Supergirl: The Faithful

“In the name of Supergirl, our Savior, we give thanks.”

What do you do when people start to worship you? Those who have been saved by Supergirl form a select group – basically a cult – to share their experiences and to worship her. An extremely interesting, thought-provoking episode.

The episode starts two years ago on an airplane, with two guys talking. One is all excited about the fact that his wife is pregnant while the other fellow, jaded and drinking, tells him that life is worthless. Then the plane has engine trouble, starts going down, and it seems that life is over. However, this is a mostly happy show, and the plane is rescued. Turns out that the plane going down is the very first plane that Supergirl rescued. Jaded man – later we learn his name is Thomas Colville – looks out the window and sees her as she climbs out of the river on to the wing.

How would you feel if you were saved by Supergirl? How would it change you? We get to see how Colville reacted, and the reactions of others (a great chance to bring back some of those who had bit parts in earlier episode). Mostly they feel overwhelming gratitude.

The episode has an excellent way of introducing the cult. Sam and her daughter Ruby were rescued by Supergirl a few episodes back, and evidently the cult seeks out Supergirl's rescuees to join them. They are approached by someone who knows who they are, and Sam is given a pamphlet. It's creepy. Kara learns about the cult/meeting, and decides to investigate, with James and Winn tagging along for moral support. And it turns out she needs moral support.

The meeting was cultish, yes, but you can also understand its appeal. These people have had an incredible experience and it's natural that they want to share. It’s also natural that Supergirl should be extremely uncomfortable with being considered a savior, and that she should want it to stop. Still, at first the organization seems harmless, but then we learn that they are trying to recruit more members by putting more people in danger and relying on Supergirl.

Colville has found lots of Kryptonian artifacts and is incorporating worship of the Kryptonian god Rao in his services. Interesting.

I especially appreciated several things about this episode. First, Supergirl did not hesitate – at least she did not hesitate long -- to use her status as a god to order Colville to stop doing what he was doing. After all, if you have power, you should use it. Second, Colville, although endangering people, was not doing this to enrich himself. He seems to be a true believer and I think that’s neat. Third, he recognized her even when she appears as Kara Danvers.

The parts of the episode that were not about the cult did not work so well for me. Although I liked the little girls dancing in their Supergirl outfits, Ruby’s song slowed down the episode and although I’ve heard worse singers, I’ve heard much better and I only want to be treated to the best. It was a reasonable, logical segue to Alex’s being upset that her marriage to Maggie means no kids, ever, and that she would have a little weepy session with her sister. But it went on too long and the plot thread is not interesting.

Title musings: The Faithful refers most to those in the Supergirl worshipping cult, and reminds us that even those who are “on our side” can cause us trouble. But it also applies to moms and women everywhere who go to kids’ performances and who show up all the time for the next generation.

Bits and pieces

Must be difficult to invite people over when you know you might need to leave at any moment to go save some random person in the city. How often can you use the “we’re out of ice” excuse? Did Kara even remember to bring some back?

Last week’s episode was all about fathers and fatherhood; this week we had a secondary theme of mothers and motherhood.

Reminded of the Bible quote, "thou shalt not put thy God to the test." Never really understood that until now. Must be extremely annoying to gods – especially if they are not completely omnipotent or omniscient – to be tested. They want to enjoy girls’ night out!

Lovely to see all the little girls dancing in their Supergirl costumes, being inspired. Supergirl should be an inspiration.

Morgan Edge was trying to cause trouble off screen. Good to know he made it off that cargo ship where Kara stranded him.

Kara actually seems to be doing some real reporter work. Thank goodness!

In the scene where Kara is being weakened by the kryptonite, most of the cult members run away and seem to be convinced that she is not really a god. Does this mean that these cult members are no longer going to be inspired? Have we hit the reset button for all the extras?

Not much of J’onn but we saw him sit beside M’yrnn. They are also faithful.

Quotes

Coville: Trust me, it’s all a crock.

James & Winn: It’s all starting to feel a little – culty.

Supergirl: I remember all of them.

Supergirl: If I am a god, you need to do as I say.

Supergirl: He only hears what he wants to hear.

Colville: Even gods can lose their way.

Overall Rating

I thought all the cult stuff was fascinating. Uncomfortable for Kara, but completely understandable. It was great to have an episode without people who were completely evil, and I loved the fact that the writers did not make the choices that so many similar storylines would take (I am thinking of Deep Space Nine, mostly). Colville is now in prison, but he plans to pray for Kara, not to turn against her. The episode was only weakened by Alex’s angst about forgoing motherhood and Ruby’s singing. Three and a half out of four little Supergirl tutus.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

5 comments:

Elissa Yorgey said...

I thought when Colville saw Kara on the wing of the plane that she was where jeans and a blue shirt. Was it really her supergirl outfit? Somehow I missed that!

Elissa Yorgey said...

Ugh typo - *wearing*

Victoria Grossack said...

You're absolutely right, Elissa! Will edit that part out.

ladydmaj said...

While Ruby's singing was not great, I thought it was at least fairly decent and I really like that she's not a Charlotte Curch or Jackie Evancho just waiting for her X-Factor moment. She sounded like dozens of soloists I've heard at kids' concerts over the years, and I liked that moment of realness. Unless you have a little tyke you're adoring, or the school has someone with loads of talent, those things are a real chore to sit through.

Billie Doux said...

I thought this episode was excellent. It all worked for me, especially Kara's discomfort and confusion, and the decisions she had to make. I even got teary at the end when they were doing "Hallelujah."

Even though Alex isn't a character I feel that strongly about, I identified with her this time because when I was a teenager, I desperately wanted to be a mother. If I'd had to face a choice like that -- marry the love of my love, *or* have a child, but not both -- I don't think I'd have been able to do it.