Supergirl “Strange Visitor from Another Planet” Review (Season 1 Episode 11)

Supergirl brought us one of its finest hours yet this week, taking a deep dive into two of the show’s strongest characters. “Strange Visitor from Another Planet” not only gave us an effective take on the Martian Manhunter’s origin story, it also further fleshed out Cat Grant with the introduction of her estranged son Adam. The result was an emotionally-charged hour that also served up some solid action and world-building.

Starting on the human side of the equation, it’s pretty astounding how strong a character Cat has become in such a short amount of time. In the pilot, she seemed like the stereotypical high-strung boss, someone that would serve as a constant roadblock to Kara’s superhero career. However, the show quickly set her up as a true ally and supporter of Supergirl, as well as strong, confident mentor to Kara. What’s particularly fascinating is the fact that Cat’s professional persona truly is a mask she wears, one that she simply can’t keep up around the people she truly cares for. She shows a lot of vulnerability with Adam, and it’s that exact vulnerability that will allow her reconnect with her son down the road.

Speaking of Adam, his arrival also paves the way for a new romantic relationship for Kara, one that’s blissfully free of the complications that come with James. Their interactions here are mostly focused on Adam’s relationship with his mother, but the two share an abundance of chemistry that makes the prospect of the two together a promising one. Also on the upswing is Winn, who truly seems like time is all he needs to get past the sting of Kara rejecting him. It’s a good direction for the show to take with the character, who easily could’ve become a bitter, unlikable presence.

Meanwhile, we finally got a story that fully explored J’onn’s backstory, something we’ve been waiting for since the revelation that he was in fact the Martian Manhunter. The show did a great job with the backstory, not backing down from just how brutal the White Martian’s genocide of J’onn’s people was. It also gave David Harewood some of his best scenes yet, with J’onn being torn apart by his rage and survivor’s guilt.

We also got some strong action scenes in the numerous battles with the White Martian. In particular, it was great seeing Supergirl and the Manhunter team-up in battle. Sure, the fight itself didn’t last long, but the strength of the CGI and emotional weight of the scene made everything come together well. Here’s hoping for more great fight scenes as the variety of Supergirl’s villains increases in the coming weeks.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!