Supergirl’s sixth episode (“Midvale”) was not what I expected. I gathered that the show was doing some flashbacks, but it served as the main focus, a frame for the current situation the Danvers sisters find themselves in (both heartbroken and in differing levels of Cope, one of which involves booze and being a mean drunk). That said, I really enjoyed the flashback story, and the actresses (Olivia Nikkanen and Izabela Vidovic) who played Alex and Kara, respectively, were pretty wonderful.
Seeing young Kara and Alex at each other’s throats was so teenage-I-hate-my-sibling. It was jarring to see them not get along, constantly one-upping each other, until tragedy strikes them both in the form of a murdered Kenny Li (a lovely and charming Ivan Mok). (Side-note: the costuming department dressed the young Danvers sisters perfectly. Kara’s pale blue sweater, for instance, was SO her. Loved it.)
This episode also reminded me of how cruel kids in high school can be (“Oh my god, they killed Kenny!” was terrible, but also made me laugh. I’m terrible, too, so it’s cool). Josie made poor life choices that didn’t involve cat ears, but sleeping with a teacher who came off like The Cool Teacher—when, really, it was Creeper City. Seeing young Kara bond with Kenny, almost kiss, and then discover that he knew—and kept—her secret? Genius.
It was also refreshing to learn that Alex has been badass since day one. I mean, the scene where she confronts Josie (“We have been best friends since we were eight, but a kid is dead.”) was stellar. That sounded like Alex, right down to the inflection. And that was somehow topped by the bravado she showed with the sheriff (who I was predisposed to mistrust, because David Chisum kind of played the Devil on Supernatural). I absolutely loved two things about the sheriff confrontation scene. The first was that we got to witness the trust forming between Kara and Alex. Alex is fearless, knowing Kara will back her up (“Can you feel it? She’s coming.”). And Kara, crashing through the wall like a vengeful Kool-Aid man, really found here own sense of bravery and righteousness. It was no small thing. That, in the tiniest of nutshells, is what works so well about the sisters: they can fight and squabble, but when push comes to shove, they show up for each other. It’s a hell of a thing.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t care for J’onn impersonating Noel Neill/Kara’s mom, only to pretend it wasn’t Kara’s mom. Something about it seemed unnecessary, random, and forced. And weirdly callous, considering how much Kara had to be missing her mother at that moment. It didn’t even really have an impact on Kara, either, because she did end up using her powers. It was a strange thing to toss in there. (Unlike the Chloe reference. I loved that. )
Closing the episode with a sisterly reconciliation was something I could see coming, but that I’m not mad at it. It was touching when Kara confessed, “But I feel at home with you.” And Alex responded, “Always.” They are the heart of the show. Fierce and capable, but vulnerable and so full of feelings. They’re a reminder that you can be brilliant, but still need help sometimes. And I think that’s something we all too often forget. It was also very adorable that Eliza sent them home with food and water, etc. It was a nice detail.
Now, if J’onn could lend me that car of his, I’d like to go on a road trip. There will be snacks and singing along to the radio. Who’s with me? A little silly joy is good for the soul.