This episode got…weird. Bizarre things can happen when you take allegories too far and that’s just what this episode did.
Comparing extra-terrestrials to immigrants is tricky. It’s something the show has touched on lightly before (remember Senator Miranda Crane) but this episode went all in and the results were confusing. I can count the aliens I trust on one hand, says Alex, and it’s true. This world has shown us very few good aliens which is fine when they’re just Martians or Kryptonians or whatever but becomes incredibly problematic when the show attempts, as it does here, to use them as an allegory for immigrants. Thankfully, we did get a little more exposure to neutral aliens in National City’s premier alien-friendly dive bar.
A dive bar where later J’onn will randomly meet another Martian. Which seems…I mean, if there really are just two of them left in the entire universe and they both happen to land on the same planet, move to the same city, and then one night find themselves in the same bar at the same time where they come face to face…let’s just say that’s statistically unlikely.
Moving on. My favorite part of this episode was the ugly and frankly racist attitude we got from Kara. The Girl of Steel is great with her hope and goodness but it’s important for characters to have flaws. What’s more, it’s important to acknowledge that even the best of us can have prejudices, prejudices often taught to us by our culture. For a Kryptonian, that means hating Daxamites. Seeing her recognize her mistake, own it, and make amends was amazing. Kara is such a great role model not because she’s perfect, but because she tries to be better.
The President was in town and it was wonderful (See what I did there?). Played by Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter, the President was around to sign a bill allowing aliens to come out of the shadows and live openly with the full rights of U.S. citizens. Her would-be assassin, however, thinks the bill has a more sinister motive, that the bill’s ultimate goal is to force aliens into the open so the government can track them. That seemed crazy until the President was revealed to be an alien herself. Now I’m left wondering if that was just a fun little inclusion or if the show setting up a larger arc for President Wonder Woman. If so, is she a good guy or a bad guy?
In other, possibly significant news, Lena Luthor has developed a handheld device that can detect aliens immediately and is planning to market it to the public. So far, I’m really liking Lena (and enjoying the way Kara smiles whenever she looks at her) but Katie McGrath’s accent slipped enough to make me wonder why they didn’t just let her be Irish or English. They’ve already established that she was adopted, I don’t think her having an accent would be weird.
I’ve never liked Winn as much as I like him now. Well, okay, I’ve never liked Winn. But working at the DEO agrees with him. He feels less of a random insertion into Kara’s world and more purposeful. Plus, it really doesn’t hurt they backed off the whole romance thing.
Speaking of romance, it looks like Mehcad Brooks is staying, thankfully. His new job is Cat’s old job which, I have to say, is a bit awkward since we never really saw Cat do her old job. I mean, she’d get everyone together once in a while and say nice things about Supergirl but mostly she just snapped at Kara and demanded her latte. I actually wasn’t aware she was still as hands on as she apparently was. This episode sees James having to deal with dissension in the ranks as Snapper Carr decides to be even more of a dick than he was last week. I know they’re going for prickly with him, but is it possible to make him a little less hatable? He has no redeeming characteristics so far. Like, I don’t know, give him a kid or a puppy or something to distract me from wanting to strangle him whenever he speaks?
It seems like Mon-El will be sticking around which could be great. Will he suit up with Kara and become a regular cast member? A quick google search shows me that he is an established character in DC canon (I’d never heard of him), so it’s entirely possible that we’ve lost a Cat and gained a superhero. Also: romantic possibility for Kara? As much as I giggled over her and Lena I’m not naïve enough to think that’s going to happen. Now that she’s kicked James to the curb for reasons that continue to evade me, what about a handsome Daxamite on her arm?
Bits and Pieces
Daxamite sounds like a vitamin the FDA has recently revealed none of us are getting enough of.
J’onn: “People in this world don’t have much tolerance for others who look different. I say this as an alien and someone who has worn the face of black man for fifteen years.”
Kara: “She called me Supergirl.”
Alex: “That is your name.”
Kara: “Did you hear that? That was like, a legit quote. People are going to quote her.”
Kara: “Why were you sending a distress call?”
Mon-El: “Because I’m in distress!”
President: "If you think that's cool, you should see my other jet.”
two and a half out of four Lynda Carters