Editor’s Note: Now that Alex Danvers is officially out and things are really, truly going somewhere with Maggie, we’re going to change the structure of our superqueero TV coverage. Going forward, Supergirl recaps will be posted on Tuesday. Superqueero Roundup Recaps will be posted on Friday. They’ll include the gay and feminist happenings of CW’s other DC shows, because we have no idea where we’re going to end up after that crossover. But for now we want to reward and celebrate Supergirl for giving us something so good!
Of the 166 lesbian and bisexual women on TV who have died since 1976, almost 30% of them have died in the past two years. And of the ones who did survive, so few are anything of substance, anything worth rooting for. Most of them are brush-off characters, or offensive stereotypes, or somehow both at once. And don’t even get me started on the real world.
But even though this year has been widely accepted as a garbage fire, it hasn’t been all bad. Women in Hollywood keep coming out, many of them actually saying the word “bisexual” out loud! Delphine was alive all along on Orphan Black. Laverne Cox slayed in Rocky Horror Picture Show. But honestly, I didn’t think anything was going to beat the queer, feminist gift that was the first season of Wynonna Earp.
As usual I’m putting the cart before the horse and it’s a horse of different color so we’re going to want to focus on it. So I’ll back up.
We start with Kara waking up Mon-El and helping him get ready for work. She dresses him up like…well, like Kara, and gives him a new name: Mike Matthews. Appropriately bland. It becomes abundantly clear he’s not ready for the real world within two minutes of him being inside CatCo, but Kara is determined to make him as good an intern as she was.
But she knows things are going to be tricky to say the least when she has to practically use her superstrength to keep James’ new assistant, Eve, from pouncing on Mike the moment they meet.
I’m not going to lie to you, when I saw all the previews for this episode, I thought it was going to be 100% James. I’ve watched many a queer storyline unfold, and it’s either build-up-peak-and-fall-apart in one episode, or it’s a snippet every five episodes that you have to gobble up like a puddle in the desert. So imagine my shock and surprise when we cut to Maggie and Alex playing pool in the gaylien bar.
Alex makes some joke about how badly she’s beating Maggie and mentions Maggie’s girlfriend the way that little kids mention the monster in the book they read that one time because talking about it helps it feel less scary and maybe if they’re lucky someone will assure them it’s not real. And sure enough, Maggie says that her girlfriend dumped her. And Alex “What Is Chill” Danvers is SHOCKED and APPALLED that ANYONE would DUMP Maggie Sawyer.
Maggie is actually pretty bummed about this. Which is actually really nice; she’s not playing the Tough Girl, she’s admitting to her new friend that she thought this girl was special, and this girl called her a sociopath. Maggie decides that she needs to wallow in her sorrows alone and not drag Alex down with her and even though Alex clearly doesn’t want her to leave, she sends her off with a helpless, “Feel better?”
While out and about on the streets of National City, Kara and James encounter some bad guys with big guns. And not regular guns, either. Guns that knock Kara flat on her back. The two of them fight, but the bad guys get away, leaving James bruised and his camera broken.
Kara takes this intel back to the DEO, where they figure out that these human bad guys had an alien cannon. Cadmus releases another video and it’s clear that they’re trying to frame the aliens fore more bad deeds.
At CatCo, Kara the Journalist stands up for better gun control, specifically fighting a man whose solution to bad guys having ray guns is that he wants a ray gun himself. It is an all-too-relevant conversation.
But before long, Kara’s mood is lifted when Lena Luthor strolls right into the office and invites Kara to be her date to a fundraising gala. And I know this isn’t canon queerness, but I don’t think Katie McGrath got the memo, because she legit bites her lip as she calls Kara her only friend and basically begs her to come to the party.
Unfortunately, Mon-El (now called Mike) doesn’t know what human flirting looks like, so he invites himself to this gala too.
At the DEO, Winn is talking shop when he realizes Alex isn’t listening to a word he says. He asks what’s on her mind and she says, I kid you not, “Maggie is such a terrible pool player.” She doesn’t even pretend that it’s relevant to their conversation. She’s just like, “Maggie is sad and it’s really bugging me and I wish I could help.”
Winn says he doesn’t like to get into other people’s personal business, and Alex laughs and laughs because that was literally his whole deal last season. But Winn says that’s because he was into Kara, and that’s not the same as Alex’s situation.
But something inside Alex goes off like a metal detector that’s awful close to buried treasure.
And then I blacked out and somehow a police officer ended up in the sky? I imagine from the bad guys with alien cannons. (Okay JK I rewatched and it was definitely the bad guys with alien canons.) But don’t worry it wasn’t important and Kara saved him. So the bad guys go to Ms. Cadmus and get bigger guns.
Alex goes to see Maggie at a crime scene and rattles off some science stuff and Maggie calls her a nerd in the cutest way possible. Alex has no idea how to cheer Maggie up, but she knows in her heart that all she wants to do is see the detective smile again, that real, genuine smile, the one she got at the masquerade, the one that goes all the way from her dimple to her eyes. So she lists every activity she can think of to see if any of them strike a chord; pinball, tapas, just literally anything, anywhere, as long as it’s together. Maggie tilts her head at this.
She says, “I didn’t know you were into girls.” She said she read Alex wrong, but probably what she meant was, Alex seemed so sure of herself, so surely she would have mentioned by now if she was also queer. Alex stammers a bit, surprised at the statement.
She says, “I’m not,” but can’t finish the statement. Maggie helps her out, “You’re not gay.” Alex says, “Right,” but even she doesn’t sound too convinced. She promises Maggie she wasn’t trying to ask her out, that she was just genuinely trying to cheer her up, but the panic is so strong that Alex has to leave.
Then James whines to Winn about always being a sidekick and never a superhero and even though that’s kind of the whole point of him, he asks Winn to make him a suit and a weapon since he’s already a blackbelt. Winn tries to convince him that there’s no shame in helping out behind the scenes, which makes me realize I actually do genuinely not hate Winn this season, but James is unconvinced.
Also fun is when Kara catches Mike and Eve hooking up and she reacts the way I do when TV shows push their heterosexual agenda down my throat.
Kara basically tells Mike to fit in or get out. She’ll do the best she can to help him but he has to at least try.
Kara storms back to her apartment and catches Alex eating a donut outside her door like she’s some kind of Wynonna Earp. Alex says, “I’m confused about something,” but even saying that much out loud is like 300 steps ahead of where she was before this morning and because Big Sister is an identity she’s 100% sure of, she asks why Kara is looking so stompy.
Kara goes on a rant about Mon-El and how he won’t let her help him be the perfect CatCo intern and Alex sits her sister down.
She says that when Kara first came to live with their family, Alex tried to make her just like her. But while Alex was wearing biker boots and listening to t.A.T.u., Kara was tacking boy band posters to her bedroom walls. Alex said they both were better off when Alex let Kara be her own person, and they learned how to get along as different people, and that maybe that’s what Mon-El needs, too. Alex looks wistful as she adds that everyone needs to figure out who they are inside, who they were meant to be.
And then quickly snaps back to the subject at hand. Not everyone can rock argyle like the Kara Danvers. Kara suddenly realizes that Alex came to see her and she’s been rambling about her own problems and Alex opens her mouth to start to work through the storm whirling through her chest.
Buuuuut she’s interrupted by a knock at the door. Kara uses x-ray vision to peep their guest and says, “What is she doing here?” and I swear to Rao, Alex’s face and voice do this panic thing when she asks, “Who?” as if her real question was, “Is it Maggie? Did I accidentally conjure her somehow just by thinking about her so hard?”
But it’s not Maggie that was pinging Alex’s gaydar, it was Lena. She recognizes Alex as the woman who saved her life, and didn’t realize it was Kara’s sister.
Lenae asks Kara to help her get in touch with Supergirl, due to the quid pro quo favor situation they established last week.
Supergirl goes to visit Lena in her office, and Lena invites her to her fundraising gala (that the bad guys have already said they were going to raid, even though they were explicitly told not to by Ms. Cadmus herself).
Supergirl says maybe she should cancel the whole shebang, but Lena won’t live in fear. She just wants Supergirl to accompany her and Kara Danvers.
When she gets to the party, Kara uses Winn to do a little switcheroo and convince Lena that both of them are there, and that both of them have her back.
Lena does that, “You just missed Supergirl!” thing that makes me feel like it’s possible she knows? But then again I still don’t know if Cat knows, so.
As soon as her date is out of sight, Kara starts shoving pot stickers into her mouth, until Mon-El asks her for a dance. And I say it again, I truly feel like they’re setting this up as a cousinly thing. Their dancing is goofy and not romantic at all and I’m pretty sure Kara is still chewing pot stickers the whole time. And if that’s the route they’re taking, I’m 100% on board.
The bad guys break up the good time, but Lena Luthor is not one to be intimidated.
She stands stock still and unflinching as the bad guy rips the necklace from her neck and demands that everyone hand over their jewelry. Supergirl swoops in and starts fighting them with her heat vision while everyone scatters. Winn ducks under the stage and finds Lena there fiddling with a device. He realizes that the reason she didn’t cancel the fundraiser was to catch the bad guys, and watches as she proves she’s a genius and has her machine deactivate all the alien tech in the room.
Kara’s pretty damn impressed.
Maggie arrests the bad guys, but before they can give up Ms. Cadmus’s true identity, Cadmus fries their brains from the inside, leaving Maggie to watch as they all just drop dead in front of her.
Winn goes to see James, and says that he understands wanting to make a difference, so he will make James a suit if he promises not to go full vigilante til he has it, and to think of a cool name while he’s waiting.
Kara wakes up Mon-El and tells him that he’s been fired. He asks if she’s mad at him, and she says she’ll probably always be a little mad at him. Which, if that doesn’t scream “family” I don’t know what does. She sits down next to him and says that she gets it now. He needs to find his own way in this strange new world, and she can’t do that for him. But she can help him as best as she’s able. So she gives him a promise and a National City Guidebook — with the strip club page ripped out, of course.
Supergirl goes to check on Lena after the gala and Lena thanks her for her help. But they’re interrupted by someone coming to see Lena, so Supergirl flies off. The visitor is Ms. Cadmus…and Lena calls her “Mom”.
OKAY OKAY OKAY ON TO THE BEST PART.
Cut to Maggie taking shots, alone, in the gaylien bar. Alex comes to check on her, and Maggie admits she’s a little shaken by watching three men be murdered by a mysterious outside force while standing three feet away from her. Maggie looks at her again and asks why she’s here, but really. Alex repeats that she’s just worried about Maggie, and Maggie takes this opportunity to apologize for being forward about the whole liking girls thing earlier.
But Alex doesn’t protest this time. She sits down, thoughtful. And then she launches into a beautiful speech that felt like it was made from words formed by the scars on my heart. Alex spent her whole life trying to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect sister, perfect job, perfect daughter. There was one aspect of her life that was never perfect though; was that WHY she felt like she had to be perfect in everything else? Because this one big part of herself felt so…imperfect? She tried dating, she did. She tried so hard. She never liked hooking up with guys. So she figured, maybe it just wasn’t for her.
She had never thought, never even considered…but she can’t get the rest of the words out. She stammers in a way that Alex Danvers has never stammered before. Maggie has been listening patiently this whole time, looking at Alex with such kind, knowing eyes. But here she sees Alex needs her help, so she prompts her. When Alex says there’s something she can’t stop thinking about, Maggie asks her what it is.
“That maybe there’s some truth to what you said.”
And Maggie repeats the same prompt. “About?”
Maggie won’t say it for her, but Alex still can’t quite say it. But she made her point clear enough to Maggie, who smiles at her knowingly.
Alex looks terrified, but sort of like how you get terrified right before you go on a roller coaster. It’s fear but there’s also excitement in the anticipation. But still plenty of fear. But it’s a calm, grown-up kind of fear. Not the fear of a teenager’s coming out story that’s usually (understandably) tinged in anger and an apocalyptic fear. Just a quiet fear, knowing this will change things, knowing she needs time to see if this fits. Especially for someone like Alex, whose family adopted an alien girl, and probably wouldn’t care if their daughter is queer. Maggie suggested that Alex might like girls, and her initial denying of this doesn’t make it untrue, and Alex didn’t get mad. She didn’t yell at Maggie and push her away. She thought about why her skin felt like it was on fire when this beautiful lesbian looked curious-in-a-good-way when she thought maybe Alex was asking her on a date. She thought about why it felt like Maggie just gave her a cipher that made her story up until now make so much more sense than it did before. And she came to Maggie to try to talk a little of it out, with more strength than a Kryptonian powered by the yellow sun.
That’s about as far out of the closet as Alex has the strength to go today, though, so she tells Maggie that she’s glad she’s okay, and she leaves the gaylien bar.
One of my favorite things about Alex’s coming out speech is something that sets it apart from most characters who have come out on TV before. A lot of queer TV character coming out stories happen on shows where the characters are in high school. They’re fraught and dramatic and include a lot of yelling and crying. Adult queer characters tend to either stroll in fully out and proud, or come out after thinking they were happy in a relationship with a man before realizing what happy really felt like after they kissed their first girl. Which is totally valid and is definitely how a lot of lesbians figure out that they’re gay. It’s an important story to be told, just like it’s important to show the bisexual characters who were happy in a relationship with a man, and then find that they can also be just as happy in a relationship with a woman, and how their bisexuality doesn’t disappear depending on who they’re dating.
Alex’s story is different. Alex’s story sounds a little more like mine, and maybe yours. Like one we haven’t really seen on TV before. Because we tried to date men. But we never quite got there. And it made us feel different. Broken, somehow. The only difference between Alex and me is that she says she never considered the possibility that she didn’t like boys because she liked girls instead. I had considered it; hell, I knew it, on some level, since I was thirteen. But I suppressed it and I fought it tooth and nail for over a decade. Also like Alex, though, it wasn’t until I met someone who made my heart do flips in a way it had never done before that made the truth undeniable. And I was old enough by then to not even want to fight it anymore.
Guess what else Alex and I have in common. Alex and I didn’t have a show like Supergirl that we watched with our parents every week where suddenly a cop strolled in and called herself not-straight pretty much right off the bat and it was a non-issue. We didn’t see that cop kiss a girl on the mouth all casual-like while her new friend watched with a feeling that felt suspiciously like jealousy. We never heard a speech like the one Alex made, listened to and understood with such a friendly ear as Maggie’s.
But some kid just did. Some nine or twelve or sixteen year old just watched Alex Danvers, sister of Supergirl, come out to her new friend who is an out lesbian. Some freshman in college who had been trying to figure out why she never grew out of the “boys have cooties” phase of her life heard Alex speak aloud the feelings about intimacy she had been feeling but didn’t have the words for. And sure, some kids heard their parents scoff in disgust at this turn of events, but those kids saw Maggie do the opposite thing. Some kids heard their parents declare they’ll never watch this show again, but the kids who need it most will find a way to keep watching. Some kids had a discussion with their parents that helped them understand something inside themselves, and helped their parents understand them, that might not have organically come up for another few long, confusing years. Heck, we heard from a mom just this week whose eight-year-old daughter realized she was a lesbian when Kara said it one time as a throwaway line in the pilot! That eight-year-old girl is going to get to watch Alex Danvers fall in love!
So yes, we needed this. We needed this so much. We DESERVE this. This joy, this unadulterated raw emotion that isn’t devastation, this truth. This storyline that looks so much like so many of ours being handled with the same care and love as Kara dealing with the knowledge that her aunt wasn’t who she thought she was, as J’onn revealing his true identity and his secrets about Jeremiah, with Kara not knowing what she wants to do with her life and being scared of change.
From the beginning, Supergirl has been fundamentally about three things: Women, love, and hope — and knowing how much strength is in each of those three things. Alex’s story is no different. Our story is no different.
IT IS ALL SO AMAZING! I LOVE IT AND I CAN’T HANDLE IT!
…. and also, like you guys, Lexie Grey had to die for this moment to happen. And I’m not saying it was worth it (RIP Little Grey! I will keep your memory alive, even if Shonda Rhimes won’t!), but I am saying that now I understand the necessity of her sacrifice a little bit more…
I love this recap and I loved this episode and I can’t believe how good this show is making me feel, all the way down into my bones.
I was feeling pretty dejected and terrible tonight give then state of our election and this recap is the first think that that made me smile a real (not for fakesies) smile tonight. Thanks!
I don’t watch this show (yet?) but I’m crying at work between appointments and this is just what this day needed.
I stopped watching this show a while ago, but someone posted a video of this scene on Twitter and I cried off all my makeup last night. This does sound more like how myself and a lot of my friends came out, and Chyler Leigh is a gift.
Agreed. All of this. Except I stopped watching the show after the first few episodes felt…off? But I picked it up again a couple months ago and mainlined the rest. It really seemed to gain its own voice on the 4th or 5th episode, probably about the time Alex and Kara lost all the drama about teaming up to fight crime, and just let it happen. ;)
The coming out also resonates, though I’m on the asexual spectrum, so I’m confused about human sexuality in general, and never considered myself queer, not because guys were any great thing, but because there was no real pull towards society’s version of a good-looking woman. Ah, I was so sheltered (plus the athletic look came into vogue, happily for me).
Also: Chyler Leigh is a treasure!
Oh man, I don’t even watch this show, but someone please tell me there is a supercut on YouTube of all the Sanvers scenes from the last few episodes!?
I haven’t seen one yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long!!
There have been a couple put up on Youtube but they’ve been taken down very quickly for having copyrighted content.
This show makes me feel like Mrs. Weasley knitted me a sweater. It’s Christmas and family all in one.
I have so many feelings about this that I know I won’t be able to form a coherent sentence. So I’ll just say I have always loved Supergirl. I knew they were going to do something special from episode 1. I honestly didn’t know what it would be, but I knew Supergirl would be a show to watch.
I am so happy that Alex doesn’t have to have a teen-style coming out. I’m also hopeful it won’t be a one time deal, as in Maggie being the one and only woman Alex ever falls for.
I agree that it’s hard to believe Alex never considered her sexuality, but I only have my own experience to compare. I kind of assumed everyone questioned their sexuality! I pretty much had it all figured out by the time I was 12/13 and never tried to hide it. I guess I was lucky. Though I did try dating one guy in high school, just to be sure, and yep, I’m 100% gay.
Anyway, I am so happy this episode (and recap) came just in time for the election, because I desperately need to distract myself today!
Watching this felt so special and wonderful and amazing. I agree this isn’t the coming-out story we typically get on TV, but it’s definitely a coming-out story I needed to see.
And I’m totally shipping Kara & Lena, no matter where the writers go with that storyline.
It kind of feels nice, right? Being able to ship Kara and Lena without putting too much stock in it because you know Maggie and Alex are really really gay? It’s like having a harmless office crush to enjoy in the office and a loving girlfriend to come home to and tell all about it.
I’m so emotional over this episode honestly. This was the storyline we deserve!
Valerie, This is such a thoughtful, emotional recap, with various touches of your usual great humor as well – thank you! This is a landmark episode of Supergirl, and it is amazing that we can come back to your recap over the coming weeks/months/years to relive it all. (Reminds me of Heather Hogan’s review of the PLL episode when Emily and Paige kissed by the pool – passionate, poetic, political.)
First, this caption made me laugh and laugh:
“I’ve been a demon-possessed princess, a vampire, and a Final Girl. Come at me, bruh.”
Hahaha!!! I actually can only identify Katie McGrath’s Dracula role in those three, but I’ll take your word for it :).
I was one of the viewers that was very much hoping that we would *not* get a coming out story, but what you (and others) have said here has changed my mind. I can see that this is different from the high school coming out narratives that are much more common, as well as different from adult-character-who-already-knows-they’re-queer-in-the-pilot deals that are also quite common now.
Supergirl’s writing (the show’s, that is) can be iffy, but the scenes between Alex and Maggie in this ep were spot on, and Chyler Leigh did a wonderful job conveying Alex’s emotional journey with herself as well as how she talked to Maggie about it.
I too thought this ep would mostly be about the guys (James and Mon-El), and Mon-El’s scenes in particular did take up too much time with their ridiculousness, but we still got SO MUCH Alex goodness. *And* Kara/Lena deliciousness.
I’m really surprised this is the show that I most look forward to this fall, because it has some weaknesses, but it more than makes up for it by being female-centric and willing to engage with topical political issues (sexism, race/racism, immigration, and difference/exclusion more generally). The fact that itsis just so SUPERGAY at the moment is icing on the cake (though verrry nice and desperately needed icing for queer viewers :) ).
Thank you so much! Heather is my favorite internet writer and it’s an honor to be in the same paragraph as her!
1. I want to wrap myself in this episode/recap
2. Cannon or not Katie McGrath is doing nothing to dissuade me from my theory that she is the Adventures of Lois and Clarke style Lois Lane of this show. Bad ass career woman continually getting herself involved in dangerous situations from which Supergirl conveniently saves her. She’s into Supergirl, she’s into Kara, she has a relationship with the bad Luther.
Excellent recap. I was so moved by this episode. I hope you will all excuse another HP reference, but the Alex-coming-out-scene was like a patronus in the midst of this terrifying election season. For about 15 minutes I forgot that a world existed outside of their shared experience.
I will literally never say no to a Harry Potter reference.
I LOVE EVERything aboUT tHIS
I am all about this slow burn love story. I thought I wanted it to happen last night, but when Alex couldn’t say the word out loud, when she said she had to go, I realized I want this relationship to take it’s time, to grow naturally. Pretty much all the queer female love stories on tv, particularly the coming out ones, go from 0 to 60 which is visually appealing, but it’s never made my heart sing like Alex’s coming out scene did last night.
I have wanted Alex Danvers to be gay since the first time I saw her in an episode of Supergirl. I still can hardly believe that it is happening in such a compassionate and honest way.
SAME. I clocked Alex Danvers doing a-hundred-and-gay the minute I saw her strut in a leather jacket. I am so over-the-moon about this.
Great recap, Valerie! I love the way you paralleled your coming out experience to Alex’s. Like you, Alex’s coming out speech spoke directly to my heart. I came out to my best friend almost exactly the same way. I knew what I was feeling but I just couldn’t say the words just yet. Watching Chyler deliver that speech the way she did moved me beyond words. I’ve loved this show since I saw the first trailer for season 1 and I’m so happy with the way they’ve handled Alex’s story so far! I’m very proud to be a fan of this show and I’ll admit that all of my hopes are fully invested in the creators and writers, which doesn’t seem smart after the year we’ve had, but I trust them for some reason. And I’m holding on to that hope!
I don’t dare have that hope, but it’s crept in despite all my struggles to squash it. I’m envious, because now my hope feels like anxiety.
Thank you! I’m with you. Hoping without abandon, despite being burned so hard in the past. I can’t help it!
Yes! Yes! Yes! Doing a little shimmy right now. Go Alex!
I almost cried at a work meeting, and it’s all your fault. I hope you’re happy.
I’m sorry?? I think??? D: :D
I don’t watch Supergirl (I only saw the pilot), but I saw the photo on the main page and came here to say something about Lexie Grey making a sacrifice for the good of the queers. It looks like someone beat me to it – great (queer) minds think alike!
That was so beautiful and meaningful that I have no words to express how touched I was when I saw this episode! It was so amazing that I’m gonna watch it again later just to savor Alexe’s words and her emotions while she was discovering herself and acknowledging herself in front of Maggie! So beautifil and well done!
thank you for this truly beautiful and entertaining review. especially on that last count, i couldn’t agree more.
Y’know as I devour one Alex/Maggie FF after another like a starving rabid animal (because I have no shame), I also discovered that in some of these fics, there’s the Kara/Lena pairing. I didn’t get it until this episode when Lena straight up walked to Kara’s place of work and basically asked her out, legit with lip biting and pleading big doe eyes. Like BAM! Hit me like a freight train. Jesus. I now have two ships from one already amazing, progressive, funny, sweet, relatable show. As if I needed more reason to love Supergirl. It’s so reminiscent of the female-centric TV shows I watched when I was a kid – Xena, Buffy, Charmed etc. Women, sisters, best friends who support each other and are there for each other no matter what. I love that I get to re-experience watching this on my TV screen.
As for Alex’s revelation? I died. I mean we’ve been waiting what felt like ages for some kind of reveal and now that’s it’s finally happened I’m just stunned. Completely speechless. I can hardly process just how eerily perfect that last scene with Alex and Maggie was. Alex’s speech was so heartfelt and raw and REAL. It made my heart ache and soar simultaneously. Sitting there in that dingy bar across the table from Maggie, Alex was never more strong or vulnerable. Watching her new self awareness come to light was almost a religious experience. It was more than I ever dared hope to see when they teased that a Supergirl character was going to come out. They handled it with such grace and care and I’m beyond grateful. I hope they continue in this vein and develop both Alex’s newfound knowledge of herself and her relationship with Maggie with the same grace and tender loving care.
That quiet, understanding smile of Maggie’s, too.
HER EYYYYYYES THEY KNEEEEEW
I was both cheering and crying at the same time last night. That speech to Maggie was just… everything. I’ve heard that story hundreds of times from women who have not come out until college or later. And her not saying any version of “queer” is also total relatable. I couldn’t say that word out loud in reference to myself for a LONG time.
I can’t believe after the shitty year queer women had this year, that THIS is on my TV. Now don’t fuck it up, Supergirl.
I can’t say that I came out as liking girls in the way that Alex does (I flung that door WIDE open at 18 and marched right out of there…)
But coming out as a trans guy… 100% parallels to Alex recognizing being gay. Especially trying to be perfect… oh, my lord the over compensation I did.
It was very slight-of-hand of us wasn’t it? “Oh look over here at these grades! So shiny! Look, look, I’m in all the clubs! LOOK AT HOW MANY CLUBS! Pay no attention to the queerness behind the curtain!”
Chyler Leigh is a gift.
And so is that whole bit you wrote about Alex’s speech.
I am SO HERE FOR THIS.
FUCK ME UP, SANVERS.
I want “Fuck me up, Sanvers” tattooed on my forehead.
1. I ship Winn and James so hard.
2. Lena Luthor has a thing for blondes.
3.I ship Lena and Kara so hard.
4.I have such gay glasses on for this show, seeing Mike with that woman actually shocked me.Weren’t he and Kara playing America’s Next Top Intern just a minute ago?
5. Did Alex just say intimate on, like national television? This was better than I expected! And I expected a lot!
The fact that she mentioned being uncomfortable with being intimate before was the most unexpected thing! It hit me right in my ribcage. I ~felt~ it, yaknow?
I know! It was kind of the word I’ve been looking for for fifteen years.
Because it’s got a lot to do with the physical, but not only?
It’s also about vulnerability and having those moments with someone and they’re supposed to be all that and then they’re not and they actually make you kind of queasy instead: Intimacy.
50 points to Gryffindor for the correct use of adequate vocabulary there.
Yes so much, that line really hit home with me. Something to do with making it sound like how adults might actually speak, making it feel true to Alex and Maggie rather than thoughts they have to say to teach the audience, which I think Supergirl does just a little too often.
It was the perfect way of saying this is important without actually making Alex say ‘this is important’.
Amazing episode, amazing storyline and amazing recap!!! This bit “Alex looks terrified, but sort of like how you get terrified right before you go on a roller coaster. It’s fear but there’s also excitement in the anticipation. But still plenty of fear. But it’s a calm, grown-up kind of fear. Not the fear of a teenager’s coming out story that’s usually (understandably) tinged in anger and an apocalyptic fear. Just a quiet fear, knowing this will change things, knowing she needs time to see if this fits.” is just the perfect description. Can not wait to watch the next episode and then read your recap as well!!
Thank youuu! <3
I’ve been watching this show from day one cause even though it wasn’t perfect, it was about hope and sisters. Especially the sisters part, which they’ve been absolutely nailing. I was fine with the show just growing within that. But now we get gay Alex and I honestly don’t wanna get my hopes up, cause I’ve been burned before, however… Alex. Danvers. Is. Gay. I am just so full of joy and love. I honestly cant wait for Alex and Kara to have a conversation about this
Lena had the device completely built and realised at the same moment as Winn, based on points that she was talking through out loud, that she needed to adjust the induction coil. “We stopped it” was Winn giving himself far too much credit. For storytelling purposes I will accept that he helped in some significant way, but I can only give him a C+ for this episode.
Speaking of Lena, she didn’t even have the device finished before the guys with alien superweapons showed up exactly as she expected and started shooting at her gala attendees. For storytelling purposes I will accept that she bravely stood up to the bad guys and saved the day, but I can only give her a C+ for this episode.
Oh, wait, I forgot to add in the bonus points for all the absurd flirting with Kara. Maybe a B then.
Alex and Maggie A+++++++++, honory PhD awarded.
Doctors Alex and Maggie Sawyer-Danvers has a nice ring to it!
Why I think Kara & Lena is real (version 2×05):
– Lena bites her lip when she asks Kara to the gala.
– Lena is jealous for a moment when she sees Alex at Kara’s house.
– Kara’s favorite food is potstickers, and Lena just happened to have them at her gala.
Thanks for the recap Valerie, I always look forward to reading them. I must admit that I never cry, like at anything but when Alex did her speech I did tear up a little. There are some moments that just kind of hit me, and I think to myself, ‘Well if Alex Danvers can do it then maybe I can too’. This is where my investment in fictional characters kick in, Alex Danvers seems to have an open and welcoming family/friend circle where being gay probably won’t phase them at all, but there is always that bit of doubt in your mind (my mind), where you remember crappy things they’ve said despite them being few and far between, but just enough to second guess yourself. So far i’ve been lucky in telling a few friends and my sister but when it comes to the rest of my family, I still keep quiet (even though its been about 2 years and am now 22). Im not sure what my original point of this was going to be, so to vaguely sum it up, I love your recaps, I love this show, and its nice to see that even kick ass chicks like Alex Danvers struggle sometimes so i’ll get there eventually.
You will get there eventually, Daisy! And I’m glad you have stories like Alex’s to inspire you in the meantime. Thank you for reading! <3
I read your story, and I really related. That was me until last year. I was pretty sure my family would be ok, but I wasn’t ready. I was barely ready when I did come out (and it went well). You should do it whenever you want and feel confortable. :)
Just quietly choking back tears at work, nbd.
This comment left by a mom sums up why representation matters so much (and it made me cry for like an hour).
Loved loved loved everything about this episode and how all this played out. It felt so REAL.
this is everything i didn’t have the words for.
this episode and this recap took my mind of the ongoing election mess thats currently taking place in the united states and i dont even live there, so thank you for this small act of kindness. The amazing episode part of this comment should be taken for granted by now though, still amazing episode and amazing recap.
I have a complex relationship with my sister so I’ve always loved Alex the most and this is just so, so satisfying. It’s like when Willow came out in Buffy but she was my favourite from the beginning. The moment was like “YES! I saw myself in you and now I see more” and it is the best feeling ever.
I was watching a reaction video, and I heard Alex invite Maggie to a tapas food place. I watched that part three times because I swear I thought that she was inviting her to a “topless” food place.
I’ve never been a fan of James and this whiny “wah, wah, I want to be a superhero too” is even worse. He IS a sidekick and if you can’t deal with being that then you’re on the wrong show buddy. See Winn (who I always liked) knows his role and performs his duties without complaint.
Not to mention they have Supergirl and J’onn, now Mon-El if he so chooses to use his powers, plus Superman popping in from time to time, like do they even need James playing dress up without powers? I mean you just know that he’ll be more of a liability thinking he could be a superhero when the real superheroes are fighting. And aside from that idiocy, when they were at the conference table and James was “in charge” I was like “where’s Snapper”.
Now wait a minute before throwing stones but I am reading things a little differently I still think they are playing Mon-El and Kara first as star crossed then now as a hate/love vibe. They argue but they will fall in love. On the other hand I thought the Winn/Lena dynamic under the table was interesting. Think of it 2 ways if Lena turns out to be bad, Winn has a thing for the bad girls or on the other hand Winn has a intellectual counterpart in Lena.
That Lena and Ms. Cadmus reveal at the end was a shocker. And obviously the big bad is Cadmus and so Supergirl will be fighting them but I think Lena knows her family is into evil stuff and everything she does is going to try to counteract that and it will make her look shady at times but in the end Lena will be a good guy. On a side note Supergirl/Kara never saw Ms. Cadmus’ face? I thought she did, so only Alex has?
Alex and Maggie…Sanvers. I have no words other than I am excited about what is to come. 2016 may have started off shitty but it seems to be ending on a better note.
this episode was amazing; I had to pause and squee aloud at every beat in Alex’s story because it was too too great.
this recap was also amazing. special shoutout to two amazing theater captions, “okay so we’re doing this” and “can you hear my heart saying hi”
This episode made my heart hurt and so did this review. Thanks <3
This episode was amazing. Alex’s coming out speech was… Heartwarming, truly moving. Can’t wait to see what happens with this plot line.
PS: Valerie Anne, please marry me. You’re the best!
First things first- That coming out of Alex was wonderful and Chyler Leigh was brilliant in it. This slow burn is something I am looking forward to happen. Please don’t eff up Supergirl.
Then, that always present electricity and anticipation between Lena and Kara. Makes me want them to interact more! Though I must admit…the way Lena was eager to invite Mon-El (Mike) deflated me a little bit. Makes me think if it was written like that or does Katie McGrath has this sizzling chemistry against everyone??
Lastly, why wasn’t Alex present at that Party? Win and James were there but not Alex? I wish they continue to write Alex they way she was…fighting bad Aliens and not relegate her only to the Maggie-Alex story line.
FYI, tonight’s election has made a decision for me. I’m calling in sick tomorrow and bingewatching Supergirl.
Very good choice.
After waiting so long for bisexual Alex Danvers, I was very surprised to hear her hinting pretty solidly at being gay. It’s interesting to think about my own prejudices in reaction to that, for example I’m more worried about stray bullets and her ability to appeal to a male audience than when I thought she was being set up as bisexual.
I yam genuinely upset the election has bummed me out so much that this ep seems like a distant memory. Truly such a cruel world. Hopefully, next week works as a salve.
Hello, my superqueeros. I just wanted to send a message of love to all of you following this post. I am heartbroken, and I’m sure you are too. I am scared and I am angry and I feel lost and just…so profoundly sad. But one thing I don’t feel is hopeless, and I hope you don’t feel hopeless either. Today I’m letting myself be mad, I’m letting the tears fall when they need to, I’m feeling the devastation wholly with every cell in my body. Tomorrow I will hold my head up higher than I ever have before.
I won’t lose hope. I won’t lose heart. And one of the reasons I won’t is this very episode of this very show. Supergirl has been a character in the DC Universe since 1959. Alex Danvers was created for the TV version of Supergirl, and this year, they gave her to us. The sister of the character who, made it onto IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time list in 2011 is queer. She’s one of us. And she’s being paired (even if only as a kindred spirit for now) with Maggie Sawyer, DC Universe character who was created and has been gay since the late 80s. There are people out there who know us, who understand us, who want us to see ourselves in TV characters, who want to tell our story.
We have so far to go; even further than we thought before this election. We thought we’d get President Wonder Woman but we got an evil alien instead. But we are not without reasons to hope. We are not without reasons to fight. Never give up. Never lose heart. “Never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
Thank you, Valerie. The joy of reading this thread – unadulterated by the agony of the election – seems so long ago, but it was just yesterday!
I’m very very sad right now, but have not lost hope.
“We thought we’d get President Wonder Woman but we got an evil alien instead.”
And people like you can still make me laugh through my tears :).
Okay yes obviously, this is perfection and ALEX THE WHOLE WORLD IS AHEAD OF YOU, GET EXCITED FOR KLUB DEER but
MAGGIE SAWYER for the love of lesbian jesus WHEN SOMEONE JUST COMES OUT TO YOU FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN THEIR LIVES, IT IS POLITE TO SAY SOMETHING BACK BECAUSE THEY ARE SCARED/SAD/EXCITED AND YOU ARE THEIR PERSON RIGHT NOW
“Hey that is awesome, I too girls be liking, high fives”
“Please never say the word intimate again, but let’s make out in 2-5 episodes from now”
“Welcome to the club, your swagger and leather pants have made you a natural”
“YOU ARE GONNA BE OKAY YOU LITTLE UNICORN”
“Get excited for Klub Deer” gave me a much-needed laugh, thank you!
Leave alone American TV, Supergirl is broadcast in India as well the same week as the US. They showed all the Alex/Maggie scenes including the lesbian-coming-out part and Maggie’s short kiss with her girlfriend. Noone blinked. Noone protested. Noone called for banning of the show or the channel. (Which all would ve happened in the 90s) I was pretty astounded and happy to see that….For a place where being gay is still a crime. I love how media plays such a great role in changing perceptions for the better. Here’s hoping for more Alex/Maggie romance.
Btw I still want Alex to be a badass agent. Please showrunners, don’t forget about that bit too.
This, completely i remember a time when i legit thought that rizzoli & isles was a lesbian show with all their intimate moments cut out of it. It has gotten much better though in terms of the demographic that watches such shows and even the particular channel on which it is aired, because even other shows like greys anatomy, scandal and modern family are all shown without any protests and such, so the growing acceptance of others in a section of the population even if its the more affluent portion is a good sign.
Haha.That’s a good way of thinking about Rizzoli and Isles.
So, I am on the ace sprectum too.. So.. sex has been puzzling to me..
Romance not so much because I do like romance…
Anyways, Alex this entire episode, the confusion resonated with me too… That is how I have felt all through my life until I figured out that I was a lesbian and asexual.
Chyler’s acting in this episode was peerless.. (She is a wonderful actor generally, but in this episode…) You could see the struggle, and because you have felt it yourself… have been there yourself… you could completely relate to it.
I don’t know how this happened, but I was replying to someone else up there. And now, I don’t know how to switch.
So, Season 2 is there in India? Could you tell me which channel?
Its on Zee Cafe at 10PM on Wednesdays. (I think it airs again the next day morning) – same week as the US telecast.
This episode made my heart so happy I’ve literally been going on and on about it to anyone who will listen to me. I think most of us knew or at least expected Alex to not be straight, but this episode was something I didn’t even know I needed and damn did I squeal like an overexcited teenager.Your recap, as always, is awesome Valerie. Thank you.
I think Alex is bi. She’s never thought about being with a woman despite being in her 30s or so, which to me suggests that she’s pretty happy dating guys. Now she’s fallen in love with a woman, so she’s found another layer of her sexuality. After all, she was vibing with Max Lord (in a flirtatious hate-love/villain-hero way) and went on a date with him (her idea, not his). Anyway, she’s an interesting and unique character.
I actually think she is 100 % gay. After all, she mentionned the fact that her dating [guys] was less than perfect. Thus, her lack of interest in dating, coupled with her life priorities (savinf the world, taking care of her sister) made her too busy to analyse her love life, or lack thereof, and the reason behind it. Also, I never saw her as flirting with Lord, the guy who wanted to kill her sister. She only met him to discover his plans and motives.
Such a great episode, Danvers speech at the end, I really relate to.
And Lena flirting with Kara, I thought I has imagined it! So relieved to hear I’m not the only one!
Really hope they keep this up…
Wonderful recap and thank you for introducing me to this show.
I love this episode, and I love the way they have Alex working through this. I know there are those who find it hard to understand how Alex could go so long without even considering she might be gay, but I totally get it. I actually considered myself asexual for a while. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I started to consider the idea I might actually be gay. I’m so happy they decided to go this route with Alex, and having this revelation about herself at this time in her life. Great episode, and I hope they keep up the good work.
This episode inspired me to write my first ever fanfic. Supercorp FTW!
OK, why you don’t want mon El and kara together romantically? What’s wrong with them? And who you think should be with super girl then? I mean she bound to have a love interest. I mean assuming she will not be into girls (if she is, I am totally want her with lena, but that’s probably not gonna happen so….) it’s just I don’t understand why everyone dislike mon El and kara together(I find them ok) So just trying to understand. Hope you don’t mind :)
Because he’s like freaking Scrappy Do but made of awkward cardboard that’s why.
I like Mon-El as a friend or love interest of Kara’s. The reason he’s unpopular on this website is because he’s an entitled hetero white guy who wasn’t appreciative of all the hard work that Kara (and the other woman at CatCo) did for him. I’d say that none of that is really his fault. He’s from another planet, where he worked as a security guard, and he’s dealing with the death of everyone he knew. This is how I would expect him to act. Now he’s starting to see things from Kara’s perspective.
I like Mon-El as a character – I think he’s interesting for the reasons TR_Jessie said, he’s dealing with the death of his planet, waking up on a new planet, etc, suddenly expected to be Good when he was just a do-your-duty guy before – and while I do sometimes think he marches around like entitled hetero white guys I know in real life, that’s not why I don’t like him as a love interest for Kara. I LOVE him as a friend/mentee of Kara’s, I think the whole I-couldn’t-do-this-for-my-cousin-so-I’ll-train-you thing is very interesting. And trying to get someone to want to fight evil when he’d rather just win arm wrestling matches. I just think Kara deserves someone a little…better. And I don’t want anyone to take away from the fact that this show is about Supergirl, and him having a lot of the same powers as her could potentially start to do that.
I was into the idea of Kara/James at some point in Season 1, but the writers seem to have made him a whole new person this season. I also know she won’t be into girls anytime soon, if ever, on the show (and agree, Lena all the way if miracles can happen), but honestly I think I’d prefer her not have a love interest at all for a bit longer. She’s dealing with a lot right now – being Supergirl, learning how to be a reporter, supporting her sister – why not just focus on that stuff and enjoy it for a while. I think in my ideal world, I’d rather her meet someone toward the end of the season, a new recruit for the DEO or something, have a cute flirtation period, a date or three, then we break for the summer, and when we come back, they’re just ~dating~ and we can start a new season with that new dynamic.
But I might also be protective of Kara. She’s one of my favorite characters ever, so maybe no one will ever be good enough for her in my eyes! Maybe I’ll just have to deal. We’ll see. :)
I agree with Val. I’d like to see her keep being single and to eventually date a guy (Or a girl because how is she not bi?? She gets so smiley and giggly around Lena!) who is like her and doesn’t need her to fix him, and who doesn’t have powers so that he can’t take her spotlight as the main character. I’m not really worried about Mon doing that because he’s worse than James at being a hero (I mean, James saved the people in the bank.), but I do understand the concern. Mon is definitely adorable as Kara’s substitute cousin though.
Great review Valerie. Thanks for the time and energy you put into this recap. I love how they wrote this for Alex. It was real and true to the times we live in. Though there was some hint to the fear of rejection, to me it was portrayed as more of a fear of the unknown whereas back in my day it was both.
I came out in the very early 80’s and it was terrifying and a very terrifying time(yes, I’m a middle-aged fangirl). Back then a person was more likely than not to be rejected by family and friends or at least that was my experience, it was also at the very beginning of the AIDS epidemic for which the LGBT were made out as villians & blamed for the disease. My family knew I was gay before I even knew what the word meant but that didn’t deter them from completely shaming me when I did finally figure it out. My story is definitely not every one’s story for which I am happy as it sucked in epic proportions.