With no alien villains or metahumans around, the true conflict in Supergirl 3×15 comes from within
Sometimes, it doesn’t take a supervillain to cause conflict. This week, no one wished ill on our favorite Superheroine, but still, the DEO erupted into chaos. Secrets were revealed, negative emotions aired out, and the whole show is much better for it.
A lot went down this week, but most of the discussion has followed Melissa Benoist‘s Kara Danvers and her ex-boyfriend, Mon-el (Chris Wood.) In a series of highly debated scenes, Kara lets loose on Mon-el, revealing her frustrations with their relationship and his treatment of her. Her words are familiar to most Supergirl fans — its the same mantra that the anti-Mon-el portion of the fanbase souts on a weekly basis. But the fans can’t agree — did Kara go too far? Or not far enough?
Personally, we believe that Supergirl is handling the Mon-el controversy smartly. They could’ve done so sooner, but now they have acknowledged the mistakes the character made, while also establishing that he has spent the past seven years growing and changing.
While this non-breakup breakup was occurring, the rest of team Supergirl wasn’t fairing much better. Turns out, the cause for Kara’s rage was My’rnn’s mind manipulation — as a result of his dementia, he unintentionally created anger and chaos across the DEO. Winn, in particular, fights with a fellow DEO employee who has apparently harbored repressed feelings of hate toward him for years.
Finally, Lena (Katie McGrath) and Sam (Odette Annable) pick up where we left off last week. Lena knows that Sam is Reign and is actively working to cure her of her worldkiller-ness. Unfortunately, Sam doesn’t really believe Lena when she tells her the truth. Who would? So, in order to convince her, Lena has to get a little harsh, using Ruby as a means to make Sam transform and filming the whole thing.
Here to discuss last night’s episode is our (hopefully not Martian-effected) Supergirl roundtable!
Mia (@dreaminofspace) – Newly graduated scientist, huge nerd who loves all things superhero, space or supernatural
Olivia (@atjogialove) – avid tv watcher, bread eater and Melissa Benoist fan
Christine (@christinecenon) – Supergirl reviewer at FanBolt.
Becca (@mysteryofslove) – College Student. 22 years old. LA. Way too attached to some fictional characters.
Adam (@abnormallyadam) – TV enthusiast, YouTube reactor and huge fanboy!
1. So, we finally know for sure — Lena figured out that Sam is Reign. Why do you think this was so much easier for her to figure out that Kara’s identity as Supergirl?
Mia (@dreaminofspace): Every time Reign came out to play, she made news headlines, in addition to Sam talking about her blackouts and the specific times, which made it easier for Lena to notice them being synchronous. With Kara, it’s harder to see a pattern because not everything she does is a news item and Kara is actively hiding it/having excuses, plus we have J’onn as backup.
Becca (@mysteryofslove): To be honest, Lena still not figuring out that Kara is Supergirl is just so funny to me… because it does not make any sense. At all. I don’t get it. Lena is supposed to be Kara’s best friend and she has not figure out that her best friend is a superhero? Hmmm. Seems weird. Anyways, I think Lena is smart and put the dots together and realized that Sam is Reign. She also studied and made medical exams on Sam so I think it was easier to connect the dots together.
Christine (@christinecenon): Okay. I’m a bit bothered by this — actually, a lot bothered. Both Reign and Supergirl wear items to “mask their identities;” yet, it was so easy for Lena to recognize Sam under Reign’s mask. If anything, I figured it’d be easier to recognize Kara under just eyeglasses. I honestly cannot wrap my finger around that concept, but, whatever. Someone knows, at least, and I’m glad that they’re helping Sam and not giving up on her because Sam needs to be protected! I cried so hard for her, especially as she spoke to Ruby.
Olivia (@atjogialove): I genuinely have no idea. I think part of it is that Kara hasn’t had these black outs or anything like that and maybe it just hasn’t occurred to Lena? Or maybe it’s the classic “she’s all that” “glasses and a ponytail” thing that apparently changes everything about how someone looks.
Adam (@abnormallyadam): I said the exact same thing in my reaction video. Lena is a very smart woman and I’m glad she figured out Sam is Reign. I honestly think that it was easier for Lena to figure it out because Sam’s blackouts coincided with Reign’s destruction. But regardless, I’m just glad that Sam knows, it was so heartbreaking to watch. Give Katie and Odette all the awards.
2. My’rnn continued to struggle with his dementia this week, and it escalated to the point where he was unintentionally causing utter chaos across the DEO. Were you surprised at how much damage a Martian can unintentionally cause?
Mia: Yeah, that was intense stuff. It proves how under-utilized J’onn is as a hero on this show, to be honest. Martians are so powerful.
Becca: I honestly felt bad for Myr’nn. The human world is new to him. He was imprisoned for so many years. He just got his son back and now he is suffering from his dementia. It is a lot to handle. I was not surprised of the damage he caused because Martians are extremely powerful. But I am glad he finally saw what he was causing and accepted J’onn’s help.
Christine: I actually wasn’t surprised at the damage (unintentionally) caused by My’rnn. We’ve seen J’onn and what he can do, so it only made sense that his father carry similar strengths/traits. That was pretty crazy to watch, though.
Olivia: I was. At first I didn’t understand that he was causing the chaos but once I got it I was shocked that he could do that without meaning to, and it makes me worried because it’s very dangerous.
Adam: Yes and no. I mean, martians are very powerful creatures… but to see it to this extent was insane. I lowkey liked seeing the DEO in chaos as it made for some epic fight scenes. But at the same time, my heart was aching for poor Myr’nn.
3. While under My’rnn’s unintentional influence, Kara said some things to Mon-el. Specifically, she criticized his behavior in season 2. How did you feel about the things she shared?
Mia: I feel so conflicted. On the one hand, the things she said weren’t wrong and she definitely needed to get it off her chest, but on the other hand it seemed a bit cruel and pointless to bring it up and shout it in his face when a) most of it happened before they were a couple and b) she several times during season 2 exclaimed how much improvement he had made and how proud she was of him. It would have been so much better to have had this “conversation” while the relationship was actually happening instead of as a psychically enhanced gut reaction during a training session??? It’s 7 years ago in his past and he is so obviously not that person anymore, and Kara isn’t that person anymore either. As for claims it was the writers reacting to the fandom… – I don’t agree with bad behaviour being rewarded and that’s that on that.
Becca: I am 50/50 on this one to be honest. I get that Mon-El was not perfect and his behavior was sometimes questionable back in season 2 but I don’t think Kara did any good by saying all those things– I know she was under Myr’nn unintentional influence but it was a little bit harsh. Mon-El was not perfect, he had a messed up past, he was an egocentric and awful prince back in Daxam. But he changed. He is nothing like the person he was before and being judged like that by the person he loves the most right now, was just sad.
Christine: I’m actually glad that Kara let everything that she was feeling out in the open. All season long, we’ve seen her bite her tongue, so I’m happy that a weight has finally been lifted off of her shoulders. But, as Mon-El had said, he is a changed man, and I’m glad that despite their rough start in their past, they were able to move forward, and I’m happy to see Mon-El as the man he is now — strong, wanting to be a hero. He really has come a long way. Just wish we had witnessed more of his transformation.
Olivia: I appreciated that she did that. I don’t feel like they let Kara verbalize many of her frustrations with the “old mon el” before. I know she did a little at points but I think she has a right to be frustrated, especially when they’re acting as if it’s a direct role reversal from when she trained him. I think Kara has a lot that she was never able to say and hasn’t had the time to move on like Mon El has. To him it’s been years, he’s older and has grown as a person, but for Kara it’s been a couple of months and she didn’t even know if he was alive. And now I’m guessing she’s frustrated that she never fully got to say her piece and I think that’s starting to come out.
Adam: To be honest, she needed to say all those things to him in season 2. However, I’m so glad she finally said what she said and it was very much needed. Some might think it’s harsh, but it was the truth. The tea is scalding. In saying that, I’m glad Mon-El acknowledged that he was a jackass in season 2 and apologised to Kara for it.
4. With season two’s criticisms now aired out, do you think the show could go forward with “karamel” if they chose to? Or is it beyond repair?
Mia: Yeah, sure, the writers can do what they want. I don’t ship. If they want to do karamel, that’s cool with me.
Becca: I know a lot of people don’t like Mon-El because of his past behavior but I think the writers introduced his character to show viewers what a good character development is. A person can change. So I think what the writers’ point by introducing Mon-El was that a person can change and can change for good. And I think he and Kara are a good match and I think they will be endgame and there is that.
Christine: I actually think that “Karamel” can come out of all of this, and stronger than ever. Close to the end, we watch as Kara and Mon-El come to an agreement that they should stop apologizing to each other; then, they fly off together to be heroes. That, right there, was the start of a new beginning for Karamel — a stronger start. I definitely think that the show could go forward with their romance, if they choose to, and the story could be that much better, especially now that they’re “Supervalor!”
Olivia: I personally won’t ever be able to ship it. I don’t think any of what happened between them before was sweet and I think if they got back together now, even if Mon El and Imra were to not be together anymore, it would mean he’s leaving behind his responsibilities in the future which I can’t really get behind and I don’t think Kara would want that either. I personally don’t feel like they’re meant to be together, and I’m tired of the trope of the guy who used to treats the girl badly but now has “changed” and it’s “sweet”. I think Kara deserves better than that, and I honestly think her speech tonight shows that she knows that- but we’ll see what the show chooses to do.
Adam: Yes and no. After Kara’s speech, people would think “why would she take him back after the way he treated her?” But as you can see, Mon-El has clearly grown as a person and he’s realised the mistakes he’s made. Sometimes you need to be apart, grow and come back as a better person.
5. Speaking of “ships,” James and Lena had some cute interactions this week. We’ve asked before but it’s been a while. Do they make a good pair?
Mia: I think they do. I think they have stuff in common that make them understand each other and I feel like they’re on a good little development curve right now. It would be lovely if they stayed together for a long time.
Becca: I like James and Lena. They were adorable this week. I loved how James did not pressure Lena on her secret. He respected her decision on her not wanting to share her secret to him and that was awesome. He has been worried about her since last week and has keep checking on her because he cares about her. He even brought her food! Adorbs.
Christine: While their interactions were cute, and while they are cute together, I think that I may be changing my mind about them. It’s becoming too forced to me, and James as a character alone is being shoved down my throat, no offense to him. While I love James, I just don’t see the point of his character anymore. He just doesn’t fit in as well as he used to back in season one. I just want the EPs and the writers to find better use for him, because forcing him into a romance with Lena isn’t actually working as well as I had hoped it would.
Olivia: I have mixed feelings. I understand the criticisms of him being so hesitant to trust her in the beginning and suddenly they’re a couple now. But I also think they have a sweet dynamic in parts and could be really good for each other.
Adam: I’m not going to lie, but I really liked their final scene together in Lena’s office. I’m still on the fence about this pairing, so anything could sway me. I’m still not sure whether or not I like them as friends or more than that.
6. Some fans see Lena’s manipulation of Sam as a sign of her Luthor-ness. But there’s no doubt that her intentions were good. Where do you fall? Do the ends here justify the means? Do the means even need to be justified at all?
Mia: Ahhh, I don’t know! It’s the same thing as with Kara’s outburst earlier, it came across as more cruel than it had to be? I get that she did it to make Sam realise she’s Reign and I don’t think Lena meant it, but some of the things she said… It hurt to watch no matter how good the intentions were.
Becca: Lena’s intention on wanting to help Sam were pure and genuine. I felt bad for her when Sam started telling her all this stuff to her when Lena was just trying to help. The thing is, Lena is good. But yes, sadly… she is a Luthor after all. That will never change. It is in her. So I get the point of fans of Lena’s “Luther-ness”.
Christine: I can see how Lena’s tactics were “Luthorian,” but I definitely have no doubt that her intentions were good. I saw nothing but a concerned friend just trying to get into her friend’s head. Honestly, if I were Lena, I would’ve probably practiced that same tactic on Sam, just to get her to believe me.
Olivia: I don’t personally think Lena should have kept Sam without letting her leave. But I understand that she’s trying to help her in the long run and hopefully keep her and Ruby safe.
Adam: Lena’s intentions were 100% good. You can clearly see Lena pushing Sam to become Reign for her own benefit. She was doing it to get evidence of Reign’s existence for Sam’s sake. And now that Sam has proof she is Reign, they can figure out a way to help her properly. And if people don’t see that, then I don’t know what else to say.
7. This fandom desperately needs some positivity. So tell us: what’s the best thing about being a Supergirl fan?
Mia: The best thing is getting to be inspired by Kara every episode and by Melissa in between! Getting to have both a fictional character and a real person providing me with hope and strength and good words to live by day to day.
Becca: The best thing about being a Supergirl fan is that I have gotten to know a lot of friends and good people. I have made many friends sharing our love for the show and our favorite superhero. Sometimes you can be judged by just having an opinion– sadly. But there is always good people in the fandom that have your back and make you feel not alone. This show has also made me laugh so many times by the amazing cast it has. The cast really looks like they are a family and the fandom should learn from them and treat others like family too. We need more love on here.
Christine: I concur wholeheartedly that this fandom needs positivity. I think that the best thing about being a Supergirl fan is the overall story that the show is trying to emit. Apart from the ships — which is, let’s face it, the main cause of the rift between fans — the story is actually quite amazing. Week after week, I am amazed at the (most of the) stories that the writers are trying to tell, and I praise the actors for portraying these iconic characters so well. Though I live for Karamel, I can set aside my “feels” for my “ship” and appreciate the angst and the drama, for they’re just good storytelling to me.
Olivia: I think the best thing about being a supergirl fan is supporting a cast who supports us. Whether it’s speaking out about mental health or race or sexism or harassment, this cast isn’t afraid to speak up for what the believe in and support their fans and each other through it all, and I’m proud to support them in that.
Adam: For me, it’s getting to watch my queens, Lena and Alex, grace my screen every week. This show will always have a special place in my heart.
FINAL VERDICT: Supergirl walks a delicate line this week, listening to valid criticism while still following their own creative path
This week, Supergirl gave voice to fandom concerns of misogyny and problematic behavior. They allowed Kara to voice her frustrations, thereby taking back control of the show’s narrative. By acknowledging their shortcomings, they make a promise to do better, and make it clear that their heroine is strong in every sense of the word.
And Kara isn’t the only character that shines this week. We felt all the emotions from My’rnn’s struggles with dementia — a real-world problem, exaggerated here with science fiction, that still feels almost too true for comfort. Plus, Sam’s struggles with accepting her alter ego, and Lena’s desire to help her friend, were enough to bring a tear to even the coldest of viewer’s eye. Lena Luthor has more than earned the right to be called a hero, and if she weren’t a Luthor (or a woman) she likely already would’ve been labeled as such months ago.
Although lacking in action, this week’s Supergirl marks the beginning of the rest of the season. The show established its character dynamics, laid out a clear path forward, and left plenty of material to dive into in the remaining episodes.