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Welcome back to Maid of Steel! This is a podcast dedicated to the CW Television series Supergirl and in this installment of the podcast, we are here to discuss Season 2 Episode 3 “Welcome to Earth”. The title, our very own Scarlet Cougar clues us in, is a shout out to a line from Independence Day (delivered by Will Smith).
In Welcome to Earth, we finally got to see Chris Wood not in a coma (as Mon-El). Karen and I talk extensively about him, so for more on that, listen in! The well-publicized appearances of Lynda Carter (as POTUS) and Floriana Lima (as Maggie Sawyer) also came to fruition. President Olivia Marsdin brought a lot of questions with her to National City. Karen has a big theory about her, and we also spend a quite a bit of time discussing the weirdness around Scorcher’s attack.
Alien Animosity Act
From the very first episode of the season, which I know was only like 3 weeks ago, my schtick has been the “Show, Don’t Tell” mantra. Don’t tell me that Kara is feeling differently about James, show me. Don’t tell me that Kara had a change of heart about how she spoke to Alex, show me. This week I have a third such complaint, but it is a lot bigger.
While I completely understand that television series are an opportunity to address socio-political issues, I was overwhelmed with messages of all varieties. None of the messages were inherently bad, but all of them at once was so entirely a “tell”, not a “show”. It’s disappointing because it detracts, for me, from the main storyline.
The best example I have for how to take on this task correctly is Fringe’s final season. So many messages about responsibility, family, and what makes us human… without ever having to come right out and tell us that these are the issues being addressed. Fans are pretty split over the quality of that final season, but I am not. I loved it, unashamedly, because the writers put the story first. There was no agenda, there was no ulterior motive. They had a story to wrap up and they didn’t spend any time pandering to our need to be told about every transition and every change of heart. They showed us through characters’ decisions and actions. The oft-frustrating, minimal dialogue was not an intentional, albeit proverbial, thorn in our side… it was a natural result of the trauma endured by the world between the end of season 4 and the beginning of season 5.
The fawning over politicians, giving them a celebrity status, is one of my biggest complaints about the American culture. I am thrilled that young women and young men have role models, but the fanfare always disgusts me. That said, it was totally characteristic of Kara/Supergirl, so I rolled with it.
Ironically, the commentary here in this episode was actually quite perfect. A female, progressive politician, appearing to grant pardon (amnesty) to all aliens, welcoming them in with open arms and giving them a chance at life where previously it was denied (or shunned, perhaps), reveals to the fourth wall (the audience) her true identity. Her motivation isn’t entirely altruistic, she has a very personal stake in this. And yet, while we see her face transform as she walks away from J’onn and Kara, Kara is still fawning over her, literally unable to see her true identity.
Lies, Triggers, and Biases, oh my!
My desire for the season is to see Kara spend more time learning about her job. Since we’re talking about a fictional superhero show, I’m not going to go into the “believability” of anything, but as our regular contributor Montefescu points out in his feedback this week… world building is crucial to a show’s sustainability. Not only do we need to see more of Kara working with Snapper, we need to see her struggling to spell words like diabolical, exactly like we saw in this episode.
For once, the balance of work and play felt more equitable. I wasn’t struggling to figure out the plot (only Scorcher’s true motivations). Spreading Kara out in the world, and having her interact with folks like Lena Luthor, will also help stretch her sheltered character. I had a similar perspective in watching Smallville! Watching Clark befriend Lex, in spite of his father’s dislike of the Luthors, taught Clark a much needed lesson in healthy skepticism.
Here’s hoping for good drama!
Did You Notice…?
I didn’t notice this on my first watch, but Scorcher’s drink was bubbling! Should have been my first clue that this was our culprit.
Cougar’s Comic Corner
Check out EVERYTHING the Cougar recommended from last week, when she was unable to join me on the podcast. She recommends a Doom Patrol/Superman crossover event (to give us a taste of Supergirl AND Metallo) and also a Maggie Sawyer Comic for all interested parties. CLICK HERE!
This week, Karen recommends we check out a Season 2 Episode 9 “Grudge Match”, an episode of Justice League Unlimited. The whole series is on Netflix, but you can also purchase one episode. If the latter is your preference, please use our affiliate link. CLICK HERE!
Send in your thoughts and theories! WHO IS POTUS? Is Olivia Marsdin a Dominator? Is she a different alien altogether? How long has she been acting as Marsdin? All of these burning questions we need answered, and we need you to be part of that discussion. Join in by using our feedback page.
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- MOS Episode 24 BONUS Cougar’s Comic Corner
- Catch up on Supergirl using CWTV.com