Supergirl Recap – Episode Eleven: “Strange Visitor From Another Planet”
With her best friend still ignoring her after revealing that he is in love with her and with Anti-Alien Spokesperson Senator Miranda Crane in town for a rally, Kara has her hands full this week, and that’s not even counting the surprise visit of Adam Foster, Cat Grant’s estranged son, or a visitor from J’onn J’onzz’s planet who is called the White Martian. I’ve divided the episode into the two main plot threads, the Senator Crane/Martian Plotline, and the Cat Grant/Adam Foster Plotline while talking about the very end of the episode in “Sister Bonding Time” at the very end. We’ll fill in the other details as we go, so let’s dive right in with the Cat Grant/Adam Foster plotline.
MOTHER CAT FOSTERS NO FOOL
The episode begins with a voiceover of Kara reading a letter about family while we see her flying over a forest fire, seeing a house with a trapped family, picking them up, and moving them out of harm’s way.
The next day, despite Kara’s saving an entire family, Alex notices that some of the bounce is gone from her sister’s step. It turns out that Winn is still not talking to Kara, and she misses her best friend. Alex tells her to be patient and give him time and space. Later on, when she arrives at CatCo, she will unsuccessfully try to talk to him, but he brushes her off.
But to back up a bit, Alex goes with Kara to pick up Cat’s morning coffee and breakfast and proves that for a superhero, Kara can be rather bad at reading guys. A young man, when she asks about Cat’s latte, hears the name Cat Grant and starts up a conversation with Kara. This guy, who has heard nothing but negative things about Cat, asks Kara if Cat is really as terrible as the rumors say.
Kara defends Cat and tells him to maybe meet her before forming an opinion about her. Alex tells her somewhat oblivious sister that the guy was flirting with her. Suddenly, DEO duty calls her away; Senator Miranda Crane has arrived in National City for her anti-alien rally.
When Kara and Cat return to Cat’s office after a staff meeting, there is someone waiting in Cat’s office. It’s the guy Kara met in the coffee shop, who happens to be Cat’s estranged son, Adam Foster. Cat is surprised to see him, and when she finds out that he got her letter, she immediately turns to Kara. Apparently, this was not a letter to be sent.
Although Cat wants to talk to her son, she is booked for the day (what with the rally and running a company and all), so they make plans for dinner. Knowing that Kara was behind the letter, Cat is furious and fires her (but then, as always, changes her mind). Turns out, Cat has been writing letters to her son for weeks and when she threw one at Kara, our heroine picked it up, finished it, and mailed it.
Telling Cat that because she misses her own mother and can never see her again, she doesn’t want that separation to happen to anyone else. Kara also tells her that she knows that Cat never was going to send the letter, but knowing that Cat regretted not being in contact with Adam, she did it anyway. After reading it, Cat tells her that the letter wasn’t bad, but that she’ll make her life miserable. Kara tells her that family is worth it, and heads out to make the dinner reservation.
Cat is nervous about dinner with Adam, although when Kara tries to help, she brushes her off, saying that she doesn’t need help to talk to her son. Since she is always doing interviews with famous people, why would she need help talking to her own child? Unfortunately, the dinner is a complete disaster. Clearly nervous, all Cat can do is share humorous work stories about famous people she’s met or the road that got her to where she is today.
Cat tells Adam that he was probably better off without her, mentioning that she wouldn’t have been a good mother because she wasn’t ready. All of this was clearly not what Adam had wanted to hear. Unimpressed and just looking for an apology, Adam tells her that some things never change and leaves.
Calling Kara in, Cat berates her for not having prepared her for the dinner, proving just how nervous she was about the whole thing. Cat clearly doesn’t know what to say to her son, and wonders if it is too late for them.
Determined to fix things, Kara heads to the hotel Adam is staying at and convinces him to give his mother another chance, telling him that she was just scared. She also tells him that even though Cat seems like a narcissistic monster at times, she really is an amazing person and that she thinks there is only one thing Cat regrets in her whole life; leaving her son. Convinced (but sure that it was Kara who actually wrote the letter), Adam agrees to go see Cat again, but only if Kara comes along.
When the two find themselves face-to-face, at first, they have the same problem that they had at dinner of not understanding or listening to each other. Luckily, Kara is there and is able to smooth things out by translating for Cat on occasion. By the time Kara leaves, Cat has apologized and she and Adam have both admitted that they missed each other.
Although it is clearly not perfect yet, Cat and Adam’s relationship looks to be on the mend when he comes to the office, pleasantly surprising his mother. Additionally, although she doesn’t understand, at first, he asks Kara on a date. Cat does some less than subtle prodding, and Kara finally gets it, saying yes.
At CatCo, Cat is determined to get great coverage of the Anti-Alien Rally led by Senator Crane and wants a quote because, although she really dislikes aliens, she hates bigots more. When Cat admits to needing someone to cover the rally, Jimmy volunteers. Although Cat is reluctant and points out that he has layouts to do, he counterpoints that he is the most experienced photojournalist on staff, and, since he is connected to Superman, may be able to get a quote from the Senator. Cat agrees on the condition that the quote offends everyone.
At the Anti-Alien rally, Senator Crane is talking about the dangers of aliens, and the threat that they pose to Earth when suddenly, a new alien appears. Hank and Alex, who are monitoring the rally in case of a threat by a militant alien group, rush to help the Senator. As J’onn is about to fire, he freezes and has what seems to be a flashback of his people, their dead bodies covering the surface of Mars. He is unable to fire as the alien heads to a parking garage with the Senator.
Luckily, Jimmy has called in Supergirl, who flies into the garage and finds a confused and disoriented Senator Crane. She saves her, and she, Hank, and Alex take her back to DEO Headquarters. Once there, the Senator is very uncomplimentary towards aliens, despite the fact that Kara, who just saved her life, is an alien. However, Hank promises to make catching the alien who attacked her the DEO’s top priority.
Later, knowing that J’onn is hiding something, Kara and Alex ask what happened at the rally. J’onn tells them that the creature is a White Martian, the race that killed his people, the Green Martians. Furthermore, he tells them that Martians can all shapeshift and can also track each other. When he used his powers, he put out a homing beacon and the White Martian could sense him. As the last of his kind, the creatures that killed his kind want to finish the job and used the attack on the Rally as a way to draw him out.
To prevent anyone from finding out that he is actually an alien himself, Hank asks Kara to go find the White Martian, which she agrees to do gladly. Like we saw last week when she helped Winn track down his father, there doesn’t seem to be much that Kara won’t do for her friends.
Since it’s the safest place for her, Senator Crane is still at DEO Headquarters. While talking to Hank, she tells him that she has heard rumors that he has an alien spy in the DEO who must be found. When he tells her that he trusts his team, she is less than amused and continues to try to convince him to find the spy.
Back at CatCo, when looking at Jimmy’s photos from the rally (and the attack) and trying to get some clues as to the White Martian’s whereabouts, Jimmy and Kara realize something. Remembering what J’onn told Kara about Martians, they realize that the Senator in DEO Headquarters is not actually the Senator.
Kara calls Alex, who warns Hank that their guest isn’t what they thought. Hank had already been suspicious, however, because the Senator mentioned being attacked by a White Martian, a name Hank hadn’t used in her presence. She tells him that he’s smarter than she thought, and manages to escape being captured by using her powers and killing many agents though they manage to cut off her finger.
About to catch her, Hank again freezes and has a flashback of his dying and murdered race. As the White Martian is about to kill him, Alex steps in front of him, and then Kara arrives. Using her laser vision, she scares off the White Martian and, after making sure everyone is alright, heads off in pursuit.
Feeling guilty for not knowing that the Senator was actually the alien, and for using his powers, Hank is also feeling guilty because the White Martian only came to get him. Alex tells him that she’s sorry for what happened to his planet, but they can still save Earth. Then Hank tells her, and us, what happened on Mars when the White Martians took over.
J’onn remembers what happened to his people, how the White Martians attacked by building tunnels under the planet’s surface and basically cheated to win the war. They didn’t fight honorably, he recalls. Then, they forced the Green Martians into camps, using the men for labor and burning the rest.
When they went into the camps, J’onn swore to protect his family, but was unable to protect his wife and daughters; they were burned. He was able to escape and come to Earth, something he regrets every day. Haunted by the screams of his family, J’onn wishes he had died with them.
Alex tells him that there is no shame in surviving and that if his wife and daughters had survived, he wouldn’t have wanted them to feel ashamed. He listens, but seems skeptical and is determined to never let the White Martians kill another race again. Alex tries to convince him that he is not a killer, but he counters that she doesn’t know him. She raises the stakes by reminding him that they at the DEO don’t get to choose who they protect. He is still unmoved, and despite Alex’s protest that this way is honorless, he is determined to proceed with revenge.
J’onn uses his powers to track down the location of the White Martian, who he thinks is hiding in the sewers. While Alex and her team try to rescue the real Senator, J’onn plans to fight the White Martian. The White Martian, however, has set a trap and while J’onn is able to save the Senator, Alex is captured.
The White Martian tries to convince Alex to tell her who the alien in the DEO is, and when Alex refuses, prepares to kill her just for fun. Using telepathy, J’onn sets up a battle with the White Martian in the desert, to save Alex.
Realizing that J’onn is planning to sacrifice himself to stop the White Martian, Supergirl refuses to let him fight alone. When he tells her that he hates being the last of his people, she reminds him that her mother could have come with her, and choose to die on Krypton. Sometimes, she says, dying feels like the honorable thing to do, but it’s harder to keep living when your world has fallen apart.
When J’onn prepares to sacrifice himself in a move that might have been part of a plan (but I’m not sure. Thoughts?), Kara swoops in and the three proceed to battle it out. Kara and J’onn are, together, able to defeat the White Martian. However, after the battle Hank locks Kara in kryptonite cuffs to prevent her from interfering. He is determined to kill the monster who murdered his people, and is not going to let anyone stop him.
Kara pleads with him to reconsider, telling him that she, like him, lost everything and everyone she had loved. She knows that it leaves a hole in your heart, but she also knows you have to fill it with people you care about and not be dragged into it by hate. If he kills the White Martian, she tells him, he dies anyway, because that is against everything he stands for.
In the end, J’onn realizes that the best thing to do is to imprison the White Martian, which he does, bringing it back to DEO Headquarters. It tells Kara that its family will come to free it, and she tells it to bring it on (I’m paraphrasing here, of course).
In the end, Hank/J’onn tells Kara and Alex about his daughters and that anyone would be proud to call the two of them daughters. Kara hugs him, and his crisis seems to be passed for now.
Meanwhile, the real Senator Crane, who has really had a rough couple of days, changes her mind about aliens. Although she doesn’t reveal J’onn (who she may not actually know about), she recommends learning more about aliens before making a choice about them. When asked why, she announces that she was saved by an alien, Supergirl, so maybe they’re not all bad.
SISTER BONDING TIME
Really quickly, the last time Kara returned to CatCo in the episode, she ran into Winn again. Unlike the previous time they ran into each other, where he clearly didn’t want to talk to her, this time, he talked to her first, mentioning that she was pretty quiet. When she just said,”space and time,” he smiled. It looks like Alex was right after all.
While eating ice cream with her sister, Kara admits that she hasn’t been on a date in a long time, and is worried that if her date with Adam goes badly, it will hurt her relationship with Cat. Alex tells her to stop borrowing trouble and just have fun.
Suddenly, on the news, Supergirl appears and saves a car from falling off a bridge. Confused, Alex asks how she can be there if she is with her, and Kara admits that that is not her, just someone who looks an awful lot like her.
We’ve heard of Adam Foster before, but this week he played a much bigger role than previously and actually makes an appearance. I’m pretty sure he’s sticking around for a bit, just because he has a date with Kara coming up soon. That will be interesting with the Kara/Jimmy and Kara/Winn relationships.
The White Martian, who ended the episode in prison at the DEO, is also a new face to Supergirl. In DC lore, the White Martian is another Martian species that also has the ability to shapeshift and communicate telepathically, but they also can breathe fire and can’t be hurt by it.
The Green Martians, like J’onn J’onzz, were a more peaceful race and the White Martians were/are much more violent. Though they interact with Martian Manhunter and Batman alone on occasion, it seems like they mostly interact with the whole Justice League. This should be exciting!
So, this week we really only had two major plots, but they were both pretty big, and one was, frankly, huge. First of all, the Cat and Adam storyline was fun because it showed a new side to Cat Grant’s very take-no-prisoners attitude; it was fun to see her reveal her more vulnerable side. I also really appreciate J’onn’s struggle with his past (and the heartbreaking truth of that story), because it adds another layer to a fascinating character. It’s a solid episode that gives us more information on Cat and J’onn, two very interesting characters.
Winn and Kara, despite the rocky aspect of their friendship at the beginning of the episode, seemed to be looking up at the end. Perhaps Alex was right when she told Kara to give him time and space. Though I’m still hoping for a moment when Kara realizes she’s in love with her best friend, I’m not holding my breath, but it will be nice to see them talking again.
Final thought here: Guys, I think I know what Maxwell Lord’s secret project was! But why, and what is she?
In many shows, there is one character who always says the funniest things. For Supergirl, I think that Cat Grant is that character, something I want to emphasize in every Supergirl Recap. So, here are my favorite things that Cat said during the episode:
“Miranda Crane is in town. She is a lightning rod for bigots, hippies, and aliens, and yes, that is the order in which I detest them.”
“Because, Kara, while bigots will always take gold on the medal podium of my contempt, they make excellent click-bait. Also, the more they talk the more they sabotage themselves.”
What did you think of the episode?
What did you think of the softer, fuzzier side of Cat Grant? Stay tuned for the next Supergirl Recap!
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