Supergirl 2.11: “The Martian Chronicles” Review

NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Supergirl” are present in this review



Supergirl put aside most of the ongoing story arcs of Season Two this week, to instead focus squarely on wrapping up the lingering thread of M’gann, now outed as a White Martian, and now having proven herself as different from her kind to J’onn. “The Martian Chronicles” had a small subplot regarding Alex’s blossoming romance with Maggie and how it affects Kara, particularly with Kara now struggling with the idea of Mon-El having feelings for her, but for the most part, the episode focused entirely on wrapping up the ongoing Martian conflict of the season.

This tight, focused and thrilling direction led to a particularly strong episode of Supergirl this week, one that managed to deliver an especially tense and creative conflict with the White Martians, even after they already debuted on the show last season. Almost all of the episode’s second half takes place within the DEO building while it’s on lockdown, as the White Martians infiltrate the building and hide among the DEO crew. This leads to a superb game of cat-and-mouse as our heroes must work against the clock, particularly since Kara, J’onn and M’gann are trapped in the DEO building with more vulnerable human characters like Winn and Alex.

Before that however, we get some more great story development for M’gann, who is being watched by J’onn in preparation for the White Martians’ coming. After a White Martian attacks the two in an alley, it’s later revealed that the attacker was none other than Armek, M’gann’s husband from Mars, who is eager to bring M’gann back to the red planet to face judgment for her supposed war crimes against her people. The revelation of M’gann having a husband was well-placed here, especially as it becomes most apparent that J’onn has developed feelings of his own for the woman he once hated barely a few episodes ago.

One thing that was especially awesome about this episode is how well it developed several romantic storylines without making it obnoxious, nor disturbing the strong momentum of the core plot. J’onn’s feelings for M’gann are confessed directly shortly before the episode’s climax, but it’s easy to pick up on them by his apparent desire to protect her, despite M’gann wanting to fight her own battles and take responsibility for her own actions. Likewise, Kara trying to avoid facing Mon-El’s feelings for her by putting extra effort into her ‘Earth birthday’ with Alex was another solid idea in concept, especially as Alex’s relationship appears to be going better than ever.

The J’onn/M’gann material was universally executed well, though I must admit that Kara was a bit difficult to sympathize with this week. As much as the episode tries to justify her vaguely passive-aggressive behaviour toward Alex after Maggie surprises Alex with concert tickets to her favourite band, The Barenaked Ladies, on Kara’s Earth birthday, it doesn’t totally succeed. Kara being possessive with her sister in relation to avoiding her feelings with Mon-El doesn’t totally add up in execution, and moreover, her childish behaviour feels too out-of-character for someone who is supposed to be Supergirl in particular. Kara can be protective of her friends and her sister, but here, she just came off as selfish, even though the episode wisely avoided the full-out feeling of having her throw a real tantrum.

Fortunately, that’s a minor flaw in an otherwise standout episode. Putting Mon-El, James/Guardian and the Luthor family aside for a bit was a great call, since it prevented the episode from being bogged down by extra padding that it didn’t need. Likewise, once Armek infiltrates the DEO, and hides in plain sight as Winn so he can rig a reactor to blow in twenty minutes, it actually provides a pretty great, virtually real-time conflict that doesn’t take the easy way out of disabling either of the Martians or Supergirl. It was also a great twist to have Kara confess her discomfort around Alex to a second White Martian simply pretending to be Alex, effectively reinforcing just how good these monsters are when it comes to pretending to be anyone.

Things ending with Kara coming a little closer to realizing that she may have feelings of her own for Mon-El was a nice, if slightly predictable way to end the episode. Mon-El having already moved on and starting up a renewed romance with Eve Tessmacher did make for a nice way to provide another twist though, and one that will have Kara hopefully continuing to emotionally mature when she finally has a shot at a real relationship with Mon-El eventually. This also paralleled nicely with J’onn, another character who found romance within a race that his kind is supposed to despise this season, much like Kara. M’gann telling J’onn that she must return to Mars at the end of the episode was genuinely heartbreaking. M’gann citing J’onn as an inspiration for her bravery and integrity in trying to find more White Martians to turn against their warmonger leaders was very romantic and bittersweet though, and the two touching heads as M’gann beamed away was one of the episode’s best moments, which is saying a lot in an episode that was filled with great moments.

All in all, “The Martian Chronicles” made for an excellent way to wrap up any outstanding Martian storylines for Season Two, so that Supergirl can return unburdened to one of the other several major story arcs of this season in next week’s Luthor-focused episode. The handling of the various romances was very smart, especially those of Alex, J’onn and M’gann, and while Kara being a bit of a brat with Alex was annoying, at least it led to solid development with the seemingly inevitable Kara/Mon-El romance to come. The episode’s great action and excitement was another highlight, with this latest White Martian conflict easily leaving the White Martian-focused episode of Season One in the dust. I hope that M’gann returns to Earth in the future, even if we’ll no doubt be waiting until at least next season for that, but the fact that I eagerly want to see more of this show’s incarnation of Miss Martian means that she effectively became a worthy hero in her own right, and that transformation was realized exceptionally here!

Supergirl offered a strong conclusion to Miss Martian's story arc this week, one that offered plenty of both excitement and pathos.
Reader Rating0 Votes
M'gann's bravery and resolution with J'onn
Exciting, tightly-executed DEO battle with the White Martians
Kara eventually embracing the idea of letting Mon-El in
Kara's vaguely bratty behaviour with Alex