Supergirl: Not Kansas

Kara: “This is not good-bye, but see you on the flip side. Or as we say on Krypton, (some krypton, but my program doesn’t have that font), to be continued.”

In which Kara goes home to Mom – but it no longer feels like home.

The episode begins by wrapping up the tensions from the last episode. Although Reign has burst through her confinement, Supergirl arrives with the magic rock (OK, it’s part of the Rock of Yuda Kal, but magic rocks are such a trope that I’m calling it magic rock from now on), and Lena is able to stop Reign. Sam wakes up in her body and asks for an aspirin, which is rather cute.

This episode takes time to follow up on events that were given short shrift in the previous episode. Kara tells Alex that her mother is alive, and leaves for Argo, perhaps permanently. Mon-El, who is just sticking around in this time period because of Kara, accompanies her.

The farewells are heart-wrenching, especially between Kara and Alex. Kara also gets a big party from her friends and colleagues at the DEO.

Then we have time of adjustment. Crime (despite Supergirl’s departure; supposedly the criminals do not know she’s gone) is down, and James as Guardian is bored – until a bank robbery (that is not a bank robbery) gets his adrenaline pumping. Because he has been attacked by weapons that apparently come from the DEO.

That brings us to the gun issue. The episode does show both sides, with the gun manufacturer talking about bonding across generations with guns (why does it have to be with a lethal weapon? Why not play an instrument or throw a baseball?) and how many people he employs. But as the DEO is a big client, they have some sway. Lena tells James that she has a handgun and that its use has saved her life more than once.

I would have liked to see more nuance in these arguments, and I agree with some suspected trolls that the episode falls a little short in this area, but I liked the resolution of this storyline. J’onn J’onzz decides that they will go for non-lethal weapons in the future. Obviously, some of the DEO agents disagree – we see them leaving – so the episode reminds us that there are at least two sides.

Kara is having some difficulty adjusting to life among her people. It’s great to see her with family, an old friend, and wandering around, unable to fly and liking it (but Mon-El gives her a ring so that she can fly if she needs to). But of course she has changed, and possibly Argo City was never as rosy as she believes. I think that many of us recall our childhood homes through rosy filters – filters because we were shielded by our parents’ protection. Kara’s spidey sense is tingling, and she’s right – someone is attacking her.

We also have Mon-El confess that he still has feelings for her, and that he sort of has his wife’s permission to be with Kara if he prefers. Kara is moved, but I was glad that the scene was cut short by life-threatening emergency.

Title musings: The title of the episode is “Not Kansas.” Well, obviously, none of the episode takes place in Kansas, unless National City is in Kansas, and I have found no indication that it is. But there are other reasons for the title. Nearly everyone will remember that Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz announced to her little dog Toto that they weren’t in Kansas anymore. Kansas, however, represents home – but Kara, even though she is back in Argo with her mother, does not feel at home. Moreover, she’s certain that some people are trying to harm her.

But Kansas has other implications, more obscure. Kansas, before it became part of the United States, was known as Bloody (or Bleeding) Kansas. The states with slaves and the states without slaves were at a parity, and both sides wanted the territory for their side, and they had a proxy pre-civil war in the territory. But J’onn J’onzz, by deciding to phase out lethal weaponry at the DEO, that they will not enable a bloody Kansas.

Bits and pieces


Why hasn’t Supergirl told Superman about Argo City? You think he’d want to know!

I liked how Supergirl, who was freaked that Lena Luthor could synthesize Kryptonite, wants to harness Lena’s talents to make some more magic rock.

Sam drops her glass when watching part of the movie Singin' in the Rain. Of course Rain is a homonym of Reign.

I don’t usually comment on the reviews of others but I noticed that several user reviews at IMDB totally objected to the anti-gun message in this episode. Given how quickly they appeared – and how they only objected to the anti-gun message and said nothing else – methinks the NRA has bought some trolls.

When Kara and Mon-El are having a romantic moment on Argo – he confesses he still has feelings for her – Kara’s white dress is wrinkle-free while Mon-El’s white shirt is full of wrinkles. Is wrinkled linen fashionable now, like all those holes in jeans? It has been fun to realize that my most ancient denims are now la mode!

Won’t people in National City realize that Supergirl is gone? And won’t Lena wonder where her friend Kara Danvers has got to?

Some bits I liked but don’t feel merit analysis: Ruby and Sam throwing popcorn at each other, and Alex looking at adoption sites.

Some bits I didn’t like but don’t feel merit analysis: the music when Kara and Mon-El were having their moment. The music was fine, but the fact that the episode needed it wasn’t.

Quotes

Kara (to Alex): You filled my heart. And no matter where I go, you will always be in it.

Alex: It’s time for Kara Zor-El to take care of herself.

James: Anyone who brings a mountain of pizza into this office can stay as long as they want.

Thara: Do you remember the time he made us take insect samples home to study, and they multiplied by the hundreds in our houses?

J’onn: You can begin something new – if you just put down that gun.

Mon-El: I’ve been trying to convince myself that friendship between us was the right thing. But I think I’ve been lying to myself.

Fel-Ra: Nothing is as it seems.

Winn: 99% sure. Dude, that is as sure as you’re allowed to be in science.

Overall Rating

Solid, interesting episode, but sometimes a little uneven. Three out of four magic rocks.

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

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

An excellent review, Victoria. It was a confusing episode with too much going on, and I honestly have no idea where they're planning to go. Clearly, Kara can't go home again. The audience knows she's not going to stay on Argo. And it felt like the Alex plot was jammed in there as a B plot when it should have gotten more air time.

I was also unhappy that Erica Durance got so little screen time. She is my favorite Lois Lane and they gave her so little to do. Why hire her if they're not going to do something with her?

Patryk said...

I also don't know what they want to achieve in the endgame, but I guess Reign will destroy Argo. That's the only way to go to solve the issue of Kara having two homes.

The gun message was so heavy handed that I could only roll my eyes. Let's hope Winn can steal the ICER design from Fitz and S.H.I.E.L.D. or there will be a lot more dead DEO agents in the future.

Anonymous said...

There was a brief moment during Kara's going away speech that shows another leaving do being thrown for her at CatCo, with the excuse that she's going on a field assignment, which Lena attends.