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Mxyzptlk’s Antics And the Gift of A Sanvers Valentine’s Day

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Gretchen

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is an unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author. She has opinions about things like media, representation, and fandom. She serves as a Managing Editor for The Fandomentals.
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Supergirl Season 2 Reviews: Episode 13, “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk”

The long awaited and anticipated Valentine’s Day episode featuring Sanvers and the sometimes adorably, sometimes dangerously wacky antics of Mr. Mxyzptlk (Mr. Mxy from here on out, or just Mxy). I’m a huge fan of him already and want to see him again at some point. Sadly, Elizabeth can’t join me this time, as her city is currently sliding into the ocean (not really, but it sure sounds like it). So, I am a lonely gem without her fusion; at least I have something fun to talk about!

Quick Recap

Can I just say how GOOD Kara looks in a Vera Wang?

Mr. Mxy proposes to Kara. Mon El objects and Mxy sends him to the DEO in his undies. J’onn gives an epic side eye, but walks on by without asking questions. Kara rejects Mxy, but he believes she is playing coy and he can woo her with grand gestures of his devotion. At the DEO, J’onn composes a V-Day note to M’gann (Awwwww!). Kara decides in the middle of the DEO that this is a great time and place to have a conversation with Mon El about their relationship. At Chez Danvers, Alex learns Maggie is an epic V-day Hater. Lyra, an alien from Starhaven, saves Winn from bullies at the bar, and they hit it off geeking about her culture. Out on the streets, Kara literally catches a bullet for a thief fleeing Mxy then confronts him about his dangerous behavior. Mon El advises killing Mxy but Kara says no.

Kara comes home to an apartment full of flowers (just like last week, which was totally a platonic gesture) from Mxy. Alex wants to be super cheesy and romantic about V-Day, but she’s worried about Maggie’s resistance. Kara advises re-creating the holiday for just the two of them. ‘Parasyte’ shows up and beats up both Kara and Mon El for a bit before Mxy appears dressed as Superman. Kara realizes Mxy sent ‘Parasyte’ so he could swoop in and save the day. Kara tells Mon El to leave (and he actually listens!). Mxy tells Kara unless she marries him, things will get bad for Earth.

Mon El is mad that Kara is defending herself and tells her she’s not a good judge of what she can handle. Kara is mad that he didn’t tell her how to get rid of Mxy beforehand; Kara tells him he’s jealous and he gets pissy. They have a pretty big (and kind of loud) fight in the middle of the DEO that ends with Kara telling him it was a mistake. Mon El steals a weapon from the DEO. Alex follows Kara’s advice, but Maggie gets upset because she doesn’t feel heard. Alex encourages Maggie to not stuff her feelings. Maggie opens up about how her parents weren’t actually supportive of her being gay. She was forcibly outed by a friend she liked who didn’t like her that way and kicked out of her parents house when she was 14.

Delightful.

At the bar, Winn has set up a fancy date for him and Lyra, but she just wants to have sexy times (what is it with Winn and sexually aggressive women? Ngl it’s pretty hot). Meanwhile, Mxy duels Mon El for Kara’s hand, and goes full Hamilton, complete with costumes and pistols. Mon El uses the weapon to cut off Mxy from the 5th dimension, but Mxy crushes it. Kara shows up just in time to save Mon El from being shot with lead (foreshadowing?). She offers to marry Mxy the next day at noon in the Fortress of Solitude. Mon El apologizes for being a dillweed, but Kara has made up her mind about Mxy. Maggie shows up at the DEO looking for Alex to apologize to (that took guts); Kara tells her how much V-day means to Alex.

Champagne in hand, Mxy waits for Kara at the Fortress, where she shows up drinking orange juice (for some reason?). She rejects him and he brings the ice sculpture of Jor El to life to attack her. After shattering the sculpture, Kara encloses them in the fortress and detonates the core to explode and kill them both. He begs her not to kill herself because the world needs her. She eventually relents and he types in the abort code, which, incidentally, is his name spelled backward. (THAT’S OUR GIRL). He disappears to the 5th dimension without having found love.

Lyra and Winn have a nice second date. Alex comes home to find a box with her name on it from Maggie, who has set up an epic Valentine’s Day prom night for them both. Maggie apologizes for fixating on her wounds instead of on the woman she cares about. They dance; I cry happy tears. Mon El shows up at Kara’s and apologizes for acting like an ass. Kara admits she tricked him about saying they weren’t meant to be together and they make out on her couch.

Best Quote:

“On some planets, to write something down is to truly say it.”—J’onn J’onzz

Thoughts & Feelings

No better place to start than Mxy summing up what many in the Supergirl fandom have been saying about Mon El as a romantic interest for Kara (ourselves included)

“The other suitor? I didn’t see you there tall, dark, and blandsome. You’re barely there, let alone my romantic rival. Invisible is a good look on you, let’s play to your strengths.”

In fact, one of the cleverest aspects to the Mr. Mxyzptlk plot this episode was how it seemed very much like a meta commentary on early complaints regarding Mon El specifically and unearned romantic arcs more generally. “You can’t just put me in a wedding dress!” argues Kara as Mxy blithely ignores her protestations that she’s not interested. Mxy is ‘persistent’ in his grand gestures, believing that his very persistence will ‘wear her down’ because she’s ‘confused’ and ‘doesn’t know her own feelings’. He reminds me of Wolf from 10th Kingdom a bit.

The commentary reaches acute levels when Mxy dresses and styles himself as another Superman, just as Mon El did in “We Can Be Heroes”. Like Mon El did with James, Mxy argues Kara needs an equal to her powers. He calls Mon El a thug and claims Kara is ‘slumming it’, which sounds once again like the writers co-opted a fandom complaint. Mxy believes grand gestures, including trying to be a hero (though admittedly in a threatening situation of his own making), and deciding she is fated to be his mate will be enough to convince her to love him, much as Mon El did early in the season.

He’s actually a pretty decent foil for Mon El, if one that’s significantly more powerful, and more destructive when he doesn’t get his way. They both arrogantly believe they know what is best for Kara and refuse to listen to her when she asserts herself. Yet, again, they differ significantly in how they handle rejection. Mon El backed off and tried to date someone new. Mxy threatens to destroy the world. Even Mon El, with all his entitlement, was never that bad. He might be an arrogant dude bro, but Mon El never responded to romantic rejection by trying to physically attack Kara. That’s not to defend Mon El either; it’s more to point out the interesting juxtaposition in what they share as romantic interests and where they differ.

It’s also worth pointing out that the depiction of Mxy’s reaction to rejection in no way read as an endorsement. Supergirl is not trying to say this is an appropriate reaction for men (or anyone) to have when their feelings are not reciprocated. Mxy is 100% in the wrong and Kara makes that clear with how she handles him.

Mxy’s mixture of puckishness, amorality, and arrogant superiority reminds me of one the most interesting antagonists of the Star Trek universe: Q. Like Mr. Mxyzptlk, Q has tremendous power to warp human reality, vast experience in the universe, a high IQ, and a propensity for mischief. They’re both equally capable of practical jokes and destructiveness, and have a playfully antagonistic relationship with their respective heroes. The comparison with Q informs (but does not justify) Mxy’s more problematic character traits, like his willingness to destroy Earth to win Kara. Both Q and Mxy suffer from big egos, near limitless power, and boredom, but they’re less villainous than flippant. It’s the “you walk through the grass without realizing how many insects you step on” phenomenon.

Kara knows how you feel, Picard.

He’s also good fun. The Hamilton scene was A+, especially the longer it went on. These two men really are going to duel with revolutionary era pistols in frilly shirts aren’t they? Yes, yes they are. I loved the ending to the episode as well. So classic Superman in its execution, but with Kara’s own rather chilling twist on outsmarting Mxy instead of out-muscling him. I swear Kara must have had ice in her veins in that scene and not just she destroyed an ice statue of her uncle Jor El. Speaking of Kara outsmarting Mxy, I appreciate how much attention was given to Kara’s agency and intelligence this episode. She’s has a couple of idiot ball moments this season (she really never figured out James was Guardian until 2×10?), so it was nice to see her outwitting a highly intelligent inter-dimensional being all on her own.

I also love Kara standing up for herself with Mon El. She’s done it before (multiple times) when he’s refused to listen to her, or lied to her, or just generally acted like a walnut, but after last week, I was slightly worried that she might be starting to overlook the fact that he hadn’t changed all that much. I’m happy to see Kara setting boundaries around her new relationship in terms of what behavior she will find acceptable from him and what she won’t.

And to be honest, Mon El’s protectiveness is patently absurd at face value. Kara is both stronger than he is and has a wider array of superpowers. Why does he ever feel the need to protect her at all?

She’s nowhere near Damsel.

Physically, Kara is literally the safest and most well protected person just being herself. Mon El may be acting out or flailing because he doesn’t know how to cope with caring about someone as much as he does Kara, but the “I’m just protecting your honor” bit is already a tired trope for non superheroes. Much less when Kara is literally bulletproof and can shoot lasers from her eyeballs.

There wasn’t nearly as much Sanvers as I expected, but I realized upon further investigation that it was in large part due to overhyping from sources other than the CW. The network never promised a Sanvers-centric episode, but some entertainment outlets did, and that was the narrative that made the rounds on social media sites. Had I not seen those sources, I know I would have felt less initially disappointed. As it is, I’m far less upset now that I know my sources were incorrect, not the show.

What we did get, though, was just lovely. Ever since Maggie Sawyer appeared, she’s had pretty thick walls around certain parts of herself. While she was never glowing about her past, tonight we learned that even some of her positive statements were lies. Her parents were not affirming of her being gay. They kicked her out of the house when she was 14, and she had to live with an aunt for three years (taken largely from Renee Montoya’s backstory, by the way). It’s a gut-wrenching story, and one that’s all too true even in our day and age. Just one more way that Sanvers is one of the realest representations of wlw I’ve ever seen.

And the entire conversation showcased how far Alex has grown and how comfortable they are in their relationship. Alex has grown enough to recognize when Maggie is shutting her down, and is willing to push Maggie to be as honest as she pushed Alex to be. It takes tremendous trust on both sides for this kind of conversation to happen. Maggie being willing to open up instead of further shutting down highlights how much she’s grown in her ability to trust Alex with things she’s probably never talked about with anyone before.

Her instinct after that is to apologize, too, which yet again is a mark of maturity and overall relationship health. Moreover, rather than getting defensive when Kara gently pushes her about Valentine’s Day, Maggie turns thoughtful. She takes Kara’s advice to heart, and does everything she can to make the woman she’s crazy about feel special. When you think about it, there’s tremendous power packed into the terse narrative surrounding Sanvers, and I adored every second of it on my screen.

As Elizabeth and I have said before, one of the best things about Sanvers is its down-to-earth domesticity. Alex making Maggie her favorite breakfast, even though she thinks it’s gross. Her gushing about Maggie to Kara, listing off all of the things Maggie loves as she tries to decide how to make Maggie’s Valentine’s Day special. Alex coming out in lingerie (OMG), as part of Maggie’s special Valentine’s Day. The dancing. They’re happy together and healthy as a couple. They listen to each other, are open, and have a strong communication dynamic that is both supportive and appropriately challenging.

It’s actually jarring to see Maggie and Alex with their open, honest communication juxtaposed with Mon El and Kara yelling. Especially since the latter had more than one loud argument versus Alex and Maggie’s single disagreement that Maggie immediately wanted to apologize for. Additionally, Maggie and Alex steer clear of insulting each other and being accusatory, something Mon El and Kara can’t seem to be able to do. Did Mon El really need to tell Kara she’s full of herself and doesn’t know what she can handle?

There’s also a jarring irony to Kara encouraging Maggie to make changes for Alex when Mon El has not changed some of the things that upset Kara the most about this attitude. He’s apologized, which is a good first step (and one I am frustrated didn’t happen sooner), and I expect actual character growth, not just me being told he’s different. From here on out, I expect to see him listening to Kara and respecting her agency and her ‘no’. I expect less over-protectiveness, less overbearing egotism, and less patronizing arrogance.

I AM here for screencaps of Mon El yelling, though.

It’s funny, because as I write this out, these are precisely the things that James Olsen has been struggling with as well, and yet that relationship fizzled out. Oh wait, the writers did that. I am still bitter about the fact that James was sidelined only to be replaced with a white character with similar personality flaws this season. And now Mon El/Kara have gotten more actual screen development than Kara/James. It’s unintentional I’m sure, but the sidelining of a man of color in favor of a white male love interest squicks me out, big time. Both Elizabeth and I have been saying so since our first review this season. And now that Kara/Mon El is happening, I’m not any less uncomfortable than previously, especially with how weakly Mon El’s character development has been written.

I’m trying to see both sides. On the one hand, Sanvers is beautiful and amazing. On the other, I wish Maggie’s discussion of her forced outing to her parents and her first real crush had been given more narrative space to breathe. At least two of the Kara/Mon El scenes were redundant. And yes, I know Kara is the protagonist. I’m not arguing to make this the Sanvers show instead of the Supergirl show. I’ll be blunt, which will get more narrative oomph for the input: greater exploration of Maggie’s backstory (which audiences have been desperate for), which is a moving, painful, and real story that many young women face. Or, one more scene of Kara and Mon El fighting about how arrogant he is and how he thinks she’s full of herself and needs to accept his protection or advice.

But why, when she can do this?

Part of my struggle isn’t so much with Kara and Mon El fighting this episode, though it was discordant given Sanvers’ relationship health. It’s the pattern of this relationship overall. Kara and Mon El don’t just ‘bicker’ or have disagreements that they work out by communicating honestly, like Maggie and Alex do. They dredge up old hurts, re-open old wounds, repeat the same frustrations over and over again. Kara thinks Mon El is overprotective, patronizing, arrogant, and disrespectful of her agency and personhood. Mon El thinks Kara is self-centered, self-important, and doesn’t know what’s good for her. But only one of these perspectives is borne out by the narrative, and it isn’t Mon El’s.

So I’m left with what I think is supposed to be them ‘bickering’ on even footing (“butting heads” because they’re strong personalities), but only one of the characters actually has a valid point about the other’s behavior. And he only now started listening. It’s hard to imagine what Kara finds attractive about a man who repeatedly rejects her agency. It’s clearly something, otherwise she wouldn’t be so ready to make out on her couch, but I’m scratching my head at what it could be.

Randomness

  • Oh tiny bitter Maggie and her “manufactured holiday for patsies” line.
  • “Things were a lot easier on Daxam when I objectified women and didn’t care about anyone.”—This better be a cultural marker, because I didn’t find it funny.
  • “Once you’ve been adored by the all-powerful Mxy, there’s no going backsy” “Your one true pairing as the kids say.” Mxy had quite a few punny/culturally amusing side jokes. I approve.
  • Mxy had champagne, Kara had orange juice, together they’re a mimosa?
  • Mon El’s Kryptonite line was kind of weird. 1) He has a “Kryptonite” and it’s lead, and 2) Kryptonite isn’t just a ‘weakness’, it’s an extremely painful, torturous experience for Kara to come in contact with it. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean “you have the potential to kill me.”
  • I caught that Nasty Woman reference. A+
  • I dig Lyra/Winn and approve of Winn’s attraction to strong women.
  • NGL, Lyra looks like a vampire from Buffy.
  • Speaking of Lyra, why is she ‘British’?
  • Okay, but like, ALEX WAS WEARING LINGERIE FOR MAGGIE.
  • J’ONN SENT M’GANN A SPACE VALENTINE.
  • I hope James is doing okay on V-Day all on his lonesome, with no one to check in on him.
  • The ongoing saga of Alex’s disgust with Maggie’s eating habits gives me life.
  • Shout out to Cat Grant!
  • Also a nice shout out to Starhaven.

In Conclusion

Overall, this was what I’d like to call a warm blanket episode. Was it emotionally heavy? No, but it was a delightful romp sprinkled with some great character moments. Most of all, Kara got to shine as her strong, powerful, intelligent self. She was seriously channeling the metal as fuck In Ze women (her mom and aunt) in that final scene with Mr. Mxyzptlk. Her feelings about her mother and aunt have been justifiably mixed since Season 1, but’s nice to see that there is some Alura In Ze in Kara deep down. She just needed a mischievous 5th dimensional being to bring it out in her. Just showing up in her supersuit drinking orange juice all casual and then rejecting Mxy before setting of the core’s self-destruct? Hard. Core.

Other characters had great moments as well. I adore how casually J’onn just accepts Mon El in his undies. Either he can read Mon El’s mind (but he can’t read Kara’s) or his bar for Mon El’s behavior is just that low. Also, J’onn writing M’gann intergalactic love notes is everything I ever wanted from my favorite Martians. Space Dad is the best Space Boyfriend #RelationshipGoals.

Speaking of which, Winn with his new girlfriend! I love how eager Winn was to show her off and honestly gave zero fucks about anyone seeing him in a relationship with an alien. Then you have the layers of racial coding onto her experience as an alien. She thought she would just be an exotic ‘experience’, for example. I’m happy for Winn. He deserves it.

They’re so cute together.

Last night’s episode was also the first real moment that Mon El seemed to actually recognize his need to change. And he apologized, more than once. Do I wish it had happened five or six episodes ago? Yes. But I still appreciate it here, even if it does feel misplaced. Now he starts thinking about the consequences of his behavior, and apologizing for being an ass, and actually emoting. But why this late in their relationship? And why only in response to a romantic rival? It would have been nice if he’d figured this out when it was about Kara herself, and not tinged with jealousy over Mxy.

I’m hoping that the show is building up to something with the tiny hints we keep getting from Mon El about what life was like on Daxam. It can’t be a coincidence that both he and M’gann come from societies that did not show affection. He’s mentioned public shaming being common, and slavery was not just normal, but condoned. His objectification of women and entitled attitude stems from his culture. It is entirely possible that the show is leading up to yet another “hero rises from the ashes of trauma and a fucked up culture/home” narrative like we’ve gotten with M’gann and Lena. I won’t judge it until I see it in it’s entirety, of course. But, if this is where his arc is headed, I’m interested in taking a step back once it’s done to see how it hangs together.

And let’s not forget the lovely, genuine wlw romance that is Sanvers happening right before our eyes. There is just so much to it, that even their small scenes sparkle in a way that the main plot can’t outshine. My Sanvers shipping heart is full to overflowing. What a treasure of a love story.

Tune in next week for Danvers Family Conflict, aka Heartbreak. Go ahead and punch me in the face right now, it will probably hurt less.


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  • Bo

    This episode was like “Let’s ask what Kara thinks, said no one” for an hour. I don’t know, I got quickly annoyed by watching Mxyptraakd’agh;aghi’ga and Mon El compete for Kara while she watched revoltingly. Remind me again why Kara and Mon El want to with each other? They can’t stand more than 5 minutes around each other. And maybe I just don’t get Mxypxyflxy.

    Though all the applause to Melissa Benoist for getting that name right (I think?) so many times.

    Sanvers, Martin Valentine cards, and Winn’s new relationship had to work hard to keep me interested in this episode.

    • I mean I know they were positively trying to juxtapose Mxy, but it ended up just being like “can she find someone who listens to her without being yelled at to do so?”

    • The more I think about it, I’m not entirely certain if Mxy was intended to be a commentary on early Mon El. I mean, it certainly reads that way to me, but much of the other reviews and comments I’ve seen seem to be under the impression that the points was to make Mon El look good. Which, first of all, it says something if you have to go to THESE lengths to make your male love interest look better by comparison.

      And second of all, they mostly failed. Mon El didn’t look better by comparison, he looked worse. Not compared to Mxy, but compared to himself. He regressed majorly and without it being commented upon. I’m not sure they realized how poorly Caveman Mon El grunting about Kara’s ‘honor’ and how ‘she’s full of herself’ and ‘doesn’t understand what’s best for her’ would play. Especially if it’s followed up on with a comment like “Gee, my life was better when I objectified women”. Yikes.

      • Bo

        He spends the entire episode railing on Kara’s strength, intelligence, and bravery, and gets rewarded for it. They’re forcing it so hard.

        • Right? I don’t see how telling her she’s full of herself is supposed to be good relationship dialogue.

          • Bo

            Your “Mon El is Mako” thing is spot freaking on. I thought James was Mako-ish in season 1, but Kara/Mon El feels like they just shamelessly ripped Makorra off. I hate Mon El for the exact same reasons I hated Mako in books 1 and 2, the dynamic between the two is exactly the same (no emotional support whatsoever and constant conflict, but it’s okay cuz they’re hawt), and their arguments are exactly the same.

          • Kylie inspired me, so I can’t take all the credit. She mentioned the similarity and I ran with it.

            The main difference I see between Makorra and Kara/Mon El is that Kara actually knows how to talk about her feelings in a helpful way; Mon El is the one causing most of the verbal conflict, until Kara just gets so frustrated she snaps at him.

  • SuperYakGirl94

    I enjoyed the Sanvers scenes, but I really wish that at the last scene, with the Valentine’s Day prom, after Maggie apologized for reacting so harshly, that Alex could have also gotten to say something about her not needing to apologize because Valentine’s Day is clearly very traumatic for her? Or like just addressing that the holiday is clearly traumatizing for her for very valid reasons. I dunno, it just felt kinda off.

    • Yeah, it felt a bit truncated to me there, and the takeaway of “yeah you’re unreasonable,” though unintentional, was not the best.

      • SuperYakGirl94

        Sigh. All it would have taken was 30 seconds or so, that would have been enough for Alex to say something to acknowledge Maggie’s trauma. But I guess they really needed that Kara/Mon El make out session to be as long as it was. -_-

        • You mean, that wasn’t Epically Satisfying after all the Chemistry and Tension this season between Mon El and Kara??

        • Bo

          That’s true. I guess I’m just so used to how this story plays out that I didn’t think about Alex’s needed apology. Chalk it up to something you know Alex does off screen. Because she definitely would.

          • SuperYakGirl94

            Yeah, that’s what I’ve been assuming: that Alex does apologize to Maggie off-screen. It makes sense considering the sort of person she is.

    • Agreed. There’s an unintentional takeaway there for sure, though I missed it when I watched it. I would have much preferred a longer Sanvers conversation to more Mon El/Kara. Again, I keep going back to bang for your buck with this. Does more Kara/Mon El give anything to the narrative that Sanvers doesn’t? Or would the show be better served trimming a bit more Mon El and amping up other segments?

    • Bo

      TBH I thought it was kind of off that Alex just assumed Maggie was being a grumpy edgelord about Valentine’s Day rather than just ask why she despised it. But I can buy it since she was so excited for the holiday herself, which apparently has never really happened before.

      When Maggie went on her rant and Alex just buried her feelings, I almost screamed at the TV because both of them were clearly hiding something, and one of them should have noticed it about the other. They had that whole “don’t bury your feelings” talk just a couple weeks ago.

  • Pingback: Mon El Is Mako, and That's Not a Great Thing for Kara – The Raconteur()

  • A long time ago when Lost was airing, there were these fantastic recaps, and one had a scene between Kate and Jack where she was like “look at this chemistry crackling between us.” This is what I think about with Kara and Mon El before. But hey, at least Mxyzptlks was there to make him look better by comparison!

    I think it’s super funny that Kara had a much more romantic episode last week, though flowers filling a room were just confirmed as not platonic, so I’m sated.

    • Yes “better by comparison”. Look what they had to do to try and make Mon El look like a decent person, and they still didn’t fully succeed. Sad 🙁

      Room full of flowers = romantic confirmed.

      • Bo

        I want to believe the flowers thing is on purpose.

    • Katie

      Oh man, I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss those Ack Attack Lost recaps.

  • Claire

    I’m kind of torn on this episode, to be honest. There were many, many very cute and good parts – J’on sending an intergalactic Valentine to M’gann (them not just writing M’gann out and forgetting her, as other shows are wont to do with their female characters of color), Winn and Lyra, Mxy was generally more fun than douche, Kara absolutely shining (that bullet catch) and of course Maggie and Alex – but also some parts that I didn’t really like and most of them concerned Mon-El and Kara.

    For one thing, I am *really* bothered by the fact that Mon-El only ever seems to want to be a hero when he feels like he needs to impress Kara. He was a hero for one and a half episode, then returned to working in a bar when she rejected him (and in the course of trying to be a hero went behind Kara’s back [the way James and Winn also did] but seemingly also did so to get one up on a potential romantic rival as well as prove himself to Kara) and then went back to trying to be a hero when Kara was willing to gave him a shot and another romantic rival appeared. I mean, come on! That’s not… that’s not what being a hero should be about! I really wish they’d ever touch on this in the show, what with all the fuzz they’ve made about Kara finding her own foothold as a hero, James wanting to become a hero to actually help people and the fact that they even kind of hinted at this conflict in “We can be Heroes”. Idk. It’s just a conflict that I think should be more important because it kind of underlines fundamental differences between what matters to Kara and Mon-El.

    I also don’t really feel like Mon-El is actually taking Kara’s criticism to heart much. I mean, she’s told him that he’s far too arrogant for about 13 episodes now and nothing has actually changed and she’s still kissing him and willing to enter a relationship with him even though she’s not entirely sure whether she actually likes him. And, I mean, why should she be? So far we’ve only been given an extensive list of thinks she doesn’t like about him and, I guess, her thinking that it’s cute that he’s drinking Club Soda because it’s her fave and him talking about mainly her on a date with another girl. I get that Kara is supposed to be insecure about romance and stuff for understandable reasons, but it very much seemed like a combination of her being cajoled into giving him a chance and “he seems to longer be interested so now I really want him” – syndrome. Aka I’m just… so utterly unconvinced that Kara is actually interested in and comfortable with him that seeing them interact makes me almost go to sleep. (And they ended James and Kara for this! Can you believe it?)

    Another thing that really saddens me is the fact that M’gann is gone. Idk. That and the… insensitivity of making the experiences of a white alien girl (when there’s 0 reason for her to be white in the first place!) an analogy for the experiences of women of color and the whole Karolsen debacle just… idk. I would love to say that it’s small stuff but at the same time, it’s kind of not. The show is very good in a lot of areas but it’s also very white and the fact that it keeps getting whiter is just unnecessary.

    I also definintely agree with @SuperYakGirl94:disqus, the final Valentine’s Day scene with Maggie and Alex was so cute and good and I especially loved that Maggie and Alex talked about the issue, took in the other persons criticism and then tried to make up for their mistakes but it would also have been good if Alex had made it clear that she absolutely understood where Maggie was coming from and that she’s sorry for making Maggie feel like she doesn’t listen to hear and disregards her wishes. I do love their domesticity though! And I happy cried during the prom scene. And I love that they’re both still struggling to open up to one another and communicate honestly about what they’re feeling because this seems to be the first serious relationship for both of them and it’s so sweet to get to see this dynamic explored in a healthy way.

    All in all it was a really good episode and I enjoyed it, I’m just so many levels of not a fan of Karamel. Idk. I only watched the last four episodes yesterday so seeing all of them in a row has really shown me how very little growth there is in both Mon-El as a character and them as a couple so I just really wish they’d sink them soon (even though I think it’s kind of super unlikely).

    • I completely agree about Mon El. I actually wrote up a piece on my website about how Mon El is basically Supergirl’s Mako, completely with a fear of helplessness, deep seated insecurity about his own power vis-a-vis hers and other men in her life, and a tendency to insult and blame instead of actually have constructive dialogue with Kara. You’re also spot on about Mon El only ever wanting to be a hero if he wants to impress her, especially with how they framed it this episode vs. Mxy. Suddenly Mon El wants to be a power couple when Mxy wants the same thing? That ain’t no coincidence given what Mon El has said/done about this in the past. ARGH. It’s so frustrating, especially when you compare it with James.

      I do see your concern with Lyra being framed with POC coding. The only reason it doesn’t bother me more is that this is an established coding on the show for aliens, established by J’onn and Kara in S1. Were this the first introduction to the idea of aliens being coded that way, I would be far harsher on the concept. However, you do make an excellent point about her not even needing to be white at all. They could have had the same coding (and implications for aliens) if she were played by a person of color, which would only reinforce the coding they’re dealing with instead of sitting in tension with it. Especially when they just lost another character of color and are pushing Mon El so heavily and backgrounding James. It may not be intentional, but Implications, people. Pay attention to them.

      Definitely agree that the final Sanvers scene could have used a bit more time to breathe. I would have loved a full confirmation from Alex that Maggie’s reaction was valid, given her life experience. I think that whole sub plot about Maggie’s back story should have been given more space overall, given how heavy a topic it is, and how relevant. Hopefully we’ll get more of that in upcoming episodes.

      Kylie and I have been talking a LOT today about Kara/Mon El and it only gets worse the longer we dissect it and deal with the implications. It’s…not great at all.

  • XanDany

    I struggled with this episode for 2 reasons:

    1. Although I love the Sanvers scenes (omg Alex in that lingerie *fans self*) I also thought it was SO WEIRD that Alex didn’t say anything about how she understood how traumatic V-Day must be for Maggie during that dance scene. It read like Maggie just had to push her feelings down to make sure Alex got romance. It didn’t sit well with me, and all it would have taken was Alex acknowledging that she did, in fact, hear Maggie.

    2. Mon-El. I really enjoy him as a comedic character, but I loathe him as a love interest. He’s had HOW many episodes to change and be a good partner for Kara, but it feels like they keep hitting the reset button. Every episode Kara has to convince him that he’s actually a good person and oh here’s how not to be a jerk, but he never seems to GET it. It’s a terrible message to send to both boys and girls- “oh as long as he always says he’s sorry then it’s okay!” At what point is it not okay anymore?

    • I completely understand what you mean about the Sanvers scene. As someone pointed out below, it may in part be due to the fact that the scene was so short. I think if it had been given just 30 seconds more, they could have worked that in. It is perfectly in character for Alex to apologize and acknowledge Maggie’s feelings, so even though we didn’t get that scene, I’ll headcanon that it happened anyway. But you’re right, I would have preferred we actually got it in canon.

      YES. Hitting the reset button is a great way to phrase it. That’s precisely what it feels like. We keep getting the same scenes with him, and he never actually changes despite us being told how much he’s ‘grown’ this season. It’s not a great message to send at all.

  • Erin Kane

    They may not have promised a Sanvers centric episode, but they did nothing to lower the shippers expectations once that headline got out there. And then Sanvers dealing with heavy emotional stuff got less screentime than Winn and the woman he just met. Oh and Kara gets a couch makeout with the piece of crap while Maggie and Alex peck on the lips.

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  • Katie

    I wish Mon-El’s whole existence was just bemused commentary on earth customs, Thor-in-a-pet-store-or-coffee-shop style

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