REVIEW: Supergirl, S2E13 – Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk

The much-discussed Valentine’s Day episode of Supergirl finally arrived. The question is whether “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk” touched the romantic in all of us, and the writers offered up plenty of love stories to meet a variety of needs.

Unless, of course, your needs involve either J’onn (David Harewood) or James (Mehcad Brooks) getting screentime. J’onn showed up to announce that he would be sending M’gann a telepathic Valentine’s message, which was incredibly sweet. But it was a little odd that Kara (Melissa Benoist) spent more time squeeing over the notion of Martian romance than J’onn spent doing… anything at all. James, meanwhile, didn’t show up at all. Guess he used up his allotted screen time by actually having a plot last week.

A heartwarming prom/Valentine’s day dance for our favorite lovebirds.

Now onto the romances! Supergirl‘s promotional department billed the episode as a romantic Sanvers special early on before switching gears to Mon-El (Chris Wood) fighting for his woman. It’s probably a good thing they didn’t overemphasize the Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima) aspect of the story, because it only amounted to four scenes or so. Granted, they were four wonderful scenes that actually provided insight into Maggie’s background for once. I just wish the show didn’t have to resort to the misunderstanding through miscommunication followed by a grandiose make-up formula so often.

Alex starts the episode off by lying to Maggie that she also hates Valentine’s Day because Maggie previously withheld the reason she hates the holiday, and that lack of trust is used to set off the conflict but not actually explored as a mistake on the part of either woman. Maggie’s tale of familial rejection and abandonment would have been equally as powerful if she had told Alex in an intimate moment, or if she had explained why she hated Valentine’s Day from the start. Then Alex could’ve been worried about how to tell Maggie she still wanted to celebrate before deciding not to “push her feelings down.” Regardless, their fight and subsequent make up were lovingly acted and directed, and I wish Supergirl would have spent a little more time with them.

Winn is just a boy sitting in front of an alien asking her to love him.

Winn (Jeremy Jordan) had first first meet-cute since Siobhan, meanwhile, and it was admittedly adorable. A Starhaven native named Lyra saves the hapless techie from an unwanted bar fight and as payment demands a date with him. Luckily for her, Starhaven is on the top of Winn’s bucket list and he is ready to tell her all about his hometown if she’ll dish about hers. After some understandable stumbling blocks in interspecies dating, the two hit it off and decide to move forward slowly. Well, depending on one’s definition of slow, that is. Lyra knows humans can be prejudiced against her and doesn’t want her heart broken, while Winn doesn’t want his heart broken by anyone regardless of their birth planet. I actually enjoyed their dynamic, but the focus on her as an outsider that humans might mistreat unintentionally reminded me of the way Supergirl treats its characters of color. Kind of killed the romantic mood, honestly.

The most important storyline of the night belonged to the eponymous “Mr. & Mrs. Mxyzptlk,” of course. And third wheel Mon-El, lest we forget. Mr. Mxyzptlk (guest star Peter Gadiot) embodies every trope of Nice Guys who won’t take no for an answer, as Kara must reject a being with the power to bend time and space. Talk about a nightmare come to life for the ladies in the audience, right? Mon-El tries to play the hero to her damsel in distress, but in doing so ends up perpetuating those same sexist stereotypes. It’s imminently satisfying to watch Kara get the upper hand on her stalker and send him back to the fifth dimension without her knight in shining armor’s help, but it’s unfortunate that Supergirl doesn’t seem to notice just how not-charming Mon-El’s interference was.

Can Mr. Mxyzptlk say Mon-El’s name backwards and make him disappear?

How is it that tells Winn “Things were much easier on Daxam when I objectified women and didn’t care about anyone,” without a hint of irony, and then ends up kissing Kara at the end of the episode? Their romance is blossoming while he still seems to waver when Kara cites her rule of no killing, and while he still seems to be trying to teach her how to do her job without actually doing anything heroic himself. Even their final scene, in which he tells Kara he’s going to listen to her and respect her rejection of him, sends a convoluted message. It turns out Kara only rejected him to trick Mr. Mxyzptlk into thinking that she would marry him. And while I love that she got to execute the Fortress of Solitude plan on her own and succeed, I fail to understand why lying to Mon-El had to be part of the plan. Men lying to women “to protect them” is the bane of superhero stories, but it doesn’t make the story suddenly feminist because a women did it to a man this time.

That being said, if you are a fan of Sanvers and of Kara’s relationship with Mon-El, then this week’s Supergirl should’ve hit the spot. As for me, I look forward to Maggie and Alex continuing to develop their romance, and I’m especially excited about the return of Jeremiah Danvers next week!