Supergirl celebrates Valentine's Day a week too late in "Mr. And Mrs. Mxyzptlk", a fun episode that highlights both the show's strengths and its flaws. The main plot for Season 2 Episode 13 concerns a fifth dimensional imp showing up and demanding Kara's hand in marriage. What ensues are plenty of shenanigans on the part of Mxyzptlk, which makes for entertaining watching. But what is not so entertaining is how Kara and Mon-El's apparent romance is again dragged out — at the expense of Mon-El's character.
Mon-El isn't a bad guy. In fact, he can be charming and surprisingly sweet, brave and probably pansexual. For a few episodes, it seemed like #Supergirl had really developed Mon-El's character, taking him from an annoying hypermasculine stereotype to a nuanced stranger-in-a-strange-land. And yet, "Mr. And Mrs. Mxyzptlk" undoes weeks of character development in order to fulfill some really boring jealousy tropes — which also makes us wonder why Kara is even choosing to be with Mon-El (especially when Lena is like, right there and clearly very into her).
But Season 2 Episode 13 isn't all bad. Parts of it are, in fact, quite good. Aside from the third threat of nuclear death in a row (seriously?!), Kara's solution to the Mxyzptlk problem is ingenious, and it's really nice to see her use her wits instead of her fists for a change.
Meanwhile, Alex and Maggie get a fantastic little Valentine's Day plot, in which we are treated to the heartbreaking revelation of Maggie's coming out story. As it turns out, she was outed by her very first crush, and her parents promptly kicked her out of the house — on Valentine's Day, meaning she hates the holiday. Of course, Alex just wants to have a nice romantic day with her girlfriend, but ultimately they both compromise.
It's a very sweet story that just makes us want to see even more from these adorable ladies. Winn also (finally!) gets a romantic story and it is awesome — but again, this subplot highlights a problem with the show. After a fierce young alien from Starhaven saves Winn from a bar brawl, the two embark on a passionate affair... which Winn soon slows down because he wants to do things properly.
This is both a fantastic use of Supergirl Season 2's alien subplot and proves that we really need to see more of it. What exactly is the situation with aliens on Earth right now? The first few episodes of the season seemed to set up an interesting political situation, with the (secret alien) president vowing to get aliens civil rights despite overwhelming public opinion against these new immigrants. But now, halfway through the season, this plot seems to have entirely fizzled out, manifesting only in the Alien Bar setting that the gang now hang out in.
Which is why Winn and Lyra's date seems so jarring: Lyra is uncomfortable with everyone staring, and then that's just kind of it. And honestly, this is the biggest flaw with Supergirl Season 2: The writers had an excellent story on their hands with the topic of alien immigration, and so far they've just wasted it. Here's hoping that this is remedied before the season's end.
Unrealized plot points aside, "Mr. And Mrs. Mxyzptlk" did drop some fantastic Easter Eggs, like a nice nod to Fox's X-Men movies...
"I saw it in a movie once."
As Mxyzptlk swoops in to help Kara dispatch some two-bit baddies, he takes their guns and turns them on them, saying he saw this in a movie. That movie is almost definitely the very first X-Men, because this is exactly what Magneto does when he kidnaps Rogue.
Does this mean the X-Men movies exist on Supergirl's Earth-38? Or does Mxyzptlk, as a dimension hopping imp, have the power to stream movies from our universe? Thought provoking stuff.
A Bajoran Met A Vampire...
The Supergirl designers have talked about their influences before, and they're specifically inspired by 1990s shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Lyra's prosthetics design look like a cross between a Buffy vampire and a Bajoran from Star Trek — and what's most surprising is how good this combination looks.
And speaking of Star Trek, Lyra wasn't the only callback to the classic scifi show...
Mxyzptlk Is Basically Q
Snapping his fingers, conjuring creatures, and causing havoc for the citizens of National City, Mr Mxyzptlk is an excellent homage to Q from The Next Generation — this almost omnipotent character was a constant thorn in Captain Picard's side, and he's practically identical to Supergirl's Mxy.
This may be taking the reference too far, but when Mxyzptlk transported Mon-El to the DEO in his underwear, I couldn't help but be reminded of that time Q transported Picard into a science lab — when he was wearing naught but his rather revealing silk jammies.
"I'm not throwing away my shot!"
Mxyzptlk seems to be a fan of Hamilton as well as X-Men, as he recreates the set for a duel with Mon-El. Aside from the excellent costumes, Mxy also makes a great reference to the showstopping tune "My Shot", which makes me sad that this wasn't the musical episode.
There were a few other neat references — I particularly enjoyed Winn's "encounters of the fifth kind" — and overall this was a fun episode, albeit one that took about a million backward steps on Mon-El's characterization and made me want so much more from the alien subplot.
Which element of 'Supergirl' Season 2 would you like to see more of?
[Poll Image Credit: The CW]