This week in the adventures of Supergirl, we received the promised yet not welcome visitors from Mars. Valentine’s Day may be next week, but this episode was chock full of would-be romance. Thankfully, nothing reached Hallmark channel level, but situations hovered near that area a few times. Alex had hopes of Bare Naked Ladies, Kara questioned her feelings for a super bartender and we saw deeper emotions budding from our favorite martian. Oh, and then of course, there was that whole martian attack thing which was the main focus of the episode…. let’s get in on the Top 5!
Alright, this is a bit of a switch in approach as the “Top 5” is customarily the things we like best about the episode. Contrary to this, I just cannot get on board with the fledgling romance between Kara and Mon-El. I suppose this is more me calling myself out regarding my thoughts on this story angle. Shouldn’t this be one of my top 5? They are trying really hard to get us to like Mon-El. Perhaps too hard. Is it that I see him as a poor man’s version of Superman? I will admit I felt a twinge of anger when Mon-El appeared on-screen wearing glasses. The twinge being a physicalization of internally screaming, “TAKE THOSE OFF, YOU HAVEN’T EARNED THAT!” Would I like Mon-El if he wasn’t a romantic interest? You know what, I think I am just jealous.
It was a great change of pace to have the biggest action scenes take place within the DEO, as opposed to the fight occurring in large expanses of land or in the city. Too often, the fights all spill out onto the streets, causing damage to multiple structures, changing the landscape itself and of course endangering citizens. As Kara squared off with a White Martian, while J’onn J’onnz and M’gann took on Armek, it was more intimate and immediate within the confines of the reactor core.
One of the great joys for any actor is when they get to play something that is in complete opposite to their character. As Melissa Benoist was able to play a very different version of Kara Zor-El after being exposed to red Kryptonite last season, Jeremy Jordan had a chance this episode. While brief, you can see Jordan relishing every moment on screen as he outs himself as a White Martian. As fun as it was to see a brutal Winn, the lovable real tech genius was rescued by J’onn and M’gann, thusly stopping the reactor core from exploding.
I cannot claim to always being a big fan of Martian Manhunter. I thought he was neat, but I never had a strong attachment. The image seen here is a comic strip called ‘JL8’ by Yale Stewart. If you are unfamiliar and an old school Justice League fan, look it up. It’s amazing. I bring it up because this comic created a soft spot for Martian Manhunter for me. From the big reveal as to who Hank Henshaw of the DEO really was until now, David Harewood’s portrayal has continually grown with depth and heart. As he struggled with his emerging feelings for M’gann, to the powerful moment when he called her, ‘Miss Martian’, I just wanted to give him a hug. Speaking of hugs, if you read JL8 you will want to hug J’onn J’onnz for the rest of time. Seriously.
Where do you even start to talk about how strong this character is? She rebelled against her fellow White Martians to not kill Green Martians. She not only left her mate, but tried to kill him because he’s a maniac. She accepted help from the DEO and J’onn, supported J’onn to face his fear, finished off Armek (saving J’onn) then decides to go back to Mars. Why you ask? Why would she just go back to the place Armek was trying to drag her to on her own volition? M’gann believes there may be other White Martians like her, who do not believe in genocide. She hopes to enable them to take a stand. That is a saint-like level choice being made, as she is likely to die and is well aware of that. The relevancy of this story-arch also deserves attention. Sometimes, there just needs to be a light to show the way. Miss Martian, we salute you for being that light.
All in all, this was an enjoyable episode with more great moments. Other than the Mon-El thing, I did have a couple of qualms. Namely, it was the whole Earth birthday thing with Alex and Kara. I felt it was drastically out of character for Alex to be that dismissive of a tradition. Is this Alex not knowing how to balance things now that she is in a relationship? Perhaps, but the justification for Kara’s Earth birthday planning being, “hey, maybe you like Mon-El” (paraphrased) felt forced.
And it’s not because I am jealous,
Honorable mentions: LEGO cameos! And, LUTHOR SUIT NEXT WEEK?!?