SUPERGIRL: STRANGE VISITOR FROM ANOTHER PLANET – AFJ REVIEW

Supergirl continues to be good but this new episode where more background on J'onn J'onzz & Cat Grant is revealed seems to be taking the spotlight off the face of the show. While I liked the episode, the fun factor that makes Supergirl such effortless fun is getting a little too heavy-handed for me. Don't get me wrong, the writing is still very strong as is the story but you have to keep the focus on the Kryptonian. Frankly, I don't really care about the son that Cat Grant gave up while building up her media empire. I care about Supergirl/Kara. That being said let's dive into the very benign titled episode, "Strange Visitor From Another Planet."

The opening has a voice over of Kara dictating a letter, presumably to her long-deceased mother while she is literally putting out fires and saving a family. However, we soon learn that Kara being the super assistant she is, finished a letter that Cat started to the son she gave up and he just decided to show up in her office surprising the heck out of Ms. Grant. Cat is wild at Kara for doing this but she stands up to her boss telling her that this is a huge opportunity to mend fences with her son. Cat's son, Adam, is 25 and its pretty obvious right away that he's got it bad for his mom's assistant. After reading the unfinished letter to Adam, Cat decides against firing Kara and decides to set up dinner with her estranged son. More on that later.

Senator Miranda Crane is in town and she is a big-time anti-alien advocate so James volunteers to cover the assignment for Catco. After all, he has some experience with dealing with those pesky aliens. Especially the really famous one over in Metropolis. Miranda Crane is kind of like a modern-day Joe McCarthy looking to eradicate every one of them from existence. "If it takes building a dome, then we will build a dome," she says in her speech. At the outdoor press event, it is painfully obvious to the viewer that something is amiss and sure enough, wild and crazy white Martians go nuts at the event killing some security and terrorizing the citizens of National City. Despite a heavy DEO presence at the event, Hank seemed to know in advance that something was going to happen. While the Martians are attacking, the scene is crosscut with flashes of J'onn's memory of what we find out later to be his family on Mars. His green Martian family was killed by the very same white Martians. Supergirl whisks the Senator away from danger and to DEO headquarters where she still is anti-alien even though Supergirl, a Kryptonian, just saved her life.

Cat goes to dinner with her 25-year old son Adam, played by Supergirl Melissa Benoist's real-life husband Blake Jenner. I assume the couple met while they were co-stars on the now-canceled Glee. Anyway, the dinner goes about as bad as possible with Cat doing what Cat does best; talking about herself. Cat tries to explain that she would have been a terrible mother when she had him but this does not go over so well. Before Adam walks out on the dinner, he does reveal that he has dropped out of the Master's program at Cornell. Classic TV character device that basically says, "I am going to be around for a few episodes."

At Catco, Kara is going over the picture proofs that James took at the event laying it on thick how wonderful the photos are. (She definitely still has a thing for him) While Kara is examining the photos, she notices an anomaly in a shot of the Senator and her eyes are all glowy like. So are the white Martians eyes. So that must mean that Senator Crane at the DEO is definitely not the real Senator but an alien ready to wreak havoc. As predicted, the Martian posing as the Senator goes completely ballistic at the DEO but Hank cannot turn into Martian Manhunter without compromising his identity.

So being held against her will at the DEO is definitely not her style even after Alex jabs a sedative into her arm. Hank regales his story to Kara & Alex how the green Martians came from beneath the surface of Mars and wiped out the green Martians. They burned his wife and daughters alive before his eyes. Apparently, Martians can sense when other Martians use their powers. So when Hank/J'onn used his abilities to gain access to Maxwell Lord's facility the white Martians sensed his movements and used that to draw him out at the press conference.  I was confused at what point exactly, "the switch" was made because it all happened really fast.

Cat is angry with Kara for what she has set in motion and she definitely did cross a line. However, that is not really what she is angry with her assistant for. She is actually mad because Kara did not prep her for dinner with her own son. Adam figures out that Kara wrote the letter and says that he will only talk to Cat if Kara comes with to mediate. Clearly, he is not looking for her to mediate but rather a date. Still, they manage to break some ground at the second dinner and Kara leaves midway through because it is actually going well.

The alien they thought was Senator Crane is on the loose in the sewers and both Hank and Alex find the politician. However, which one is the real one and which one is the alien?? The one Alex finds lunges at her so question answered and now her life is on the line. The Martians apparently share a telepathic bond so J'onn is able to communicate with the shapeshifting alien so J'onn demands proof of life. They agree to meet in a remote area in the desert and Hank turns into Martian Manhunter ready for battle. Supergirl beats J'onn to the punch and a big melee ensues that was actually pretty well orchestrated with some solid special effects. After the white Martian is put down, J'onn puts Kryptonite handcuffs on Supergirl so that she won't stop him from killing the beast. But, naturally, J'onn turns the other cheek and they take the alien into the DEO instead to imprison it. Hank gets all mushy for a minute to the Danvers girls but goes back to his reserved self in an instant.

As suspected, Adam asks out Kara and she is all dorky about it. Its just not as usually cute though because she is killing Winn and breaking his heart. What bothers me further is that we only saw Winn for an instant this episode and the poor guy's feelings are just being tossed aside. The Senator recants all of her anti-alien initiative statements and publicly states that it was Supergirl that saved her and changed her outlook. As the Danvers girls dish over ice cream debating whether Kara should go on a date with Adam, on the news is Supergirl flying around what appears to be an accident scene. How can that be if she's home? Have to wait till next week.

It was an above average but a not great episode of the CBS breakout hit. It definitely needed more Winn and James in it and less Cat stuff because she is the one that does not know Kara's secret identity. So Kara lending so much assistance to her boss and domestic issues just felt a little too forced. I understand that it can't all be comic book superhero rock 'em sock 'em stuff the full hour but I kind of liked Cat as this domineering media titan with a heart in small doses. We already saw her with one of her children, now we are seeing yet another child? It just feels like an excuse to bring in the star of the show's husband for a guest spot.

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