ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. Twitter: @ExtraTremeerial | Email: [email protected]
Eleanor Tremeer

After months of wondering who would turn out to be gay in The CW DC shows, it soon became apparent that Alex Danvers was on a voyage of discovery in Season 2 of . This was catalyzed by the entrance of Maggie Sawyer: Hard-as-nails detective and out-and-proud lesbian. Maggie and Alex's relationship has been delightful to watch, from their snarky buddy-cop beginnings to Alex's obvious crush on Maggie.

This all came to a head in "Crossfire", as Alex's feelings for Maggie became apparent even to her.

Alex talks Maggie about her sexuality. [The CW]
Alex talks Maggie about her sexuality. [The CW]

The writers handled this perfectly, and Alex's journey has already resonated with fans, pushing Supergirl from a cute and fun superhero show to a series with pointed, real-world social commentary.

A Gradual Realization

There are many ways to handle queer relationships in fiction, and often showrunners opt to not make a big deal out it. The CW DC multiverse has already featured such a story: That of Sara Lance a.k.a. White Canary and captain of the Waverider. Her bisexuality is just a matter-of-fact part of her characterization, from her star-crossed romance with Nyssa in Arrow, to her casual seduction of women throughout history in Legends of Tomorrow.

This non-issue approach to Sara's sexuality is refreshingly progressive, but sometimes it's good to actually address the matter head on. Which is why it was so fantastic to see Alex really struggle with the idea of being gay in this week's episode of Supergirl. She still has a long way to go before she accepts who she is, or even understands what being queer means for her. It's going to be fascinating to watch Alex develop this season, especially in her budding relationship with Maggie.

This is already off to a strong start with Alex's confession to Maggie — this scene felt very authentic, hinting that Alex's obsession with perfection caused her to repress her own sexuality.

Nicely understated but achingly poignant, Maggie and Alex's conversation hits all the right notes, revealing why Alex being gay makes so much sense for her character. You can see her slowly start to connect the dots, finally understanding why she never liked dating, and why she always felt just a little empty. This is something that many queer people go through, and Alex's experience speaks to the heteronormativity pervasive in our society.

The fact that Alex never even considered being gay as an option is probably connected to her desire to be perfect — it's entirely possible that deviating from the heterosexual norm would have compromised that perfect standard Alex holds herself to.

Alex first meets Maggie Sawyer. [The CW]
Alex first meets Maggie Sawyer. [The CW]

She can't even bring herself to use words like "gay" or "lesbian" referring to herself in her conversation with Maggie, which is indicative of the internalized homophobia that many queer people face.

Starting The Conversation

Alex's storyline isn't just fantastic on an analytical level though — fans have already started sharing their own experiences, and "Crossfire" has even inspired one little girl to come out to her parents, who later commented on The Hollywood Reporter's write-up.

My husband and I watch Supergirl with our two young daughters. My youngest (13) started crying when Alex was trying to come out, I asked her if she wanted to talk about it. "Is it okay that I feel like that too?" she asked me... Then I started crying, my husband started crying, all happy tears (and some disappointed tears for myself, for not doing enough that she could even think of the possibility that it wouldn't be okay), it was a mess. A beautiful one! I'm so happy, SO SO happy that Supergirl is taking this storyline on! So happy it opened this conversation for us! So happy my daughters have these characters to look up to!

The need for LGBT representation has been talked about a lot, but sometimes something simple happens to remind us why this is necessary. Showing young people that their feelings are valid is absolutely vital to their development.

"You clean up nice." Alex and Maggie in Episode 4. [The CW]
"You clean up nice." Alex and Maggie in Episode 4. [The CW]

And it's nice to see Supergirl tackle this coming out story in an older character, when this is usually a staple for younger characters on television. According to executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, this is an important part of Alex's journey, and it's all thanks to Maggie's entrance into her life. However, this puts a lot of pressure on Maggie that may cause problems later on.

"Alex has put her hopes and dream on Maggie, which may or may not sit well with Maggie. But watching them navigate Alex's coming out, their own ongoing romantic relationship will make up the emotional crux of the next few episodes."

Again, this is something that many queer viewers will resonate with, as this experience is not at all uncommon. Because being anything other than straight still isn't totally accepted in our society, people tend to come out at different stages in life. That can complicate relationships, and it's fantastic to know that Supergirl will be incorporating this part of the experience into Alex's story.

Kara will struggle with Alex's coming out. [The CW]
Kara will struggle with Alex's coming out. [The CW]

So far, everything about Alex's plotline has been perfect, chiming with fans and echoing real life issues that people face. Next episode is sure to bring more poignant moments: The execs confirmed Alex will officially come out, causing Kara to feel guilty about not letting her sister have the space to discover herself.

It's very easy for superhero shows to just focus on fun, simple plots about costumed heroes kicking bad-guy butt. Yet Season 2 of Supergirl has already drawn interesting parallels between space aliens and real-life refugees, and by threading this theme in with Alex's storyline, Supergirl is bringing LGBT issues into the mix too. It makes for thought-provoking television, not to mention striking a chord with viewers. Season 2 may only be 6 episodes in, but Supergirl is already soaring to new heights.

Tell us in the comments: What's your favorite part of Supergirl Season 2 so far?

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]


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