Review: Supergirl 3×03 – “Far From the Tree”

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Director: Dermott Downs

Writers: Jessica Queller & Derek Simon

Stars: Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks & Chyler Leigh

 

Summary

Martian Manhunter and Supergirl go to Mars in order to help Miss Martian, while Maggie attempts to reconcile with her father at her wedding shower.

 

Positives

I love that most of this episode takes place on Mars. J’onn is one of the show’s most compelling characters but is often under utilized. It’s nice to have a plot that centers around him and allows us to learn more about him. David Harewood is excellent throughout the episode. J’onn has to go through a lot and it’s a great development for him. Additionally, I love how much we learn about Mars. The story involves the religion of the green Martians, and it’s really interesting.

I like that Kara solves the main conflict with compassion. She’s been in a bad place and it’s nice that she is able to use her pain to relate to another being and deal with her pain by helping someone else with a similar one.

Maggie’s plotline is also very enjoyable. Redemption is a tricky idea. I like stories that deal with the limits of redemption. What acts can be forgiven and when are people beyond forgiveness? A recent superhero example is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I like that Maggie is willing to forgive her father and allow him the chance to be a better person. He does not take that chance and destroys any possibility of redemption but it’s nice closure for Maggie that allows her to move past her pain.

Negatives

Maggie’s father has a discussion with Maggie about the racism he received and how the country has not changed. This would be a great scene and the actor does a great job in his performance, but it rings a little hollow when one of the Latino characters involved in the conversation is not played by a Latina actress.

The other problem with this conversation is the allusions to Trump. Maggie’s father references the wall and Trump’s awful comments about Mexicans. My problem is that I’m a little confused by the universe. In Supergirl’s world, Trump is not president. Lynda Carter’s character is and she doesn’t seem to be a horrific racist. I’m just not sure where the Trump allegories are coming from in universe.

 

Verdict

This is a great episode. Using Mars as a setting allows for a unique and interesting story that highlights David Harewood’s Martian Manhunter. Supergirl gets a lot of moments to shine as well, both in and out of action. It’s an engaging episode that fleshes out both the characters and the mythology.

 

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Sean Blumenshine

I am currently a senior at Wichita State University studying communications. I started reading comics in 2013 because of how much I loved Man of Steel and season one of Arrow. My favorite hero is the Green Arrow and my favorite villain is the Joker.