It was obvious from her first stony-faced introduction that the Queen of Daxam, Rhea, was every type of evil. The easy assumption was that it would take Supergirl a few episodes to get Rhea to that fully villainous place. That assumption is way off. Almost as soon as this episode, titled “Distant Sun,” begins, Rhea lets her villainous flag fly and it’s fabulous. Rhea is not what anyone would call a deep villain, but Teri Hatcher is having a ton of fun being a literal evil queen. Sadly, Rhea being really good at being bad might be the only real positive thing to come out of “Distant Sun,” which is mostly a retread of the previous episode, “Star-Crossed,” with just slight variations.
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Kara and Mon-El are back together after the Flash musical crossover, but things are far from happy and not just because their reunion was rushed. Arriving back on her Earth, Kara is quickly under siege from a variety of aliens because a gigantic bounty has been put on her head. While it would be a cool, albeit not very original, episode for Kara to go up against a cavalcade of villains, “Distant Sun” doesn’t stay very long on this idea. Mon-El believes that his parents are behind the bounty, and he is quickly proven correct when the team gets to interrogate one of the bounty hunters. It’s not both parents, though. Rhea ordered the hit; Lar Gand presumably just stood around being his pathetic “I used to be Hercules 20 years ago” self.
Rhea’s motivations for wanting Kara dead are to convince Mon-El that he should come back to Daxam, and he will without Kara around. As far as evil plans go, this is not a terrible one, especially since Rhea has been smart enough to hire bounty hunters to do the deed. Yet once it is revealed that Rhea is behind it all, Kara and Mon-El decide to confront her about it. Here’s where the episode pretty much go off the rails.
Rhea makes no effort to deny that she hired the bounty hunters, and when pressed she whips out two Kryptonian daggers and starts to attack Kara. It’s all very one-dimensional supervillain stuff. But it’s hard to deny the image of Teri Hatcher wielding dual green daggers, and stabbing Supergirl is a very cool one. While the attack doesn’t do much to make Rhea seem like a fully rounded character, it does do a lot to make her seem threatening. She absolutely hands Kara her own ass in the fight.
The Queen eventually has Kara at death’s door and is about to kill her when Mon-El speaks up. Mon-El promises to go with Rhea if she allows Kara to live. Rhea agrees, and Supergirl is now at the same place it was in “Star-Crossed.” Mon-El has agreed to unwillingly go with his parents to save Kara, but the main difference is that Kara actually wants to save Mon-El from his evil family because he’s not lying to her at the moment.
Kara launches a plan to save Mon-El that involves everyone in the cast, except James because Supergirl has no time for that character and neither do I. Disobeying orders from the President, who viewers may remember is an alien and probably evil herself, J’onn, Kara and Winn break onto the Daxamite flagship and try to free Mon-El. Mon-El, being torn between his family and Kara, was explored completely in “Star-Crossed,” but the rescue sequence that follows is pretty impressive.
The Daxamite soldiers have as much fashion sense as their King and Queen — so none at all — as they do look like Power Rangers rejects. However, J’onn and Kara teaming up to take on an army of them leads to some cool fight choreography. Of course, there is also Rhea running around with her daggers and, as mentioned, this is an incredibly awesome sight. The battle rages, and it looks like everyone is going to kill everyone else until Kevin Sorbo Lar decides to be useful. He stands up to his terrifying wife and tells everyone to stand down. Lar tells Mon-El that he should go and be with Kara. His son has made his choice, and Lar respects it.
While Mon-El and Kara get their happy ending, Rhea is none too pleased with her husband’s actions. Feeling that he has betrayed her and become weak, Rhea stabs Lar in the heart, killing him. It’s about as predictable of a twist as they come, but at least Supergirl is setting up something new rather than just recycling the same old “Mon-El is torn between his family and Kara” plot moving forward. If this dull episode is all some set-up for Rhea and Lillian Luthor being evil BFFs, it will be worth it.
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Sanvers Saving the Day
Saving the episode from complete repetitiveness, though, is a very cute Maggie and Alex side story. They run into Maggie’s ex, Emily. They make plans to have dinner with Emily, but Emily stands them up. Alex confronts Emily later and finds out that the reason she didn’t show is because she couldn’t handle seeing Maggie. Maggie cheated on Emily five years ago, and that’s what ended their relationship. This is news to Alex, but rather than get angry or break up with Maggie, Alex tells her girlfriend that she is here for her. Alex doesn’t judge Maggie for her past mistake. Alex wants Maggie to be open and honest with her, not constantly hiding from her.
What effect this relationship drama will have on the plot of Supergirl is probably negligible. It doesn’t make the subplot any less enjoyable. Maggie and Alex are quickly becoming one of the most healthy and likable relationships on Supergirl and TV in general. Any excuse that the show can use to spend more time with them is welcome, even if it is random and out of place with the rest of the episode.
What did you make of “Distant Sun”? Do you think Rhea will be a good villain? Was this too much of a retread from the previous episode? Does Rhea need more motivations than wanting Mon-El back, no matter the cost? Were you shocked by Lar’s murder? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Supergirl season 2 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)