Supergirl Recap: J’onn and M’gann Steal the Show in “The Martian Chronicles”
"The days of you pushing down your feelings are over." -Maggie
Finally! After a disappointing (for me) couple of weeks, Supergirl has returned to top form by exploring the deepest emotions of its most intriguing characters. As the White Martians come for M’gann after the events of last week’s episode, she and J’onn come together against them in truly heartbreaking fashion. Meanwhile, Kara has to adjust to not being the only important woman in Alex’s life when Maggie surprises Alex with concert tickets for the same night as Kara’s Earth Birthday. Let’s dig into Season 2, Episode 11: “The Martian Chronicles.”
**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
S2, EP. 11 – THE RECAP
- At the alien dive bar, Kara comes to see Mon-El to hash things out after he declared his feelings at the end of the previous episode, and she does so by continually putting her foot in her mouth and seemingly emphasizing everything wrong with him that makes him totally undateable to her. It’s pretty cringeworthy, and Mon-El extricates himself from the conversation as best he can.
- When he does, Alex approaches her. After bantering about how obvious Mon-El’s feelings have always been for Kara, the conversation shifts to Kara’s upcoming Earth Birthday, the day every year when she and Alex celebrate her arrival on Earth. Usually, they celebrate with cupcakes, but this year, Kara’s gone all out planning an evening of country line dancing! Except … that Maggie has apparently surprised Alex with tickets to a Barenaked Ladies concert (Alex has been a superfan since college, apparently), and Alex asks if they can celebrate another night. Kara’s clearly not happy, but she insists that Alex should go have fun. Maggie shows up to cheerfully announce that her friend is working security and got them VIP passes, which thrills Alex even more, and makes Kara even more sour.
- When the lovebirds leave, Kara looks at Mon-El. M’gann approaches and asks if she’d like a drink, and she says she’ll have whatever Mon-El’s having. M’gann tells her that he, like Kara, has been drinking club sodas. Kara looks so confused about everything. Stupid feelings.
- Later that night, M’gann leaves the bar and finds J’onn disguising himself as a homeless man behind some trash bags. He’s apparently been following M’gann all over town taking different forms. At first, she thinks he still doesn’t trust her, but he’s looking out for her since she said the White Martians were coming. As if on cue, a White Martian appears, and they both fight him, both taking the form of Green Martians to do it. Eventually, Supergirl joins the fight, chasing the White Martian off.
- At the DEO, as Supergirl and Winn bicker about his and James’ continued work as Guardian, M’gann insists that she needs to go off and deal with the White Martian on her own, despite J’onn and the rest of the team telling her they want to protect her. She says that this is “her fight” and leaves, feeling guilty that she’s brought this danger to them when the White Martians are clearly only after her to make her pay for her crimes against them.
- M’gann is back at the bar and is confronted by Armek (Terrell Tilford), the White Martian, in human form. He also happens to be her ex, and wants to bring her back to Mars so she can be killed for her crimes. (Awkward!) M’gann refuses to go with him, fully intending to fight him herself if she has to. However, he knows that she has friends on Earth now, and tells her she has 2 hours to turn herself over to him, or he will kill J’onn and the rest of her friends.
- As M’gann leaves the bar, about to go on the run to take the danger away from her friends, J’onn approaches. He insists that he and the team at the DEO want to and can help her, and reminds her that she’s no longer alone, something it took him way too long to learn himself. He asks for her trust, and she accepts.
- At Maggie’s place, both she and Alex are in Barenaked Ladies t-shirts and prepping for the concert, but Alex isn’t as excited as Maggie would hope. Alex is still distracted by Kara’s reaction to her having to cancel their Earth Birthday plans, but she insists that she can suck it up. Maggie tells her, “the days of you pushing down your feelings are over,” and she insists that Alex go and settle things with Kara. She will meet her at the concert. Alex is grateful.
- Alex finds Supergirl at the DEO and apologizes for upsetting her, but Supergirl insists that she’s not angry. Things between them seem fine for the moment. Meanwhile, M’gann has returned with J’onn, and wants to help the DEO deal with Armek. As the team begins to come up with a plan, M’gann comes downstairs. But wait! If that’s M’gann, then who is …? THE OTHER M’GANN WAS ARMEK IN DISGUISE! He fights them all off and disappears into the DEO building. J’onn quickly puts the building in lockdown, trapping them in with Armek.
- Now, they’re all suspicious of each other—especially Agent Demos (Curtis Lum), who’s getting really trigger-happy and pulls a gun on Agent Vasquez (Briana Venskus) for looking at him funny—because any one of them could be Armek. J’onn tries to read their minds, but there’s psychic interference. So, he tells them about a flame test that he and his people, when they were hiding in caves from the White Martians, would use to test for White Martian spies. If a shapeshifted martian holds their hand up to the flame, it will reveal the color of their skin underneath.
- The team gathers around to take the test. Demos and Vasquez pass. M’gann passes. J’onn passes, even though he’s deathly afraid of fire. Then it’s Winn’s turn … SPOILER ALERT: IT’S WINN! He fights his way away and runs off, with Supergirl chasing him, then losing him. Suddenly, there’s a reactor overload. Since Armek has a telepathic link with Winn (who must be somewhere else in the DEO building so that he can maintain the link), he also has Winn’s intelligence and knowledge. He’s locked everyone out of the computer and set the reactor to overload and explode in about twelve minutes, taking the building and ten city blocks with it. Teams split up to search the building and find Winn, as he’s now the only one who can stabilize the reactor.
- Alex and Supergirl search in one direction, and as they look for Winn (and Supergirl totally hasn’t gotten the DEO hand signals down yet), they talk about Supergirl’s feelings about her Earth Birthday. Turns out she was mad, and Alex had hurt her feelings. She admits that after Krypton, and leaving her parents not fully understanding that she was saying goodbye forever, she’s afraid of change. She worries about being abandoned. Alex promises she’ll never abandon her.
- Meanwhile, J’onn is searching the building with M’gann. As they search, they discuss feelings of a different nature! When M’gann questions J’onn’s seemingly illogical desire to protect her from Armek, J’onn reveals that his feelings for her are stronger than he’s been letting on, and that he’s just as shocked as anyone, as he hasn’t felt this way about someone since his wife (and that was hundreds of years ago!). AWWWWWWWW!
- J’onn and M’gann find Winn, knocked out and suspended from the ceiling with some kinda weird plant netting? Anyway, that’s not all they find. They also find Alex! Wait, if that’s Alex, then who’s … ? (You know where this is going.)
- THERE ARE TWO WHITE MARTIANS, AND ONE OF THEM IS WITH SUPERGIRL. J’onn radios Supergirl to warn her, but it’s too late. “ALEX”/SUPERGIRL FIGHT!
- Meanwhile, J’onn tries to coax Winn back to consciousness, because they only have a few minutes until the reactor blows. J’onn gets Winn to the reactor as M’gann stays with a recuperating Alex.
- The “Alex”/Supergirl fight continues! Supergirl threatens “Alex,” saying “If you’ve hurt her … .” to which “Alex” replies, “You’ll what? Whine at me?” Damn. Kara’s reputation precedes her, amirite?
- There are fights EVERYWHERE: Supergirl fights the other White Martian as J’onn fights Armek. Winn gets to the reactor and starts fixing it, saying “This did not used to happen at CatCo!” Just when Armek has J’onn pinned, M’gann arrived, once again morphed into a Green Martian, to help.
- Supergirl stops the other White Martian as M’gann kills Armek in truly awesome, flying-through-the-air fashion, and Winn stops the reactor with twelve seconds to spare!
- And as the other White Martian starts to get up, Alex comes in and shoots him with her new gun that she loves ever so much.
- With the White Martians defeated, Alex rushes to call Maggie, who’s waiting for her at the concert. Supergirl approaches Winn, looking like she doesn’t want to be alone, but he’s off to help James be Guardian.
- M’gann approaches J’onn. They thank each other for saving each other. And just when it seems like M’gann might be expressing her feelings for J’onn, she tells him that, though it’s difficult, she’s decided to go back to Mars. She believes that there must be other White Martians who feel the way she does, and who only need “a little push” to stand up against the rest. She begs for J’onn’s understanding. He gives it reluctantly.
- At Kara’s apartment, Alex arrives with a cupcake with a candle in it for Kara’s Earth Birthday. As they sit and split the cupcake, Alex reveals that she still has lingering White Martian memories, and remembers the conversation “Alex” had with Supergirl. Alex reassures Kara that she will never leave her, no matter who she’s dating. Then she asks Kara if there’s perhaps another reason why she did all that planning for her Earth Birthday was to distract herself from another confusing area of her life. Mon-El, perhaps? Kara is reluctant to get involved with anyone anymore, as her love life always seems to backfire on her. It’s “too risky.”
- M’gann stands on the DEO’s balcony broadcasting to Armek’s ship in low orbit. J’onn approaches to say goodbye and it’s THE SADDEST THING EVER. M’gann reveals that his feelings are mutual, and that he’s “changed her forever.” They have a brief bonding moment together before M’gann gets beamed up by Armek’s ship. J’onn looks destroyed.
- At CatCo, Kara runs into Mon-El, A.K.A. Mike. As she’s about to talk to Mon-El about maybe her feelings for him (??), Eve Teschmacher (Andrea Brooks) appears. Apparently, she and Mike have a lunch date. When Eve goes to get her phone, Mike and Kara have an awkward moment where Kara COULD just tell him how she feels, but doesn’t. He goes to lunch with Eve. Because of COURSE he does.
S2, Ep. 11 – THE REVIEW
This episode was a breath of fresh air for this season! The story was exciting, suspenseful, and delivered a worthy and interesting villain in Armek. Not only are the White Martians frightening on their own, but for it specifically to be Armek, M’gann’s ex, who is so willing to bring her in to be killed, while still sort of flirting with her and remembering the “good times,” adds a whole other level of fright. Well-executed, too, was the “White Martian test” scene. David McWhirter provided excellent direction for that scene, and the tension was perfectly balanced.
If I had to nit-pick one thing, it’d have to be how M’gann can’t tell one of her own kind. I mean, psychic interference? Sure, why not. But she can sense J’onn in disguise. Why not her own people? Then again, she’s closer to J’onn than she is to her own people. Speaking of…
I’ve been expecting a love connection between J’onn and M’gann, but I wasn’t expecting it to be given, only to have it snatched away so quickly! David Harewood and Sharon Leal’s scenes together were beautiful, and each of them brought their “A” games to this episode. Harewood in particular was absolutely heartbreaking, and I’d be lying if I said that, as I watched him look up from that balcony, I wasn’t ugly-crying.
Also well done in this episode was the tension between Kara and Alex. Theirs is the relationship I care about most on the show, so it was nice to check in with them and see how the changes in Alex’s life are affecting Kara. It’s also interesting to see the contrast between Kara, who represses her real feelings, and Maggie, who not only expresses herself, but encourages Alex to do the same. Maggie is a great influence on Alex, and she’s clearly been causing Alex to grow as a person, allowing Alex to then pass the wisdom on to Kara. It’s an interesting dynamic.
It’s also easy to take Melissa Benoist’s acting skill for granted week to week, but she really stood out in this episode. Kara’s pain was palpable throughout, and Benoist did an amazing job of balancing Kara’s true feelings and her mask.
Also interesting? The choice of Barenaked Ladies as Alex’s favorite band. Now, I loved me some BNL in the 1990s. Still do! But it’s a very … specific choice. Now, I’m just wondering which writer loves them, or whether they’re doing it as a nod to Canada now that they’re shooting in Vancouver. But, like, why not Arcade Fire, or Metric? Whatever. I’d sing along to “Alcohol” with Alex Danvers any day!
My only other nit-pick is that the scene with Mike/Mon-El at the end struck me as one scene too many. It felt like they were determined to pack in that last little bit of story, whereas it would’ve made more sense to me to let Kara sit with her feelings about what Alex said a bit more before going right to him.
Still, shout-out to Jeremy Jordan for keeping Winn hilarious, even in the midst of possible annihilation. And shout out to Supergirl Hair Dept. Head, Lisa Leonard, because Melissa Benoist’s hair game was on point. Those curls, tho!
“The Martian Chronicles” was one of this season’s best episodes, and I’d even say one of the best episodes of the series, period. What do you all think? What did you think of Supergirl this week? Let’s chat about it in the comments below!
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on The CW.
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