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Supergirl: It's a Super Life

Kara: “Every day, when I wake up, I imagine this moment – the moment where my being Supergirl gets someone I love killed. And I have to push that fear so far down, or I can’t get out of bed.”

Supergirl does It’s a Wonderful Life, and this time I really like the lesson learned.

Mxyzptlk, (Mxy from now on), the imp with fifth dimensional powers, shows up at Kara’s door. He’s serving some sort of probation set by those in charge of the fifth dimension. Or maybe it’s the ninth step of Imps Anonymous, I wasn’t quite sure. Anyway, his assignment is to make amends to those he’s harmed, and he’s here to help Kara in any way he can. Luckily for him, she’s the last on his list.

Mxy can play with time, which makes him especially dangerous, and Kara’s first reaction is Never! But then Kara finds something in her past that she wishes she could change. She wishes she had told Lena of her dual identity sooner. Alex and J’onn try to talk her out of this, but Kara makes some good arguments.

So Kara invites Mxy back into her home. He’s able to bring up different versions of her past. Kara can enter them and they can see how the different scenarios play out.

Now, I want to bring up a concept that might be better in a review of an episode of The Good Place: Outcome-based morality. Outcome-based morality is determined by the outcome of your choices. A choice is good if it leads to happiness; a choice is bad if it leads to death and destruction. You might call evolution's survival of the fittest as a type of outcome-based morality.

So, Kara tries telling Lena at one point in their past, and then in another. Unfortunately, in the other timelines, Lena’s still angry, and people die. Kara, Alex, Lena, and Mon-El, to name a few. Outcome-based morality shows these choices were bad.

It seems that there is no good time to tell for Kara to confess to Lena, until she backs up to very early in their friendship. Kara takes a chance shortly after they have met. And, for a while, things work out beautifully. A Kryptonian and a Luthor joining forces! So different from the enmity between the brother and the cousin! Lena and Kara do great things together, and each proves her worth to the other, especially when Lena takes the fifth rather than reveal Supergirl’s human identity.

But others, less agreeable than Lena, also want to know Supergirl’s human identity. Supergirl brings back Agent Liberty, who has his own reason for resenting Supergirl, who is being worshipped as a god by the Rao cult. Agent Liberty’s entire family jumped off a roof, hoping to be rescued by Supergirl, and as gravity won, he resents her (even the Bible tells you not to put God to the test). Liberty kidnaps Lena (and Colville, the head of the Rao cult, whom Liberty has similar grounds for hatred). He tells the world that if Supergirl does not reveal her identity to the world, he’ll kill Lena.

With her best friend’s life at stake, Kara reveals her identity. Liberty releases his hostages – for the moment. But with her identity out, now all her friends are in danger – and they are all murdered by the Children of Liberty. Kara had a good reason for hiding her human persona.

Sharing her identity with Lena may have been the right thing to do, but the outcome is so horrible, Kara decides against it. She and Mxy try again, this time having Kara and Lena never become friends. This turns out to be the worst version of events so far. Moreover, Kara and Mxy are even trapped in it for a while, because Lena’s draining fifth dimension energy and Mxy’s finger-snapping doesn’t work. This gives Supergirl the chance to bring in the other characters, such as Brainy and Nia, for the requisite fight scene.

They get back to our present, and Kara realizes there are no versions that work. She realizes she has to go with what actually happened. She apologizes again to Lena, but warns her that if Lena tries to do something evil with her brother, Kara will work to stop her. Kara also resolves to stop beating herself up with guilt over Lena. She can’t (or in her case, won’t) change the past, and all she can do is apologize and move forward. A good lesson for all of us.

Title musings. The title of this episode is “It’s a Super Life,” which is a twist on the title of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, in which Jimmy Stewart (ok, his character, George Bailey) is shown what the world would be like if he had never been born. I like this title.

Bits and pieces

The happy place for Danvers and J’onzz is a woodsball arena.

Mxy, like a vampire, can only enter a home if invited.

In some versions, Kara is back with Mon-El and Mxy says he never could see what Kara saw in Mon-El – which was a complaint of many fans. Of course, in real life Melissa Benoist (Kara) and Chris Wood (Mon-El) are married.

Our Winn, even though he went back to the future in the last episode, is in this episode because we went back in the past. He gives off the same wise vibe.


Mxy: I am now required by fifth dimensional law to give you this recording saying my name backwards.

Kara: This is changing history to save history. Lex and Lena are planning something horrible, and we are no closer to finding out what that is.

Sam: You were never the villain. You were always the hero.

Lena: You expect me to be your partner after this, when all you’ve done is prove to me you can’t be trusted at all?

Kara: You’re skipping a lot!
Mxy: That was exposition. It’s all exposition!

Mon-El: You should know you deserve the same compassion that you show others.

Overall Rating

A much better episode than we’ve seen in a while. Why? Because it focused on Kara, and a real dilemma she has in her struggle to do what is right. Four out of four giant boxes of popcorn.

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


  1. I really loved this one for all the reasons you gave, Victoria. A worthy 100th episode. And it did a lot to "fix" the current situation with Lena, which has been bothering me. It works for me now.

  2. I somehow missed that it was the 100th episode - how remiss of me! You're right; it was worthy.


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