By Prutha S. Patel (@PSPatel)
Following last week’s #daddyissues episode, Supergirl 3x04 “The Faithful” further explored…dun dun dun…more relationships! This time, however, the relationships weren’t strictly parental. Of note, this week’s episode didn’t feature a pure “baddie of the week,” which made the episode feel like a breath of fresh air.
3x04 opens with passengers on a flight and specifically to a, (in a way, rightfully) pessimistic Thomas Coville (Chad Lowe). Coville, who has just “tanked his job” following a bad breakup due to a cheating wife, wastes no time telling his seat-mate that “the dream,” of a nice family, car, mortgage, etc., is “all crock,” as he downs a drink. Outside the aircraft, it sounds like a storm seems to be forming and it doesn’t take long for things to go dodgy. Luckily for them, Alex (Chyler Leigh) is onboard as well, and interestingly, this is the very same flight that introduced National City to none other than…SUPERGIRL! This turns out to be the triggering event for Coville to count himself #blessed and he goes on to form a religion, or rather, a cult, of followers who pray to Supergirl. As the episode goes on, Team Supergirl realizes that the followers are all people Supergirl has saved in the past. In response to them being saved, Coville has been recruiting them to the fold.
What made this such an interesting point about this week’s Supergirl was that without a pure baddie of the week, it was hard to totally dislike the followers of the religion/cult. From their first introduction in the episode, they weren’t actually doing anything wrong when treating Supergirl as a god. James even mentions at outset that it seemed like an AA meeting as people stood up to recount their respective stories of Supergirl’s saving grace. This is after all, an individual with extraordinary abilities who uses her abilities to save those who require saving. Although this idea has been touched on heavily in the past in both comics and the theatrical film franchise (this particular image from Batman v. Superman came to mind), Supergirl does a great job of showing us what is, in a way, risky about believing in her (or Superman for that matter) as a god.
Rather than having some form of a personal revenge mission in wanting to recruit more members to a group who hopes to get rid of Supergirl (looking at you, Lillian Luthor), Coville’s goal is to recruit followers to continue praising Supergirl for her work. However, the admission process to join the cult is where the negatives arise. To join the religion/cult, followers must have in fact been saved by Supergirl, and as a result, has some of the potential new members choosing to stage potentially fatal scenarios just to get her to do just that. Their true fault is in their inability to understand that Supergirl can’t be there for everyone at all times and the extremely real possibility of this resulting in collateral damage, or worse, the death of innocent bystanders. They neglect to understand that they simply had the previous good fortune of being at the right time and at the right place. Overall, it was incredibly interesting to see how the episode balanced blind faith and being blinded by faith.
Another major theme of Supergirl 3x04 was the continuation of the #Sanvers storyline and Sam/Ruby’s mother-daughter relationship.
For Sanvers, Maggie (Floriana Lima) has made it clear that she’s not open to having children in the future, whereas Alex, is. Although Alex had previously stated that she was alright with not having kids, we see her break down while watching Ruby sing at her concert. She runs out of the auditorium and although Kara believes they can work it out somehow, Alex tells her she’s aware that Maggie won’t change her mind. These scenes were so heartfelt and once again, Supergirl remains ever so relevant! Differences in what one hopes to see for one's future or family dynamics, including whether to have kids or not, have ultimately (understandably) led to the ending of many relationships in real life. Sanvers has always been a couple we’ve enjoyed seeing onscreen, but a difference in choice for something one feels is major enough to warrant it, seems like a pretty realistic reason to have the two part ways. (Unfortunately, of course.)
On the other hand, Sam (Odette Annable) is struggling with work-life balance as she’s fielding calls from L-Corp all while watching Ruby’s (Emma Tremblay) soccer game. Later on, when Ruby wants to practice her song for the concert, Sam is once again called away on more L-Corp work and returns hours later to find Ruby asleep on the couch. It was really great to see Lena (Katie McGrath) talking Sam out of feeling like she’s “screwing up” with Ruby and assuring her that she’s not the worst mother. That’d be impossible, because her mother’s Lillian Luthor, you see? Ruby is loved, and she knows it, states Lena. Can’t help but wonder how strained Sam and Ruby’s relationship will get over the course of the season as Sam is sure to struggle even more in the coming weeks because of her soon to manifest abilities…
This week's Supergirl MVP award goes to Chyler Leigh! The breakdown scene following Ruby's concert was really difficult to watch because of how realistic it all is. An argument of this nature isn't at all far-fetched and Chyler did a wonderful job portraying that heartbreak. (*Starts to cry too.*)
-- Hello, hi, can I come to the next Girl’s Night? That seemed really chill!
-- Loved how this week’s episode didn’t actually have a pure villain.
-- Appreciate how almost naturally Supergirl presents its flashbacks!
-- Hardcore throwback WB feels with the usage of “Hallelujah” in this week’s episode!
-- “She is the god of our earth.” – Coville didn’t even mention Superman! Interesting.
-- Coville using Kryptonite, not cool. NOT. COOL. At the same time though, it’s always fun to see Supergirl bring up different types of Kryptonite.
-- Sanvers, what now?
Review: Supergirl 3x04 “The Faithful”: Great
Overall, intriguing episode that explored just how powerful having faith in something, or rather someone, can really be. So much so that, just like love, it can make true believers, at times, do things they normally wouldn’t…even if that means they don’t think about the repercussions of their chosen paths.