Supergirl picks up exactly where it left off last time. The mysterious Pod Person has woken up, and apparently isn’t a morning person. He chokes out Kara, runs amok through the DEO, fights various guards, and manages to escape. He seemed surprised by his powers, which is an indication that either he wasn’t planning on coming to Earth or at least didn’t know that getting here would give him powers. Everyone is fine, but no one has a clue where he went.
With the prisoner gone, talk turns to the visit of the President. Olivia Marsdin, President of the United States, is coming to National City to sign the Alien Amnesty Bill, which will let aliens come forward and claim all the rights of citizens. Why she’s coming to National City to do this doesn’t make much sense. I’d think either Washington, DC or Metropolis would be better choices, but what do I know? At any rate, Hank and Alex think this bill is a bad idea, and Supergirl is very excited (and incredibly nervous) about meeting the President, played by a certain Wonder-ful guest star.
James is settling in to his new job, but there are bumps along the way. His first big meeting, about the President’s new bill, gets completely disrupted by the ever-annoying Snapper Carr. I kinda like Snapper in the comics, but this version seems to be the long lost twin of Grumpy from the Seven Dwarves. Snapper was a jerk to Kara last week, but seems to be equal opportunity, spreading that around to everyone else. At least he stopped calling her Ponytail. After some wrangling, Kara gets assigned to interview Lena Luthor about her reactions to the Amnesty Bill (boy that seems to be dominating the whole show).
At the airport, the President finally arrives, to a lot of cheers from the crowds and Supergirl herself. Apparently not everyone is happy to see her, since she’s immediately attacked by a never-seen assailant. Somehow, everyone decides it’s the escaped Pod Person, even though the attack looks more like gouts of fire from a wizard then the narrow beams of heat vision we’ve seen from Kryptonians. The poor Secret Service Agents might as well have been wearing Starfleet red uniforms, as several are vaporized by the fireballs and no one seems to care. Later, Alex is examining the scene when she meets one of our new supporting characters: Maggie Sawyer. Sawyer was a Superman character with the Metropolis Police in the comics, and now is with National City’s Police Science Department. I guess they need one with all the aliens running around? Sawyer doesn’t think much of all these “fancy Feds,” as she dubs Alex, who used her morphing badge to impersonate the Secret Service.
Hank plays reluctant host to the President. He’s polite, but isn’t afraid to tell her he disagrees with her about the Amnesty Bill. President Marsdin is a bit surprised to hear this, since Hank is, of course, J’Onn J’Onzz, the Martian Manhunter. She’s very upbeat and hopeful about the future. Hank and Alex privately agree that hope won’t catch the assassin.
Kara gets a surprise when she goes to interview Lena. Lena is still just as friendly to Kara as she was before, but she’s rolling out a new gadget. While Lena agrees aliens should have equal rights, she also thinks that people should know if their neighbors are aliens, so she’s created what looks like an oversize computer mouse that tells by touch if someone is human or alien. I’m not sure how this works on people who decline to touch it, unless they’re aiming to instil a Joe McCarthy-style paranoia. Kara’s heat vision somehow rewires the gizmo to make her read human. Must be related to Superman’s “Repair the Great Wall of China Vision” (see Superman IV: The Quest for Peace).
In one of his two brief scenes this week, Winn helps track down the missing alien. Alex scrambles a strike team to go get him. She doesn’t find the missing Pod Person, but she does find Maggie Sawyer, who got there ahead of her. Sawyer knows a lot more than it seems she should and pegs Alex as DEO. Alex does her best to ignore her. Meanwhile, Mr. Missing turns up elsewhere, kind of screwing up a guy’s day, but telling him, “I want to go home.” Doesn’t quite sound like the rampaging assassin they have him down as, does it?
After the mission goes bust, Alex gets back to the DEO and Supergirl lectures her for going off to face a powerful foe by herself. What I’m more curious about is why J’Onn didn’t go. He’s up at the Kryptonian levels of power and has experience fighting aliens. I guess he was off doing… um… well, fighting aliens IS his job, so I don’t know what he was doing. Kara then gets some turnabout, since Snapper lectures her about the piece she turned in about Lena Luthor. Kara hasn’t learned to not inject her own feelings into her reporting. Much as I hate to admit it, Snapper’s right on this one. Kara gives James a pep talk about being boss before she takes off to deal with the other problems she’s dealing with this week.
Maggie Sawyer calls Alex to take her out for a drink. Despite being openly lesbian, that’s not why Maggie called. Maggie brings Alex to a little hole in the wall bar that’s a refuge for various aliens hiding on Earth. Seriously, if there are this many extra-terrestrials just in National City, how many are there on this version of Earth? The various things we learn here are that the escaped alien was seen at the bar and seemed lost and confused, there’s a cute redhead who seems way too interested in Alex, and that Maggie is from Blue Springs, Nebraska. Kid-Flash was from Blue Valley, Nebraska, but I don’t know what Blue Springs is supposed to be.
Winn’s other small scene is commiserating with Kara about having to rewrite her interview (and apparently edit it, since he notes she has a “k” in “diabolical”). Acting on information from Alex’s field trip, Winn manages to find a signal going out into space from National City. But it’s not going to Krypton, it’s going to Daxam (at this point, DC Comics fans know who the Pod Person is). The DEO homes in on the signal and Supergirl takes off, looking grim about the news about Daxam. She gets there and charges in fists first. I keep thinking Clark would be very disappointed in her this episode. She does manage to capture him this time, though.
Back at the DEO, we learn that in this version of things, Daxam was a sister world of Krytpon, and there was some kind of ugly civil war between the planets. In the comics, Daxam was a colony of Krypton and was far away from it. Also in the comics, Daxamites don’t do well on Earth because they react to lead the way Kryptonians do to Kryptonite, and lead is a LOT more common. Kara does a little bit of an interrogation with the prisoner, who says he doesn’t even know what a “President” is, and didn’t come there to kill anyone. Supergirl seems very biased against Daxamites.
Kara goes to visit Lena again, and they discuss the article. Kara admits that she had to rewrite it, but she’s now glad she did. They talk more about the Amnesty Bill and Lena’s background with Lex. It is something of a sad story, I’ll grant that. Immediately after this, Supergirl is providing airborne protection for the President signing the bill. The President gets a good speech before the alien attacks again. After some very confused fighting, the alien, who proves to be the cute redhead from the bar, gets away with Maggie. Kara was on fire at one point and did what looked suspiciously like the Wonder Woman spin to put it out.
After a quick stop by the alien dive bar, Alex gets a lead on where Red (who I don’t think ever gets a name) might be. With some teamwork, Supergirl fights Red, Alex frees Maggie, and then somehow Maggie knocks Red out with pipe to the head. Considering Red was going toe to toe with Supergirl, one of three things happened: 1) bad writing. 2) Maggie is some kind of alien/metahuman in disguise or 3) Red’s people have a Krpytonite-like reaction to plumbing fixtures.
James gets some of his own back in another meeting, putting Snapper in his place, which was nice to see. Maggie is impressed with the DEO and says she and Alex make a good team. Supergirl finally goes to let the Daxamite out of his cell. He finally introduces himself as Mon-El (more on him in a minute). Supergirl breaks some bad news to him about what happened to Daxam when disaster struck Krypton. The President leaves to go home, but not before she gets in a joke about, if Supergirl liked Air Force One, she should see her other jet (more on that, too). As she leaves, we see the President is keeping secrets of her own.
J’Onn goes to the alien bar and does so in his alien form. One of the bartenders freaks out when she sees him and leaves. He goes after her and gets yet another surprise as the bartender proves to be M’Gann M’orzz, a fellow Martian. J’Onn is shocked, to say the least, and I’ll get bak to her shortly.
What I liked: I’m glad we finally learn who Mon-El is. Seeing the alien bar was an interesting new direction, since most of the aliens we’ve met have been bad guys. Lynda Carter as the President was fantastic, as were the veiled Wonder Woman references. I’m glad Olson put Snapper in his place.
What I didn’t: I miss Cat Grant. I don’t like Snapper. Maggie’s pipe to Red’s head made no sense, neither did anyone mistaking fire-blasts for heat vision. I don’t think Lena’s new toy makes a lot of sense. I’m not wild about this version of Daxam.
I’ll give this episode a 3. It was great in parts, but a bit uneven.
Note 1- Mon-El. The simplest version of his story is to say he’s Superman for the Legion of Super Heroes, a huge group of young superheroes in the 30th century. He briefly went by Valor in the comics.
Note 2- This isn’t Lynda Carter’s first time winking at her Wonder Woman past. She played Principal Powers in the 2005 movie Sky High, about a training school for superheroes. Near the end of the movie, as she walks off screen, she makes a crack about not being able to do everything. “I’m not Wonder Woman, you know…” Interestingly, one of her co-stars in that movie was Danielle Panabaker, probably best known for being Caitlin Snow on the Flash.
Note 3- M’Gan, aka Miss Martian, was a member of the Teen Titans in the comics and a major character in the Young Justice cartoon. The White Martians and Green Martians don’t get along in any continuity I’ve seen, so this could be interesting with her meeting J’Onn.