Supergirl Review: “Midvale”

Flashbacks to The Adventures of Young Supergirl leave us wanting more!

Supergirl – “Midvale”, Season 3, Episode 6
Airdate: November 13, 2017
Writers: Caitlin Parrish and Jessica Kardos
Production Company: Berlanti Productions / Warner Bros. Television

What You Should Know:

Both heartbroken, (Supergirl over losing Mon-El, and Alex over losing Maggie) the Danvers sisters head home for a few days of R&R.

What You’ll Find Out:

Back at their childhood home in Midvale, Kara and Alex revert to their old roles of conflicting sister squabblers. Kara tells Alex that she needs to talk about her feelings over her break-up with Maggie, which causes Alex to call Kara a hypocrite as she feels Kara never talks about her own feelings. They separate, leaving Kara to remember her time as a young girl, still getting used to living on Earth.

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Kara as a young girl never felt that she fit in with humans. While Alex was a popular girl who hung out with the jocks and A-list students, Kara felt more comfortable with the outsider element. Her only real friend is a boy named Kenny who is often bullied by the local football captain Jake and his friends. After an especially bad argument with Alex, in which Alex tells Kara that she blames her for her father not being there, Kara becomes even more withdrawn as she feels she has no one she can relate to. Seeing her distress, Kenny invites Kara to a forest clearing to watch the stars. This cheers up Kara as she confides in Kenny that he’s the only person in Midvale who makes her feel normal. Kenny then tells Kara that she is normal and that it’s everyone else in the town who have skeletons in their closets, some of which he has physical proof of on his laptop.

When Kenny is discovered dead the following day, Kara is disgusted to see the same students who picked on Kenny suddenly acting sad that he is gone. The only exception to this is Jake, who arrogantly mocks Kenny’s death in front of Kara. Angered, she pins Jake against the lockers and tells him to confess why he hated Kenny so much. Jake announces in front of the assembled students that it’s because Kenny had photos on his laptop of him smoking marijuana. Though the confession didn’t reveal who Kenny’s killer is, Kara is happy to know the drug use revelation caused Jake to be suspended from school.

Going back to the forest clearing, Kara discovers that Alex has followed her. Alex admits that she met with Kenny in secret so that he could help tutor her in math. Alex tells Kara that she feels just as bad about his death and that she wants to help her find his killer. Together they discover Kenny’s laptop hidden in a pile of leaves. Taking it home, they find some photos on the laptop have been encrypted. Kara tells Alex that her cousin Clark in Smallville has a friend who’s good with computers and can probably decrypt the files for them. It’s only when Kara shares that this friend’s name is Chloe and that she has a “wall of weird” that we realize that she’s talking about Chloe Sullivan from the older CW television series Smallville.

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They eventually find files showing one of their teachers, Mr. Bernard, kissing Alex’s high school friend Josie. When Alex confronts Josie, telling her that she should report the teacher to the police, Josie tells her to mind her own business and that they are in love. Josie then goes to Mr. Bernard and tells him that Alex Danvers knows about them. While walking home from school, Kara and Alex are almost hit by a car. They report it to the police, telling them they think it was the same teacher from before. Mr. Bernard is arrested but this doesn’t sit well with Kara’s and Alex’s mother Eliza. Fearing that Kara’s powers could put her daughter’s lives in jeopardy, she has J’onn J’onzz aka The Martian Manhunter shape-shift into an FBI agent who looks exactly like Kara’s birth mother. This shocks Kara enough that she takes to heart the promise J’onn makes her give, to not use her powers again for the safety of her new family.

While this is happening, Josie angrily tells Alex that because of her Mr. Bernard was wrongly arrested. She explains that the teacher was with her during the time Alex and Kara were almost run over. When Alex tells Kara the news, Kara tells Alex that she’s letting the case go and that she plans to be a plain human girl from now on. Seeing that her sister won’t help her anymore, Alex goes to the town’s Sheriff with her news instead. The Sheriff seems very interested in Alex’s story and tells her to follow him to a secluded area of privacy. At the same time, Kara receives an e-mail from Chloe in Smallville with the rest of the decrypted files. Kara is shocked to discover that one of the files shows the town Sheriff selling drugs. Realizing that the Sheriff is the person who killed Kenny, Kara calls Alex to tell her what’s she’s found out. Alex tells Kara where she is and to come help, but the Sheriff ends the conversation and moves in to kill Alex. Kara uses her powers to fly to Alex and manages to knock out the Sheriff just in time.

The next day Alex shares that her old friends aren’t as friendly to her anymore now that they’ve caused Jake to be suspended from school and also because they had Mr. Bernard arrested for dating Josie. Alex says that she doesn’t mind though as long as she has her sister. Kara then reveals that one of the encrypted files is of Kara flying across the night sky. They both realize just how wonderful Kenny was as he knew Kara was an alien but wanted to be her friend anyway. They are humbled when Kenny’s mother gives them Kenny’s telescope as a thank you for discovering Kenny’s killer.

Waking up from a deep rest, present-day Alex sees Kara looking through Kenny’s old telescope. Remembering what had happened 10 years prior, Alex tells Kara that she feels better and that having her as a sister is the most important relationship she could have.

What Does This Mean for the Future?

The repercussions from this episode show that the healing has begun for both Alex and Kara. They understand that no matter what, they are there for each other. Though it’s taken some time, I think they finally understand that communication is key.

Rating: 9/10

Final Thought: Supergirl took the show to a whole other level this week. Honestly, it felt like an entirely new show of its own. The throwback nods to the original Smallville television series not only was a fun geek-out moment for fans, but it also gave “Midvale” the feel of a spin-off series in-line with Smallville. Then you add the cinematic original Supergirl actress Helen Slater playing Kara’s adoptive mother and realize that she also played Clark’s birth mother in the Smallville series… It almost makes your mind explode.

When I first started watching Supergirl, I liked it. A lot. Then in the first season, they aired the episode “Red Faced”, which introduced the android character Red Tornado and I suddenly became aware that the series was elevated from what it was before. I had the same reaction to this episode as well.  Instead of keeping to the same tracks past episodes have made, the series at times takes you completely off the rails in a different direction that is fun, imaginative and nostalgic all at the same time. This episode checked so many of those boxes for me. I give high praise to the creative team who decided to go this route and I look forward to the treats they have in store for upcoming episodes as well. Bravo!

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