Supergirl, ‘Midvale’: The Danvers Sisters Take a Long, Strange Trip

Supergirl, Season 3, Episode 6, “Midvale”

Say you are a showrunner for a prime time action hero show. Your dilemma is that the bulk of your main cast is shooting your big crossover episode, and they are only available for a couple of days for your sixth episode. What do you do? Well if you are running Supergirl, you dial up the young actresses who’ve been playing the younger version of your two main characters to put on a Veronica Mars tribute episode, and rewrite some of Supergirl‘s backstory for good measure.  Here’s everything you need to know about the latest episode of Supergirl:

What’s the scoop: In an effort to mend their broken hearts, Kara and Alex head to their mom’s house for some familiar surroundings and sympathy from mamma. This leads into a flashback/simultaneous drunk dream about the first time the Danvers sisters teamed up to right a wrong.

Meanwhile in B Plot Land: The present-day Danvers sisters scenes count, I guess. Kara and Alex can still bicker like teenagers, only this time, booze is involved. Ma Danvers is actually more concerned about Kara than Alex because she’s noticed that Kara tends to shut off her humanity when confronted with emotional difficulties. But, they hash out their feelings over coffee and their murdered friend’s telescope to make it all better by episode’s end.

What about the action:  The middle chunk of the hour is devoted to a mini murder mystery involving Kara and Alex’s friend Kenny, who has a telescope and a bad habit of pointing it in all the wrong places. Kenny sees the wrong thing, and it gets him killed (you bastards!). He had been a little lovesick for both the Danvers sisters, so Kenny tutored Alex in calc and went stargazing with Kara, and his death forces the bickering sisters to the same side in a search for justice. During the course of the investigation, they get the bullying QB busted for smoking weed, nab Alex’s bestie and one of their teachers for having an inappropriate relationship and ultimately, take down the local sheriff, who killed Kenny in an effort to hide his drug smuggling.

What’s next:  There wasn’t a stinger to this episode, but the previews show a beardy Mon-El so that seems significant.

Last impressions: “Midvale” had a lot of flaws, starting with the creepy contacts to make eyes of the actress who plays young Kara blue. More troubling is that the entire flashback flies in the face of Kara’s established Season 1 backstory. In Season 1 there’s a flashback where Kara uses her powers to save her schoolmates, and she’s nearly outed. It’s established that she never used her powers in a significant way until saving the jet Alex was on. Martian Manhunter showing up disguised as Kara’s recast mom (where have you gone Laura Benanti?) did nothing to steady the uneasy equilibrium of the episode. The worst part of  the whole thing is that it establishes this murder mystery as the first time Alex and Kara truly connected as sisters. It feels strange that in so many episodes where they focus on Alex and Kara’s bond, that this seminal moment wouldn’t be brought up until now. With Mon-El back next week and the crossover finally arriving after Thanksgiving, there’s no choice but to accept this episode as the misfire it is, and pretend it never happened.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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