Supergirl Review: Kara’s Perfect Response

Liane Hentscher/The CW
Liane Hentscher/The CW

You can go ahead and keep the cape, the superpowers and the ability to fight off aliens. I’ve decided instead that if Supergirl just wants to give me Kara, Alex and a couch then I’ll be all set. Yes, on the surface Supergirl is a show about a woman using her powers to fight evil, but it’s never better, more engaging or more fulfilling to watch than when its focus turns to the relationship between the Danvers sisters.

During this week’s episode, “Changing,” Alex was coming off of a huge revelation about herself, the fact that she’s attracted to Maggie and gay. Alex’s coming out last week was brilliantly written and I was very curious to see where the writers took her from there. Thankfully, they quickly had Maggie point out to her that “this is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to you and you shouldn’t have to do it alone,” meaning that first things first, it was time for her to tell Kara.

Alex is just getting used to having these feelings and admitting them to herself, so naturally she’s not the best at articulating to Kara what’s been going on with her. Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh both put in some of their best work this week during all of the Danvers sisters moments. Benoist played Kara’s confusion at what Alex was trying to tell her perfectly, never pushing her older sister too hard, but rather patiently waiting for her to find the right words.

Kara: “Alex, it kind of sounds like you’re coming out to me.”

Kara’s patience continued as Alex told her about repressed memories that have started to surface. They are memories from her youth where she’s started to realize these feelings she’s having are nothing new, memories that she’s buried so deep inside that it was almost like they never happened. Despite Kara’s best efforts at being a good listener for her older sister, it was all too much for Alex to take and she walked away, leaving Kara to believe that she didn’t want to talk about it anymore with her.

As it turns out, nothing could be further from the truth and what followed was one of my all time favorite moments between Kara and Alex, played to perfection by Benoist and Leigh. The Danvers sisters’ relationship is the true love story of Supergirl and it’s at the core of the entire show. This scene in Kara’s apartment proved that Supergirl’s true magic lies not in Kara’s abilities to fly, or in her super strength, but in the bond between these two women and their ability to always be there for each other when they are needed most.

Liane Hentscher/The CW
Liane Hentscher/The CW

Alex is the older sister. She’s used to always having to be strong, always having to put on a brave face and always having to protect Kara. Part of that duty has meant being there for Kara as she dealt with keeping her abilities hidden from the rest of the world, something that Kara says has actually kept her from returning the favor for Alex. It was wonderful to see Kara come to this realization on her own and her response to Alex’s coming out is the response that we can only hope all young LGBT people hear when they come out to their families.

Kara: “I do know how it feels to keep a part of yourself shut off, to keep it inside and I know how lonely that can make you feel. But Alex, you are not alone.”

Kara’s reassurance that no matter what, she’d be here for Alex, was exactly what Alex needed. The Danvers sisters have always been there for each other. No grand gesture was needed, just Kara’s simple reassurance to Alex that she was loved and that she was there was almost too much for Alex to handle. She’s supposed to be the strong one, and as Alex started to break down in tears, not wanting her younger sister to see a chink in her armor, Kara’s assurance that she wasn’t in this alone proved that it’s OK for her to lean on Kara for once.

Chyler Leigh’s performance as Alex has been amazing throughout this entire arc and this week Melissa Benoist rose up to that level and met her head on. There are many young viewers who watch Supergirl every week and that’s a fact that’s not lost on the writers. While it’s certainly clear they realize the weight and responsibility behind Alex’s storyline, these moments between the Danvers sisters never feel preachy or self-righteous. They always feel authentic, true and 100 per cent heartfelt. And if their message of love, acceptance and being true to oneself gets through and provides comfort for the show’s young audience then that’s all the better.

This has been a year that started off so horribly wrong for television, especially when it came to queer female characters, and audiences have been begging for better representation. Supergirl has certainly answered that call on every level, from its writers to Leigh, Benoist and Floriana Lima who have all taken the utmost care with these stories this year. This week’s episode ended with another stellar moment between the sisters, as Kara comforted Alex after Maggie’s rejection, telling her “I’m proud of you.” Well, after these last few weeks and the handling of Alex’s story, I can safely say I’m proud of you too Supergirl.

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What did you think of this week’s Supergirl? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Showcase and The CW.

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