Monday night’s episode of Supergirl (“Strange Visitor from Another Planet”) had our characters facing their past, and bracing for their future.
As Hank Henshaw confronts his demons, Cat Grant’s may have truly yet to arrive.
“Sometimes it’s easier to face the past with a little help”
“Strange Visitor from Another Planet” opens with Kara’s narration in flight. As she saves a family from a deadly fire, we’re unsure as to who the voice of her speech is. Whilst it would be interesting if it concerned Kara, it is later revealed to be a letter from Cat to Adam. Never mailed, Kara took it upon herself to finish the letter and draw Adam to National City.
As the episode focuses on Hank Henshaw’s past, and Cat’s relationship with her son we see that these two characters, and even Kara, suffers from this week’s theme of survivor’s guilt in different ways.
Lacking her post-rescue swagger, Winn is absent for the most part this week – needing space from Kara after his feelings were met unrequited. Instead, the episode focuses on introducing us to Adam Foster (Kara’s real life husband; Blake Jenner).
As Kara projects the loss of her relationship with her mother, by fixing Cat’s relationship with Adam, Cat learns to bring down the wall set up after leaving her son.
Unbeknownst to Kara, she first meets Adam whilst picking up Cat’s coffee order – giving way for their relationship to build outside of Catco. Alongside some flirtation; as pointed out by Alex, Kara comes to Cat’s defence at Adam’s critique.
When Adam introduces himself at the Catco HQ, Cat is rightfully pissed to learn that Kara sent the letter. Hero or not, Kara gots to get paid and not ruin her career.
Whilst ultimately forgiven, will Adam’s canonistic death – seemingly confirmed by his 2 episode appearance; and the recent Toyman storyline – as a consequence of visiting National City -threaten Kara – and possibly Supergirl’s – relationship with Cat?
Another sign of his forthcoming death is that Kara doesn’t want Cat to miss the chance to be with her son, as she did with her mother.
“We all make mistakes have regrets from our past, things we wish we could go back and change. In my case, my biggest regret is not being there for you, I know that my choices may have hurt you in ways I could never understand, but if you’re willing, I’d like to try and make things right between us. It won’t be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is. But life is short, and when all is said and done, there is nothing more important than family. All my love, Mom”
Elsewhere, at the Anti-Alien rally held by Senator Miranda Crane, the DEO are scanning the perimeter for Aliens. Both paranoid by his return to shape shifting, and suspicious; Hank senses that something is wrong. Whilst Miranda is revealed not to be the canon, other, survivor, of his race, Tawny Cyprus takes on the role of a white Martian instead.
When her character is captured, Hank’s worst enemy phases into Miranda; to seek out the last Green Martian when she is brought to the DEO. Unable to aid those injured in the attack on the rally, Supergirl arrives too late, and we get a glimpse at how much Hank still suffers from the race who destroyed his own.
With a slip of the tongue, the White Martian reveals herself, and her intentions.
With the intent of killing the last Green Martian, we learn that J’onn J’onzz frequent appearances psychically lured the white Martian to Earth, and the DEO. Explaining why he was actively hunted in his years as J’onn, Hank struggles through reliving his past, and tackling the current threat at hand. Suffering Survivor’s guilt, Alex reassures Hank that there is no shame in surviving.
Meanwhile, dinner with Cat and Adam is not going well. With her guard firmly in place, Cat struggles to win her son’s affections; made all the worse by our knowledge of his mortality.
Determined to fix things, Kara tracks down Adam. As Adam guesses that Kara wrote the letter, she assures him that Cat is inspiring and a hero worth knowing. Mediating their next meeting, it becomes apparent that Cat is the mentor she is because she missed her chance to be a mother to Adam.
As Hank struggles not to kill the white Martian, in order to find the real Miranda Crane, Alex is taken hostage. Whilst the Senator is safe, Hank is forced to give himself up, to save Alex.
Fortunately, Supergirl intervenes and prevents Hank from sacrificing who he is in murdering the Martian. As she/shim/it is imprisoned, we learn that thousands of white Martians still exist; threatening Hank so long as he continues to phase into J’onn J’onzz.
With their pasts conquered, Miranda reaffirms that “we cannot let fear dictate our future”; changing her stance on Aliens to the credit of Supergirl, perhaps allowing Hank’s past to take a reprieve.
Ending on a high note, Adam decides to stick around, and asks Kara on a date; with Cat’s blessing.
It is only until the last few minutes of the episode, that optimism thrives. As Alex and Kara see her cyborg imposter on the news, Maxwell Lord reminds us of the threat he poses to Kara.
Another reincarnation of Superman’s imperfect clone, akin the Hank’s other canonistic role as Superman’s cyborg enemy, Maxwell Lord is rumoured to have created ‘Bizarro’; whose motives (in this case, against Supergirl) aren’t as personal.
Instead, it is Lord’s personal offences that seem to fuel this enemy. Whilst it seems that he has created a hero he can control, the promo for next week’s episode suggests that he wants to eliminate Kara; threatening her loved ones through the knowledge of her true identity.
Do you think Maxwell Lord is beyond redemption?
Supergirl airs Monday at 8|7c on CBS!
[Featured Image: Supergirl, “Bizarro” CBS, 2016; Source Content for Gifs: Supergirl, “Strange visitor from another Planet” CBS, 2016]