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Throwback Thursday - Supergirl - Episode 3x06 – Midvale

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Throwback Thursday is a weekly article in which we look back at our favorite TV episodes from the past.

It is hard to believe that it has been a little over three and a half years since Supergirl took us back in time to Midvale to meet young Kara and Alex Danvers. The shows' season 3 episode, aptly named Midvale quickly became a fan favorite and to this day often tops the list of both fans and critics as one of the best episodes of the series. With recent season 6 episodes taking us back to that iconic time, it felt only right to go back and take another look at the episode that Supergirl fans love.
Why Supergirl fans love this episode so is because its central focus is on the heart and soul of the series, the Danvers Sisters. The look into how their bond became such an important part of their relationship came just at the right time. Both Kara and Alex were reeling from upheaval in their personal lives. Kara was still struggling with having to send her love Mon El away in her space pod to save his life following the Daxamite invasion. But her heartbreak was second to concern for Alex whose engagement with Maggie had just fallen apart after the latter revealed she didn't want to have children. Both Danvers sisters needed what children often do when extra comfort is required, a trip home to see Mom.
When examining Midvale it's necessary to do so by dividing the show into separate sections. The present-day Midvale, and the Midvale of Kara and Alex's formative teen years. The present-day portion that bookends the episode showcases Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh as sisters working through the aftermath of painful life developments and affirms in the end that the one constant and most important thing in their lives is leaning on each other. It also marks the first time Kara admits that Alex is the person who made her feel most at home on Earth, to which Alex replies with their now iconic catchphrase, "Always."
The visit to the teenage Danvers Sisters shows how that sisterhood was formed through their solving the murder of Kara's first crush, Kenny Li, by the drug dealing Midvale sheriff. None of those segments would have worked without the stellar casting of Izabella Vidovic and Olivia Nikkanen as young Kara and Alex. In addition to sharing the same electric chemistry on-screen as Benoist and Leigh do, the two actresses uncannily nailed the body language, character, mannerisms, and even speech patterns of their older selves. They were so good at it, that even in the recent Midvale episodes it was as if time had not passed and easily stepped back into those familiar roles and rhythms.
While the tired trope that the CW has adopted of explaining away unexplainable changes to the different Arrowverse show's history continues to wreak havoc on the original shows. I am thankful that in the case of Supergirl and the Danvers Sisters, they at least let the two people who needed to retain the memory and importance of those iconic bonding scenes in Midvale keep those critical memories of both Earth 38 and Earth Prime. Having erased the original Midvale events from Kara and Alex's memories would have been a mistake, it would have been a massive insult to the most important two characters on the show and critical development of their relationship.
One final aspect that made Midvale so enjoyable, was the respect it showed to the House of El/Superman/Supergirl franchise. Although Smallville favorite Erica Durance had already appeared in Season 3 of Supergirl recast as Kara’s Kryptonian mother, Alura, the producers wisely used her in Midvale as well. She appears as an FBI agent checking on the young superhero’s “super” exploits, which momentarily confuses Kara because she so closely resembles her mother. In a nod to both the Superman and the Smallville part Durance played; fans immediately recognized the name she gave the FBI Agent - Noel Neill - as being the name of one of the first actresses to portray Lois Lane on television. What are your thoughts about Supergirl and Midvale? Leaving your comments below.

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