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Supergirl: Strange Visitor from Another Planet

“We’re looking for a White Martian.”

Miranda Crane, an anti-alien crusading Senator is in town. Unfortunately for the team, so is a White Martian.

Because I am a huge nerd, I love the politics of comic book worlds. The idea that aliens or mutants are being used as a political football is just so believable. And then you get into the metaphor of, for instance, Miranda Crane’s fear mongering and talk of building a dome. One expects she will ask the Moon Men to pay for it. By the end of the episode, Crane, having been saved by Supergirl, completely changes course. Is it realistic? Hell, no. But this is Supergirl, realism isn’t its forte and it’s all the better for that.

By far the best part of this episode was learning more about J’onn J’onzz. It’s a tricky thing having a main character spend the first half of the season masquerading as a different person. It could easily be the case that we don’t really know who J’onn is. Somehow, the show has managed to already define him outside his Hank Henshaw suit. This episode goes farther showing us his past. Turns out, Mars was home to two races: the Green Martians and the White Martians. The White Martians ended up wiping out the Green Martians, leaving only J’onn alive, killing his wife and daughters. His work with his powers in previous episodes has alerted the White Martians to his existence and they, or at least one of them, are determined to kill him.

We see J’onn struggle with this, at first wanting Kara to take care of the White Martian, afraid to expose himself, then moves on to wanting to kill the Martian himself. Kara stops him, telling him that murder would let the White Martians win. The parallel between Kara and J’onn as lone (or almost lone) survivors of their race is interesting. Kara’s survival was intentional, a plan put in place by her mother. J’onn seemed to have survived almost by accident. Kara, arguably has less baggage than J’onn because she was a child at the time of her race’s death while J’onn has to live with the survivor’s guilt of outliving one’s own children.

Found families are one of my favorite television tropes so of course I love the makeshift father/daughter/daughter bond between J’onn and Alex and Kara. I like the way it’s been balanced, too. Alex and “Hank” had all those years of working together in the DEO but J’onn and Kara having a great deal of shared life experience. It feels like they each have an equal claim on his affection.

As for the Adam storylne…meh. My biggest problem with it is that it requires a huge suspension of belief, the idea that Kara would overstep like that. To go to the length of posing as Cat to write a letter…am I alone in thinking that is something Kara would never ever do? And then, further, that Cat wouldn’t fire her immediately and permanently. It just felt so contrived. They could’ve gotten Adam to National City without the letter. Maybe he was in town for a job interview or to visit a friend?

I did like the scene where Kara translates for both Cat and Adam, using her emotional X-ray vision to get through the layers of defensiveness and bullshit and bring out the best in each person. Screw CatCo, Kara should get a job as a mediator. I really love when the show displays Kara’s non-alien skills. It’s wonderful to see her save the day without a cape.

Bits and Pieces

Winn is still hurt over Kara’s rejection, meaning we get mercifully little of him in this episode.

We learn that J’onn is over 300 years old. (I loved Harewood’s delivery of that monologue.)


J’onn: “Any man would be proud to call you his daughters.”

Cat: “She’s probably in the bathroom picking muffin out of her hair.”

three out of four J’onn J’onzzes

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, not so sure why everyone is down on Winn, although I don't sense any chemistry between him and Kara - nor that much between Kara and James. I do think Winn's reaction at the beginning when he encountered Kara was extremely realistic - and as we saw so much of him in the last episode, it seems fair to get a small dose of him now.

    It is interesting to look on the aliens as refugees. They don't feel like refugees, of course, because they have superpowers. I think it would be intellectually interesting for aliens to arrive that had less powers than we did - but perhaps that would make for a lousy story. And it's hard to see how they would even get to Earth without superior technology... Maybe if they were brought here by another race.

    Ah, how the mind wanders!


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