Supergirl Recap: “We Can Be Heroes” … But Only If Kara Says It’s Okay, Apparently
"You know what I love? Little boys who think they can do a better job than the woman who's an actual superhero." -Livewire
So, it’s official. Alex, Maggie, and J’onn are the only normal, sensible regulars on Supergirl anymore. Everyone else has just dived off the deep end with both feet, right? I don’t know why but everyone on this show has become so irritating about hero-ing, I just want to tell all of them to sit in the corner until they calm the hell down. *sigh* Welcome to Season 2, Episode 10, “We Can Be Heroes.”
**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
S2, EP. 10 – THE RECAP
- Supergirl is training Mon-El in how to be a hero, trying to impart the very important lesson that saving innocent civillians is all-important, but Mon-El is too jazzed by the awesomeness of his powers to care about little things like cardboard-person casualties.
- Maggie and the NCPD find criminals “gift-wrapped” by Guardian. Meanwhile, James returns to the van where Winn has fallen asleep. He chastises Winn for leaving him hanging during a hairy situation, and Winn snaps because he’s exhausted between helping Guardian, making a suit for Mon-El, and continuing to help Kara in addition to his work for the DEO. He desperately wants James to tell Kara that he’s Guardian so that they can maybe work together and not bear so much of the load on their own. James agrees to tell Kara the following day.
- At the DEO, M’gann begins to hear voices in her head as she stumbles around her cell. Soon, she begins speaking in Martian as if possessed. She screams, and the glass of her cell breaks. But rather than escape, she collapses, unconscious. When Alex and J’onn examine her later, they have no idea what happened. M’gann is physically fine, but she remains unconscious.
- Livewire is talking to her prison therapist and she’s still really bitter about Supergirl. As they talk, a guard frees a prisoner, and both of them seem to have electrical powers! They free Livewire!
- Maggie and Alex investigate the breakout, and Kara appears, freaking out that her nemesis is now on the loose. Alex notices that Kara is even more amped than usual and tries to calm her down to no avail. Kara leaves to go do something about Livewire because she’s the only one who understands how dangerous she is. (*gag*)
- At the DEO, Winn briefs everyone on Livewire in a showy fashion. Mon-El is totally excited to take his superhero-ing out on the streets, but Supergirl reminds him how serious this is and accidentally breaks a computer monitor in the process. She’s really bent out of shape about this. Meanwhile, J’onn is bent out of shape about M’gann as Alex tells him that she’s growing increasingly brain dead. She asks him to make the Martian brain bond with M’gann to try and save her, but J’onn refuses. She’s a war criminal to him, and he refuses to give her access to his memories of the dead.
- Meanwhile, Livewire’s out and facing down cops in the NCPD parking lot.
- At CatCo, James has called Kara into his office to tell her about Guardian, but before he has a chance, she’s ranting about Livewire and complaining that having a nemesis isn’t as much fun as Clark makes it look. When James tells her that at least she doesn’t have to face Livewire alone, she thinks better of it…and mentions Mon-El, which makes James hella jealous (and it’s not a cute look on him). He doesn’t tell her about Guardian after all.
- Back at the NCPD parking lot, Livewire is fighting some cops…except it’s not Livewire at all! It’s the other prisoner that the guard broke out, having adopted Livewire’s look. The guard appears, too, and starts helping her take them out. But Supergirl and Mon-El arrive to save the day! Yay! Except that Mon-El seems to have trouble taking direction. Supergirl tells him to focus on saving the cops as she takes on the two electricity-charged foes, but when she falls to them in battle, Mon-El leaves the cops to try and help her. Thankfully, Guardian shows up and he takes it upon himself to worry about the cops, and when Mon-El, in deflecting an electrical charge away from Supergirl, accidentally sends it in the direction of one of the cops, Guardian steps in front of it, absorbing some of it, though he and the cop both fall. The guard and the prisoner escape, and when Supergirl goes to check on the fallen cop and Guardian, she removes Guardian’s mask, and discovers James.
- At the DEO, Alex is looking after James’ injuries as Mon-El gushes over Guardian’s motorcycle. Supergirl confronts James and he asks everyone to leave them alone to talk. Supergirl is fuming, but forces herself to remain calm so that she can hear James out. James explains that the same thing that drives her heroism drives his. She insists that his not being superpowered means that he will always be in danger, no matter what, and brings up the fact that Mon-El has powers, which makes him more able to take on being a hero. James insists that there’s more to being a hero than powers, and that Mon-El only thinks about himself. Kara: “You are never going to be strong enough for this,” then, “If you don’t stop, I’ll stop you.” James: “You’re welcome to try.”
- Alex talks to J’onn about M’gann’s worsening condition, and begs him to reconsider making the bond with her. J’onn doesn’t want to forgive her, because his hatred of her and all White Martians is all he has left. If he discovers that there’s actually good in M’gann, there’ll be nothing left of him, and of his murdered family. Alex tells him “Forgiveness isn’t something you give someone who’s hurt you. Forgiveness is something you give yourself.”
- Still amped from yelling at James, Kara goes to yell at Mon-El and tells him that he’s no longer allowed to be a superhero around her, because she can’t trust him to listen. She demands to know why he even wants to fight alongside her. When he starts to give her the canned answer about wanting to use his powers to help people, she stops him and flat-out asks if he likes her. He acts all insulted or whatever, and they separate in a huff.
- The DEO has gotten footage from the prison that shows Livewire being knocked out by the guard and the prisoner. So, it turns out she wasn’t freed, she was captured. Kara admits she was wrong, shocker of shockers, and Mon-El tells her not to be hard on herself (*gag*). Lurking in the background later, Winn calls James on the DL and tells him that even though he told his boss and Supergirl that he didn’t know where Livewire is being held, he has tracked her electronic signature, and he wants Guardian to be the first to apprehend her. As he heads out, we see that Mon-El has overheard, and he follows Winn.
- J’onn decides to bond with M’gann, realizing that it’s the right thing to do, and he can’t let her die without having tried to do something. He asks Supergirl and Alex to stay with him, because he knows he’s going into intense emotional territory in M’gann’s mind. They stay, of course. J’onn enters M’gann’s mind and finds her kneeling on the ground staring at the camp in which Green Martians were held by her people. When J’onn approaches her, she tells him to run. She then explains that her people wanted her to kill a child, but she couldn’t do it. She took the child behind the barracks, but instead of killing him, she let him go and set her people’s guard house on fire. She’s prepared for the White Martians to find and kill her, but J’onn reminds her that this is a memory, that he’s here, because he knows that she makes it to Earth and befriends and helps him. He forgives M’gann, and she is grateful. She comes out of her coma to J’onn, Alex, and Kara’s relief.
- A scientist has kidnapped Livewire in order to harness her electrical powers and implant them into other people, to create super-soldiers to sell to the military. (Um…k? Whatever happened to Lord Industries? Wouldn’t Lex Corp have already been on something similar before Lena took over?) Pretty effed up. Livewire offers a legit team-up with the real deal, then says that he can’t just give her powers to other people, because “that’s copyright infringement, asshat.” This scientist doesn’t seem to care about IP, though, and he continues to drain her. Suddenly, Guardian and Mon-El arrive to save the day, but the scientist isn’t as easily dispatched as they think, as he’s also given himself electrical powers.
- At the DEO, Winn contacts Kara and confesses that he sent Guardian to where Livewire is being held captive, and that Mon-El followed him, and now, they’re likely all held captive? Smh.
- Aaaand, Winn is right. Guardian and Mon-El have been captured, and the scientist seems intent on using them as his next super-soldiers since they’re such prime specimens. Livewire derides both Guardian and Mon-El, saying “You know what I love? Little boys who think they can do a better job than the woman who’s an actual superhero.” Supergirl arrives, frees Guardian and Mon-El, and as they have a slow-motion fight with the prisoner and the guard, Supergirl saves Livewire…who immediately wants to kill Supergirl.
- Supergirl, however, convinces Livewire to let her go and take down the scientist instead. When they do, though, Supergirl also convinces Livewire not to kill the scientist by agreeing to let her go and give her a head start, betting on the good in her. Livewire lets the scientist live, to be taken to jail and punished Supergirl’s way. Meanwhile, she escapes through the light fixtures.
- At the DEO, J’onn rips Winn a new one for lying about Livewire’s whereabouts and his secret help of Guardian. But he does say that he and James make “an impressive team.” Maggie, Alex, and Supergirl chat about Livewire being free, and Supergirl says that she believes that there is, indeed, good in Livewire. Something-something Maggie and Alex are going to have vegan ice cream.
- Winn and James talk to Supergirl and tell her that they want to work with her, continuing to be heroes. Supergirl can’t abide them putting themselves in harm’s way, and they resent that she only seems to want to be a team with them when she’s the only one who gets to be heroic. She says that she’s always considered them heroes. She won’t stop them from doing the Guardian thing, but she also won’t help them do it. So much for Team Supergirl.
- J’onn checks in on M’gann as she recuperates, and tells her that she’s free to go once she’s feeling better. They’re friends again! However, all is not well. She knows what happened to her in the cell. That was her people tracking her. The White Martians now know where she is, and they’re coming for her. Uh-oh.
- And lastly, Mon-El is waiting at Kara’s apartment when she gets home, and when she lets him in, he tells her that she was right. He does like her. But he knows that she doesn’t feel the same way about him (and this whole conversation is clearly awkward), so he just says it to get it off his chest, then asks her, now that the air is clear between them, if he can continue to work with her, as friends and colleagues. She agrees, and looks really, really confused.
S2, Ep. 10 – THE REVIEW
OK, I CAN’T EVEN ANYMORE WITH THIS WHOLE GUARDIAN THING AND IT JUST KEEPS BEING MORE OF A THING AND MORE ENTRENCHED IN THE SHOW AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO PUT A STOP TO IT BEFORE IT CONTINUES TO INFECT EVERYTHING WITH ITS NONSENSE.
I’m really, really over James as Guardian. I wanted them to do something cool with James Olsen, but this wasn’t it. One of the things that was so admirable about James (Jimmy!) Olsen is that he knew he was a hero without needing to be a hero in the same way as Superman, or Supergirl. Hell, on this very show, Winn has touted his science/computer skills as his weapon and that he knows he’s a hero without needing to go the superhero route. Now, all of a sudden, these guys have always been called to be heroes like Supergirl? I wonder if they got called at the same time that Kara got “called” to “be a journalist.” It makes zero sense. That’s never been James’ character, and it’s like they just piled this on the character to make him “more interesting” without actually making him more interesting.
I think what annoys me about his insistence on hero-ing, though is the fact that, in these troubled times, I’m even more aware of the importance of a free press. James is the acting CEO of CatCo, and we’ve barely seen him do his job! Cat Grant he is not. He should be steering the CatCo ship and ensuring that good, truthful journalism is getting done. Instead, he has Kara out there being the world’s worst reporter, and he put Snapper Carr, the one reporter in his employ worth a damn, “in his place” when he tried to assume control of editorial. LET SNAPPER DO IT IF YOU’RE TOO BUSY PRANCING AROUND IN ARMOR TO DO YOUR FREAKING JOB! *sigh*
But Guardian himself isn’t the only thing that annoys the living bejeezus out of me. Also annoying is Kara’s response to Guardian, which also comes out of left field and makes no sense. She’s opposed to James being Guardian, because he doesn’t have powers and will “get killed,” right?
SHE WORKS WITH HER HUMAN DEO SISTER FIGHTING ALL SORTS OF FOES AND BEING BADASS EVERY SINGLE DAY, THO.
There are PLENTY of humans at the DEO, at the NCPD, in the NCFD, and various others who choose to put their lives on the line every single day, and face all sorts of danger, Earth-based and not, ALL THE TIME. Why she’s drawing the line at James being Guardian in a special suit designed by the SAME GUY WHO MADE HER SUIT AND IS MAKING MON-EL’S SUIT I have no idea. I mean, sure she cares about James. Does she not care about Alex? But Alex has special gear and training! James has special gear, and he, like Mon-El, is doing some on-the-job training. James has the heart, and Mon-El has the powers. Supergirl has both, and she could be training both James and Mon-El to each find their balance between power and emotion. Instead, for some weird reason, she’s placing a higher premium on superpowers and denying James and Winn’s desire to help in a way that she would never do to anyone else. (And her attitude about Winn is especially weird. Like, It’s cool if you’re the nerd in the van as long as you’re MY nerd in the van.)
There is literally no good reason why this is a conflict except that this show needs a conflict.
And then there’s Mon-El, whom I find CHARMING AS HELL, but who annoys me with his I only want to be a hero because I like Kara bullshittery. She can’t keep being someone’s prize or end goal! The ONE redeeming part of this particular element of the story is that the episode didn’t end with Mon-El and Kara becoming A Thing. There was no kiss. There was just very warranted awkwardness. I’m not opposed to them becoming a couple, but…not this way. This would’ve been cheap.
I was thrilled about the return of Livewire, Brit Morgan’s performance in the role was awesome as always, and the way they had her return was actually interesting. It could’ve been more interesting had a straight up Livewire vs. Supergirl story been allowed to breathe rather than the writers needing to cram Mon-El and Guardian into it. I loved how Supergirl figured out an impromptu alliance between them, and wish that could’ve been stretched out over a more well thought-out plot. An actual team-up to defeat a scientist who is perhaps trying to steal powers from multiple metahumans. Like Cadmus, but more selfish. I hope that Livewire returns as an anti-hero, and that they figure out better stories for her and Supergirl. She clearly respects Supegirl as an adversary. It would be interesting to see if that respect can translate into teamwork.
It’s in the Supergirl/Livewire interaction and the J’onn/M’gann storyline that the theme of the episode made itself the most apparent. This was an episode about forgiveness and letting go. I loved that Kara had to get over her intense feelings about Livewire as a nemesis to defeat the real villain in this scenario. I love that J’onn had to work through his feelings of hatred for White Martians to save M’gann. The episode could’ve gone deeper, and would’ve been a lot cleaner had it focused on these two stories without cramming in everything else.
So, this episode was half good. I really wish I could go back in time, go into the Supergirl writers’ room, and tell them to not go the Guardian route with James. It’s kind of wrecking everything, and now they have to write their way around it. I probably should’ve been more specific when I complained about James having nothing to do.
Am I being too hard on Guardian? What do you all think? What did you think of Supergirl this week? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on The CW.
(featured image via Diyah Pera/The CW)
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org