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Welcome back to the Maid of Steel Podcast! Thanks for joining us as we talk about Supergirl Season 1 Episode 11 entitled Strange Visitor From Another Planet. This episode originally aired on January 25, 2016 and features a team of writers and directors who are already well seasoned. And this story did feel like a seasoned episode of the show, seamlessly weaving in pieces of storylines from previous episodes which reward the avid viewer while simultaneously causing no confusion for the casual viewer.
The visitors this week, both strange in their own right, were nice foils for one another. Both were unexpected, but summoned, in a way, by someone in National City. Adam received a letter, requesting an opportunity to reconnect with his long lost mother, and came to town looking to see what the woman had to say; the White Martian picked up on the trail of J’onn J’onzz activating his Green Martian abilities and came to town looking to put an end to something their war-mongering race started a long, long time ago.
Two visitors from the distant past resurfacing to very different receptions.
I was a big fan of the commentaries surrounding each visitor and their relationship with the one with whom they were seeking to reconnect. Karen and I talk a lot about how the decisions we make in relationships have such a direct effect on the behavior of others and how complicated situations are dealt with, and I appreciated the methodical way we were brought through both Adam and Kat’s experiences, then also J’onn and the White Martian’s experiences.
Even though just one of these strange visitors was literally from another planet, I appreciate the parallel in the figurative sense as well. The metaphor is most strongly used between two people who should be really close, but communicate in such a way that it seems like they’re from different plants. Women are from Mars, men are from Venus. Or so they say. Sometimes we say that parents and children are from different plants.
Short Commentary on Modern Politics
A feedbacker very astutely summarizes the socio-political undertones of this episode and its relation to historic events. One of my favorite aspects to science fiction is its ability to present very real and serious concepts in a way that makes us immediately less defensive and more objective about the facts concerning a situation. We look back on events like the Holocaust or Rwanda and see the terror and pain wreaked on the weak, but it’s difficult to talk about directly because of how intimately it has impacted our society.
Science fiction makes it possible to discuss these topics in a way where we don’t have a personal tie to the event, but have a personal tie to the emotion. We can identify with Miranda Crane at the beginning, in a way, because we understand what it is like to fear the unknown and the uncontrollable. But as the episode unravels and the history of the White and Green Martians is revealed, we are made privy to this epic story of suffering and triumph which removes a fear of the unknown and replaces it with an understanding of persecution. While the public themselves, who listen to Senator Crane, didn’t see what we saw…they did see Supergirl, yet another strange visitor from another planet, come to the rescue of an inhabitant of their own. And even Senator Crane cannot deny what that means.
One of the most powerful human acts is to show compassion when it has not been earned. Senator Crane did not earn the compassion Supergirl showed her, and yet Supergirl held no regard for the personal struggle between the Senator and Aliens. Supergirl’s system of ethics has a set of virtues that point to principles not based on emotion, but on actionable conduct. And that is the message I love to get out of stories like this one.
I’m sorry, but how adorbs are these two kids?
Cougar’s Comic Corner
Supergirl (2005-2011) Vol 9: Bizarrogirl!
The Scarlet Cougar recommends Bizarrogirl! this week to get us ready for Bizarro Girl (aka Bizarette) next week. Check out Amazon or ComiXology to get YOUR copy!!
Season 1 Episode 12: Bizarro
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