We start the episode with a flashback to the fiery destruction of Krypton’s rival planet Daxam, with royal bodyguard Mon-El (Chris Wood) being tricked into climbing into an escape pod by the Prince he was tasked with protecting.
Although it’s not quite a mirror of Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) own escape from Krypton back in the pilot episode, it’s still way more than enough to reinforce the idea they’re much more similar than she’s willing to admit.
It did seem like she’d managed to put her past prejudice aside at the end of last week but there’s still a few instances toward the beginning of this episode which see Kara acting quite irritable and standoffish with Mon-El, for example a scene in the DEO where she can’t stop herself from interjecting with a snippy comment.
By the episode’s end however, Kara’s taken on a much more positive view of Mon-El.
He’s able to give her a piece of key advice on how to defeat a pretty terrifying alien gladiator (John DeSantis) and through a conversation (prompted by the aftermath of a boozy night out with Jeremy Jordan’s Winn where Mon-El accidentally started a bar fight) she’s able to realise just how lonely and isolated Mon-El feels now he’s aware just how distrustful and scared of him people are once they realise he’s an alien.
It’s a stark reminder to Kara of how she felt as a teenager struggling to figure out her powers and the whole exchange prompts the appearance of her protective side. She offers to be Mon-El’s mentor and to help train him to be able use effectively use his powers, giving her the opportunity to finally overcome her feelings of guilt about never being able to fulfil the promise she made to her Mum about looking after Clark.
Melissa Benoist is able to perfectly capture Kara’s realisation that Mon-El isn’t the cocky rival she thought he was and her sincere sense of empathy when she’s able to understand his experience of prejudice in the context of her own. It legitimately makes sense that somebody presented as being so overwhelming kind and forgiving could be won over emotionally like that.
After Hoechlin’s departure, it’ll be good to have that team dynamic back on Supergirl. Chris Wood is a great likeable addition to the cast, with an adorable sense of enthusiasm to explore and experience everything on earth.
As an aside, the bar scene with Winn and Mon-El was fun. Maybe more of that kind of drunk fish out water comedy in the future?
Elsewhere, the episode’s major plot point is the appearance of an illegal underground alien fight club run by shady socialite Roulette (Dichen Lachman). It’s a cool idea, but is unfortunately wrapped up way too quickly. It’s disappointing we don’t get to see a lot of actual fighting between both the alien combatants or them and Supergirl.
Lachman’s role is pretty one dimensional but she does her best to make it convincing. We learn that after her arrest she was released on a technicality, so it’s possible she’ll be back in the future.
There’s also a suggestion that she’s tied up somehow with Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) after Luthor reveals that she’s previously been invited to, but never attended, a fight. Supergirl’s able to stop Lachman after promising Luthor a big favour if she told her the address of the fight. It’s pretty obvious that Kara’s going to regret promising that somewhere down the line, especially with Luthor’s obvious dislike of aliens.
The alien equals refugee/immigrant theme is still very much present in this episode and it looks as though it’ll definitely be a recurring one throughout the season. Roulette doesn’t see anything wrong with what she’s been doing because in her eyes, aliens aren’t human and therefore shouldn’t be granted the same rights as humans.
This alien fight club plotline also raises the idea of how sometimes oppression can make those within the marginalized group turn against each other. The aliens rally around Roulette to defend her when Supergirl shows up to save the day, which she quickly manages to turn around with a typically cheesy speech about the need for the alien community to band together and support each other.
Hank (David Harewood) is desperate to find out more about the mysterious M’gann M’orzz (Sharon Leal) the only other Green Martian he’s seen since the total destruction of his planet over a hundred years ago.
His desperation to connect psychically with her (the Martian way of communicating) is understandable and quite touching, but there’s no telling how he’ll react to the twist involving her origin at the end of the episode.
The Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima) team-up continues to be enjoyable with the book smart vs street smart dynamic working really well and the scenes of them punching out bad guys just being plain cool.
There’s a serious amount of romantic tension between the two (anyone else notice Alex’s face when she saw Maggie’s girlfriend?) and it definitely feels as though Supergirl is building toward the two becoming a couple. It’s nice somebody’s got a romantic side plot other than Kara whose romantic endeavours last season were pretty tedious.
Speaking of a tedious subplot, Kara’s work life. Unlike last season where everything happening at CatCo was genuinely enjoyable and often quite funny, now it’s just boring. The interaction between Snapper Carr and Kara is very repetitive with him as the stereotypical grumpy and hard-to-impress boss constantly picking apart her work and her as the earnest plucky reporter desperate to please. Hopefully it’ll be able to pick up soon.
Overall, it's a fun episode. The action is a bit sparse and the villian isn't the best (admittedly better than last's week though) but where Supergirl always shines is the strong relationships between the characters.
New episodes of Supergirl will air every Monday at 8pm on Sky1.