You know the writing on a television show is good when you can look at the conflict between two characters and fully understand empathize with where each of them is coming from. Tonight’s Supergirl does a terrific job of letting us see both Kara and Mon-El’s side of the story when it comes his lying about his real identity, and while the show clearly points out that it was wrong for Mon-El to not tell Kara that he was the Prince of Daxam, it also smartly illustrates that this is a much more complicated situation than a simple lie to a girlfriend or a boyfriend.
While Mon-El’s intentions when he chose to withhold the truth from Kara can certainly be called selfish, they aren’t malicious. Like so many other people in this world (or other worlds, since this is a show that features aliens), he wanted a fresh start, an opportunity to be someone different than he had been before, and he did not want his past to define him. Sure, as the flashbacks in this week’s episode prove and as Mon-El fully admits himself near the end of the hour, he was a spoiled, oblivious brat on Daxam, who failed to be a good leader to his people, but Mon-El’s decision to return to earth and fight alongside Kara, even if they are no longer together, speaks volumes about how much he has grown since the start of Supergirl Season 2. To use the words that Mon-El says to his parents near the end of “Star-Crossed,” Kara truly has helped him become a better person, and it’s clear that this version of himself really is the one that he wants to be when he decides to stay on earth instead of remaining with his royal parents.
The way that Supergirl deals with Kara and Mon-El’s latest problem is easily the best part of “Star-Crossed,” which is a solid episode despite the fact that it feels a little too familiar and tad bit rushed. The main reason why this week’s Kara and Mon-El storyline doesn’t pack as much punch as it can is that the show has featured the two of them clashing over Mon-El’s behavior way too many times throughout Season 2. If there’s one major criticism I could lodge against Supergirl this year, it’s that the series has struggled on how it wants to portray Mon-El; one week, he’s patient and understanding to whatever Kara has going on in her life and the next one, he’s brash and bold and ignorant of Kara’s feelings. Watching Mon-El evolve into the character that he has become has been extremely satisfying, but the writers have barely allowed him and Kara the opportunity to be a happy, stable couple. If you keep throwing drama at any relationship on any show, no matter how great the chemistry between the actors is, it will begin to feel bogged down and repetitive, and since this reveal about Mon-El comes only two episodes after his and Kara’s last fight in “Homecoming,” it feels like more of the same between the two of them instead of the big moment that it should be.
Furthermore, the storylines in “Star-Crossed” all feel a little too crowded and rushed (despite the fact that it’s only really telling two main stories) because this episode leads us into tomorrow night’s Supergirl/The Flash musical crossover. While I, like many fans I’m sure, couldn’t be more excited to see Kara, Barry, and the rest of the show’s characters to sing and dance for an entire hour tomorrow night, the fact that Supergirl needs to set up Kara for the crossover causes this week’s episode to feel a tad incomplete, as the last act quickly does what it can to tie up loose ends before Darren Criss’s Music Meister is introduced so that he can put Kara into a magical, musical trance. For example, as great as Kara and Mon-El’s final conversation together in “Star-Crossed” is, I could have used another scene between the two of them earlier in the episode and one that was better written than the clumsy exchange in which Mon-El tells Kara that she should forgive him because it’s what happens in the romantic comedies that he watches.
Still, though, despite these issues, “Star-Crossed” does a lot more right than it does wrong with Kara and Mon-El’s relationship, and it also sets up Mon-El’s parents (played by Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo) as exciting antagonists for the final episodes of this season. They don’t appear to be as downright evil as Astra and Non last season on Supergirl, but given everything we know about Daxam and its not-so-wonderful history, I’d expect to see them do whatever is necessary to bring Mon-El back to lead their planet, no matter how nefarious it may be.
- Winn’s storyline really upset me at first, because I thought Supergirl was going to ruin what he and Lyra had by making her into a one-note, episodic villain. Thankfully, though, her reasons for lying to Winn are much more complex than they originally appear to be, as she uses him to help steal the painting not because she’s a thief but because the real criminals have kidnapped her brother. The episode also does a nice job of tricking us into thinking that Winn has gone behind the DEO’s back when he lets Lyra out so that she can do the deal and save her brother before revealing that Winn actually let them in on his plan the whole time and actually lied to Lyra. Overall, it’s just a really entertaining Winn-centric storyline, and I hope we get more of them in the future because he’s become one of Supergirl‘s best characters in Season 2.
- Also, speaking of Winn, how great is his and Kara’s conversation near the end of the episode? Are their two romantic situations exactly the same? No, but I appreciate that Winn and Kara have gotten to the place in their friendship (after all their problems last season) where they can talk about each other’s significant others and give one another advice on how to handle things. It’s just a really nice friendship moment between the two of them, even if Kara can’t forgive Mon-El in the same way that Winn forgives Lyra.
- Let’s also take a moment to talk about how awesome the friendships between Winn and James and Winn and Alex have become, as the two of them rush to the police station to defend Winn as soon as they find out that Maggie has taken him into custody. Plus, Alex’s response to Winn’s comment about his “wonderful bruises” is comedy gold.
- Chris Wood continues to impress me with his performance on this show (I never thought I could see him as a romantic lead after his role as Kai on The Vampire Diaries), and both he and Melissa Benoist kill it again during Kara and Mon-El’s break-up scene near the end of the episode.
- A+ job by the Supergirl casting team for snagging Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo to play Mon-El’s parents. I’ve already seen articles in which the executive producers have said that they’re trying to write a scene featuring Mon-El’s mother and Jeremiah so that the show can give us a little Lois & Clark reunion, and I really hope it happens.
- Such a shame we didn’t get to hear Kara sing at all at the end of the episode. I know the full-blown musical numbers are being saved for The Flash tomorrow, but I would have loved to heard Melissa Benoist’s fantastic singing voice in that final scene, even if it would have only been for a few seconds.
What did everyone else think about this week’s episode of Supergirl? Comment below and let me know.
[Photo credit: Dean Buscher/The CW]