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Welcome back to Maid of Steel! I’m flyin’ solo this week while Karen (the Scarlet Cougar) takes care of some life stuff. Most of my thoughts about the episode are in this podcast, as I keep the podcast pretty tight and stick to listener feedback. This post and podcast cover Supergirl Season 3 Episode 4 “The Faithful” which originally aired on October 30, 2017. Guest actors this week included Chad Lowe as cult leader (Thomas Coville) and Sofia Vassilieva as Olivia.
The Cult of Rao
Remember when Supergirl used to be humble? And spent time saving cats out of trees, standing up for young girls on the playground, and rushing to the aid of firemen because she just had so much fun helping people? Since we’ve strayed so far from the season one characterization of Supergirl, I’m not surprised that we got the person we did on screen this week, but it still has me scratching my head over why I continue to watch this show when the person of Supergirl is no longer someone I want to be like.
And I don’t mean be like as in… I want powers or want her hair. She used to be inspiring. Being Supergirl used to fill Kara with a sense of purpose. And now, since it is the only identity she thinks matters at all, it is her obligation. Two seasons after her introduction to the world, she is jaded and dark. She has been hurt and she suffers a broken heart. No, none of us can be surprised that events, transpiring as they did, have led us to this point. But… when do we get to see any growth? All I’ve seen are set backs, arrogance, ignorance, and a bunch of injected idealisms.
Just because an agenda is handled well, doesn’t make it any less of an agenda-centric episode. Perhaps the reason the message of “freedom of religion” is handled in a more balanced light is because the writers don’t care as much about it and had to take pains to research both sides. Instead of just ham-fisting their own ideology and then setting up the polar opposite, they rooted the cult of Rao (whose symbol, incidentally, made me think of an ice cream cone) in something real. After being saved by Supergirl’s debut plane catch, and being surrounded by people who were praying to their own god, Thomas Coville starts to look to Supergirl. And shortly thereafter he is rewarded by receiving a legitimate copy of Rao’s teachings from the mouths of Kryptonians themselves. His knowledge of Rao is real, even if he’s adapting it to his own whacked out sense of tribute.
As cliche as the taking-things-out-of-context cult story may be, it still provokes some more genuine responses from unique characters. It gives us backstory to Kara and James (even if we’ll never hear of their religiosity again) and it meshes pretty well with this state of uncertainty that Kara has been in. She’s reminded of something else she lost on Krypton.
However, there was one line that bothered me (more than others) in this episode. It comes from Kara… who supposedly practiced this religion or practiced her faith back on Krypton pretty regularly. As a fairly religious person myself, it’s always very interesting to see how writers handle the attitudes of someone who is supposed to be “rooted” in their faith. As in… this isn’t Kara’s first rodeo.
“If I am a god, you have got to do as I say. You have to trust me.” This is why she doesn’t understand blind faith, simply enough. Trust in anyone comes from a deep understanding of who they are, not what they tell you to do. How do you fight someone’s faith? You’ve got to understand who it is they are putting their faith in. If Thomas Coville does indeed have, and has been studying, the teachings of Rao, she should have so much more to work with than the old cliche “because I said so.”
The one thing that Thomas Coville does get right is how far removed Kara is from the girl who saved the plane back in Season 1 Episode 1. As much as I don’t want to spend any more time thinking about this Supergirl-inspired cult, I do hope that the writers are using this as a way to snap Kara out of her funk.
- Supergirl Season 3 Episode 5 “Damage” Extended Promo
- Triplecast: Batman v Superman The road to Justice League!
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It’s “Maid Of Ice” this week…a good solo job Emilee!
I have to agree about the whole glasses topic regarding Lena; personally I’m choosing to believe because of her family’s history with the Supers Lena is waiting for Kara to her, like Cat did, rather than she doesn’t know because it’s pretty silly to say Thomas in his state could remember Kara but Lena who frequently sees Kara/Supergirl can’t tell it’s her.
I’m fine with not seeing Guardian as that plot did not work for me; more of James at CatCo please! 🙂
I don’t think Alex will adopt Ruby in the technical sense more like she’ll be her J’onn watching over her from a distance and giving her someone to talk to about her mom; she may later in the series adopt Ruby actually but again I’m fine with that not happening for awhile as I can’t see how she would fit into the group at this point.
I can’t see Maggie dying as that’s just asking for trouble; I really hope they use a Gotham mention to exit her because 1) it would be a great wink to the comics and 2) if she doesn’t come back on the series fans can just imagine she met another red head who likes black. 🙂
It’s the whisper at the end that makes the Erica bit awesome in this week’s UPSMan comments. Ha.
Speaking of awesome, hundreds of virtual brownies to Emilee for the song selection at the end of this episode!
Some blog post comments…
“And spent time saving cats out of trees” – pretty sure that was a snake named Fluffy. 😉
I do hope Thomas along with others helps snap Kara out of her funk because brooding doesn’t work for her; I understand she’s sad so I get mourning but to me one of the issues with her plot this season has been she faulted the wrong person – Kara Danvers is no more at fault for things than Supergirl, I know they’re physically the same person but Kara does act different in each persona because she has to/can and if she wants to fault someone it seems to me it’s more her Supergirl side than Kara side as it was her being Kryptonian Rhea took issue with and Supergirl technically pushed the button so this whole “Kara Danvers was a mistake” beat just falls flat for me. I don’t mind dark seasons but I just can’t buy the reason Kara is so “dark” thus her scenes don’t always work for me in episodes. Again be sad Kara and question elements of things but it feels out of character for her to be Oliver Queen all season essentially…at some point you’d think she’d realize she went to far on blaming her Kara side and say “This sucks and I’m sad but it’s not going to consume me.” because if she can survive the loss of her world she can survive losing Mon, which I still don’t understand how his absence equals “Kara Is A Mistake! I’m not human!”.
I get her grieving for a few episodes but I hope she isn’t like this all season; I’ll be honest and say had Kara been anti-Supergirl this season instead I could have bought the plot more thus gone a few more episodes seeing her work out her feelings on that side of herself but I would want to see her back before season’s end as Kara is of course at her best when she’s got both parts of herself.