REVIEW: Supergirl, S2E16 – Star-Crossed

This week’s Supergirl was all about the lies we tell and why we tell them, with Kara (Melissa Benoist) and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) heading up parallel story lines about relationships under strain due to secrets. Kara must deal with a season-long lie regarding Mon-El’s (Chris Wood) origins, while Winn learns that his girlfriend Lyra (guest star Tamzin Merchant) set him up to take the fall for an art museum robbery. How can either relationship move forward after this?

Lar Gand and Rhea are terrible people, but their actors are welcome back anytime.

Supergirl starts off with Mon-El acting rather heroically in Kara’s eyes, turning himself into the Daxamite invaders who have come calling for him to avoid further destruction. Of course, this action is lessened once the invaders end up being King Lar Gand (guest star Kevin Sorbo) and Queen Rhea (guest star Teri Hatcher) of Daxam, who quickly identify Mon-El as their son the Prince. Kara is understandably taken aback and feels betrayed, but it seems that every other character is in a rush for her to forgive her boyfriend on the spot. They don’t actually say that, but even her main interaction with her sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) is to remind her that Mon-El has good intentions.

There is quite a bit of dissonance here for me. Supergirl does a great job this episode of showing how much Kara’s influence has changed the Daxamite Prince for the better, yet the flashbacks show him leaving a woman who was in his bed moments earlier to die, and his parents remind the audience that they were essentially slave owners. Mon-El was raised in a very different and oppressive environment and, while it’s not his fault Daxam is that way, he participated in and benefited from that oppression. It feels like a misstep to make his backstory that dark and then ask audiences to root for him and Kara together.

Regardless, Supergirl clearly does want us to root for these two “star-crossed” lovers. Not only does Mon-El deliver an apology speech worthy of Barry Allen, but he stands up to his parents and sends them packing. He wants to stay on Earth and learn to be a hero whether or not Kara takes him back, which is admittedly admirable. The show also makes sure to connect this lie to Winn and Lyra’s story in an effort to explore the different ways people deal with deception, even though I disagree that the nature of the lies were in any way similar.

James looked out for Winn this episode, and helped Lyra out.

Winn finds out in one fell swoop that Lyra is both invisible to cameras and a con artist, leaving him bewildered when she remains adamant that he was nothing but a mark to her. As opposed to Kara, though, Winn refuses to stop believing in Lyra no matter what she tells him. He enlists James’ (Mehcad Brooks) help first in bringing her in, but then also in coming to her rescue. His faith is rewarded when she admits that there is a group holding her brother hostage, and that her thefts are to ensure his safety. James, Alex, and Maggie (Floriana Lima) all get a chance to show off their fighting skills and be heroes when it comes to their efforts in this endeavor. At the end of the day, Winn forgives Lyra without a second thought because he knows she cares about him and she acted out of love for her brother.

I was prepared to have an issue when Winn subsequently went to Kara and compared the situations, but Kara instead took his advice and promptly broke up with Mon-El because she deserves better. Even though the break up won’t last – Music Meister (guest star Darren Criss) clearly ships both Westallen and Karamel – it was nice to see her stick to her guns and her sense of betrayal for an episode. Now it’s up to The Flash to make a compelling enough case for her to take him back… in song form!