After reading complaints about last night’s Supergirl season finale, “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” I find myself inspired to throw in my own two cents. So yeah, spoiler warning, and feminism warning, and such.
But, Supergirl would NEVER beat Superman, A.K.A. “Masculinity so fragile you can’t handle Supergirl winning on HER OWN SHOW.” Geez. Anyway, yes, the episode opens with Supergirl defeating Superman in a brawl. I have zero problem with this, despite Superman having had more time to absorb yellow sun power, for two reasons. 1. The show spent its first two seasons never showcasing the full extent of Supergirl’s powers. I don’t know if it is from limited CGI budget (because let’s face it, The Flash is totally taking all of CW’s CGI budget this season), or because they want other enemies to appear to be a threat, but Kara Zor-El always felt a bit weaker than she should be. So I took her defeating Superman as finally starting to realize how strong she is. And 2. Later in the episode, Supes tells Kara he could have never committed the sacrifice she did (i.e., he could have never chosen saving the planet over saving Lois, as Kara did when she sacrificed her relationship with Mon-El). So while Superman may technically be physically stronger, he fights from passion, not logic and pure morality, as Kara does, and passion fades every time. Remember, he thought he was fighting Zod, not Kara, and was therefore fighting from anger. It is so refreshing to see a female character written as logical, moral, and strong, when so often women are considered weaker, more emotional, and irrational.
But, but POLITICS. A.K.A. I only want to be entertained, not informed. I’m not going to pretend Kara didn’t go all social justice this season. Honestly, that’s one of the things I love best about this season. Kara is an alien female living in a world that doesn’t seem to like either of these things. Her sister is a lesbian. Her friends are also aliens. Of course politics become involved. In this case, aliens stand in for immigrants, and we all know how unkindly our country is treating immigrants right now. Is it so hard to believe that, in the DC world, aliens would be treated any better? We hate from fear, and what is scarier than strange beings with strange powers? And let’s look at the rise in anti-LGBT sentiment and legislation. Now imagine you’re a government official, living in the shadow of your more famous, powerful sister, struggling to come to terms with your sexuality. For these reasons, I find Alex, Kara’s adoptive sister, so heartwarming and empowering. There is a distinct lack of positive LGBT characters right now (Steven Universe not withstanding!), and a distinct need for those characters. And Alex coming to accept her sexuality, then finally embracing it, and proposing to her girlfriend, mirrors Kara’s journey of coming to accept her powers, then embracing the chance to be a hero, then finally discovering the extent of her strength. They are the perfect sibling pair. Lastly, the last two episodes have heavily featured Cat Grant’s character, a strong media mogul, so it makes perfect sense that politics would come to play. Cat’s character has ALWAYS been girl power RAWR. The last two episodes, “Resist” and “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” use her character as a media voice to speak out against tyranny. Of course politics come into play. And, all this aside, the best art always reflects the time in which it was created. Supergirl is a product of its time, a very necessary part.
Next season promises to be just as good, with the probable introduction of Reign as the big bad. And I’m sure there will be plenty of political inspiration as well. But regardless, Kara is simply delightful, and I can’t wait to see more of her antics.