Supergirl Season 2 Episode 10: We Can Be Heroes

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Kara When Kara believes her nemesis Livewire (Brit Morgan, True Blood) has escaped, she sets out to recapture her with her newly trained sidekick Mon El.  However, Guardian appears, and the secrets James, Winn, and Alex have been keeping from her are revealed.  M’gann slips into a coma and is dying, prompting J’onn to examine how far he can extend forgiveness and grace.

This was the episode that we should have come back to after the winter break.  There was so much happening in this episode, and so many beats and moments that landed.  This episode also seeded the coming conflict for the season.  It was great seeing Steve Valentine (Crossing Jordan, Dragon Age) back on screen, although I wish they would have given him more of a back story…and perhaps a name.

The exploration of what each person defines as a hero was poignant an well handled.  Kara is learning that being a hero doesn’t mean you get to boss everyone around.  Mon El is learning that being a hero means setting aside your own needs and desires.  James is discovering being a hero means being true to himself and honest with those he cares about.  J’onn discovers that part of being a hero includes forgiving someone who is the avatar of his deepest pain.

What Worked:

  • Although Kara’s speeches this episode were problematic, they are a necessary part of her growth. I appreciate her morphing from someone who needed guidance all the time to someone who feels she has all the answers and should be assigning the roles.  That sounds strange, but it is the mark of growth in leadership.  When people assume leadership roles they often fail to understand what is truly involved in being a leader.  They often mistake authoritarian management for good leadership.  Kara needed James to push back against her so she can evaluate how she works with others.  Their conversation ended on a down beat, but I am not concerned about their future.  They have shown her growing throughout the series, and James’ heart is in the right place.
  • Alex and Maggie continue to be my go to for the love and light of the show.  I appreciate their moments together onscreen.  I also feel like they represent the audience, especially with their bets around how Kara will react and respond to situations.
  • Mon El came clean about kissing Kara-and that is a good thing. He is already keeping his royal lineage a secret (I’m holding to that theory until it is disproven), so the last thing they need are other secrets and lies between them.  I also appreciate him approaching her and letting her know that his protective nature with regard to her is less about wanting her as a love interest and more about needing a friend.  Mon El is light hearted, but he is ultimately alone on this planet.  The rest of the team seem to tolerate him more than they embrace him.  The only person he has in his corner who actually treats him like a real person is Kara, so it makes sense that he’s drawn to her in the absence of other emotional fulfillment.
  • Steve Valentine as the mad scientist kills. Steve Valentine tends to kill every role he takes so this is no surprise.  He’s campy, diabolical, and devious.  My only regret is that we may not see more of him since they didn’t even bother to give him a name.  That said, we still have the ability of him coming back under the wing of Cadmus, because I firmly believe we are not done with that storyline yet.
  • David Harewood and Sharon Leal need to teach a master class in Blackting. They were SUPERB this episode!  I went through every roller coaster of emotion with M’gann and J’onn.  M’gann’s guilt and grief as she found herself reliving her escape and the horrors she fled during the Martian genocide was palpable.  J’onn’s fury and fear of letting her have his memories to heal her, and potentially forgive her, was powerful.  I literally cried during their scenes.  M’gann tells J’onn she saw him and pretended to be a Green Martian because she just wanted to be his friend.  I burst into tears.  The moments between the Martians are powerful and so well done.  The reveal that her state was the result of a psychic attack is a bit terrifying.  The next episode is going to be amazing.
  • Livewire was a more compelling villain this episode than she was in previous showings. I appreciated her snark, especially when Guardian and Mon El decide to save her.  The best quote from this episode was “You know what I love?  Little boys who think they can do the job better than a woman who is actually a superhero.”  MESSAGE!  The détente she and Kara come to regarding her release made little sense and at the same time perfect sense.

What Did Not Work:

  • Kara was needlessly patronizing to James.  It is one thing to figure out how you should lead.  It is another to completely dismiss James’ and Mon El’s concerns as though they are trivial.  These men are your friends-you can worry about them without tearing them down.
  • I hope the mad scientist reappears linked to Cadmus. His appearance here unrelated to Cadmus or anyone else was confusing.  The fact that he has no name was disappointing.

This was a fantastic episode.  The acting was strong, and the storyline stronger.  Next week, we see an invasion of the White Martians, whose coming was foretold by the psychic attack on M’Gann.  Our heroes are trapped inside of the DEO in an attempt to contain them.  Stay tuned!

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