Hi!! Do you think Kara's advices this past couple of episodes are out of character or is Kara just really bad at giving advice? Because telling Maggie to basically get over it and suggesting Lena to visit her abuser because "she's still her mom" are terrible advices in my opinion
Hi! Sorry for getting to this so late.
The advice was definitely terrible advice.
Lillian emotionally (and I’m assuming physically based on what transpired last episode) abused/abuses Lena. Lena needed/needs to stay away from Lillian, not go visit her in jail where she can be emotionally manipulated.
It’s not even advice, just a terrible suggestion basically saying: ignore your trauma. Get over it. Which should never never never be something you tell a trauma victim. I’m sure being kicked out of her own home at 14 was extremely traumatic and it’s not something she should be forced to “get over”.
[I know Kara didn’t know what happened to Maggie, but we do, and the writers do: so we know it’s terrible advice but more importantly so did the writers. And since fiction does not exist in a vaccuum, this is a huge problem.]
The scenes felt really out of character to me but I couldn’t figure out why so I talked with @superbigirl for a while (an awesome human you may know as salty anon) and came to this conclusion:
Kara giving said advice was definitely out of character.
Kara despises Lillian Luthor. This is the woman who, as far as kara knows, among other things:
• held kara in a cage for a long period of time, forced her to drain her powers, and then tortured her
• tried to commit genocide against all aliens
• is the leader of cadmus [a secret governemt organization that tortures aliens and has her foster father held captive]
• created a kryptonite man who tried to kill kara
• is “cold and dangerous” and Lena is nothing like her
And Kara knows this about Lena’s relationship with her mother:
• Lena “always seemed to fall short” as her daughter
• Lena wants to distance herself from the Luthor name
• Kara believes Lena is “too good and too smart to follow in [Lillian’s] path”
• Lena expects anything her mother has to say to her will be horrible [”What do you think she wants? Probably to tell me that my outfit in court was horrible and that I need a makeover.”]
• Lena thinks her mother is a monster and she doesn’t want anything to do with her [”You don’t think I should feel guilty for not wanting to go see that monster, right?”]
Which brings me to the analysis of the interaction between Kara and Lena. In CBS canon (which is what I’m going to go by because Kara has acted fairly ooc all season regarding certain things), Kara would never have given the advice she did.
After Lena asks Kara “You don’t think I should feel guilty for not wanting to go see that monster, right?”
The first thing out of Kara’s mouth season one would have been a resounding “No.”
This is a person who understands what it’s like to have a family member so awful you hate them, so awful you have to kill them. No, I’m not talking about Astra. I’m talking about Non (we’ll get to why I am using him as an example in a bit).
Instead, Kara responds to Lena with “Well, do you think you would find peace of mind by visiting her and telling her how you really feel?”
This makes no sense. Kara is extremely empathetic. She would have made sure Lena had no doubt that her feelings were valid. But let’s consider for the sake of argument that this was a question Kara wanted to make sure to ask right away to make sure Lena doesn’t do something she regrets (even though she likely wouldn’t because Lillian is an awful human being, but I digress).
Lena’s response to the question is “Even if I did, it wouldn’t make a difference. You know She’s been the same way since the day I met her.”
At this, season one Kara, who understands that some people are too far gone to change, would have said something like “If it causes you too much pain to visit her, you shouldn’t have to. And you shouldn’t feel guilty for it.“
Instead, Kara replies with “I’ve spent most of my life wishing I could talk to people that are no longer here. She’s still here. And she’s still your mom.”
Here’s why that doesn’t make sense and why Non was the most relevant example:
Lena’s relationship to Lillian is most similar, not to Kara’s relationship with Astra or her parents, but to Kara’s relationship with Non.
How, you ask? Look at the lists above. Astra and Alura and Kara’s father all did terrible things, yes, but they loved her. And when it came down to it, though Astra fought Kara, it was abundantly clear to Kara that she still loved her. Non showed none of that, only ruthlessness and a will to kill her. Lillian, as far as Kara knows, does not love Lena. [Also both Lillian and Non tried to kill all [aliens, humans respectively] in national city, but I digress]
The reason the advice Kara gave makes no sense is that those people Kara wishes she could still talk to? I am certain Non is not one of them. Because the relationship with Lillian is so similar, it makes no sense for Kara to recommend a visit.
Remember Astra’s funeral? Kara wanted nothing to do with Non. Nothing at all. Kara saying “she’s still your mother” is as unbelievable as Kara saying “he’s still my uncle” because blood related family can be crap and Kara knows this.
Kara’s past experience makes her far less likely, not more likely, to recommend that Lena visit Lillian in prison.
Kara and Maggie haven’t interacted much on screen so we don’t really know what Kara know about Maggie but there’s still plenty of reasons to call bullshit on Kara giving that advice.
They talk for less than a minute and the only thing Kara has to say is “Look, I know Valentine’s Day might not be happy for you, but it means something to Alex to spend a romantic holiday with someone she cares about. Maybe you might want to consider making some changes for her. I gotta go.”
Kara giving this advice, especially in such an offhand manner, makes absolutely no sense. Let’s break it down:
Kara doesn’t know what we know. Presumably, we only know that Kara knows Maggie hates valentine’s day, she has no idea why or with what intensity. But that still doesn’t make Kara’s advice make sense.
I am sure Kara Zor-El understands what it is like to hate a day, to be immeasurably saddened by its existence.
Kara lost her entire world and we have seen just how angry she is about this. Season one had scene upon scene of Kara enduring anger from tragedy: screaming, crying, firing lasers at holograms of relatives that were no longer there. I am sure that Kara Zor-El hates the day Krypton was destroyed.
And you may be thinking that Kara wouldn’t connect the tragedy with a simple holiday but I guarantee you she would. As we’ve seen in other episodes, Kara is highly empathetic, to the point where she apologizes for having to kill when the situation is kill or be killed.
Kara would not give the advice she gave [which is basically “get over it to make somebody else happy”] without knowing the reason Maggie hated that day. Kara cares too much about strangers let alone people she knows to give advice without knowing the extent of the situation.
Which brings me to the other thing: Kara gave that advice in such an offhand manner. Kara would never do that. Again, Kara cares too much about strangers let alone people she knows to give advice so lightly, as if what the other person is feeling isn’t valid or doesn’t matter.
Kara has experienced too much pain and is too empathetic to ever give advice in an offhand manner, to ever suggest a person should simply “get over” their feelings.
tl;dr: the advice was terrible and Kara was out of character because her past experiences and personality would suggest that she would give the exact opposite advice (and at least give Maggie a second thought)