Supergirl: Season 2 Episode 11 review – The Martian Chronicles
This review contains spoilers.
With a title pulled directly from the title of one of Ray Bradbury’s most famous novels, the focus of this episode was always blindingly clear; to delve deeper into the White Martian troubles currently plaguing J’onn and M’gann. With a few shaky side-characters this season, this was a welcome foray, for the simple fact that both J’onn and M’gann are almost always interesting.
That being said, the final result was a very middle-of-the-road episode, with little unique content. The Martian plot that was delivered simply involved M’gann’s marital partner (whom she once tried to kill) bullying and hounding her, until ultimately, with the help of Kara and co, she finally succeeds in that goal. That could be looked at through the analogous lens of an oppressed wife fighting back against her abusive husband and winning – read it how you will – but other than that worthy message, it didn’t offer much. We don’t know that much more about Mars and its history, nor is there much more information provided about the White Martians who do kill (there has to be more to them than just mindless, barbaric murder).
Instead, everything seemed crafted as a simplistic closed loop – a way to offer up a small story that could easily be concluded so that few lingering Martian ties were left when M’gann packed her bags a the end of the episode. I always expected that M’gann would leave at some point soon, often to my dismay, but now that her departure has arrived it feels like an appropriate time. She isn’t leaving for any selfish reason either, but is actually placing herself in grave danger by returning home, in order to be there for other White Martians like her who also secretly abhor killing. It’s a very noble cause, to stand against the grain like so. Surely she’ll have to recruit for these like-minded White Martians beneath the shadows, in order to survive and be able to return Earth another day.
What the Martian focus did afford was one scene that was very much like that famous scene in John Carpenter’s The Thing when the crew attempt to figure out who among them the alien is masquerading as, using a simple experiment. It’s a scene so close to Carpenter’s scene that the devising of it has to be intentional, just like when The X-Files very obviously crafted the episode Ice to borrow a great deal from The Thing. Due to its firm place in Science Fiction history, any theft of its content is often seen as forgivable. It was a brief scene, which revealed Winn to be the deceiver, but it worked as both a suspenseful moment and as not so sly homage.
We got a firm answer to whether Kara likes Mon El, even if the answer was a little confusing at first. At the beginning of the episode Kara stressed that she doesn’t like Mon El that way – even telling him as such – but at the end of the episode Kara reveals that it is more the case that she doesn’t want to put her heart out there and risk getting hurt. “I don’t want to be abandoned again,” she states, prompting Alex to implore: “I will never abandon you,” and that putting herself out there is worth the risk (with her and Maggie as proof). She even states that Mon El is “worth a shot”. This was a nice little insight into what Alex truly thinks of Mon El; she views him as “worth a shot” because she sees him as worthy of her sister, which is a strong seal of approval from someone who is so protective of her sibling.
To address the smaller nods this week, the Bare Naked Ladies mention seemed perhaps a little too on the nose, in relation to Alex and Maggie’s gay relationship, but I know little about the band, personally, so perhaps there is more relevance there than is apparent on the surface. Kara’s ‘POWER TO THE GIRLS’ t-shirt also didn’t go unnoticed, which is the precise sweatshirt that some women wore for the most recent U.S. elections, to pledge their support for women.
I also found it rather hilarious how J’onn is perfectly willing to smash White Martians into enormously expensive DEO equipment (in this case, huge screens mounted on the wall), but in the previous episode he berated Kara for ripping the corner off of a small computer monitor. Clearly a humours case of double standards on J’onn’s part, because he need not have lifted the White Martian so high and directly aimed for the large screens, while Kara’s destruction was purely accidental.
Image credits: The CW