One of our listeners wrote us an email to express her thoughts on “The Mon-El Problem” this season and speculate on the character’s future.
Hi Rebecca, Carly, and Morgan:
I wanted to say that I, too, was disappointed in the way that the writers resolved the Kara/Mon-El break up. It felt unearned. I recognize that we need him (more on that), but the fundamental problem with him is that when he’s on the screen, the focus is on Mon-El, not on Kara.
This is very different from the Alex/Maggie relationship. That relationship focuses on Alex. Sure, we’ve come to care about Maggie and we love seeing the two of them together, but Maggie in the picture helps us to see Alex’s true self and her journey.The Kara/Mon-El relationship is all about Mon-El and his journey, not about Kara and her journey. That’s why the scene when Kara broke up with him is so powerful. Her nature is to put her own needs second, which leaves her open to all sorts of manipulation. The villains know this and use it to their advantage.So does Mon-El. Kara cuts him slack over and over again. When she finally draws the line in the sand, we’re sad for her because she’s sad, but we’re also glad she made the tough call. Probably many of us have had to make a similar call when we realize that the person we think we love fails to share our core values.It is true that Mon-El finally gets it, but his saying he gets it isn’t the same as showing he gets it. As Maya Angelou said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Kara let him get away with it the first time, and the second–why should she believe he has changed this time?I get that the forgiveness was done in the musical format. As Kara said, everything is easier in a musical. But it still felt disrespectful, and from a feminist perspective, it’s awful. She’s the girl, and it’s on her to forgive him because she needed to see things from his perspective. This is rotten, not just because once more it pulls the focus from Kara and puts it on Mon-El, but also from a feminist perspective. It sends a terrible message to women about their role in a relationship.But okay, they’re back together, and I get that.So why do we need Mon-El? Because Kara is an attractive woman and attractive women are supposed to have love interests. The writers can’t give her a love interest of the season, since that means the focus is less on Supergirl being super and more on the men in her life. The writers can’t give her a permanent love interest, since that also will pull the focus from the female lead in a strong female-centric show.With Mon-El being set up as a temporary fixture, the writers can give Kara a steady love interest that will make her unavailable to future suitors. Ideally, Mon-El wouldn’t be dead (that leaves her open to other romantic entanglements), but just out of the picture and available for guest appearances.So how would that work? Well, he could go back to Daxam to govern, though having his mom and dad around would make that tricky unless they die. I’m leaning toward a more comics-faithful exit. He goes up against Cadmus and gets shot. In the comics, Mon-El is very susceptible to lead poisoning, and unlike Kryptonians, who recover from Kryptonite poisoning once the kryptonite is removed, Daxamites don’t recover from severe lead poisoning. In the comics, Mon-El gets sent to the Phantom Zone in order to save his life. He finally gets cured by the Legion of Heroes. I can see something similar happen on Supergirl.This would be a good ending. We get a happy Kara, who can see her boyfriend every once in a while, but the focus of the show would shift back onto Supergirl.
Up, up, and away!