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Heart vs. Hate on SUPERGIRL

Supergirl’s 14th episode (“Stand and Deliver”) had me shouting at the tv a few times, y’all. First of all, Dreamer/Nia is amazing (Nicole Maines is wonderful). I love, love, love her over-the-top nerd joy over being a superhero. It’s so charming to see so much joy—wearing her suit when she doesn’t have to, trying to figure out the right level of quippy threats, etc. Dreamer’s powers are amazing, and I like that we didn’t get a long, drawn out experience of her figuring them out. I like how badass she is, but I also find her wisdom pretty on point: “Sometimes, we don’t realize the impact people have had own us until they’re gone. For good or bad.” That’s a gospel truth.

The Elite reminds me of a posh, non-bumbling version of The Trio from Buffy (which premiered 22 years ago yesterday, slayer for life). They serve as an interesting counterpoint to Ben Lockwood and his Hitler-esque evil—but the show is clear that the Elite are just as wrong as the hateful Children of Liberty. I appreciate the notion that hate, from any side, is horrid and wrong. It causes pain and strife, even if it comes from a supposedly good place. But I will also say that Manchester has all the great lines lately: “Clear eyes, full tums, can’t lose.” (Friday Night Lights ftw) and “Say cheers to my little friend.” (Scarface).

Speaking of Manchester, how the frakkin’ hell did he and Hat sneak into the Fortress of Solitude without any alarms being tripped? Hat lifting the key was all well and good, but was the robot taking a coffee break? Seems like a bit of an oversight, and that really bugged me. Not as much as Manchester himself, because sweet fancy mother of nope, I cannot wait for J’onn to punch him in the face and snag Brainy’s ring back. I was so hoping he got eaten by the baby sun-eater.

One important thing this episode did was show that people can change. Quentin (Jonathan Bennett, yes from Mean Girls), much to his surprise, was saved by Supergirl. But when the chaos of the conflicting rallies happened (because Manchester), it was interesting to see a progression of his reaction. Sometimes, a moment can change a person, and he went from a walled off bigot to offering a hand to someone he’d previously labeled “the enemy.” It was powerful.

Obviously, a lot happened in this episode. Haley is certainly a complicated character. Jimmy took photos for the first time in forever. I mean, aside from the creeper glamour shot he took of Lena. And it looks like that photo got him shot, because people are hate-mongering sacks of barely sentient marmalade. The show has always been heavy-handed with its symbolism and confrontation of current social issues. This was no exception, given how the media are constantly under threat of late. I wasn’t expecting Jimmy to get shot, and it caught me off guard. The image of him lying on the ground was stark.

A final thing that stuck out were the people and aliens at the end of the rally helping each other. It’s like Mr. Rogers said: you’ve got to look for the helpers in times of strife. Sometimes, that help comes in the form of wisdom (like Brainy’s: “In times like this, change won’t come from someone with a ring or a cape. … Stronger together. … Supergirl may be a symbol, but more importantly, she is a citizen of earth.”). Sometimes, it’s a literal helping hand. In rough times, in uncertain times, there’s always someone doing good, speaking up. Look around, and maybe you’ll see them. Or, maybe, that person is you.

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Welcoming the Future, Treasuring the Past.