Supergirl says good bye to Sanvers (the relationship between Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer) in season 3 episode 5. It was heartbreaking, but very well done. I know we deserved to have happy lesbian couples on TV. I know some people might feel like #SanversDeservesBetter. But given that Floriana Lima (who plays Maggie) is exiting, this ending to Sanvers is well thought-out and well-executed. Instead of an abrupt violent death, or framing one of them as the villain, the writers represent the ending of their relationship to be one of mutual agreement. No matter how much you love someone, sometimes relationship doesn’t work out because you each want different things in life. And in Sanvers’ case, it is baby.
Let’s look at the evolution of their relationship and how Supergirl handled ending their relationship-
Season 2- Alex’s coming out and beginning of Sanvers
Maggie Sawyer entered Season 2 as a NCPD detective who recently moved to National City. Even from the first meeting, we could see the chemistry between Alex and Maggie. After Alex’s awkward fumbling on asking Maggie out (as a friend), Maggie revealed to Alex that she was seeing someone already. Alex freaked out on being presumed to be gay and began a self-evaluation of her sexuality.
After some soul-searching, Alex came out to Kara and confessed her love to Maggie. Only Maggie was afraid and blew Alex off. But after getting shot. Maggie realized she needs to kiss the girl she wants to kiss and Sanvers officially began.
We saw sweet banter and general fluff between the two that ended with Alex’s proposal to Maggie in Season 2’s finale.
Season 3 – Sanvers’ breakup
Season 3 began with Alex being super excited about her engagement to Maggie and talking about having the gayest wedding National City has ever seen. J’onn was happy for Alex, Eliza was happy for Alex. And Alex was the happiest we have ever seen. Maggie’s father wasn’t happy for Maggie, but with Alex’s help, Maggie made her peace with it.
But Alex’s excitement soon began to die out as Maggie mentioned that she doesn’t want to have kid- something that they apparently never talked about before. From Season 3 episode 1 when Alex saved Ruby, we saw how much she likes kids. And then Bam! Maggie said she never think of herself as a mom. Alex pretended she was fine with it, tried to accept it even. But for all her life, she thought of herself as being a mom one day, and suddenly she needed to think of herself only as the cool aunt, it just wasn’t the same. She broke down during Ruby’s song and ran out of the performance room. And right then, we knew that Sanvers is going to end.
So that brought us to Season 3 episode 5, the episode in which Sanvers broke up. From the start, we heard Alex and Kara talking and knew that they are talking about Sanvers. Then we saw everything all packed up in the house. Alex and Maggie were giving each other longing and sad looks. Maggie asked if that is it for them and Alex explained that it is, that she couldn’t do this back and forth again. It is a sentiment that I completely understand. When you know something isn’t working, it is better to move forward than to dwell on it. The next scene we saw of them is when Maggie turned the music to a dance song and invited Alex to dance with her. They danced, they laughed, and eventually kissed and fell into bed. They are good together, and they know it. But when all is done, they realized that even if they are good together, even if they still love each other so much that it hurts, they still wanted different things in life. And that is okay. Breaking up doesn’t make their relationship any less meaningful. As Alex had said, Maggie made her learned that she could be happy. And Maggie replied that Alex forced her to review what she didn’t want to talk about. They made each other a better person.
The show didn’t make their breakup an argument, they didn’t do what Grey’s Anatomy did with Owen and Christina when the topic of baby came up. Instead, they ended their relationship on a good standing. They could still be friends one day, or get back together if one of them change their mind. “See you around” Alex had said.
So what made Sanvers so great?
1. Being there for each other and helping each other discovers more about themselves
- Maggie made Alex realize that she likes woman and has liked woman since forever
- Alex made Maggie confront her past relationship in which Maggie cheated on her ex-girlfriend
- Alex helping Maggie come to accept her father’s disapproval of her as a lesbian
- Their agreement on ending their relationship and departing on a good note (instead of yelling at each other)
2. Alex and Maggie are both strong independent women
Part of why they can’t comprise about the baby is because they are both independent women who know what they want. Maggie knows she doesn’t want kid and is unashamed about it. Alex is understanding of Maggie’s choice and respects it. There is no pressuring Maggie to have children so that they can be together. In fact, Alex tried to be satisfied with being the cool aunt until she realized she couldn’t live with it.
3. Sanvers deals with self-realization, coming out, and having disapproving parents properly
Alex hadn’t known she was gay before Maggie made an offhand comment about it. But as she thinks more about it, she realized that she has always been a little gay and hadn’t admit it because she was afraid of Eliza’s reaction. The show deals with Alex’s self-realization quite well. It didn’t straight up pair Alex and Maggie together, instead it has Alex figures out her sexuality first. Even then, Maggie refused Alex and sent Alex into that unnecessary self-loathing. But there is no hint of Maggie ‘turning Alex gay’, no hint of Alex ‘experimenting’. Because of Maggie’s outburst, Alex self-evaluates and realizes her own sexuality. It is organic, it is authentic. And it is good representation.
As for the coming out, the writers dealt with it decently. Alex was so scared to tell Kara, and Kara hadn’t reacted the best way at first (probably because she was surprised). And her coming out during Thanksgiving wasn’t really the best. But in the end, Kara and Eliza are both accepting and loves Alex for who she is. We got to see the nervousness of coming out, we could to see the relief after her family’s acceptance, and we certainly feel Alex’s excitement about accepting herself once she came out.
With Maggie, we knew that she got kicked out from home and had to live with her aunt after coming out at 15. In Season 2, with Maggie and Alex’s engagement, we finally met Maggie’s parents. We saw the hope that Maggie had on gaining her father’s approval and eventually realizing that her father’s approval doesn’t matter. It is her life and she needs to live it true to herself.
The show could easily make the father realizes his mistake and apologizes to Maggie. But it didn’t do that. Instead, it makes the father goes on a weird rant. Maggie dealt with it maturely, by staying strong and not letting her father’s words affect her. Maggie is a strong Latina woman who is a detective and a lesbian. And she is proud of it. She makes it this far in life without her father, and she can continues on without him.
I feel the heartbreak, and I will probably cry some more about the ending of this amazing relationship, but I accept it, because it is authentic, it is true to real life, and there is always still hope that Maggie will be back. Even if know, I can live with knowing that Maggie had made an significant impact on Alex’s life and remember their time together.
Farewell for now, Sanvers. You will be missed dearly.
Read more about why Sanvers are the heroes we deserve.
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