Supergirl: “Welcome to Earth” Review
By Mitchell Sigal
Supergirl Season Two returns with its third episode. The previous two episodes established the new developments fairly quickly. The biggest thing was Superman playing a huge role. “The Last Children of Krypton” cemented Tyler Hoechlin as a definitive version of the Man of Steel. It was disappointing to watch him leave in the final few minutes. Supergirl was always pretty good but having Superman around added to the fun. Today’s episode, “Welcome to Earth,” puts the Cadmus storyline on the back burner to finally have the mysterious alien in the spotlight. It’s the strongest episode of the season yet. Having Superman around would have been fun but the thought, “this would be better if he appeared” never crossed my mind.
The story picks up directly where the previous episode left off: with the alien (revealed later to be Mon-El) waking up and grabbing Supergirl by the neck. The opening few minutes is an exciting sequence with Mon-El escaping the D.E.O. base. It’s well choreographed and also interesting because it shows what can happen if a Superman-like being woke up one day in a hospital bed confused. This plot point is about half of the episode. The other half involves the President signing a bill titled “The Alien Amnesty Act.” This aspect of the story is fascinating since on the onset it appears to be a good thing. But others such as J’onn and the episode’s antagonist disagree, which led to some fun debates.
Two plot developments from the previous episodes continued here is Kara as a reporter and James as the new head of CatCo. First, the scene with Kara handing in her report to Snapper Carr was surprisingly good. Snapper was extremely annoying in his debut last week, so it was surprising to see him actually giving fair advice. We have Kara happy to turn in a report that she thinks is very well done. Snapper doesn’t question the scoop, but tells her there’s “a difference between truthful reporting and biased reporting.” The dialogue in this scene was fascinating to listen to since it pertained to reporting and journalism in general. If Snapper can be written like this going forward, he won’t be such a bad character to have around. Regarding James, his early scene was solid. The final scene with him standing up to Snapper was well-intended but came off as more cheesy than effective.
Fans were excited when it was announced that Lynda Carter, the Wonder Woman of the famous 1975 series, would be playing the President of the United States. (There’s even a fun nod to the Invisible Jet.) Carter commands a presence when she’s on screen. She does an excellent job delivering every one of her lines. One of the cliffhangers reveals her to seemingly be an alien. It’ll be interesting to see what the writing has planned with this plot point later in the season. Another new character is also introduced to the board: Maggie Sawyer. Her first main scene is a cheesy argument between her and Alex. Maggie didn’t contribute much to the story. It remains to be seen what she will do in coming installments.
Scorcher is a great antagonist and much more engaging than Metallo. Her dialogue with Maggie on the Alien Act was very interesting. To many it may seem like there’s equal rights for the extraterrestrials, but Scorcher likens it to “registration.” Her fight scene with Kara was excellent. Supergirl keeps showcasing the best fights on television. Despite Scorcher being defeated, hopefully the writing will use her again soon. She could make for a great wildcard character to have on the board, much like how Lonnie Machin was in Arrow Season 5.
The episode not only features one spectacular fight, it features two. The battle with Supergirl against Mon-El was excellent. Mon-El’s story is interesting as it parallels Supergirl’s: his planet and people are also no more. The episode explores his people, the Daxamites, thanks to Supergirl giving a brief explanation of how Kryptonians and the Daxamites interacted. It’s especially fascinating when Supergirl shows bias against Mon-El because of the two’s longtime planet tensions. This showcases an error on Supergirl’s part: believing someone to be inherently bad because of parent heritage. Later in the final act she apologizes. This apology is actually one of my personal favorite scenes of the episode. Melissa Benoist delivered genuine, heartfelt words. It’ll be interesting see what the future holds for Mon-El on the show.
The episode has some really notable, funny lines. There’s Mon-El’s, “Because I’m in distress” response to Supergirl asking why he sent a distress call. There’s also Alex’s, “People who have made questionable life choices” response to Maggie showing her a mysterious underground bar. It’s good to see the show delivering genuine comedy. On a couple of last notes, there’s Lena Luthor and the final cliffhanger. First, Lena’s role here is interesting. The writing smartly shows her as not evil, but at the same time causes suspicion in the viewer. (Thanks to the device scene, viewers will be wondering if Lena knows Kara is Supergirl.)
The entire sequence with Kara interviewing Lena about the Alien Act was fascinating. Lena’s dialogue on the people having the right to know if an alien is among them added another dimension to this plot point. The final cliffhanger features J’onn entering the underground alien bar. (This bar in itself is an interesting setting with its unique atmosphere.) In the final scene before the credits a young woman introduces herself to J’onn as M’gann M’orzz, known to fans as Miss Martian. She was made famous not too long ago in Young Justice, so it’s good to see her make the jump to live action. It’ll be fun seeing what the show has in store for her and what this means for J’onn.
Overall, “Welcome to Earth” is a stellar episode. It’s fast-paced while taking the time to explore each major plot development. Mon-El is finally established, and the Alien Amnesty Act makes for an interesting backdrop. The battles are excellent, not to mention there’s a really cool scene with Supergirl spinning around in classic comic book fashion to douse the fire. One of the biggest highlights is Scorcher, who in just a few scenes establishes herself as one of the show’s best antagonists. There’s plenty of great dialogue. The weak elements that are there are minimal and aren’t enough to detract from the pace.