This week’s episode of Supergirl season 3 was a frustrating entry. It drew attention to issues with Kara Danvers’ morality. The premise was that Kara had to travel to a destination that was “poisonous to anyone with a Y chromosome.” It’s frustrating seeing a show about aliens be so cis-centric. But, that wasn’t the major problem with this episode.
Kara recruited Leslie Willis and Gayle Marsh to team up with her, along with Imra Ardeen. Leslie and Gayle were brave and heroic. They dropped everything to help find a way to stop Reign. But, throughout the episode Kara never stopped treating them like monsters. This juxtaposed horribly with her insistence on giving Reign a chance for redemption.
The ending of the episode was infuriating. Kara declared that Gayle should be moved to a nicer cell “possibly one with a window.” Kara’s smug smile and Gayle’s look of gratitude were disgusting to watch. This moment made it clear enough that there’s no amount of sacrifice that will stop Kara from considering herself so above criminals that she can play judge and jury, granting small mercies only as she sees fit. But, the next scene was even worse.
Leslie died on this mission, which Kara recruited her for and was responsible for. This could have been an opportunity for Kara to self-reflect. Instead, Mon-El gave her a pep talk about what a great person she is. I’m not exaggerating here, he said that Leslie was “as bad as they come” and Kara gave her something worth “sacrificing” for. Claiming that Kara is ultimately a hero for getting Leslie killed was not a good look for the show.
The most important aspect of any superhero show is for it to be about justice. But, Supergirl‘s idea of justice is simply reiterating the societal belief that criminals are less than and that they should be grateful for any rights they get.