Supergirl’s 22nd episode (“Nevertheless, She Persisted”) didn’t pull any punches, literal or figurative. The beginning fight scene was gorgeously shot, a dark and emotional dance between Kara and Kal-El. And we were treated to old friends dropping by (M’gann!!!!) and frenemies offering aid (Momma Luthor). Cat settled back in perfectly, while Mon-El made a tearful (tear-inducing) exit.
Of course, there was humor. Winn fawning over Superman and later tackle hugging J’onn—priceless. Cat asking Clark to talk some sense into Jimmy: “He’s been parading around like Darth Vader punching out villains.” (She then admits to never having seen Star Wars, which made me laugh.)
But I don’t want to talk about any of that. No, I want to talk about Kara, who was so determined to fight Rhea and win. Who, even in the middle of a battle for the fate of the earth (“May the fate of my people rest on the fate of my life.”), had the audacity to hope for honor and justice. Kara fought back, against all odds, including sneaky Kryptonite embedded in Rhea (um, what?). She fought, using what Clark called a “secret superpower”: love, the people we love. They help make us brave, like Mon-El made Kara brave enough to fight (“This is my home. And I’m going to protect it.”)—then brave enough to push that button, knowing what it would cost.
And Mon-El fought for earth. He was the hero he always wanted to. He kicked the crap out of his own people—“sorry, not sorry.” And bless his suddenly too big heart, he finally learned. He became that better man, carrying that with him into the future (wormhole? Was that a wormhole?). When Kara reminded him, “You can’t fight for me.” he countered with this: “But I can be with you.” And that is so important in relationships. Some battles must be fought alone. Some wars we wage ourselves, but knowing that someone believes in us that much? It’s magic. Plain and simple.
And when Kara and Mon-El exchanged I Love Yous? Yes, I cried. I’m a soft touch, I know. But Kara was right: she should’ve said it sooner. Because love should be said out loud, when it’s felt. It is always scary, I know. But if it’s a true thing, then the best thing you can do is say it. Because you don’t want to wake up and realize your boyfriend has to take a tiny ship into space—without knowing. Capisce?
In the end, Kara’s loss is tangible, palpable. And she makes a sharp point: “It’s not like everybody else’s world stopped.” That’s the tricky thing about loss. Your world stops, but the larger one keeps turning. But to that end, Cat Grant (bless) has some stark and powerful wisdom for Kara: “The thing that makes women strong is that we have the guts to be vulnerable. We have the ability to feel the depths of our emotions and we know that we will walk through it to the other side. And by the way, you have accomplished great things this year. Your articles. … It’s all very powerful. And your prose is not bad. … But you, my dear, are on a hero’s journey. … ”
It was a perfect pep talk, in which Cat didn’t undercut Kara’s feelings, but talked up all the good things she’s done. Of course, it also gave us confirmation that Cat knows Kara is Supergirl, and to that I say: finalllllllly.
Next season, we’ll find out what evil thing was stuffed into that unknown pod back when Krypton was exploding. And hopefully, we’ll figure out where Mon-El ended up. And, oh yeah, we’ll get to attend a Danvers wedding, because Alex proposed to Maggie.
In the meantime, darlings, here’s to love. May it always be what gives us strength in dark times. XO