Supergirl Season two, episode 17, titled 'Distant Sun', aired this week and was a very entertaining episode which really pushed the overall season plot forward. It's hard to believe, but there are only 5 more episodes to the season and there is a fair amount of plotlines that need to be wrapped up. There really hasn't been one big bad this season (unlike Non last year). And surprisingly, we added a new villain this episode in a most dramatic way.
Not that this whole episode is only about pushing forward the major plots. We get a nice look at the romantic relationships which are so important to the backbone of this show. So we see just how committed Mon-El and Kara are these days.
We also get an important Maggie and Alex subplot in which Alex has to confront Maggie for hiding an important truth from her. I can't help but wonder if this plot was added as a reaction to all the Kara/Mon-El hate I have seen on the internet. In some ways, Maggie has been lying just like Mon-El had. Or maybe it was just to show how forgiving and nurturing the Danvers girls are.
Lastly, I can't help but comment that Kevin Smith directed this episode and kept it snappy. There are some dialogue flourishes which have to be things he added. But overall, things moved briskly and perfectly here.
Overall, not a bad episode leading us into the back end of the season.
The episode opens with a little bit of romantic bliss between Kara and Mon-El. She runs out of the bedroom, drawn by the scent of breakfast. There is something just so lovely and adorable about how excited Kara gets over bacon and home fries. As usual, Melissa Benoist just kills it here, perfectly expressive.
And while it might not be out of the question in modern times for men to be in aprons cooking breakfast, this has to be a break from Daxamite tradition, a slight nod to how much Mon-El has grown over time.
But duty calls. The news says an alien is trashing the city and Kara rushes to the rescue. In a blink, she changes into her costume. She is so happy and self-satisfied as she strikes the iconic hand on hips pose that is wonderful.
Since Mon-El cannot change into his costume quickly, he remains behind to do the laundry. Again, this can't be what the prince of Daxam was used to doing.
The alien has a laser vision eye patch and is carving up the town, drawing Supergirl out. While the laser effects are fine, this felt a bit like an Ultraman villain. After some fisticuffs and laser duels, Kara ends it by clapping her hand over the eye, overloading it and the alien. She even ends it with a Spidey-esque quip 'Supervillain clean-up on aisle 3.' If there is one thing we have seen this season is that Supergirl is much more confident about herself and her skills. This is different from the Kara that was so obviously learning.
The DEO discovers a communication device on the alien which has a message stating that a bounty has been placed on Supergirl's head. Every bounty hunter in the galaxy might be descending onto Earth.
In another wrinkle, we see President Marsdin talking to Hank. We haven't seen her since very early in the season. Here she tells J'onn that the DEO cannot engage with the Daxamite ship any further. She doesn't want there to be an interplanetary confrontation.
The DEO staff tells Supergirl to lay low for 24 hours while they investigate the bounty. Again we see Kara's confidence. "I'm the Girl of Steel! I don't bend! I don't break! I don't stand down for anyone!" While it is great to see Supergirl embracing her role as hero, this is veering a bit too close to hubris. I wonder if this will play out later. Begrudgingly, Kara agrees to run silent for 24 hours.
Mon-El goes off to do some investigation on his own. He invites his parents to the alien bar to confront them. He asks if they put the bounty out on Kara. His father absolutely denies it. The Daxamites haven't left because they keep hoping Mon will change his mind. Lar Gand again says that it has only been the Queen's strength that has kept the world together.
I wonder if Daxam is a matriarchy. Kevin Sorbo has never been called King Lar Gand. But she is always Queen Rhea.
But the real feel of this scene is just how pretentious his mother is. He can't believe she is even in this dive bar. She is shocked that he is a 'servant' (he calls himself a mixologist). We truly see just how far Mon-El has grown. If he was brought up thinking he was above everyone, it means he has grown a lot on Earth.
Back at Kara's apartment, she is champing at the bit to get into action. Even a game night with James and Winn isn't distracting her. Mon-El arrives and thankfully says he met his parents to see if they put the bounty on her head. I am thrilled he didn't lie or omit the truth.
But the next bounty hunter arrives, a psionic who takes control of Mon-El and uses him as a puppet to fight Supergirl. It is cute to see the two apologizing to each other as they fight
Winn knows a bounty hunter is close because of some tech he created. And they can see Mon is being controlled. So James dons the Guardian outfit and .... goes to help Kara fight Mon-El??? That makes no sense! He has no business in that fight. And he could stop the bounty hunter from controlling Mon. Once again we get to see Guardian thrown through glass. Maybe this should be a drinking game.
Thankfully Winn keeps his head and tricks the telepath into dropping his control. Winn sticks a red Streamline stapler (is that the missing one from Office Space??) in the telepath's back pretending it's a gun and saying the line 'the sidewalk will get a new paint job', a wonderfully over the top line.
Somehow the telepath is brought to the DEO and tossed in a cell. (Why didn't he just take control of Winn?) There, in a nice telepathic battle, J'onn digs the truth out. (The evil psionic is so cocky mocking J'onn with a 'come at me bro' before the fight! Delightful!) We now know that Queen Rhea put out the bounty.
With the Presidential edict to not 'engage' intact. Kara comes up with the idea to simply talk to Rhea. Maybe they can convince her that if she wants Mon-El to be happy she should let him stay. It shows that optimism we all love in Supergirl. She sees the best in people.
She invites Rhea to the Fortress, an environment more befitting of a Queen. (Certainly, it is better than a dive bar.) We also get a long shot of the Legion ring. Has to be foreshadowing.
Kara pleads her case to Rhea. Mon-El is happy. Supergirl says that both home planets have been devastated. They all need to fight for peace. Mon-El and Kara have come together, a way to heal the contentious Daxam/Krypton feud.
It all sounds good ....
In a deliciously evil turn of events, Rhea wants no part of it. She pulls out Kryptonite sais. Daxam is 'littered with the corpse' of Krypton.
And Rhea is vicious. Without pause, she goes right for the femoral artery. You want someone to bleed out quick? Go there! Brutal!!!
Finally, Mon-El can't bear to watch. He says he will go back to Daxam. He asks her to drop the bounty and they can try to salvage a relationship. But no tricks, to save Kara he'll go.
And back on the ship, we see that Lar Gand didn't know about the bounty. He was in the dark about it.
It is now abundantly clear. Rhea is a big bad!
Now in the intro I talked about the Maggie/Alex subplot.
Early in the episode, the two exit a yoga studio (a Yoga Hosers Kevin Smith reference). On the street, they run into Emily, Maggie's ex from years ago. It is awkward but the three decide to have dinner to catch up.
Emily doesn't show and Maggie reveals that relationship was 5 years long but the breakup was ugly. Emily said hateful things to Maggie and Maggie has been nursing those wounds since then. Later Alex runs into Emily (a bit stalker-y) to see why Emily didn't show. Emily reveals that the breakup happened because Maggie cheated on her! Emily didn't want to dredge up those memories.
Finally, Alex confronts Maggie ... with scotch in hand, as usual! Maggie lied to Alex about how her parents reacted to her coming out. Maggie lied to her about this old relationship. Maggie (like Mon-El) hasn't been up front. But rather than get angry, Alex says she understands why Maggie keeps people at arm's length. But this relationship is different.
It mirrors the Mon/Kara stuff a bit too closely to be coincidence. If people want to complain about Karamel and the lying there, they better complain about Sanvers too. I'm not saying the nature of the lies are exactly in line. But I have to feel this was a reaction.
Meanwhile, on the ship, Mon-El pleas with his father to rebuild Daxam as a democracy. Everyone deserves a voice. It is time to modernize and liberate Daxam.
Again, Rhea (almost looking like the evil queen in Snow White) shows she wants no part of it. She slaps Mon-El and says he'll spend the 4 year trip back to the Daxam in the brig to cure him of the 'misconception' he learned from Kara.
She is one tough cookie!
Kara convinces the DEO to rescue Mon-El despite the President's edict. They use the portal gate from the Slavers' Moon episode to teleport onto the ship. J'onn masquerades as Supergirl to deal with the Kryptonite. Winn rescues Mon-El from his cell (including a nice 'aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper?' line).
As always, a decent fight breaks out. Supergirl herself teleports in. She fights Rhea. J'onn fights Lar Gand. In a stupid move, Mon-El shoots out bridge's window, opening the chamber to space and threatening everyone.
Finally, Lar ends the fight. In a poignant read, he says it is clear now that J'onn, Winn, and Kara are Mon's family now. Mon can go. Rhea is devastated saying 'Krypton has taken everything' from her. Another nice line.
In the most cutting line, Mon-El says that this is the last time they will ever see each other. Maybe a little too rough? Couldn't he say 'I hope some day we can see eye to eye and reconcile?' This seemed a bit too final.
So there is nothing left but the wrap-up.
We are reminded that the President is an alien. This isn't a Dominator. Maybe she is a Psion? She doesn't look like a Durlan. Hmmm ... the Durlans were part of the invasion though.
Meanwhile, Mon-El has a nice heart to heart with Kara saying that he admires her. She makes heroism and self-sacrifice seem so easy. I can't help but hear Kara saying similar things about Superman last season. The roles are flipped. I liked this, showing growth in both characters.
But then the ending of all endings!
Lar says Daxam values happiness over all things and Mon-El is happy. They should be happy. But Rhea isn't buying it. She kills him by stabbing him in the chest. Again, it is perfect killing shot, right under the sternum into the heart. She is really an assasin. And she isn't leaving Earth any time soon.
Hmmm ... she was wielding sais like Elektra, another comic assassin. Maybe that was a visual short cut.
Alas, no new episodes for a month so we have to mull this.
But whoa! Rhea has just grabbed the lead villain role. And Teri Hatcher is eating up the role gleefully. Love it.
My guess is she teams up with Lillian Luthor. Cadmus hates aliens and Supergirl. Rhea enslaves aliens and hates Supergirl. Maybe they can team up and kill Supergirl. Then Daxam will cart all the aliens off Earth. All the villains will be happy.