If you’ve been following the CBS-turned-CW series Supergirl, you know everyone’s favorite woman of steel has had a lot on her plate lately. But being the awesome hero that she is, she doesn’t let that bring her down. Part of what I love about the show is, of course, its generally empowering representation of female characters – and not just Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist). I love Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) and Cat Grant (Calista Flockart), as well. So how are things stacking up for the ladies of Supergirl so far this season? Let’s examine it (there will be spoilers — you’ve been warned!).
What I’ve always loved about Alex is that she has grown up in the shadow of Kara’s amazingness, but rather than feeling either jealous on one had or inadequate by comparison on the other, she has risen to the occasion and found a way to become a genuine hero in her own right. And luckily, we’re seeing more of that from her so far this season.
What’s more, Alex is proving that she’s not afraid to speak her mind, and that she understands her own value. When Kara tells Alex she’s considering moving to Metropolis to be closer to Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), Alex calls her out. She reminds Kara of all the times she has shown up for her, whereas Clark essentially abandoned her. Alex lets Kara know that if she decides to leave, it will make her feel basically like she has been rejected. And Kara gets it – she hears what Alex is saying and decides to stay. She realizes in that moment that if she runs to Clark, she’ll be shying away from her own power. It’s a strong scene for both characters.
Everything about Cat is amazing. She doesn’t put up with any nonsense. She believes that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. And she is an incredible mentor for Kara. She believes in Kara, sees her potential, and pushes our hero to take risks and step outside her comfort zone.
Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll be seeing less of Cat this season, likely because the show has moved from CBS to The CW, and this has had implications for Flockhart. This will be a major loss. But, the reason Cat gives for taking a leave of absence from her company is at least a good one. She has reached the point at CatCo where she feels like she has done everything she can do – there’s no more growth potential for her there. So she’s taking the same advice she repeatedly gives to Kara and she’s heading off on new adventures, rather than staying in her comfortable, familiar role and stagnating. If she has to go, I’m glad she’s doing it boldly.
What’s more, Cat gives Kara one more much needed push before taking her leave. Kara is now working as a journalist, and she’s reporting to a guy who doesn’t really take her seriously. She goes to Cat to ask her to give her new boss a talking to, but Cat won’t do it. Instead, she encourages Kara to stand up for herself and show the guy what she’s capable of.
So all in all, despite the fact that Cat won’t be around as much this season, what we’ve seen from her so far is very much in keeping with the tough-but-kind-hearted character we’ve grown to love.
I for one was a little worried when I heard that Superman would be joining the show. This is Kara’s story, not his, and I didn’t want him to overshadow her. And for a little while, it seemed like Kara might allow him to do just that.
During the first two episodes, Kara and Clark have been teaming up, fighting baddies and having a blast together. Nothing wrong with that. And in fact, it’s a good thing for Kara in many ways. It has given her the chance to connect with someone who is biologically her family, and who understands what it’s like to live as a Kryptonian among humans. But when she almost decides to leave National City for Metropolis to be closer to Clark, it seems as if her faith in her ability to successfully juggle her life as both Kara and Supergirl on her own may be faltering. But as mentioned above, Alex snaps her right out of that way of thinking.
By the end of the season’s second episode, Kara has reaffirmed her confidence in her talents both as a hero and as a reporter, thanks to the encouragement of Alex and Cat, respectively. And this, of course, is what we love to see – women helping and uplifting one another.
So far, the season is off to a pretty decent start when it comes to the representation of its female characters. And we haven’t even seen Lynda Carter as the president yet! As always, I’m eager to see where the show takes our heroes in the coming episodes.