After a stellar one-two punch of opener episodes, Supergirl finds itself pulling out every trick in the TV guidebook to show that even without Superman and Cat Grant, this is a show that is going places.
We left off last week with the comatose alien castaway (later revealed to, as expected, Mon-El) waking up on the absolute worst side of the bed. He escapes from the DEO, and adding onto the everyone’s anxiety, the show adds an immigrant metaphor subplot. In Washington D.C., President Olivia Marsdin (played Lynda Carter, of Wonder Woman fame) announces her Alien Amnesty Act (AAA), a bill that will give safety to all alien visitors to planet Earth.
This Alien Amnesty Act sets up a variety of emotions and actions amongst the main players of the show. Supergirl and Alex are thrilled, Hank is skeptical due to his knowledge of so many bad aliens, and Lena Luthor is going full Donald Trump by building machines that will be able to tell whether people are aliens or not.
The conflict over alien amnesty bleeds into Kara’s work life at CatCo as she begins her burgeoning career as a reporter. Having interviewed Luthor on her beliefs about aliens, Kara gets her first dose of editorial injustice as new boss, Snapper Carr, informs her that her pro-alien bias is not for this publication, forcing her to rewrite her work. This all culminates into a slightly weak B-plot also involving James Olsen finding his bearings as the new leader of CatCo (lo and behold: James Olsen does take charge and stand up to Snapper, rewriting Kara’s piece to reflect the truth.)
Elsewhere, Alex Danvers is finally getting her screen-time as she teams up police detective, Maggie Sawyer, as they search for Mon-El. Maggie shows Alex how the average police force deals with unknown and brings her to a bar exclusively for aliens. This bar was an excellent showcase of the weird and the noir, reminding me heavily of the demon bar from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With some knowledge from a barfly alien, Alex and Supergirl are quickly able to capture Mon-El, who we soon find out is a refugee like Kara, having lost his planet to solar storms post Krypton’s explosion (though he is the last one to find out that).
With all the baddies caught, President Wonder Woman is free to sign the AAA, but is interrupted by a fire-haired, fire-shooting alien who overheard Alex when she was at the alien bar. Though we never get her name, the character strongly resembles DC villain, Volcana. It hardly matters that much as she is defeated by Supergirl (implementing tricks from both Superman and Wonder Woman) and Maggie in about 30 seconds.
In the end, everyone comes to agree that some aliens are bad, and some aliens are good, and that there should be understanding from all parties. It seems to be a temporary solution for now, with a strong implication that the AAA and this xenophobia theme will come up again, especially since the final shot we see of President Lynda Carter implies that she is more alien than meets the eye.
“Welcome to Earth,” though somewhat light on action and the kinetic feeling we felt from the first two episodes of this season, gave us a lot to look forward to. We have the Alien Amnesty Act, continued Lynda Carter appearances, the sexual tension between Kara/Mon-El and Alex/Maggie, and the finale surprise of J’onn J’onzz finding out he is NOT the last Martian after all; this episode set-up the paths we are to travel throughout the season. Hopefully we can find a better balance between set-ups and the current plot in future episodes, but regardless, Supergirl still put out an exciting episode, and will only grow as it finds its bearings post this season set-up.
Episode Grade: B-
+Alien Bar – hopefully a staple of the season to come.
+A stronger focus on Alex
+Supergirl does the Wonder Woman spin
-Main story is mostly just set-up for later
-Mon-El is mostly just a whiny jerk at this point.
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