Cat Grant’s return in the penultimate episode of Supergirl season 2 did more than bring back a fan-favorite character. Cat’s arrival in Supergirl season 2 ushered in an element of the series that has laid dormant for several episodes, the series’ strong political and feminist agenda. As Supergirl prepares to fight off another alien invasion, the show is getting back in touch with its roots as a feminist superhero show. The season finale, entitled “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” even takes its name from criticism leveled at Senator Elizabeth Warren that turned into a feminist rallying cry.
Supergirl Recap: Can Kara Save Mon-El and Lena from Rhea?>>> Though these political leanings have always been a part of the show, some fans have grown angry, feeling that Supergirl has become preachy and the series would be more enjoyable as a standard superhero show. While it is true that Supergirl isn’t exactly subtle about its message, it should never lose it. Supergirl being a show about female empowerment and having an overall very liberal agenda is just as integral to the series as Kara having the ability to fly.
A Strong Message for a Strong Character
Supergirl is hitting the message of female empowerment hard at this tail end of season 2 but it isn’t the only time that the show has presented a political message. The first half of the season used Supergirl‘s literal alien characters as stand-ins for much a more human issue. Cadmus’ prosecution of aliens and the desire to send them back to their home planets, often ravaged by war, is a clear allegory for the current American political climate concerning immigrants and refugees.
Supergirl doesn’t have much of a deft hand exploring these issues. It is very black and white. Cadmus was almost certainly being portrayed as the villain. There have been some efforts to explain Lillian Luthor’s anti-alien position but most of it has come down to bitterness and selfishness. The same goes for Cat Grant. Cat is not a character to debate the politics of female empowerment and gender equality. Cat also even frequently insults traditionally male ideas and/or characters. Supergirl isn’t interested in discussing these big topic issues, which may cause many fans to bristle. Supergirl does, however, present a strong point of view on these issues and that is just as important.
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Supergirl exists as a piece of art. It might seem ridiculous to call a superhero show art but that doesn’t change the fact that any piece of TV, even reality TV, is art. Art evokes discussion. Supergirl doesn’t need to create a dialogue between its characters but it should be used to create a dialogue among its audience.
Kara saw her creation as a superhero couched in completely feminist terms. Over and over in season 1 Kara had to explain why she is her own hero and not a just a female version of Superman. Supergirl has liberal politics embedded into its DNA as a show. To remove that idea would make Supergirl just a Superman show with a female lead. This is not the type of show that Supergirl is or should try to be; Supergirl has always been political and it should stay that way.
So what do you think? Is Supergirl pushing its political message too much? Do you find the way the show approaches politics interesting or too simplistic? Is it something the show should try to shy away from in the future or keep on presenting?
The Supergirl season 2 finale airs Monday, April 22 at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)