This week’s episode of Supergirl was another strong one, and once again it put the women at the forefront of the story. This one was more action-packed, with problems, solutions, and feelings, for and by women. And SO much shade thrown at the current political goings-on that was so air-punchingly satisfying, I didn’t even care that it was heavy-handed. Supergirl has something to say, and something to stand for, and she’s not backing down.
We start where the last episode ended, with Daxamites taking over National City. Chaos is brewing, the streets are chaos, and Lena has been beamed up to the Daxamite mothership. And apparently changed into some kind of death gown.
But don’t worry, Lena’s just a sleeping beauty; Rhea has deemed Lena and exception to her “humans are expendable” stance, which is why she was spared. (Rhea also tries to gaslight her surrogate daughter, saying Supergirl almost killed Lena and she, Rhea, saved her. But Lena remembers exactly what happened, thank you very much. Nice try.) So Lena is stuck on this ship, for now at least.
Meanwhile, the invasion on National City goes right for the weapons first, and attacks the NCPD. Maggie runs out into the mayhem in full force (and decidedly lacking in bulletproof vests) and calls her girlfriend to warn her.
Alex’s headset gets cut off, but it’s not long before the DEO is attacked too, and they have to evacuate.
Up on the mothership, Rhea reveals her plan to arrange a marriage between her son and Lena, taking this whole mother-figure thing seriously, and even The Loaf knows this plan will never work.
Down on Earth, in the gaylien bar, Team Super takes stock of what they know and what resources they have. The DEO and NCPD are out of commission. J’onn is still in his hellscape mind prison situation. Superman is missing, and they hope it’s just because he’s in the streets helping out. But you know who’s not missing? Maggie freaking Sawyer.
Alex and Maggie run to each other and kiss and Maggie jokes that it’s funny they both headed straight for a bar when times got tough.
Kara, all Supergirl-ed out, says, “We’re all together,” and call me a sap, but the fact that she said that after Maggie showed up made my heart grow three sizes. The only issue is that J’onn is down, so they don’t really have a leader. And on a cue that wasn’t hers to take, Lillian Luthor appears, with an offer of help the Superfriends greet with open arms…literally. (Get it? Like they pointed their guns at–oh, nevermind.)
Lillian is feeling high and mighty about her “aliens are bad” stance and says they can help each other, but Alex isn’t interested in a word she has to say, especially since Lillian has no word about Jeremiah. But Lillian grabs Supergirl on the way out, making a final plea, using the Lena card, and leaving her a way to contact her.
Maggie decides that she should hit the streets again, and wants to take Guardian with her, which is adorable and sweet and I JUST LOVE TEAMWORK, OKAY? And! Alex goes, “That’s a good idea.” And wishes her well and sends her off! Reasonable reactions from a girlfriend! What a world! It was such a small moment but it was very important to me, okay?
Suddenly a new face hacks Rhea’s livestream, and it’s President Wonder Woman, who we shall call Olivia from now on, because we’re buds now, calling from Air Force One and demanding Rhea and the Daxamites back down.
Kara and Alex are SO EXCITED TO SEE HER FACE.
Oliva and Rhea start to fight, going back and forth about how they’re not going to quit, when suddenly CAT GRANT APPEARS. And tells them all to shut the fuck up.
Cat has every intention of saving the planet without breaking a sweat. She says they’re three strong women, and surely they can sort this out. But Rhea hangs up on them instead, something that probably hasn’t happened to Cat very often. But Supergirl realizes that this wasn’t just a move of disrespect, but a threat. So she flise off to save Air Force One.
Whether it was a logistical thing or she was making decisions heart-first I am unsure, but Supergirl puts Cat Grant safely back on the ground and then realizes she didn’t save the President. Lucky for everyone though, the President is an alien.
Kara looks shook but Cat barely bats an eye, asking only if she’s still a Democrat.
Back at Dollywood, Cat is so excited to be back in our lives that she even lets Winn hug her. Hug her! With his arms! It’s amazing. She tells everyone that Olivia was her RA in college, and still loves her, “scales and all.” It’s very sweet.
Olivia orders Director Danvers and Supergirl to destroy the mothership, no matter what it takes, and the girls hop to.
Speaking of the mothership, Lena is up there having a hell of a day. Wasn’t it just yesterday she was having brunch with her gal pal, laughing it up about N’Sync? And now she’s standing here listening to the woman she was starting to think of as a mentor tell her she’s going to be forced into an arranged marriage to produce an heir.
Lena was mostly listening with disinterest until the bit about the heir to which she doth protest. But Mon-El explains that they don’t need to have sex to produce an heir, you just need to mash DNA, which Rhea got from her hair while she was sleeping. And as happy as I am for same-sex couples on Daxam to be able to get a haircut and make a baby all quicklike, that seems really dangerous from a creating-offspring-without-consent standpoint… But either way, Lena is not into this AT ALL and outright refuses to be part of this nonsense.
That is, until Rhea threatens the children’s hospital she donates to. A children’s hospital! Y’all. Lena Luthor is not her legacy. That’s for damn sure.
Alex and Kara are still in the bar, fighting, because Alex wants to get rid of her sister’s Blandsome love interest so badly, she’ll risk Lena too, but Kara says enough queer women have died on TV in the past few years that we frankly can’t even spare our subtext ships, so they have to save Lena, just like they’d have to save Maggie if the roles were reversed. Alex is still riding the high of being named acting director of the DEO and says that she’d blow Maggie up too, to protect the planet, but Kara calls bullshit.
Kara storms outside to get some air and finds Cat sitting on a trash heap which seems so not-Cat (it’s super gross out there!) and yet somehow so perfectly Cat (I’ll sit wherever the fuck I want thank you very much) that I love it. They look up at the ship together and Cat can tell something is holding Supergirl back from going up there and punching it to pieces, and Supergirl admits that two people she loves are still on that ship. Loves! She said it. That’s not me projecting (I promise, Heather!) she literally said she loves Lena. Granted, it came on the heels of calling her her best friend, but I’LL TAKE IT.
Kara is worried it makes her selfish, for putting thousands of people at risk to want to save two specific people. But Cat says, funnily enough, it’s actually very human.
Cat regales Supergirl with tales of where she’s been all season, and says that the most important thing she’s learned is the importance of human connection. The people you love are the most important thing in this life. Supergirl is inspired, just like old times, and admits she missed Miss Grant.
Cat shoos away such sentimentality and says, “Up up and away!” and more or less says she hates seeing Supergirl leave but she loves to watch her fly away.
Supergirl’s first stop is Lillian’s, where she admits she needs help. Alex is FURIOUS. She mentions the aliens that slumped to their death on the very floor they’re standing on as she fumes about the idea of working WITH Cadmus. But they’re desperate, so they need Lillian and Cyborg Hank Henshaw.
So here’s the plan: Cat and Winn will distract Rhea so Supergirl can save Lena as fast as she can; fast because, on the President’s orders, as soon as this special murderbeam at the DEO is ready to fire, Alex has to fire it.
Alex hugs Kara with tears in her eyes and tells her to be faster than fast, please, because she doesn’t want to vaporize her baby sister.
Alex watches Kara leaves, gives herself a second to be sad, then nods her head. Now she too is a girl of steel.
Lillian and Kara beam up into the mothership, Lillian smirking about how Lena’s gonna be soooo mad when she finds out Kara is Supergirl. Meanwhile, on said mothership, Lena is looking great but also looking PISSED as she marches down the aisle to save the children.
Wait I don’t have anything else to say about this scene really but I wanted to also include this image because it’s some of the best shade I’ve ever seen thrown.
Alex gets back into the DEO through the air ducts, promising Olivia she has solid backup, and then as if from the sky like the angel she is, Maggie drops in.
Maggie comments to Alex that their relationship has come full circle because the first time they met President Wonder Woman was involved, too. And then I draft a petition for them to be in the field together all the time.
Cat and Winn break into CatCo and broadcast a message, which is meant to be both a distraction for Rhea and also inspiration to the people. Cat implores them all to #resist. She looks right through the TV screen and into our real eyes and says “they” say they want to make our world great again, but quite obviously don’t know what made it great in the first place. She uses our own words, the words we’ve been chanting at rallies and protest: Stand up. Fight back. We are strong. It’s made me, Valerie Anne, feel re-inspired – which is necessary, to be re-inspired, because every day it’s disheartening thing after disheartening thing, it’s important to keep that resistance fire burning – and it’s inspiring to the residents of National City.
So Rhea puts a hit on Cat.
Up on the mothership, Lena and her no-longer-betrothed-thank-goodness use the distraction to do a little fighting back themselves and Lena saves them literally twice. Doofball says, “I can see why Kara loves you.” And Lena smiles a hopeful smile and then says “Likewise.” Which I’m going to take as meaning she, in this moment, is seeing herself through his eyes and can also see why Kara loves her. Or maybe it was like how when the ticket-taker at the movie theatres tells you to enjoy the show and you accidentally say “You, too.”
Anyway, Lillian and Supergirl appear just then, and Lena is so surprised and excited to see her mother. She came! To save her!
But when Lillian beams them back to Earth, saying “humans only”, she realizes her mother hasn’t really changed at all.
Lillian radios Alex and says they’re safe on Earth, and having no reason to doubt her, Alex starts getting the murderbeam ready.
Lena is yelling at her mother about letting Supergirl die, but she needn’t worry, because Supergirl was pretty sure Lillian was going to betray her, so she has a backup plan. She sends the artist formerly known as the prince of Daxam back down to Earth and goes to try to reason with Rhea one last time. Once back to safety, he radios Alex to tell her that Kara is still on the ship, and Alex hesitates with her murderbeam. She was really counting on Kara being clear by now, and is torn between her orders/saving the planet, and protecting her sister. It all hinges on whether or not she can and will press a button.
Kara tries to talk to Rhea, to reason with her one last time, but Rhea is not moved in the slightest. She tells Kara that she killed her own husband when he tried to get in her way, nothing she can say will deter her from this mission. Not even if she loses the popular vote.
Down on Earth, Maggie is stressed watching her girl try to decide between the human race and her Kryptonian sister.
But doesn’t at any point pressure Alex. She doesn’t say, “Push the button!” she doesn’t say, “Alex, you can’t!” Hell, she doesn’t even say, “What are you going to do??” She just watches, tormented by the torment on Alex’s face. But the decision is made for her; in Alex’s hesitation, the murderbeam gets destroyed. And Alex knows she’s in biiiiig trouble.
So the good news is, Supergirl wasn’t murderbeamed to death. The bad news is, Rhea has more tricks up her sleeve, one of which is revealed in the form of Superman, who appears fist first and looking quite unlike himself.