s1 cat

You know, I keep seeing posts talking about what a horrible liar Kara is. But the fact of the matter is Kara is probably one of the best liars I’ve ever seen on TV.

But wait. The entirety of National City knows Kara’s Supergirl, you may be thinking. How can she be a good liar? But that’s the thing—her secret isn’t that Kara Danvers is Supergirl.

Kara’s only been Supergirl for the past year or so. But still, she’s been lying for well over a decade about who she is—and successfully. The thing about Clark—and they’ve addressed this in season 1—is he may as well be human. They’ve talked about this with Astra, and then they’ve shown this Myriad. Because in Clark’s head, he’s not Kryptonian. His powers make him stand apart, but when he solar flares, his most likely thought process is I’m human now. To Kara, it would be I’m now powerless. And there is a difference. Krypton is much more technologically advanced, yes, but that is not the only difference between Earth and Krypton.

I cannot emphasize enough Kara is not human. Kara’s alienness isn’t contingent upon her abilities—superpowers or no superpowers, she’s always Kryptonian.

And sure, plenty of people probably have figured out that Kara is Supergirl—but that’s pretty much it. What people know about Kara’s past is that she’s Superman’s cousin, and that’s it. And clearly, Kara is younger than Superman—most people aren’t going to think “yup. She was probably put in suspended animation in some way.” I mean the conspiracy theorists might, but not really the overwhelming people on Earth. (listen. You gotta draw a line somewhere)

Most people are going to think ‘Occam’s Razor’—that Kara’s mom, or dad, or both, got off Krypton at the same time as Superman, and a decade later had Kara, and that there’s a very good chance that Supergirl is half human, or at the very least born on Earth and raised as a human. It’s what’s logical, isn’t it? The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

But she’s not. English isn’t her first language, and she grew up with a very different culture, undergone a host of different experiences that most humans couldn’t even imagine. Hell, she wasn’t even born the same way—Clark was the first natural Kryptonian birth in years. That means Kara was not. Kara was born via the Codex—really, if James was surprised at the depths of Kara’s anger over losing Krypton (back in season 1—you know, where Kara got to have more than 3 emotions), or how surprised he was to find out what Kara’s family crest really meant, how surprised would they be at everything she’d decide to just stop hiding?

Because Kara is so very good at hiding. Kara Danvers is real, yeah, but it’s someone she had to build. One of the very subtle, but telling moments happened in the first episode of season two, when Kara and Clark were getting off the elevator, and Clark had a clumsy moment where he ran into someone and knocked all their things to the ground. After he apologized and helped the person pick up their things, Kara asked him “wow, you really have the whole clumsy thing down, don’t you?” “Oh no, that was real.” Key word here is thing. As in, I have a routine I go through to distract people and to seem harmless. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, of routines and acts Kara must go through to make herself seem human. Kara Danvers is real, but part of that identity is a persona she constantly embodies–clumsy, absentminded, horrible at math and science, cute but not drop dead gorgeous, a bit quirky always happy, harmless, invisible, human.

And so it’s not surprising that all of these people are figuring out her identity, but that’s not really what Kara’s held close to her chest, not like Clark. Kara’s anger and loss and just general alienness–that is her secret. This is what she’d confide, this is what she’d have to truly trust someone to reveal. This is what the culmination of trust would look like, trust in Cat or Lena or Maggie (or hell even Barry, who sure knows Kara is an alien but. He doesn’t really seem to grasp the implications of that–oh i didn’t realize Kara got mad).

For 10 years, Kara kept herself hidden, keep herself secret. But Kara’s secret isn’t that she’s Supergirl, a human with powers. Kara’s secret is that she is angry and mad and hurting. But most of all, Kara’s secret is that she is not human.

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supergirl season 1 appreciation week
day 5 : best episode (1x16, falling)

Brazen. That’s a new color on you. I don’t mind it.

Have you ever thought of a Supercat West Wing au, where Cat is still Cat Grant, CEO of CatCo World Wide Media. She’s going along with her life, kind of just coasting (I mean. Coasting for her), and she’s a bit bored with her life, but there’s not very much she can do to challenge herself at this point—she’s built her empire, she’s made her legacy. But she’s feeling a bit restless, the same restlessness that got her to this point, that drive to be more.

And then one day, someone from her war correspondent days walks into her office, one Hank Henshaw, who saved her life when she was just a rookie war correspondent who knew absolutely nothing, comes to see her. And he’s talking about this New England small time politician he wants her to go see, at some retirement center, and that’s it. He’s never called upon that debt, never used her for political or financial gain. Cat’s just thinking no way is she the real thing, at this point (especially without Sunny Danvers in her life), more than a bit jaded with humanity and pessimistic.

But the man who once saved her life is asking her for a favor, and it’s not power or money or a position of influence. It’s simply to go to this place in Middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire, and hear some imbecile speak. And this is what old friends do for someone who owes a life debt (and maybe she herself is just a little bit hopeful, just a little bit curious. This is someone who has Hank Henshaw’s faith. Henshaw might be the most honorable and decent man she knows—and for someone who’s life’s work is to ferret out secrets, who refuses to keep her head in the sand, that means something).

And then on the way, maybe she stops in New York to visit her old friend Lucy Lane, who’s working for gage whitney, making rich white guys even richer. Both stuck in their ruts, uninspired.

And Lucy tells her to come back if she sees the real thing. Cat gives a bit of a sarcastic laugh and asks her how the hell would she even know—and Lucy tells her she’s seen Cat excited before, truly excited. Lucy will just know.

(and maybe Cat did her background research on her way there—she was a journalist first. Foster child, with a life plagued by tragedy, adopted by one of the state’s oldest families. Some went to college on military scholarship, had a bit of a career as an artist after serving her 4 years of active duty. Single. Spotless record. Very few relationships, married to her work. Cousin’s a journalist, two tattoos, worked as a diplomat after the artistic stint, majored in art and political science, minor in linguistics. Licensed pilot. Polyglot. Sister of Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, former army medic and Surgeon General. Again, she’s Cat Grant—she does her homework)

So Cat goes to that retirement center and is just prepared to have some really mediocre chicken. She’s barely paying attention—she even has a crossword in front of her—even has it be paper, to prove a point that she’s not busy with a work email or something truly important on her phone Nope. It’s a crossword puzzle. And then there’s the question from the dairy farmer—why did she vote on the way she did on those milk subsidies? That hurt a lot of dairy farmers.

And then there’s just this pause before Kara goes, “Yeah. I screwed you on that one.” And Cat’s head just rockets up and she immediately stops what she’s doing because this is something Cat’s never seen. And she watches as this politician explain that the reason that she didn’t do something very politically advantageous—in a state where dairy farms are big, this small tiny state where those votes really do matter—was because she didn’t want children to go hungry. She wanted children to be able to buy milk.

What you are taught in every college political science class, every high school civics class, in every democratic society, the goal of every politician is to be reelected. And yet this is something that won’t score her any political points, will make her lose constituents—she didn’t offer justification, like oh I voted for this because they’d give us better grazing laws, or anything. This was flat out “I did it for starving children. Not for you.”

And just. She’s almost a little bit pissed because goddammit Hank was right, Cat is absolutely  hooked. She’s completely bamboozled and yeah like Josh she’s just in awed shock and she comes into Lucy Lane’s firm, dripping wet, hair a frizzy mess, outfit ruined,—and this is Cat fucking Grant, she never looks anything but pristine, not a hair out of place—just grinning. And Lucy just stops talking to the client about the deal that would have made her a partner, the culmination of her career and everything she’s been working for her entire adult life—and it’s one of the easiest decisions she’s ever made.

And then Winn, drunk off his ass because he thinks he’s going to get fired tonight because he told if she’s asked about her vote against the dairy farmers tonight she should, and only because it’s the easiest thing to remember, tell the truth.

And then Alex comes in and fires everyone but Winn—which Kara protests wildly at because Kara still doesn’t think that she’s actually going to get elected, that she’s just doing to keep her opponent honest and talk about some issues and be very comfortable conceding the race but Alex has been in politics, has plans for Kara and knows that they could go all the way to the White House, Hank as VP for anyone worried about having such a young woman as President, Alex as Chief of Staff. (and there’s a reason Alex has never planned on running for the White House and that’s a)she is horrible at any type of public speeches and b) Sierra Tuscon, drinks, and pills.)

And then Winn goes all the way to California to visit his old friend James (complete with the James falling into his pool scene with the sheer white shirt because I may be gay but I have eyes and EQUALITY). Winn lets James know that. Well. Yeah, you’re right kara’s never heard of you but Alex sure has. And yes, Kara Danvers is a good person. And that’s all it takes for James to pack up from his 500k a year job to the one that pays 600 a week.

And so now Kara has a team of Lucy Lane, Hank Henshaw, Alex Danvers, Winn Schott, James Olsen, and Cat Grant. And she’s worried now, because she was never supposed to win. She’s just there to make her speeches and keep her opponent honest because they may live in a time where a woman could be president and a black man can be VP—but a straight female president. Not a gay one. But Alex was right and they win and they’re off to the White House. So Kara keeps her secret, and hopes (prays) that no one finds out, because she’s been so very careful, not even Alex knows.

And if Kara thinks that Cat Grant is witty and fierce and determined and witty and sarcastic and absolutely radiant? Well, she’ll keep that to herself.