Supergirl‘s third season spent most of its time focusing on Kara’s heroic alter ego, but it’s time the show spent more time with Kara herself.
One of the strongest episodes of Supergirl‘s third season was “Midvale,” an episode in which the Danvers sisters head home in the wake of Alex’s breakup with Maggie. The episode centers on a flashback to Kara and Alex’s childhood, in which the murder of one of Kara’s friends brings the sisters closer together.
The episode worked so well because it focused on the relationship that is at the heart of Supergirl: that of Kara and Alex. Though Kara’s alienness informed the dynamic between the two girls, the episode was not about that; it was about Kara trying to fit into the human world and, eventually, coming closer to her adoptive sister.
Much of the first half of Supergirl‘s third season created balance between Kara and Supergirl. Kara was there to support Alex as she decided whether to stay with Alex and be a shoulder to cry on after the two broke up. Kara spent time with Lena and became friends with Sam.
However, the second half of the season moved away from Kara being, well, Kara. She barely seemed to be out of her Supergirl costume. Even her reuniting with Mon-El was more about Kara the hero, as he started the Legion in her honor, than Kara the person.
Yes, we spent some time with Kara reuniting with her mother on Argo, but that time was tainted by the Worldkillers and Dark Kryptonians. She never moved away from being Supergirl, even when given the opportunity to be Kara Zor-El.
What happened to Kara’s job at CatCo? We did see Kara spend a few minutes in James’s office, but it was never her coming to actually work at her place of employment. The story season 2 set up of Kara being an aspiring journalist was completely dropped.
In fact, with James looking up one of Clark’s old stories about guns, there was more mention of Clark being a journalist than there was of Kara — and Clark didn’t even appear this season.
It is important that, going into season 4, Supergirl remember that, just as there is no Superman without Clark Kent, there is no Supergirl without Kara Danvers. Kara has chosen Earth as her home, and the power of that choice comes from her living in that world.
Her choice to serve as Earth’s defender comes from her connecting with the people of this world, of feeling like she belongs here. If she spends too much time as Supergirl, she starts losing that perspective. She interacts with a limited number of humans and never expands her horizons.
In fact, this is exactly what happened at the beginning of season 3, as Kara tried to separate herself from her humanity because of her grief for Mon-El. But she learned that her humanity is a strength, not a weakness. She made the choice to be Kara, not just Supergirl.
Supergirl season 4 needs to spend more time showing us Kara, showing us why Kara loves this world when she has the choice to go live on Argo with her mother, rather than keeping Kara in costume all the time.
Season 4 needs Kara to go back to working at CatCo.
Season 4 needs Kara to spend more time with her human friends in a human capacity.
Season 4 needs the sisterly relationship between Kara and Alex to be its emotional core.
Season 4 needs more Kara, less Supergirl.
Supergirl season 4 premieres Sunday, October 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.
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