Supergirl Recap: Season 2, Episode 3, “Welcome to Earth”
"Should I get a blow-out?" -Supergirl
This is the episode where Supergirl learns about a little thing we here on Earth like to refer to as objectivity. See, ’cause if you’re gonna be something like, oh I don’t know, a reporter, or a superhero, you really gotta work on being impartial, you know? Because unless your whole jam is writing op-eds and essays (um, like mine is), the whole point of journalism is to be impartial. And if you’re going into the superheroing business, you should really try and save everyone, not just the people who “deserve it.” Let’s talk Season 2, Episode 3 of Supergirl, “Welcome to Earth.”
**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
S2, EP. 3 – THE RECAP
THE ALIEN AMNESTY ACT (AND SUPERGIRL’S CRUSH ON THE POTUS)
The President of the United States (Lynda Carter!) is coming to National City to give a speech, tour the DEO, and sign into law an executive order called the Alien Amnesty Act, which would allow aliens from other worlds to become American citizens and live openly. Supergirl is thrilled, not only about the law, but about the fact that the President specifically requested to meet National City’s most famous alien. She doesn’t know what to do with herself, she’s so giddy, and at one point she asks her sister and Martian Manhunter, “Should I get a blow-out?” J’onn J’onzz is not about hair advice, yo.
When Supergirl arrives to meet the President, and POTUS begins to descend from Air Force One, fireballs start coming out of nowhere, aimed for the President! Supergirl saves her, but whatever tried to assassinate her is an alien with heat vision. As Supergirl and Alex look over the crime scene, Alex realizes she has some competition in the form of Detective Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima), who says she specializes in crimes having to do with aliens. Alex pushes her “F.B.I.” weight around, but Maggie is so not intimidated. Still, Maggie leaves the scene, for now.
The President has been taken to the DEO, and J’onn reveals that he’s not exactly in support of her new law. Despite the fact that he and Kara mean the world no harm, he knows all too well that there are plenty of others who do. The President, however, is all about hope. Supergirl remains obsessed with her.
OH, AND REMEMBER THAT GUY IN THE KRYPTONIAN POD? YEAH, HE ESCAPES.
So, last week’s episode of Supergirl ended with the guy in the Kryptonian pod (Chris Wood) choking Supergirl. Well, he flings her into the wall like she’s nothing, proceeds to beat down all the DEO agents in his path, and he runs off.
When the President is targeted, Supergirl and the DEO work from the assumption that the escaped Kryptonian is responsible, since he sorta went on a rampage and has heat vision. Winn had placed a tracker on him, so they track him to a warehouse, but by the time Alex and her team get there, he’s gone, the tracker’s on the ground … and Maggie Sawyer is there, having used her awesome detective skills to track him, too. Noting the excessive firepower Alex and the team have, she guesses that they’re not F.B.I, but DEO. Alex leaves, pissed that Maggie was able to get there first.
Elsewhere, we see that the Kryptonian is holding a dude hostage, forcimg him to send a signal.
When Alex gets back to the DEO, Supergirl reams her out for having gone without her. After all, how was she planning on defeating a Kryptonian on her own? When Supergirl walks off in a huff, Alex gets a phone call from Maggie, who asks her if she wants to see how local police look for a runaway alien.
Alex meets Maggie at a speakeasy-ish dive bar that turns out to be an alien safe haven. A place where off-worlders can let their hair (or antennae, or tentacles, or scales) down and be around others who understand them. Alex is edgy in this environment, not sure who to trust, but Maggie is a regular here and tells Alex to chill out. Maggie’s even dated the alien bartender. When Alex asks her why she hangs out here, Maggie says that being non-white and a lesbian in small-town Nebraska made her quite the outcast growing up. She understands aliens and cares about their community, because in many ways, she feels like she’s one of them.
Maggie questions a bearded alien dude about the Kryptonian’s whereabouts, and after some unnecessary hostility from Alex, he says that he has seen the guy they’re looking for, and that he was trying to contact his home planet.
Back at the DEO, while Kara is bemoaning the fact that she’s a craptastic reporter (more on that later!), Winn is able to track the signal that the Kryptonian is sending. Except … it’s not trying to send a signal to Krypton … it’s sending one to a planet called Daxam. Mention of the planet’s name causes Kara to freak out and fly out of there.
Supergirl finds the Daxamite and seems suddenly irrational when trying to beat him down. They fight, and seem pretty evenly matched, but Supergirl bests him in the end, and she seems to enjoy that almost a little too much. Back at the DEO, the Daxamite is locked up, and Supergirl explains that Daxam and Krypton were neighboring planets that were engaged in a civil war that she says Daxam started. She compares the planets to the Hatfields and the McCoys and is insistent that the Daxamite can’t be trusted. She also insists on being the one to question the Daxamite about the attack on the President, and they let her, even though she’s clearly not unbiased in this situation.
Naturally, the questioning yields zero information. The Daxamite actually seems like an okay dude, if a little smug, but is obviously defensive because Supergirl is on the offensive the second she walks into the room. She’s basically treating him the way she always advises other people not to treat prisoners. In the end, he sees that Supergirl isn’t going to bother listening to anything he has to say, so he stops talking to her, but not before joking about some alien ale.
ALEX + MAGGIE = 4EVA
Later, Supergirl keeps watch above the event where the POTUS will be signing the Alien Amnesty Act into law, confident that having the Daxamite imprisoned means that the event is safe. However, the second that the President is about to sign the law into effect, there go those fireballs and that heat vision again! Turns out it wasn’t the Daxamite at all, but this female alien with flame powers that Alex saw when she went to the alien dive bar—Scorcher (Nadine Crocker). After attempting to set everything on fire and being prevented the pleasure by Supergirl and the DEO, Scorcher absconds with Maggie.
When the DEO receives a photo of Scorcher, Alex recognizes her from the bar and immediately goes back there to question Bearded Alien Dude about where she can find her. When Bearded Alien Dude starts trying to be cute, she lays the smackdown on Maggie’s behalf, reminding him that Maggie’s the one that actually fights for his community. However, it’s another young female bartender who ends up telling Alex that she can find Scorcher at the Foundry, where she usually hangs out.
At the Foundry, Supergirl distracts Scorcher while Alex saves a bound Maggie. While Supergirl tries to convince her that humans don’t need to be their enemies, Scorcher sees the Alien Amnesty Act as just another form of registration and keeping tabs on aliens to keep them in line. She doesn’t believe that humans will ever be able to handle aliens. They fight, and once Alex frees Maggie, she teams up with Supergirl to defeat Scorcher. However, it’s Maggie who delivers the final blow, knocking Scorcher out. Maggie seems thrilled, and says “You guys are fun!”
Maggie is brought back to the DEO to be patched up after her ordeal, and she’s impressed with the headquarters. Alex checks on her, and Maggie thanks her for saving her life. Alex thanks Maggie for reminding her that “not all aliens are hostile.” Maggie gets up and starts to leave, but Alex says that she should rest. When Maggie insists on leaving, Alex asks, “What, do you have a hot date?” To which Maggie replies, “Yes, actually. And I don’t want to keep the lady waiting.” As Maggie leaves, Alex watches her walk away and smirks.
KARA THE CRAPPY REPORTER
Meanwhile, while all that’s going on, we also check in over at CatCo, where James is now “the new Cat” and leading his first story meeting regarding the President’s visit. Well, trying to lead it, more like, because Snapper Carr (who’s never been at one of these before, mind you!) takes over, thinking his experience trumps James’ title, and starts doling out assignments as if that’s his job. James, who’s not yet used to being a leader, is ineffective at stopping it.
Rather than allowing her to interview the President, as James was going to have her do, Snapper assigns Kara to interview Lena Luthor for her take on the President’s Alien Amnesty Act as the sister of the country’s most famous alien-hater. Lena uses the opportunity to tell Kara about L Corp’s new product, an alien detector that can read someone’s skin and detect whether they’re human or not. When Kara brings up privacy and freedom concerns, Lena counters with the fact that this device wouldn’t take away the aliens’ right to citizenship, but that humans have a right to know if the person they’re talking to is an alien. Also, this device will make her hella cash.
Kara leaves the interview furious, and proceeds to write an article that was supposed to be reportage on Lena’s views and ended up being Kara lambasting her for being anti-alien. Snapper calls her on this and orders her to write it again, this time with some objectivity. She struggles with writing a new version of the piece for a while, unable to separate her own feelings from the interview. Finally, she writes an unbiased piece, which Lena invites her over to thank her for. While Kara appreciates the thanks, she also admits that the only reason she wrote such a “nice” piece is that she was ordered to by her boss, but that her pro-alien feelings haven’t changed. Lena reveals that after Lex showed her his true colors, she realized that sometimes, “some people are just bad. There’s nothing you can do to change them.” That attitude extends to aliens.
After the ordeal with Scorcher, Kara realizes how wrong she was to have such bias against the innocent Daxamite, and she lets him go and apologizes to him for the way she treated him. He accepts her apology and reveals that his name is Mon-El. Kara then has to tell him that his planet is a wasteland now, having been destroyed by solar winds after the destruction of Krypton.
And back at CatCo at the next story meeting, Snapper storms in furious that his recent article has been rewritten. James tells him that he rewrote it, and reminds him that it’s within his purview to do that, because he’s the one who’s actually the boss. When Snapper threatens to walk, James is all, “OK. Gets to walking!” Snapper stays, seething, but also seeming to have gained some respect for James.
ALIENS ON THE D-L
The President bids adieu to the DEO, and as she walks toward the exit, her skin changes. SHE’S AN ALIEN!
Later, J’onn J’onzz goes to the alien dive bar to blow off some steam in his true form. When the female bartender who helped Alex earlier sees him looking like a Martian, she freaks out and goes out the back door. J’onn goes after her and asks her who she is, because she seems to know who he is. Suddenly, she shapeshifts into a Martian. Her name is M’gann M’orzz (Sharon Leal). Eventually, we’ll be calling her Miss Martian.
S2, EP. 3 – THE REVIEW
I’m just in complete love with Supergirl this season. Whereas last year there were many weak spots, this year the show has found its voice, and the main plot is always skillfully interwoven with the subplots to speak to specific themes: like how important objectivity is, for example.
One of my favorite things about Supergirl, and this episode in particular, is how we’re getting a better idea of the world around and beyond National City. With the inclusion of characters like the President of the US or Maggie Sawyer, we can start to see how Supergirl and her actions resonate all over the country. Lynda Carter was a wonderful addition to the story, and I’m thrilled that it seems like there’s more to her than just standing around being Presidential. What her plans are, who she is, and why she’s so keen to pass this law I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.
I’m so glad the show didn’t shy away from the aliens = immigrants metaphor. They leaned into it hard, but in ways that made sense. J’onn said that he understood why many aliens would choose to remain hidden, because as an alien and someone who has worn the face of a black man for 20 years, he understands humanity’s capacity for hate. Having Maggie Sawyer be a woman of color in this universe was a stroke of genius, as she got to be an “in” for Alex at the alien dive bar. I love that she’s able to relate to aliens as a queer woman of color. And having Lynda Carter, whose mother is Mexican, making a speech about how the Statue of Liberty is for aliens, too, was pretty amazing.
The new additions to the cast—POTUS, Maggie, and M’gann—are all really exciting choices for future stories individually, and together they functioned to various takes on the alien situation. I can’t wait to see them each again. Floriana Lima as Maggie and Chris Wood as Mon-El stood out for me in particular, each of them giving an endearing performance (especially Lima as Maggie, and I now ship her and Alex SO HARD).
One of the things that this show does well is handle Kara’s anger. I love Kara/Supergirl precisely because she’s not perfect and she definitely has biases and flaws, but she makes the choice every day to be a hero, always working through her anger or bias to accomplish her greater goal. In this episode, we got to see Kara deal with this in an entirely new way with Mon-El, and it really highlighted for me the fact that as hopeful and kind as Supergirl is, we will never have to worry about her being written as “too perfect.” I love Supergirl warts and all.
Lastly, I have to say that, as much as I love Cat Grant, I’m actually more intrigued by CatCo Media as a journalistic entity now that she’s gone. With the addition of Snapper Carr, Kara as a reporter, and James in the driver’s seat, I feel like we’ll be worrying less about hashtags and more about actual news coverage on the show. In this episode, CatCo felt more like a newspaper than anything else, and while the company operates in many different spaces on many different platforms, I hope they continue to approach stories like journalists, not like advertisers.
“Welcome to Earth” was an exciting and funny episode that opened up the world of Supergirl to so many amazing possibilities. I can’t wait to see where the show goes next!
Well, enough of my jibber-jabber! 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.
(video footage courtesy of The CW on YouTube)
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