“Supergirl” Episode 415 Recap: A Family Affair

Previously on Supergirl, Lex Luthor was evil and put in jail, there was a Martian staff of psychic powers, and Lena refused to start human trials because her serum wasn’t 100% ready yet because she’s GOOD unlike her brother who we may have mentioned is evil. And is also Jon Cryer for some Raoforsaken reason but we’re trying to move past that.

We open this episode four years ago, with Lex monologuing to Lena while they watch destruction and chaos on the news. Lena looks scared, and it turns out she’s tied to a chair… though that’s not stopping her from telling her brother that what he’s doing is wrong, and that the world can’t survive under a red sun.

Lena looks stressed and washed in red light

Anyone else have Black Hole Sun stuck in their head?

But Lex doesn’t care because know who else can’t live under a red sun? Superman. He thinks Superman has become a false god and wants the people to see him bleed, and Lena hisses that at least Superman’s good. Lex isn’t deterred and when the cops come to get him he still seems confident he’ll come out on top of all this.

Cut to present day, where Lena walks out of the Luthor mansion in a sexy rainproof trenchcoat situation to a medivac.

Lena looks stern in a waterproof leather-looking rain trenchcoat??

I don’t know what or why this is but I’m not mad at it.

When the doors open to reveal her brother hooked up to an oxygen machine and immediately sasses him about having a stroke just to see her via sympathy furlow. Once settled inside he explains that he feels weak and helpless and he hates it and he wants the Harun-El serum to cure him. Lena does find delight in the irony of Lex having poisoned himself with kryptonite and now needing an element from his enemy’s home planet to cure him, but it’s not ready for human trials yet. Which he knows because they’ve been talking for the past few months.

Lena looks down with annoyance at Lex

Lena’s whole “annoyed at my brother” vibe was very #relatable this episode.

But she tells him to rest assured; she fully intends on making sure he lives out the rest of his prison sentence.

Eve comes in and Lex tries to give her his coffee order but she ignores him and tells Lena that it’s about James.

You see, Kara got a James-is-in-danger alert from his special watch (pressed by the Risen Mitten from PLL) and Supergirled him to the hospital. Knowing the shooting happened at CatCo, not knowing the fate of her friend, Lena hugs Kara so hard when she sees her.

Lena gives Kara a big ol'hug

“They’ve kept us apart for like five episodes, it was awful.”

Then she remembers she’s actually there to see James and ignores everyone’s protests that they won’t let anyone in to see him yet and marches away saying that she owns this hospital and can go wherever she damn well pleases.

It turns out James was shot in the back with a hollow bullet that shattered and splintered inside him. J’onn is so sure it’s Manchester so he goes off to find him.

Alex goes to find Lena and tell her that even though surgery is an option for James, it’s still risky and he might not survive it. But one thing that would heal him completely is the Harun-El serum. Lena is stressed and says it’s not ready, but Alex believes in her and says that there has to be something she hasn’t tried yet, a resource she hasn’t tapped.

Alex leans gaily while Lena sits attentively

Let’s play a game called Spot the Gay.

Lena is inspired by Alex’s assertion and runs off.

J’onn and Kara are about to leave to find Manchester when Alex asks why Kara would be leaving her best friend in the hospital. Kara mutters something about how James would want her at CatCo and scurries off.

Lex doesn’t understand why Lena wants to save James so badly since they’re broken up now, but Lena explains she only pushed James away because she knew he would never approve of her working with Lex. But she has to, and she knows this now, because no one knows kryptonite better than him. So she asks for Lex’s help to finish the serum. She’s having a hard time finding the balance between the healing and the super parts of the serum and it’s causing that pesky side effect they warn you about in prescription drug commercials: death.

Lena looks a lil crazed talking to Lex

DEATH I SAY. SURE, IT’S REVERSIBLE AND AS LUTHORS WE’RE TECHNICALLY IMMUNE BUT DEATH

Back at the hospital, Nia blames herself for this, saying she should have seen this coming and been able to save James. Brainy feels like it’s HIS fault because he didn’t predict it and that Manchester having his Legion ring must have helped him get into CatCo undetected. But their pity party is interrupted by Alex who comes to check on them, and then by a doctor who decides to tell this not-next-of-kin that he was put in a medically induced coma but that he needs a true next-of-kin to decide the next steps. Alex tries to be James’s medical proxy but then, who swoops in just in time, but Kelly Olsen.

Hey, I just met you
And this is crazy
But this is Alex
So call her maybe

Kelly of course knows all about Alex and is glad to finally meet her. And maybe it was just in my heart but I’m pretty sure the music started tinkling a little happier when she arrived. Before she goes to talk to the doctor about next-of-kin stuff, she tells him that Alex, Brainy and Nia are family, and should be treated as such.

And then right there Kelly Olsen won my whole heart and she can stay forever.

At the Luthor Mansion, Lena puts on a suit?? I do not know why. I do not care. I love it.

Lena crosses her arms in a suit

“Am I going to a murder mystery party? Am I trying to impress my brother? Do I just like to dress up when I’m doing science and crime? None of your fucking business.”

Lex tries to take credit for Lena’s accomplishments, saying that she was always trying to impress him and it was only because he didn’t give her any encouragement that she continued to thrive. But that he’s proud of her, especially of how she made kryptonite.

He’s coughing up blood but she’s mostly just annoyed and has mixed feelings about everything her brother is saying.

Lena glares annoyed at Lex

Also very siblingy to be like “omg your death rattle is so annoying please shut up.”

Lena goes out to the garden to have a think and let everyone see her suit in the sunshine.

Lena smirks in the garden in her suit

“I agree I do look great in this light.”

Eve comes out to talk to Lena, saying she’s concerned about how much access Lex has now that he’s working on the serum with her. But Lena assures her that right now Lex is just looking out for number one, and until he cures himself, that’s as dubious a plot as he can hatch.

When she gets back inside, Lex is on the floor with the DOC agent just standing over him, so Lena uncuffs her brother and helps him up.

Alex goes into James’s hospital room to check on him and Kelly, and to thank Kelly for the access. Kelly says James has always been a chosen family kind of guy, so she knows this is what he would want. They realize Kara still isn’t around but before they can wonder too much about where she is, James starts seizing and they’re ushered out of the room.

Alex and Kelly look into the hospital room with worried expressions

I didn’t capture any of it in screenshots because there was too much movement, but Alex gently puts her arm on Kelly’s A LOT just saying

A doctor comes out and tells Kelly that James is looking pretty rough and that he needs surgery STAT. Kelly consents, but as soon as the doctor leaves, Alex tells Kelly about Lena’s serum. She says the serum isn’t ready, but that she believe it will be soon, because she’s seen Lena Luthor do impossible things before. Kelly doesn’t trust a Luthor enough to bet her brother’s life on one, and so her and Alex have a bit of a standoff about what’s best for James.

Alex looks pleadingly at Kelly

Glad they’re getting their first fight out of the way early.

Meanwhile, Lena and Lex are working together and fixing the issues with the serum and even speaking in unison when they realize they’ve almost solved it.

Alex calls Kara and scolds her sister for not being there when James needs her. She says James is about to go into surgery and Rao forbid anything goes wrong, Kara won’t have the chance to say goodbye unless she gets her butt down here right now. How could she possibly help J’onn with Manchester? What is she going to do, report him to death?

Word that James went into surgery gets to Lena, and she fears she’s too late to save him.

Lena looks distraught and is sitting by the fireplace in her suit

Also me when I found out One Day at a Time was cancelled.

Lex tells Lena about a dog he had when he was little, before Lena showed up, and that Lillian sent Lex on a business trip instead of letting him be with the dog when he died. At first Lex was pissed because his dad spent the whole time with this mystery woman, but the mystery woman ended up being a lovely Irish angel and was kind to him when his own parents weren’t. And this woman was Lena’s mother. Lex tells Lena this story to remind her that no matter what shadow the Luthor name casts over her, she should always remember that she was born of light.

Lena looks overwhelmed, frankly

“My unique speech patterns make sense now! It’s the genetic brogue!”

I’m just going to wrap up J’onn’s storyline in this ep here because I didn’t care at all. Manchester has the psychic staff and gets in a fight with J’onn and J’onn’s path of peace is tested. Manchester torments J’onn with memories of his daughters dying, and then false images of Alex and Kara being dead and asking why he didn’t save them.

Zombie Alex looks directly into the camera

I’d let her eat my brain, if you know what I mean.

Eventually J’onn succumbs to this torture and kills Manchester dead. Just, evaporates him. And J’onn is officially no longer a man of peace.

At the hospital, Alex brings Kelly Jell-O and Kelly accepts the olive branch, and at first I was like, “Hm, that’s not very queer, what with the gelatin” but then Kelly started processing her feelings by way of the Jell-O and my gaydar spiked. Kelly tells Alex that she was a military psychologist and that she’s no stranger to visiting her brother in the hospital.

Kelly smiles at Alex

As Maggie’s friend on Charmed said when she saw a couple she shipped…TOOT TOOT

When Kara shows up, Kelly hugs her, and immediately sees that Kara and Alex need a minute alone so she and J’onn peace out. Kara apologizes and says that she couldn’t just sit around and feel helpless while James was hurt, but she realized in giving J’onn advice earlier, that sometimes the best thing you can do for someone might not look like action at all, but might just involve being with them. So she hugs her sister and stands by her side.

Kara hugs Alex

When do we think we can restore Alex’s memories? Soon? Please? I hate this lying and fighting.

Lena shows up and Alex and Kara take her to James’s room. And I know that’s a boring sentence but listen I like being able to use all three of their names okay?

Alex, Kara, Lena and Eve are just standing around the hospital waiting room but you can see Lena's FULL SUIT

This screenshot is also unnecessary but it’s the best full shot of the suit we get so. You’re welcome.

Anyway, in another corridor of the hospital, Nia finds Brainy in a battle with a vending machine and he’s having a bit of a mental breakdown. To try to calm him, Nia pulls him into a kiss. I scream with joy, then the lights start to flicker. (But it turns out only one of those things was because of the kiss.)

Nia and Brainy look up at the flickering lights post-kiss

“‘Cause I see sparks fly, whenever you smile.”

Kelly and Alex realize that if the hospital power goes out in the middle of James’s surgery, he’s screwed, and Alex says that while the surgery was the right choice for Kelly to make at the time, desperate times might call for desperate measures, and the serum is ready right now. Alex says she understands not trusting Lena since she doesn’t know her from a hole in the wall, but looks her in the eyes and asks her to trust Alex instead. And Kelly does.

Kelly looks at Alex and decides to trust her

I’M JUST SAYING they would understand each other’s military experience, Kelly is already down with the supers, they both had to study science…TOOT TOOT

Eve pops up and says, “Did someone say serum?” and just happens to have one so they rush off to find Lena to administer it. Lena kicks open the OR door and says that she’s about to do some crime so all the doctors leave. For some reason, despite having been shot in the back, they had started opening him up via the lower abdomen, so he’s face up and in the perfect position for Lena to jab a needle right into his heart.

Lena takes over the operating room

BE GAY, DO CRIMES

Kelly and Alex watch on nervously but together.

Alex and Kelly look nervous

Alex touched Kelly’s arm here too. Maybe even held her hand beneath that observation window.

The serum starts to work and creeps through his veins and starts to heal his wounds until finally James snaps awake with a deep breath. He sees three of his favorite ladies standing over him and isn’t too mad about being alive. Kelly gives Lena credit for saving him, and Lena tosses some of that credit back to Supergirl, and even though they’re all being humble, look at these three ladies.

Kara, Lena and Alex all kind of look down but look great

Great minds, great outfits, great hair. Just. Great.

Kelly tells James how much she likes his friends, and also PS she called their mom so have fun with that byyyye. It was very sisterly and cute.

For some reason Brainy doesn’t think, statistically, he and Nia will work as a couple because relationships brought on by fraught situations aren’t set up by success, but I guess he’s forgetting about all the groundwork they put in to lead up to this moment. In any case, Nia is not deterred and is sure Brainy will come around eventually.

Nia watches Brainy walk away

This wasn’t meant to be sinister right? Just like…determined? I think Eve gave me trust issues.

Lena goes to see Lex, pissed, because she’s realized that it’s his fault the power in the hospital went out and forced her to test her Harun-El on a human subject.

Lena in a suit crossing her arms

Whatever you do, don’t open this image in a new window and see what I named this file.

Lex admits that she’s right, and also that he had James (or Jimmy, as he calls him) shot in the first place; he wanted the cure for himself but wanted it tested on someone else first and new Lena needed a little… prodding. But since it worked so well, he’s already taken the cure. Oh and by the way, the jerky DOC agent? Has been that bad brother from the beginning of the season this whole time. Otis Graves? Yeah he’s been using Lena’s image inducing technology against her, that jerk.

They cuff Lena to a chair and as if Lena’s day hadn’t been bad enough, in walks Eve Teschmacher pointing a gun right at her boss.

Eve points a gun at Lena

NOT THE SUIT! Er, or the Lena of course. But like, especially not in the suit!!

I will not lie to you my friends… I gasped. I never in a million years suspected her, I thought she was a science angel sent to listen to Lena talk out loud in the lab so she wasn’t talking to herself all the time. I am hurt and confused and Lena is, too. Especially when Eve claims she’s been on Lex’s side this whole time. Which… WHAT whole time? Since before she started at CatCo? Or just since she joined Lena’s science squad? I NEED ANSWERS, TESCHMACHER, AND I NEED THEM NOW.

But I’m pretty sure she’s not secretly double-crossing Lex because when another DOC agent comes in to see what the commotion is, Eve shoots him without flinching. (Then again maybe she knew he had a bulletproof vest?? I’M SO TORN.) Anywho, they knock Lena out with some chloroform, hop into the medivac and fly off, where Lex is delighted to come face to face with Supergirl.

Supergirl flies up next to the helicopter

More like Hair’n’El amiright?

Next week, hopefully more Kelly! Because I know she sticks around and I know I love her. Also, pro tip, keep an eye on Azie Tesfai on instagram and Twitter, because she’s best friends with Nicole Maines and Katie McGrath (#Nikazie) and they are QUITE the trio. I’m low-key obsessed but if my otherwise very professional and not fangirly at all Twitter account turns into a Nikazie stan account, don’t be too surprised.

Just a nerdy, TV-loving, Twitter-addicted Hufflepuff who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 181 articles for us.

42 Comments

  1. Great recap as always, Valerie Anne! This is the only ep I’ve watched live all season (because they really got me with the teasers for that suit on Lena) and I really enjoyed it??? I doubt I’ll make a habit of it since recaps, crackvids, and memes usually work more for me than whatever nazi allegory mismanaging happens on a given week, but I’m glad I caught it! Came for the suit, stayed for the plot and some lovely insight on Lena’s mother (and also Kara in those jeans which I feel are being underappreciated).

    I’m ready to ship Kelly and Alex with all my heart, and I actually really like what Jon Cryer’s doing with Lex so far. I’ll admit I saw his name and laughed for two straight weeks about Duckie being a super-villain, but the casting on SG is often wonderful *whispers* even if certain talents are wasted on underwritten story lines. I thought the ending was a bit BBC Sherlock-y, but also it was fun in a way that the CoL story can’t be (because they’re allegorical nazis lobbying for political recognition and power), and I’m hoping they can keep that energy moving forward.

    I LOVE Alex having faith in Lena’s abilities and also her judgment. I love Kara, but if the show won’t allow her and Lena to share a screen more than a few times a season unless she’s in the SG outfit, then I need both Lena and Alex to have an onscreen friend and confidant and defender. Glad they’re finding that in each other. I also appreciated Brainy’s “boxes, comrade,” to Lena. I’m happy to pretend in my head that they’re all besties, but really love it when the show supports it with actual scenes.

    Hoping Alex gets back her memories ASAP, if only so she and Kelly can cuddle and swap stories about their little siblings being comatose. They can double date with Nia and Brainy when he gets his life together.

    • I agree, I liked this ep a lot and I think you’re right that it’s due largely in part to them skipping the Children of Liberty stuff. At 8:45 I found myself being surprised the episode was almost over – something that hasn’t happened with me and this show for a while.

  2. Only here for the suit, not gonna lie, and damn! it’s a three piece!

    Was this purple suit situation a nod to the joker and all things evil and then:Twist! Lena is the victim in the entire scenario?

  3. I gotta say, I actually screamed, quite loudly, “NO!” when Eve turned the gun on Lena, and I think I scared my friend who I was watching with over skype (yes, we skype-watch Supergirl).

    I also talked over most of the scenes with Lena in that suit because, Lena in that suit. It was everything I never knew I needed.

    I’m really worried Manchester isn’t actually gone, mostly because J’onn refused to give Brainy’s ring back to him. His excuse was flimsy as fuck when he could have just given the ring to Kara to give to Brainy who could have lied and said she didn’t know how J’onn got it back.

    If I can’t have Lena and Alex, I will definitely accept Alex and Kelly, who would be quite fun to watch, I imagine, and would be a very healthy relationship for Alex, who I think deserves it.

    • I think he did give the ring to Kara at the end, though. Hopefully she’ll return it to Brainy.
      Though it seems really likely to me that:
      A: The ring is booby-trapped;
      B: Manchester isn’t really dead.

  4. Lesbian culture is knowing that we own Lena in a suit to Cate Blanchett’s Lou Miller from “Ocean’s 8” and thinking Carol Aird was right when she wrote: there are no accidents and Katie would find it sooner or later, everything comes full circle, be grateful it was sooner rather than later.

    Yeah, I’m forever grateful, Cate Blanchett, Queen of the Gays.

  5. Would it be too much to ask that Alex and her great hair and badassery have a gdamn gf? Unfortunately that’s all I thought as I watched her interact with Kelly Olsen. Lena’s suit was amazing. I just didn’t get the compulsion to “save” Lex when any mild foreshadowing would have hinted towards him stabbing her in the back. It seemed a bit silly to be honest

  6. I haven’t watched this show live for a very long time and I have no interest in doing so any time soon. Alex and Lena are the only characters I remotely care about but not enough to suffer the rest of that cast. I still haven’t forgotten the mocking of same-sex shippers or the non-apologies that followed. OUAT got the same cold shoulder from me after awhile and I remain consistent. I’m fine with reading the recaps and if there is a scene I really want to see, well YT usually has me covered.

    I will give the show a few compliments by saying that the wardrobe department still knows how to dress Lena well. That suit was amazing. And I take back any negativity I originally had about Jon Cryer playing Luthor. He’s actually doing a great job. I just hope the writers don’t fuck this up for him. Lastly, I’m all for Alex FINALLY getting a new love interest. I hear the actress who plays Kelly was made a series regular so we will see where that goes.

  7. Lena Luthor’s Kevin Kilgrave cosplay is on point.

    ——–

    I continue to love the inversion of romantic tropes between Nia and Brainy. But, to Brainy’s argument that “relationships brought on by fraught situations aren’t set up by success.”

    Sara/Ava: “What?”
    Oliver/Felicty: “What?”
    Zari/Food: (Too polite to talk with her mouth full)
    Barry/Iris: “What?”

    ——–

    Well, Eve’s heel turn came out of nowhere. Like the writers never even gave a hint or a shot holding on her looking suspicious to hint at it. How long has that evil black dress been hiding in her closet?

  8. i see that tswift lyric in there! this episode was great and all but more importantly Azie’s live instastory afterwards was the best thing i’ve seen in a long time. the suit was Katie’s idea because she’s a goddess and Nicole is the most relatable and cracks casual gay jokes and i just love their whole #nikazie thing it’s wonderful

  9. I’ve been waiting for Eve to be revealed as a bad guy since we first found out what her name was. Am I the only one? It was a pretty big clue. Good episode overall. The suit was incredible. Imagine if she completed the look with some loafers though. *SWOON*

    • I thought that, based on the movies. But also thought they were just being amusing when they had her work for a different Luthor…having her save the world versus working with Lex to end it.

      I’m pleased they followed through on it without making it more obvious.

  10. Love the recaps and the enthusiasm. Keep it up!

    Thought the James storyline was kind of cringe-worthy in light of the terrible history of African Americans being experimented on in this country. I know Lex set it all into motion, and he’s a bad guy so we can add racism to his list of ills…except the way it was treated in the script I can’t help but feel the Supergirl writers never even realized it was a racist trope based on painful history.

  11. Since Brainy’s already on the “dragging Mon-El” train (I knew I liked Brainy!) I just feel compelled to throw out there that Mon-El spent all of last season emotionally cheating on his wife and making eyes at Kara BUT NEVER HAD THE TIME TO MENTION that the girl he slept with/whose credit card he stole WAS EVIL? It just didn’t come up? jfc he’s even more useless than I thought

    And now that I’ve got that off my chest, HOW DO I GET LENA’S SUIT IT IS ALL I WANT IN THIS WORLD

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