Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 3 - Far From The Tree

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Eliza throws Alex and Maggie a wedding shower and Alex encourages Maggie to reach out to her estranged father. Meanwhile, Kara joins J'onn on a journey to Mars where M'gann reveals a shocking discovery.


The 1998 Martian Manhunter series (presence of M'yrnn J'onzz) and 2006 Martian Manhunter series (presence of Till'all). Kara's speech about how the Green Martians can save the White Martians who wish to atone for their race's sins is reminiscent of a similar speech from the Babylon 5 episode Dust To Dust - "If we are a dying people, then let us die with honor, by helping the others as no one else can..."


It's a hell of a coincidence that the Martian mythology and ancient Greek mythology both feature two characters named Deimos and Phobos, though the characters seem completely different!

Kara is incredibly non-nonchalant about using the Staff of Kolar to vaporize White Martians. What happened to that whole "not-killing" code of ethics?

Does anyone else find it disturbing that the White Martian resistance all take the form of black humans and that they are only saved by the blonde-haired, pale-skinned Aryan idea that is Supergirl?


Carl Lumbly gives a powerful performance as M'yrnn J'onzz.


The effects work as J'onn's memory projects over the ruined Martian temple is well executed.

Super Trivia

This episode was the first to open with a new introduction for Season Three. It's largely the same as the Season Two intro, save that it starts with a line where Supergirl introduces herself as Kara Zor-El rather than Kara Danvers and emphasizes her status as an alien. Melissa Benoist also delivers the lines in a more serious tone.

Till'All first appeared in Martian Manunter #2 (Volume 3) (November 2006). One of ten White Martian refugees to come to Earth who had been brainwashed to believe they were Green Martians, Till'All was the least effected by their various trials and tribulations. He was saved by J'onn J'onzz but left in the care of the Justice League while J'onn investigated who was responsible for the death of Till'All's father.

The DCTVU version of Till'All is one of the greatest fighters among the White Martians who are fighting to curb the more violent and racist aspects of their society.

M'yrnn J'onzz was created by John Ostrander and Eduardo Barreto and first appeared in Martian Manhunter #33 (Volume 2) (August 2001). A singer by trade, his first appearance was largely a cameo in a flashback detailing the destruction of the Green Martian race.

Carl Lumbly plays the part of M'yrnn J'onzz, father of J'onn J'onzz. Carl Lumbly previously voiced J'onn J'onzz in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series. He also starred in the cult-hit superhero series M.A.N.T.I.S. where he played the role of a paralyzed scientist who used an mechanized exoskeleton of his own design to fight crime.

The DCTVU vesion of M'yrnn is the highest ranking religious leader of The Green Martians. He was spared because, according to M'gann, not even the most vicious of The White Martians would kill the prime servant of H'ronmeer.

H'ronmeer is one of the more powerful gods of the Martian pantheon in the DC Universe. Opinion seems divided, however as to H'ronmeer's true nature. He has been referred to as both the god of fire, art and death as well as the god of light and life. H'ronmeer is not malevolent, despite his dark nature. There are some theories that H'ronmeer may be a masculine aspect of Death of The Endless, much as her brother Dream is identified by the Martians as L'Zoril - lord of Dreams. H'ronmeer is also worshiped by the Red Saturnians, though they call him Hiromeer.

M'yrnn recalls a Martian fable regarding H'ronmeer and his two sons, Phobos and Deimos. In classical Greek Mythology, Phobos and Deimos were the twin sons of Ares (god of war) and Aphrodite (goddess of love). Phobos became the god of fear and Deimos the god of terror. In astrology, the two moons of the planet Mars are named Phobos and Deimos.


While it is possible to use a single transmat gate to travel if you have the exact coordinates of the point you are trying to reach (like when Winn sent Kara to the Daxamite mothership in 217), transmats can only be used to travel between planets if there is a second gate for the first gate to home in on. This is why Kara and J'onn must travel to Mars by ship.

Martian techonology is capable of shape-shifting. J'onn has a space-ship that he keeps disguised as a vintage convertible on Earth.

The Rite Of Tyagar is a Martian technique that allows one telepath to force their way through another telepath's mental blocks. This can allow them to read their mind unimpeded but it can cause great damage to the one whose blocks are broken.

It is a Green Martian custom to assume the forms of other species when making peaceful contact, in order to insure the comfort of their guests. This is why The White Martians assume human forms when greeting J'onn J'onzz, know his distaste for White Martians. It is also why M'yrnn assumes a human form when addressing J'onn when he appears in his human form. (It also helps to keep the SFX budget low!)

Dialogue Triumphs

Kara: My name is Kara Zor-El. I'm from Krypton. I'm a refugee on this planet. I was sent to Earth to protect my cousin, but my pod was knocked off-course and by the time I got here my cousin had already grown up and become Superman. I hid who I really was, until one day when an accident forced me to reveal myself to the world. To most people, I'm a reporter at CatCo Worldwide Media, but in secret, I work with my adopted sister for the DEO to protect my city from alien life and anyone else that means to cause it harm. I am Supergirl.

(J'onn opens the garage where he keeps his spaceship. It holds an old convertible.)
Kara: Cool car. So, is this like an elevator to a secret hanger that will-
J'onn: No, it isn't.
(J'onn goes to the driver's seat and gets into the car.)
This is your ship?
J'onn: Yep.
Kara: We're taking this to Mars?
J'onn: Yes, we are.
Kara: Okay.
(J'onn adjusts the radio as Kara opens the passenger front door and flounces into the chair, shaking the car. J'onn looks up at her, slightly annoyed.)
J'onn: Careful with the leather there, Supergirl.
(Kara winces and raises her hands.)
(Rock music begins to play on the radio as Kara looks around.)
There's no seat belt.
J'onn: It's from a different era.
Kara: And a different planet!
J'onn: I come from a race of shapeshifters, Kara. Why shouldn't our technology shape-shift too?
Kara: Fair enough.
(J'onn pulls out of the garage as the car changes into a space-ship and flies upward into the sky.)

(J'onn enters the cell where his father is being kept.)
M'yrnn: I'm praying! Leave me be!
J'onn: I think, at this time, H'ronmeer will allow you a moment of personal indulgence.
(J'onn walks around to stand before his father.)
It's me, Father! It's J'onn!
(M'yrnn does not respond.)
J'onn: You are angry with me. For abandoning you. As you should be. I know how you must have felt. Alone all these years... thinking you'd never see another Green Martian. Thinking our entire family had been destroyed...
(There is a long silence. Suddenly, M'yrnn speaks as J'onn looks at his father.)
M'yrnn: You really thought such a trick would work on me?!
J'onn: Father?!
M'yrnn: (angrily) I survived two centuries of imprisonment and torture.. alone! So if you think exploiting the form of my dead son will break me, you are a fool! I will never tell you where The Staff of Kolar is!
J'onn: Father, it's me! J'onn! I fled to Earth! I survived!
M'yrnn: (laughs) You give yourself away, White! My son would never have fled!
(Despondent, J'onn turns and leaves the room at a hurried pace.)

J'onn: You ever wonder, Kara, what your parents would say to you if they could see you now? After all this time? What they'd think of the person you've become?
Kara: Every day. (pauses) They'd be proud of me.
J'onn: Yeah. I thought that too. Then I actually got the chance to ask. My father thinks I'm a coward.
Kara: Then he doesn't know you. Because the man I know dedicated his entire life to making sure that what happened on Mars never happens anywhere else. You go in there, J'onn... and show your father who his son really is.

Dialogue Disasters

Kara: J'onn, if Krypton still existed and I had to go back to where my parents were buried, under rubble, I know you wouldn't let me do it alone.

Maggie's Father: Do you know I was the only Mexicano working alongside a bunch of white boys? Do you know that they would wait for me at night, by the road, and laugh at me and call me wetback and kick me until my ribs were broken?!
Maggie: Dad, what does this have to do-
Maggie's Father: -with you being a lesbian?! I worked! To win respect! Those same boys when they grew up elected me their sheriff. I endured, for my children, so that you would never have to face that kind of hatred! So that you would belong!
Maggie: I'm respected for who I am. The world is different now.
Maggie's Father: Ha! They're building a wall to keep us out because in their minds we're nothing but rapists and murderers! The only thing they hate more than a Mexicano is a homosexual!


J'onn refers to the events of 217 in explaining why he and Kara can't just use a transmat to teleport to Mars.

Martian spaceships are capable of shape-shifting.

Eliza Danvers' lasagna is her daughter's favorite food.

Maggie hasn't spoken to her parents since she was 14. Her father's last words to her before he dropped her off at an aunt's house were "You shamed me." Her aunt later told her that her parents removed all the photos of Maggie from the family photo album.

The Staff of Kolar is an ancient Martian weapon which is said to have been forged by H'ronmeer. It's a psychic weapon that could potentially be used to track down every member of the White Martian resistance and kill them instantly.

M'yrnn was tortured by the White Martians for over 200 years.

Maggie's full name is Margarita Sawyer

Maggie's father is a sheriff who read up on his daughter's case histories after she called him. He taught her everything he knew about being a detective.

In the myths of Mars, H'ronmeer had two sons - Phobos and Deimos. In order to test his sons, H'ronmeer created two artifacts - a book of sacred symbols, which taught the morals that govern Martian life and a weapon - The Staff of Kolar. The symbols could be shared but only one could wield the staff. To H'ronmeer's disappointment, Phobos chose the staff while Deimos chose the book. Phobos became the first White Martian and was banished to the underworld. His descendants clawed their way back to the surface and eventually overtook the Green Martian race sired by Deimos. H'ronmeer then buried the staff to keep it hidden.

Alex's favorite color is blue. Her favorite animal is dogs. Her favorite ice cream is Rocky Road.

Maggie loves Merlot.

Maggie's father gives her a picture of herself as a child that he's kept in his wallet for years.

M'yrnn had previous exposure to a Kryptonian at some point in his past.

J'onn's happiest memory is of a birthday where his father left worship early to surprise him and his daughters spoiled the surprise because they were so happy to be in on the secret that they couldn't stop dancing.

Maggie again tells Alex that she does not want kids.

J'onn brings The Staff of Kolar and his father to Earth.



The Bottom Line

Quite probably the weakest episode of the series to date. The script tries to mirror its subplots, with both J'onn and Maggie seeking the approval of their fathers, though J'onn feels he abandoned his father in his lowest moment and Maggie was abandoned by her father in hers. The problem is that Maggie has been such a non-entity on the show that she can't support her own subplot and her father is written as a melodramatic gay-hating cliche who seems far too articulate for a small-town sheriff.

The subplot with J'onn and his father fares somewhat better, though some of David Harewood's exclamations come off as more comical than was intended. Still, Carl Lumbly gives the whole thing a sense of gravitas that it doesn't deserve and the whole Resistance battle is problematic with Kara killing a mob of White Martians without reservations. And that's ignoring the problems with a blonde-haired, white-skinned woman being the savior of a bunch of aliens who all take on the forms of African American humans.

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