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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Supergirl S2E16: Star-Crossed.

Series 2, Episode 16

Oh. Joy. Another Mon-El episode. I mean, we knew it was coming, the promos were pretty clear, but that doesn't mean I'm any more excited about it. This episode does have one glimmering moment where Mon-El and Kara break up, but let's face it, it isn't going to last. Give it a few episodes and they'll have gotten back together again, to the chagrin of all.

This week's episode sees Mon-El's parents arrive, hoping to bring him back to Daxam to unite their scattered people and lead Daxam into a new era. Kara is shocked and appalled when she learns that Mon-El was Daxam's crown prince, and breaks up with him. Meanwhile, Winn is framed for art theft by his alien girlfriend, Lyra, and before long the hunt is on to find her and clear Winn's name.

This is an interesting scenario where the B-plot (Winn being framed) actually takes prominence over the A-plot, not least because nothing much happens with the A-plot. Kara finds out that Mon-El is the prince of Daxam, she's upset about it, and then by the end of the episode, she's still upset about it and Mon-El has stuck to his guns on not returning to Daxam. Nothing really changes for either of them after their initial scene, which means that all of the scenes in that A-plot consist of Kara being unhappy and Mon-El pleading with her to forgive him.

This costume annoys me somehow.

Actually to a bit of a creepy extent, to be honest. Kara makes it clear several times throughout the episode that she doesn't want to see Mon-El or be anywhere near him, only for Mon-El to either find her at the DEO or, at one point, let himself into her home and wait for her there in a stunning display of how totally unconcerned he is about her personal space or her feelings.

Do the writers think this is romantic? Because it's actually just kind of unsettling. If things had been left on an unclear note between Kara and Mon-El prior to him seeking her out for a conversation, I could maybe understand him wanting clarification, but Kara had already very clearly said it was over between them.

(Although Mon-El's unsettling-ness starts even earlier in the episode -- in fact, it starts with the opening scene, where he is happily cuddling Kara as she enjoys her unemployment. It feels self-pitying, and thus Mon-El's glee at it feels like he's delighting in Kara's self-pity, not like he's actually comforting her.)

Kara and Winn.

It also doesn't really work that this is the first time we're actually hearing about how horrible Daxam is. We knew prior to this point that Kara thought they were barbaric, and that they were a party planet, but until this episode, the fact that they were a slave planet with a hugely oppressed underclass was never mentioned. That's a problem, because it's key to Kara's problem with Mon-El: She is upset in large part because he was leading an oppressive, politically terrible planet, so the fact that we have only just learned about any of this is baffling.

(The episode does have a nice potshot at Trump with a 'make Daxam great again,' line, but honestly that's pretty weak as political commentary. Be more incisive, please.)

The B-plot, meanwhile, deals with Lyra framing Winn and an alien art theft gang, and it basically pans out exactly how you'd expect, according to a tight formula. Nothing in this plotline is really surprising, but we do get some nice comedic beats from Winn throughout, and a few cool fight scenes with Jimmy and Alex beating people up.

The Music Meister.

All of which basically covers everything there is to say about this episode. It's not an especially meaty episode, being as it is mostly interpersonal drama between Mon-El and Kara (who I've talked about ad nauseam already) backed up with a formulaic action plot. It does give us some set-up for the Supergirl-Flash crossover, though, which will be a 1920s-themed musical. Apparently. I guess.

Next week, apparently a bounty is going to be put on Kara's head -- presumably either by Cadmus or by Mon-El's parents -- and it looks like we'll probably be getting a resolution to that relationship drama. Joy.

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