‘Supergirl’ (Season 2): Scattershot Storytelling

Kara and Mon-El - Supergirl

We’re only a month out from the second season finale of Supergirl, at which point… well, something will happen. The show has set-up and dismissed a number of plot threads this season – J’onn and M’gann, Lillian Luthor and Cadmus, Mon-El’s royal heritage – without much to unify any of it. To that point, even as Rhea was implied to be the Big Bad for the rest of the season last week, there’s still the possibility of Lillian taking the spotlight back, or something bizarre coming from the reveal that the President herself is an alien.

It’s indicative of the second season’s continuing problem of scattershot storytelling, the widening of the cast and world leading to a loss of focus that Kara’s personal journey and history provided last year. Generally, this season has taken the unique opportunity afforded by Supergirl’s alternate Arrowverse Earth to focus on space aliens as immigrants, showing a planet that struggles with xenophobia and acceptance. This has come out in a number of ways, from Cadmus’ mission of eradication, to the Green/White Martian struggle, to Rhea’s hatred of Kryptonians.

But again, it’s been an all-over-the-place approach that’s made it hard to fully connect to anything. Rhea killing her husband lacked impact because they only truly debuted in the previous episode. M’gann’s arc started strong, but her sudden departure felt like the story getting cut off at the knees. And while Winn’s relationship with Lyra has been surprisingly sweet, her heel turn felt a bit out of nowhere.

And in all of this scattered storytelling, the show has sort of lost touch with Kara herself our supposed main character. It’d be hard to paint any kind of arc for the character this season, between her repetitive romantic beats with Mon-El and the seeming abandonment of her journalistic career (something the returning Cat Grant may be able to help set back on course). Kara has certainly been as likable as ever on a week-to-week basis, but it’s concerning when we’ve seen more heroic development for James as Guardian than we have for our central protagonist.

Supergirl has remained an entertaining show in its second season, and I’m not trying to out-and-out bash it. However, it’s hard to shake a feeling of too many cooks in the kitchen in regards to this season’s approach. Numerous storylines can work, but there needs to be some sort of driving force that keeps things moving along at a good pace. Hopefully, the show can find a bit more of that focus in the last run of episodes this season.