Supergirl gets all X-Files in this episode when some kind of alien parasite infects an environmental activist, Dr. Jones. The parasite gives its host powers to suck energy from whatever it comes into contact with, which makes it very hard for Kara to fight.
While this monster of the week is scary and formidable, once again Supergirl‘s greatest strength comes from the personal relationship of the characters. The episode, aptly titled “Changing,” deals with the biggest new developments of the season: Mon-El’s existence, Alex’s sexuality and James’ burgeoning vigilante career. (I bet you can’t guess which of that trio is the weakest story! Hint: it’s James … again.)
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Alex’s Big Step Forward
Alex and Kara finally have “the talk.” In a scene that is just as uncomfortable to watch as it is heartwarming, Alex stumbles her way into coming out to Kara. While you would think that Kara would accept Alex with open arms, it is not quite that simple. Kara is a little confused and even hurt by her sister’s big reveal. It is later explained that Kara’s feelings of negativity are actually related more to herself than Alex.
Kara feels guilty that her entire life, Alex has been focused on Kara. Kara thinks that she has held Alex back from realizing this fact about herself far sooner. Kara tells Alex that she fully accepts, supports her sister and she will be there for her no matter what happens. Kara even asks Alex to tell how she feels about Maggie. It is beautiful and adorable. Once again, Chyler Leigh nails the exact right combination of emotions in Alex’s journey, combining sadness, excitement and nerves. Now with Kara by her side, it’s even more special. I’m not crying; you’re crying.
A City of Heroes
While Kara and Alex are inspiring each other, Mon-El is becoming a huge disappointment to Kara. Mon-El is using his powers to be the muscle man of an alien bookie. Kara is disgusted by Mon-El’s lack of compassion and responsibility in his powers. Mon-El, though, makes the salient point that not everyone has to be a hero. He isn’t a bad person because he doesn’t want to risk his life for others and jump into danger. It’s an excellent argument, but Kara treats Mon-El as if he is a terrible human being for it, which doesn’t seem very fair.
When Kara (and J’onn) goes up against the alien parasite, Kara’s powers are sucked nearly dry. Mon-El, knowing what is coming next (he becomes Supergirl’s substitute), flees and James shows up instead. If that seems awkward and weird, that’s because it totally is awkward and weird. Mon-El’s dilemma here is very natural because James just kind of inserts himself into the episode out of nowhere. Is anyone running CatCo?
After a lot of yelling and whining at Winn, James gets his new supersuit and superhero name. James Olsen is now Guardian. He is technically doing the right thing here and I’m supposed to respect him for it, but I am way more into Mon-El and his very sensible running away plan. The problem here could just be that the Guardian suit is very, very lame looking.
Mon-El doesn’t stay a coward. Alex finds Mon-El and yells at him, telling him that Kara truly believes he can be a better person. Mon-El is swayed by the argument and shows up to be a hero and fight the parasite-infected Dr. Jones, who has gone into full-on monster mode. James once again sweeps in from left field and steals all of Mon-El’s thunder.
James, as Guardian (in a ridiculous fight scene), fights off the parasite. The fight lasts just long enough for Kara to wake back up and finish off the alien once and for all. The day is saved, and James speeds away on his cool new motorcycle. Once away, James decides not to tell Kara his new secret identity because she would just stop him. This is probably the weirdest development in a storyline that has seen way too many weird moves for James. There’s literally no reason not to tell Kara about his identity, at least not one that makes sense. If Kara would stop James, that means James is not doing the right thing here.
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Change Meets a Brick Wall
Thankfully there are much more important characters than James going through big changes in the episode. Having successfully come out to Kara, Alex decides to take the next move with Maggie. Alex finds Maggie and almost immediately kisses her. While Maggie is not upset or annoyed by the kiss she’s not exactly feeling the same way. Maggie lets Alex down gently telling her that their relationship probably wouldn’t work out because they are in two very different places in their lives. Alex is crushed and runs away. Kara finds Alex weeping and has to hold her big sister as she loses it. Once again, I’m not crying you are crying.
Alex isn’t the only character who meets an unhappy ending in “Changing.” Though Mon-El’s heroic thunder was stolen by James he still wants to be a better person. Mon-El wants to become the hero that Kara sees him. This is admirable but it still would be interesting to have a character on Supergirl who didn’t want to save the world all the time.
Mon-El’s altruism is rewarded with horrible failure, proving my exact point. When Mon-El goes to help a homeless man on the street, the man tasers Mon-El. The “homeless man”: reveals himself to be an agent of Cadmus. Mon-El is thrown into the back of a van and kidnapped. Lilith Luthor better not hurt a hair on Mon-El’s perfect head!
Are you enjoying James and his new storyline? Would you like to see Mon-El become more heroic? Are you just as crushed as Alex was by her reject? Do you think she has a future with Maggie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Supergirl season 2 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supergirl Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.