Let’s start with the awkward, shall we? It’s Kara’s Earth Birthday! Alex kiiiinda pulls a Sixteen Candles and forgets about it in favor of a date with Maggie…to see Barenaked Ladies. No, really. Is it suddenly 1999 again, or did I fall and hit my head? Regardless, Kara’s hurt (“I’ve been abandoned before, and I didn’t want to be abandoned again.” Ouch.), Alex mopes, and Maggie is the mature one who sends Alex to talk with her sister. This eventually gets wrapped up with a nice heart-to-heart (two, if you count the psychic link White Martian conversation). A special shoutout to whoever dressed Kara in that Power to the Girls shirt in the cupcake scene. Because yes. Hell yes. And amen.
Now, more awkward: Mon-El. Kara eats both of her feet trying to talk to him, only to later admit to Alex that she’s shoving her feelings away out of fear (“He’s complicated. … Every time I put myself out there, it backfires. It’s too risky.”). Apparently, emotionally speaking, Kara is about as wise as Barry Allen. Kara: no. But seriously: I get this fear. It’s relatable. Putting yourself out there? Hard. Even harder if you’ve been hurt. But it’s Alex who swoops in with the wisdom that he might be worth the risk. And darlings? This is sage advice. Better to dive in and risk being hurt than hold back and wonder/miss out.
Which maaaaay be what Kara ends up kicking herself for. At the end of the episode, Mon-El (Mike!) goes out to lunch with Ms. Teschmacher. And while this rebound is faster than a speeding train, it’s also understandable. Although, it should be noted that he’s ditched his frat boy ways in favor of Kara’s club soda. (Side-note: Club soda? Do they not serve soft drinks?) Only time will tell if they can get it together enough to be together. But I’m rooting for the golden retriever of a Daxxom-ite, darlings. I can’t help it. I’m a hopeless romantic.
Speaking of, let’s talk M’gann! She has the terrible misfortune of a douchecanoe husband: “Armek was my mate. … And you all have a right to know, he’s the worst of my kind.” Great. Peachy. To quote Dean Winchester, awesome. Armek swoops in, gets in a fight with everyone at the DEO, and nearly blows the place up. Question: who was the second White Martian that was helping Armek? Why were they only two going after M’gann, if she’s so wanted on Mars for her crimes?
I’m not going to lie: I’m a sucker for a You Can’t Tell Who the Bad Guy Is Plot. And I loved that we got a chance to see Winn as evil—almost as much as I enjoyed seeing him drunkenly wake up and freak out. Man, Jeremy Jordan’s delivery is impeccable (“Monsters are real!”). He’s a gift.
But honestly? The biggest and most heart-wrenching stuff comes from J’onn and M’gann. Watching their feelings develop and grow has been amazing. And tonight was gutting in the best way. For J’onn to open up his heart (“It’s not just my duty, M’gann. You’ve become dear to me in a way that no one has been since…I’ve just had this huge hole in my heart for so long that, I never thought—dreamed—anyone would be able to fill it. … But I was wrong. Your spirit is so beautiful, so brave.”), truly and profoundly, after being so broken? It was beautiful. And to have M’gann return his affections? (“I feel it too. I have for a while, I just didn’t know what it was. … You have changed me forever.” Brb, I need to buy stock in Kleenex.) It was heartfelt and powerful. And the thing about them is each made the other brave. J’onn opened his heart. M’gann literally saved his life. It’s a rare synergy and synchronicity. When she decided to go back to Mars for noble reasons “I am going back to Mars. … There must be other voices like mine … who need a push to do the right thing. … If I don’t try, they’re never going to stop hunting me.”), it made sense. But it broke my heart for J’onn. The emotional work in that goodbye scene was nothing short of flawless. And all I can say is that I hope M’gann (Sharon Leal) comes back. I’d like for these two to be happy.
Interestingly, I think the lesson here is to love when and where you find it. Not to hold back, because you might go splat. To not hold back, because if you do—you might miss your shot. And to be open to finding love in the most unexpected of places, in a face and a situation you might not expect and could never have predicted.
And, you know, if a White Martian and a Green Martian can fall in love? Who knows what else is possible?