I’m not sure this counts, since I don’t think I technically recognized this moment for what it REALLY was, and Mongr-El isn’t even in the scene or mentioned at all, but whatever.
The first moment I hated Man-Hell was when Karolsen broke up.
Yeah I know, I know, Kara and Mayo-Boy don’t get together for another twelve episodes after that and he wasn’t even CONSCIOUS at that point in the series, but we all KNOW that they only broke up Karolsen to make way for a new white male love interest, so it counts, alright!
Because that was one of the first big signs that things were going really, really wrong in this season. The other was the writing off of Cat Grant, but that has less to do with Meh-Blegh, so I can’t quite count that.
We spent twenty episodes building up not just Karolsen, but James Olsen as a character in the show, as a co-lead with Kara and Alex. He was more than just Kara’s love interest. James Olsen was a successful, empathetic, kind, flawed character who also happened to be a Black man. He had his own personal character arc throughout season 1 about learning to believe in Kara and, through her, himself. He’d always sort-of depended on Superman in his life as both the reason he was famous and as his personal hero. But through helping Kara learn how to step outside of Superman’s shadow and be a hero all her own, James has to do much the same for himself and figure out where he fits in this new world he’s helping to create. He has to figure out who he wants to become now that he isn’t relying on Superman.
A lot of kermil shippers will use the fact that James was somewhat obsessed with Superman as an argument against Karolsen, that he only likes Kara because of her relationship to Clark Kent and not for Kara herself. I disrespectfully disagree. One of the biggest obstacles between James and Kara was his relationship with Kara’s more famous cousin, I’ll admit, but it’s an obstacle that they dealt with pretty early on if I remember right. Kara gets angry with him for calling Superman to save her and he promises never to do it again. And you know what? He doesn’t. That little button that used to call Superman always seems to call Kara instead after that episode. He learns to see Kara as her own person without the legacy of Superman overshadowing her.
In comparison, Mothball-Eh STILL brings up Kara’s Kryptonian heritage as recently as 2x13 during their DEO argument to delegitimize her anger and his mother brings it up in 2x16. The issue of Kara’s supposed ‘prejudice’ is STILL an issue after karahell get together, but the issue is no longer Kara’s; it’s MOUNTAIN-DEW’S. Because he sees prejudice in every valid criticism she brings up, just to make himself the victim so he doesn’t have to ever change his behavior. His mother uses Kara’s supposed prejudice (and she wasn’t even there in the original episodes when Kara DOES say some prejudiced things, so she’s actually just making a guess and being an asshole about it) to make Kara feel guilty about being upset that her boyfriend lied to her about his identity, an identity that meant he had owned slaves and been part of a corrupt monarchy and benefited from oppressing his own people. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree there. Rhea killed her own husband when he disagreed with her; I wonder what Moldy Wonder Bread would do to Kara if she pushed him hard enough.
Anyway, so after twenty episodes of build-up, they finally got Karolsen together. And they spent all of one episode as a couple. An episode in which they do basically nothing as a couple, they don’t even get to go on a date, and at the end of it, Kara has somehow decided they’re better off as just friends, even though at this point, she shouldn’t really have any idea what they’re like as NOT-friends.
In a spectacularly shittily written scene, an entire season of build-up got shoved aside due to some equally spectacular racism. Because James HAD to get out of the way for the new white fuckboy to reign, didn’t he?
And that’s definitely one of my number one moments that I can look back on and say I started hating Musty-Eel.