After being ordered by the President of the United States to cease her partnership with DEO on Supergirl, Kara is in a unique position, which could ultimately change her life and the future of Supergirl.
(Update — July 8, 2019: The end of this article has been updated with a look at this topic post Supergirl season 4.)
Since season 1, Kara has been an unofficial employee of the DEO on Supergirl. Alex’s ties to the organization made the decision to partner with the government easy for Kara.
Kara has always had the DEO as her backup, in case anything should go wrong in a fight with one of her villains. She needed the extra support and a firm organization behind her as a newbie superhero, though the time for Kara’s involvement with the government to end has long since passed.
As we’ve heard, Superman has had the capacity to join forces with the government, particularly the DEO, before on Earth-38, though he’s kept himself separate and operates as a hero on his own.
Kara desperately needs to head out on her own and learn to be a hero without a massive organization, and the rules of the government, holding her back.
Not that Kara should break a million laws and destroy public property (more than she has to), but Kara’s course of action has always been limited.
She has to follow the command of the DEO and stay in line with their objective, even if it differs from her own.
There was much more conflict regarding this during the first season, though she’s grown accustomed to how things work at the DEO, so Kara doesn’t usually have to consider any other action.
After being ordered to leave after not disclosing her identity on Supergirl season 4 episode 8, and now with Colonel Haley breathing down her neck to discover her secret identity, the time is now for Kara to permanently part ways with the DEO on Supergirl.
As we saw on Supergirl season 4 episode 10, the government doesn’t respect Kara. They’re afraid of her (and all aliens), and it is clear that Ben Lockwood has stirred things up, even in the government.
The President ordered all organizations to cease involvement and projects involving aliens, which caused the mischief of the latest episode where Colonel Haley was almost killed.
The President is clearly not on the side of the aliens, so why should Kara be helping the government in any capacity?
With Superman off-world with Lois, Kara is Earth’s protector, at least for the time being. She is responsible for keeping everyone, not just National City, safe, and being limited by Haley or the DEO would not necessarily be helpful to her.
There’s no respect for Kara, as Haley showed.
If the organization that she has helped to take down several aliens and stop potential threats to the entire planet will not look past their ignorance to see Kara for who she is, it’s time for her to see that she’s never going to fit into the mold of the hero the government wants her to be.
Even with Alex at the head of the DEO on Supergirl, Kara isn’t able to do things her way, which has become increasingly apparent. Even Alex is struggling to have things done as she requires them, and she’s the Director of the DEO.
After three and a half seasons, I think we can all agree that it’s time for Kara to go out on her own and be her own hero.
She doesn’t need the DEO to back her up in the field, nor does she need to be working with Alex on every one of their missions. (Plus, maybe Kara could, I don’t know, not fall from the sky and have to be saved for a change?) While Kara learned to be a hero, having the DEO behind her benefitted her work and allowed her to learn the ropes rather safely. At this point, it’s not necessarily, nor realistic, for Kara to need the government behind her.
Brainy’s idea for “super friends,” with characters like Nia and J’onn suiting up to help Kara, is an incredibly better direction for the series to go into the future.
It’s time for a change and a dramatic change at that. The formula of the show has become stale. Kara needs a change if she’s going to continue to be an interesting hero.
Additionally, Alex’s appointment to Director of the DEO on Supergirl has flopped (so far) because she hasn’t been allowed to do the work without the restraints from her bosses. The suggestion on Supergirl season 4 episode 10 that Alex quit the DEO would not be the worst thing. Alex is very capable and has the brains to back Kara up in the field without an entire unit behind her.
It’s understandable why Alex stays with the DEO, but perhaps this season could see the end of the organization as a whole and Alex and Kara will be able to work closely together as heroes. I wouldn’t mind seeing the end of the DEO on Supergirl. Would you?
If the writers stick to the direction they have teased, the changes after the organization is out of their lives would be beyond interesting and we’d finally get to see how these characters operate as heroes on their own.
Keep Kara Danvers away from the DEO!
(Added July 8) Since the series began, Kara has been a partner for the DEO working alongside Alex and J’onn to stop the latest alien threat. However, Supergirl season 4 showed fans another way… and there’s no going back.
Over the latter half of Supergirl season 4, Kara had to find another way to protect the city as Supergirl when the government turned against her, first because they demanded to know her identity and then because she was framed as a terrorist by Lex Luthor and Red Daughter.
After they so easily turned against her and classified her as a villain, it was expected that Kara would continue working as Supergirl outside of the jurisdiction of the government. It wasn’t expected, however, that Kara leaving the DEO would be such a welcome change to the series’ tired formula.
While working outside of the DEO, we saw some of the series’ strongest episodes and saw innovative ways for Kara to continue working to save the citizens of National City, including how her “super friends” were able to have a chance in the spotlight to prove themselves as heroes too. Supergirl season 5 has a chance to build on this momentum.
An interesting change of pace
After Supergirl moved from CBS to The CW, the series heavily relied on Kara’s presence at the DEO to drive the villain-of-the-week stories. While Supergirl season 1 had more of an equal mix of villains that the DEO requested help with and villains that interceded in Kara’s every day life, season 2 and 3 almost exclusively had villains that Kara helped the organization take down.
Supergirl season 4 was unique in that, even before Kara parted ways with the DEO, the focus of the series mostly revolved around developing the several multi-episode villains, like Ben Lockwood, Manchester Black, and Lex Luthor… and Red Daughter, if we’re including her on this list.
At some point in the second half of the season, there were no standout villains appearing for week, which ultimately lended itself toward Kara separating herself from the government entity.
That said, we didn’t really get to see how Kara and her super friends would handle taking on a villain on their own, without the assistance of the DEO, which was kind of a cop out (though I don’t mind very much because Supergirl season 4B was incredible, and arguably the best set of episodes the series has ever had).
Everyone’s priority in the second half of the season was to stop Lex and Lockwood from getting stronger, and to put an end to the irrational anti-alien sentiment spreading around National City, particularly after the smearing of Supergirl’s character in the media by Red Daughter. It was natural that they would all come together to fight the enemy at hand with little issue about the boundaries between Alex and Brainy’s positions at the DEO.
We weren’t able to see the fun and excitement of working outside of the parameters of the DEO because the stakes were so high, but Supergirl season 5 is a good chance for Kara to break away from the DEO and explore more of what being a hero means without the government backing her.
While I wouldn’t mind Kara (and Alex) leaving the DEO behind altogether, it’s probably safe to say that will never happen. The government entity has been around since the series began, which makes it a staple, even if it’s grown a bit tired. However, I do have some hope.
Do you want to see Kara return to work for the DEO during season 5, or would you rather she occasionally work with the DEO and keep working primarily with the “super friends” like in 4B?
— jay ruymann ♡ (@houseofhastings) June 9, 2019
In the above poll I conducted on my Twitter account (which is hardly an accurate representation of all Supergirl fans but captured the attention of a few very outspoken ones), I was honestly a bit surprised at the results. I expected more people to want to see Kara completely leave the DEO, but a lot of fans want to see a healthy mix of both, which I could get behind.
With Alex and Brainy at the DEO, and Kara and Nia at CatCo, and Lena and James able to help either side, there’s the potential to see a few glorious teams with interchangeable characters taking on villains each week. Alex and the DEO could handle one villain, while Kara and her team handle another, with full team-ups (including everyone) occasionally happening.
After changing the formula of the series, there really is no going back. Fans want to see more of the “super friends” and see Kara fight crime as a hero, not at the beck and call of the DEO, even if Alex is in charge. There’s so much potential for the series to grow, especially as it had gotten a bit stale over seasons 2 and 3 from not changing things up enough.
Using all of their characters and changing the roster of teams each week would be an impressive feat, giving everyone time to shine, but still letting Supergirl carry the weight and lead the charge. While all of the characters are great, Kara is the lead of the show and needs to remain in the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean the others can’t have their due time.
Leaving the DEO would allow Kara to operate as her own hero, which is something the first season relied heavily on and didn’t appear again until the latter half of Supergirl season 4. It’s grown tiresome to see Kara work as an employee for the DEO, rather than a hero helping out with the workload, which is partially the reason Supergirl season 4 was so strong.
Going into Supergirl season 5, there’s so much potential for the show to grow, which is rarely the case for any series approaching its fifth season. Embracing the super friends is a huge part of this potential. Not reverting back to old habits will keep the show strong, but if it does, I can’t say I would be too excited for Kara to be at the DEO again.
Supergirl continues this fall, Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
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