Whereas Arrow, The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow all left off on tremendously emotional cliffhangers, Supergirl left off with its main threat (Cadmus) resolved. Now there’s plenty of side threats/ stories to go around (ie: Cyborg Superman, the fate of Jeremiah Danvers, James’s role as Guardian, etc) but there is one question above all others that has plagued viewers this season: WHO IS MON-EL?
Now this might not seem as pressing an issue as ‘the fate of Jeremiah Danvers’, but that’s because it’s a topic we accept not knowing about. The thing about Mon-El that perplexes us so much is that everything he does seem to contradict what we “know”.
We heard him tell of his life as a Royal Guard on Daxam until he was saved by the very Prince he swore to protect; but is this really the case? Can Daxam culture truly justify his overall attitudes of privilege, inaction and occasional cowardice? Even if it does, we still come to a perplexing crossroads:
Is Mon-El the worst royal guard ever or actually the Prince of Daxam?
Let’s look at the facts. In “Crossfire” we saw Mon-El’s first day of work at Cat Co where rather than do his work, he flirted to get others to do it. Is this his princely privilege and irresponsibility shining through? Then again, he is from Daxam and the ‘playboy’ culture seems to be a big part of it. Though this gets harder to argue every time we see the man drink.
From his outings with Winn to him trying to drink Kara, he seems to enjoy spending a night out on the town. Again, this does fit with the Daxam culture; but are Daxam Royal Guards – those tasked with protecting the most important people on the planet – actually allowed that many chances to celebrate and shirk responsibilities? Knights celebrating and getting drunk isn’t uncommon (think of Thor/ Valhalla) but these aren’t warriors but actual royal guards. Times of peace or not, they always need to be on the job and ready. But again, it’s Daxam. Perhaps this is indeed just a different culture. But then… why is he so bad at fighting?
In “Changing” we get to see Kara training Mon-El with how to use his new powers. Though what we see here isn’t a trained solider adjusting to powers, but rather someone very much out of his element. Sure he knows a basic combination here and there (maybe Daxam has kickboxing classes), but his overall strategy for engaging Kara is charges and wide, clumsy swings. Remember how expertly Alex fights? That is what you would expect of a highly trained royal guard. Even if Mon-El was still thrown off by his new strength, he’s been on Earth for a few days/weeks. He’s had time to adjust. Fast forward to present episodes and we see that his fighting style hasn’t improved that much.
Now to be fair, in this week’s episode we did see him handle an alien gun rather proficiently. So he definitely has experience firing a weapon; but there’s something else in this episode that calls that evidence into question – the Dominator bowing. Did Mon-El just happen to run into a Dominator he knew and perhaps once rescued; or did the Dominator recognize him as the prince of Daxam? This bit of evidence can honestly go either way. Perhaps Mon-El is the prince or maybe he’s just a bad royal guard who happened to help a Dominator at one point. Though it’s important to note that explanation #2 requires much more dedication plot-wise going forward. And either way, it still doesn’t explain away Mon-El’s penchant for turning a blind eye.
Since we first met Mon-El, he’s not only been bad at fighting but also largely avoided getting into fights unless absolutely necessary. Sure he builds up to BIG moments of heroism (ie: taking on the parasite with Guardian, saving people from the bio attack on the bar, etc) but he seems to always revert back to not wanting to get involved. And the cycle of inaction to big heroic moment continues. Just look at this past episode. He’s had plenty of watershed moments in the past and yet this week he was constantly against going into dangerous situations. He keeps wondering why Kara puts her life on the line for others. But…. isn’t that what a royal guard is supposed to do?
Something truly doesn’t add up and that is precisely what Mon-El almost admitted to Kara in “The Darkest Place”. While locked up in Cadmus, Mon-El begins to wonder why he was the only one to survive Daxam and if he deserves to die. Kara of course tries to console him, to which he replies, “About Daxam, there’s… there’s something I have to tell you”. Mon-El is then cut off when Jeremiah Danvers shows up and we the audience are so shocked about Jeremiah’s appearance we forget all about Mon-El’s near confession.
So which is it:
- Is Mon-El the privileged prince who abandoned his people and now regrets it?
- Is he the worst Royal Guard in the history of histories who fights just as poorly as he takes responsibility for things? (and perhaps is being hunted down on account of these failures/ treason)
Sound off in the comments below!