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Supergirl - I Believe in A Thing Called Love - Review: Defining Family

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It’s more than fitting that on the sixth anniversary of its premiere episode (October 26, 2015) which focused on how important family was to Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), Supergirl presents another episode centered on familial bonds. In I Believe in A Thing Called Love multiple Supergirl characters learned or defined what family meant to them. The better moments of the episode effectively used the power of love to define family.

Most important were Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) and Kelly Olsen (Azie Tesfai) who chose to solidify their already strong union and family unit by planning identical marriage proposals with Esme’s assistance. Then there was J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) who ran the courage gauntlet and found some peace in leaving his Martian family in the past while reinforcing his love for his National City family for whom he would die, a family that now includes Kelly and Esme. While the actions were long overdue, the sequence and storyline gave Harewood his most powerful and significant screen time all season. Then there was Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) who finally, since she arrived in season 2, with the support of Supergirl and the Superfriends was able to shed the Luthor name and baggage and embrace her magic and realize she had a new family. And even in a bizarre way, Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) came back to this time to protect Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) the one person he’d found who understood and loved him and someone he could love.
While the episode did many things right, the many things that did not work outweighed and overshadowed the story. For starters, the totem storyline still does not work and makes less and less sense each week as does a smitten and lovesick Lex Luthor had him acting bizarrely out of character at times. It was a major mistake to forego a couple of intense Danvers Sisters conversations and instead have Alex and Kara seek out advice from others at the Tower. It is long past time for the show to return to the sisters as its foundation. Having Supergirl talk to Lena and Alex talk to William (Staz Nair) about life-altering moments should have been shared by Alex and Kara. As noted last week there has not been a significant Danvers Sisters moment, preferably on Kara’s couch, since her return from the Phantom Zone. And did anyone else wonder who was taking care of adorable Esme (Mila Jones) while Sentinel and Guardian joined the team to fight and capture Nyxly? After all that child has been through you would think either Alex or Kelly would have stayed behind to avoid Esme losing her newfound family. The most maddening mistake is having the disabled love totem manifest itself as a tattoo on the back of Esme’s neck. Is this show really going to end with what could be its most intense battle by putting a child at the center of the quest and in grave danger? Although this move is likely to set up a heroic end for William who has oddly decided to infiltrate Lex’s inner circle via new LCorp board member Otis Graves (Robert Baker). The writers might have well as put a red Star Trek shirt on William as a doomed character.
The show missed a prime opportunity for an intense exploration of the love totem. Of all the characters on the show Alex Danvers is the one filled with the most fierce and protective amount of love. It made perfect sense that the oft disappearing love totem would appear in her pocket as it was known to reappear where there was the most love. A stronger episode would have focused on the love radiating from Alex and how that drew the totem to her. That love was never shining brighter or stronger than when Alex chose to propose to Kelly in front of the family she loved the most. She had to get this right after admitting to William that she’d rushed into her first engagement without the proper thought or planning. Focusing on the power and strength of Alex’s love would have made a powerful episode.
There are so many dangling storylines and things to pack into the remaining three episodes that it is likely that, as weak as the writing has been this season, they will be crammed in as fast as they can and not given the attention they deserve. Released synopses and behind the scenes photos tell us we can expect the return of the Legion and old friends, a major battle with Lex and Nyxly, the rescue of Esme, a funeral, and of course the most anticipated wedding of the show’s history. And most importantly will we ever learn why Kara failed the courage totem?
One thing that would be fun to look forward to in the coming weeks was slightly foreshadowed in I Believe in A Thing Called Love. When Alex brings Esme to Al (Keith Dallas)’s Bar the first time she describes it as the home of the “best karaoke in the universe.” Was she telling us that Alex’s and Kelly’s bachelorette party might finally feature a long-desired Danvers Sisters karaoke duet?

What did you think of I Believe in A Thing Called Love ? How do you think Supergirl is going to end? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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