Just a few weeks before America elects its very first female President (sorry Donald!), ‘Supergirl’ introduces us to the one in her universe… and she’s a wonder. All the world is waiting for this week’s recap, so let’s get to it!
This week picks up right where the last episode left off. The mysterious Kryptonian who was in a coma wakes up and immediately puts Supergirl in a stranglehold. He hurls her across the room and escapes out into the city streets. J’onn is less than happy about having a rogue Kryptonian on the loose right after he gave all his Kryptonite to Superman. The timing is especially bad since President Olivia Marsdin (1970s ‘Wonder Woman’ star Lynda Carter) is about to visit National City for a speech. Kara is giddy with excitement that she’ll get to meet the President.
The next morning at work, Jimmy holds his first editorial meeting with the CatCo staff. He explains that the President is coming to town to announce a new law called the Alien Amnesty Act that will allow aliens to come out of the shadows and have equal rights with humans. Snapper Carr assigns Kara to do a piece on Lena Luthor’s reaction to the events. Snapper also rudely takes over the staff meeting by undermining Jimmy’s authority.
When Supergirl goes to greet the President coming off Air Force One, suddenly there’s an attack. Fireballs shoot toward the Commander in Chief, burning several Secret Service agents. Supergirl protects President Marsdin by using her cape as a shield.
The President is taken back to the DEO while an investigation gets started at the airport. Alex runs into police detective Maggie Sawyer. She tells Alex (who passes herself off as a Secret Service agent, thanks to an ID badge that changes to any identity she needs) that the damage appears to have been made by an alien with heat vision – making the missing Kryptonian the number one suspect.
Kara goes to interview Lena Luthor, who shows her a device she plans to mass market that can distinguish between humans and aliens. (Honestly, it looks like a computer mouse to me.) Meanwhile, the Kryptonian makes his way to a local observatory, where he grabs a night worker by the throat and tells him that he wants to go home.
Kara turns in her article to Snapper, and it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong with it. Instead of just reporting on the facts of Lena’s new alien detection device, Kara has taken an editorial position opposing it. Snapper orders her to rewrite it.
Maggie invites Alex to meet her at a dive bar that turns out to be a place where aliens hang out. Viewers also learn in this scene that Maggie is gay, which I guess matches the comic book version of her character. Does this mean she and Alex (who has been straight up until now) will hook up? I hope not, but I’m guessing that will happen later this season. (Alex had a line in an earlier episode complaining about not dating.) Anyway, she learns from one of the patrons at the bar that the missing Kryptonian is trying to send out a signal to his homeworld. Alex takes this info back to the DEO. Winn then determines that the signal isn’t being sent to where Krypton used to be, but instead to a planet called Daxam. Supergirl immediately flies to the observatory to face the alien, who isn’t a Kryptonian at all, but a Daxamite.
Supergirl wins the fight and locks the Daxamite up in a cell at the DEO. Kara explains to the others that Daxam was a sister world of Krypton and orbited around the same sun, but the people of the two planets hated each other. Kara shows some clear prejudice here against the jailed alien.
The President finally gives her big speech, during which she signs the Alien Amnesty Act into law. Once again, fireballs attack her. This time, we discover that they’re being thrown by a redhead seen earlier in the dive bar that Alex and Maggie visited. Supergirl saves President Marsdin again, but Maggie vanishes along with the redheaded alien.
Going back to the bar where Dolly Parton songs play on an endless loop, Alex finds out where the redheaded alien might be hiding. She and Supergirl go there to rescue Maggie, which they’re able to do after an extended fight sequence.
Back at the DEO, Supergirl apologizes to the Daxamite, who finally introduces himself as Mon-El. The President says her goodbyes, but on her way out, we see her face change briefly to a shade of red and her eyes turn green. Looks like she’s an alien too! Guess that last name of ‘Marsdin’ was sort of a giveaway, huh? We need Maxwell Lord to demand to see a birth certificate!
The episode wraps up with J’onn – sans his Hank Henshaw cover – checking out the bar Alex went to earlier. The bartender, a young woman, seems to recognize him, so J’onn follows her out back. There, she reveals herself to be M’gann M’orzz, the “Last Daughter of Mars.”
This week’s episode is a bit too preachy for my tastes. It’s obviously a heavy-handed metaphor about giving amnesty to illegal immigrants, but it’s a little too on-the-nose to be enjoyable. However, I like the new character of Mon-El, so it will be interesting to see how much of a role he plays in the series going forward.
I’m a little less crazy about Maggie Sawyer, and am not thrilled with the idea of turning the Alex character into a lesbian just so the series can claim to be diverse. (Of course, that hasn’t happened yet, but it reminds me of the way ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ turned Willow gay after the character spent several seasons straight.)
The most distracting thing this week, I’m sorry to say, is Lynda Carter. I honestly haven’t seen her act in anything since I was a little kid. Frankly, she’s not very talented, at least not in comparison with the other cast members of this show. Points for cool stunt-casting, but I’m not anxious to see her character play a bigger role this season.
Agreed on your verdict. The episode is super preachy and heavy-handed, and Lynda Carter isn’t very good. I don’t know if she’s just out of practice at acting or if she’s always been this bad, but she’s very stiff.
I also thought it was ridiculous the way that the Mon-El guy wakes up from his coma and strangles Supergirl, then attacks other members of the DEO, yet the next time we see him he’s totally chill and turns out to be a really nice guy.
And yes, it’s obvious that Alex is going to switch teams and have a fling with Maggie. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, except that the way it’s handled feels very awkwardly kludged into the show.