October 27, 2016: “Supergirl” Episode Review – S02E03 “Welcome to Earth”

Superman Homepage reviewer T.A. Ewart (aka liheibao) reviews episodes from the “Supergirl” TV series, airing on The CW.

Check out his review of the 3rd episode of Season 2 in which an attack is made on the President (guest star Lynda Carter) as hot-button, alien vs. human rights issues heat up in National City. Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and the DEO are assigned to protect the President and bring in the responsible party. Alex (Chyler Leigh) teams up with Detective Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) to investigate the case while Kara searches for a recently escaped Mon-El (Chris Wood) who she fears may be the alien behind the assault.

Welcome to EarthOriginally Aired: October 24, 2016
STORY BY: Jessica Queller and Derek Simon
DIRECTED BY: Rachel Talalay

REGULAR CAST:
Melissa Benoist (Kara Danvers/Supergirl)
Chyler Leigh (Alex Danvers)
Mehcad Brooks (James Olsen)
David Harewood (Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz)
Jeremy Jordan (Winslow “Winn” Schott)
Ian Gomez (Snapper Carr)

RECURRING CAST:
Chris Wood (Mon-El)
Calista Flockhart (Cat Grant)
Katie McGrath (Lena Luthor)
Brenda Strong (The Doctor)

GUEST CAST:
Lynda Carter (President Olivia Marsdin)
Sharon Leal (M’gann M’orzz/Miss Martian)
Nadine Crocker (Scorcher)

2Rating – 2 (out of 5): The best line of the show, that hope can never be false, is drowned in a deluge of politics, new characters, plot twists, and 100 MPH pacing. One of the good things of Supergirl‘s move to The CW, was the palpable swift in movement when it came to story. The opening episodes were handled with care, and not rushed to cram the maximum amount of characters, Easter eggs, etc., within the allotted amount of time. This episode is reminiscent of those Season One episodes that were voluminous, yet nearly vacuous at the same time. The needless pandering to current events is handled as well as the aforesaid is being dealt with in reality, i.e., poorly. Immigration isn’t a grayscale issue, and even as the episode itself shows, to the contradiction of its own theme, it’s an issue for indisputable reasons of security and safety. The irony of the POTUS being an alien, underscores the need to look at the issue closely, since aside from Superman, Supergirl, and any alien they may vouch for, aliens tend to be of the creepy, evil sort.

Maggie Sawyer’s introduction is confounding, as we learn more about her sex life, than we’re shown any of her abilities as a crime fighter or detective. If her penetrating stares at Alex are any foreshadowing, Sawyer will be a recurring character, added to a cast that is tipping the scales with new jacks like Lena Luthor, Snapper Carr, and Mon-El… and Miss Martian, who was introduced with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Supergirl has no proper antagonist, no proper direction, and while only three episodes in, this should have been the show to cement the path for the season. All one can really do after this episode is look forward to the next one, and hope that no extra characters are shaken from the DC tree, and that Supergirl uses the world it’s built to deliver on the promise of its freshman year, though, sadly, this installment really shows signs of the dreaded sophomore jinx coming into play.

Check out the “Supergirl – Episode Reviews” Contents page.

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NeoRanger
Member
You know, I actually enjoyed the episode well-enough while watching it, but after it ended I started disliking it quite a bit. Whatever it had to say, it did with the subtlety and nuance of a mixed tape of Tourette Syndrome episodes. Arranged as a chorus. In the middle of a riot. In a football match. In England. I only hope that the episode suffered because it had to set-up plot-lines for the rest of the season that it didn’t get to set-up in the first two episodes, because of Superman’s presence. I like Snapper Carr. That’s about the only… Read more »
LarGand
Member
Liheibao, I’m really not sure why you’d think that the “hope can never be false” thing was “the best line of the show”: it’s empty-headed, feel-good nonsense, and the more writers associate ‘Supergirl’ with lazily written fluff like that, the more it makes it appear to be nothing more than a kids’ show. On the other hand, I see no problem with the show using the issue of aliens on Earth as a metaphor for immigration and current refugee issues and I don’t really see why you take issue with that. Sure, the show’s handling of the issues wasn’t exactly… Read more »
NeoRanger
Member
But stories like that do make younger viewers (at least some of them) think But that’s the problem; they don’t make anybody think. That would require nuance and an even-handed approach that put the complexities of the world center-stage and provide opposing arguments. Supergirl didn’t provide food for thought, it offered political platitudes. The issue with Maggie is exactly that (and I’m speaking for me, but I wager that was T.A.’s problem as well). It’s not that she’s gay, she’s always been gay. The issue is that her being gay is a statement, since her character’s introduction was weak and… Read more »
liheibao
Member

As for Maggie Sawyer – she’s been written as a lesbian right from the start . . . .

No, she was not.

“hope can never be false” thing was “the best line of the show”: it’s empty-headed, feel-good nonsense, and the more writers associate ‘Supergirl’ with lazily written fluff like that, the more it makes it appear to be nothing more than a kids’ show.

However, the rest of your examples were more “adult” in tone? I don’t think so.

andramus
Member

No, she was not.

What do you mean by that? I thought Maggie was always a lesbian in the comics from everything I’ve read.

Maybe they didn’t mention it in the first issue or first few issues she appeared in because it wasn’t relevant to the story being told.

However as I understood it her being a lesbian was always part of her character makeup by the creators from the get go.

liheibao
Member
Maggie debuted as an antagonist for Superman. They have a frayed “relationship” as Maggie is trying to prove that the Special Crimes Unit can deal with metas, as opposed to unsanctioned vigilantes. That’s her character from the start. About a year later, in Superman #15, she “outs” herself in a manner so nebulous, that most readers still has no clue she was a lesbian or bi-sexual as she did marry a man for a period of time. Readers also learned she was a mother, and originally from Star City, and how she lost custody of her son. Then she moved… Read more »
andramus
Member
Well I suppose the question I have is whether it was a planned reveal and part of her backstory from the get go and it just took them a year to get around to telling the story or not. From what I understand a lot of these comics stories are planned out a year or two in advance. We still don’t know what the Watchmen/Rebirth story is but apparently there’s a two year plan for that. So either Maggie was a lesbian all along and it just took them 12 months or so to tell us in the story or… Read more »
liheibao
Member
Like I say above, it was revealed in the same issue that she outs herself. However, to say it was planned all along is dubious ground. Until that issue, Maggie was another hard-nose cop in the mold of Dan Turpin. There was nothing to say she was much more than that, and that’s wha she was introduced to be. Even after the reveal, most readers did not know she was a lesbian, because it was so codified and understated. There wasn’t any build-up to it and Maggie did nothing to lend any clues to her sexuality. In hindsight, everything may… Read more »
andramus
Member
Well to the best of my recollection I’ve never read any of her early/first appearances and don’t think I’ve read any of her Gotham stuff either. However I knew she was a lesbian from her Superman comic appearances that I have vague recollections of reading. Simply because she had a girlfriend in some of those appearances. To be honest from what you’re saying they made her a lesbian within 1 year of her first appearance in comics which in comics time isn’t very long. I mean how many appearances was that 12 or so? As a peripheral/supporting character showing up… Read more »
liheibao
Member

I invite you to read the stories again, rather than go based on recollection.

MattComics
Member
I don’t think this was a bad episode, but I’ll admit that there are things about it I’m still deciding my opinion on even now. For one, the reveal the President as being an alien herself rather than a human with an evolved outlook on alien immigrants was actually disappointing for me. As for the LGBT representation there might be times where I look at White Canary in Legends and it feels a little like the writers are boiling her entire personality down to “can fight and is lesbian.” But I also have to consider that it must be really… Read more »
NeoRanger
Member
Also I think it’s important to consider that often is the double standard that can be placed on them where we might say we’re okay with what you are but don’t ever talk about it front of me. In other words, if I talk about being attracted to women it’s considered conversation. If Maggie talks about being attracted to women, its “wears her sexual orientation as a flag.” Since you’re quoting me (even inadvertently), I think I should clear that up. Maggie isn’t talking about being gay in relation to her being a woman attracted to other women, because that’s… Read more »
MattComics
Member

@NeoRanger. I did quote you but not to attack you or call you out so much as to just help make clear the thought I was trying to convey. Also my mistake for referring to White Canary as a lesbian rather than bisexual. I just don’t think I agree that the message became bigger than the character in this particular instance.

s-shield
Member
For my two cents on White Canary, I never got that it was so noteworthy that she liked to sleep with women, as much as she just liked having sex. Have a guy say all the same things she does in the Season 2 premier, and she becomes Captain Kirk, lol. Have a guy say them about another guy and he becomes Captain Jack Harkness. And just like Capt. Jack, it’s not the most interesting or defining thing about her character. It’s just a thing, like being left handed. No big deal. I think that’s really cool. With Sawyer, it… Read more »
NeoRanger
Member

Oh, I didn’t think you intended to attack me, I just wanted to elaborate on the thing you quoted me on. It’s all cool =)

sman1938
Member
I think after the first two episodes of the season having Superman on, and a great Superman at that, its going to be hard for any of the upcoming episodes to really be as good or impactful to most fans. Seeing other characters from the comics showing up is neat and all, but most of these characters were from the Superman comics, and the reason most people read the Superman comics is for Superman. Who so far is only in the first two episodes. They really need to have him in more episodes this season, if your going to bring… Read more »
supergepetto
Member
I thought it was simply the worst episode of the series. Snapper Carr and Mon-El were the only good characters of the episode. Now there are aliens all around National City? For a moment I thought I was watching Men In Black, but without the humor, or maybe the Cantina scene from Star Wars. Now the show has gotten really preposterous. Plus, we are now going to see Alex in a lesbian relationship. What is going on here? Do gay couples have to be a regular staple in every CW show now? And I have yet to get into the… Read more »
Steve Wright
Editor
I will never understand why people get so worked up if a show does something with a political bent. The president of the USA SHOULD feel the way this president does. That ALL are created equal. I’ll take it over build a wall and keep everyone out who doesn’t follow the one true religion thank you very much. I thought it was a good episode. Not perfect , but deserving of a higher grade. I think having Superman in the previous two episodes hurt this on because there will be the inevitable let down. But it was still enjoyable…moved the… Read more »
Clarkerman
Guest

“Build a wall and keep everyone out who doesn’t follow the one true religion”?

Umm…how about build a wall and keep everyone out that doesn’t follow the rules to come in legally — you know, legally, where you become a citizen, like the many immigrants that waited patiently for months to come in did? How about we keep out the people we know want to kill us? That’s valuing human life, not anti-equality.

NeoRanger
Member
As Neal Bailey had said way back when, it’s just a bad idea inserting anything that can be considered divisive (such as politics) in this kind of material and especially in Superman, who embodies the idea of freedom of opportunity (and by extension thought and expression) for all. It’s because of the idea of inclusiveness that’s best to refrain from making points that can divide the audience. Now, it’s impossible to not insert yourself and your ideas, as a writer, into the material, but a metered input is preferable. Supergirl, as a show, isn’t known for its subtlety in tackling… Read more »
Clarkerman
Guest
Great comment, supergepetto. I agree. This show’s take on Supergirl is awful, and the entire show’s existence celebrates the de-uniquing of Superman. There shouldn’t even be a Supergirl since Superman is the last survivor of Krypton (but if there is one, the Bruce Timm series is the way to go since she wasn’t from Krypton), the alien aspect should take a back seat to the show since being an alien is just the excuse for the superpowers and nothing else (like the costume, morality, etc), and Superman didn’t even know he was an alien until ten or so years into… Read more »
andramus
Member

I thought Action Comics #1 introduced Superman as being from another planet? Wasn’t that within the first year or two of the character’s publication?

Clarkerman
Guest
Excellent review. This show is terrible and an embarrassment to the Superman mythos. It’s also so heavy handed in the pro Hitlery Clinton propaganda that they even put beautiful Lynda Carter in Clinton’s ugly pants suit. What a joke. Not that surprising though considering Time Warner is a major Clinton campaign donor, and they own the CW. And Maggie Sawyer’s defining trait is apparently being a lesbian, when in the comics she originally just seemed like a tough cop, was even married to a MAN, if I remember. The lesbian crap didn’t come until later. Even Superman: The Animated Series… Read more »
ByteCrawler
Member

I thought it ironic that Lynda Carter’s performance was “inspired” by Hillary Clinton. She looked like a Republican parody of Clinton at her worst. She spoke almost exclusively in platitudes, acted patronizing and superior and sounded incredibly insincere. Then to top it off she’s secretly an alien?! At that point all I could do is laugh…

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