Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Recap Wednesday: Supergirl 1.11 "Strange Visitor From Another Planet"

In this episode, we first meet Adam, a seemingly-random guy who flirts with Kara at a coffeeshop. He asks pesky questions about Cat Grant while Kara is oblivious to his flirting, as depicted in the scene below, starring Kara, Adam, Alex, and Alex's side-eye:

Mmm-hmmmm
Not too long after this scene, we learn that Adam is Cat Grant's estranged son. He shows up at CatCo because he read a letter to him that Cat wrote. Cat had intended to throw the letter away, but Kara finished the letter and mailed it to Adam without Cat knowing. Oh.

Today's semi-villain (or whatever) is Senator Miranda Crane, who according to Cat "is a lightning rod for bigots, hippies, and aliens" (and that is the order in which Cat detests them). Crane is in town to lead an anti-alien rally and James is sent to cover it and hopefully obtain a quote that will "offend everyone." Hey, we all know that clickbait sells!

The rally is kind of awful. People are holding anti-alien, anti-Supergirl, and "return 2 sender" signs. At one point, Crane says, "Monsters are coming for your families" and it reminded me of, among other salient issues of the day, that fear-mongering, anti-gay National Organization for Marriage ad from 2009, "A Storm is Gathering."

But then, a White Martian actually does show up at the anti-alien rally and starts attacking people!

MNCGA?
J'onn tells Alex that the White Martians were a species that committed genocide against his own species, the Green Martians, and killed his family (sob).  Alex and Hank/J'onn take Senator Crane to the DEO for her protection, but it turns out that the White Martian had shape-shifted into Senator Crane, so it's not really her. The real Senator Crane was taken to a lair and the White Martian escapes.

Later, Cat has dinner with Adam and it doesn't go so well. She is nervous and mostly talks about herself, so he angrily leaves. Kara vows to fix things between them, which seems like even further weird boss/subordinate dynamics, but I'm on board the Cat/Kara ship so what the hell do I know. Oh, speaking of which, Kara arranges a coffee date between herself, Cat, and Adam. Adam is clearly into Kara, so now my Supergirl subtextual-watching is just weird:

Awkward, party of three
In all seriousness, it does end up being a meaningful mother-son reconciliation moment, so I'm happy for them.

On the White Martian front, it abducts Alex and vows to release her in exchange for J'onn's life. We learn that J'onn is dealing with survivor's guilt and he resigns himself to dying so he can rejoin his family. Here is the awful, ugly-ass White Martian in the moment it gleefully thinks it's going to kill J'onn:


However, after saving the real Senator Crane, Supergirl swoops in (swooping, I feel like she's always swooping) to save the White Martian. Together, Supergirl and J'onn battle the White Martian, capture it, and put it in the DEO bad alien jail.

We later see Senator Crane revising her anti-alien stance in light of her experience with Supergirl and resulting realization that not all aliens are evil. Well, shit, imagine a politician doing that. Of course, in our world we would call a politician who does such a thing a "flip-flopper," so. That's that.

Deep Thought of the Week: Probably the most powerful relationships in Supergirl thus far have been between women: Alex/Kara as sisters, Cat/Kara as mentor/mentee, and Kara/Astra as niece/aunt. In this episode, though, we delve deeper into another key relationship, that of Hank/J'onn being a father figure to Kara and Alex.

Kara lost her father when her planet exploded and she was sent to Earth, and Alex lost her father when he supposedly died while on a DEO mission. After Alex and Kara save him, Hank/J'onn tells them that he had two daughters on his home planet. And, he implies that he sees Kara and Alex as his adoptive daughters, saying, "Any man would be proud to call you his daughters."

It's touching and, in typical fashion, right after saying this he acts gruff and embarrassed about such displays of sentimentality.

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