OH! Y’all, if you’re following Supergirl on the CW and you haven’t seen Monday’s episode (Nov. 28th), STOP READING. RIGHT NOW.
SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILERS! STOP! DO NOT READ ANY FARTHER! STOP! OMG STOP!!! FOR REALZ! THERE ARE SPOILERS!
You’ve been warned.
Here we go.
So anchors aweigh, friends, because if you’ve been following Supergirl on the CW (it moved from CBS), then you are fully aware and engaged in the fact that another F/F ship has SET SAIL! And it of course is all over social media and everybody is all happyfuntime yay because omg another TeeVee F/F couple seems to have steered out of rough water and might be headed for their own private island.
And I love a ship that goes canon. Especially one that I’ve been rooting for. Heh.
That would be special agent Alex Danvers (portrayed by actress Chyler Leigh) and detective Maggie Sawyer (actress Floriana Lima). Alex is with the Department of Extra-Normal Operations in National City who also happens to be the sister of Kara Zor-el. You know. Supergirl. The Danvers family adopted Kara when she came to Earth from the planet Krypton before its destruction (like her cousin Kal-El, that Superman guy).
So if you followed Supergirl last season when it was on CBS, you got to watch the bond between Alex and Kara strengthen, and you got to see Alex in her job as DEO agent, making queer lady hearts across the fanverse go pitter-patter (speaking mostly for myself, of course) because of her badassery and sensitive side and devotion to her work.
Incessant devotion to her work. Maybe, I thought, she’s trying to avoid something. Like…I dunno…acknowledging something about herself…
And indeed, after Supergirl got a second season and moved from CBS to the CW, it seems that the writing and producing team maybe feel like they have a little more leeway to let Alex step outside herself and figure some things out.
One of those is that she’s a lesbian, but it didn’t really click with her until detective Maggie Sawyer stepped into the Supergirl ‘verse, making her debut there in episode 3, “Welcome to Earth.” In this incarnation of her, she’s a detective with National City Police Department.
For those of you not in the know, Maggie Sawyer is a long-time part of the DC Comics universe, mostly as a law enforcement officer in Metropolis or Gotham City. She made her first appearance in April 1987 in Superman vol. 2, #4. Then, she was Captain Sawyer of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit.
She was initially married to a male fellow police officer and they had a daughter, but she wasn’t sure about that or her sexual orientation and in 1988, her character came out as lesbian. Her conservative and homophobic husband divorced her and took custody of their daughter, but in later stories, she is able to resume a relationship with her.
In other words, Sawyer’s character has pretty much been lesbian since she first appeared in the late 80s, which was pretty dang cutting-edge for the times.
Her character had a long-running relationship with female journalist Toby Raines. In the mid-2000s, Sawyer was transferred to the major crimes division of Gotham City, which put her in contact with the Batverse, if you will. Her character appeared in DC’s 52 series, then in Detective Comics, where she ran into Kate Kane at a charity ball and basically asked her out.
Kate Kane, friends, is Batwoman, and DC rebooted her in the mid-2000s as a lesbian. When Batwoman got her own series in 2011, Sawyer was dating Kate Kane, but Kate didn’t reveal her identity until this iconic moment in 2013, when she proposed to her:
Needless to say, the relationship didn’t work out and the writing and artist crew of Batwoman quit the comic over “creative differences”; apparently, DC wasn’t into the marriage thing for Batwoman. And in 2014, Batwoman was cancelled as sales slid after the J.H. Williams III team left. The final issue dropped in spring, 2015. (Have no fear, my friends! There’s a new creative team that has taken the Batwoman helm and she will relaunch in 2017!)
At any rate, the Maggie Sawyer character has been around a while, friends, and she’s been solid lesbian rep in the DC comics verse. Also, DC just did a huge relaunch as “Rebirth” and Maggie Sawyer has apparently transferred back to Metropolis (and the Superverse).
Regardless, when I heard Maggie Sawyer was joining the CW’s Supergirl as a character, I was all, YES! LOVE THANG FOR ALEX! Because you see, I’d already been thinking Alex’s character had some decent queer potential and I didn’t think the show’s writing team would compromise Sawyer’s long history with the DC ‘verse and how she has identified pretty much throughout that history. It was a stroke of genius, I think, to bring the Sawyer character to Supergirl. After all, Sawyer’s been in the Superverse and she’s a law enforcement officer, which means she gets that Alex has to work a lot because GASP Sawyer, too, is kind of a workaholic.
And it became apparent pretty quick that Alex crushed hard on Maggie.
I love the way the show handled this. Clearly, Alex is all into Maggie, but she isn’t entirely cognizant of what that means or what she’s feeling. And when Maggie reveals that she’s a lesbian and is getting over being dumped (one wonders WHO dumped her…hmmm), she sort of outs Alex to herself by telling her she just assumed that Alex was into the womenfolk. And Alex freaks, because she’s not ready to think about that yet, so she bails from the conversation.
And she comes to realize that omg, Maggie’s right. And OMG she realizes she’s into Maggie. So she makes her feelings known, but it’s oh, so awkward because Maggie is all, “whoa, Tiger, I’m, like, getting out of a relationship and you’re, like, brand new to Gayville, and I don’t think I can deal with that so let’s just be BFFs, okay?”
Yeah. That awkward moment when you totally thought you read somebody right and then you kissed her and it was not at all what you thought but she’s still nice to you and you want to crawl into a hole with your mortification and stay there forever (view it here).
Many a #Sanvers shipper then debated what could possibly be in store for Alex and Maggie, though it was really kind how Maggie tried not to break Alex’s heart. And Alex then spent some time coming out not only to herself but to Kara, and the moment when Kara comforts Alex after being rejected by Maggie is so heartfelt and full of feelz that shippers probably forgave the show for not hooking Alex up right away with Maggie, because here was a woman struggling with a part of herself that she was finally realizing, struggling with a genuine attraction, and freaking out about telling her sister, who is the most important person in her life, and worrying so much about rejection. (you can see Kara comfort Alex at this link, starting about 1.40, unless you want to watch the awkward Alex/Maggie kiss again, which is before that)
All of us who have come out understand exactly what Alex Danvers was going through, and I will give lots of props to the creative team at Supergirl for bringing that to the screen, and to actress Chyler Leigh who, I think, conveyed it beautifully.
So for the next episodes, Alex was super cranky with Maggie, who was still trying to be BFFs but then finally Alex laid it on the line with her and explained why she felt that what Maggie had said and done might have been unfair and we all collectively went “ooohhhh she laid it out” and realized that she had a point. After saying her peace, Alex then kind of settled down into being friends with Maggie until episode 8, when Maggie got injured and Alex patched her up (super-cute scene…go see). But Maggie got kind of sucked into a Florence Nightingale kind of trope and “omg I almost died” so she shows up at Alex’s because she decides to give in to her feelz or at least see if Alex will still have her after all.
She even brings pizza and beer. And cool detail about this scene when Maggie goes to Alex’s apartment and knocks on the door, Alex doesn’t just open it. She grabs her gun and checks the peephole. Because COPS!
Anyway, fine. Here you go. The scene in which Maggie kisses Alex this time, raising the sails of the good ship #Sanvers:
(link, in case this goes away somewhere)
And that’s where things are. We don’t know how long this ship will last, and I will admit a bit of trepidation because 2016 has been a piss-poor year for queer lady characters on TV, and because of the dreaded “dead lesbian trope” (DLT), in which queer lady characters seem to die either before or right after they find a bit of happiness with another woman. I’m going to be cautiously optimistic in this instance, because Supergirl producer Greg Berlanti has a great résumé in not only superhero shows, but other shows and he’s also gay. Which doesn’t necessarily mean, of course, that he won’t DLT a character, but it does make me hope he doesn’t.
So I’m enjoying watching this sweet romance unfold between Alex and Maggie, and I’m enjoying how it’s woven into the larger plotlines and trajectory of the show.
Here’s hoping it doesn’t run aground.
So all y’all, if you follow Supergirl, what are YOUR thoughts? Share ’em in the comments!
Happy Friday and may the odds be ever in your favor.