You wouldn't think that someone so tall, dark, and blandsome would be so divisive and yet here we are. Let me warn you upfront if you haven't seen the "Star-Crossed" episode of Supergirl, we're going to be talking a lot about what happened in the last 10 minutes, so catch up to that and come back.
You good? Are you now as puzzled as I am? Great.
Kara (Melissa Benoist) opens the door to let Mon-El (Chris Wood) out of her apartment and, at least ceremonially, out of her life. Not moments later we catch a glimpse of why dating your coworkers is generally a bad idea. When you're all hot and bothered over each other, you don't want to think of the pain of being cold and distant when you break up and potentially have to stop crime together. Such is the wisdom only experience can teach you, I suppose. You think you're special until that dire moment you see your former lover and you're gripped with despair just before a magical musical imp whisks your consciousness away to the jazz era. Like you do.
It's better to think about this breakup as a result of a collection of violations rather than this particular one. Yes, this was the biggest lie of them all but Kara has been dealing with a number of incidents when her trust has been abused. Mon-El, while attempting to grow throughout this season, is still basically a 15-year-old boy. He doesn't have the emotional wisdom to know what he's doing. His pelvis is like a dowsing rod and his brain is just trying to catch up.
For the Mon-El fans, I'm not trying to say he's only been using Kara for (alleged) S-E-X but his actions do follow that kind of newness to feeling that a lustful boy might have as his heart tries to outgrow his immaturity. He doesn't know what he's doing. I wouldn't say that's acceptable for a boy but it's conventional. For a man to still be exposing women to these kinds of growing pains is a kind of abuse with which Kara should not put up.
And so she doesn't. Through tears, she invites Mon-El to the hallway and leaves him there. After some thought, her breaking up with him isn't as confusing as the implication of the title of the episode. "Star-Crossed" is a little bit of a pun but when you think of star-cross'd lovers, you think of those tragic souls who are fated to love each other but were always meant to be apart, even if it takes murder, suicide, and war to tear them away from each other. And while Kara and Mon-El are technically both from houses alike in dignity (though questionable how dignified a house is that describes the institution of slavery as giving people new opportunity) who have disdain for each other stemming from an ancient grudge, these two a Romeo and Juliet do not make.
The most important aspect of this relationship is if Kara does/did actually love Mon-El (or if the show did a good enough job establishing how they fell for each other). I don't question that Mon-El feels very strongly for Kara since (1) everyone feels very strongly for Kara because of her intractable, sometimes inexplicable, Kryptonian charisma; and (2) this is clearly the strongest he's ever felt for any woman so, as far as he's concerned, this is, indeed, love. But Kara seems to be more complicated than that.
The fount from which Kara draws most of her desire for Mon-El is that of another ever-present Kryptonian trait: loneliness. Kara had basically rejected Mon-El for most of the season thus far until she found herself alone again: Winn (Jeremy Jordan) and James (Mehcad Brooks) were vigilante-ing around National City, Alex (Chyler Leigh) has been shifting her Danvers Sisters conversations to Maggie (Floriana Lima), and J'onn (David Harewood) is his own aloof and distant pit of despair. Mon-El honestly liked her and wanted to puppy-dog around her, just nip at her ankles until she finally picked him up. And so she did.
She finally got to kiss a boy without breaking his nose. Here is someone that is so enamored with her that he always shows up even when he's not wanted because he doesn't want to stretch the leash too far. She can have ice cream with him and watch Netflix and enjoy the company of someone that wants to be there and wants to stay. And staying is something very important to Kara. Because she was forced to leave. Her adoptive father want then also forced to leave. And, otherwise, she lives alone in that enormous cavern of an impossible apartment on her salary.
Asking Mon-El to leave isn't important because it's the end of some kind of pale skin era of whirlwind romance. It's important because Kara weighed out the situation and found herself unable to scrape together enough love for Mon-El to overcome the moral ethical imperative she was born with and that's been reinforced in her. Supergirl doesn't care for fibbing, no matter the scale. She doesn't have deal with it, either, because she's strong and Mon-El isn't going to grow up while getting all her attention. So when it came down to choosing between forgiveness but more struggle with trust issues and the yawning void of loneliness, she chose loneliness. The devil you know, right?
And it is loneliness because the possibility of future suitors looks thin. Mon-El refusing to go back to Daxam to save his people (and thus negating the desired effect if Kara broke up with Mon-El for the greater good) and making his father so disappointed means the door is still wide open for their eventual reunion as Mon-El gets his act together. But, right now, for all those people who really want to see Kara in love, here's the rogues gallery set in front of her.
James Olson: You guys, what are we doing with James? He's not so much a part of the rogues gallery as he is not even a part of anything at all. Until this episode, he's been struggling to appear in an episode and then, when he does, he only says 10 words. Even this time Guardian had more scenes than James. What is James doing when we're not seeing him? A short poll:
- Running CatCo Worldwide Media and trying to stave off a Snapper coup
- Hanging out in the alien bar and picking up ladies with all the cool scars he has now
- Sitting in his bedroom after three hours of sleep and just saying "owie owie owie owie owie" over and over again as he tries to breathe through the pain of the scrapes, bruises, and fractured bones in his body
- Recording his Guardian fancast to get the word out
- Standing in the DEO cortex and looking concerned at the monitors
- Calling Winn all day long and asking him if there's anyone he can punch
- Calling Winn all day long and asking him if his refrigerator is running
- Starting his true calling of being a model/voice-over personality
This is probably the best and most realistic of her non-Mon-El options but the show has really diminished his role over the past season. Maggie has more screentime lately and it's a shame that we can't have both of them in the mix. Also because it seems like Supergirl has learned a better formula for building a relationship that they failed to find in the first season.
Barry Allen: Now, hold on there, WestAllens. No one here wants Kara to replace Iris. But I wouldn't mind a bit of their chemistry for an episode or so just before they return to their corners of the multiverse as Kara tries to find herself and Barry finds his way back to Iris. Also, I would say Cisco here, but I don't think Kara could be mean enough for him. Kara would have to be on that Red-K all the time.
Mxyzptlk: The fifth dimension could be fun?
Lena Luthor: There might be conflicts of interest. But steamy, no?
Just no one: This is probably the option she would be best to go with now. While watching Kara fall in love can be fun and having someone in her life that villains can threaten brings the drama, if Kara was your friend and came to you for advice, would you tell her to go back to Mon-El? Would you tell her that she should be dating anyone right now? Probably not, right? It's time to let Kara zor-El focus on Kara Danvers right now or even decide if she needs to be Kara Danvers. Superhero: save thyself.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.
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