5 Things We Learned from Re-Watching Supergirl Season 1
Season 2 of Supergirl is upon us and the show has a brand-new (and better) home with the CW! Bri and I re-watched the first season on Netflix and liked it even more. So what did we learn? Read on!
1. Cat Knows
We never doubted that Cat knows Kara is Supergirl, even after the team knowingly gaslighted her in Blood Bonds. On further review… we still believe with every fiber of our beings that Cat knows Kara is Supergirl.
The show should end the dance of “will they / won’t they” reveal the secret before it makes Cat look like a much dumber character than she actually is.
And by the way… if Kara is determined to live up to her potential and her values, she has to be honest with her mentor and friend.
2. We Were Wrong About Winn Schott
Shortly after news broke that Supergirl was headed to the CW, I tweeted that if there were budget cuts, Jeremy Jordan’s Winn Schott should be the first to depart. I enjoy Jordan as an actor, but I hated his character on Smash and thought he was annoying on Supergirl.
On further review… I was wrong! The character really shines as both comic relief and true friend material. Winn is essential to the show’s delicate balance of personalities. Jordan has chemistry with everyone and is a great foil for Kara, James and Cat. The show did not pursue the usual tropes that usually happen with the nice-guy-best-friend role, and I’m excited to see what season 2 has in store for him.
3. The Destruction of Krypton Should Be Further Explored
Everyone loved Laura Benanti‘s portrayal as Alura and Astra. One of the stronger through lines of the season was the push-pull between Alura and Astra’s competing visions for Krypton. Clearly, the means Astra chose to protect Krypton were wrong. In Blood Bonds, Astra tells Kara that Alura believed her claim that Krypton was doomed… but sentenced her because her twin broke the law. Alura promised to take up Astra’s cause. Did she? Was Krypton doomed anyway? So who was right, Alura or Astra?
The show indicated that both sisters were right in their own way. However, the series was pretty clear that the ends do not justify the means. I really love this choice, since TV shows almost always do the opposite by empowering characters to violate every law in the universe in order to prove their righteousness.
After watching the show again, we realized that Kara was going to have to come to terms with the ways her mother’s respect for the laws of Krypton may have ultimately led to its destruction. We are unlikely to see much of Benanti on Supergirl this season, but further exploration of this situation would continue to add depth to Kara’s relationship with her family history.
4. Pacing and the Trouble with Triangles
The major issue that plagued season 1 was pacing. On further review, the way the show resolved the Supergirl/James/Lucy love triangle didn’t make any more sense than it did the first time.
Let’s start with Lucy Lane. The series did not seem entirely sure who it wanted Lucy to be. Was she a mean girl? A spoiled brat? A jealous ex-girlfriend? A part of Kara’s new squad? The series seemed to vacillate between these options all season long. However, once Lucy became a full cast member – presumably to amplify a love triangle – she immediately broke up with James in order to let him pursue Supergirl!
This didn’t really flow logically from the presentation of the character. It didn’t make sense for her to rearrange her career, move to National City, win back her man… only to gallantly step aside for a new relationship. The show had only aired about 15 episodes at the time, what was the rush to unite Supergirl and James?
However, giving Lucy a role that is more important than “ex-girlfriend” is a good decision in the long run. Jenna Dewan Tatum manages to hold the disparate parts of the character together quite well.
There was also a minor controversy in the fandom after it was revealed that Lucy didn’t get along with Lois. I still think the show was smart to hint at tension between the sisters. The show already has a powerful example of sisterhood between Alex and Kara, and a tragic sister relationship with Alura and Astra. Suggesting that there is a serious rivalry between Lois and Lucy is another way to explore the complexity of the sibling relationship.
5. The James Situation Needs Fixed
We liked World’s Finest both times we watched it, loved Grant Gustin‘s appearance and how seamlessly he fit into this world! And yet the show inexplicably chose this episode to hit two very wrong notes regarding the James and Kara relationship: Cat pushes Kara to declare her intentions towards James – and so does Barry Allen! Say what now?!?
Cat’s sudden interest in Kara’s love life comes directly on the heels of Kara breaking up with Adam Foster, who happens to be Cat’s son. This move pissed off Cat, but just three episodes later she is part of the James/Kara fan club. It’s a strange move, especially since Kara didn’t dump Adam because she had feelings for James. The show pulled the plug on the relationship way too quickly.
Even stranger was the decision to have Barry Allen encourage Kara to reveal her feelings for James. Barry literally just met all of these people and was having fun comparing notes with another superhero. Yet World’s Finest ends with Barry noticing the two pining for each other and becoming president of the James/Kara fan club.
This weirdness seemed even worse when we binge-watched the season again. The show was barely half a season old, so it’s not like we were witnessing perennially star-crossed lovers who were finally about to get together.
The James fiasco is so out of step with everything the show and Greg Berlanti accomplished that I can only assume CBS had a very serious note about getting Kara and James together, pronto.
Going forward, the show needs to grow the relationship or back off from it for a long time.
Are you excited about season 2 of Supergirl? Let us know what you want to see in the comments!