This episode is Floriana Lima’s (and Maggie’s) shining moment – something we’ve deserved since her arrival on our screens a year ago. ‘Far From the Tree’ only focuses on two storylines, and both revolve around certain character’s fathers. Maggie’s dad comes into town for her and Alex’s bridal shower, while J’onn goes to Mars to help M’gann and finds out he isn’t the last Green Martian after all.
Eliza is back in town for the bridal shower, and has dinner with Alex and Maggie beforehand. Maggie opens up a little more about her parents kicking her out for being gay, and the full story is something neither us or Alex have heard before. When they’re going to bed later that night, Alex tells Maggie that maybe she should reach out to her father because “the world is different” and “maybe he’s changed”. This seems a little out of character for Alex, who once slammed Maxwell Lord down on a table just for fun. Still, Alex’s words seem to stick with Maggie, who calls her father in the middle of the night and invites him to the shower.
Meanwhile, J’onn has taken Kara with him to Mars in a car that turns into a spaceship. Where can I get one of those? M’gann greets them with the other White Martians of the resistance. It’s a shame that M’gann didn’t get more screentime in this episode, because she is sorely missed back on Earth. J’onn is told that there was another Green Martian found alive in a White Martian base. This Martian turns out to be none other than J’onn’s father, M’yrnn. Apparently he’s been tortured for two centuries and they only kept him alive because he knows the whereabouts of a fancy staff.
M’yrnn doesn’t recognise his son at all, and thinks it’s a trick by the White Martians to get him to talk. He turns into his human form to explain the origins of the staff, and there’s some cool White Martian origin lore involved. M’yrnn also reveals that he is the one keeping the staff safe, which is pretty impressive after two centuries of torture.
Maggie’s dad, Oscar, arrives and has a very awkward conversation with his daughter, who he apparently hasn’t seen or contacted since she was 14. He attends the shower, fully aware that it’s two women who are getting married, and still storms out halfway through. Maggie confronts him on the street and they get into a huge fight. Basically, Oscar isn’t a great guy, and uses his own difficult upbringing as a Mexican in America to shame Maggie for being gay. He leaves, saying that she can live the way she wants but he won’t be a part of it.
The rampant homophobia – regardless of the positive intention – isn’t the only issue in this scene. There’s also mention of the government “building a wall to keep [Mexicans] out”, which makes absolutely no sense in the Supergirl universe. Trump is not the president here, so why is there a wall? In fact, Lynda Carter (who plays pro-refugee alien president Olivia Marsdin) is half-Mexican herself, so the entire scene seems highly insensitive in multiple ways. It seems that, in a bid to be more “politically aware”, Supergirl has completely forgotten its own continuity.
M’yrnn is only able to believe J’onn is his son when J’onn takes him to their old home and shows him his favourite memory, which is of his two daughters. They have an emotional reunion, but it’s quickly interrupted by the resistance telling them that the White Martians have found the staff. This results in some Britney Spears and a badass fight scene, of course concluding with the resistance defeating the White Martians. The resistance asks J’onn and Kara to hide the staff on Earth, because it’s too powerful for anyone to wield. Bonus: M’yrnn is also coming to Earth! It’ll be interesting to see how J’onn goes being a son after all this time.
In my opinion, the best part of the episode comes in the form of Maggie’s final scene with her father. In regular happy Supergirl fashion, you’d expect Maggie to forgive her father, for him to apologise, and for them to start building a good relationship together. However, that isn’t the case this time. Maggie tells him that she doesn’t need him or his approval, and that she’s happy just the way she is with her chosen family. It’s a great reminder that you don’t always have to forgive someone if it’s not good for you.
Alex mentions kids again back at their apartment, and Maggie is pretty firm when she tells her she doesn’t want them. It’s clear that this will be the cause of their break up so that Floriana Lima is able to exit the show. Again, I don’t think it makes sense at all, but what can you do?
Despite the inconsistencies, Lima’s skills and choices as an actress made this episode great. While I believe Maggie’s story was more prominent, David Harewood was also great, playing the son instead of the usual father figure. There’s also an interesting contrast between both stories – one with a happy ending and one not so much. Supergirl generally does well with these emotionally charged episodes, so I’m hoping for more of them in the future.
THE REEL SCORE: 8/10