For the last season and a half Supergirl has had a big issue with one of its main characters. Mon-El has too often been the complete antithesis of what the show should be - a brash dude who always knows best and whose story always comes at the expense of the show's robust group of women.
He and every story he's touched has turned into a complete mess, but, in a surprisingly thoughtful episode this week, Supergirl might have finally fixed the character.
Mon-El (Chris Wood) is a problem that's about to be solved. Image: All images: The CW.
Without, you know, forcing him to grow a beard and sending him to the 31st century.
If you come to Supergirl just for flying robot monkeys and ice giants in the shape of Jor-El, then this week's Supergirl was probably a snooze. There was no big monster of the week, and the season's villain, Reign, only showed up in surveillance footage.
The geekiest thing to really happen was that Mon-El finally donned a proper red set of jammies with blue cape, as every iteration of Mon-El is eventually destined to do.
GIF: The CW
After Mon-El got the cool fight scene last week and took out a robot dinosaur with his cape, this week he offered to teach Kara to do the same. It could have just been more of the show pussyfooting around the idea of Mon-El possibly leaving his wife for his ex-girlfriend, but this also happened to be the episode dealing with J'onn's father's Martian dementia.
And as you know from that one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, any time a fatherly figure spends centuries emotionally repressing himself only to have it psychically affect everyone around him we, the viewers, benefit.
In Star Trek's case it meant Wesley getting physically slapped, and in the case of Supergirl it meant Mon-El getting verbally slapped.
Did you feel Mon-El overtook Kara's story? He gets called out for that. Had a beef with how quickly the romance moved and how it seemed as though he made no effort to be better? Called out for that, too. Upset with how he's suddenly a very wise fighter and willing to teach Kara despite her being his mentor? Not only is he called out for that, but Kara punches him across a room over it.
If you've stuck with the show this long, then this was a deeply cathartic moment. Seeing the characters, and the show, finally acknowledging how profound a fuckboy Mon-El has been was immensely satisfying, and it was genuinely powerful for Kara to finally realise how unrealistic and rose-coloured she's been remembering her relationship with him had been, spurred mainly because of her grief at losing him last season.
The first setting in fixing a problem is admitting you have a problem, and Supergirl finally 'fessed up. Finally, maybe, the Kara and the show's crush on Mon-El is completely over and done with, and we can go back to a show about robots and ice giants, and aliens fighting each other with their capes.
Hanging with Kara (Melissa Benoist), James (Mehcad Brooks), Winn (Jeremy Jordan) and the Martian Manhunter's dad (Carl Lumbly) in a spacesuit for some reason.
- Also this week! Lena Luthor has imprisoned Sam "for her own good" and experiments on her to prove she's Reign. Neither of them have elected to tell their friends about this - including the government agent/xenobiologist Sam first confessed to. That will probably be a problem at some point.
- Carl Lumby's M'yrnn J'onzz is no longer allowed to be psychic, and it's telling that you actually understand his heartbreak - even if the show compares being psychically neutered with having your car keys taken away.
- Lena and James are still dating. For two such beautiful people that relationship is totally devoid of anything genuinely interesting.
- Confirmed: Kara doesn't rip off every shirt when quick changing into Supergirl. Sometimes she carefully unbuttons a blouse because she likes it.
- Pam from HR is a force to be reckoned with.