While Kara (Melissa Benoist) battled a parasitic alien intent on wreaking havoc in "Changing," many of Supergirl's finest were on their own personal journeys this week. Both Mon-El (Chris Wood) and James (Mehcad Brooks) made strides toward donning their own hero capes — or Winn-designed body armor — but Alex's (Chyler Leigh) emotional journey of self-discovery hit a speed bump.
Having shyly come out to Maggie (Floriana Lima) in the previous episode without actually needing to say the words, Alex appeared to be in a better place than she'd been in a while. However, Maggie wouldn't buy Alex a drink until she came out to her family, a statement that more or less implied Maggie wasn't willing to be involved with someone who wasn't fully out and therefore maybe not fully comfortable with her sexuality.
But Maggie's suggestion wasn't about tampering Alex's obvious crush on her (that would come later), it was meant to be an important step for Alex to make on the road toward acceptance. Because for all the miles her character has traveled this season since meeting Maggie at a crime scene, there are still many more to go. Alex still feels a little unsure of herself, and that's not just fine, it's probably the way it should be at this point. She has slowly been coming to a realization about who she is and who she's always been, but fully understanding the feelings she's experiencing — and being able to vocalize them out loud to her loved ones — is something that has to happen before she can move forward.
Thankfully, Alex did eventually open up to Kara in a moment of emotional vulnerability midway through the episode, and it was one that reminded all of us that we're only human and our tear ducts don't stop working just because we haven't used them in a while. The relationship between the Danvers sisters remains the emotional backbone of Supergirl, and to see them support one another week in and week out is still a joy to watch. It makes sitting through some of the more painful alien drama (see: aforementioned parasitic alien attack) worthwhile.
Unfortunately for Alex but fortunately for her ongoing character arc, Maggie eventually rebuffed her advances even after learning that Alex had come out to Kara. She was happy for Alex and promised to buy those drinks we kept hearing so much about, but Alex's impulsive decision to kiss Maggie actually revealed they're in different places in their lives and the former had previously misread a few of the signs. Maggie didn't want to embark on a relationship with someone who was only just beginning to find herself, and the fact that Alex was humiliated and wished she'd never said or done anything revealed that she wasn't quite as confident as she previously appeared.
This was an important moment for Alex, probably even more so than when she came out to Maggie last week. Sexuality is a complicated and confusing thing, and if Supergirl had blown past Alex's journey of self-discovery and her struggles for self-acceptance only to jump into a full-blown relationship an episode after she first came out, it would have rang false. This way we get to dig into the complicated emotions involved and take this journey with her. And that's the right way to do it.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.
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