A DEO sting leads Kara, Alex and Maggie to investigate an underground fighting arena where aliens are forced to do fight to the death for the amusement of high-paying patrons by a woman called Roullette, At the same time, Kara tries to mentor Mon-El and J'onn gets to know the mysterious bartender who seems to be another green Martian.
The comics of Geoff Johns (he created Roulette for JSA, Miss Martian for Teen Titans and co-wrote a Superman storyline based around Mon-El's arrival on Earth with Richard Donner and James Robinson), the film Eyes Wide Shut (the general aura of Roulette's elite parties, with masks required to enter) and the Superman comics of Gerry Ordway and Roger Stern (character of Draaga).
What are the odds that Mon-El would also program his ship to travel to Earth?
Some of the make-up for the aliens in the final confrontation between the DEO and Roulette wouldn't pass muster at a low-rent Star Trek convention.
David Harewood all but steals this episode as J'onn. Usually reserved, it's a treat to see him let his mask slip a little bit as he tries to open himself up to another of his kind and runs the gamut of emotions as his dreams of meeting another Green Martian and the reality of what they are like collide.
Chris Wood finally gets a chance to reveal Mon-El's personality in this episode and he turns out to be quite the likeable character. While we do see shades of the hedonist Kara accused him of being in his interactions with Winn, there is still honor enough in his character that he is quick to apologize for giving offense. And it says a lot about him that he uses trickery and persuasion on Winn rather than brute force, despite his powers.
Dichen Lachman proves an effective presences as Roulette. There's not much depth to the character, but Lachman plays the devious witch you love to hate perfectly.
Fantastic special effects for the opening sequence in which we see the destruction of Daxam.
The effects work for the various aliens during the fight scenes are also impressive.
This episode originally aired on Halloween Night 2016. Based on the scene with Winn and Mon-El in the bar, this episode also takes place around Halloween.
James Olsen is absent from this episode.
Veronica Sinclair a.k.a. Roulette first appeared in JSA Secret Files #2 (September 2001). She was the granddaughter of the original Roulette - a minor crime boss/casino owner who fought against Terry Sloane a.k.a. Mister Terrific. Veronica established her own underground casino - The House - and catered to an elite clientele willing to finance illegal gambling events such as metahuman death battles. This business brought her into frequent conflict with various heroes, particularly the members of the JSA
The DCTVU version of Roulette appears to be a perfect mirror of her comic-book counterpart. She has the same unique appearance of Roulette from the comics - a slinky red dress with strategically placed holes revealnig a full-body dragon tattoo along her torso.
Miss Martian first appeared in Teen Titans #37 (August 2006). Born to the Martian name M'gann M'orzz, Miss Martian claimed to have been sent to the Vega system in a rocket by her parents during the war between the White Martian and Green Martian species in order to save her. This story was true with one fine detail omitted - M'gann was a White Martian posing as a Green Martian, due to the White Martian's war-like nature and negative attitudes towards them on Earth. M'gann, however, rejected her racial heritage and worked to protect her adopted home.
The DCTVU version of M'gann M'orzz tells J'onn a similar story, only she escaped from one of the concentration camps the White Martians created to hold the Green Martians thanks to the mercy of a White Martian. As with the comics version, this turns out to have been a lie and she truly is a White Martian. It remains to be seen if she is as noble-hearted as her comic book counterpart, but it seems likely that she is the White Martian who defied orders to spare a Green Martian that she mentioned in her story.
Draaga first appeared in Action Comics Annual #2 (May 1989). A powerful alien warrior, Draaga was the undisputed champion of the arena located on Warworld - a mobile artificial planet used as a base by the warlord Mongul. He never knew defeat until he faced a captive Superman, who refused to kill Draaga as per the conditions of the battle set by Mongul. Rather than being grateful, Draaga saw Superman's mercy as the ultimate insult of his strange code of honor, which demanded death in combat at the hands of a worthy foe if not victorious. Since then, he has sparred with Superman seeking either to regain his honor through killing Superman or dying by his hand.
The DCTVU seems similar to his comic-book counterpart in both appearance and power level, being capable of injuring Supergirl. The only real difference is that he doesn't seem to have fought Superman before, telling Kara that he has never killed a Kryptonian before.
In the original DC Comics, both White and Green Martians had the power to phase through solid matter. We see both J'onn and M'gann use this power in this episode.
Maggie Sawyer determines that the Syvillian corpse she found made a habit of fighting, based on months of scar-tissue build-up which had developed on its knuckles. The lack of skin under the fingernails indicate that he was not fighting defensively before his death.
Daxamite hearts are on the opposite side of the body relative to where human hearts are located.
(J'onn tells Kara and Alex about his discovering M'gann.)
J'onn: I offered to merge with her in The Martian Way.
Kara: But you guys just met!
J'onn: It's psychically, Kara! The bond is the traditional Martian way of communicating. We...we link minds, share dreams, emotions... memories. We kept no secrets from one another. Imagine a world without ego, selfishness... Without... lies.
Kara: That sounds beautiful.
J'onn: She didn't seem to think so. The moment I talked about it she left. I am grateful to have you both in my life. I truly am. But with Martians, it's ... it's different than talking. Deeper. Deeper than talking. Fuller. With her, there's a chance that i can live the way I was meant to live.
Alex: Just tell her that.
(Mon-El walks in on Kara talking to the hologram of her mother.)
Kara: Sometimes I just like to come in here to tell her about my day. I know it's not really her, but I... it makes me feel less...
Kara: ... yeah.
(There as an uncomfortable silence.)
Mon-El: She is a babe.
Kara: Excuse me?!
Mon-El: Well, your - your mother, I mean.
Kara: Uh - okay?
Mon-El: Winn told me that "babe" is what you call a beautiful woman on Earth. I'm sensing that's not right...
Kara: Maybe don't let Winn teach you too much about women on this planet.
Supergirl: I'm shutting you down, Sinclair.
Supergirl: You're conducting illegal fights! You're breaking the law!
Roulette: Technically they're not people. They have no rights. So how can I be breaking the law?
Supergirl: Pretty cynical view.
Roulette: Not at all. To these... freakshows? I'm a savior. I've given them a place to feel special. Find glory. And earn a little cash too. What have you ever given them? Black eyes? All you do is lock them up.
Supergirl: And what about the ones you kidnap and force to fight?!
Roulette: Some of them owe me money. Fighting is just a way of getting squared.
Supergirl: And if they die in the ring?!
Roulette: Plenty more where that came from. See, Michael Vick made a big mistake. People don't care about what happens to aliens... but they do care about dogs.
Supergirl: You're sick.
Roulette: And you're naive. You're not going to change their hearts any more than you're going to change the hearts of the spoiled rich who pay good money to see blood spilled. You can shut down the matches, but only for a little while. Because you can't stop gambling. And you can't stop beings from doing anything it takes to survive. Thing you'll learn about me? I only play safe bets. And you... little girl... are as safe as they come.
(Supergirl walks into the middle of the stand-off between the NCPD/DEO officers and Roulette and her fighters.)
Supergirl: Things are bad. I know. But fighting amongst each other? That's what they want us to do. Other aliens are not the enemy. (pointing to Roulette) She is! And the more we fight each other, the more we distract ourselves from the real problems. Cadmus? People like Roulette? They say we're dangerous. That's what they want everyone to believe. Don't let them be right about us.
(Roulette turns around to leave. One of her fighters moves to cut her off as Maggie Sawyuer steps forward and starts to cuff Roulette.)
Maggie Sawyer: You're under arrest.
Roulette: (scoffs) For what?
Maggie Sawyer: For operating without a liquor license, for starters.
Supergirl: I'm sure you've figured it out by now, but it's not a good idea to bet against me.
Mon-El was a bodyguard to the Daxamite royal family. He was sent to Earth after the Prince trapped him in a single-passenger Kryptonian rocket that had been utilized by Kryptonian ambassadors visiting Daxam at the time of Krypton's destruction.
Garata is a Daxamite sport. It is similar to soccer but is played with dragons.
Syvillians are a peaceful alien race that have formed a society Kara describes as Utopian. She notes that not only do they not usually fight - they barely argue.
M'gann claims that she escaped from the Green Martian concentration camps 300 years earlier after a White Martian took pity on her and helped her escape. However, this entire story is of questionable truthfulness given what we learn of her background later in the episode. It seems likely that she is the White Martian who "broke rank".
Brevakks are an alien species which grow thorns from their forearms as a biological defense mechanism.
There is only one Brevakk officially registered in National City, per The President's Alien Amnesty Act.
Daxam has hologramatic constructs similar to the hologram of Alura Zor-El.
Thus far, Mon-El is not manifesting any super-powers other than super-strength and super-jumping. He apparently also has an immunity to the effects of alcohol on par with a Kryptonian as well as increased density and durability, based on the reaction of the man who tried punching him in the bar.
Mon-El is confirmed not to have flight, heat-vision, x-ray vision or freeze breath.
According to Mon-El, the highest insult on Daxam is to refuse a toast.
Mon-El once saw Draaga fight on Warworld. He noted that Draaga has favored his left leg ever since taking a knife to a nerve-cluster in his right leg.
Lena Luthor went to the same boarding school as Veronica Sinclair. She didn't like her then or now.
Roulette is ordered released shortly after Maggie Sawyer arrests her.
Maggie Sawyer rejects Alex's offer to go out for a drink, already having a date with another woman. Alex seems to be jealous.
Kara agrees to take Mon-El under her protection and allow him to leave the DEO base under her suprevision.
It is revealed that M'gann is a White Martian.
The Bottom Line
A solid episode that manages to balance all of its various subplots effectively while tying them into the central theme of survival.