‘Supergirl’ (Season 2): Second Season Ups and Downs

Kara and Mon-El - Supergirl

It’s a bummer that Supergirl has fallen into this weird up-and-down quality after such a solid opening run of episodes. While some of the recent episodes have been high points for the show – when can we get Mr. Mxyzptlk back? – there have also been some serious clunkers, not to mention a number of problematic story arcs. With the show now positioned to push into its final major arc of the season, it feels like a good time to look at what is and isn’t working.

In a fitting microcosm of the whole season, the show’s biggest problem is also one of its biggest strengths. Mon El has been one of the second season’s best additions, his fish-out-of-water humor and general goofiness making him a reliable source of laughs and lighthearted moments. Early on, this meant he functioned much like a big dumb dog, causing trouble but never in a way that seemed like he meant any actual ill will.

While he still has those moments now, the majority of his arc lately has leaned towards his relationship with Kara. To put it mildly, their relationship has been problematic, starting with a rehash of Kara’s flirtations with James before progressing to a run of constant fights and angst between the two. There’s just not much to make the two an engaging couple, and Mon El’s regular disregard of Kara’s opinion and feelings make him come across like a jerk.

On the positive side, Alex and Maggie are a far more likable couple that are still a delight to watch, especially in this week’s strong outing that saw the two take on Cadmus together. It helps just how adorable the two are together, but more importantly is the strength of the writing and performances bringing the pair to life. Wherever the season goes from here, here’s hoping for a lot more Sanvers.

Back to the negative, Cadmus continues to be an underwhelming Big Bad. While I appreciate the attempt to give the group a series of anti-alien plans throughout the year, the number of times Supergirl and the DEO have shut down one of their major plots this year has gotten downright comical. Lillian Luthor herself still works in scenes with her daughter, tapping into a more personal storyline, but Cadmus is just a dud. Hopefully, the family drama of the arriving Daxam royals will provide a more compelling threat for this last stretch of episodes.

Finally, it’d be nice to see Supergirl do a bit more with Kara’s civilian life. Most of the Arrowverse heroes are fulltime vigilantes at this point, so Kara’s CatCo storylines have offered the show something unique in the past. Lately, though, we’ve spent less and less time around Kara’s day job, with things escalating to the point of Kara being fired in the most recent episode. While this could be a sign of the show jettisoning that element completely, I’m hoping there’s a path back to the tutelage of Snapper Carr in Kara’s future.