Since his introduction, J’onn J’onzz has been one of the most interesting characters on Supergirl. He clearly has a deep past and complexity (and power set) to rival Kara’s own. Yet J’onn has remained (wisely) a background player. In this episode, “Strange Vistor from Another Planet,” Supergirl explores J’onn’s backstory in whole. It’s an emotional and revelatory affair, so much so that it nearly manages to eclipse the emotional angst of the B-plot. I say ‘nearly’ because the B-plot concerns Cat’s estranged relationship with her adult son, and Cat Grant doesn’t play second fiddle to anyone.
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The Personal and Professional Woes of Cat Grant
Miranda Crane, the female and much prettier Supergirl version of Donald Trump, has come to National City. Crane is a US senator that hates aliens, all aliens, and is very vocal about it. Cat wants Crane’s press conference covered by someone because bigots are cash cows for the media. Cat has some personal problems of her own to handle.
Kara has written to Cat’s adult son, Adam, and he has come to visit his estranged mother. (Adam’s also come to flirt with Kara, but that’s neither here nor there for now.) Cat is not too happy that Kara has gone behind her back. When Kara uses a bit of Cat’s own medicine against her, she convinces Cat to go out to dinner with Adam.
An Attacker from Afar
At Crane’s press conference, her hateful speech about aliens turns out to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. A group of aliens attack Crane, and J’onn recognize them. They are White Martians. The White Martians are a group of aliens who wiped out J’onn’s entire people, the Green Martians, on Mars. J’onn’s whole family, his wife and daughters, died and he was the only one to survive. J’onn thinks that even though the Martians attacked Crane, they’ve been drawn to National City because of him.
Kara looks over James’ photographs of Crane’s press conference. They discover that something is up with Crane, specifically Crane after the White Martian attack. The real Crane was taken and there is a White Martian impersonating Crane at the DEO. Kara rushes to the DEO, but the fake Crane reveals herself and runs wild. She destroys everyone and everything in sight. J’onn is incapacitated by memories of the White Martian attack on his own planet. Kara manages to chase “Crane” off and away from the DEO.
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Kara Danvers, Family Counselor
Cat’s dinner with Adam goes horribly, mostly because Cat can’t talk about anything but herself and Adam really doesn’t want to talk about Cat. Cat calls Kara while the latter is hunting for Crane. Apparently, Cat takes precedence over a homicidal alien because Kara goes to meet Cat. Not only does Kara meet with the heartbroken Cat, but she promises to get her back together with Adam.
All thoughts of a maniac alien forgotten, Kara goes to talk to Adam. Kara is able to charm Adam back into another meeting with his mother. Kara mediates as the two open up to each other. It’s almost heartwarming enough to make up for the ridiculousness of the timing.
The Happy(ish) Ending
At least J’onn and Alex are dealing with the Crane issue. J’onn goes into angry vengeance mode, while Alex unsuccessfully tries to calm him down. The two split up and look for the fake and real Crane. J’onn looks for the fake Crane but finds the real one, and you can guess what happens to Alex. The fake Crane attacks Alex and the DEO agents that Alex has with her. Alex is captured and used as bait for J’onn. Crane arranges to face J’onn on a desert battleground.
J’onn tries to sacrifice himself to save Alex, but Kara arrives. Kara and J’onn take on Crane in a very dark battle because Supergirl simply doesn’t have the budget for anything else. Once Crane is down, J’onn puts kryptonite handcuffs on Kara. J’onn goes in to kill Crane. Kara convinces him to not give in to temptation and instead imprison the Martian Crane.
The next morning, Adam shows back up at CatCo to tell his mother that he is staying in National City. Adam asks Kara out and she accepts. Kara nervously plans her date with Adam at home later with Alex. All planning of romance ends when Kara and Alex see Supergirl saving people on TV — a Supergirl that is obviously not Kara.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)