Supergirl recap: 'Distant Sun'
One of Mon-El's parents makes a bold move after they order him to return with them to Daxam
The back half of Supergirl‘s second season has seen the show parade several not-so-great parental figures: there’s Lillian Luthor, who has no qualms about manipulating her daughter Lena; there’s Jeremiah Danvers, who lied to his daughters and tested their loyalty with his lies; and now we have Mon-E’s parents, one of whom isn’t afraid of getting his or her hands dirty to bend Mon-El to his or her will. Whereas last week’s perfectly fine episode was mainly concerned with introducing Rhea and Lar Gand, tonight’s episode establishes the Daxamite royal family as veritable antagonists for the last daughter of Krypton. (Real talk: This wouldn’t a real CW show without shady parents causing trouble for their children).
In the wake of last week’s fabulous The Flash-Supergirl musical crossover, Kara and Mon-El are back in their honeymoon period, which consists of Mon-El cooking breakfast in bed for Kara. (We learn tonight that bacon is the one thing Kara loves more than speedily delivered ice cream). But this is an episode of television, so we know this romantic bliss will be interrupted: This week’s interruption arrives in the form of a bounty that’s been placed on Supergirl’s head. Aliens all across the universe are coming to National City to try to kill her. Naturally, J’onn and all of her friends want her to stand down, but Kara doesn’t want to because she’s Supergirl.
Mon-El immediately suspects his parents are behind the bounty, so he arranges a meeting with them at the Bronze (which is what I will be calling the nameless alien bar until the show gives it a name). It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the Bronze is not up to Rhea and Lar Gand’s royal standards; nonetheless, they demean themselves in order to chat with their son. Mon-El doesn’t waste any time in asking if they placed the bounty on Kara’s head. His father says they didn’t.
Mon-El returns to Kara’s apartment to find her, James, and Winn playing Settlers of Catan, which endeared the group to me even more since I freaking love that game. But, I digress. Their friendly game gets interrupted when Unnamed Psychic Alien takes control of Mon-El’s body and uses him to attack Kara. Guardian tries to help Kara but fails. Thankfully, Winn is the one who saves the day by threatening to kill the alien with stapler. They take the psychic alien back to the DEO where he and Martian Manhunter battle it out in the astral plane until the psychic alien gives up and confesses that the Daxamites placed the bounty on Kara’s head.
Unfortunately, the DEO can’t do anything about the Daxamites. President Marsdin ordered J’onn not to engage them because she’s scared of starting an intergalactic crisis. Given the circumstances and the fact that he hasn’t made it to the end of Romeo and Juliet yet, Mon-El suggests that he and Kara make a run for it like Romeo and Juliet, but Kara shuts that idea down immediately because it’s stupid and she’s Supergirl, which means she doesn’t run from anything. Instead, she tells Mon-El to meet with his mother and try to convince her that the right thing is for him to stay on Earth because he’s happy there.
NEXT: Don’t mess with Rhea’s family
Kara and Mon-El meet with Rhea at the Fortress of Solitude, which Rhea finds insulting because it’s like basically like being on Krypton. The lovebirds show up hoping to speak calmly, but the same can’t be said of Rhea, who pulls out two Kryptonite daggers and tries to kill Kara. In order to save Kara, Mon-El agrees to return to Daxam. Despite the excitement, this scene is when I realized the episode was dragging a bit because I thought we were nearing the end of the hour, but, in fact, we were just at the halfway mark.
Once on the ship with his parents, Mon-El tries to find a way to make the best of this situation. He tells his father that if he’s expected to take the throne, he wants to get rid of Daxam’s authoritarian system. Lar Gand calmly tells him that their people require the order the monarchy provides and Rhea responds to his ideas by slapping him and throwing him in a cell for the duration of their four years journey back to Daxam.
Obviously, Kara wants to go after Mon-El, but J’onn says they can’t because of the president’s orders. However, Kara’s desperation and pleading change J’onn’s mind, so they use the portal that took them to Slaver’s Moon to transport onto the ship and save Mon-El. Director Kevin Smith films the ensuing fight rather fluidly and it’s a fun sequence, especially because we get to see Martian Manhunter in action. Eventually, Lar Gand, who isn’t as rigid as his wife, calls an end to the fighting and says that they should let Mon-El stay on Earth because on Daxam they value happiness, and it’s clear that Mon-El is happy on Earth. Lar Gand’s change of heart more than supports Kara’s earlier assertion that people can change, which Mon-El doubted despite the fact that he’s changed. With that, they return to Earth.
As has been the case with this season so far, the Alex-Maggie subplot was stronger than the episode’s main plot. Alex and Maggie run into Maggie’s ex-girlfriend Emily. They invite her out to dinner, but Emily stands them up. So, Alex confronts her about not showing up to dinner and finds out that Maggie lied about why they broke up: It turns out Maggie cheated on Emily when they were together. Naturally, this news upsets Alex, not because Maggie cheated but because she felt the need to keep things from her. In a beautifully acted scene, Alex acknowledges Maggie’s trust issues, which come from her parents rejecting her after she came out, but assures her that she’s not there to judge her past. It’s a very tender moment that’s handle with a lot more maturity than the stuff that involves Kara and Mon-El. What makes Maggie and Alex work better as a couple is that every week it feels like they’re taking meaningful steps forward. The dramatic obstacles they face don’t feel contrived and are handled in a way that makes sense for two adults.
Apart from the Maggie-and-Alex story, the best part of this episode was Teri Hatcher’s performance as Rhea. Hatcher did an incredible job of making us understand Rhea as a mother: She values loyalty above all else and views anything less than 100 percent as betrayal. I was definitely moved by her visible heartbreak when her husband decided to let Mon-El go, and I wasn’t surprised in the slightest when Rhea killed her husband for his betrayal at the end of the episode, which more than cements Rhea as a new villain of the season. Right now, I’m just waiting for the show to find some way for Rhea and Lillian Luthor to get into the same room with each other, because it feels like the show has to eventually go there given the way it’s using both characters. Both Rhea and Lillian are women whose love for their children has been twisted and tainted by their larger goals of power and control. I’m definitely interested in seeing how this plays out going forward.
Wall of Weird:
- President Marsdin was very pissed about J’onn disobeying her and promised him that there would be consequences. Related: Do you have any guesses what kind of alien she is? She looked like a White Martian, but I could be wrong.
- “Krypton on Earth. And I thought the location of our last meeting was vile” — Rhea’s reaction to the Fortress of Solitude
- “I’m your mother. You do not get to dictate the terms of our relationship” — Rhea to Mon-El
- Mon-El learning how to cook is a humorous enough gag.