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REVIEW: Supergirl 1×11 “Strange Visitor From Another Planet”

I’ve been waiting for weeks for this moment. Ever since J’onn J’onzz revealed himself to Alex, I knew we were bound to get some Martian Manhunter action. In tonight’s episode of Supergirl, we got to experience the development of one of the show’s most intriguing characters. Although this show is dedicated to our favorite Woman of Steel, it was great seeing J’onn getting his moment to shine. (spoilers ahead!)

I’ll discuss the side-story first before getting to the real meat of the episode. As we discovered a few episodes ago, Cat Grant has another son named Adam Foster who she hasn’t seen since he was a baby. Kara, figuring that Cat wants to reconnect with her son but is too hesitant to reach out to him, decides to pen a charming letter and send it out to Adam. This leads to Adam coming to National City and stumbling back into Cat’s life.

I wasn’t really okay with this. Kara admits that she sent the letter because she knows Cat secretly wants to rebuild the connection with her son, but frankly, it’s none of her business. What Cat does with her personal life shouldn’t be of Kara’s concern. I know that Cat practically spills her entire life’s story to Kara whenever she’s listening, but that doesn’t make it okay for her to get involved with such a personal affair. It’s clear Cat wasn’t comfortable with reconnecting with Adam just yet, and this is proven later on in the episode when the mother and son have a brief falling out.

There’s not much else to say about this subplot except that there was decent chemistry between Calista Flockhart and Blake Jenner. You know I can never say anything bad about Flockhart, but I was impressed at how well Jenner played the part of her son in the episode. My only complaint is that I think we’re starting to get a little too deep into Cat’s side of the story on this show. It’s not really fair that we can dedicate this much time to Cat’s character but we can’t devote just as much time to J’onn (when he’s arguably the more popular character).

This subplot resolves itself quite nicely by the end, and wouldn’t you know it, Adam and Kara end up planning a date! Way to go, Greg Berlanti! You sure know how to take risks and try something new and unexpected! (end sarcasm font)

Now for the good part of the episode. The White Martian has arrived!

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We learned this episode that Henshaw/J’onn is the last of his species, the Green Martians. Long ago, his entire race (including his wife and daughters) was eradicated by the villainous White Martians. J’onn figured that this was all in the past, but unfortunately, the things from our past always catch up with us down the road.

During a speech where Senator Miranda Crane is proclaiming her distrust of aliens, a White Martian appears and kidnaps her. Supergirl is powerless to stop the monstrosity while J’onn cowers in fear. David Harewood absolutely killed it this episode. He’s been doing a great job with his performance this entire season, but all of his scenes from tonight’s episode were outstanding. You could really feel the sense of fear, loss, and anger as he discusses the horrors of his past and as he comes face to face with the White Martian.

One thing that annoyed me about tonight was that the network actually spoiled a big twist in a commercial. After the White Martian attacks Crane, it actually adopts her physical appearance, allowing it to infiltrate the DEO. This could’ve made for a nice mid-episode plot twist, except that the commercial spoiled the big reveal about an hour before airing. You guys know how I feel about spoilers, so this didn’t help at all.

By the end of the episode, we FINALLY get to watch Martian Manhunter and Supergirl team up in an intense action scene as they both beat the living daylights out of the White Martian. After the villain is defeated, J’onn pulls a fast one on Kara and slaps a pair of Kryptonite handcuffs on her so that she won’t interfere while he executes his nemesis. Kara manages to persuade J’onn to show mercy, and convinces him to imprison the White Martian in the DEO. Again, I gotta admit that I’m annoyed with Kara. The villain was partially responsible for slaughtering J’onn’s race; he deserved retribution. I was hoping that there would be a fake-out at the end where you’d think J’onn would listen to Kara and show mercy, but at the last minute he’d blow up the White Martian’s head or something. Oh, well. Maybe he’ll get to do that in a future episode.

“Strange Visitor From Another Planet” was another fun episode, even if it was taken up mostly by Cat’s family drama. I’m just happy we finally saw J’onn in action. According to the cliffhanger, it looks like the focus will be completely back on Kara next week as she takes on Bizarro Supergirl!

Final Grade: B +

+ We finally got to see more Martian Manhunter action.

+ Great performances all around, especially with Harewood.

+ The White Martian made for an excellent villain.

– Even though Kara was trying to help, I was annoyed by her actions; she should’ve minded her own business regarding Cat’s personal life.

– Okay, maybe we’re getting a LITTLE too focused on Cat.

– CBS spoiled the big twist in one of their commercials.

Extra Thoughts:

– Looks like Bizarro is coming to National City next week!

Are you enjoying Supergirl so far? How did you feel about tonight’s episode? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!