“Midvale” plays like a backdoor pilot for a string about the teenage Danvers sisters resolving murder mysteries among calc assignments–a sort of Smallville but for Supergirl via Riverdale. Only it isn’t, at least never to my knowledge, which makes the show’s decision to set almost this whole instance in 2007 an extremely bizarre one. Present-day Kara and Alex return home to Midvale to get some good breathing room as they process their individual breakups (something that’s much fresher for Alex than for Kara). But the tv show then pivots to a flashback history about the teenage anxiety between your two Danvers sisters. Though Supergirl tends to be strongest if it is focusing on Kara and Alex’s marriage, this is a really weird devote the season to do so. I’m not saying I needed an episode full of only Alex wallowing in bed, but I’m also not sure I needed an event full of largely teenage angst and murder puzzle solving either.
Oh yeah, did you know that when Alex and Kara were teenagers, not only was their dear good friend brutally murdered with a corrupt local sheriff, but Alex was almost wiped out by that same sheriff twice? And that’s not even mentioning the instructor/student affairs and (gasp!) pot smoking happening at Midvale High. Given just how major the happenings in this tv show are and exactly how formative they appear to be for Alex and Kara’s current romance, it’s hard to believe they’ve never appear before on the series. And it’s hard to believe just how calmly everyone in this occurrence processes the actual fact that a small-town teenager was shot to fatality and left on the side of the street. I’m still being deeply traumatized by sugary Kenny’s loss of life and I only realized the dude for 5 minutes. What the hell is going on in Midvale that this is not a major turmoil for the city? A good flashback tv show should feel like it’s filling in the spaces with gratifying and unusual answers. This one just feels like it raises way too many questions.
Like, for example, does indeed the timeline of this show make any sense? I’m not talking about the actual fact that Alex was somehow still in high school only a decade before (so present-day Alex is merely 28 at the very oldest?), I’m discussing the timeline of Kara and Alex’s romance. The hard sketch of the sisterhood is definitely that Alex in the beginning struggled to modify to Kara’s addition to the Danvers home before eventually growing to love her. I’m not sure I buy that that change didn’t appear until Alex was later into her high school years. Supposing she’s the same get older as her 17-year-old good friend Josie, that means Alex only got a season (maybe two) with Kara prior to the elder Danvers sister left for school. After evidently constantly coming to each other’s throats for three years, did all their sisterly bonding happen in a single year?
Perhaps I’m being too nitpicky about timeline details that ultimately aren’t that important. Or perhaps we’re designed to think that Jeremiah’s departure triggered Alex and Kara’s romantic relationship to regress following the earlier progress they’d made. But my bigger point is the fact that because this occurrence spends nearly all its amount of time in days gone by, I’m forced to engage with the details of the flashbacks in ways I might not need been if the show got intercut those displays with present day ones. Though Kenny’s fatality is genuinely surprising, the whodunnit position just isn’t convincing enough to carry my concentration (Sheriff Collins is too suspicious from the start), so I’m kept to speculate about things such as why Kara and Alex talk about both your bathroom and a bedroom in a house that appears like a little mansion.
But again, I think teenage Kara’s personality issues could have been more powerfully explored if this episode weren’t trapped completely before. That would’ve allowed the event to ask bigger questions about whether Eliza and Jeremiah’s decision to acquire Kara cover her power was the right one. Instead we get a reasonably tone deaf picture in which J’onn disguises himself as Kara’s dead mother because seemingly watching her entire world be ruined, being stuck exclusively in space pod for 24 years, and having her one and only human good friend be murdered and left privately of the road wasn’t enough injury for one life time. I think we’re supposed to see J’onn’s not-Alura impersonation as a sugary, fatherly gesture, but given the complicated thoughts present-day Kara has about having to hide her skills for so many years, it’s hard for me to observe that scene simply as a “win.” In addition to the psychologically manipulativeness of it is really, really icky.
Despite all my nitpicks, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that “Midvale” has its heart in the right place. The occasions of sisterly teenage bonding are alluring and even the murder enigma products isn’t completely dreadful. It just doesn’t especially feel like Supergirl either, and it really doesn’t feel like a natural progression because of this season’s storytelling. Instead “Midvale” seems more like an effort to rush past the most emotionally uncooked parts of the Alex/Maggie split up without having to depict them onscreen. In which particular case, a tiny time jump might have worked just as well as a sensational nights rest in Midvale.