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Supergirl: Identity Crisis

Supergirl: Identity Crisis

By Amy Ratcliffe Monday, November 7th, 2016

The #DCTV Couch Club is a team of DC fans dedicated to exploring the shared universe of The CW’s Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Look for new Couch Club posts here on after every new episode!

In a series starring an alien that has to keep her true self a secret from the majority of the world, it's obvious who should be wrestling with an identity crisis. Kara's double life as Kara Danvers, the budding journalist, and Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl, the hero of National City, is a tricky juggling act for her to balance. How Kara handles the two sides of her existence is a constant through line in Supergirl and played a role in "Crossfire," but she wasn't the only character facing a crossroads and grappling with one of the biggest questions of the galaxy: "Who am I?"

First of all, we have the unique Mon-El situation. Kara decided to be his mentor, and she is the very definition of overeager. It's adorable how she essentially tried to turn Mon-El into a Mini-Kara. She gave him glasses and somewhat dorky (but still adorable!) attire and hooked him up with a job at CatCo. Though I scratched my head over Kara trying to put Mon-El/Mike on the same path as her, the Kryptonian Pretending to be Human Playbook worked rather well for both her and Clark. Mon-El's not quite a Kryptonian, but he's close enough, right?


Interestingly, the Daxam vs. Kryptonite thing isn’t the problem. It's that Mon-El has a much different personality than Kara or Clark, and Kara doesn't know what to do with him. He has a lot to learn about Earth and how to survive on a strange (to him) new planet. Kara can help him out with dos and don'ts, but she can't hover over him every second of the day and sculpt him into another Super. He has to make his own way.

James is ready to change course, too. I'm not sure how thrilled he is about his new job or how qualified he is to sit in the chair vacated by Cat Grant (don't tell her I said so because she'd lecture me about how she's capable of making the best decisions for her company, thank you very much). He's been acting restless, and it turns out his unease was noticeable for a reason. I get where he's coming from. He's tired of being the best friend that stands by and documents the life of the super heroes he knows. He wants to help in a more hands-on fashion.

I raised an eyebrow at how quickly Winn shared classified intel with James, but I sort of think he suspected what was going on. Even though he tried to talk James out of a vigilante lifestyle, it's obvious he was also excited about it. Like he pointed out, he's already grappled with the "what am I doing with my life?" question. He went from IT extraordinaire at CatCo to a more meaningful role at the D.E.O. He wants to help James find what he has. It's sweet. Friendship is neat, guys.

And then on a less heroic but no less important scale, Alex did some soul-searching too. Her attraction to Maggie is obvious to literally everyone except Alex. It's been a delight to watch the tough and no-nonsense D.E.O. agent get a little giggly and nervous around Maggie. I am shipping them so hard. But while Maggie is comfortable with her sexual orientation, it's all new to Alex. Dating has just felt off to her for her entire life. Adjustment, discovery, revelation—Alex processing this new information is going to take a minute.

All of these identity and existential crises are important and key for character development and growth. An aspect I really appreciate about Supergirl is that the story runs the gamut from world-threatening problems to personal issues. The macro picture isn't as meaningful without all the small pieces that go into making it, and Supergirl makes us care about those pieces and relate to them. Losing your way, figuring yourself out—it's part of the human experience. And the human experience is at the heart of Supergirl.

On to #DCTV Secrets! In case you're joining us for the first time, #DCTV Secrets are easter eggs—usually from DC Comics—folded into episodes of #DCTV.

"Crossfire" features perhaps my favorite #DCTV Secret in Supergirl thus far. When Kara is trying to teach Mon-El to a be a mini-Kara Zor-El, she makes pancakes for their breakfast. Unfortunately for her, Mon-El eats an entire stack of them without blinking an eye. In SUPERBOY #208, Ma Kent makes two stacks of the breakfast food for Clark and Mon-El. The boys devour them at super speed. And can you blame them? Pancakes are one of the best breakfast (or any time of the day) foods.

James is taking steps to become a hero of his very own, and he's stepping into the shoes of a character from the comics. The mantle James is taking on has already been announced, but if you haven't read about it, I'm not going to spoil you. I will say the scene where he wielded a shield is a big clue. You can bet we'll be talking about the ties to the comics when James tells Winn his hero name.

What other #DCTV Secrets did you see in the episode? I have no doubt there were more. Tell me about them and your opinions on "Crossfire" in the comments.

Amy Ratcliffe covers Supergirl as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. Look for Amy on Twitter at @amy_geek. Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.