Supergirl Review: Setback Signals Significant Growth for Kara

Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 14, “Homecoming”

In its early days, Supergirl never let Kara Danvers catch a break and at times left the series aimless and going nowhere. Much has changed, especially since the switchover to The CW. “Homecoming” was what is now a rare loss for Kara, and it’s shown just how far the series has come in a short time.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, that while it was important that the series leave room for Kara to grow, it perhaps swung the needle too far in the beginning, with her hapless at all facets at life and making the viewer doubt if a character like hers could legitimately survive in the real world, superpowers or not.

In more recent times, while not flawless in everything she does, Kara and the rest of the Supergirl cast do have a tidy pile of wins under their belts, which makes the impact and the shock of the betrayal of “Homecoming” hit all the harder.

The plot centers around the surprising rescue of Jeremiah Danvers (Dean Cain), who has been in the clutches of Cadmus for a dozen years. When he suddenly resurfaces as a part of a Cadmus convoy, Alex and Kara are overjoyed at their father’s return.

For Alex and Kara especially, it feels like the final piece of their puzzle falling into place, now that their work and love lives are good. Even the normally cautious Hank is so overjoyed theman who saved his life is alive and well, that he practically gives Jerimiah full access to the DEO, which feels like a huge breech of protocol that involves safe houses and weeks of observation. But hey, the plot needs to be serviced, so basic fieldcraft be damned.

The only one with a lick of tactical sense about the situation is Mon-El, believe it or not. Unfortunately, he still has trouble picking up on Earth’s social cues, and expresses his distrust at the Danvers’ family welcome home dinner. This causes Kara to become upset and kick him out of the party (and pretty much out of her life) for the betrayal.

Mon-El keeps an eye on Jeremiah, and brings Winn in on the scene once Jeremiah starts acting suspiciously.
Side note here on Mon-El:  It felt like a huge misstep that Mon-Elhas consistently not listened to Kara or respected her personal agency, despite frequent pleas for him to do so, only to have him listen to his newfound bro Winn (after he basically tells the guy the same thing). It was a move toward growth, trying to make Mon-El more likeable, but it backfired here. (Parenthetical side note: Jimmy was MIA for a second week in a row).

Winn and Mon-El get Kara to look past her elation over the family reunion, to admit that it isn’t right that Jeremiah instantly starts poking around the DEO’s servers.

As you might have guessed by now, Jeremiah is indeed a Cadmus plant (complete with a Winter Soldier robot arm!). The entire rescue was just a way for Cadmus to infiltrate the DEO, and steal the alien registry off their database. Now Cadmus has a fancy new bomb, and the knowledge where all the aliens are. Jeremiah is Lillian Luthor’s new lieutenant after making an escape that crushed the spirits of both his daughters. Both Kara and Alex are left in the arms of their respective lovers, trying to come to terms with the depth of this betrayal and figure out what to do next.

Although this show is better when it keeps things light, every hero needs to stumble to make their deeds seem more heroic. This deeply personal failure for Kara is unlike anything we’d seen in the early going, because it is set against a backdrop of a whole person, rather than a clumsy bundle of personal foibles. In the past, we never knew if Kara could rebound from her failures, because it took us so long to see her be successful. Now there is no doubt that Kara can rebound from this setback because we have seen it done before.

Craig Wack

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