First, obviously, is Mon-El’s weird dance of lies. He claims to be dating Eve, but Eve tells Kara he spent their entire date talking about her. Kara tells Mon-El she was mad at him for dating Eve, but then…runs away. Okay, to paraphrase Giles from Buffy, she has the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone, sometimes. But, I mean, I get it. It can often be easier to take a bullet than it is to talk. Kara and Mon-El finally get their case full of feelings out in the open (“I kept writing you off, and you kept proving me wrong.”). They almost kiss, but they are interrupted by DC’s version of Rumpelstiltskin. (Sorry, it’s not Robert Carlyle. Alas.) That aside, I don’t quite buy Kara’s reasoning for her behavior. I do understand that being vulnerable is hard. But something about her justification left me feeling a little flat.
Speaking of flat, can someone please punch Lilian Luthor in the face? She uses her own daughter, essentially kills Metallo, and spends 98% of the episode looking hideously smug. Lex may have gone bonkers, but Lilian is cold-blooded. For Lena, her idea of family has always been tainted. Lilian is self-possessed in the furious way only true evil can be. Her machinations this episode served as a reminder of how Lena grew up.
And I know that we’re supposed to think Lena’s evil (the chess imagery, etc.), but (like Kara) I believe in her (“Well, she’s my friend, and I believe in her.” We all need a Kara in our lives, right?). I believe in the friendship between the two women (supportive donuts ftw!). I really appreciated Lena’s incredulity at Kara placing her faith in her: “No one’s ever stood up for me like that.” And yeah, okay, fiiiiiine, I teared up when Kara answered with, “Now you have someone who will stand up for you, always.”
Isn’t that family? People who stand up for you, no matter what? Family isn’t always blood. Sometimes, it’s chosen. And when the chips are down, and the Kryptonite’s about to explode, what matters is who shows up. Kara showed up for Lena. And J’onn showed up for Kara. A little, “you’ve got me, but who’s got you.”
Speaking of gotten, I appreciate the casual way in which Alex introduced Maggie as her girlfriend. Mon-El’s shock at the idea of it being a problem was charming: “Is that like a problem here on Earth?” And no one made a big deal out of it, unless you count Winn sucking at pool, even though “it is geometry with sticks, folks.” Aside from the usual jitters of introducing a significant other, it shouldn’t be a big deal. Because, to quote Lin-Manuel Miranda, “love is love is love is love.”
My major qualm this episode was, again, Jimmy. He went toe-to-toe with Metallo for a good while. (What did he do? Sneakily follow him? Because I doubt that suit is quiet.) But I’m still having issues buying his skill level. I would have liked to see him train and work up to kicking ass and taking names. I also found myself irked by his insisting that Lena was evil. The whole Tony Stark-esque “I’m your friend too” bugged me. That said, I am glad that he and Kara made up.
I realllllly love Kara’s journalistic ethic. When Snapper was dead-set on running a Lena cover, Kara articulated the potential fallout: “But once it’s out there, it’s out there. People still think Macaulay Culkin is dead.” And it’s true. (This is the whole problem with fake news. And no, not the FAKE NEWS as shouted by dunderheads on Twitter at 3am from a golden chair.) You can’t unring a bell, and once something enters the public sphere, there’s no reeling in back in. Words have consequences. And I love that the Girl of Steel has, well, balls. She speaks up for what’s right and for what she believes in—no matter who is in her face saying she’s wrong. Kara sticks to her guns. She persists.
I think, in the end, we can all learn a thing or two from her about that—persisting. Because the people who stand up when it seems the whole world is against them? Well, that’s bravery. And Kara has gumption in spades.
Until next time, darlings—here’s to standing up for what we believe and for those we believe in.