[Supergirl] Recap • 204 Survivors

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Supergirl Recap: Survivors
Bu Chancellor Agard • @chancelloragard for Entertainment Weekly

Episode Pics

Tonight’s “Survivors” examines how Kara and J’onn react to finally finding other aliens like themselves. While J’onn is eager, perhaps overeager, to get to know M’Gann, Kara spends the episode avoiding Mon-El, who’s growing restless being cooped up at the DEO. This makes for a fairly interesting episode that also finds the time to build on the chemistry we detected between Maggie and Alex last week.

At the top of the hour, Maggie Sawyer calls Alex to a crime scene to examine an alien body they found in the trunk of a car. Kara, who accompanied Alex, is surprised to find bruises on the alien’s knuckles, because his race is known for being peaceful. That information is all it takes for Alex and Maggie to start bouncing theories back and forth and finishing each other’s sentences — while Supergirl stands there, confused by the vibe she’s getting. In the end, they decide Maggie will use her street contacts to find out more.

J’onn, who can barely contain his excitement at meeting another one of his kind, pays M’Gann another visit at the alien speakeasy. He asks how she managed to escape Mars, and she said a White Martian broke rank and freed her. After hearing her story, J’onn asks if she wants to partake in the Martian ritual of sharing minds, but she turns him down, which leave him very disappointed.

The alien found in the trunk of the car had a sharp piece of bone, which leads them to another alien of a different race. However, when Maggie and Alex go to investigate him, they get ambushed and subdued while a group of masked men kidnap the alien.

Alex and Kara tell J’onn what happened, but he’s too grumpy about his failed connection with M’Gann to concentrate on the issue. He explains to them that mind sharing is important because that’s how Martians are meant to communicate. On Mars, mind sharing meant there were no secrets, no lies, and no egos, and that’s something he misses. It’s worth noting J’onn isn’t saying having Kara isn’t enough to make him feel less alone, but that there’s something different about finding someone else like him. This kind of reminded me of a powerful moment in This Is Us. In “The Pool,” Randall, who is black, explains to his adopted brother Kevin that he used to count the number of other black people he saw when they were growing up.

Talking to J’onn about Mars moves Kara to go speak to her Hologram Mother about her recent successes and struggles at work. Mon-El walks in towards the end of the conversation, and asks Kara if she’ll take him under her wing and teach him how to live among humans. However, Kara, kind of like M’Gann, turns him down and says she doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

Eventually, Maggie calls Alex with a tip and tells her to meet her at a location wearing something nice. The location turns out to be an underground alien fight club run by a woman named Roulette (The 100‘s Dichen Lachman), who believes aliens serve one purpose: “to entertain.” Alex is completely surprised when she sees Miss Martian enter the ring to fight the alien they tried talking to earlier. When Kara interrupts the fight, Roulette unleashes a hulking alien named Draaga, who deals Kara some serious damage before escaping. The introduction of a fight club in tonight’s episode definitely reminded me of Luke Cage‘s fourth episode, which featured a similar situation in which fight clubs were being used to exploit and control those without power.

Obviously, J’onn is horrified to learn about both the fight club and M’Gann’s involvement, so he goes to confront her. He tries to tell her how she should be acting and dealing with what they lost, but she fights back, saying she doesn’t want to constantly think about their tragedies. (Thankfully, at the end of the episode, he realizes he was wrong for scolding her like this).

Meanwhile, Mon-El promises to let Winn come up with his superhero name and costume if he takes him out on the town that night. The two boys go drinking, and things quickly get out of hand when a drunk Mon-El starts arm-wrestling with some humans and breaks both of their arms. While the boys are having fun, Kara goes to confront Roulette, who is surprisingly unfazed by having Supergirl stop her car in the middle of the road with her heat vision. Roulette makes it clear she has no plans on shutting down her fight club — it can’t be illegal since aliens don’t have actual rights.

The next day, J’onn, pissed about what happened with Winn and Mon-El, tells Kara she needs to talk to Mon-El. Kara goes to see him and opens up about how she struggled with her powers at first. Her story convinces Mon-El to promise he’ll start to follow orders. Before she leaves, he also gives her a tip on how to beat Draaga. She’ll definitely need it — M’Gann helps Roulette capture J’onn, which means Kara is going back into the ring.

Unfortunately, the fight club has changed locations. Kara is forced to ask Lena Luthor to help her find it, because she needs to help a friend who has gotten involved in something shady. Lena has no problem lending her a hand, and Kara says she definitely owes her one. As Kara leaves, Lena says she’s sure Kara will be there for her when she needs it. Kara has unwittingly put herself in a compromising situation in just her first month of being a journalist.

Roulette forces M’Gann and J’onn to fight to the death. Watching M’Gann and J’onn fight was a nice change of pace from the show’s typical fight scenes, since their fighting styles are different from Kara’s. They don’t just use their strength and flight, but also their ability to phase through things. As they fight, J’onn is able to get through to M’Gann and convince her she doesn’t need to keep punishing herself for surviving by fighting. It works, and the both of them refuse to keep going with the match. Roulette unleashes Draaga, but Kara shows up in time and uses Mon-El’s tip to take it out.

Alex and Maggie show up with a SWAT team intent on capturing Roulette, but they encounter some resistance from a group of aliens who decide to protect her. Supergirl stops things before they get violent and uses her words to convince the aliens to stand down. “The more we fight each other, the more we distract ourselves from the real problems. Don’t let them be right about us,” she says. It’s a powerful moment — Kara takes Alex’s advice about using something other than fear, which is what Roulette used to run her operation, to reason with them. The aliens allow Maggie and Alex to arrest Roulette; unfortunately, though, the victory is short-lived, because someone with a lot of power frees Roulette from jail a short time later.

Kara uses this week’s case to write a story for work and uses Supergirl as her source, which is super unethical and made me cringe. It’s hard not to be happy for her, though, because she finally impresses Snapper Carr. Afterwards, Kara returns to the DEO and tells Mon-El the DEO is releasing him into her custody. She realizes having him here gives her an opportunity to fulfill her original mission: protecting and mentoring someone.

As the episode ends, J’onn pays M’Gann a visit and lets her know he’s always around if she needs to talk. However, he quickly gets called away for work. After he leaves, M’Gann looks into the mirror and transforms into a White Martian, which explains why she didn’t want to share minds. It’s an interesting twist that will lead to the J’onn/M’Gann relationship mirroring Kara and Mon-El’s even more — assuming M’Gann isn’t actually evil, J’onn will have to get past the hatred he has for White Martians to trust her.

Wall of Weird:

Raise your hand if you thought Maggie asking Alex if she wanted to see a dead body sounded like a pickup line.

Alex asks Maggie if she wants to get a drink at the end of the episode, but is disappointed when Maggie asks for a rain check because she has plans with another woman.

Mon-El name-drops Warworld, which is pretty cool.

It felt like there was a lot going on this episode. Actually, that’s been the case for most of the episodes this season.

“Michael Vick made a big mistake. People don’t care about aliens, but they do care about dogs.” —Roulette to Kara

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