CBS’ show may be titled Supergirl, but this week’s episode titled “Strange Visitor from Another Planet” was all about J’onn J’onzz aka Martian Manhunter aka Hank Henshaw.
The emotional episode took us deep into J’onn J’onzz’s backstory, explaining how the White Martians forced his people into concentration camps and slaughtered his family back on Mars. The appearance of the latest villain exposed Hank’s PTSD, introduced National City to a terrifying new threat and totally strengthened the bond between Hank, Kara and Alex.
The plot, along with David Harewood’s acting performance, added incredible dimension to the Hank Henshaw character and breathed new life into the show’s story line as a whole.
The problem with this well-executed story line that Supergirl so desperately needed? It completely highlighted the absurdity of the weaker story lines surrounding characters like James Olsen, Lucy Lane and Winn Schott. At this point, all three characters seem to have no other function than to fulfill trivial romantic plotlines that aren’t doing anything to further the show — and while it’s true that almost every show on TV has some kind of love subplot to add some soapy fun into the mix, the Supergirl romantic story lines just really aren’t that entertaining.
At first, James was just there to be the object of Kara’s lust, but now that Lucy has entered the picture, it’s morphed into a super-awkward game of Kara continually torturing herself after walking in on the two lovebirds getting cozy.
And the love story between Lucy and James is equally as awkward. They can’t seem to get on the same page and have passive aggressive squabbles — like when James kinda sorta didn’t want Lucy to work with him at CatCo — but there’s not enough fire in the relationship to make anyone actually care if they break up or not.
And sure, we got a closer look into Winn’s backstory last week when it was revealed that his father is the evil Toyman, but that episode also made it resoundingly clear that his infatuation with Kara isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Making Winn a villain is the only way to preserve his story line on the show. Otherwise, he’s just stale. However, his behavior in the beginning of tonight’s episode in which he dismisses Kara before making a quick exit shows that he will remain a trite subplot for the time being.
That being said, it was obviously super refreshing to be immersed in the Martian Manhunter story tonight that actually had some purpose.
But don’t get too excited about the prospect of subplots with actual heart taking center stage on Supergirl.
Newly introduced character Adam Foster, played by Melissa Benoist’s real-life husband Blake Jenner, turns into Kara’s latest love interest next week, now that Winn and James are — at least temporarily — out of the picture.