In Supergirl’s third episode (“Welcome to Earth”), Kara spends a lot of time fangirling over the President (Lynda Carter). Kara gushes and fawns, and she is at her most earnestly adorable. When Kara flailed, “She was SO nice. … And she called me Supergirl.” And then Alex deadpanned, “That is your name.” It was perfection.
But guys? GUYS. Wonder Woman! Oh, yeah: I am also like Kara, and I basically flailed every time Carter came on screen. No shame, no need to try and play it cool. She even made a Wonder Woman joke: “If you think that’s cool, you ought to see my other jet.” *breathes into a paper bag* Okay, I’m good now.
This episode tackles two major issues: judging other people based on how they look/seem different and finding a place of community. These two things are entangled with each other. While the lighthearted show has never shied away from highlighting and addressing the real problems of the world at large, this was decidedly unsubtle. And you know what? I’m okay with that.
President Roslin (so say we all!)—sorry, President Olivia Marsdin does several things: champions equal rights (via the Alien Amnesty Act), nearly gets toasted by some fireball wielding wank, is gracious and kind to those around her (regal and warm, even), and (in a glorious fit of dramatic irony) turns out to be an alien. Nice touch, y’all.
A major setting is an alien refugee bar (“It’s a safe haven. A place for offworlders to hang out.”), whose password is…Dollywood. And duh. Because Dolly Parton is a national treasure, so of course people from another planet would adore her. It’s impossible not to love Dolly. (Let’s not talk about Rhinestone Cowboy, okay? Okay.) Alex is taken there by Maggie Sawyer (a sexy, tough, and charming Floriana Lima), who is a local cop—a badass and flirty in equal measure. In her first scene with Alex, these two go toe-to-toe in a rather charming battle of wits. Of course, Alex’s badge is bigger, but they eventually end up teaming up. And maaaan, sparks. It does help that they both kick some evil alien ass in the process. Specifically, Scorcher (Nadine Crocker). Pretty awesome. To quote Maggie, “You guys are fun.” Indeed. (Scorcher was a little blah for me, as far as villains go.)
But let’s talk about how Kara was a bit…pot calling the kettle black. It turns out Mon-El (Chris Wood ) is from Daxam (which, okay, but why the seemingly Kryptonian name? I have questions.). Daxam is the Hatfield to Krypton’s McCoy (to borrow Kara’s really spot-on phrasing). Kara hates him on sight, with a fury that was uncharitable and somewhat unexpected. It was interesting to see Kara’s imperfections, the way her Kryptonian past informed her future. In short: she had some judgmental, racist baggage. But you know what? She learned. She changed. She stopped acting and thinking from a place of fear and hate. And it was beautiful. Because man, the world can use more of that. Also, because there was a kind of poetry in watching two them form a bond.
Kara’s apology was well done: “I don’t know you at all, and it was a mistake of me to judge you. … And I apologize. … And like you, I am a refugee on this planet.” You guys, if that didn’t hit you right in the feels, please make sure the Evil Queen hasn’t stolen your heart. These two, with seemingly nothing in common, have everything in common. They just had to open their eyes to it. And no, YOU teared up, when Kara told him his planet was also destroyed. (No, I did. Totally verklempt.)
Speaking of destroyed, all my hope in Lena Luthor was smashed with her invention of a device that can tell if someone is an alien. Initially, Kara balks: “Doesn’t it go against everything American is supposed to stand for? … It’s always been a country of immigrants.” But after a dressing down from her boss, Kara writes an unbiased piece, leaving the two women to be chummy for a bit. And okay, Lena’s not full-on evil, but she’s definitely evil adjacent. *le sigh*
Unfortunately, we have to talk about Jimmy. While I liked his smackdown of Snapper Carr, I am having difficulty caring about his role this season. Which is frustrating, because I love Mehcad Brooks, and I like the role of Jimmy. But we’re not getting to connect with him. We’re only getting glimpses, and it’s more plot-driven than personally driven. If Jimmy’s dream had been to step into CatCo’s shoes, fine. But something about this transition rings hollow for me. Contrast it with Winn’s slide over to the DEO.
Winn fits in there perfectly. He’s useful and geeky. We get to see him and Kara doing work side-by-side, albeit different work entirely. But while Winn shines, Jimmy falls a little flat. I want him to have more to do than getting into a…um, territorial fight with Carr. Jimmy’s a better character than a dude who initially lets someone take over his newsroom. I hope we get to see him come into his own a bit more.
One last thing: Hank. He goes to the alien Dolly Parton bar and—bless his lonesome little heart—meets the Last Daughter of Mars. I may have actually clapped my hands, because he unexpectedly found his people. Well, one of his people. (And Sharon Leal is a wonderful actress, darlings.) There was something so touching about that scene and revelation. I am curious to see the relationship between these two. They’re both a little standoffish and a little brash. Certainly won’t be boring.
(P.S. If I can’t have Supergirl’s boots (size 8 ½), I would totally be okay with Wonder Woman’s lasso. And her boots. What can I say? I like shoes.)