‘Supergirl’ Recap: The President’s an Alien?!

Warning: This recap for the “Welcome to Earth” episode of Supergirl contains spoilers.

First appearance of Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima). First appearance of Miss Martian (Sharon Leal). First appearance of President Olivia Marsdin (Lynda frickin’ Carter!). If this week’s episode of Supergirl were an actual comic book, it’s value as a back issue would be huge. Now that the first two episodes of setup are done with, Supergirl is barreling forward with no signs of slowing down.

The Plot

Chris Wood as Mon-El (Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW)
Chris Wood as Mon-El (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

The president’s visit to National City to sign the Alien Amnesty Act is interrupted by a fiery assassination attempt. Kara suspects Mon-El (Chris Wood), based on a long-standing feud between Krypton and Mon-El’s homeworld of Daxam. Alex enlists the aid of Maggie, a cop who specializes in dealing with aliens, and they capture him as he is trying to send a distress signal. After locking him up, the president is attacked again, though it turns out not to be at the hands of Mon-El but Scorcher (Nadine Crocker), who thinks the Amnesty Act is just a ruse to register and lock up all aliens. She kidnaps Maggie and Kara, and Alex must rescue her. Afterward, Kara apologizes to Mon-El.

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So Many Aliens

For most of the last two seasons, it felt as if the only other aliens on the planet besides Kara were Superman and the criminals from Fort Rozz. Now, it’s like Men in Black, where probably every third person you meet is secretly an alien. It opens up fun new avenues to explore — including the revelation that the president is an alien?! — but the “aliens as persecuted minority” ground has been pretty well-trod by the X-Men, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been exploring that territory for years already. One of Supergirl’s strengths has always been its ability to bring fresh new eyes to old ideas, so here’s to cautious optimism.

David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, Lynda Carter as President Olivia Marsdin, and Melissa Benoist as Supergirl (Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW)
David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, Lynda Carter as President Olivia Marsdin, and Melissa Benoist as Supergirl. (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

It also adds another layer to the interaction between Kara and Lena Luthor. Though not as xenophobic as her brother, Lex, she is certainly not above making money off other people’s xenophobia. Is it a sign that she’s more like Lex than she lets on? Kara seems to understand, but Lena’s bound to find out she’s an alien sooner or later. What will she do with that knowledge?

Alex + Maggie = Algae?

It’s never too early to start a terrible ship name. When executive producer Greg Berlanti started hinting that one of the Arrowverse’s main characters would come out this season, speculation fell heavily on Winn and Alex. Unless they plan to swerve viewers, and Alex’s lingering looks at Maggie are a red herring, this looks to be what Berlanti was talking about. They certainly seem well-matched in demeanor, and they both understand the pressures of their respective jobs. Alex may not be as alien as Maggie would like, but maybe being around Kara for so long has rubbed off on her.

Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Floriana Lima as Maggie Sawyer (Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW)
Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Floriana Lima as Maggie Sawyer (Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW)

Inside-Comics Moment

M’gann M’orzz (aka Miss Martian) doesn’t have nearly the history of Martian Manhunter — she’s been around for about 10 years and J’onn J’onzz has been around for more than 60 — but she’s no newbie. She’s one of the main characters in Young Justice and has also appeared in numerous other DC cartoons and video games. Though she appears, like J’onn, to be a green Martian, in every other version, she’s a white Martian — the race that killed J’onn’s people. So don’t expect to see that same face for much longer.

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  • That alien bar can’t hold a candle to the old Caritas Bar from Angel, though they both had that Mos Eisley Cantina vibe. Maybe they could have a regular karaoke night anyway?

  • How many DC alien races were represented at the bar? Possibly none — after all, Scorcher isn’t an alien in regular comics continuity — but surely the costume department snuck a couple in there. Was that a Vimanian winking his third eye at us?

  • It appears that Snapper and James have reached detente after the newsman schooled his new boss and James called his bluff. But how much more time does Olson have to make his mark before somebody else comes to take his spot?

  • Line of the night: “If you think that’s cool, you ought to see my other jet.” Clearly, the best part of being a writer on any of these DC shows is coming up with clever ways to sneak in other DC references. And if that nudge and a wink to Wonder Woman’s invisible jet didn’t make you squeal with glee just a little bit, why are you even watching this show?

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.