Which of course they do. Inevitably Purity gets out and goes on the rampage and no one is able to stop her because J’onn and Mon-El are busy getting drunk in Mon-El’s ship talking about their feelings and the other DEO officers are literally the worst at everything.
There’s a pretty solid subway fight sequence and of course, hope wins the day with Alex realizing that Kara’s approach is the better way to be… again. I think she’s learned this a few times now.
This feels a bit too much like a chess-move episode, placing things up for later and while the core story is about believing in hope; its made to work at the expense of characters and plotting.
There are nice moments this week; I like Winn’s friendship with Alex, its one of my fave sub points of the Winn development and I definitely prefer Mon-El with a beard; it feels like the Berlanti universe discovered beards in a big way this year.
Alex’s sadness over Maggie feels very real and I like Kara’s reassurance of her. Also, as irritating as I find Ruby, I really enjoyed her very brief scene with Lena and Lena’s later conversation with Sam about Ruby and the blackouts. When Sam starts loosing it, Lena seems worried and upset and entirely un-confrontational which was nicely handled.
But there are some stinkers this week too; The continuity is really poor this episode, every shot of Supergirl in the cell room she has very full, Farrah Fawcett hair but outside that room, its slightly flatter, more as it usually looks. And I still wish Mon-El would have a better costume. Its vaguely Mon-El comics shape but the black leather design just makes it look like everything else, its so boring. Reign’s costume is a bit better, a dark reflection of Supergirl, but there is something about the mask that makes it feel very cheap.
While I like that Supergirl decided they need to save not beat the bad guys, I’m still left thinking why not call Superman in to help? I feel like the show needs to scale back the end of the world plots and perhaps focus on more personal threats because they always come up against the problem of Superman – if its that big a deal and you’re having problems, call your big cuz to help out… and Barry and Batman and Diana…
The episode lays some groundwork for Mon-El and Stargirl to possibly have an amicable split, revealing that while they grew to love each other, there’s was initially a marriage of convenience. I can buy this because of his character’s cultural background but this feels a bit like setting up a get out clause for Mon-El and Kara to get back together without being villains.
This show hasn’t hit Smallville levels of wistfully looking out of windows with your back to someone instead of telling the truth about how you feel but it is dipping into secrets for drama’s sake territory a bit with these guys. Although I do really love that Stargirl has a (subtle) Geordie accent.