Supergirl

Supergirl Season 4 is pushing the envelope this season. The writers have chosen to take the show in a highly political direction. While it sets up strong dramatic tensions for the rest of the season, I’m concerned that setting up so many moments based in hate will push away a large amount of the fan base.

Having Nia Nal as the first transgender superhero on television is an important step. Giving her an opportunity to stand up for someone like Brainy who doesn’t understand the concept of prejudice and hatred is an interesting turn of gender dynamics and establishes the beginnings of a connection between the two of them.

Having a shop owner show abject hate, then Mercy and her brother exhibit open hatred and recruiting a member of the DEO to their cause without having any type of motive other than wanting to purge the “other” creates an ‘us versus them’ dynamic that does not allow for nuanced storytelling. Lillian Luthor’s role as a villain in the past has worked effectively because she had a positive motivation. She wanted to make the world safe for her children and the rest of the world. We may not have agreed with her motives, but there was a sense of understanding which gave her an ounce of humanity. Lillian’s motives were not 100% clear which created interesting dynamics.

Supergirl has been swooping in and physically rescuing people, but I miss the times like season one, where she connected with a bank robber to convince him to give up his weapon. Kara’s humanity in the face of darkness combined with her superpowers is what makes her special. Not just the superpowers.

Alex is darker than she’s ever been. No hint of light. She’s angry every step of the way. Watching everyone on this show be so angry no longer makes it fun to watch. I wondered why it took me so long to write this review. It’s not so much a recap as it is a commentary on the state of where I think things are. I hope that as the season progresses, it regains some of the joy and hope that makes it worth watching. There’s too much darkness in the world right now. We need Supergirl for what she represents. We need hope.

Supergirl airs Sunday at 8 PM on the CW.

 

Micky Small is a freelance writer and Superhero Scholar. She writes about female and LGBT superheroes and diversity in media. Follow her on Twitter @femmepwrdprod

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