Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) has a lot of people mentoring and guiding her on her Supergirl journey, but it's Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) that's consistently pointing her in the right direction. Weirdly enough, she's the only person in Kara's circle that doesn't know her secret, yet she still gives the best advice.
More than Kara's Fortress of Solitude Mom, her adopted mom or even her big sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) - Cat is doing the most to make Kara into the superhero that National City needs, and that's why she gets our vote for best influence. Let's recap:
1. She does "it all" without complaining: Cat Grant is the head of a media conglomerate and a single mom, but she still gets the job done. Yes, she pushes her employees to the limit, but it's so that she can present the best product for the company, and she's made it clear on several occasions that she cares more about her son than anything.
Better yet, when Kara asked how she manages to keep it all going, Cat delivered some of the most practical advice ever offered on this show. Juggle two balls before you juggle three. Kara needs to get her personal life in check, and then add superhero stuff and when she has that under control she can tackle DEO investigations. Managing Supergirl's many responsibilities is the key to Kara's sanity and Cat's the only one that can understand that.
2. She doesn't coddle Kara or Supergirl: Mentoring someone doesn't mean you have to hold their hand all the time. Many of the people looking out for Kara are trying too hard to protect her rather than making sure she gets better. Since Cat doesn't know Kara is Supergirl or have any sentimental attachment, she's not afraid to tell Supergirl the truth, even if it's hard to hear.
Cat was the first one to point out that Supergirl is actually kind of bad at being a superhero. It's not the critique that Kara wanted, but the astute point forced her to reevaluate how she was handling thingsand made her better.
3. She actually has the most faith in Supergirl:Don't mistake Cat's criticism for a lack of caring. As Alex points out early on, Cat's editorial about Supergirl was passionately written, meaning she wants Supergirl to succeed even if she can see some flaws in the superhero's game plan. It even goes back to the debate about Supergirl's name when Kara wanted to get up in arms because it was 'girl" instead of "woman."
"Are you saying there's something wrong with being a girl?" Cat queried. At the time it may have seemed that Cat cared most about branding the new superhero, but really she's been the one challenging Supergirl to accept who she is rather than what everyone else thinks she should be from the very beginning.
4. She encourages Kara to be strong: Cat respects Kara most when she stands up for herself, and that's an important thing for any superhero. Kara tends to wear rose-colored glasses, but she's in a dog-eat-dog career field - both as Kara and as Supergirl. Cat is the one pushing Kara to have a backbone. She'll get her name wrong as long as Kara lets her, but when Kara bit Cat's head off for being so mean you could see the pride in Cat's eyes. And then Cat actually took time out of her busy day to sit Kara down and discuss anger management and psychology over a couple of martinis. Those are the actions of someone who cares.
Also, when Kara explained that her parents had died, Cat responded with compassion about Kara's resiliency, but never pitied her assistant. She saw a new side to the meek girl that delivers her coffee, and their relationship has started to expand ever since.
5. She's protective of Kara's well-being: Remember that time a crazed ex-employee tried to electrocute Cat and Kara, but Cat sent Kara to safety while she tried to keep Livewire (Brit Morgan) distracted? Sure, there was a dig about how useless Kara was in there, but really it was to make sure Kara was safe while Cat took responsibility for the situation. If she were really the terrible person she wanted you to think she was, Cat would have left Kara in the dust.
It's clear that Cat has some severe Mommy issues, just like Kara, but that didn't stop her from standing up to her mom (Joan Juliet Black) when she tried to come down on Kara. It's even more proof that when Cat is hard on her assistant it's an attempt to make her stronger, but that doesn't mean she's going to let anyone else attack her. What else could you want in a mom figure?
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.
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