Supergirl‘s second season continues its improved quality in the very politically and socially conscious episode three…
Right from the beginning of Supergirl, there has been an undercurrent theme of the fear of aliens in the show representing xenophobia and racism (such as in the Martian Manhunter-centric episodes). In ‘Welcome to Earth’, this is brought to the fore, with it also being signposted that it will be a recurring theme going forward.
The central premise of the episode sees the President of the United States (Wonder Woman herself Lynda Carter) come to National City to sign the Alien Amnesty Act, that will grant all alien citizens on Earth equal rights. Superheroes as a metaphor for minority groups has been done before in the likes of X-Men, of course, but Supergirl is clearly making a comment on the current political and social climate here. It’s not very subtle in this, but it is a welcome touch all the same.
This is was nicely counterpointed by Kara’s instinctive prejudice for the guy from the kryptonian pod – finally revealed to be Mon-El, of Krypton’s rival planet Daxam. Despite professing how much she hated small-mindedness, Kara herself gave into xenophobia here, which made for a good character arc as she had to overcome that.
Elsewhere this week, Alex finds an ally on the NCPD – Maggie Sawyer, who it is heavily implied she is also attracted to. The character didn’t make too big an impression here, but it should be good to have Alex’s character deepened by exploring her sexuality. In the comics, Maggie is usually the girlfriend of Batwoman – but, for now, let’s hold back on hoping that Supergirl is going to start introducing bits of the Bat-mythos.
Also, James settled into his job as CatCo’s new boss and immediately got to loggerheads with Snapper Carr. Now that Cat’s gone and Winn’s at the DEO, the CatCo scenes – and James himself – feel increasingly separated from the rest of the show. Let’s hope they can find a way to them more interesting.
Overall, this was another enjoyable installment of the show. Not as strong as the previous two, and I missed Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman and Cat Grant, but good all the same. And now M’Gann M’orss has been revealed, giving J’onn a link back to his home planet. I look forward to seeing where this goes next week.
P.S. So the President is an alien as well? Do we think she’s good or evil? Did the fire-controlling alien have a point that she just wants to keep tabs on every alien in the country?