It may have come a week late, but the Valentine’s episode of Supergirl finally arrived this past Monday. In keeping with the holiday theme, this edition examined what it means to truly love someone. About thirty minutes in, Supergirl provided the answer in a retort to this week’s villain, the fifth dimensional imp known as Mxyzptlk (mix-yes-pittle-ick).
“Love is putting someone else’s needs above your own.”
Supergirl and Mxyzptlk’s rivalry, however, would be just one of four relationships tested by that theme. “Mixy” and Mon-El both botched their dynamic with Kara. Maggie Sawyer struggled to meet this standard with Alex Danvers. In a surprise, the one couple to triumph in this story would be a brand new one for the series.
The show’s romantic underdog, Winn Schott Jr, finally shed his star-crossed nature with Lyra Strayd, a visitor from the planet Starhaven. Below are my reactions to chapter 13 of Supergirl, entitled “Mr. and Mrs. Mxyzptlk.” (WARNING: Spoilers ahead!)
Kara’s suitors, Mon-El and Mixy, were the first to flunk at Kara’s axiom of affection. As each man competed against the other, they failed to treat Supergirl with the respect she was due. Mixy attempted to marry her by coercion. He threatened National City, and later the entire Earth, unless Kara agreed to accept his proposal. Rather than sacrificing his desires to better the person he loved, he was willing to destroy everything else to force Kara’s acquiescence. Mon-El, likewise, fell short by dismissing Supergirl’s ability to confront Mixy on her own. The Daxamite demanded that Supergirl defer to him in dispatching the magical imp. Using antiquated notions such as “defending (her) honor,” Mon-El inherently disregarded Kara’s agency in defeating Mixy’s plan.
This triangle wound up providing both the action and comedy of the installment. Mixy and Mon-El’s insults, as well as Mon-El and Kara’s arguments, served as the humor. Interspersed between those moments were pitched battles between Kara and the threats that Mixy could manifest, such as the revival of Parasite (from episode 6) in National City and Jor-El’s statue come-to-life in the Fortress of Solitude. If the trials of this trio were the plot’s lighter moments, it was Maggie Sawyer and Alex Danvers’ challenges that added the dramatic weight.
Maggie lost sight of her partner this week, turning inward and ignoring Alex Danvers’ first Valentine’s experience as LGBT. Unlike Mxy and Mon-El, Maggie’s reasons were certainly more sympathetic. On Valentine’s Day as a teenager, Maggie was outed by a crush who didn’t return her feelings. As a result, Maggie’s parents learned of her sexuality and kicked her out of the house. Her unresolved pain from that trauma blocked her from recognizing Alex’s needs in truly being a part of the holiday for the first time. With the date at hand, the elder Danvers’ excitement poured through her. Maggie, however, pushed the significance of the occasion away, creating distance between the couple. When Alex attempted to celebrate the day according to Maggie’s own likes (scotch and tiramisu), the National City Detective snapped at her and attempted to bolt from Alex’s apartment. Though the moment for Maggie as a character was a failure, the performance of Floriana Lima as an actress excelled. So far in Season 2, the journey that the audience has witnessed in coming-out has been from Alex Danvers’ perspective. In many ways, the revelation has seemed an ideal one. Alex has received consistent support from her friends and family. Obviously, that’s not every story. To also portray the path taken by those who endure the transition to being publicly LGBT is just as critical. Despite their struggle, which Maggie eventually resolved through an intricately staged prom setting, this pairing continues to be the strongest of the series.
Love, For The Winn
While the other romances within “Mr. and Mrs. Mxyzptlk” couldn’t quite live up to Kara’s definition of real love, one duo did find a way to shine. Under threat from a thug at the alien bar, Winn finally found good fortune through his rescue by another off-world visitor named Lyra Strayd. After she dispatched Winn’s bully with ruthless skill, Winn thanked Lyra for her help. He asked about her homeworld and shared what knowledge he had of it. Lyra almost immediately took the lead in asking Winn to dinner. Secure enough in himself, Winn never asserted his own agenda or pride above hers. After their attraction turned physical, Winn forthrightly described how he felt and what he needed because of previous relationships. While expressing his need to go slow, he still took the time to express the importance that Lyra began to have for him. As quick as things were moving, after all, she could be just as nervous about his intentions. The two left their dinner to go back to Winn’s apartment. It appears we’ll see more of them as the season enters its final stretch.
What I Took Away
With Flash and Supergirl being the two CW shows that showcase family at their core, these two series have made holiday episodes a staple of their season lineups. Flash has highlighted its Christmas episodes, with Supergirl often celebrating Thanksgiving. Adding Valentine’s Day to the Girl of Steel’s second year proved a victory. The risk of turning saccharine with such an edition was already high enough. Including such a fantastical villain as Mr. Mxyzptlk only upped the stakes. But this offering worked and it may have been the best TV depiction of the magical menace, yet. His chauvinism, when combined with his dialogue references to Aladdin and Willy Wonka, were an effective mixture of darkness and light.
Regardless of how each featured couple for Supergirl fared this week, all of them came together by the story’s end. Kara and Mon-El, specifically,reached a new plateau as they began their relationship in earnest. However, a significant crack in their foundation exists as Mon-El is likely hiding his origin as Daxamite royalty and I don’t see any way that his secret lasts beyond this season. I’d repeat that sentiment for Kara and Mon-El’s prospects, together.
Submitted by Jody Money