Supergirl, I love you so!
Yes, I know, a lot of people disliked this episode. I haven’t read any reviews yet but am going fresh with mine.
First off, LOVED seeing Kara again! And her saving the people at the rally was inspiring. Finally someone in the El family wearing the family colors as a hero! :) She looked every inch a Supergirl. (LOL at Lois going over names for her, and one was Power Girl).
I loved her Clark Kent-style disguise. Nice nod to the original Supergirl with the brown wig. Don’t get me started at DC’s shabby treatment of my Maid of Might from the pre-Crisis days!
Disclosure: I loved pre-Crisis Supergirl and I’ve never forgiven DC for killing her off and attempting to replace her with a creepy matrix-style Luthor construct and the present Kara, who’s improving, but she’s not my Supergirl.
Jor-El and Kara believe that Clark has a darkness in him that prevents him from being ready to assume his rightful role. Everyone has darkness. Clark just has to be more careful than others because of his powers.
Kara knows she’s made mistakes, but her purity of spirit comes from her confidence in her purpose, something that Clark doesn’t have yet. I have no objection to Kara gaining confidence first. Why wouldn’t she? She grew up on Krypton and was older than Kal-El when they were rocketed away from the planet. Only her years of stasis while Clark was growing up reversed their ages, with Kara suddenly being younger than her baby cousin. She has certainty of who she is and where she comes from. Clark has a firm foundation from the Kents, but always had the mystery of his origin to confuse and worry him.
It’s why he can’t fly. Symbolically, he can’t take free flight until he lays his doubts to rest. Not completely, of course, because a Superman without doubts is a dangerous thing indeed, but enough so that he can take the role he’s destined to fulfill.
The Godfrey character is, sadly, all-too-common in our modern era. Hatemongering with instant tech at his fingertips, he can stir things up even faster than the KKK. And the saddest part is that if heroes suddenly did appear in real life, they’d face this kind of hostility right off the bat.
Smallville has the debate wrong. It’s not an issue of heroes staying in the shadows or revealing themselves to us. It’s about their safety and psychological well-being. Heroes need down time, away from the spotlight, to just be ordinary people and to remember just why they don the tights and capes. I’m sure that Bruce Wayne is laughing himself silly over in Gotham right now. The Bats couldn’t function without shadows and secrecy. Green Arrow should be allowed to wear his mask, though it’s been past canon that Ollie’s revealed his identity, so the Tony Stark he pulled at the end of this episode is no surprise.
No, the debate is that someone like Superman will be an inspiration for others by coming out of the shadows, but not by revealing his identity (though considering how he runs around without glasses and performs super-deeds in a red jacket and blue tee, a secret I.D. is almost laughable).
Clark isn’t ready, not completely, but he will be by the end of this season (or hopefully so!).
ADDENDUM: Something else bothered me about this episode. The BDSM club was used as a site to torture Lois, and while people can get carried away (especially in clubs), the whole concept of BDSM is consent and safewords. I just found it too Hollywood to have torture used in that setting. *shrugs* Just a pet peeve of mine.