Supergirl 3×03 heads to Mars while keeping its themes entirely grounded
This week on Supergirl, it was all about the daddy issues. Kara (Melissa Benoist) and J’onn (David Harewood) head to Mars to answer M’gann’s call, while Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima) deal with an even more alien concept: a bridal shower. Sounds like a fun episode, right? No. Not at all. Upon his arrival on Mars, J’onn discovers that his father is still alive. It’s great news, but it turns south quickly. His father, convinced J’onn is dead, accuses the Martian Manhunter of being an imposter, and rattles off a few heartbreaking reasons why he cannot be his son. The worst of them? That his son would never abandon Mars to go to Earth. Ouch. Thankfully, M’rynn is eventually convinced, and returns to Earth with J’onn. Looks like he will be sticking around!
J’onn’s story wasn’t even the most heartbreaking one of the episode. While preparing for her bridal shower with Alex, Maggie reveals the reason that she has no photos of herself as a baby. Turns out, Maggie’s father is a terrible person (sorry, but it’s true.) Upon discovering her homosexuality (after she was humiliatingly outed) he packed her bag and immediately drove her to her aunt’s house. The last thing her father told her was that she had shamed him. This story prompts Alex to encourage Maggie to reconcile with her father. Taking Alex’s advice, he calls him up and invites him to the party. He appears to try to accept it, but once Alex and Maggie kiss he’s outta there. In a heartbreaking scene, he tells Maggie that he worked incredibly hard to make a life for her in America, and that she’s ruining it. What a mess.
Grab the tissues, it’s time to discuss all that and more with our Supergirl roundtable.
Becca (@karadanverss) – College Student. 22 years old. LA. Way too attached to some fictional characters.
Mia (@dreaminofspace) – newly graduated scientist, huge nerd who loves all things superhero, space or supernatural
Olivia (@atjogialove)- avid tv watcher, bread eater and Melissa Benoist fan
Sarah (@sarahzorel) – would like to apply as Lena Luther’s personal assistant.
Tantoun (@littlemachine_) – Self-taught artist, collector, and fan of superhero movies and tv shows. Huge fan of Lena Luthor, as well as Kara Danvers.
1. It was all about the “daddy issues” tonight for J’onn and Maggie. Do you think we’ve seen the last of Maggie’s father?
Becca (@karadanverss): I liked the episode. It was a very special for me because I do too have “daddy issues” personally. It may be a whole different scenario but I relate with that struggle. So it was a special episode for me. And I think this definitely might not the last time we’ve seen of Maggie’s father. I think her dad has to come back (not sure when though) but he should have some closure at some point about his daughter and learn to be there for her no matter what.
Mia (@dreaminofspace): Good question. With Maggie only having two episodes left, I don’t know. He could be involved in her leaving National City, so we might see him again with that somehow, but it could easily be something else also. I know many have speculated that maybe Maggie’s mother is dying and that’s why she didn’t come to the bridal shower, and maybe Maggie leaves to spend time with her mum before she passes. Hard to tell. In any case, it was heartbreaking to see him reject his daughter once again. We got an explanation for why, but it was still terrible.
Olivia (@atjogialove): Knowing that Floriana’s departure from the show is coming soon I do think we have seen the last of Maggie’a father, but part of me also thinks the show may sneak him back in. I can see them wanting to have them reconnect at some point before she leaves.
Sarah (@sarahzorel): I hope this is the last we see of him. He abandoned his child because she was gay and he didn’t deserve to come back into her life, especially cause his views haven’t changed. This was an unnecessary storyline to me.
Tantoun (@littlemachine_): I hope so. I honestly didn’t see how having him in there in the first place accomplished anything. If we remove him from the episode. Maggie’s character didn’t really gain anything by inviting him other than pain and drama. I honestly wish we had her aunt who supported her instead.
2. What about J’onn’s dad? Obviously, he’s going to be sticking around – what do you think his role in the show will look like?
Becca: I loved J’onn’s dad so much I almost cried during the scene when he finally believed that the J’onn right there was his son! It was such an emotional scene. Both David and Carl killed all of their scenes together but especially that one! I loved it! And honestly? I have no idea what is next for J’onn’s dad in the show but I am glad he’s sticking around for now! I’m happy to see J’onn with someone from Mars and especially that that someone is his dad!
Mia: We’ll definitely see M’yrnn again. Since he’s an unparalleled psychic, wouldn’t it be cool to have him as a psychic interrogator at the DEO? Now, I don’t actually think he’ll be in the show THAT much, but it would be awesome. Just hope he won’t get caught up in something and J’onn will lose him again.
Olivia: I think it will be interesting to see the audience named “space dad” have his actual space dad on the show. It will also be interesting to see how they interact after so many years apart and how J’onn’s dad will react to earth.
Sarah: I genuinely have no idea what his father’s gonna do? I had assumed he was gonna stay on Mars and help the planet, but I’m not sure what role he’s gonna have now.
Tantoun: I’m not really sure on what to expect from this character so far but I think it will be entertaining having him around.
3. For a show called “Supergirl” we sure didn’t get much of her tonight. Do you think it’s alright for Kara to sometimes take a back seat in her own show, for the sake of furthering other storylines?
Becca: Not going to lie. I always get a little bit frustrated with there’s not a lot of Kara/Supergirl. I think yes, it’s okay to explore other storylines in the show, but also don’t forget about the main character of the show!! I think it was an okay episode but I definitely need more Kara/Supergirl next time.
Mia: I absolutely do. If anyone else is to get actual backstories and development, we need to have Kara be in the background every now and then. She’s always an integral part of the plot anyway, so it’s not like she’s ever been actually sidelined or made anything less than the main character. It’s Kara’s story, but your story is never purely your own, it always overlaps with other people’s stories. We saw that in season 2 also, where we went from a main character focused show in season 1 to an ensemble show in season 2. The important thing that the writers have been doing well is never losing sight of Kara’s story being what holds it all together.
Olivia: I have mixed feelings about this. I’m all for the show showing up more of other characters but tonight’s episode definitely had a lack of Kara. I think there should have been more of a mix- maybe breaking it into two episodes where Kara had her own storyline mixed in. I do love seeing the other characters storylines though and learning more about them.
Sarah: I don’t mind it. I like that they’re giving more depth to their other characters but I think they need to find a good balance and make sure not to forget the storylines later on in the show.
Tantoun: I don’t really think so. We lost so much of Kara’s time and character development last season to see mon el’s storyline which I wasn’t really interested in either and I was hoping we would focus more on kara this season. Tho I have to admit that giving characters a centric episode is important as long as Kara’s character grows and advances in all those episodes rather than just have her there in the background punching the bad guys or eating potstickers.
4. Sanvers once again had a “kids” talk. Why do you think Alex continues to hide her feelings on the issue, when she clearly does want kids someday?
Becca: Seeing Alex wanting to have kids warms my heart. You can see how she really wants to be a mom in the future but I think she loves Maggie so much she doesn’t want to Maggie to get upset over the topic. I think at the moment Alex is trying to accept Maggie’s wish. She doesn’t want to force Maggie. But I don’t know for how long is Alex going to keep that up though.
Mia: I think Alex is really scared to lose Maggie, especially since Maggie is her first real love. Maybe she’s reverting back to old habits of convincing herself she’s happy with it, even though she’s clearly not. Alex has so much love to give and we know family is hugely important to her. Her wanting kids is obviously very important to her. This is an issue many couples face, no matter the sexual orientation. For some, they can compromise. For others, it leads them apart and the relationship ends. Still, it’s an important talk to have if you intend to spend the rest of your life with this person.
Olivia: I think Alex loves Maggie and knows the kids issue could be the what leads to the end. I think Alex is hoping on some level that if she continues to talk about it she will unlock some part deep down in Maggie that wants kids but I don’t know if she will be successful in that.
Sarah: think Alex is hoping that she’ll be able to change Maggie’s mind. She loves Maggie and wants a life and a future with her but wants children in that future and I think it’s hard for her to believe or accept that Maggie doesn’t want them too.
Tantoun: I think Alex hiding her feelings have to do more with the idea that she mainly doesn’t want to lose Maggie. As much as I hate this idea. I think Alex secretly thinks that she can eventually change Maggie’s views on the subject.
5. Did you enjoy the Mars storyline, in general? Why or why not?
Becca: Yes. I enjoyed the Mars storyline. We don’t usually get a lot of scenes/moments about Mars so exploring and creating more storylines about it it’s fun. It’s something we don’t get often. And I loved seeing M’gann again! She’s just the coolest and I wish we could see her more often.
Mia: I did! I love J’onn and sometimes it’s easy to forget he’s an alien too, so I love when we’re reminded of that and get to see what he was like pre-Earth. It was also great seeing M’gann again, I really enjoyed having her as a recurring character in season 2
Olivia: Again I have mixed feelings about it. I feel like it was a little thrown into this episode and I wish it had been more fleshed out. It will be interesting to see how it continues- if it continues throughout the season.
Sarah: I guess I was a bit indifferent to it. I enjoyed being able to see J’onn’s background story and seeing his home and memories of his daughters were amazing but I wouldn’t rate it as my favorite thing in the episode.
Tantoun: I will be absolutely honest here and say not really. I was hoping we would get something a little bit different than that. I love Megan but I really didn’t like that storyline at all.
6. What was your favorite part of tonight’s episode?
Becca: Lol! My favorite part of the episode was Kara arriving where the White Martians were with the car and “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears was playing in the background made me laugh so hard! I just love that little cupcake so much!
Mia: Amongst all the serious and sad parts, I just have to pick this one: Kara rolling up in J’onn’s convertible blasting Britney Spears and acting like she got lost on a highway (plus that Bugs Bunny reference!). That was hilarious!
Olivia: My favorite part of tonight’s episode was definitely when Kara came in to fight the white Martians playing Britney Spears- I mean who doesn’t love Britney Spears and Melissa was absolutely adorable.
Sarah: Kara pulling up in the car in front of the white Martians blasting Britney!
Tantoun: Kara driving in with ‘baby one more time’ blasting through the speakers was probably the best thing ever.
7. We are only three episodes in, but how are you liking the season so far? Are you enjoying the general tone and themes this season? Is there anything you would change about the first three episodes?
Becca: I think it’s an okay start of the season. The first episodes are almost always slow but then things get more heated up so I’m ready to see what’s coming next! The only thing I would change is more screening time for Winn and James though. And more Sam! I missed Sam tonight. Can’t wait to see more of her later on! And more Kara content of course! Because she’s the reason this show exists
Mia: I’m thoroughly enjoying this season. Surprisingly, I’m not bothered by the darker tone of the show. One of my favourite parts of Supergirl has always been the brightness and the happy tone of the show, but the showrunners have managed to make it darker without losing touch with the show’s soul and heritage. I like that. I like that we’re delving deeper into the characters instead of staying on the surface where only a few personality traits shine through every now and then. I’m a huge fan of character development, whether that be the character becoming evil or becoming better. If I could change anything…. hmmm. I’d have the other characters around Kara be a bit more understanding towards her. All of them, except J’onn, to be honest, we’re really rather selfish in her grieving period, thinking only about how THEY want HER back and not making a huge effort to empathise with her. I would change that.
Olivia: So far I like this season. I do think they’re leaning towards slightly darker themes and I’m interested in where that goes. (Also literal darkness by the way of Kara never having her lights on- but I see that it’s a metaphor). I think if I could change something I would take away Kara’s sadness. Not because I don’t think it’s justified- I do. But because it’s so hard o see her so sad and so rejecting Kara Danvers. I love Supergirl but I also love Kara and it’s hard to see her not loving that part of herself.
Sarah: So far I’ve been enjoying it, especially after last season being a tad bit of a disappoint to me. I really would like it to go back to the Season 1 roots cause I really enjoyed it and I miss it. I would also like Kara to be happy again and not so mopey (and to turn her apartment lights on, it’ll help her mood.)
Tantoun: I have enjoyed the first two episodes immensely I really loved having more kara in them not to mention all the girls and the Lena/Kara interactions as well. I have to say that I found the third episode very disappointing writing-wise. Not to mention the plot holes and continuity errors like Maggie’s dad saying that people are building a wall to keep them out when on supergirl’s earth the president is an alien who we saw signed an alien amnesty act last season to help immigrants. There was so much unnecessary drama in the episode that I felt was there for the sake of drama rather than to move the plot forward or advance the characters in any way. I really didn’t like the whole speech he gave after rushing out of the bridal shower, again, unnecessary drama. That’s an episode I will probably skip if I ever did a rewatch of season three in the future. I really hope that the show will continue to move forward with episodes like one and two and avoid episodes like three at all costs and not focus on the drama of the relationships either like they did last season. Give me more kara/supergirl kicking butts, being a hero with the help of the awesome strong, fierce women on the show.
Final Verdict: Supergirl has always existed as a shining light in the dark world of television, and we hate seeing that light fade
It’s clear that Supergirl is going for a darker tone this season. Kara’s grief over Mon-el, Samantha’s oncoming descent into villainhood, and Maggie’s homophobic father all make that clear. Even if it wasn’t, Supergirl beats us over the head with their new tone by literally turning the lights off in Kara’s apartment. There’s a pattern emerging among DCTV – every show (Arrow, The Flash, and now Supergirl) has gotten significantly darker in its third season. It didn’t work out well for the first two, but maybe Supergirl will be the exception. Still, it’s hard not to notice the fact that the lightest moment of the entire episode (Supergirl’s Britney Spears themed moment) was by and large everyone’s favorite. When your audience lives for the sunshine, why would you turn off the lights?