Spoilers ahead for "We Can Be Heroes," the latest episode of The CW's Supergirl!
The short version: Livewire is kidnapped and used to make electricity super-soldiers. Kara is training Mon-El, who totes has a crush on her. Kara learns James is the Guardian. She is not happy. Martian Manhunter forgives Miss Martian, but the White Martians are coming. Uh-oh.
The good: Superhero team-up, Guardians comes clean, Martian mayhem, girl power
Trent: It's been a long time coming, but this episode finally paid off the tease of a superhero team-up between Supergirl, Guardians and Mon-El. Sure, it was a little cheesy (complete with the spinning camera Avengers-style shot), but it was still amazing to see how far this show has come. Who would've thought Supergirl would be able to float its own superhero team-up, and without tapping into the Arrowverse or bringing Superman back for a visit? They've been stringing the Guardians reveal out for far too long, and it was good to finally get that out in the open. Literally everyone except for Kara knew, and that lasted way too long. As for Kara's response? Yeah, we'll talk about that later.
Martian Manhunter got himself a nice little B-plot this week, as Miss Martian is on the verge of death due to what turns out to be a psychic attack. J'onn has been bottling up a whole lot of anger and hate over Miss Martian's identity, and it was a nice moment to see him forced to work through that. The last great thing about this episode? The fact that Supergirl got to save all the boys playing superhero. This show has added a whole lot of testosterone since moving to The CW, but this was a quick reminder that it's still a show about girl power. When the chips are down, Kara's the hero -- not Superman, Guardian, Mon-El or anyone else.
Dany: Livewire has not, thus far, been exactly what I'd call a worthy nemesis for Supergirl, but it was a nice surprise that she wasn't actually the villain this episode, but the victim. A silly as the actual villain was, giving one of Supergirl's main baddies a slightly more complex relationship with our protagonist is welcome, even if it probably will be short-lived. Hey. You never know. They might braid each other's hair before the next fight. I'm sure someone will make some fan art at least, and that's good enough for me.
The bad: Kara's Guardian reaction, Mon-El's crush, the heavy-handed mad scientist
Dany: This was unmistakably a housekeeping episode: further solidifying up Mon-El and Kara's barfy romantic arc, finally getting M'Gann and J'onn on the same page before the inevitable return of the White Martians, and getting Guardian's identity completely out in the open, if only to set up more conflict between our Scooby Gang. The thing is, none of it was compelling enough to make for a very tense or engaging story. "We Can Be Heroes" is a prime example of an episode being less than the sum of its parts.
Also, there wasn't enough Sanvers. I mean ... a bet to see if Alex would stay at Maggie's place? C'mon, Supergirl. C'mon. Gay this thing up for real, homies. Just have a whole episode where aliens cause Alex and Maggie to be timelocked in the sexy bedroom, like that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "Where the Wild Things Are," but not terrible.
Trent: So, Kara learns James is Guardian, and he pours his heart out to her about why he’s been going out and fighting criminals. And she totally shuts him down and tells him there’s no way he can do this because he’s a lowly human. But … doesn't Kara's sister Alex (and literally every other DEO agent) throw themselves into these situations on a daily basis and risk their lives? Yes, it's obvious Kara is trying to protect him, but this just came off as silly. So she cares more about James' safety than Alex's safety, now?
After beating around the push the past several weeks, Mon-El finally came clean about his not-so-secret crush on Kara. This show has veered into soapy territory before, but that scene was oozing cheese. If you walked in on that moment, you'd think you were watching a 90210 knockoff instead of a superhero show. Let's find the balance, y'all. Oh, and Mon-El's 1.0 costume with the weird sunglasses? Kill it with fire. Lastly: They were obviously trying for some social commentary with the mad scientist baddie, but boy, that went sideways fast. The "nasty woman" line? Cringe-worthy.
Line of the night
"Clark always makes it look so fun! Like you have a deadly pen pal you see once a year." -Kara
So what's next for Mon-El and Kara? Are we in for several more weeks of awkward, flirty glances and longing looks? What's next for James and Winn now that Kara is aware of their super-activities? She made it clear she's not in favor, but how long will it take her to come around?
Up next: The White Martians attack, looking like a full-on sci-fi horror story. Yes, please.