Supergirl Season 1, Episode 11 “Strange Visitor from Another Planet”
Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3/3
Shukla Score: 2.5/3
Russo Score: 0/3
This episode had no LGBTQ representation. There were three persons of color in this episode, two of whom did speak several times about something other than race. I gave the episode a 2.5, instead of a 3, because I am not sure what to do when both African-American actors in a scene are portraying Martian shape-shifters that have assumed human form. I love having J’onn J’onzz on the show, but the fact that Director Henshaw turned out to be the Martian in disguise is a somewhat complicated development. So anyway, 2.5 for the Shukla score this week, pending further review. Moving on, of course the show had multiple scenes of (significant, named) women talking to each other about something other than men. I gave the episode four out of five kittens because, as I have mentioned, I love me some martians.
Low points: Cat Grant’s son was acting like a complete jerk for much of the episode. I suppose that was part of the story, so this isn’t a critical complaint, and still I just did not enjoy it. The only other low point – and this is a critical comment – is that this is one of those episodes that you have to not think about at all beyond what is presented. How did J’onn J’onzz get to Earth and how did the White Martian get here? Why did only one White Martian come if their race has overrun Mars? Why, if the White Martians could conquer the Green Martians that were much more advanced than human beings, does the White Martian bother hiding when coming to Earth? It just felt like this story was constructed the way I would play a chess game against myself and that made it a bit weak.
Highlights: I hate to keep repeating myself, but I really enjoy the martian stuff. I also really liked how J’onzz/Henshaw let Kara hug him, but then said “that’s enough of that.” It was a moment of much needed levity in a difficult, dark episode. I hope they keep filling in J’onzz’s backstory, because I am digging it a lot. Kara and Cat’s relationship continues to be the best one on the show, and this week kept that going with a couple of strong scenes, particularly their quasi-argument in Cat’s office.
Dad edits: Yeah, we just aren’t going to watch this together. I don’t think that anything happened in this episode that my son will miss knowing about, and I sure as hell do not want to sit with him and watch/explain a story about big scary aliens committing genocide. Taking out each overly scary or gruesome moment of the episode would not leave a lot, and it’d be confusing. Best just to skip it.
Supergirl airs on CBS on Mondays at 8/7c