Supergirl Season 1 Episode 11: Strange Visitor from Another Planet
A threat from J'onn's past threatens his present and future. Kara's interference brings Cat's long lost son (Blake Jenner, Glee) to town.
I know, I know, a short summary of the episode, but this sums up the major plot points for this week. The show moved the story forward and was well paced. We got a great look into the history of J'onn Jonz, the fate of his people, and the threat that continues to haunt him. The end of the episode gave us a glimpse at what to expect from Lord's Code Phoenix, and it isn't good.
The rest of the episode was frustrating. I own that part of this is the exhaustion I am feeling from the incessant derailing and misquoting of people like Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee with regards to the absolute lack of people of color being represented in the Oscar nominations (and keep in mind when I say people of color, I mean ALL non-white minorities, just as Lee and Smith did. This includes Asians, Indians, Latinos, and other minorities). I am simply tired of Kara and Alex demanding that everyone on this show see everything through their lenses of experiences. Their continued browbeating of Hank/J'onn to adopt their view of the world and his place as an alien in it is frustrating. Watching Kara browbeat everyone into living their lives the way she deems best is infuriating, from J'onn to interfering with the relationship between Cat and Adam. While they worked out, it was in spite of her interference, not because of it, and the fact that the show is writing this as though it is absolutely normal for a woman to insert herself into the lives of others the way she has been is deeply troubling. I desperately need it to stop.
Someone Else's Story: We get a haunting insight into the fate of J'onn's family and people, the source of his deep pain. We learn that the White Martians existed underneath the planet, plotting the destruction of the Green Martians, building fire traps, furnaces, and all manner of terror. When they attacked they were brutal. They separated the men who could labor from the women, girls, and boys too young to work. The men were put to work. Everyone else was burned to death in the furnaces. The White Martians' only goal was the extermination of the Green Martian species. They have a telepathic link, which is one of the many reasons J'onn was so reluctant to use his powers. Using them allows the White Martians to track him, and his use of them in Room 52 at Lord Technologies allowed them to zero in on J'onn's location. David Harewood's portryal of Hank/J'onn has grown to be one of my favorite of the series. His ability to emote the wisdom, pain, and lived experience of J'onn J'onz has been increasingly enjoyable to watch. The battle with the White Martian in the form of Tea Party Candidate Miranda Crane (Tawny Cypress, Heroes), was the best action sequence of the episode, even if her campaign speech invoked a bit too much of Donald Trump's recent political campaigns.
It's All About You (Except that it isn't): Kara needs to stop working through her issues using her relationships with the people around her. She is working through the loss of her parents and unspoken feelings through Cat and her son. She is working through her experiences as an alien on Earth and being unable to chat on screen with her cousin by trying to force Hank/J'onn out of his closet. It didn't seem to matter that him hiding, while connected to his role at the DEO, is also linked to not being detected by the race of beings that want to finish the genocide of his people by wiping him out. Kara, and also Alex, simply refuse to listen. It doesn't seem to matter that Hank has almost three centuries on them in terms of life experience, and five decades on them in terms of the experience of being an alien on Earth. Their gaze and wisdom seems to be all that matters, and it is really starting to diminish my enjoyment of the show. Even though in past episodes Jimmy and Hank would try to put the women in their place by explaining that their experiences are not their experiences, the show seems bound and determined to make their point of view the right point of view, and it simply isn't. It was cute for a while, but it is starting to be a bit insulting and a little too close to the real world. Her inserting herself into the relationship between Cat and Adam because she deemed it was best for them because of what she lost was exasperating. The scene with Cat and Adam reconciling would have worked so much better without her involvement. As it was, her presence made the scene flat-we were looking at two people who were portrayed as unable to talk to each other without the presence of Kara, and that, given who Cat is, and who Adam was introduced as early in the episode, was complete bullshit. I want to enjoy the show. I want to escape the bullshit taking place in the real world. This show is not helping me do that when it does this.
That said, the episode did help the show progress, and we got a glimpse as to the purpose of Code Phoenix, which is Max's way of turning the world against Supergirl. We still have the unanswered question of what those pesky Kryptonians are up to. Let us see what these next few episodes will bring. We can only hope it is less of Kara and Alex's nauseating interference.