Supergirl’s third episode (“Far From the Tree”) was jam-packed with a case full of feels. While it was obviously about connections (family, specifically—those born to us and the ones we choose), the episode was an exercise in contrasts, with Maggie’s dad, Oscar (played by the lovely Carlos Bernard) pulling ahead for Asshat of the Year.
And we’re going to talk about him first. Maggie invites him (super short notice) to her and Alex’s bridal shower, which is my own personal nightmare (feed me, don’t make me answer trivia questions). The man who dumped her at her aunt’s house for bringing shame on him (by, you know, being who she is) got on a plane to make the shower. He’s about as awkward as possible, but shows that he’s been creeper stalking her police career—which they have in common. Maggie responds in kind, illustrating that his lessons stuck with her over the years (“I studied the ordinary details everybody missed, like you taught me.”). It’s sweet. And he seems like he’s trying, right up until the second he storms off like a cranky child. Except children don’t know better, and he’s a grown man. *all the side eye*
Maggie and her dad having it out in the street made me cry. Because Maggie tried to understand her dad, but all her father could see was how Maggie is different, how she’ll be judged for that difference (“I endured for my children. … So that you would never face that kind of hatred.”). But the trouble with that is he was so worried about Maggie being judged…that he did not realize he was the one judging her. Lucky for Maggie, she’s got a found family and she’s not that scared little girl looking for validation, anymore. Her parting speech to him, later, made me tear up again—but for a different reason. It wasn’t just that Maggie got closure. She stood up for herself to the man who was supposed to love her unconditionally, but instead rejected her. Floriana Lima really shone in this episode, giving Maggie depth and a spine, a ferocious inner strength that, perhaps, comes with being loved—and loving yourself.
But I am still mad about the specter of children dancing between Maggie and Alex. The issue was raised again, and Alex claims she’s fine with not having kid. But that’s a slow-burning fuse, and I’m pretty angry at that plot line, which will eventually be their undoing. While they obviously have to part this season, it should be for a better reason. I shudder to think at how Alex will explode and finally confess that children are a deal breaker. I certainly hope we get a glimmer of her struggling to be okay with it, soon. Otherwise, it will feel just a little bit too false to buy.
And now, J’onn. With Kara, by way of a classic car spaceship (no, really), he returns to Mars, landing smack in the middle of the resistance (I wanted a Star Wars joke, guys). It’s a gut-wrenching ordeal for J’onn, who learns his father M’yrnn is still alive (played by Carl Lumbly, who I have loved FOREVER). This plotline allows us a peek inside Martian life and lore, as J’onn’s father is a holy man of the highest order. Tl, dr: they need to find the spear that would fit right in The Dark Crystal. J’onn gets what we all want when we lose someone: more time, a chance at reconnecting, a not-dared-to-hope-for miracle. And David Harewood was nothing short of brilliant, his agony and hope constantly warring with each other. With a little help from Kara and a sweet memory, he breaks through…and okay, fine, that made me cry too. The last green Martian is no longer alone, and M’yrnn returns to earth with J’onn.
My gripe, here, is that they’re underusing Sharon Leal. She got bowled over by another White Martian (Till’all, played by Dewshane Williams—he was an abrasive jerk, who saw the error of his own attitude by the end, but UGH), and I had expected her and J’onn to get A Moment together. But instead, all we got was a hug, which was warm…but somehow not as demonstrative as I wanted it to be. I mean, sure, there’s a rebellion going on, but if Han and Leia could manage it…these two could’ve at least shared a look. It rang a little hollow to me.
I am looking forward to getting to know M’yrnn better. And I wonder if Maggie’s dad will saunter back in at some point. If he does, I hope Eliza punches him in the face. She’s his total opposite, and I’d love to see her go a little Momma Bear by Association.
And if she doesn’t want to punch him, I totally will.