Supergirl Season 3 premiered last week and there were too many feels to put into words… but we tried! Check out our thoughts about “Girl of Steel” in a roundtable with Fangirlish!
Last week The CW kicked off their DCTV premieres, and I was thrilled to be back with my fave superheroes. First up was Supergirl on Monday, and after Season 2 ended with losing Mon-El, I wasn’t quite sure what state Kara would be in when we caught up with her in National City. Basically there were lots of emotions from all quarters… *sigh*
Our friends at Fangirlish have been kind enough to include We So Nerdy in their weekly DCTV Roundtables for the 2017 – 2018 Season. This week, we discuss the Supergirl, next week will be The Flash, etc. Team Fangirlish came up with the awesome questions, which I’ve included below along with my responses and Alyssa’s (Fangirlish) and Lizzie’s contributions. The full roundtable post includes a total of seven contributors, so definitely check it out HERE for more insights into “Girl of Steel”!
1. Describe your thoughts about “Girl of Steel” using just six words.
Funmbi: J’onn is the voice of reason.
Alyssa: There is no shame in grieving.
Lizzie: We grieve how we grieve. Period.
2. Describe your feelings about “Girl of Steel” using a gif.
3. Kara and Alex had a charged confrontation, with Kara trying to push aside her feelings in order to cope with the loss of Mon-El and Alex trying to push her to feel. What did you think about this scene? Did you think Alex’s approach was the correct one?
Funmbi: I spent the entire episode very confused about everyone’s adamance that Kara return to her old happy-go-lucky self. Lena wanted her friend back so they could hang out. James wanted his co-worker back. And, of course, Alex (in the midst of planning one of the most important days of her life) wanted her sister back. And I got it, watching Kara be this unfeeling ice-woman, frozen in her grief for Mon-El, was probably very difficult. In this confrontation between Kara and Alex, it was clear that Alex thought the best way for Kara to heal was to let all the emotions in and just feel them. But I was really on Kara’s side. Mon-El was the love of her life and she was responsible for (at minimum) sending him on a journey through space, never to return to Earth, and even potentially to his death. I understood wanting to avoid that level of pain (and as a superhero, to a certain extent, Kara could do just that). To me, J’onn was the only person being reasonable. He afforded Kara patience through this difficult circumstance and was there to reassure her that she was a good person, just as she is, humanity and all. I really loved J’onn for that.
Alyssa: That definitely wasn’t the right approach here. Yes, Alex cares about Kara. Yes, Alex is worried about Kara. But going into this situation trying to tell Kara how she should feel and how she should be dealing with this grief is out of line. People grieve differently. People handle emotional situations differently. Like Kara said, how would Alex have reacted if it had been Maggie? Granted, Alex admitted she wouldn’t have handled it well, either. But I wouldn’t expect Kara to try and tell Alex how to deal with the pain of losing the love of her life. So I don’t understand Alex trying to force her to feel when she’s clearly not at that stage in the grieving process yet. No, Kara isn’t human. But she has this beautiful humanity about her that makes her just as easily susceptible to pain and the like. Which means that she’s not perfect. Which means she’s not going to necessarily handle things the right way, like I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of at some point in our lives. Alex loves Kara truly and deeply, I have never and will never doubt that. But what Kara needed from Alex was just love and support. She didn’t need someone trying to force her to deal with something she wasn’t ready to deal with. And like Lizzie said, when Alex reminded Kara that she’s her favorite person, that’s all Kara needed to hear.
Lizzie: No, I don’t. And I get where she’s coming from, I get she’s trying to help, but no Alex, no. What really struck me about this scene is that I can feel Alex’s love for Kara and at the same time think she handled everything wrong. Which, really, is to be expected, sometimes, when it comes to cases like this. You never know what to say and what the other person needs – and I have certainly been on the side of the person needing comfort more than enough times to know that it changes from person to person and situation to situation. But i’m pretty sure that what Kara didn’t need was Alex talking about how she knows it hurts (she doesn’t) or chiding Kara for having a pity party (go to hell) or telling her to get over Mon-El as if he was a cheating boyfriend who did her wrong. That part at the end of the convo where she reminded Kara that she was her favorite person, that’s basically what Kara needed. Support. Alex tried to drag Kara into the light, and that wasn’t for Alex to do. Kara had to find her own way. All she needed from Alex was support.
Also – why was Kara the only one grieving Mon-El? I get she was the one dating him, but I kinda thought other people cared about him? Wasn’t Winn, at the very least, his friend? Why is everyone treating Kara like a dog she had that no one else ever saw died? They ALL KNEW MON-EL. He sacrificed himself for basically EVERYONE. I’m not saying everyone’s got to be in shut-down mode, but like, at least an acknowledgment would have been nice.
4. Kara handled grief by shutting down her human side and focusing on Supergirl. What did you think about that? Comment on the double standards that surround a woman shutting down her emotions vs. a man doing it.
Funmbi: Kara did exactly what she needed to do to make it, day in and day out. I can’t imagine dealing with that level of grief, resentment, and pain. And honestly, if I had the ability to shut off my access to those emotions, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to do so. But I feel like Kara always knew this strategy would be temporary. In her dreams of Mon-El and her mother, in her quest to save as many lives as possible, in her conversations with J’onn, we saw that Kara couldn’t completely disengage the way she probably wanted to. But it’s as J’onn said, Kara’s humanity is the most beautiful and good thing about her. It’s that humanity, that desire to help others and find love that allowed her to take on a role as a hero and open herself toher relationship with Mon-El. This is not a female story, it’s a human story. To suggest that Kara experiencing love and then grieving over love lost somehow makes her less of a hero, is completely ridiculous. It is equally ridiculous to deny Kara the agency to choose the way she wants to deal with her grief, be it in her stoicism, her anger, and (if they come) her tears.
Alyssa: What do I think about that? I think that she’s human — well, as close as an alien can get to being human. It’s normal to not be “okay” when you feel like a part of your world has been taken from you. It’s something that I’m sure everyone has done during some point in their life. Where the pain just feels suffocating, where you just can’t deal with the tidal wave of emotions, where you just want it to go away. But the pain doesn’t go away, as we learn. We have to confront it, we have to deal with it. Eventually. Kara wasn’t ready to deal with it yet. Kara was determined to force the pain down along with the guilt and the heartache. She felt that if she was just Supergirl, an alien, that she wouldn’t have to deal with the pain. After all, humans feel emotions. Aliens don’t. Right? Wrong. Kara is more human than most humans in the world, and it was that fear of having to keep living even after she lost Mon-El — at a time when their future was looking bright, where she finally believed as if she could have it all — that was terrifying. So she tried to stop being Kara Danvers. But the thing is, Supergirl exists only because of Kara Danvers. This whole thing that Supergirl defines who Kara Danvers is, is a load of crap. A superhero is defined by the individual. Kara wasn’t born Supergirl. Kara created Supergirl, modeled after her own beliefs and her own desire to help people. Kara Danvers isn’t Supergirl. Supergirl is Kara Danvers. And I think she made a big step in learning that by hour’s end.
Oh, and that double standard. I don’t think there’s a thing in this world where there isn’t a double standard related to how men and women deal with emotions. If a man does it, he’s strong. If a woman does it, she’s weak. People just love when men brood — they’re showing emotion, oh wow! But when a woman is handling emotional situations, and especially if she’s crying, people write her off as “emotional” and “weak.” Showing emotion, no matter what gender you are, is something that’s difficult to do. Thus when people make themselves vulnerable like that, they should be commended, not insulted. Especially the women.
Lizzie: If you’re judging Kara, I’m really super happy that your life has been devoid of loss that you can stand on your high pedestal and judge how other people grieve. I don’t wish that you actually have to feel what she does right now, I never would, but sadly, I think at some point, you will understand. I certainly do and I do not judge Kara one bit. We all grieve differently and there’s no right or wrong way to grieve.
Plus, the double standard – God, the double standard. Men can shut off emotions and be broody and extra manly and shed just one single tear of pain, but God forbid a woman does it. SHE’S GOING AGAINST STEREOTYPE, SHE’S A MONSTER. *rolls eyes* We need to stop placing these ridiculous expectations on women to be perfect and conform to certain standards and allow women to just be human. If not, how can we, as a society, ever come to a place of true equality?
5. What was your reaction to the dream sequence (using a gif)?
6. Alex’s wedding planning leads to a touching moment with J’onn, who, in many ways, has been her surrogate father. How did you feel about this scene? Do you consider them family?
Funmbi: One of the highlights of Supergirl has been watching Team Supergirl and the DEO form their own family unit and J’onn is very much a central figure. He lost his family on Mars, but has forged a new one on Earth. We know that since Jeremiah Danvers “sacrificed” himself to save J’onn, he has considered it a personal mission to keep an eye out for the Danvers girls. J’onn was responsible for bringing Alex (then Kara/Supergirl) into the DEO. And over the seasons, the walls and secrets between them all have come down, allowing for the relationship between J’onn and Alex/Kara to become more than a professional one. J’onn emotional support was so necessary in this premiere episode. He provided it for Kara by reassuring her that is was possible to overcome grief. And J’onn provided it to Alex in this beautiful scene where he agreed give her away at her wedding. It was lovely and heartwarming and I wanted to cry all the happy tears!
Alyssa: Family isn’t defined by blood. Family is defined by the love you have for another person. One of the things that I love about Supergirl is how we’ve seen new families created. Whether it’s been Kara with Alex or Kara, Alex, and J’Onn, there’s so much to love about how this show has created love out of loss. Alex and J’Onn are family. There isn’t anyone else, outside of Jeremiah, who I could see walking Alex down the aisle on her wedding day. Since Jeremiah has been missing from Alex’s life for a long time, I love how J’Onn has taken on that father figure role. It’s been an amazing relationship to watch. That entire scene where Alex asked J’Onn to walk her down the aisle was emotional from the start. It was one of those moments where you could feel the actors shining through their characters. The emotional was raw and palpable. It was one of those moments that instantly brought tears to my eyes and made me chuckle as the two tried to laugh off the impending tears. Just beautiful.
Lizzie: I don’t think I can accurately express what this scene did to me – especially because, I have struggled with the same thing as Alex. I lost my dad, and I can’t even think about getting married or walking down an aisle. City Hall sounds just fine for me, because what’s even the point of the whole big wedding if he’s not there with me? I don’t see it, I can’t – and I felt Alex so deeply in this episode. At the same time, she has someone in J’onn who not only loves her, but who’s been there for her, almost as a father figure, for so many years, and it touched my heart that she could open herself up to recognizing that and asking for what she needed. That’s big.
7. Lena and Kara were friendship goals in this episode. What are your feelings on their friendship and how refreshing it is to see such a positive relationship between two women portrayed on TV?
Funmbi: Kara’s friendship with Lena gives me so much joy. And even though they didn’t spend that much time together in the episode (plus with Kara grieving Mon-El), you could tell that their relationship was very much in tact. I think of the scene towards the end of the episode when Kara came to see Lena in her office after Lena has purchased CatCo out from under Morgan Edge. Morgan stormed into Lena’s office to confront her, and even though Lena had things well in hand, Supergirl made an appearance just to back up her friend. It was awesome! Of course it’s refreshing to be able to enjoy a positive relationship between two women who are powerful in their own right. I am curious about when Kara will finally reveal her alter-ego to Lena…it has to be soon, right? (Also, I just need to mention this somewhere… you got the James/Lena ship vibe that I got during that board meeting at the beginning of the episode, right???!!!)
Alyssa: There are not enough female friendships on television, yet alone healthy female friendships. So I naturally gravitated towards their friendship last season because I wanted to see more female friendships where the women are supporting each other. Sure, it was only a season, but I feel like this season is definitely going to continue to strengthen that friendship. I love how supportive they are of each other, how concerned they are for each other. There’s always that potential for Supergirl to pull a Smallville with the pair, which right now is still a likely possibility. But do they have to?
Lizzie: I’m with Alyssa here – does Lena really need to go bad? Can’t we just avoid that trope? TV in general, but DCTV in particular, hasn’t really done female friendships well and now we have a supportive, adult friendship made up of two women who truly respect and care about each other. Does Lena really need to go evil because her last name is Luthor? Can’t we just think outside the box for a minute or two?
8. What were your thoughts on Reign? Does she look like the villain this show has desperately lacked, or are you still in wait and see mode?
Funmbi: To me, the most interesting thing about Reign was that she was so surprised when she used her superhuman strength to lift that giant beam off her daughter. That surprise was so genuine too… so what in the world happens to take her from this loving mom who jokes with strangers to an evil villain? Plus, did you notice that she was dreaming of Alura Zor-El in that same field that Kara dreamt of her mom and Mon-El? Interesting, but creepy.
Alyssa: Reign has the potential to be such an amazing villain because her origin story isn’t going to go the typical route that most villains do. So instead of us meeting her when she’s the villain, we’re going to get to see her — as she begins to remember what happened to her — become the villain. I’m so intrigued by that storyline because it has the potential to really make the audience feel for the villain, which I don’t think you can typically say. I have read some spoilers as to who Reign is, so if the show sticks even remotely close to that storyline — and allows Odette Annable the chance to really sink her teeth into it — this season is going to be a fun one.
Lizzie: Well, at least she’s got potential. I think she’s going to be interesting to see, that’s for sure, and I already feel more invested in her than the past villains, so at least, on that regard, we’re good.