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Supergirl - Solitude - Review: "Stronger Together"

Supergirl is a warm show. It has some darkness lingering around the edges, but that’s pretty much it. This is not a show that wants you to think the worst of people or that will showcase the finest grey moral areas of the human species. That’s not what Supergirl does: quite the opposite, both the character and the show appear in midst of a mass spread of bleakness in media to show people that there is still hope. That’s what makes this show unique, even though sometimes it comes across cheesy, but still, it’s a kind message to spread.

Supergirl’s commitment to warmth can make it a bit frustrating when it comes to characters that are having issues of establishing themselves are either good or bad: case in point, Cat Grant, which goes back and forth between being a growing pain and a sensible mentor. What I like about the character is how she clearly has demons lurking around her which she has to fight every day and her openness about it, but whenever she gets on mistreating her employees mode I can’t help but roll eyes. Kara fervently defends her, even when she is being excessively mean. Thankfully, lately she has been making a better case for her character, and even though she is still unnecessarily mean the show underlies what makes her some complicated, giving us some background to what has toughened her up.

The same problem comes for some of Supergirl’s villains: while we had many great ones, which were quite complex like Astra, and we still have the awesomeness evil mind of Maxwell Lord, the villain of the week structure doesn’t always work for the show. Livewire and Toyman were the exception, with them being extremely compelling because of their outright malicious and madness played so delightfully by their actors, but sadly Laura Vandervoort doesn’t bring much to the table as Indigo because… well the writing doesn’t give her much to do.

If there is an ongoing problem to fix on Supergirl is how they write the villains: the writing for much of the main cast (Cat Grant excluded) is usually top notch, developing them in big way, making them really likeable and complex as the show goes on. But the villains are usually bland and drag down the episode. Indigo essentially wants to destroy the Earth just because and as such it’s not really compelling seeing this Mystique-esque character trying to destroy the world. The best to come out of it is seeing Winn beating this “glorified Windows Vista” (best line from the episode!) and it’s amazing death sequence.

But the ending… damn! Based on Alex’s confession alone I would give the episode a straight A as Melissa, Chyler and David shone through their roles during that scene. That’s why I say Supergirl is unique: any other show would have had Kara go off the door mad to stretch the drama, but she didn’t. Instead of being mad, she was empathic and she hugged her sister as she understands just how much pain she was withholding. And when she held J’onn’s hand… I was honestly moved.

Kara has a big heart and that is the biggest asset to the show. She is a true hero as her heart will find mercy for anyone who shows real regret or repent and she’ll spare her enemies as she decides to look towards their better angels. She knows Alex was forced to kill Astra, and how much pain it brought her, so she shows her empathy even though she is still saddened by her aunt's death. That is strength, like real strength, and it's a moment where Supergirl stroke me as a real hero. She has always been, but it was just incredible.

On an era of television where antiheroes abund it’s refreshing to have a true hero on the small screen, and she is not bland, she is complex, but she smiles, she decides to see the best on people. In that regard she is very similar to The Flash’s Barry Allen, as both shows have cheerful protagonists that try to save their cities while seeing the best on people. They both have their demons, but they both have their integrity in check: that’s why they’ll make an amazing pair for the crossover.

I could spend many more paragraphs telling you why that end scene is pretty much perfection, but I think I’ve made my point. So let’s talk about other stuff I’m grateful for: Lucy and James finally done. Thank god! They had no chemistry whatsoever and Lucy was on the show only to keep Kara and James from becoming a couple too early on. Now the show can finally give Lucy a better treatment. Also, I’m happy that Siobhan showed more depth as she connected with Winn: they make a funny pair, and I’m glad Winn has someone who he can relate with. While Siobhan doesn’t look like the best person, I think Winn can bring forth her better angels and I’m all up for that.

Overall my sentiment for Supergirl remains somewhat the same: severe issues with the villains of the week, need of a better treatment for Cat’s character, love triangles are pointless, but the good on the show is what makes it remarkable: it’s not seeing Kara stopping nuclear bombs, but showing her big heart while hugging her sister what makes this show something special.

Some people think I don’t like the show because I don’t shower it with praise, but that’s quite the opposite: I criticize it because I like it. I don’t review shows that I don’t like. Take Once Upon a Time: that show is really flawed, but I love it despite its flaws. The 100 is a little bit weaker this season, but I still love it. Supergirl is a show that I have grown fond over time and I’m coming to love because it’s a safe place on TV. While shows like The 100 allow themselves to be dark and I love them for their exploration of darkness and humanity, Supergirl offers a refreshing and hopeful view to the world, where everything can be better by seeing the best of people and showing mercy to those suffering.

That’s why Supergirl’s biggest triumph is Kara and Melissa Benoist: the actress makes the character shine as her optimism and cheerfulness spread through the viewers giving them a smile on their face each week. So what if the villain of the week aspect is still a bit weak? The show always manages to be entertaining regardless of that and it always leaves me on a good mood. It may not be the greatest thing on TV, but making me smile every week is a hell of an accomplishment and for that alone this show is remarkable.

This episode has its issues and that’s why I can’t give it a high grade: I recognize some of its severe limitations, but damn it, that ending is enough to make me very happy about it. We had Kara distanced from the DEO, visiting the fortress of solitude, fighting Indigo, balancing Cat Co World Wide Media work, but the most remarkable aspect of it all will always be how she comforts Alex: it makes us all realize that sometimes it’s best to forgive, because we are stronger together.

Grade: B

A big shout out to Aimee Hicks who has been covering the show for me while I was on vacation in Mexico. Thank you so much for such wonderful reviews and a top notch work while I was away. It makes me very happy to know that I left the show on such capable hands.

About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, The 100 and Supergirl
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