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TV Review: Supergirl Season 2, Episode 17 "Distant Sun"

03.28.2017

EPISODE 17: DISTANT SUN

SYNOPSIS: A large bounty is put out on Supergirl and aliens from far and near attack National City intent on taking out the woman of steel; Alex and Maggie run into Maggie's ex-girlfriend, Emily, who is in town for a week; Hank gets an interesting order from President Marsdin.

REVIEW:

There are two things I'd like to point out at the top of this review. First, this will be our last episode review for Season 2 of SUPERGIRL. Second, who would have guessed that we'd be exiting the season by declaring that "Distant Sun" was a fantastic Mon-El-centric episode? We'll get into the details of that second bit soon enough, though perhaps I should say a few words before we focus down on the events of tonight's adventure. I'd like to thank all of you for reading and sharing my SUPERGIRL reviews this season. We've experienced a lot laughs, have delved deep into the show's character motivations, and even watched the core cast grow into their personas by leaps and bounds throughout this action-packed and emotionally-charged sophomore season. It's been my pleasure to be your guide for this program and I wish for nothing but great things for the The CW's best and brightest show, SUPERGIRL.

Alright, enough already with the flowery speechifying, man, get to the good stuff! Yeah, okay, Rao forbid that I give myself a moment to reflect. Anyway, like I was saying earlier, tonight was a stand-out episode for Chris Wood's Mon-El. The former prince of Daxam certainly has come a long way since crash-landing on Earth at the start of Season 2, wouldn't you agree? If you go back in the timeline of my reviews, you'll see that I wasn't the biggest Mon-El fan. In fact, I kind hated the guy flat-out. He was arrogant, inconsiderate and very much the source a few headaches for our favorite Kryptonian heroine. However, I must admit that I've enjoyed Mon-El's journey to non-douchery over the past several episodes, and tonight, his star burned brightly in the face of adversity and harsh familial misunderstandings.

Good grief, I just poked around the internet for some information about tonight's episode and caught a review or two while I was at it. I feel like a lot of people have unfounded misgivings about this show. Yes, it's all just a matter of opinion, but you should see some of the unsubstantiated vitriol that I've discovered in just the past few moments. Oh, and before you say it, I'm perfectly aware that this is the internet and that certain individuals take partial-anonymity as a license to be hateful and nonconstructive. That being said, I did find one observation while surfing around that I find myself agreeing with; and it's that at this point the direction of SUPERGIRL feels very ... well, directionless.

Let's take a moment to sort something out, shall we? Now that we have Mon-El's mother, Rhea (being played by the devilishly vindictive Teri Hatcher), as a formidable foe, where does that leave Lillian Luthor and her Cadmus cronies? Granted, there's nothing in the rule book that says we're only permitted to have one big bad per season, but I can't help but wonder why the villain aspect of this season feels so unbalanced. I'm just saying, now that we know that Rhea plans on sticking around, where does that leave Lillian? Will Rhea perhaps discover Lillian's disgust for Supergirl and in that find herself a partner and new best friend? Are we headed toward a good old-fashioned super-villain team-up? Will Rhea perhaps share the technology of Daxam with Lillian, and together, construct a new weapon that will wipe Supergirl off the face of the Earth? Ugh, I have so many questions and the cure for them is not more cowbell but more episodes of SUPERGIRL - which I've heard will be taking another month-long hiatus after tonight's episode.

Speaking of "Distant Sun", I'd be a fool not to mention that this was yet another Season 2 episode directed by none other than Kevin Smith. It's funny though, I wouldn't say there was anything "signature" or truly spectacular about the manner in which the episode was shot - just that it was a pleasant and well-executed installment of a consistently strong superhero show. Of course, there was the requisite Star Wars gag, as well as an oh-so-obvious tip of the hat to Smith's YOGA HOSERS. Those moments, while more than a little self-indulgent, make for some tasty Easter eggs to be served up to fans of Smith's previous directorial efforts. Additionally, I think it's pretty cool that Smith landed himself on an episode that features Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo as Daxam royalty, and of course, Lynda Carter as the sinister President Marsdin. That's a lot of star power for just one episode. While I think it's a shame that Carter's character was designated to nothing more than a teleconference or two with David Harewood's J'onn J'onzz, Smith definitely made better use of both Sorbo and Hatcher in this episode. 

Speaking of Queen Rhea, she certainly dialed her villain-o-meter up a notch, eh? It's a fact of life that love makes people do strange things, particularly when they're motivated by a desire to make their family whole again. In that respect, Rhea is perhaps one of the biggest threats that Kara has faced since start of the series. In my estimation, Rhea's a villain who's got more to lose than just a battle with one of Krypton's last survivors - in this case she stands to lose the love and respect of her only son, Mon-El. Like I said, love makes people do strange things, and that includes ultimatums, excommunication and murder. Obviously, Rhea isn't above using any of these things to get what she wants. If you don't believe me, I think the corpse of Lar Gand would beg to differ.  

Also included in the episode was a bit of relationship drama shared between Alex and Maggie. To recap, the couple bump into one of Maggie's more significant ex-girlfriend's, which immediately raises Agent Sawyer's guard. After doing a bit of investigating of her own, Alex discovers that Maggie cheated on her ex, which leaves Agent Danvers feeling understandably shaken. I'll be honest with you, at first this sub-plot felt a bit like filler to me, but it soon lent to a truly touching scene shared between Chyler Leigh and Florina Lima that I absolutely adored. For real, it's instances like this one when I really love SUPERGIRL, so please, allow me to explain.

The situation posed to Alex and Maggie this episode could have stretched into the next, with Alex taking the information concerning Maggie's infidelity to unnecessary places - but that's not what happened. Instead, we got a level-headed Alex, who, after bit of reflection, was willing to comfort Maggie and move on. Hallelujah! While I enjoy a nice bout of drama from time to time, I appreciate a situation much more when characters have a measured and mature reaction to the problems they face. Take note other CW superhero programs, you could learn a thing or two from Agent Alex Danvers. 

I would like to close this final review with just one more thank you to everyone who's joined us aboard the SUPERGIRL train, this season. I believe with all of my comic-book-loving heart that Melissa Benoist and the rest of the cast have done a phenomenal job in bringing the legacy, spirit and heart of the SUPERGIRL character to fans, and I do hope that the show continues to soar to new heights. May you all enjoy your time watching the rest of this season, and please, continue to support SUPERGIRL as long as you find the program worthy of your time. I'd hate to see the one lighthouse in the fog of The CW's superhero lineup go dark on account of neglect, or be the victim of cancellation on account of the anonymous trolls of the world having a louder voice than those who truly appreciate the show. Make no mistake, in this ever-changing world where superheroes live and die by the proverbial rating sword, no matter how strong she is, SUPERGIRL will always need your support. 

Once again, thank you, and may fire in Kara Zor-El's heart burn bright for several more seasons to come!

SCORE:

STINGER: "Ace Reporter" After being fired from her job as a reporter, Kara continues blogging at home when Mon-El is kidnapped by the Music Meister.

Extra Tidbit: Tonight, President Marsdin was able to cut loose and shape-shift into her true form ... revealing her to possibly be revealed as a member of the Durlan alien race.
Source: joblo.com

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