Supergirl Recap: Kara Zor-El and J’onn J’onzz Learn They’re Not As Unique As They Thought in “Survivors”
"Don't make me pout!" -Supergirl
In this week’s Supergirl on The CW, we have two aliens connecting with fellow survivors of huge disasters, meaning they are no longer alone in their struggles on Earth. Kara Zor-El adjusts to the presence of Mon-El, a Daxamite who survived the same disaster that destroyed Krypton, while J’onn J’onzz gets a bit overzealous about the presence of a fellow Green Martian, M’gann. Oh, and can we talk about how Kara Danvers is kind of the worst reporter ever? Welcome to Episode Four of Season 2, “Survivors.”
**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**
S2, EP. 4 – THE RECAP
- The episode opens with Mon-El telling the story of how he ended up in a Kryptonian pod. As Krypton was destroyed, Daxam, too, was dying. Mon-El was a palace guard for the royal family, and while attempting to save the prince, the prince tricks him into getting into the Kryptonian ambassador’s leftover pod and programming it for him only to lock him in it and order him to save himself, wanting to remain with his people. As he tells the story to Supergirl, J’onn, Alex, and Winn, he’s trying to keep up a brave face, and tries to distract himself from his pain by asking about going out and having fun. However, he’s not allowed to go out until the DEO knows the full extent of his powers. J’onn suddenly excuses himself for something “personal,” which surprises Alex and Supergirl. Suddenly, Alex gets a call from Maggie about a dead body.
- Alex and Supergirl meet up with Maggie who has discovered a dead alien. Supergirl confirms the alien’s species, but that’s all she can do as Alex and Maggie run circles around her in the detective department, bouncing possibilities and clues off each other as if they’ve been partnered up for years. Alex finds a thorn buried in the alien’s shoulder and takes it to get analyzed in the DEO’s lab.
- Back at CatCo, while Snapper is wondering when Kara’s going to get to the sanitation story she was assigned, Kara brings him the story of the dead alien that was found. However, when Snapper asks her what the actual story is, not just the premise, Kara can’t fill in the blanks. Snapper suggests she bake her idea fully before bringing it to him.
- J’onn goes back to the alien bar to see M’gann and asks her about her history. She says that she was in the worst internment camp on Mars and endured harsh conditions and the threat of random killings every day. She was saved by a White Martian, which surprises J’onn. However, she says that the White Martian broke ranks and smuggled her off of Mars and she hasn’t looked back. J’onn asks M’gann if she’d like to “take the bond” with him, which freaks her out, because he’s coming on way strong.
- At the DEO, Winn tells Alex that the thorn she found is from an alien called a Bravak, and that thanks to the Alien Amnesty Act, one Bravak has registered in National City, and he gives Alex the location. But when he asks her if she wants him to assemble a team for her, she declines, calling Maggie instead.
- Maggie and Alex wait for the Bravak, and when they find him, there’s an immediate fight. However, right when they take him down, he’s taken by a group of mysterious people who throw him in a truck and drive off.
- Back at the DEO, Alex reports the situation to J’onn. When J’onn gets testy, Kara asks him to tell her what’s wrong. When he’s hesitant, she says, “don’t make me pout!” And who can resist that, amirite? He pulls Kara and Alex aside and tells them about his disappointing encounter with M’gann. Kara encourages him to keep trying, but to maybe apologize for coming on so strong.
- Later, Kara is telling the Alura hologram about her day when Mon-El comes in, interrupting. She’s agitated by this, as well as by him calling her mom a “babe.” When he tells her that Winn told him that’s what men call attractive women on Earth, she replies, “Maybe don’t let Winn teach you about women on this planet.” Mon-El then asks her if she can take him out of the DEO, but she refuses, agreeing with J’onn about the potential threat. Meanwhile, Maggie calls Alex with another tip, and tells her to meet her and to “wear something nice.”
- Alex meets Maggie, and they both look sexy as hell. Also, there are masquerade masks involved! Maggie takes her by the hand, and they enter a swank party where everyone is Somebody. Suddenly a woman with an enormous, full-body snake tattoo (played by Whedonverse and The 100 alum, Dichen Lachman!) makes a huge entrance and announces a fight between two aliens. Alex and Maggie have gotten into an underground alien fight club for rich people where aliens fight to the death for money. And next on the schedule? The Bravak that Alex and Maggie tried to apprehend … and M’gann! She’s a willing participant in this fight club, she’s undefeated, and she goes by the name Miss Martian.
- Alex had called Supergirl as backup, and Supergirl arrives at the fight club … only to end up having to fight an alien gladiator named Draaga, who packs quite a punch! After a really weak line “Your streak’s about to continue.” Supergirl gets her ass handed to her. Thankfully, Alex ends up getting into the cage to help her. Supergirl says, “I hope too many people didn’t bet on me!”
- Back at the DEO, Alex and Kara tell J’onn about M’gann, and he becomes furious that she is allowing herself to be exploited by humans in this way. He rushes off to talk to her.
- Meanwhile, Winn and Mon-El continue testing the limits on his abilities. He’s not quite as strong as Supergirl, but he is strong, and while he can’t fly, he can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He’s basically Old School Superman. Mon-El then appeals to Winn’s vanity by asking him to name him and make his superhero costume in order to convince Winn to take him out of the DEO for some fun, because he’s going stir-crazy. Winn agrees.
- Kara goes back to Snapper with the additional element to her story of the illegal alien fight club, which intrigues him. But when he asks for sources, or any additional info, she comes up short. Again. He sends her off to bake more.
- Winn and Mon-El have an awesome bro night at the bar, where they engage in drinking contests, play darts, and Winn gets totally hammered. While Winn is out like a light, Mon-El ends up hurting two dudes by accident, not realizing his own strength, and Winn, just barely conscious again, rushes him out of there.
- J’onn confronts M’gann about the fight club, and she gets defensive. She insists that she’s never killed any of her opponents. She also insists that, unlike J’onn, she’s not interested in remembering Mars, or rekindling her connection to her old life. She’s trying to survive and move as far as possible from that life. She tells him to go, but not before giving him information he needs. The tattooed woman’s name is Veronica Sinclair, aka Roulette. M’gann then asks J’onn never to come see her again.
- Supergirl confronts Roulette by intercepting her limo with her heat vision. However, Roulette does a good job of discouraging Supergirl by reminding her that, since aliens aren’t human, she’s not actually breaking the law. Then she says, “Michael Vick made a mistake. People don’t care about aliens, but they do care about dogs.” This hits Supergirl hard, and Roulette smugly slithers back into her limo.
- At the DEO, Supergirl is furious at her impotence in being able to take in Roulette. Meanwhile, Winn is doing a bad job of showing everyone how “not hungover” he is, and J’onn reprimands him for taking Mon-El out. Kara chats with Mon-El, and they bond over conversation about their parents and how not-perfect they were. Mon-El promises to stay put and do as he’s told from now on, because he realizes that they weren’t trying to protect him from danger, but rather protect humans from him until he can control his abilities. He also gives Supergirl some useful information. He’d seen Draaga fight before, and knows that his right leg is injured, so he favors his left. Supergirl thanks him for the tip.
- J’onn goes to apologize to M’gann, but he is apprehended by Roulette’s henchmen. Soon, the DEO realize that J’onn is missing, and Supergirl goes to find him at the fight club.
- Supergirl hits a snag, however, when the fight club has moved locations. However, she has a good idea and, as Kara, goes to see Lena Luthor, as Lena is certainly the caliber of guest Roulette would invite to an event like that. While she was indeed invited, she has no interest in attending, and so Lena gives Kara the address for the new location. Kara thanks her profusely, telling her she owes her. Lena says, “I know you’ll be there for me when the time comes.”
- At the fight club, Roulette announces a fight to the death between the last two Martians. J’onn doesn’t want to fight M’gann or show his true form, but M’gann forces both when she knocks him to the ground. They fight, and M’gann eventually has him on the ground and can take him out. J’onn changes back into his Hank form, and warns her that this will make her a murderer. He guesses that she’s doing this, because she feels guilty about having survived, and feels she deserves this life, but J’onn offers her forgiveness. M’gann reconsiders and lets him up. She refuses to fight him.
- Undaunted, Roulette releases Draaga to fight them both. Right then, the DEO bursts in to raid the place, with Maggie and Supergirl joining them. Supergirl ends up taking down Draaga thanks to Mon-El’s advice. Then, when the aliens are about to join forces to pounce on her and the DEO, Supergirl makes a speech where she reminds them that humans aren’t the enemy, Roulette and people like her are, for taking advantage of their fear and insecurity and keeping other people afraid by portraying them as dangerous. She encourages them to stand together against her, and begs them, “don’t let them be right about us.” The aliens love a good speech and stand down, allowing the DEO and Maggie to arrest Roulette for operating without a liquor license, among other things.
(video footage courtesy of The CW on YouTube)
- However, once outside Maggie, having gotten a call from her higher-ups, needs to let Roulette go. Roulette smugly explains the benefits of having friends in high places. Once she slithers away, Alex asks Maggie if she wants to go grab a drink after their difficult night, but Maggie declines. Her girlfriend, whom she kisses in front of Alex, is there and they’re going to go out. (NOOOOOO!) Alex looks crushed.
- At CatCo, Kara brings in the story of the illegal alien fight club complete with an on-the-record, first-person source: Supergirl. Even though that’s totally unethical. Snapper, however, finally accepts the story, and Kara’s thrilled.
- Later, Kara sees Mon-El and tells him that she’s asked the DEO to release him into her custody. She explains that her original purpose was to guide and protect Baby Kal-El. Having never had the chance to do that, she sees this as an opportunity to finally do what she was sent to Earth to do. Mon-El accepts saying, “I’m in your hands, Kara.”
- J’onn goes to see M’gann again, and lets her know that regardless of where she stands on the whole “bond” thing, he accepts her as she is, and he’ll be there for her no matter what. She thanks him, and he leaves. She then looks in the mirror and TURNS INTO A WHITE MARTIAN! OH SNAP!
S2, EP. 4 – THE REVIEW
I loved the parallel between Kara’s relationship with Mon-El and J’onn’s relationship with M’gann throughout the episode and how, in giving J’onn advice on how to handle M’gann, Kara learned how to treat Mon-El. I love Kara and Mon-El. I can’t tell if I want them to date or not, but I definitely want them to get as close and as natural together as Kara and Barry Allen. Mon-El is a great character, complicated in the right ways, but fundamentally decent. I look forward to watching their friendship (and maybe more?) bloom.
I also love Mon-El’s relationship with Winn. It’s so clear that Winn is starved for friends, and it was so nice to see him let loose and bro out with Mon-El at the bar. I hope they become better friends, too, and I hope that Winn eventually does design Mon-El’s superhero outfit and name him.
Meanwhile, HOLY CRAP M’GANN IS A WHITE MARTIAN. This would explain why she doesn’t want to bond with J’onn. If he knows that she is a White Martian, he would never let her live. What’s interesting is that she talks of a White Martian who broke rank to “rescue her” and get her off world. If she is that White Martian who broke rank, I wonder if she ever plans on letting J’onn know the truth. It would be fascinating to watch J’onn have to wrestle with having befriended a member of the race that enslaved his people so brutally, as well as examine what it was that made this particular White Martian break rank in the first place. I really hope the show delves deep into this, as it’s one of the more complex issues Supergirl has taken on.
I was thrilled to see Dichen Lachman on the show, and I loved how she played Roulette. Now that Roulette is free, I hope that we see her again and again, as Lachman is one of the strongest and most reliable actresses working in genre right now, and I’d love to see that character get a little more to chew on. I can also see this character crossing over onto a show like Arrow, or Legends of Tomorrow, where the theme of exploitation through gambling can be explored in all its murky depths.
Generally, this episode was a solid one, but there were a couple of things that were less successful this time around. I don’t know much about the character of Roulette from DC Comics, but I understand that even in the comics she has a similar metahuman fight club. However, in the comics, while she has no powers, she has metahumans that can negate the abilities of other aliens, which explains how she can keep them under control. Here, however, I had a hard time believing that beings as all-powerful as Martians are supposed to be would ever be cowed by a mere human in that way. Obviously, M’gann was gonna do what she was gonna do, for her own personal reasons. But she was also fighting toward the end there as if she didn’t have a choice, which made no sense to me as Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian could easily take out that entire room if they’d wanted to. So, the plot point of J’onn getting sucked into things didn’t work for me. I don’t believe he could’ve been taken down, and I don’t believe he would’ve gone willingly.
Also, there were some serious clunkers in Supergirl’s dialogue this week. Like, when she first fights Draaga, who says “I’ve never killed a Kryptonian before,” and Supergirl responds with, “Your streak’s about to continue.” What? Alternate lines could’ve included: “And you’re never going to,” or “And you’re not gonna start now,” or “And I’ve never punched you in the face. Looks like one of us is gonna have their dreams come true today.” Also, the way she had her hands on her hips in “Supergirl pose” when she was talking to Roulette … I just wanted to be like, “You know, Supergirl, you don’t always have to stand like that. In fact, sometimes you standing like that makes you look way less cool in a situation.” There was just a lot of Awkward, Clunky Supergirl in this episode, and if that was on purpose, I don’t know what purpose it served.
And sadly, the point was hit home that Maggie has an actual girlfriend who meets her at crime scenes. BOOOOOOO! Then again, this might be one of those season-long dangling carrots that pays off toward the end in a big smooch! Alex + Maggie = 4Eva. I will go down with this ship.
Those quibbles aside, “Survivors” built up some really interesting relationships. and planted some huge seeds for the rest of the season.
Well, that’s enough of my blathering! 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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