First, let’s get this out of the way. This article is not about ANY of the actors on Supergirl. In fact, I thank each and every one of them for their hard work over the past six seasons. Had it not been for you, I probably would’ve stopped watching a long time ago. Your performances took mostly mediocre writing and magically compelled a lot of viewers to return each week to see what happens next. The finale was no exception, with everyone getting their happy endings, except for perhaps Kara and Lena, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
As a fan of Supergirl since Day 1, it was bittersweet saying goodbye to some of my favorite characters in superhero television. Kara, Alex, Lena, Nia, Kelly, and Brainy will go down in history as characters who will always have a special place in my heart. Everyone did an amazing job and I’m slightly sad that we won’t get more chances to see Azie Tesfai and Jesse Rath’s incredible acting in their roles that were largely sidelined until the second half of the final season.
Finally getting a Dansen wedding should’ve made it all worth it. Alex had been yearning for a family of her own since early on in season three, and for her to end up with not only a wife but a child, was the cherry on top. Unfortunately, for US viewers, several pivotal scenes were edit out of the finale for some reason, so the moments of Alex and Kelly asking Lena to be Esme’s godmother, Brainy confirming that he and Nia would soon get married themselves, James passing the photography torch down to Esme, and extended lines of the final onscreen exchange between Lena and Kara were all missing from the episode. Thank god for the internet.
As finales go, some parts were underwhelming. The rather quickly way that Nyxly and Lex are disposed of was absolutely anticlimactic. Essentially using the same idea from season six’s finale for Supergirl to reach the people of National City felt tired. The Infinity War-esque nature of the fight to secure all of the totems felt cheap. This show, it’s cast and it’s fans, deserved so much better than recycled storylines. It was marvelous to see Cat Grant again, though it would’ve been nice to have seen Sam Arias and M’Gann M’Orzz one more time again, along with Winn, James, and Mon-El.
My problem with the finale squarely sits with the Supergirl writers, executive producers, and The CW network heads who knowingly perpetuated the biggest queerbaiting relationship in the history of television. A little over a year ago, following the show’s 100th episode, I wrote an article for Culturess.com examining the signs of Kara and Lena’s relationship becoming queerbait material, especially during their rift during season five. While the first couple of seasons of interactions between the two leading ladies seemed innocent and friendly enough, it’s in season five that it became loud and clear what the writers were doing. It was fascinating that the writers chose to have the hundredth episode, a momentous milestone by television standards, focus entirely on the “friendship” between Kara and Lena. At the time, I was fine with, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they wouldn’t so blatantly rip-off traditionally heterosexual romance tropes if they weren’t planning on going somewhere with it. However, following last night’s finale, we all discovered that was not the case at all.
Following five seasons of build-up, the scenes between Kara and Lena during the finale were scenes that have been classically depicted on other television series by romantic couples. One “challenging” the other to be a better person. One thanking the other for making them a better person. One lowering their guard to embrace who they fully are for the first time in their lives in front of the other. For a show that spent so much time talking about “speaking truths” and “living authentically,” this scene in particular rang as 100% hypocritical. For better or worse, you could tell that both Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath were doing their best to portray what everyone else was waiting for –a kiss or a confession of a love. An acknowledgement of some kind that the past five years’ worth of longing glances, lip biting, pining away while looking at photographs, misunderstood comments, hurt feelings, hopeful speeches, and matching blue and red outfits meant something. But the writers gave us nothing.
Additionally, it is beyond insulting for them to use the allegory of a member of the LGBTQ community coming to terms with who they are and coming out to people in such a twisted way. Being a member of the queer community has long been a metaphor for being a superhero with a secret identity, much in the way the X-Men have been depicted over the years, but using the same words that a queer individual would use in order to give themselves the strength to speak their truth as a way to denounce a very clear intimate relationship, and reinforce a glorified version of homophobia, is inexcusable.
The showrunners of Supergirl owe every LGBTQ fan an apology. It was the end of the series, there was nothing left to lose, and they still kept the facade going to the very end like a bunch of cowards. I wonder how the ratings would’ve looked for the finale had that Lena and Kara exchange happened in the final moments of the penultimate episode?
5 thoughts on “The CW fumbles Supergirl finale with cut scenes, ultimate queerbaiting”
You hit the nail right on the head! The people who are still claiming Supercorp wasn’t queerbaiting just never paid close enough attention. All you have to do is look beyond the surface to see this wasn’t about promotions promising something we didn’t get on the show or interviews hinting at a romance that never materialized, but years’ worth of subtle, downright sinister writing that showed them to be just like a romantic couple w/out anything explicitly in that direction. Whether this came from the showrunners, the CW, DC, whatever, it’s completely unacceptable and we can’t just let them off the hook now that the show’s over. Easily the worst queerbait ever on TV (I still say it’s just under Bechloe for the worst overall)
Actually, I think it all depends on your perspective. Fans are the ones who created Supercorp, not the creators. Any chemistry there was perceived by viewers. I am aware that it is a majority of fans who ship it, but there are some who don’t – not because of homophobia, which those who do ship it so often accuse them of, but because they just see the genuine and solid friendship between Kara and Lena. This in itself is a beautiful thing. It’s a rarity these days to see that sort of friendship depicted on screen, perhaps because production companies and writers are so scared that they’ll be accused of queerbaiting that they shy away from it.
I am also unsure how the show can be accused of such things when throughout the last couple of seasons, 6 especially, one of the two main romantic relationships on the show has been a wlw couple. And not only does this couple exist, the ship being completely canon, but they have adopted a child and around half of the final episode was dedicated to their wedding with several previous episodes focusing heavily on their engagement, adoption and other aspects of their relationship.
I can appreciate the disappointment that comes with an otp fanon ship not getting made canon. I have suffered that many times with various other shows and films over the years. But there is a right way and a wrong way to handle that disappointment. Attacking the writers, showrunners etc as well as those who don’t ship it is the wrong way and unfortunately gives a bad impression of fandoms, in particular shippers.
If this was a dynamic between a male character and a female character, I doubt anyone would be kicking up such a fuss over it not being made canon. Please learn to just appreciate what we got – a beautiful Dansen wedding, with their adorable little girl.
Hi Melody. Thank you for your comments on the article. However, I would urge you to consider several things from a different perspective. I’m not sure if you are familiar with the comics in which most of the characters are based on, but Kara is queer in the comics. The show runners have been aware of Supercorp for several seasons (at least 3), so they are well aware of what they were doing. I’m not sure how many shows you’ve seen with two female characters as best friends, but if you’re familiar with romantic tropes, you can clearly see that these were being done with Kara and Lena–not to mention how the show followed the tradition of having red and blue outfits between them, such as been done in the past on Smallville with Clark and Lois, as well as the 90s Lois and Clark series. You cannot tell me that these things were done unconsciously. Writers and show runners have never stated that Supercorp would never happen, because, as you stated, a large portion of the audience wanted them together and they wanted to keep people tuning in or else it would’ve been a huge chunk out of their ratings. I’m not sure if you’ve watched any other shows with queer or lesbian characters, but any romance that they’ve had has almost always the same writing as what we’ve seen between Supercorp for the past four seasons. Also, I am not trying to discount Dansen at all, as Alex is actually my favorite character on the show. I am truly happy that she at least got her happy ending. And finally, if this dynamic was between a male and female character on any other show, they would’ve been married after two seasons at the most.