Space Dad Gets a Space Dad (Supergirl 3.03 Recap)
Supergirl Writers: Yeah, Lena isn't in this episode at all even though she's a series regular.
First of all, she's the only reason I'm still watching this show, so...
This episode was all about DADS. Gotta love 'em...or do you??? (Hi, Dad, that comment's not about you. I love ya, pops.)
At the end of last week's episode, we saw J'onn alone in the alien bar where he gets a message from M'gann about the state of his home planet of Mars. Last season, she went back to Mars to help liberate the green Martians from the white Martians and now she needs J'onn's help. Why does she need J'onn specifically? Well, she found his dad and that's wild because J'onn thought he was the last son of Mars.
Another dad who was presumably out of the picture is Maggie's dad. Once upon a time, when Maggie was only fourteen, he found out that Maggie had given a Valentine to a girl in her school. He reacted negatively to say the least. He picked her up from school, took her home, told her to pack a suitcase of her belongings, and left her on the side of the road by her aunt's house. She hasn't seen or spoken to her parents since.
While getting ready for the bridal shower, Alex's mom, Eliza, asks if Maggie's family has any pictures she can include, but Maggie's like my family sucks and they literally destroyed all photographic evidence of my childhood. And then later Alex is like idk, maybe you should invite your dad to the party tho.
Alex, sweetie, that's 100% not the right choice. But, of course, because Supergirl loves to exploit Maggie's homophobic pain for storylines, Maggie calls her dad in the middle of the night and invites him.
Meanwhile, J'onn's like, I gotta miss the bridal shower because I gotta go to Mars and Kara's like, rad, I'll go with you. I don't know if I fully believe Kara would actually miss her sister's bridal shower, but it wouldn't be the most out-of-character thing she's done in the past season.
J'onn's mode of transportation is an old-school convertible that transforms into a Martian spaceship and it's the coolest thing ever. I mean, a good portion of the season's budget probably went to it
and that's why Calista Flockhart is not a series regular, but hey, at least they got to cruise to Mars in style.
Maggie's dad shows up and it's not exactly the warmest welcome. He's stiff and clearly is still uncomfortable with the whole my daughter's a lesbian thing. But he showed up! He tells Maggie he's going to check into the hotel first and then he'll be at the party. No one's super convinced this is a good idea, but oh well. No one on Supergirl has ever made a good decision in their lives.
J'onn and Kara get to Mars to find the resistance is on its last legs, with the last shred of hope placed firmly in the hands of J'onn's dad, Myr'nn. Only this is news to J'onn because he's like, nah, my dad's long gone. Honestly, every scene on Mars was very reminiscent of season one. J'onn is an outstanding actor who is consistently underutilized. (Remember cyborg Superman? @ CW: What were you thinking??)
Anyway, J'onn's like, Dad, it's me! And Myr'nn's like, I've been tortured for so long, I know you're not really my son. They go back and forth for the rest of the episode until Myr'nn finally opens his mind to allow J'onn to telepathically communicate with him. Together, they relive a very simple memory. It's an ordinary day with J'onn at home with his kids and Myr'nn comes over unannounced to surprise J'onn. It's cute and sweet and the first real glimpse we have into J'onn's life on Mars that's not centered on the war. The two reconnect and help the rest of the resistance take back their planet.
Kara Zor-el rolling up to a bunch of white Martians in an old-school convertible blasting Britney Spears while pretending to have taken a wrong turn on the way back to Earth was so gosh darned charming. (Also, did you know that Britney Spears is an anagram for Presbyterian. The more ya know.) But, I was tragically deprived of a fight scene set to ...Baby, One More Time, so there's room for improvement.
Back on earth, Alex and Maggie's bridal shower is hoppin', and I really love the growth they allowed for Alex's mom, Eliza. Alex never really felt close to her, but their relationship is mending. Maggie's dad shows up and things are tense when he talks to Alex, but you think he's gonna turn a new page in his book. Things are going fine until he sees Alex and Maggie kiss and then he's out the door.
Maggie chases him down and is like wtf, bro, why'd you come all this way then?? He goes off on this tangent about how hard he worked when Maggie was young so she'd have a good life, but he was beaten up because he's Mexican. (Side note: Neither the actor who plays Maggie nor Maggie's dad is Mexican, so what's that about, CW??) He makes a comment about a wall being built on the border that's supposed to be a dig about Trump, but alien Lynda Carter is the president in Supergirl's world, so I don't know if that was just a continuity thing or what.
Basically what it boils down to is that he thinks the only thing worse than being Mexican is being gay and he's mad at Maggie for being gay? And thus treating her badly for being gay?? So he's adding to the people who treat lesbians worse than gay people??? Right????
Later on, Maggie makes this whole big speech to her dad about how she doesn't need him anymore because she's found a new life for herself that's filled with love and friends and everything she doesn't get from her blood relative family. Which, yes, that's true. You don't need your biological family to fill those things and found families are just as important. The problem lies with the writing.
Maggie's saying she has all this love in her life, but the only person we see her interact with is Alex. Maggie had a few scenes alone with Kara in one episode last season, but only because it's the episode where Alex gets taken. We don't see her getting drinks with Winn or James on her own. We don't see her with friends from her police force. Point blank; we don't see Maggie Sawyer except as Alex Danvers' Girlfriend.
Maggie's story is heartbreaking, but it's also a reality for a lot of kids. LGBT kids make up a large percentage of homeless youth. And that's where the Supergirl writers dropped the ball. Maggie's story is important because it's where she came from. If only she'd been more developed as a character. It's important for kids who were/are in Maggie's shoes to see her present because that's where the hope is. She created a real life for herself where she's an accomplished cop and has found the love of her life.
Instead of developing her character last season, we got The Mon-el Show and everyone's storyline suffered for it. (Except Alex's coming out arc.) It's just a shame because the way it was written made the story come off as cheap. Almost like exploiting this very real reality as a shortcut for character development.
Also, something about the writing of these scenes felt like they were trying too hard. They seemed to be walking on eggshells and the conversations felt stilted. Honestly, a lot of Maggie and Alex's scenes have felt that way. The writing of Alex's coming out story is so starkly different from the scenes of Alex and Maggie's relationship. I don't know. I don't have the words to fully articulate my feelings now, but it just feels like Alex and Maggie's relationship scenes are written differently because they're lesbians. It feels different and I don't think I like it.
For a show that prides itself on being a beacon of hope, they sure dropped the ball on Maggie Sawyer.