‘Supergirl’: Oh, look, here comes Teri Hatcher
Season Two, Episodes Sixteen & Seventeen — “Star-crossed”, “Distant Sun”
By Molly Jane Kremer. “Star-Crossed” and “Distant Sun” make up what is essentially a two-parter — not including that little musical interlude over on The Flash between them, of course. Skipping that Flash episode could make the transition between the two a bit jarring, as one episode ends with Kara and Mon-El’s breakup and the next begins with the two sharing breakfast together. (They got back together over on The Flash, courtesy of the Music Meister.)
“Star-Crossed” had themes of honesty and forgiveness interwoven throughout the episode, giving Chris Wood’s Mon-El more to do beyond smirking as the show’s resident “starry-eyed dope”. (At least he’s a convincing starry-eyed dope.) It was a well-directed, thoughtful hour, and with lines like “Make Daxam Great Again” and an emphasis on Lyra’s (Tamzin Merchant) harrowing refugee experience, Supergirl continued its political cognizance.
Kevin Smith’s direction in “Distant Sun” was less overtly obnoxious than the other Berlantiverse episodes he’s done (January’s “Supergirl Lives” had me yelling at the television on more than one occasion). Watching two telepaths engage in mental battle rarely looks exciting, and J’onn’s grapple with an alien bounty hunter certainly didn’t stimulate the senses. And one of these days, I hope Supergirl starts making its plot twists a little more twisty, instead of hanging entire episodes on predictable moments — like revealing Mon-El’s queen mother Rhea to be behind the bounty on Kara’s head, or that, erm, killer ending.
It’s pretty funny that the previous two episodes (in effect a two-parter as well) featured Dean Cain, while these two episodes featured the Lois to his Clark, Teri Hatcher. Hatcher as Daxamite Queen Rhea and Kevin Sorbo as King Lar-Gand perform well enough, but their performances never fully obfuscated what was more or less another bout of stunt-casting, a habit this show has really fallen into.
Both episodes also engaged in cheeky throwback sequences meant to evoke DC Comics’ big-screen ambitions, for better or worse: the Daxamite’s threat-transmission sequence during the beginning of “Star-Crossed” was identical to that of Man of Steel, and Winn’s stapler-as-gun trick in “Distant Sun” was straight out of the Bruce Wayne playbook in Batman Begins.
As for subplots, “Star-Crossed” featured a bewildering art heist with Winn thrust into the center, which gave Maggie Sawyer another opportunity to fudge around with the law (a troubling facet to Supergirl‘s storytelling). And speaking of Maggie, Alex bumped into her ex in a B-story that scarcely registered in the shadow of the hovering Daxamite warship, but it went a long way to further Alex’s relationship with the woman she loves. (The season finale looms, which should be enough to make a shrewd viewer nervous.)
Then there was Kara, snug in her jammies and sharing ice cream with Mon-El, enjoying her newfound “funemployment”, a grim reminder of how superfluous CatCo has become in an already overloaded season. Hopefully the next episode, “Ace Reporter” addresses this problem directly. (The promo below seems to suggest it will.)
Lar Gand: “We had to get off planet, persevere.” Rhea: “And to find you. So that we might return now that the atmosphere is hospitable. To make Daxam great again.” Kara: “Daxam was never great.” – Ah, Supergirl, still delightfully wearing your politics on your sleeve.
Boris: “Anyone ever tell you you’ve got anger issues?” Alex: “I prefer the term ‘leadership skills’.”
“I just gotta say that I’m pretty sure this Cisco fellow and I would just be BFFs if, you know, we lived in the same dimension.” – Winn, we’ve only been saying this since forever.
“Is that what they mean by ‘helicopter parenting’?” – Mon-El, as his parents hover in low orbit over Earth.
“I am a mixologist. It is an artistic profession in the medium of preparing alcoholic beverages, and it is very honorable.” – Mon-El, defending his new choice in career to his dubious parents.
Mon-El: “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” Winn: “You finally saw ‘Star Wars’!”
Kara: “You were brave.” Mon-El: “I just did what I knew you would have done. And it was terrifying.”
BEST MOMENT: Supergirl’s tussle with the Daxamite cruiser was the most visually stunning moment — partially because it’s always a thrill to see Kara up in the sky.
EPISODES’ MVP: Chris Wood was finally given some substantial material this time around: “Star-Crossed” and “Distant Sun” revealed his true identity, made his royal parents functional foils, and had him grapple with decisions about whether to return to Daxam or remain with Kara on Earth.
– There were two Marvel (or at least Marvel-esque) mentions these two weeks: Winn calls Lyra a She-Hulk when she tears off a padlock at the museum; and if the guards on the Daxamite ship weren’t in Doctor Doom cosplay, well, they should have been. Doombots would also suffice.
– Funny that they gave Mon-El’s dad the name Lar Gand, which was Mon-El’s real name way back when he was introduced in the comics. (Mon was an amnesiac and Superboy helped him come up with the name.)
– So when disaster struck Daxam, Mon-El was in bed with that hot lady… sleeping in his pants. Okay.
– Yet Another Hamilton Reference™. Apparently it’s hard to get tickets for.
– Guardian looks pretty silly standing there in broad daylight in the middle of a trailer park.
– Kara’s ecstatic reaction to bacon and biscuits was so familiar it was like looking in a got-dang mirror.
– Lynda Carter’s back as President Marsdin! Now that’s some fan-service-slash-stunt-casting I will always get behind. (Mostly because they use her sparingly, for highest, wonder-filled effect.)
– Kara spoiling Romeo and Juliet for Mon-El is pretty dang cute, but why would the episode with all the R&J references air a week after the episode called “Star-Crossed”?
– Apparently a nice nude lipstick = Kryptonite sickness. It’s okay though; it’s a mega-flattering look for Benoist.
7.5 out of 10
Next: “Ace Reporter”, in two weeks.
Before: “Homecoming”, “Exodus”, here.