Stepping Up and Self-Discovery on SUPERGIRL

Supergirl’s sixth episode (“Changing”) covers a lot of emotional ground. Revelations abound, some good and some less so. But the central theme is all about stepping up the plate, showing up when it’s hard—even if that means shows up for yourself. Maybe especially then.

Let’s start with Alex, because sweet mother of mercy—she made me cheer and broke my heart in equal measure. The way Alex struggles with coming out was beautifully done, even the way she has begun to question her own past. When she talks to Kara about her friend growing up, Vicky, she breaks: “I shoved that memory so deep inside that it’s like it never happened.” That was a very real, raw, and honest moment. How often do we shove pieces of ourselves aside out of fear? How often do we fail to honor who we are, because of how it might look? (Spoiler alert: too often.)

I especially loved the later heart-to-heart Kara and Alex had, where Alex is worried that her sister is disappointed in her. (Dear reader: I cried.) The whole hyper-emotional, worried interplay between them is really excellent. And I maaaay have cheered when Kara encouraged: “I’ll go get the alien. You get the girl.” (It’s not, “I had to go see about a girl,” but it’ll do.)

I adore the relationship between these two, even if the last scene between them—when Alex is crushed that Maggie doesn’t return her affections—stomped on my feels. Alex did what we often do when we’re hurting—blames herself: “I should’ve just kept my mouth shut.” Thankfully, Kara is there to dissuade her from this, to hug her and be there for her. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this—“She doesn’t like me…like that. … I’m so humiliated.”—bit of Alex’s breakdown didn’t gut me like a fish. That’s a fundamental wound, right thre. A deep pain, especially when we’ve taken a risk like Alex did. That backlash can feel like a sucker punch to the soul, and Chyler Leigh did a damn good job conveying that.

Now, let’s get a little less serious for a second and talk about Mon-El. Ah, the sweet proverbial frat boy alien who hilariously gets Kara drunk. (She is too funny when she’s smashed, y’all.) He’s not good at fighting, doesn’t want to learn, and ends up taking a job as muscle for a bookie. Kara flips her gourd, because unlike her interaction with Alex, she is disappointed in him.

Curiously, though, it’s Alex who gets through to him: “My sister—she’s the one who believes in you. That’s why she’s so upset with you all the time. … She thinks you have potential.” And maaaan, Alex is consistently the one to wake people up and drive points home like Buffy wielding Mr. Pointy. Mon-El scoffs that he doesn’t know how, but Alex doesn’t let him get away with that: “You can start by standing up, like the rest of us.” And Alex is right. Showing up is so, so important. Showing up for people is one small step that is a really a giant leap (apologies to Neil Armstrong). And as much as I’d rather not, we need to talk about Jimmy. I’m warming to his arc as a superhero (superfriend!) wannabe, venturing out as the Guardian, with Winn’s help. (Side-note: Jeremy Jordan realllly rocked that scene in which he reminded Jimmy to back off, that he’s not his assistant. I was impressed with the level of emotions there, even though quippy Winn is my the best.)


I will say that my favorite side-effect is the continued camaraderie and bromance between Jimmy and Winn. I much prefer this to when they were at each other’s throats about who Kara should share a malted with and go steady. But as much as I like this newfound dynamic duo, I want more than Jimmy’s desire to be a hero. It still feels sudden to me. Like I said, I’m coming around to it, so we’ll see how it goes. And when Kara find out? Oh, I’ll bring the popcorn, darlings. And wine, Olivia Pope-style.

A few bits and bobs: M’gann begrudgingly gives Hank a transfusion to save his life, but it appears to give him tremors. We’ll have to see how that develops, but his gratitude toward her was really sweet. And yeah, okay: I ship them. Shut up.

And Mon-El, sweet little fool that he is, gets tasered and kidnapped by Lena Luthor’s mother. Because of course stopping to help some seemingly random homeless dude was the perfect lure for the newly reformed frat boy. The setup felt awfully convenient, but it does provide us for an excellent setup for the next episode.

Until then, long live the superfriends, y’all!

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