When Livewire appears to escape from prison, it is up to Kara to try to take her down and for Supergirl to really try to convince us that Livewire is Kara’s nemesis. It is true that Kara has faced Livewire more than most villains and she is a lot more interesting than most of them, but there is a long way to go before she is in nemesis territory. The newness of Livewire and her nemesis status also ties in nicely to the larger theme of this episode. The aptly titled “We Can Be Heroes” is all about the new round of heroes and characters that have popped up in Supergirl season 2, specifically Mon-El and James, and how they measure up to Kara’s example.
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Guardian vs. Supergirl: Dawn of Characterization
James begins the episode, after being urged to by Winn, deciding to finally tell Kara about his Guardian activities. James is about to confess, but he becomes a little bit sanctimoniously sidetracked when he learns about Mon-El’s desire to be a hero. This rivalry, more than the reappearance of Livewire, is the real conflict of “We Can Be Heroes.” The episode is all about James, someone who wants to be a hero but does not really have the powers, and Mon-El, who has the powers but not really the heart of the hero.
This episode makes the very smart decision of clarifying that Mon-El’s desire to suddenly become a hero at the end of “Supergirl Lives” isn’t entirely altruistic. He really is doing it just to be closer to Kara. This comes out when Supergirl and Mon-El take on some Livewire minions, and Mon-El is more concerned about saving Kara than helping the people caught in the crosshairs. It is up to James, who arrives just in the nick of time, to save the people, but he also gets knocked out thanks to Mon-El’s mistakes. This allows Kara to finally learn James’ identity.
Once Kara knows, a huge argument breaks out between them about what it means to be a hero. It is easily the best scene James has ever had on Supergirl. James is angry at Kara for deciding who can put their lives on the line, and Kara is mad at James for foolhardily jumping into this dangerous lifestyle. (They’re both kind of right.) I’m still not wild over James becoming Guardian because it simply just happened and there was no real build-up. James is a much more solid character now after the transformation. While their argument does feel couched in their past romantic history and James’ obvious jealously of Mon-El, it is nice to see Kara and James being on an equal moral footing for once in the series’ history.
B-Squad Tackles Livewire
It is eventually revealed that Livewire did not actually escape prison. She was actually kidnapped by an even more evil scientist, who for some reason is not from Cadmus. The scientist is using Livewire’s powers to create his own private army of soldiers. Winn finds this out and tells James about it so they can prove to Kara that they are real heroes. Mon-El also happens to overhear Winn’s discovery. So it’s up to the B-Squad to take on Livewire while Kara remains ignorant, which seems like a huge mistake.
As far as a dramatic moment goes, though, Mon-El and James teaming up is actually pretty great. Removed from their love interest, Kara, Mon-El and James really stand on their own as heroes. They do kind of suck at it since they are captured and have to be saved by Kara, but Winn gets his wish. James and Mon-El do seem more like heroes after taking on the villain by themselves.
Kara doesn’t quite see it that way. Kara tells James she will tolerate him as Guardian but will not approve of him. Mon-El, meanwhile, confesses that he does have feelings for Kara. Mon-El asks Kara to allow him to keep being her partner, which Kara agrees, to but she remains silent on sharing Mon-El’s romantic feelings. I’ve watched enough TV to know that we are now just counting down the episodes until Kara does vocally reciprocate those feelings.
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M’Gann Under Fire
“We Can Be Heroes” tackles another long forgotten character of this season. J’onn finally resurfaces for a big story. Supergirl reminds us that not only does he exist but also that he has imprisoned M’Gann because he is still super prejudiced against White Martians. Supergirl doesn’t really justify J’onn’s imprisonment of M’Gann, which still seems to be on incredibly shaky legal ground, but M’Gann finally gets out of prison … by having a complete nervous breakdown.
M’Gann gets stuck in her own psychic powers and starts reliving her worst memories on Mars. She will die of “brain death” (which definitely doesn’t seem like a thing) without help. It is up to J’onn to mind meld with her and take her out of the mental tailspin. In M’Gann’s mind, the two come to an understanding and J’onn finally admits that they are friends. (It’s also a matter of episodes before that becomes something more.) It took a while, but the reunion is worth it, especially since it looks like White Martians are coming for M’Gann in the next episode. I’m all for a more M’Gann-centered episode, but I sincerely hope J’onn will be involved just as much as her.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to M’Gann and J’onn fighting against the White Martians? Do you think Kara shares Mon-El’s feelings? How do you feel about James as Guardian? 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)