When a psychic meta-human arrives in National City, Supergirl has to confront something long-buried, and something else that she’s been avoiding thinking about for months.
On Supergirl Season 3 Episode 2, “Triggers,” the Girl of Steel is faced with her most human challenge yet: panic attacks. Elsewhere, a happy couple is slowly crossing the thin line between love and hate, and it seems the relationship is destined to fail.
How important is it to see someone as strong, brave, courageous, tough, and not human as Supergirl go through the same thing millions of people experience every day? Knowing Melissa Benoist struggles with depression and anxiety bolstered her performance, and we saw a very real – very human – side to Kara Danvers that we weren’t expecting, especially so soon after she said she didn’t want to be Kara Danvers anymore.
Exploring this side to Kara is really important, because knowing she’s stronger than Superman and, let’s face it, any human or alien that will threaten her, we need something relatable to see a bit of ourselves in Kara. Kara expressing her disinterest in things that used to make her happy is too real (for me, personally) because she’s facing depression, she’s anxious by things that never affected her before, and she’s experiencing one of the most common mental illnesses that afflict human beings. It’s hard to fight the urge to give up on everything, especially when it’s something you used to love but you can’t find that love inside of you anymore, and continue fighting on until “it gets better.”
Anyone who reads my reviews knows I’m not a fan of Mon-El or of his relationship with Kara, and I don’t agree with where the writers have taken Kara after losing her boyfriend of six months, but for the sake of this episode, I tried to look at the situation in a different light after much feedback. I tried to look at Kara falling apart over losing her boyfriend differently (though I still feel how I did before), and I understand something differently than I was able to before.
Since Kara arrived on Earth, she’s been careful and distant from everyone because she was never allowed to be herself fully with anyone, even Alex until Season 1. And she may not have been with Mon-El for too long, but she let herself open her heart up to someone for the first time in, like, 12 years, and she grew close to someone who knew everything about her. And she let herself feel. Since she lost her parents, we’ve seen Kara as someone who closed herself off because the pain of losing her family, her planet, and everything that meant anything to her was too much for her to bear, so she smiled and tucked it all away nicely in Kara Danvers.
During the series’ duration, Kara has let herself feel for three people (really feel, not just friendship and rainbows): Alex, Astra, and Mon-El. Losing Astra made Kara question herself as Supergirl because of her Kryptonian side, just as losing Alex would make Kara fall apart entirely. So losing Mon-El, whom she let her walls down for and allowed herself to feel romantic love, pushed “human” Kara Danvers over the edge because she chose her Kryptonian half over who she is on Earth. One of the three people she felt something for basically died to her which brought back all of the emotions of losing her family on Krypton, losing Astra, and it was too much. Looking at the situation like this, I can see the pain we’re seeing in Kara is so much more than Mon-El, but the writers are making out all of this pain to be over her boyfriend of six months, which isn’t okay.
Any way, Kara conquering her fear and embracing the pain is truly what made this episode shine and stand out much more than any season’s Episode 2 would usually. Hopefully, as the season progresses, we see more of Kara dealing with anxiety and depression. Maybe not in the field, since Psi was so unique in what made her evil and the ability she possessed, but maybe we could see Kara in a session with a therapist talking about the mess that has become her life.
Alex and Maggie’s Relationship Woes
These two are just destined to fail, right? It was noticeable at the quick proposal in Season 2 Episode 22 after half a season actually together as a couple, much less as they’re planning their wedding and we see the struggles they’re having over picking a band or DJ. The side note about having kids at the end is certainly going to present a problem going forward, because having kids or not having kids is definitely a topic that causes even the happiest of couples to break up (like Monica and Richard on Friends).
Maggie and Alex don’t really know each other enough to get married, and we know they’re destined for the inevitable break up knowing Floriana Lima stepped down as a series regular, but it still hurts, you know? These two are important representation for so many ladies out there, it’s disappointing that because one of the actresses wanted to leave, those people are losing representation and they’re unlikely to find it (in the same way) somewhere else.
Even if they do break up and Alex does find a new “gal pal,” that relationship won’t mean the same as this one, but hopefully people can acknowledge it for what it is: representation. You don’t have to necessarily like a couple to be thankful for the representation it provides, because it does help others too. Maybe it doesn’t help you, but it does help other members of the community, and that shouldn’t be taken away from anyone.
Supergirl Season 3 Episode 2 was an alright episode, yeah? It both made us excited for the season, and always made us think, “It’s all downhill from here.” What did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!