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)
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?
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).
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.