Supergirl S02E17 “Distant Sun” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Back together after their adventures in last week’s episode of The Flash, Mon-El makes Kara breakfast in bed (and fails, as she refuses to stay in bed – how very her!), before she rushes off to fight an alien.
- She wins.
- The President asks J’onn to be careful with the Daxamites, who are still hanging around in their ship. She doesn’t want to antagonise them into an interplanetary war.
- Alex and Maggie run into Maggie’s ex. Alex invites her to a meal that night, to show she’s cool. Maggie seems a bit perturbed.
- The DEO discovers the alien was a bounty hunter. Someone has put a price on Supergirl’s head: 300 quartz crowns, to be exact – enough to buy a planet! She reluctantly promises to lay low.
- Mon-El meets his mum and dad at the bar to ask them if they’re responsible. “We wish no harm on your friend,” says the King, while the Queen just goes on about how much she loves her son, yadda yadda yadda.
- Back with Kara as she hides away, Mon-El suddenly gets mind controlled by a telepathic alien and tries to kill her!
- Winn saves the day by jabbing a stapler in the guy’s back and saying it’s a gun. Winn: winning.
- J’onn reads the alien’s mind (amid some great glowy-eye action). He discovers it was the Queen who put the hit on Supergirl.
- Emily didn’t turn up to the meal, so Alex later confronts her about what she thinks are the issues between her and Maggie. Instead, she finds out that Maggie cheated on Emily back in the day.
- Kara convinces Mon-El to talk to his mum. However, the Queen simply stabs her with a kryptonite sword and threatens to kill her unless Mon-El returns home. Reluctantly, Mon-El sacrifices his freedom to save the woman he loves.
- Alex and Maggie have a talk about trust. “I am here to help you heal,” says Alex, who is more concerned that Maggie lied to her about Emily than about the fact that Maggie cheated.
- Kara wants to get Mon-El back but the DEO is under orders from the President not to antagonise the Daxamites. However, Mon-El is family now. So Winn has a plan to get him back: using the transportation device they took from the slavers’ planet a few episodes back.
- Mon-El tries to talk his dad into letting him go. The Queen sweeps in and decides to lock her son up for the four-year journey back home. The King looks troubled by this rather uncomfortable development… is he going to switch to Mon-El’s side?
- J’onn beams onto the Daxamite ship pretending to be Supergirl. There’s a battle. When it looks as though he’s outgunned, Supergirl beams on board too.
- Winn releases Mon-El from his cell and they rush to the fight. Mon-El, seeing his mother and Supergirl fighting, shoots a hole in the window and everybody hangs on for dear life as they’re almost sucked into space…
- The King finally surrenders, understanding that his son has a new family now. He says Mon-El can be with the woman he loves.
- Later, Kara and Mon-El chill out together, and he tells her how amazing she is to keep making such hard decisions, and how her words helped turn his father around.
- Unfortunately, the Queen isn’t so happy about this, so she stabs her hubby in the chest and watches him die. We haven’t heard the last of her, then…
This week it’s all about relationships – between boyfriend and girlfriend, girlfriend and girlfriend, mother and son and father and son. Phew! They’re all fascinating, too, sometimes going in ways we didn’t expect.
We’ve already established that Kara and Mon-El will do anything for each other (let’s pretend their recent blip never happened), so it’s nice to see Alex and Maggie showing us the same. When Alex finds out that Maggie cheated on her ex, our first thought is, “Bah, now Alex won’t trust her and this could be the end of their relationship – dammit.” But no! Instead of the writers going down that hackneyed old road, Alex is more mature than any of us could probably be and tells her that it doesn’t make a difference; in fact, it proves that Maggie has trust issues, and that Alex can help her with them. Thus Maggie makes peace with her ex, and it all ends with a heartwarming kiss. What a triumphant piece of writing! We approve immensely.
Then there’s Mon-El and his meddling parents. Teri Hatcher is having a ball playing his pushy mum; seriously, look up “arch” in the dictionary and there she is. No wonder Mon-El wants to get away from her: if your mum wanted your girlfriend dead, it’s hard to come back from that.
There’s a great fight at the end, too, as J’onn psychs out his opponents by pretending to be Supergirl (good tactics!), while she and the Queen have a good old scrap. In fact, the moment when Queenie pulls out her swords and says, “Round two!” is almost cheer-worthy!
One interesting thing: Mon-El has always been quite an amusing character, but week by week he’s also getting funnier. It’s as though the more “human” he gets, the sharper his wit. His exchange with Winn about Star Wars is the episode’s highlight (how they delivered those lines with a straight face is a mystery). But what’s odd about this is that the funniest person on the show used to be Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant. At first we thought Winn had stepped up to the fore to pick up all her humour when she left, but Mon-El has run away with all the best lines instead. We never saw that coming!
- You have to love the role reversal at the start of the episode, when Mon-El cooks breakfast and is left talking about doing the laundry when Kara dashes off to work.
- Kara’s absolutely delighted – “Hey, that’s me!” – when she sees the hologram is so cute.
- It’s awkward running into an ex, and you can cut the tension with a knife when Maggie runs into Emily. This scene is so beautifully acted that you can feel your toes curling on their behalf.
- Fantastic job description from Mon-El here: “I’m a mixologist. It is an artistic profession in the medium of preparing alcoholic beverages and it is very honourable.” Hell, who hasn’t lied to their parents to make their job sound more interesting?
- The way the psychic guy’s head mushes around as he uses his powers is really gross…
- The running gag about Mon-El not realising Romeo & Juliet has a sad ending is very amusing.
- And, of course:
Winn: “I’m here to rescue you.”
Mon-El: “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”
- The first alien bounty hunter looks, well, let’s face it, a bit crap. But we do love that Supergirl despatches it by simply placing her hand on its laser-eye so it backfires. Boom!
- Alex going to talk to with Emily without Maggie knowing is kind of creepy, to be honest. That could have ended really badly… thankfully it didn’t.
And The Random:
- The episode is named “Distant Sun”, which – aside from being a literal interpretation of where Kara and Mon-El have ended up – is also the name of a song by Crowded House. The lyrics read: “And dust from a distant sun/Will shower over everyone…” Could this be the dust caused by the Daxamites coming to Earth to get their son? Or are we reaching for metaphors here? Ah hell, whatever. It’s a great song, go listen to it:
- Best quote:
Kara: “Any word from your parents?”
Mon-El: “No, they’re just up there, hovering around in orbit. Is that what they mean by ‘helicopter parenting’?”
Reviewed by Jayne Nelson