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Old habits die hard
The Daxam king and queen aren’t quite done with Earth yet. Nothing if not stubborn, Queen Rhea has placed a bounty on Kara believing that if she’s dead, Mon-El will come back to Daxam with his parents. She lies about it at first, but then shamelessly admits to it and is downright gleeful about getting to defeat Supergirl, like she’s seeking vengeance on all of Krypton with this one act.
Teri Hatcher is one of the best parts of the episode. She brought lethal and prideful characteristics to her character and as soon as she attacks Kara the first time, we know she means business. She is a force to be reckoned with and nothing will sway her opinion regarding her son’s rightful place alongside his family. It’s easy to tell that Rhea is not at all used to being talked down to, being told no, or even that she’s wrong. It’s clear she loves her son, but not in a way that’s beneficial to anyone besides herself.
I’ve always been fascinated with parent/child relationships and their portrayals on TV. Bringing in Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo as Mon-El’s parents remind me that Supergirl doesn’t really have any parental figures on the show. J’onn used to be more of one, but that hasn’t really been focused on this season. It strikes a balance when there’s a diversity of age groups on the show, and until Jeremiah is back in the picture, I’ll take Rhea’s villainy.
The pitfall of the episode, however, comes from the insincerity behind Mon-El’s actions. He is no longer the alien who’s still growing accustomed to Earth’s ways, no longer attempting to be the funny guy on the side. His hot-headed nature has been slightly dimmed and he’s kind of developed, but his development has been too dependent on Kara. Everyone keeps claiming how much of a changed man he is, but as he’s telling his father that they can rebuild a new Daxam, one with new policies and change from their old, violent ways, I’m not quite convinced. On one hand, this is a great idea and would truly make him out to be the hero he has so desperately sought to be and failed to become. On the other, the show has become too obsessed with him (to the point where it feels like he gets more screen time than Kara) to allow for his departure. Even his mini-speech about not wanting to lose Kara falls completely flat.
Kara fights really, really hard in order to get him back after he gives himself up to his parents, forcing J’onn to go against the orders of President Marsdin (who is herself an alien). Speaking of Kara, it’s sadly hard to remember that this is still her show sometimes. Currently, she’s out of a job and far too busy with Mon-El that her personal development this season has been sorely lacking. Her heart-to-hearts with Alex have been greatly minimized and her friendships with both Winn and James not what they used to be. Her lack of screen time with all of these characters takes away any insight into her own. What is going through her head? How is she still dealing with the Cadmus situation? Will she be fighting to get her job back? In what ways is she developing and focusing on the Kara part of her (as she mentioned to James at the beginning of the season) outside of Mon-El? We see her mostly as Supergirl these days and I wish the show was better able to balance both like it did in the first season.
Elsewhere in the episode, Alex meets Maggie’s ex and she later discovers that Maggie cheated on her after five years together. Alex isn’t angry or insecure about it, but digs deep to the root of Maggie’s problem, which is running away from the things that hurt and not opening up about them. Maggie and Alex have become the go-to when it comes to having nice, heartfelt conversations that progress characters. They’re sweet together and Alex continues to show maturity in the relationship. Their scenes together are a reminder that the show still has heart.
The episode brought in a powerful new foe in Rhea and I look forward to seeing where this goes. However, it also made me question who the season two big bad really is. Is it still Lillian Luthor and Cadmus? Is it the president who’s hiding her true identity? Is Rhea going to be waging a war on Earth until the end of the season? None of the answers are quite clear and it speaks to the shakiness of the latter half of this season. And throughout all of this, the writers still can’t be bothered with giving James anything to do besides playing a board game in one scene, but I digress.