Zero Matter

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SUMMARY: Under the influence of Red Kryptonite, Supergirl goes on a rampage and must be taken down by the Manhunter from Mars.


Syd: Welcome to Tales from the Krypton. We just watched Episode 16 of Supergirl where Supergirl acts like a complete asshole and people notice this time.

Margaret: Right? The entire time I was watching all I could think was that a lot of things that Kara does as Supergirl under the influence of Red Kryptonite is stuff she’s already done – except for the fact that she actually spares somebody in a fight as opposed to outright killing them. And apparently that’s a bad thing?

Syd: She hurt his feelings! She said some really mean things.

Margaret: And, also, Supergirl doesn’t let evil aliens go because, obviously, they know exactly what evil aliens are and are adhering to an alien planet’s code of laws.

Syd: First we should explain that this is a Red Kryptonite Episode. Red Kryptonite is just a kind of magic space rock. The way green kryptonite kills Kryptonians, in the Silver Age DCU, Red Kryptonite had a different effect each time. For a few examples, here is Supergirl with two heads:

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Here is Supergirl turning into a mermaid:

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Here is Supergirl with amnesia marrying Jimmy Olsen:

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But, they went a different route with this episode. Here, Red Kryptonite makes Kara good at her job.

Margaret: And dress better! At the beginning of the episode, I kept thinking about how I liked Red Kryptonite Kara way better than regular Kara. She says what she means, she does her job, she is on point and she doesn’t care what other people think about her.

Syd: All of which are improvements.This interpretation of Red Kryptonite is basically the same as it was used in Smallville, where the idea is that Red Kryptonite makes you an asshole. The problem is that they read assertiveness as a sign of being an asshole. The character immediately becomes more likable, but you’re not supposed to like him.

Margaret: Which is very strange. A lot of things that were happening made me feel like Kara was finally acting on her instincts and not letting her fears get in the way. She wasn’t acting nice for the sake of being nice, she actually was doing what she finally wanted to do. At the beginning of the episode, at least, it was refreshing and not to the detriment of anyone around her. She was just doing the same thing Siobhan was doing at the beginning of her character arc, which was being great at her job and letting Cat know that she was. She didn’t suffer silently, she took credit for her good work. It’s not like she stole someone’s report, she did all that research and checking of references and she deserves to be rewarded for that.

However, the show also wanted us to dislike Siobhan in the beginning for doing the same thing. So, the show has a weird take on what is good and what is bad in a person’s character traits.

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Syd: Every character who is ambitious and hardworking is bad. You’re supposed to hate Siobhan and you’re supposed to hate Red Kryptonite Kara. At least it’s consistent, which is not something we always expect from this show.

Margaret: I’m just disappointed that the thing that is consistent is not characters, not motivations, it is that if you are a hardworking person who is willing to be assertive to get ahead, that means you’re a bad person. I feel like that’s not the proper message you want to get across.

Over the break, Agent Carter aired its second season finale and both Syd and I have been watching it faithfully. The thing that I find telling about the maturity level between Supergirl and Agent Carter is that Agent Carter is a very ambitious and assertive person. She is never punished for this. She is shown multiple times to go above and beyond for the job and to attempt to undermine people and verbally dress down people who are shown to not take her seriously or go against what she thinks is right. And through all of that she’s never shown as being a bad person or against the show.

The only person who is ever shown to be on the wrong side because of their ambition is Thompson. And the only reason he is shown as being bad is because he is willing to throw his colleagues under the bus to get ahead. It’s that he is willing to risk others to further his own agenda.

Syd: A couple points to that: Actually, Sousa does call her out at the end of this season.

Margaret: That’s not for being ambitious, though.

Syd: It’s for her methods, which is a broad concept. I’m not saying the show is calling out ambition, it’s just that it acknowledges that recklessness is a bad quality without saying ambition or aggression or gumption are things to be avoided. Also, Jack Thompson is not a bad guy. It was a bit weird that you said that, because I don’t even think his ambition is his downfall, I think that his ambition is his defining characteristic. It gets him into trouble as well as getting him out of it, except for the very last episode where he gets killed.

Margaret: Or maybe not killed! The showrunners have said he was just shot and there’s a possibility he’ll be back, because there better be a third season.

What I liked a lot about Thompson this season is that you never knew where he was going to land and most of that was because we, as the audience, knew how ambitious he is as a character. You never knew if he was going to do something for himself or for the cause. One of my favorite back and forth moments is when Thompson negotiates with Whitney Frost and angles for a position on the Council. For awhile, I actually wondered if he was being serious or not. You know that he is essentially a good person, but that his ambition at times leads him down darker paths. It is such a credit to the writing and the character, that as an audience member, this main character actually fooled me into believing he might switch sides. It makes it all the more believable as to why Whitney also believes him.Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 1.24.25 AM.png

Syd: He doesn’t value relationships as much as he values status, and that makes him very dangerous. One of the amazing things about Agent Carter is that you don’t judge a character’s moral alignment by the company he keeps. It’s the same thing with Ken Marino’s Joseph Manfredi, who was my favorite character on the entire show. As a fan of The State, it’s incredible to me that they basically had him reprise his role from The Jew, The Italian and The Red Head Gay. At one point he even makes a big tomato sauce. It’s too bad they didn’t get Thomas Lennon to play his mother.

What is great, is that you are supposed to be against him. He is a bad person. He’s a gangster, he kills people, he is helping Whitney Frost. But, by the last episode, you realize that he’s just a person with motivations like anyone else and is willing to help out when that needs to be done.

Margaret: The juxtaposition of his character being a cold blooded killer, but still being helpful and charismatic was very strange. I never knew how to feel about him, especially as the reason I started to feel bad for him is because he legitimately loved the Big Bad of the Series. It was very strange. It took me a long time to realize I liked the character as I didn’t like how they were making a killer so sympathetic.

Syd: It’s fantastic that they pulled it off.

Margaret: Exactly. I realized I liked the character because they didn’t romanticize him.

Syd: Right, it’s not like when he decides to help the good guys he’s suddenly treated like a good guy.

Margaret: The closest they come is showing that Howard Stark trusts him. It’s the show’s way of saying ‘okay, you can trust that he’s not going to kill the main characters.’

Syd: I don’t trust anyone Howard Stark associates with.

Margaret: He associates with Peggy!

Syd: Okay, fine, two people: Peggy and Jarvis.

Margaret: The funny thing is Agent Carter pulls off this nuanced character that is evil, but is doing good because of his motivations and yet Supergirl keeps tossing Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onnz in our face and I don’t believe any of his motivations. All I can think about him is that I didn’t trust him in the beginning when they were alluding to him being an evil cyborg, they give very little reason as to why the main characters decided he was trustworthy and yet the show keeps attempting to show him as sympathetic. I still believe him as a killer and capable of very bad things.

Syd: We know he’s a killer. He has admitted to killing the person whose identity he has now assumed. That is reiterated in this episode.

Margaret: They have continually shown us all of his bad traits and have yet to give a good reason as to why we should care about his character arc. The closest they come is his caring about Kara and Alex, but even his caring for them still rings false. He was introduced as a shifty character that wasn’t trustworthy and might have killed Alex’s father, which they have still not properly resolved other than him assuring Alex that he didn’t kill him. However, he admits to killing Hank Henshaw at that same meeting.

Syd: It calls into question his claim that he didn’t kill Jeremiah Danvers. Even though we, as audience members, know that this character is a famous superhero and they want us to like him so it is going to be unequivocally shown that he did not kill Alex’s father, none of the characters should believe him right now.

Margaret: They should have had an entire episode of Alex questioning whether she believes J’onn’s story and trying to find out who he really is. It could have been an entire B or C plot. Everybody yells at each other, at the end of it they resolve it to show him as who he presents himself and ends with him declaring that Alex is a daughter figure to him. Even if I didn’t agree with the character choice, at least it would have made sense. Instead, she simply takes him at his word after an entire episode of her threatening to do him bodily harm because she believed he was responsible for her father’s death.

So far, nothing has convinced me that he is on the good side. Not even him being a lone survivor of genocide. It still just makes me feel gross inside.

Syd: Just because he’s survived a tragedy doesn’t make him a good person.

Margaret: No, it doesn’t. That’s kind of what they’re trying to tell us. Despite the fact that they use the exact same argument as to why there are supervillains.

Syd: Oh, that’s right, they’re all genocide survivors in a way, aren’t they? Their whole planet blew up. They weren’t systematically rounded up and exterminated by an evil race, though.

Margaret: True, but their entire planet blew up which, according to them, could have been stopped by the people in charge.

Syd: They have a right to be angry.

Margaret: They’re using similar arguments as to why someone is a supervillain as well as why someone is a hero without giving many other traits to show why it led some characters toward good and others toward evil. I’ve seen in comics multiple times use that their motivations are that their family was killed in a horrible event that could have been prevented or was perpetrated by a group of people, therefore they will do whatever it takes to get revenge. This is how super villains are made.

Syd: I was about to counter that point, but then I realized at the end of the White Martian episode, they rounded up the White Martian and put her in a glass case. That’s kind of scary.

Margaret: They’re all equally evil, really.

Syd: We open the episode with the series’ first crossover with The Talk. Oh my God, we have a crossover! Isn’t that whatcomics fans are supposed to be love?

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Margaret: I’m just waiting for The Flash crossover episode.

Syd: Wait, this didn’t tide you over? We had Sara Gilbert on!

Margaret: Sara Gilbert?

Syd: She hosts The Talk. She’s the series creator.

Margaret: Oh! I did not realize that.

Syd: It’s okay, this scene didn’t have any consequence for the rest of the episode.

Margaret: Though, it did make me argue that Supergirl does not bring out the best in people and she is not optimistic person who brings out the best in everyone because she kills people without remorse.

Syd: In the opening scenes, they’re trying to establish how good a person Kara is to contrast how bad she will be later in the episode. I sort of feel like if what they showed was the extent of her activities as Supergirl, I would be so much happier with the show. If the conflicts came from trying to clean up a disaster or an interpersonal conflict that was unrelated to her using her superpowers, this show wouldn’t be so hard to watch. Saving firefighters and helping a little girl out at school were fine, but then I’m thinking that most of what the show uses to convince us that she is a hero in every episode is her incapacitating or killing aliens. Also, it’s clear in this episode that the general public knows about this and still doesn’t know about the DEO. So, what do they think happens to the aliens after they’re beaten? Do they think Supergirl kills all of them?

Margaret: Or that she throws them into space.

Syd: So, kills them.

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Margaret: That is one of those things that I will excuse the show about personal overall conception of aliens, except for this episode where it is so important about how the public views Supergirl.

Syd: How the public views Supergirl is central to this episode, so during the episode, when that became the issue, I started thinking, “How does the public view Supergirl?” And if they don’t knowing the DEO exists, there’s no way to reconcile her battles without the public thinking she’s a much worse killer than she actually is.

Margaret: I was trying to come up with an idea of how to counter you on that, and I couldn’t. It makes absolutely no sense. How can a conscionable person who lives in National City and sees all these things happening not think about where they are putting these people? After that, wouldn’t they think, “Where is that?” And after that, they should find the DEO. Especially as they have already had the Donald Trump Senator lady who turned her leaf say that the DEO does not operate under the same restrictions as the military.

Syd: You say she’s turned over a new leaf and we’re supposed to believe that because she’s now helping the good guys, but she’s still providing resources to imprison and kill aliens. How is that different from what she was doing before?

Margaret: At the very least she decided that there were differences between aliens, I guess? It’s a step, at least.

Syd: From a functional standpoint, she isn’t really any different.

Margaret: At the same time, one of the parts I did like is when she was arguing with Alex and Hank about the fact that Supergirl saved her life and she thinks highly of her for that, but she is an alien that is threatening the world and the DEO should fix that. That made her seem, to me, a reasonable person.

Syd: That’s also weird because that made her previous stance sound more reasonable. There are so many counterarguments to make that the way they are handling alien menaces is wrong just soup to nuts, but the problem is, when she says, “If an alien is threatening the earth, you need to deal with that as you deal with all aliens that threaten the Earth” that is entirely right. There is no reason why they should be finding a way around it for Kara.

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Margaret: This is why I thought that was actually a good stance. Randomly, this character that was a caricature got a bit of dimension and it’s strange that they made her the voice of going against Supergirl, especially considering the fact that she was newly brought over to the side of thinking that not all aliens are bad. It’s as if they decided to walk back that character development.

Syd: So, next, Lucy quits.

Margaret: I wanted to see more of her, yet we will never see her again.

Syd: I thought at least they were going to have her show up in an episode to quit. I didn’t think they were going to do it offscreen.

Margaret: I guess they decided her swan song was breaking up with James.

Syd: That resolves everything in her life, right?

Margaret: Exactly. Because, after her entire plot of quitting the military because of their questionable practices, bonding with Cat and finding a place in her legal division, it just happens that because she breaks up with James, that means she can’t be in the same building or company as him. It would have been so much better if she kept her job and then just randomly came in as the ex of James and then gave legal advice.

Syd: It would have been nice for them to be cool and adult about it, like when real people who work in the same building break up. It also would be nice to still have a character who wanted to expose the DEO. That was what distinguished Lucy in the last couple of episodes. She knew about the DEO and was discussing whether they should expose it, but as soon as her relationship is over, the issue is dropped.

Margaret: They didn’t just drop the issue, they dropped the entire character. It’s insane. I guess they knew that the only way to plausibly continue her character arc would be to expose the DEO and they’re unwilling to do that. It’s just like how they keep teasing us with Kara’s real thoughts of, “I shouldn’t work for the DEO,” and “Alex does kind of shady things.” And yet they just dance around the edge of it without anything actually happening.

Syd: We didn’t even really get into how screwed up Kara’s arc in the last episode was. At first, she’s upset because she thinks that J’onn killed her aunt, but when she discovers that her sister actually killed her aunt, she decides that maybe murder isn’t so bad after all.

Margaret: I have two ways of thinking about this. I’m actually really glad they didn’t prolong the storyline any longer and I’m glad that J’onn and Alex’s reasoning that Kara would freak out and lose faith in her sister was unfounded, but at the same time, it kind of should have been. It should have made her reevaluate her thoughts on what was going on. Half of me is happy that it didn’t go on forever because they would have bungled it, but on any other show, I would have wanted them to continue the thought, as that would mean she would have to rethink everything that she’s doing right now – rethink her sister’s training, rethink the DEO, and therefore pull her sister out and redeem her as well.

Syd: I actually would be annoyed at this point if they tried to redeem Alex. She’s an awful character with no moral compass and redeeming her would require making her into an entirely different person. It wouldn’t be impossible to reform her and make her realize the errors of her ways, but I’d rather they just introduce a different character that I like more.

Margaret: Honestly, I want to like Alex, because I want to like good sister relationships, but at the same time, Alex as a character is not someone I want to root for, so that makes it very, very hard.

Syd: Then Siobhan finds out that Supergirl had a fight with an alien and just let him go. She’s suspicious and thinks that Supergirl might have turned bad. Cat Grant kills the story, so Siobhan tries to sell the story to The Daily Planet. Supergirl looks through Siobhan’s e-mail, finds the message to Perry White, prints it out and gives it to Cat. Cat fires Siobhan. Siobhan is Sio-gone.

Margaret: Though she might be back.

Syd: They are definitely bringing her back. They didn’t introduce her to the series just for this.

Margaret: They better not have. Her having a quickie with Winn in a storage closet better not have been the pinnacle of her arc.

Syd: And they haven’t done the one thing I knew they were going to do with the character when she was introduced yet. It’s just that it’s funny that she was fired despite the fact that she was right about Supergirl. It’s weird that seeing Supergirl let an alien go would be proof enough to her that Supergirl had gone bad, but she was vindicated and Cat would ultimately have to report that Supergirl had become a threat. Still, Siobhan shouldn’t have gone behind her boss’ back. Finally, Cat actually fired someone who deserved it.

Margaret: Right? And Kara was good enough at her job that she didn’t deserve to be fired. This was the first episode that involved her doing something at work where I didn’t think, “You should have been fired for what you just did.”

Syd: Also, I love that Winn was totally concerned for Siobhan and texted her and tried to make sure she was okay. That was really sweet.

Margaret: That was actually kind of cute. He was not being a creeper. He actually cares about somebody he’s casually hooking up with. That’s awesome.

Syd: I think being in a relationship does him well.

Margaret: I completely agree. He has finally gotten out of whatever his blockage was because he couldn’t get Kara.

Syd: I think Kara is a bad influence. So, after Supergirl hits on Jimmy, she goes over to Cat’s place, where she complains about being portrayed in the media as a “Girl Scout.” This is one of those really blatant indicators that they are just using Supergirl as a stand-in for Superman, because Superman is often described as a “Boy Scout,” but I have never heard of any woman ever being described as a “Girl Scout,” unless she was selling cookies or something.

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Margaret: What I thought they were doing in this scene was trying to address criticism that Jessica Jones is better than Supergirl because she has a dark side. Supergirl calls her media persona “very two dimensional” and says, “Everybody knows that real people have a dark side,” and that’s the bad Supergirl talking and Cat says, “You’re a superhero, you get to represent all of the goodness in the world.” That very clearly seemed to be the show shooting back at people who are saying that Supergirl is two-dimensional because she’s happy all the time and doesn’t have anything to do, which is something I’ve read. It’s not even true, but that seems to be the criticism that they are taking about Supergirl, so they’re rejecting the idea that people have to have dark sides to be superheroes, to which I can only say Kara already had a dark side as a regular person without Red Kryptonite! She totally kills people! Jessica Jones only killed one person of her own volition. Kara’s body count is far more than that.

Syd: I actually was unaware of this criticism, but this makes sense now that you bring it up, because I know that idiots tend to think of things as being good or bad because their tone is light or dark and it’s ridiculous. Saying that superheroes don’t need to have a dark side isn’t a hard or controversial viewpoint, as the pop culture landscape is littered with heroes with no dark side – Christopher Reeve’s Superman, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, Chris Evan’s Captain America, and so on. Jessica Jones isn’t a good character because she’s a superhero who has a dark side, she’s a good character because she’s treated like a human being who has wants and needs and emotions and who reacts to the things that happen to her.

Margaret: I would say at the same time, Agent Carter is a three dimensional character who is incredibly optimistic and who sees the best in everybody. She even tells Thompson that she wouldn’t tell people that he was on the wrong side and doesn’t hold his ambition against him, because she has fought alongside him and wants him to be better. At that moment I believe her, because she was someone who got upset and yelled at Jarvis for trying to kill the bad guy.

Syd: Peggy Carter is such a straight-forward, unambiguous good guy, but that doesn’t make her simple or unbelievable.

Margaret: She is someone who has faults and has problems. She isn’t “dark” like Jessica Jones because she doesn’t have the same kind of trauma that Jessica Jones goes through or have the same viewpoint that Jessica Jones does, but at the same time, Agent Carter and Jessica Jones are both optimistic stories that show that you can go through really terrible things and still come out okay and be a hero, as opposed to Supergirl.

Syd: Jessica Jones is a much more optimistic show than Supergirl.

Margaret: We have talked about this before.

Syd: I will keep saying it as long and as loud as it takes to penetrate the pop culture consciousness, because I am sick of hearing the out-and-out lie that Supergirl is more optimistic than Jessica Jones. Jessica Jones is a cynical and rude character, but her show itself is plenty less cynical than Supergirl’s. If you want a light-hearted optimistic female-led superhero show, then we have Agent Carter.

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Margaret: That’s what I want to say! It’s light-hearted, despite the fact that in the entire first season, she’s dealing with the death of Steve Rogers. She’s traumatized by that, but she works through it, and it’s still a light-hearted and fun show. It still presents itself as a comedy. The conversations between Edwin Jarvis and Peggy Carter are so meaningful and so optimistic. In the first episode, when he’s talking to her about how she holds Steve on this pedestal, thinking that Steve could do anything and could save the world on his own, and Jarvis tells her that Steve could only save the world because he had people like her to support him. He had a team behind him like the Howling Commandos and Howard Stark and all of the people who helped him to get where he was. She was just seeing the person and not the support network that he has. That is the arc of Agent Carter, that she is used to doing everything alone and she has to learn to trust other people. That as a thought gestated through a series is so powerful for me. They started to do that with Supergirl, I thought, when they had the entire conversation between Kara and James on the balcony. It resonated so well with me when she was saying that unlike her cousin who thinks he can go it alone, she wanted to be with other people, she wanted to be the person she is because of the people who are helping her. And then they just ignored all of it. It means nothing. And that really hurts, because part of the reason why things work is not just because of the main character, but because of the people who are around supporting. Agent Carter passes that test, while Supergirl has supporting characters that they often ignore to show that Supergirl is a good person, when she’s not.

Syd: I don’t agree entirely. I think Supergirl does try to utilize its supporting cast. Their problem is balancing the supporting cast with showing Supergirl herself handling things on her own to show that she’s strong and competent. Then they show Jimmy handling problems better than Supergirl does, because the show seems to think he’s a better hero than she is. Overall, the problem is mostly that Supergirl leans too heavily on the DEO, which would be less of a problem if the DEO came off as the good guys that the series seems to think they are, rather than the fascist criminal bullies that they actually are. Honestly, I would rather have a series where Supergirl is the only character – just a one-woman show of her flying around waving to people – than watch any series with the fucking DEO.

Margaret: I like that on Agent Carter, they’re showing the SSR kind of being a little corrupt and they’re treating it as real corruption and people are realizing it, as opposed to Supergirl clinging to the DEO despite the fact that everything that I’m being shown says that this is an evil organization.

Syd: Then Supergirl throws Cat off of her balcony. This finally convinces Cat that Supergirl has indeed gone bad and she has to go to air and announce to the world that it is in danger, because, holy shit, if a Kryptonian has gone bad, the world is fucked. It’s a good thing she doesn’t know about the dozens of “bad” Kryptonians who are all around the city right now, theoretically up to no good, even though we never see them do anything half as bad as what Supergirl does in this episode.

Margaret: I will say that Cat Grant does a fantastically good thing, especially with a lot of the media and news that has happened recently. I remember when the Cosby story broke – as somebody who’s well thought of in the community who has done bad things – how important it was for people to come forward and say, “I don’t care if I have supported this person in the past, I don’t care if this person has done good things in the past, right now, they are a jackass and they deserve to be called out and prosecuted.” That is a brave and good thing for her to do.

Syd: Then Lex Luthor shows up at the DEO to tell them that Supergirl is in fact under the influence of a synthetic Kryptonite that he himself created and that he is able to cure her.

Margaret: And they try to throw him in jail again!

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Syd: They don’t just try to. They actually put him in a cell. How they treat Lexwell is so fucking weird, because he is nice to everyone and he is polite and helpful the entire time. He comes in and says, “My bad. I didn’t mean to do this, I was just trying to find a way for humans to defend themselves against Kryptonians,” and they are incensed by this, despite the fact that they have tons of Kryptonite themselves that they use all the damn time.

Margaret: How dare a civilian try to make synthetic Kryptonite!

Syd: I understand that Kryptonite is dangerous, but the DEO does not inspire any confidence that the problem of the dozens of Kryptonians who may want to harm humans (or not) are being taken care of. And Lexwell made good on his promise to concoct a cure for the Red Kryptonite. For the record, he has killed fewer people than the Good Guys and he is more dedicated than they are to keeping the Earth safe from evil aliens, but he is still a Designated Villain.

Margaret: The way that they treat Maxwell Lord is so weird, because the show keeps treating him like a bad guy, no matter how much he acts like a good guy. And they keep treating Cat Grant like she doesn’t know anything, when she is the moral compass of the entire show. The show is determined to keep Cat in the dark and I kind of hope that they do, because as soon as they try to make her a “good” character in their eyes, they’re going to ruin her.

Syd: I’m sure that if they want to bring her into the fold, she’s going to find out about the DEO and then decide not to reveal it. That’s the way morality works on this show. She’s going to turn against truth and justice and everything she stands for because hope and inspiration or some pabulum like that.

Margaret: This is how dictatorships are made!

Syd: I’ve been saying that this show is fascist for a very long time. This is the most pro-fascist show I’ve seen since 24. I’ve had people say, “Well, it’s a superhero show, what do you expect? All superheroes are kind of fascist.” If you really think that, you’ve been reading the wrong fucking comics. Superheroes aren’t all using violence to enforce a pro-establishment status quo. Superheroes can just be people with extraordinary abilities who use them to help people. I have had a few conversations about superheroes as fascists, and they can often be short-circuited by bringing up the X-Men or John Constantine.

Margaret: Agent Carter isn’t fascist.

Syd: Well, she is a government agent – she is violently pro-establishment.

Margaret: Still, she has gone against the establishment to help other people. I’d also say Oliver Queen is not fascist.

Syd: Oliver Queen is explicitly left wing, but he’s also authoritarian.

Margaret: He does say that it’s his way or the highway. If you fail the city, he won’t let you in the city.

Syd: There are grey areas. Some things are more or less problematic from a philosophical standpoint. That’s why it drives me crazy when people just dismiss it as, “All action movies and TV are kind of fascist, so it’s all the same.” Most things aren’t as bad as Supergirl! We shouldn’t just have to accept this! No one who is being held up to children as a hero should be this bad!

Margaret: I agree completely.

Syd: So Supergirl changes into a black jumpsuit, like a movie X-Man.

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Margaret: It looks the same as the suit that Astra was wearing. It’s showing that she is becoming an Evil Kryptonian, because she’s wearing the Evil Kryptonian garb.

Syd: She’s seen the truth. She’s taken the red pill and can now leave the Matrix.

Margaret: The red pill? That only makes me think of horrible people.

Syd: How weird is it that making reference to a movie made by two trans women can make you sound like a regressive misogynist?

Margaret: She’s gone down the rabbit hole.

Syd: Anyway, then Supergirl wrecks SO MUCH stuff.

Margaret: Afterwards, she asks Alex if she killed anyone and Alex says no. That can’t be true. There have to be some casualties. She tears apart a building!

Syd: She also destroys a bar and torches cars while people are in them. I think we’re meant to believe that people got clear in time. It’s possible that nobody died, but people were definitely injured. Also, it’s not like destroying property is as big a deal as harming people, but it isn’t inconsequential. Is she on the hook for property damage?

Margaret: She should be.

Syd: J’onn is able to take her down, but it involves him publicly shapeshifting. Kara gets dekryptonited and J’onn gets apprehended by the DEO.

Margaret: And he’s put in prison.

Syd: That probably should have happened a while ago. I get that his sacrifice was pretty noble, but he also shouldn’t have been assuming the identity of a man he killed to gain control of a government agency. He knew this was coming someday.

Margaret: What did he think was going to happen? The chickens are coming home to roost.

Syd: Then Supergirl talks to Jimmy and apologizes for hitting on him and bad-mouthing his ex-girlfriend. Jimmy wants nothing to do with Kara. We know this isn’t going to last.

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 12.47.02 AM.png

Margaret: Of course not. It cannot, because of Red String of Destiny. They’re just prolonging this plot for the season finale, because that’s how ratings work. It just annoys me, because at that point, you should feel that either (a) he understands that she was under the influence of something that wasn’t her fault or (b) he would realize that he doesn’t really like Kara, because this revealed who she really is. But that’s not the case at all. This is a stalling tactic and it’s annoying. Either get on with it or don’t do it at all.

GRADING THE EPISODE

Syd: C. This episode just was. There was nothing new to be disappointed by. This episode was just wrong in the way the show is wrong.

Margaret: I have to rate it a D-, because after seeing Agent Carter and reminding myself of what true heroes actually are and do, this episode just made me upset that this is what is a more highly rated show, honestly. The main thing comes down to that in this episode, they could tell that something was wrong with Supergirl because she decides to show mercy and Agent Carter is someone who very rightly yells at her best friend for trying to shoot the Big Bad in cold blood and she thinks less of him for trying to do so. That is the defining difference between these two characters and these two shows. A shorter, lower-rated show has mercy and complicated characters and situations and stars a better hero. Supergirl is a more highly rated show and shows mercy as a flaw to be treated with suspicion. That really says something to me about the course of the show. After seeing the finale of Agent Carter and then this episode, everything came into stark contrast and highlighted why this show has really disappointed me.

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