Since I was a bit too busy last week to watch Supergirl, this week I watched two episodes almost back-to-back, and … wow, was that a contrast.
“Mxy in the Middle” was a big bubble of fun. We had giant cats, a heat-vision laser pointer, exposition delivered via song, just an all around good time. “Blind Spots” was … not that.
I usually have a hard time with Supergirl‘s political episodes, but always feel bad about criticizing them. ‘Cause I agree with their message, I just get annoyed with how they have characters baldly state what the message is, 90’s-kid’s-show-Very-Special-Episode style. What’s more, they often don’t think through the implications of the story they’re telling.
Like, my big issue with “Blind Spots” is that it treats superheroics and social activism as being basically the same thing … and the fact that those things are not the same causes some weirdness. When Kelly calls the others out for ignoring what’s happening in the Heights, note that she never says what she actually expects them to do. ‘Cause, really, how much can they do?
They weren’t focusing on Nyxly just because they thought stopping her was more important (universe in peril, and all that), but because fighting extradimensional evildoers is something they are uniquely qualified to do. Getting adequate staff and resources to a community hospital … that’s a bit outside their skillset.
(And I now realize why Lena’s been out of town the last few episodes: because she actually could do a lot to help here. If she were around for the Joey & Orlando Saga, we’d be asking why the solution to their problems isn’t “Lena writes a check.”)
Then there’s Kelly making her debut as Guardian. She’s decided to stand up for this community, to fight for those neglected and mistreated by the system. Which is great; good for her. But we’re never given any reason why putting on a fancy costume helps with that. There’s nothing she did in the climax she couldn’t have done as regular old Kelly Olsen. Heck, she’d have had an easier time getting Orlando to rally the others if she approached him as his friendly social worker instead of as some rando in a helmet.
It’s like, this episode wants to use superheroes as a metaphor for real social issues, but also wants the characters to face those real social issues head on, and it never really gets those two approaches to gel.
I realize maybe I’m being too critical here. It’s not like the imp battles the previous episode were a masterpiece of logic. But the more seriously a story takes itself, the harder it is for me to brush that stuff aside.
Oh! And I’ve also finally gotten around to watching the Season 2 premiere of Stargirl! It was an enjoyable episode, though a bit slow-paced. ‘Course, I binge watched Season 1 on DVD, so the pacing is likely to feel different this season if I’m only watching one or two episodes a week. We’ll see how it goes!
Question of the Week: Who’s your favorite “normal” character (that is, has never gotten superpowers or a fancy costume)?