8 Reasons ‘Supergirl’ Has Lost Its Way (And 2 Ways It Can Find It Again)

1. The loss of Cat Grant

Supergirl Cat Grant

There are obvious things the show lost in its transition from CBS to The CW (and simply from season to season). As viewers, we lost one of the show’s strongest and most well-developed characters and with her, season one’s second most important relationship. We lost Cat Grant.

Cat Grant was not a character I immediately fell in love with; she had to earn my love. And she did. During season one, we saw Cat soften, we saw more of her humanity, and we saw the impact of her relationship with Kara. She was the character that experienced perhaps the biggest arc of the entire first season, and she grew into a character that felt the heart – felt the light – of her association with Supergirl/Kara.

This isn’t even to mention her fabulous one-liners, which were witty, smart, funny, and so quick you could miss them. She was a character with a consistent voice, a consistent presentation. She was well-written, well-acted, and she evolved as the show evolved and found its footing. Of course, life isn’t perfect and, as we all know, Calista Flockhart simply wasn’t up for a move to Vancouver and Cat Grant was sent off into the ether.

Since then, there’s been nary a mention or thought given to her, the strong bond she had formed with Kara, or the looming presence she once was at CatCo. Everything that she was, everything that she had built, is gone. Even CatCo is a shadow of its former self. And Kara seems to have lost nothing in losing Cat, despite the magnitude and importance of their relationship.

Cat Grant was a character that provided levity and clarity in a way that helped define the show and define Kara. Her loss is great, and the fact her spirit does not live on in season two is a travesty.

But take heart! There is some hope now as Cat Grant will at least be returning for the final two episodes of season two.

Whitney Eklof

Whitney Eklof

Whitney Eklof is a nerd, gamer, and media lover. She spends her days undercover managing a marketing team and comes out at night to write...

  • Kevin Murphy

    What are you talking about, Supergirl has been one of the better shows on CW. You should do a write up on the Flash, and how no one like moapy Barry Allen and every big-bad being a faster speedster.

  • Kerk Crotchlickmeoff

    Good list, I agree more-or-less on all points. Like all other CW shows, Supergirl turned into a team show, instead of a one-hero show. All this extra weight just brings Kara down. On the other hand, if there’s one character that needs to appear more it’s Superman. He and Kara have a great dynamic.

    • David Phelps

      This has always been a team show. Winn even make a comment about “the super friends” during the first season. Supergirl is the focus but she’s part of a team. That’s one of the things that sets her apart from Superman, who is depicted as a loner, at least in terms of doing super stuff.

  • Sandra Lee

    Thanks for writing this. Very good points. Though I’d rather they keep Lena in the morally grey area. Someone who is a true friend for Kara, but still capable of doing shady things for the right reasons. We have so few female friendships on TV or movies that this would be a breath of fresh air. Besides, having Lena turn evil would be so predictable… even if Katie is a master at playing evil characters.

    • David Phelps

      Agreed. See my own post on the subject. Lena could occupy the role Max Lord did last season.

    • Debbie Gardiner

      I agree. Lena is one of the few side characters I like on this show and just having her become evil ’cause her last name is Luthor is too predictable and I would like it if they made her similar to Tess (who I think this character is supposed to be) in Smallville who was good at the end and a true friend of Clark’s but did some evil things.

      Not everybody who has a serial killer, rapist, terrorist or pedophile for a Mother, Father, Sister or Brother turns out to be those things themselves in real life so why should they have to in a TV show?

  • beanarie

    i’m so tired of shows i love throwing away everything that made me love them. what made them think it would be a good idea to go from the arc of kara finding her place in the world to falling for a poorly socialized rich guy? it makes no sense.

  • Jessica Hernandez

    I agree totally with this, also I’m glad the author acknowledged the M problem, which is frankly one of the things that more dissapointments brought, in order to fit Mon-el’s existence in this show writers kind of broke the other characters including Kara’s and I think that’s the saddest thing they’ve done.
    If it doesn’t get better by the end of the season I’ll be quitting this show.

    • Star-Lord

      Good riddance hypocrite

      • Jessica Hernandez

        Hello Michael Friderichsen, I noticed you enjoy calling people names and disrespecting everyone that it’s not agree with you, I think it’s about time you learn to stay in your lane, kid. Take it as a warning.

        • Star-Lord

          I am not a hypocrite like you stalker!

          • Jessica Hernandez

            Stalker? lol
            You’ve been warned.

  • starskeptic

    Cat Grant was my favorite character from the start. Melissa Benoist is just the perfect Supergirl. Season two however has been nothing but a disjointed mess.

  • Solana Lightfalls

    great article :)

    • Star-Lord

      Pathetic article by a hypocrite

  • Star-Lord

    Are you to freakin dumb to realize that Mon-EL is on a character development to become a huge superhero from the comics and we see him start from scratch

    • David Phelps

      Nobody is “dumb.” People can disagree with you without being “dumb.” I happen agree with the author that the less we see of this version of Mon-El the better.

      • Star-Lord

        He is in CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT for crying out loud!!!

        • David Phelps

          He may well be “in character development” but I don’t like the way he’s being developed. We both know we’ve gone around about this before so I won’t continue to respond to your antics. I don’t like the amount of screen time he’s getting, to the detriment of the show. Get this through your head: I don’t agree with you. I’m not saying you’re wrong but I don’t think Mon-El is anywhere near the addition to the show you think he is.

          • Winter

            He also suffers from what I like to call, Gold Fish Character Development. This occurs when a character development consists of him or her learning the same exact lesson every single time we see them. In Mon-El’s case its him learning to take some responsibly and grow up which he seems to learn at the end of every episode his in only for him to forget what he just learned by the next episode.

            It doesn’t help that he doesn’t add anything to Kara’s character and that it was only in the second half of the season that he finally added something to the plot. And, if I’m to be perfectly honest, its not something that’s all that interesting. His parents are evil and they want him to come back but Mon-El wants to stay, less because his becoming a better person and more because he has the hots for Kara.

            Lena, whether you see her as a possible romantic partner for Kara or not has a much more progressive character arc. She adds to Kara’s character without having her give up on her own character arc to be her friend and she’s already added a lot to the series plot. Which obviously the writers have seen to as they’re making her a series regular next season.

            But Mon-El, I haven’t found anything that suggests that he will be a series regular next season and to be perfectly honest I hope that he either leaves at the end of the series or is killed off. His a shallow, he doesn’t add anything to the story and he takes time away from characters I would much rather be focusing on like, oh I don’t know, Supergirl?!

          • David Phelps

            I hated how exaggeratedly clueless they made him at first, especially his first day at CatCo. He should never been allowed in public not knowing what a phone was or wondering (out loud) why Earth people used elevators instead of flying, both of which are straight from the show. And he didn’t seem to learn, either. The mattress stuffing gag in the Thanksgiving episode was just over-the-top dumb. I suspect he won’t be around next season, or at least I hope not. Honestly, I was sort of hoping he’d go home to Daxam with mom and dad but no such luck.

  • Pati Melo

    #TrueThat I agree with mostly everything, I want Supergirl back.

  • David Phelps

    Good article for the most part but I have a couple of quibbles:
    3. This season’s “big bad” was Cadmus. That was pretty much clear, at least to me.
    4. Rather than not capitalizing on new and regular characters, there were too many new and regular characters, which diluted the show’s focus.

    I do hope, though, that Lena doesn’t become “a villain that’s finally fully realized.” I don’t want yet another “she’s Superman in a skirt” trope. She can have an agenda–who doesn’t?–she can even be somewhat morally ambiguous like Max Lord was–but she doesn’t need to be evil.

  • Sundra Tanakoh

    Having grown up on comics, I am at this point 65 years old, I am thrilled the Supergirl has got her due on TV, and kinda look forward to maybe seeing some the the Legion of Superheroes pop in. HOWEVER….we need to remember Superman and Supergirl are as as close to indestructible, faster than light and strong enough to halt a rocket and fling into the sun with out straining in the least bit. Remember those old comics, anyone? Supergirl here is weak, she should not be, she grunts and strains as if she is just a half- as sed version of her cousin. She is the woman of Steel….I don’t see it in this series. She should be kicking some serious A and I just see her fumbling along, weak, Wonder Woman could give her a good beat down. Melissa is perfect BTW she outshines Helen Slater in the role in my opinion, no one could have picked a better actress for the role. just my 2 cents.

    • David Phelps

      We’re close to the same age. I remember Superboy putting the Earth back into orbit with his super breath so yes, I know what you’re talking about. The comics writers like Denny O’Neil and Jack Kirby (remember his stint writing/drawing Jimmy Olsen’s adventures?) realized that Superman/girl couldn’t be too powerful or there wouldn’t be any opportunities for drama. That means no more indestructible, no more faster than light, no more nearly infinite strength. Frankly, that stuff was always ridiculous anyway. Supergirl is tough and fast and strong but she also has limits.

  • Lurking

    “It does need to be said though that if the writers aren’t capable of putting Mon-El in the backseat, he needs to be completely removed from the show and given the treatment Cat, Lucy, and Maxwell Lord have been given. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s really up to the writers.”

    I don’t even know what this means. Of course it’s really up to the writers which includes not picking either of these options and doing whatever they like.

    • David Phelps

      And what should they do? Continue to make this The Mon-El Show? Sorry but I agree with the author.

  • Narraboth

    Great article, but really disagreeing on Lena: she does not need to be the villain, and I hope the writers will not turn her into one after her explicit goal from the get-go was righting her family’s wrongs and breaking away from Lex’s (and now Lillian’s) brand. Otherwise all excellent points, the overt focus and favoring of romantic relationships over platonic ones is especially disappointing, given how the entirety of Season 1 was built on the bond between Alex and Kara & on the emphasis of (found) family.

  • Suzette

    I knew the show was in trouble the moment the showrunners turned the show over to Mon El, and completely ignored the fans cry of disapproval. The ratings are decent for a CW show, but they could have been so much better. The writing staff kicked the audience to the side this season IMO.

    • Star-Lord

      Mon-El is the best addition and he is on a journey to become the famous superhero from the comics

  • luvthejem

    Just found this article and I agree with most of your points. There is a big problem you missed though, the Kara and Mon-El romance is abusive and the show routinely glosses over it. They have Kara call him out on his troubling behavior and then at the end of the show, she just shrugs it all off like it never happened. He disrespects her, he verbally berates her, both in public and private, he broke into her apartment knowing she wouldn’t want him there, he lied to her for nine months about who he is, he tried to murder someone after she told him not to. It’s a toxic dumpster fire and they sell it as #relationshipgoals. It’s not even accidental, as they have now done something similar with Winn and Lyra. When she lost it at him, for no real reason, and at the end of the episode nothing was discussed but all was forgiven, even worse that James was the one to bring them back together, after calling Winn his brother. Winn hates confrontation, it was an aversion established in season one, but here he was being screamed at, obviously scared and they never addressed it. To me, the tone of these relationships is a bigger problem than anything else.