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    Five Thoughts on Supergirl‘s “Both Sides Now”

    By | February 6th, 2018
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    Welcome back all you Supergirl fans. Did ya miss me? It feels like ages since we’ve last spoken. What do you mean it’s only been a day? Did you see last night’s episode? It has to have been at least two weeks. Okay, okay, enough facetiousness. This was quite the episode to act as the mid-season finale so let’s get down to business and, as always, some spoilers are ahead.

    1. Did I miss something?

    When the episode opened up, I had to do a double take and rewind to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything. The story begins in media res, dropping us into the DEO’s attempt to kidnap, I mean take into custody, Julia aka Purity. When did they find her house? When did they make the decision to storm her home? What’s up with Alex’s itchy trigger finger and very, very militaristic approach to this mission?

    These were the questions that went flying through my brain as I watched this opening scene. I couldn’t believe that this was related to the end of the previous episode, there had to be something missing. But no, it seems that this was a conscious choice on the part of the writers so I have to ask, why? Why would they jump straight here and why did they think it was a good idea to completely change Alex’s personality for this one episode?

    Alex’s shift seems to be related to that Maggie text she got a couple episodes back but why that would manifest now, in this hyper-aggressive hatred of Purity, a vague threat from Kara’s dreams, is beyond me. It feels like the writers needed a reason to bring up the break-up as a reminder for the audience and to pretend that they were handling it with any sense of realism. However, instead of feeling like a natural evolution of Alex’s arc dealing with the end of her first real relationship, both after coming to terms with her sexuality as well as in general, this felt disingenuous and forced.

    Alex has every right to be dealing with complex emotions and having those emotions manifest through out of character moments and actions but as writers, the script creators should more carefully consider just how it is they represent that. It is more satisfying as an audience member to see things develop over multiple episodes instead of coming and going as the plot demands, as is the case here. I’ve harped on this enough so let’s move onto something more positive.

    2. Cracking Open a Cold One with Papa J’onn

    J’onn, Winn and Mon-El spend some real bro-time this episode bonding over cars, alien batteries and Mon-El’s conflicting feelings over being back in the same era as Kara after having spent almost a decade in the future in an arranged marriage. Whew, yeah, that’s a lot. I’ve picked on Mon-El for a while now but in this episode, we got to see some great scenes with him. Seeing him this vulnerable and open was wonderful and it is another touchstone in showing his growth since coming back. He recognizes the problems he participated in before he disappeared and opens up to J’onn, letting him know the conflicting feelings he’s got.

    He doesn’t know how to deal with it and in trying to avoid the problem, has only caused more between him and Imra as well as him and Kara. J’onn lays out his wisdom and thank god for that. Mon-El needed to hear from someone outside his own head in order to start to fix things. Now, that all being said, this is the first we’ve really seen any tension between Imra and Mon-El and that plays into the points I made earlier. The difference here is that this feels like a new development and the episode treats it as such. It gets wrapped up easily but considering where I was afraid Mon-El and Imra’s conversation was going to go, I much prefer the awkward silences.

    3. Sam’s Troubles Aren’t Over Yet

    We continue the Sam is blacking out storyline this week with the added wrinkle of her literally abandoning her daughter at an ice rink. Wow. I was not expecting this to happen so suddenly and I certainly wasn’t expecting the anger inducing moralizing speech she gives at the end of the episode but I’m glad we didn’t just drop this plot point. It’s scary to watch Sam slowly have her world unravel because she’s actually some Kryptonian super weapon.

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    Now that her problems are out in the open, there’s going to be some real repercussions. I can’t wait to see what Lena thinks she knows and what she’s going to do to try to save Sam. Also, what is Sam’s daughter thinking about her mother now? Does she hate her mom? Does she think she’s gone crazy and is planning on abandoning her? Or does she sympathize with her mom’s plight and want to help? Only time will tell.

    4. Chew That Scenery, Purity

    Did we need another Hannibal Lecter villain to chew the scenery behind some glass prison wall? Probably not but here we are. Purity spends a good chunk of this episode being over-the-top evil and I think I could have appreciated this more had Purity not been literally introduced one episode ago via car crash. She’s done nothing to earn this amount of evil and we’ve already seen so many villains do this in Supergirl alone that they could have done something different with her.

    5. Questions, Questions, Questions

    This was an episode of questions and going into the mid-season break (I think that’s what this is) I just wanted to air a few of them. What’s going on with the Legion? What is this secret mission that they’re now just filling Mon-El in on? Where’s Brainiac-5 been these last couple episodes? I miss him. How long is it going to take Alex to realize that Sam is Reign? I mean, come on. You were suspicious as shit of Purity and thinking it’s all an act but your friend is blacking out and then Reign is appearing and you can’t find the cause of the blackouts and you think nothing is wrong? Come on.

    Who do you think Pestilence is going to be? Is it someone we know or some rando that’ll be introduced in the same episode she turns into the evil third weapon? Will J’onn’s father ever show up again? What is Lena going to do now? Will the Lexosuit return? Will Winn, J’onn and Jimmy, and to a lesser extent Lena, do anything substantial again or are they just there for the occasional comedic bit? I’m fine with the comedy, they do a fantastic job with it, but I’d like more from them.

    Find out if any of these questions are answered when Supergirl returns in April. Until then, if you would like to read more of my TV takes, mosey on over to Riverdale, where, as of this week, I’m taking over for Ken. That’s going to be a wild ride so you’ll want to join in. If not, I will see you all in a couple months for more super action and boring grey uniforms. Man do I hope they update those.


    //TAGS | supergirl

    Elias Rosner

    Elias is a lover of stories who, when he isn't writing reviews for Mulitversity, is hiding in the stacks of his library. He can be found on twitter (for mostly comics stuff) here and has finally updated his photo to be a hair nicer than before.

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