Supergirl: The Fanatical
May 22, 2018 1:50 PM - Season 3, Episode 19 - Subscribe

A disciple of Coville's escapes from what's left of his cult and gives Kara and James a journal that could help save Sam. Guardian's secret could be exposed.

AV Club review

The best thing about this episode was James' exploration of what it means to be black and a superhero, staring down the guns of police while the real villains run away. Then struggling to reveal himself to save someone, knowing how bad that could get because he's black. The scene between him and Lena was a strong one, and reminded me that Mehcad Brooks has serious acting chops that I forgot I've seen on Necessary Roughness.

Lena straight telling Shoehorn "We're not friends" was such a blow. But I mean, she's right. Supergirl never came to her as a friend, and now acting all chummy because Kara is friends with her is just straight up wrong. As others on the show have told her, sometimes keeping a secret is not for your sake, but for the other person. And it's definitely true when it's been drawn out this long. I know from personal experience that many things are better left unsaid when the only person it benefits is yourself. It's a little backwards though for James to tell her that her secret keep those close to her safe, when the same also applies to him. And then J'onn telling Mon-El the same thing with his feelings to Kara is also weird after Imra told him to just go for it, but of course that could ruin the current friendship with Kara, and again, it might be better to not say anything.

I was surprised that Pestilence and Purity got killed off so quickly, but it seems like they're moving the season finale towards curing Sam. So that makes sense. But Alex getting really comfortable with Ruby makes me think either Sam will die or Alex will get another heartbreak.

Oh yeah, there's a cult thing in here somewhere, but I barely noticed. It was nice though to see Supergirl getting through to someone with her empathy and not have to hurt them.
posted by numaner (11 comments total)
I don't buy that Shoehorn can't tell Lena her identity to "protect Lena". They want to preserve the interesting dynamic where they're both friends and not friends simultaneously, which is dramatically interesting, and the keeping Lena safe rationale is the only one that they can rely on since it means Kara is being selfless by maintaining the secrecy.

But it just isn't true. How is Lena Luthor meaningfully endangered by this information? Particularly when they can keep the fact that Lena knows Kara's identity a secret! It's not like Lena would update her instagram with a selfie giving the peace sign with the caption "GUESS WHO KNOWS SUPERGIRL'S SECRET IDENTITY LOLLOOOLLLOOL XOXO LENA".

Just tell her. Goddamit tell her already. JUST DO IT. It's the obvious choice! We know Kara has a martyr complex but it's annoying! Would Lucifer prove to Chloe that he was really Lucifer? No! Did Lucifer have a track record of making good and well thought out decisions? No! Don't be like Lucifer.
posted by Justinian at 5:30 PM on May 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

You could obviously argue that Kara is endangered the more people who know but that's no longer a selfless act, it's a selfish one. Arrrgh so angry.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on May 22, 2018

Yeah, this season is getting increasingly hard to watch because Supergirl's behavior re: Lena is just terrible.
posted by mordax at 6:09 PM on May 22, 2018

I also don't believe there was no kryptonite left until Lena figured out how to synthesize it. C'mon, you just know Batman has some of that shit tucked away for a rainy day.

Although what with Gotham I don't know what the timeline is here. Is this pre-Batman? Or what? I don't actually watch Gotham but I have the impression it's like a Batman-prequel thing.
posted by Justinian at 6:52 PM on May 22, 2018

Technically this is a different dimension where Arrow and pals are not active, so maybe no Batman. But we know there's more kryptonite in the world, even if characters do not. I forgot what that's called, audience knowledge or something.

I'm pretty sure Lena will find out about Kara by the end of this season. They're obviously building up to that, and then next season she'll be the big bad she's always meant to be with James caught in the middle. I don't like it, but they're telegraphing it pretty heavily.
posted by numaner at 6:58 PM on May 22, 2018

And it will all be Kara's fault.

posted by Justinian at 7:24 PM on May 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'll be fair to Kara on this one: even if she loves Lena, her brother is Lex and it is most likely not a good idea to let that guy's sister know she's Kryptonian, just in case he ever gets out and forces it out of Lena or something. I think that did get mentioned at some point.

But that said, yeah, this is all to have the dynamic of "friends with one alter ego, hates the other one." Which is both interesting and annoying at once.

Who the fuck puts handcuffs on a seven year old?!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:30 AM on May 23, 2018

Ok, I have to ask - why do I see Supergirl called "Shoehorn" in comments on the show?
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 6:38 AM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

like most in-jokes on MeFi, it was a typo/autocorrect in the thread for episode 2 of this season, and then Servo5678 and I kinda went with it.
posted by numaner at 8:11 AM on May 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

Who the fuck puts handcuffs on a seven year old?!

Cops, and it looks like seven was a conservative figure. A lot of the top links on a casual Googling involved five-year olds instead. :(

So I thought the whole thing with Guardian was a little out of left field, (James really is breaking the law, which should probably not be elided in a serious discussion of this), but it's good if gets people talking about that.
posted by mordax at 8:15 AM on May 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

James' story about being handcuffed at seven grew out of Mehcad Brooks' first experience with racism at that age.
posted by plastic_animals at 9:02 AM on May 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

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