“Supergirl” Episode 219 Recap: Hope Floats

HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY RECAP OF HANDS DOWN MY FAVORITE EPISODE OF SUPERGIRL SEASON TWO. Heck, it might be my favorite episode of any TV this entire season. We’ve had some amazing scenes and storylines this season, but this episode, from the word go, was so complex and thoughtful and beautiful and tense and wonderful. And it was all about the ladies again. Winn had some cute lines and J’onn had a nice supportive supporting role, but mostly it was about Kara, Maggie and their separate relationships with Alex. And a little bonus Lena.

BUT before we get into that I want to tell you a quick little story about my own relationship with Alex aka that one time I met Chyler Leigh. (I know.)

Last week, I went to two East of Eli concerts that Chyler was supposed to be at, but she had to cancel the first one because of a family emergency, and was on a flight that was delayed something like six hours and missed the second one. However, she refused to be defeated, and even though she missed the show, she came to the venue anyway, and she and her husband (Nathan West, lead singer in East of Eli, Jan Jan the Cheerleader Man), performed a little impromptu concert in the bar attached to the performance space. Side note: they’re adorable together; the East of Eli song Chyler sings on is called “Nowhere” and there’s a line that goes, “You remind me of true love when it’s nowhere to be found,” and that’s how I feel about Chyler and Nathan. (Which surprised even me.)

Anyway, after they sang a bit for us, Chyler stayed to meet every. single. one of us. She was running on two and a half hours of sleep, had gone right from her last day of shooting Supergirl to hours of flight delays, right from the airport to the bar. I left at 4:30am and she was still smiling and hugging and meeting people. It was inspiring and beautiful.

When it was my turn to meet her, she gave me a big hug and let me babble at her about how important Alex is and how equally important the way she talks about Alex is, and that her support of the community is invaluable. (Except I didn’t use the word invaluable because I was literally babbling.) She gently touched my arm, looked me square in the eye, and said that it all means a tremendous amount to her. She did use the word tremendous. She knows what’s at stake and she cares so deeply. I’ve never been more sure of it. We took this picture together:

If I didn’t have this photo I would think that whole night was a dream.

Then I thanked her eleventy billion times — for the photo, for Alex, for staying out and meeting us, for everything — and floated home.

I say this all the time, but I don’t mind repeating myself: They say don’t meet your heroes. I say get better heroes.

Okay, on to the episode that I’m so glad I didn’t see before I met Chyler because otherwise I would probably have just thrown myself on the ground at her feet and that might have been awkward.

The episode opens at a crime scene, with Maggie being all Detective Sawyer and doing some hostage negotiations with a baddie. She’s giving him a speech about thinking about his life and his choices and trying to get him to choose the right thing.

Aaaaaand then Supergirl comes crashing in. Literally. Busts through the wall and scoops out the bad guys. Maggie is obviously frustrated but Kara doesn’t see the big deal. She saved the day and she’ll see Maggie at dinner.

Maggie looks up at the sky, annoyed

“It’s a bird!” “It’s a pla—” “It’s my girlfriend’s annoying kid sister.”

And though Maggie does indeed see her, she isn’t pleased about it.

She’s salty about 17 hours of hostage negotiations going down the drain because Supergirl flew in, (arm) guns blazing. Maggie explains that some criminals get charges dropped when Supergirl intervenes and Kara says Supergirl stands for hope and help and their fighting makes me feel like my skin is trying to remove itself from my bones. Alex intervenes and tries to explain that what Maggie is maybe suggesting is that Supergirl is better suited for the supernatural and despite that potentially being a very reasonable turn for the conversation, Maggie and Kara are heated now. Maggie suggests that Kara never looks before she leaps and Kara snaps back, “Because I can fly.”

Kara is confused why Maggie is mad

“This isn’t usually how people thank me for helping them.”

Kara excuses herself from the situation, and Alex is visibly stressed as she stands between her sister storming and her girlfriend steaming. She asks Maggie to give her sister a chance, and explains how badly she wants her and Kara to get along. Maggie says technically it’s not Kara she has an issue with, it’s Supergirl. But Alex knows that’s not really how that works so she tells Maggie she’s going to go also tell Kara to give Maggie a chance (she rightly is not taking sides in this) and tells Maggie not to wait up because her sister is very stubborn (not unlike her girlfriend).

Meanwhile, Lena talks business with who she thinks is a fellow businesswoman but is really the Queen of Daxam. Rhea charms her and invites her to dinner and Lena eats it all up, thrilled to meet another smart woman, and probably to have a reason to get down with her bad(ass) self even when Kara is otherwise occupied.

The next morning, Maggie struts into CatCo to ask Kara where Alex is.

Kara hasn’t seen Alex since she left her sister’s apartment in a huff last night, which makes Maggie nervous until Kara’s phone rings and it’s Alex. Well, it’s Alex’s phone. But it’s not Alex on the other end, it’s someone who shops at Oliver Queen’s Voice Modulator Emporium, saying he has Alex and will refrain from adding her to the long, long list of dead queer TV characters if and only if Kara gets a man named Peter Thompson released from prison. Which he knows she can do, because he knows she’s Supergirl.

Kara's on the phone, maggie watches, concerned

I feel like she should have let Maggie hold the phone since she has super hearing?

In a mysterious location, Alex wakes up in a cell and immediately starts shouting for help. She punches multiple parts of the glass to find a weak spot, yells threats at the invisible being holding her, demanding they free her before her people find her. And I know this is Alex fucking Danvers so we wouldn’t dare expect anything less, but can I just mention here how much I appreciate that she didn’t just press herself in a panic against a wall or uselessly stand there and yell, “Help!” She was actively trying to find ways to help her damn self. And this was only the beginning.

Alex scolds the security camera

“YOU sir, are going to have THE ENTIRE QUEER INTERNET on you if you don’t release me THIS INSTANT.”

Kara and Maggie go to the DEO to enlist their help finding Alex, but they can’t trace her by her tracking device, so they’re at a loss. They all throw out dead-end ideas until finally Maggie tells them how they should be thinking about this: Who is Peter Thompson, and why would someone want him released from prison?

Maggie looks exasperated

This photo captures my essence for the past few months.

Oblivious to all this danger is Lena, who is out to dinner with Rhea. Rhea obviously has done her research on both Earth education and the Luthor family and plays on Lena’s mommy issues. But Lena does what so many of us have done with our pain and turns it into a few jokes. Rhea, in a manipulative move, then confides that her mommy issues are kind of the opposite and that she has problems with her son because of a “horrible” girl he met. Lena beams and says that even if their business deal doesn’t work out she thinks she might have made a new friend. Rhea says, “Thank the gods I found you” and Lena’s face does an almost-imperceptible flicker of doubt because she’s a damn genius is why. A genius with trust issues at that.

Lena toasts with whiskey

I ship Lena + Whiskey, sorry Supercorp

Maggie, Kara, and J’onn go to the prison to visit Peter, J’onn and Maggie maintaining their professional cools, Kara decidedly not. But J’onn can read his mind and knows he isn’t involved in Alex’s kidnapping, and Kara is practically bouncing off the walls, full of anger and fear and lacking a target to punch. Maggie tries to calm her down but Kara can’t do calm while her sister is in danger.

Kara is PISSED

You won’t like her when she’s angry.

Winn calls before Kara spontaneously combusts and says that they figured out that Thompson has a son named Rick Malvern, who went to grade school with Alex and Kara. Without a second thought, Supergirl flies to Rick’s house and starts banging around, shouting for Alex, but all she finds are monitors with security camera feeds from Alex’s cell.

Rick has known Kara was Supergirl for a while now; he saw her that day on the beach when she saved a baby from a burning car and walked away from the explosion unharmed, and he put two and two together when Supergirl showed up in the city Kara happened to live in. One thing I liked about this story was that they came very close to the whole “Alex and I dated in high school but now she’s gay so she must be punished” situation, but they never crossed that line. He targeted Alex because he needed Supergirl’s help and he figured out that was the best way to leverage it. He says plenty of creepy things but he’s not doing this for revenge or out of spite; he liked Alex, he liked her weird kid sister. He lost touch with them because he moved away when his dad saved him from his abusive mother, and he’s a little too broken from losing his dad to prison (because he murdered some folks) to have thought of just asking for help.

Maggie sits at the table, Supergirl stands watch behind her

This image = my sexuality

Rick is firm on this fact: he wants to repay his father for rescuing him as a child by rescuing him from his life sentence. And if Supergirl won’t help, her sister will die.

Maggie and Kara, frustrated, leave the interrogation room, but before they do Rick says he’s excited to see which one of them loves Alex more; he thinks it might be a close call.

Supergirl and Maggie look worriedly back at Rick

WHY NOT BOTH

Meanwhile Lena uses her wiles to get Rhea to put her thumb on her alien detector and calls her out on a) being an alien b) being a lying liar who lies. Lena Luthor truly is a clever girl.

Lena tests Rhea's DNA

Cleverest witch of her age.

Lena tells Rhea to kindly see herself out and never return.

Maggie brings Rick’s father in to see his son, hoping to get Alex’s location in return, but it’s not long before Rick realizes it’s J’onn doing his best papa impersonation: he’s been watching them, closely, for a full year. He knows their tricks. And he’s not telling them where Alex is until he and his father are far, far away.

But don’t worry, Alex STILL isn’t sitting around waiting to be rescued. Instead she’s dismantling the security camera and hooking it up to her subdermal tracking implant that she RIPPED OUT OF HER OWN SHOULDER.

Maggie bites a belt and cuts her own shoulder open

“Alex Danvers” will forever be my answer to that dreaded “what would you bring to a deserted island” question.

Winn gets the ping from Alex and immediately calls Kara, who storms into Maggie’s interrogation room and tells Maggie it’s over. But Maggie notices Rick didn’t react to the news the way he would have if Kara was right, and tries to warn Kara, but Kara can’t be stopped. Maggie tries to explain that you can’t punch your way out of every situation and that Kara isn’t the only one who cares about her, but Kara is already as good as gone.

Kara Supergirls up and flies to the tracker’s location, but is sad to find more screens instead…and her countdown clock losing time. Now she only has four hours to save Alex, because Alex’s cell is filling up with water.

Supergirl flies back to the interrogation room, where Rick sits, smirking his stupid smarmy smirk. At Kara’s request, he lets them talk to Alex one more time. First Alex tells Kara that no matter what, she doesn’t give Rick what he wants just to find her. “Supergirl is bigger than me,” she says, where most people would have begged to be saved.

Alex on a monitor tells Kara to do what's right

Not all heroes wear capes.

Maggie comes in and Alex asks to talk to her alone, because she wants to say goodbye. She can’t do it in front of Kara; she needs her baby sister to hold onto hope. It’s the only way she has any chance of Supergirl saving her. But just in case this is the last chance she gets, Alex wants to tell Maggie how much she means to her.

But Maggie won’t let her. She tells Alex she’s a badass, and that if Alex can’t find her own way out, they’ll save her. Maggie’s eyes fill with tears as she tells Alex that they have too many more “firsts” to share, and a dog named Gertrude to adopt someday.

Maggie looks sadly at the laptop

Coincidentally, this is also what I looked like when I rewatched this episode.

Maggie begs her to hold on, begs her to promise, and Alex starts to, but the screen shorts out before she can get the word out. Maggie’s upset now, more visibly shaken that we’ve seen her. She stomps up to Kara and accuses her of making things worse for Alex, for all of them. Maggie tells Kara that she should have listened to her; she’s not just a civilian tangled up in this, she has skills that should have been taken into consideration. Kara should have listened to her, worked with her. Maggie says she has just as much to lose as Kara.

maggie looks pleadingly at kara

“We can’t throw away our shot.”

Because the thing is, they’re both so important to Alex’s life. Kara grew up with her, they’re sisters. They have a bond that is so unique and special. It’s deeper than blood, indescribable in its strength. But Alex chose Maggie, and Maggie chose her back. Despite what Rick was trying to do, you can’t compare it apples to apples. You can’t put each type of love on either side of the scales and see which weighs more. There are two whole different sections in the heart for the kind of love Alex and Kara have and the kind Alex and Maggie have, and they both fill Alex’s right up. Maybe it’s a ton of feathers and a ton of steel; they look different but they weigh the same.

Anyway, the Queen of Daxam, now dressed as such, goes to visit Lena through her Supergirl door and apologize for lying to her; she plays the mom card and says that everything else she said was true and she still wants to build one of those transportation bridges with L Corp.

Queen of Daxam on Lena's terrace

I mean she bought that headpiece in the “Evil Queen” section so maybe let’s not trust her, Lena.

Lena calls Kara to ask her advice, but Kara is too upset and can’t talk to her right now, which concerns Lena but she doesn’t push it.

lena on the phone, worried

“You’re not having kombucha with someone else, are you?”

Kara is upset, and J’onn comforts her; she’s not mad anymore. She’s just sad. She repeats Maggie’s words, she knows now she was right…she can’t punch her way out of this situation. J’onn understands why Kara did what she did, but also knows Kara will figure out the right thing to do to save Alex, even though they’re all scared.

Maggie’s fear looks different than Kara’s. It leads her into the interrogation room, where she makes her last stand. Nobody wins if Alex dies, so what can she do to end this?

maggie sits like a gay

I know a person can’t LOOK gay or SIT gay they just ARE gay and they ARE sitting but I mean.

Rick is impressed and says creepy things about how, during his year of stalking, he saw how much Maggie loves Alex. And he thinks maybe she’ll surprise him by being the one to release his father instead of Supergirl.

By the way, during all this, Alex is just swimming around in her cell, STILL not giving up, still trying to stop the water, break the glass, anything. She even makes her pants into a goddamn flotation device. My eyes started to sting a little writing that sentence: I’m just so…proud of her??? The fact that not for one second did she stop fighting to survive made my heart grow three sizes.

Alex is trying so hard not to drown

I WILL NOT DIE LIKE JENNY SCHECTER FFS

At the DEO, Kara is ready to talk to Maggie about what to do next, but Maggie is already halfway out of the prison with Rick’s father. (There was a cute “nice gun” “It’s my girlfriend’s” exchange here; THE WRITING IN THIS EPISODE WAS SO PERFECT.) Supergirl appears then, and she faces off with Maggie, the pendulum having swung the opposite way. Kara says that she understands what Maggie was saying earlier, and that Alex wouldn’t even want it to go down like this. So she uses Maggie’s interrogation skills from the beginning of the episode (did I mention how good the writing in this episode is). She tells the man that he was a good father, and that he made some terrible choices, but if he helps them save her sister now, he can still salvage the one good thing he’s done. He can keep his son from being a killer like him.

Supergirl stands tall and firm

I’VE NEVER FELT SO INSPIRED BY SOMEONE IN THIGH-HIGH BOOTS

Kara’s Maggie-inspired speech works and Rick’s father tells them where he thinks Rick would hold Alex, and he was right. Kara and Maggie get there after time runs out, and for a second it looks like it might be too late…

Alex underwater

DO LESBIANS FLOAT

…and they panic for a heartbeat…

Kara and Maggie panic

OH SURE NOW YOU HESITATE

…but then Supergirl zips over and smashes the tank and Alex swooshes out, coughing up water, a little worse for wear, but alive. ALIVE. And being held by her two favorite girls.

Maggie and Kara hold Alex

I want this image etched on my tombstone.

When Alex wakes up in the DEO med bay later, the first thing she asks is if Maggie is okay. Maggie laughs at the irony and thanks her for keeping her promise and holding on til they got there. Alex does want to finish her speech though, this time with 100% less “goodbye forever” in it. She wants to have a million more firsts with Maggie, because she loves her. She says so. “I love you, Maggie Sawyer.”

Alex smiles at Maggie

MAYBE LOVE IS NOT A LIE

And Maggie basically turns into the heart-eyes emoji and says it right back. “I love you, Alex Danvers.”

Maggie smiles at Alex

MAYBE WE CAN HAVE NICE THINGS

There’s a precious little “Yeah? Yeah.” and they kiss and they kiss and they press their foreheads together and they smile and it’s so perfect and beautiful. AND WE DESERVE THIS.

Sanvers kiss

*FIREWORKS*

We deserve this because the whole first time I watched this scene, I couldn’t breathe. Partly because it was so beautiful, yes, but also because a tiny sliver in me was waiting for the other shoe to drop. They said I love you to each other, they kissed; where was the gunshot? The bomb? The Risen Mitten? And when the episode ended and all was well on the Sanvers front and I realized I let out a breath I had been holding I recognized the fear as it left me. The fear conditioned in me. But as a wise doctor once said, “Just this once, everybody lives.”

We deserve this joy, this positive representation. Even if it’s not perfect forever, it’s perfect for now, and I’ll never forget it.

Sanvers forehead press

Who turned off the oxygen?

Alex sees Rick being hauled off to get mind-wiped to protect Supergirl’s identity and when she makes the guards stop for a second J’onn thinks she disapproves but really she just wants to PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE. It’s beautiful. And she wants the mind-wipers to make sure he remembers that.

Maggie pulls Kara aside and thanks her for stopping her from going all…well, all Supergirl at the end there. Kara says she was just finally taking Maggie’s advice, and Maggie concedes that once they started listening to each other, they made a great team.

Maggie beams at Kara

THIS IS A “I HAVE A NEW LITTLE SISTER” SMILE IF I’VE EVER SEEN ONE

Kara knows it’s because they both love her, and hugs her right into the family corner of her heart.

Lena calls Kara again, but not for advice this time, just to make sure she’s okay since she sounded so upset earlier. They make brunch plans and maybe they can only ever talk to each other on the phone again if I’m to believe they’re just friends because I finally bought it!

Lena smiles on the phone with Kara

Brunch! Harmless. Especially if there’s no kale.

When Lena hangs up we see she was mid-meeting with Rhea, who promises that together they’re change the world. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s in the same way Lena thinks it is.

And thus concludes one of the best episodes of television ever created. And I’m not just saying that because it was a happy ending for our resident lesbians. Though of course that played a part. It made me feel every feeling, it leveraged the things that truly make this show great: love as a bond and a motivator, heroes being flawed, women helping women, women being badass, women kissing women. Not a second was wasted, the pacing was fast enough to feel the pressure but not so fast you felt you couldn’t keep up. Plus! The metaphor! I love me a metaphor!

The bad guy was a creepy white man (aka the patriarchy) trying to pit an alien and a lesbian against each other. And it’s not until they realize there was space for them both to be right — that there was space for both of them, full stop — that they solve the problem. They were better together. And I know that’s a slogan this show has touted from the beginning, but it’s one of the hardest to remember, especially when, like Kara, like Maggie, like so many of us, you’ve had some of the people closest to you betray you, or you watch people you care about get betrayed. But when you can find it in your heart to trust people, to love people, and to work together, beautiful things can happen. It’s a lesson we all learn over and over and over again, even Detective Maggie Sawyer, even Alex fucking Danvers. Even Supergirl.

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 187 articles for us.

84 Comments

  1. “Okay, on to the episode that I’m so glad I didn’t see before I met Chyler because otherwise I would probably have just thrown myself on the ground at her feet and that might have been awkward.”

    Frankly, I don’t know how you didn’t do that ANYWAY, Valerie. None of us would have blamed you.

  2. I’M SO EXTRA I THOUGHT ALEX WAS GONNA PROPOSE

    Seriously, though, beautiful recap of a beautiful episode. This was not only my favorite hour of Supergirl, but quite possibly my favorite hour of any of the CW’s DC shows.

  3. So many things to say about the episode, your recap and the whole season!

    But first: Oh my goddess, Chyler Leigh meeting and greeting everyone after two hours of sleep and an entire season on her back, she’s an angel and you’re so lucky Valerie!

    Second, thanks to this: “One thing I liked about this story was that they came very close to the whole “Alex and I dated in high school but now she’s gay so she must be punished” situation, but they never crossed that line.” You’re the first one who mentioned it and just like you I got really scared they would go that way.

    Third: yes, Kara and Maggie’s love for Alex are not comparable in ANY way and I’m glad the episode knew how to deal with the difference.

    But now on to the thing that really got my attention, because I think this was not just the best episode of the season, but it’s potentially the best episode of the series.

    Why? Because in a TV show about a superhero, you succeed when you can talk about emotions and real human reactions to things. And we have to thank Maggie’s entry into the series not just for the (wonderful) fact that she is Alex’s girlfriend, but because she’s the only one here who does not have superpowers or was super DEO-ninja training in the field, or is a super psychic or a super geek who can hack the pentagon if needed. She’s just a very competent police officer who does not rarely become the most reasonable person in the room. She’s us. With all the mistakes and successes.

    And I have to say I’m in love with this Maggie Sawyer. Because she got to be the one who managed to bring Kara back to Supergirl’s body in this episode. That same Supergirl we’ve met in episode 7 season 1 when aware that she was powerless, the hero conviced a thug to lower his weapon using just dialogue and reason. If Supergirl, as Kara herself speaks at the beginning of this episode, is about “hope, help and compassion for all”, then I guess no hope, help or compassion can come from punching first asking later (which is something Alex have done this season and I did not enjoy it). I’m talking politics here, obviously.

    On a more controversial note, I think Kara during this season has stated that she is still immature and at times a little arrogant and selfish in her role of a superhero. The first season was all about the emotional growth of the girl-becoming-a-superhero, but in the second season, when I believed that we would see a more determined and mature woman (and feminist, which was a sweet illusion in so many episodes), I was dissapointed more than a couple of times. I’m not gonna even talk about that blandsome dude, let’s just remember she ignored the fact that Maggie had just spent 17 hours (17 HOURS!!!) trying to negotiate some hostage’s release and at the very beginning of this season (2×02) she suggested to Alex that it could be better if she left to join her ‘family’ (Superman, in this case) than to stay with the sister who sacrificed a lifetime to protect her. I love Kara most of the times, but this specific Kara annoys me. But then again, we’re watching the tales of Kara becoming a better person and a better superhero, so I guess it makes sense that she’s still learning.

    But yes, altought I think being a sister trumps being a girlfriend (at least a girlfriend of what? five, six months?), I also do believe that Maggie was not being heard by Kara because she was ‘just’ Alex’s girlfriend. And that kills me a little bit.

    Anyway, Maggie Sawyer is perhaps the most real-life character in this series precisely because she is actually human with all the implications that being human entails. The fact that Floriana’s voice was breaking during the scenes when she’s was desperately trying to find Alex just added another layer to that.

    Talking about Sanvers, admitting that I’ve watched almost every series on the planet with lesbian/bisexual characters and taking into account the size of the impact of a series like Supergirl and the audience to whom it’s intended, I believe that this relationship is the best gift that we didn’t even know we wanted so badly (just kidding: we knew what we wanted and we so deserve it!). I’m in love with the storyline. May they have as many firsts as they deserve. And may neither of these firsts be a grieving one. Good lesbian representation is Alive lesbian representation.

    Just one more thing: best episodes of #supergirl s2: 2×15 and 2×19. Both Alex centered. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Supergirl might (still) be the heart of this season, but Alex is its soul.

    • “Because she got to be the one who managed to bring Kara back to Supergirl’s body in this episode. That same Supergirl we’ve met in episode 7 season 1 when aware that she was powerless, the hero conviced a thug to lower his weapon using just dialogue and reason.” I agree that Kara’s characterization with respect to being Supergirl has changed, and I’m not sure whether to be generous and chalk it up to her trying to figure out how to be a superhero and going through some ups and downs or whether to be meta and critical and chalk it up to poor writing. Some of both, maybe. There’s more evidence for the latter, but I’d like to believe that the writers are being at least a *little* deliberate with Kara.

    • Best S2 Episodes and you don’t mention E5 and E6? E6 is emmy-worthy (well; most Chyler centric ones are, for best supporting actress). Probably seems like a long season and you forgot. 🙂

  4. A perfect recap with perfect photo captions for a perfect episode! I super loooved this episode and I tweeted how excited I was for your recap, and as soon as I woke up (I’m from the other side of the world) this was the first thing I looked for! PS. Super jealous of your photo with Chyler but also super happy for you! ?

  5. Okay, let me just say that once I managed to get my heart rate back to an acceptable, non life-threatening level and consumed like an ENTIRE BAG of gummy worms to quell my anxiety, I reevaluated the episode with clearer eyes and well…TOO MANY PLOTHOLES!

    My main peeve: Winn’s inability to track Alex’s whereabouts. I’m sorry but he’s like a genius hacker with access to all of DEO’s high-tech computers and gadgets – both Earth and alien. I do not understand how he was thwarted by some random, average guy with average level intelligence. It literally makes no sense especially considering how back in Season 1, Winn was learning ALIEN CODING LANGUAGE and hacking into it at the same time. If he could successfully do that, there was no way he couldn’t track Alex. SMDH.

    Second peeve: Speaking of average guy with average intelligence, I do not believe for a second that he would have gotten the upper hand over Alex. There was no mention of him having any military experience or combat skills right? Yeah, yeah, he stalked/observed Alex and Co. for a year. Big deal. Alex is a freakin’ trained DEO agent. She takes down aliens twice her size and with otherworldly abilities to boot. With all that training, I find it almost impossible that he managed to subdue her, let alone subdue her enough to abduct her. Pah!

    Third peeve: Why couldn’t Kara find Alex via her heartbeat? Didn’t she do this in season 1? What, that warehouse managed to block Alex’s heartbeat? It didn’t look soundproofed to me…

    Was it an emotionally charged episode? Yes. Definitely. I yo-yo’ed between panic and anxiety and terror. But man, those plotholes and inconsistencies! I wish they fleshed this out more, maybe even made it a 2-part episode, developed Rick more because I’m sorry, he’s just too…blah to pull this off. In the end he made for a disappoint villain. I just feel like they wrote this episode as a plot device for Kara and Maggie to butt heads then bond over their saving Alex. There are better ways to get Maggie and Kara to bond and connect. Ways that don’t involve so many plotholes and driving the audience to cardiac arrest!

    As for Lena – RUN. Run like a bat out of hell because Rhea is probably going to be the start of her ruin. I was thrilled when she told Rhea to F right off but then went back to freaking out when she fell for Rhea’s sentimental spiel about family and transponders and whatever. Let’s hope Lena gets a clue ASAP.

    P.S. – they really need to address Alex’s police brutality attitude. Okay yeah, the guy had it coming but isn’t it against protocol to hit your prisoners, never mind that they locked you up in a glass box and filled it up with water? And nobody said anything or batted an eye. I mean J’onn’s the Director for heaven’s sake! He needs to call her out on that and make her go to therapy or something.

    • Don’t forget space dad J’onn NOT even trying to read Rick’s mind. Like yeah right, he prepared for a year but did he also get anti-mind-reading implants or something?

      • Right?!?!?!?! The alien, the superhero and the DEO thwarted by an ordinary civilian. If they’re all really that incompetent they should disband the CEO, J’onn should retire and Kara should hang up her cape.

        • Yes he did. J’onn states right out that he tried to read Rick’s mind and something was blocking him. He must have gotten a hold of something (or is there just a minority of beings that J’onn naturally can’t read?).

        • All in the name of plot convenience. Should have been a more formidable foe. Or even just half-assed answers the plot holes, something to the effect of knowing everyone’s weaknesses/ blind spots. But hey, we only get frustrated when we expect too much. To be fair, I really liked this episode. Compared to a lot of episodes this season, this was one of the better ones.

    • Agreed. Begrudgingly, but completely.

      Don’t get me wrong; I loved this episode in concept, in tension, in drama, in where it took us and how… but the who? I’m sorry, but if you’re going to take Alex hostage and if you’re going to show us and tell us (remind us) she’s a badass in the process, you need to give her a better nemesis. Random dude with no background beyond a purpose and a year’s surveillance doesn’t cut it.

      Alex is a fighter and a genius with an entire department of fighters, geniuses and aliens behind her. She is not this easily caught, and they are not this easily challenged to free her.

      Still my fave episode thus far… They did so much so well… But imagine how amazing this would have been as a two-parter, if Rick had the background to match his accomplishments!

    • I mean, you watch shows with “superpowers” and other supernatural stuff with a certain “suspends disbelief” attitude anyway, so I guess it’s just natural for a viewer to automatically paper over certain holes, but I don’t think you’re giving this episode quite the credit it deserves, even if it strained incredulity at times in order to set up the emotional stakes. So I will (without meaning this as a personal attack, but rather to further conversation) address your points in order. I’m an expert at pseudo science! 😉

      Main peeve: agreed; computers and hacking are all-knowing and all-hackable until they aren’t on this show (and others, I’m not picking on SG). Clearly there was a live feed the whole time into the cameras (until they shorted out with a couple hours left when Maggie and Alex were talking, I guess). The best I can do is assume that it was the time frame that kept Winn from hacking it? Because their explanation about the masking the ISP making it impossible to pinpoint a location seemed weak (though to be fair, in the past they’ve mostly used it to gather information and take down other computers, not necessarily to pinpoint locations, so maybe that’s the difference?).

      Second peeve: training doesn’t make up for someone surprising you on your own turf where you feel safe and drugging you. There are tons of drugs that merely require skin contact. By her blurry wake-up, he clearly drugged her somehow in that elevator. It’s easy to think that Alex being a badass would prevent this, but that’s not “realistic”. It’s why surprise attacks can allow weaker, more poorly trained forces to overwhelm those of superior force and training, and even win. Plenty of historical examples of this reality.

      Third peeve: I’ll refer to this in a comment below (balcony conversation with J’onn), but I actually like this to underscore that Kara isn’t omnipotent. It was clear the writers didn’t forget about Kara “listening” for her family. We don’t have much in canon to pinpoint how this works, but assume that Kara can focus and pinpoint her loved ones by their heartbeat or voices (?) within a reasonable distance of National City limits. However, given the thickness/layering of the glass (we don’t know distance), it’s not improbable that the “Alex noise” wasn’t escaping that sealed (? it seemed to be, but then there was the chain link top? so I don’t know) environment. And while they didn’t make it a point to show us any noise-dampening tech in the sealed cube, that could also factor in, and it something it’s relatively easy for any schlub to get. I mean, he used something to keep J’onn from reading his mind, so this seems like something relatively easy, though I’d have liked them to sell it more on the show.

    • Yes to all of this:
      “My main peeve…” Right. They talked to this guy for how long and not once did they figure what kind of skill set he had to thwart everybody. I hate to say it but if they dropped all the Lena/Rhea stuff which I think took away from the Alex part of this episode, they probably would’ve had time to delve deeper into Rick’s history instead of just recycling the season 1 beach clip or at least let us in on how he was able to mastermind the whole situation.

      “Second peeve…” YES again. we didn’t know anything about him, is he military trained, did he inject her with something? How did he get the jump on her without her fighting back a little. And I get TPTB wanted the element of surprise for us to learn Alex was taken the next day but why then would they reveal it all in the promos?

      “Third peeve…” I agree but this is a little harder, the fake cell was covered with lead which is why Supergirl couldn’t just see through it. But compare to a few weeks ago when they went to another abandoned warehouse for Cadmus and they took their time, waited for the all clear outside to make sure things were okay to break into and then they pounced. Why couldn’t Supergirl just do that instead of flying in solo.

  6. They cut Mon-El’s screentime to practically nothing, and he still managed to be a narcissistic ass. Kara and Maggie were having a fight, and he tried to make it all about him. I glad that it came at the beginning of the episode so that everything else could wash it away, or I’d still be steaming.

    • I felt this was a medium plus episode… which I now feel bad about. But seriously, the plot holes are just too much, is plot-driven convenience going to become a theme on this show? It makes it hard to invest in a scenario when the rules change in-universe whenever the writers need it to. The tension was ratcheted up really well though, I knew Alex wasn’t gonna die but it was interesting how long they let it linger before saving her. Kudos for that.

      J’onn is apparently so non-stealthy about his identity that a random civilian watching closely can figure it out and also a random civilian can block his powers? Nope.

      And perhaps it is because I just re-watched the season 1 episode where Kara loses her powers but when was Kara a ‘punch first’ kind of person? When was she unnecessarily violent? She’s always emphasized saving people, including criminals, until very recently. It’s like the writers have forgotten who the character is. Kara was beaten with the stupid stick for this episode to work and I resent it. Especially because it was unnecessary – we know how important Alex is to her, simply playing up her panic to the point it makes her irrational would’ve worked. I’m not against Kara being unreasonable, but this struck me as out of character.

      The DEO is so compromised as a location I think it’s time to blow it up and move the operation out of town. It’s not secret if literally everyone knows about it and can just walk in.

      Alex Danvers was spectacular as per usual. No complaints.

      Maggie Sawyer is proving to be an interesting character. I am glad that her characterization is getting more time. I think she and Kara both carry a lot of trauma that could bond them – but I also thought they were both very thoughtful characters, which I guess has been remover from Kara’s character sheet now so who knows. Anyway. I get why Alex is so quickly invested in her first girlfriend, but Maggie is a grown-ass lesbian with enough experience that her wide-eyed adoration and exclamations that she has ‘just as much to lose’ as her girlfriend-of-a-few-months’ sister are a little baffling to me. Dude, you hardly know her yet… anyway, tv is weird like that I guess.

      I wasn’t as charmed by the romance stuff, but I never am. TV writers and I do not have the same idea of romance and that’s fine – it was pretty cute and played well even if it wasn’t my style.

      Teri Hatcher is KILLING IT I love queen Rhea. And Katie McGrath did such a good job this episode, she acted the heck out of Lena being a precious broken person with Issues. I enjoyed their scenes.

      But Valerie, friends don’t call each other to ask each other to brunch IN THE MIDDLE OF A MEETING. Hearing Kara’s voice was just that urgent? Gaaaaay.
      Also, I am Team Lena re:food as I too love kale. I can’t believe we’re supposed to buy this woman is straight when all her personal details are straight out of Queer Lady Stereotypes ‘R Us.

      • Totally. I feel like they’ve gone to the “Kara beaten with the stupid stick” for the plot too much this season. Or! They’ve set her up where she says things that make sense (e.g. I don’t really like Mon-El like that), then have her actions as well as the reactions of those around her make it sound like her initial statements were unreasonable. It’s really hard on the character. I’d prefer something less plot-driving-character, because it results in these stupid awkward situations that make the characters unrecognizable.

  7. After this episode, I genuinely believe the writers don’t really want us to like Mon-El. The whole “as something of a superhero myself” line isn’t charming even though I think Chris Wood is a charming actor and showing Alex and Maggie rolling their eyes at him, plus him insulting cops in front of Maggie, there’s no way this isn’t intentional. My secret hope is that the whole “Will Lena go bad?” thing is a misdirect and he’s the one to turn to the dark side.

    Teri Hatcher is killing this role.

    Finally, we know that Kara keeps the shirt part of her uniform under her clothes, but where does she keep the thigh high boots?? I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about this.

    • All fingers crossed you’re right. But at this point I think the writers do in fact believe this self-centered character is indeed charming. The fact that he said what he said in front of Maggie would prove him to be just a funny clueless guy. I really hope you’re right and the season finale cliffhanger is about Mon-El revealing himself to be the spoiled misogynist man we already know he is…Anyway, now that we’re about to see the whole daxamite war in National City, there’s certainly going to be a lot of Mon-El to come and I get tired just thinking about this.

    • I think we just have to suspend reality when it comes to Kara changing into her suit, thigh high boots and all. Remember back in Season 1 when Barry ran her to the middle of nowhere? She still managed to change into full costume, boots and all even though they were ya know, the middle of NOWHERE. It’s the same with Alex magically entering the DEO in her tactical uniform. I just try not to think about it because if I did, my head would explode.

  8. Just sitting here eating chocolate cookies, reading this recap for the seventy-millionth time, still marvelling at its perfection. Your recap, Valerie Anne, is as least as good as the episode was and in hindsight makes these 42 minutes of television I witnessed last night maybe even a little bit better than they actually were. And they were already pretty damn good.

    -“[…] it’s someone who shops at Oliver Queen’s Voice Modulator Emporium[…]”

    -“I feel like she should have let Maggie hold the phone since she has super hearing?” (these captions are ON POINT!)

    And:

    -„Maybe it’s a ton of feathers and a ton of steel; they look different but they weigh the same.“

    One more thing I’m not quite over yet is how Alex first used her pants to create a pool noodle/floating device and then used the residual air in them as an oxygen source to hold on for a little while longer under water.
    Finally seeing a new aspect of her DEO or “special agent” training combined with her ingenuity was amazing. And so was Maggie calling her out on that “Navy Seal” stunt, being incredibly relieved and super proud of her girlfriend at the same time.

    Some personal observations:

    -Rhea doesn’t just cleverly manipulate Lena through the latter’s “mummy issues” and desire to make the world a better place through technological advancements, she also uses the Luthor anti-alien connection to make Lena throw the last bit of caution to the wind in hopes of distancing herself from her family. That and the Supergirl parallel (“you’re nothing like your mother”) were what convinced Lena in the end. Rhea knew exactly what buttons to push.
    All in all Rhea’s plan sure won’t help Lena with her trust issues. It might even put a strain on her relationship with Supergirl (because of the aforementioned parallel), depending what the writers decided to do for the finale.

    -I think Maggie and Kara both had perfectly valuable points within their argument, which made their disagreement much more credible and genuine than I had initially feared. I can’t help but be weary of the writers this season but they actually balanced the scales here pretty well. They explored a complicated, polarizing topic quite nicely and obviously hit a nerve… and there’s no better proof for that than seeing fans of the show argue about who is actually right and equally rushing to defend both points of view. So all in all: well done writers!

  9. That wasn’t a recap that was the script.

    No really wonderful words. And Chyren looked like she had been stuck in an airport and had little sleep. The sweatshirt was a giveaway.

    Oh and I think Mommy Daxem is going to use the portals to bring her army to Earth to take over. Not really hard at all.

  10. I was waiting for your recap all day! This episode made me cry at both major Alex/Maggie scene junctures–the “don’t you die on me” and then again the “I never want to stop having firsts with you” scene. Actually, I just watched the clips again and got all emotional again. Their I love you scene is so tender and just wrenchingly real and it’s the kind of scene I almost never get to see myself in. It just gives me so much hope, y’know? I don’t think I will ever, ever, ever be over these two. Maggie’s voice breaking while she’s talking to Alex over the computer destroys me–we really don’t get to see so much of her that often even when she’s on screen, since she’s such a guarded character, and that scene lays it all bare in just a few seconds. And it makes sense that Alex would say I love you first, since Maggie *is* so guarded, but lord knows Maggie’s been in love with Alex for a while–and regardless, I am just so, so, so proud of Alex and how far she’s come. Um, this has been pretty rambling, but I just love them a lot.

  11. I have many, many random thoughts.

    1. This was a lovely recap. I was most of the season behind, so this is the first I’ve been able to read.

    2. I spent most of the episode thinking, “welp, here’s another dead lesbian.” I’m very thankful I was wrong.

    3. When I wasn’t thinking about #2, I was thinking about how the roof of Alex’s cage was just chainlink, and if she was carrying the standard-issue lesbian pocket multi-tool, she could have undid one of the links and escaped.

    4. James wasn’t in this episode at all, and I didn’t miss him.

    5. This show needs to bring back Cat Grant.

    6. Max Lord has to show up at some point, right?

    • Re #3: Yes! The chain link got me, too, especially since it seemed to be the light stuff from the way it moved. I’m pretty sure she could have put her belt through a couple links and then kept twisting it to create enough force to break through. Yeah, yeah… Suspension of disbelief et al, but I had a hard time with that part, especially given all the stuff she did try.

      • Right? She thought to make a life vest out of pants and to cut her tracker out of her shoulder with a credit card, but not to undo the second easiest fencing? I am with you, Kanuck.

        • Yeah, I couldn’t tell if there was a chain link ceiling below some other structure, or what? Certainly it made for a very dramatic “trying to get air” shot. But we see a wide shot of the glass all around. What was the top?

  12. Aww she seems like such a genuinely nice person! That’s so cool that you got to meet her!!

    This episode was just terrific (and the recap too, of course). It had everything. Great Kara and Alex stuff, very little of THOSE dudes ruining scenes, and obviously Maggie and Alex FINALLY saying the “l” word. It’s a little funny that they got them together relatively quickly this season then kept them from saying they love each other until the end. my only gripe would be I wanted more kisses! Still, so darn good!! I have been smiling for hours since watching it.

  13. First let me just say this, I read recaps here and before over at AfterEllen because the perspective that Valerie and Heather and Lucy write from is different than on the more “mainstream” sites especially when it comes to discussing the wlw relationship on a show. Well I read a couple of “mainstream” recaps on this episode and it was almost like reading a Valerie or a Heather recap. Granted the show was centered around Alex (and if Maggie loved her enough to save) so if they didn’t include that in their recap it would be super short but they did. It is a testament to how great this episode was, I have read recaps for Calzona centric episodes for example and the writer never went in depth like they did for this episode.

    Now onto the episode itself. I’ll get it right out of the way, Kara annoyed me much like I know Mon-El annoys everyone else. She was a hypocrite. When she first was training Mon-El she would tell him, to assess the situation, think first punch later, all the things that she was going against in this episode. When Maggie told her that she should’ve waited her defense was “she thought she was doing the right thing” I mean they should’ve just let her say “did I do that” ala Steve Urkel because that what her mistakes kept sounding like. And she could have done the right thing if she just stopped and listened to Maggie.

    I am team Maggie all the way right now. Why doesn’t anyone take her police work seriously, if I was her I would be super pissed about it but Maggie’s been chill up until now. It started when her and Alex first met and Alex took over her crime scene, then it continued when Alex asked her to lay off Guardian as a prime suspect, and then Alex asked for a favor when Winn was arrested etc etc. Even though Maggie is a science cop, I agree that Supergirl should keep the city safe from aliens and let Maggie and the NCPD handle regular bad guys. Or the alternative is to just make Maggie a member of the DEO like Nicole Haught became and Agent with Black Badge and not just some local flat foot.

    Am I the only one that felt the Lena/Rhea stuff was out of place in this episode, it just took you away from the suspense and maybe that’s what the writers wanted but I felt like it made the Alex part pause so we can drop this bit of foreshadowing in.

    Also I wasn’t sure how I felt about Rick being the mastermind since we don’t really know him (why didn’t they bring Max Lord back), like we don’t know what kind of tech experience he has that he was able to disable her tracker etc. also how did he know she would get on that elevator or follow Kara, he must have been riding the elevator up and down until she finally came in. and I think it was a waste of talent for Gregg Henry aka Quinn Fabray’s dad. Though that being said Rick wasn’t an asshole bad guy, he let them talk to Alex when they wanted to, he just wanted his dad free.

    No James/Guardian this episode which I was happy about. The best episodes seem to be without him.

    As for Alex, you all saw how motherf-ing badass she was. Like who knows to fill up pants with water and make a life vest, I do now. I was kind of grossed out/weirded out that Alex is chipped under her skin. I knew she wore an ear piece but never actually chipped forever.

  14. Love love this recap! And I had the exact same experience when I met Tatiana Maslany last year- babbling eleventy million thanks, almost falling on the ground before her, a photo in which I look crazed with disbelief in what is happening to me in that moment. Also, her response to my thanks-waterfall was similar to what you describe with Chyler; they are the better heroes.

  15. Why didn’t J’onn just mind-read Rick McDouchebag to locate Alex? I mean, he mind-read the father when they visited him in jail. Like, he can read minds. He’s a mind-reader. Wtf?

    • I was thinking that but they put in a little ‘he’s blocking me’ line for Hank to explain that away. As much as I like Hank the mind reader, sometimes I think for storylines it sould have been better if he could only read aliens minds. Rather than having to explain why they cant just put hank in the room every episode.

      • I find this “blocking” detail intriguing. Despite being just a regular guy, it seemed clear that Rick had carefully harnessed various technology to his advantage in this episode. There was never an explanation of Alex’s tracking device being blocked, and I assume there’s a similar reason that Kara couldn’t “hear” her.

        Additionally, did Winn just not have enough time to resolve IP addresses, or was it really impossible? Because he’s accomplished seemingly impossible hacks before…but then that was typically for information or screwing up someone else’s technology, versus getting a location? Was it the time limit? Was it because the guy was working alone, versus as a team that needs to coordinate activities (meaning they’d have to communicate details like location for him to hack into)? Because there was a live feed until it shorted out (from the water, presumably).

        I like there to be details like this that can thwart the team, because it means there are impediments that don’t have to always be “bigger” or “badder” in the future (that one-upmanship can get annoying), but we had to take a lot on faith.

  16. I’m starting to get annoyed/ concerned that Kara hasn’t told Lena that she is Supergirl. Especially since she is pretty much the only person in Kara’s life that doesn’t know (or knows but has to pretend she doesn’t). I can’t see Lena taking it as anything other than a sign that Kara doesn’t trust her.

    • Why concerned?
      It was funny to hear Kara ramble off the laundry list of people that know she’s Supergirl like the mailman, her podiatrist, and her dry cleaner lol cause then you’re like well who DOESN’T know cause that list would be shorter.

      Lena shouldn’t find out. I know Kara trusts her as a friend but not about the Supergirl secret. Superman unlike Supergirl keeps his identity a secret (though I’m still unsure how/why James knows) but if Kara tells Lena who knows Kara and Clark are cousins what’s to say she wouldn’t tell Lex?

      • Agreed. I loved the list of “know”s. And think it’s a pretty hilarious running joke how many people “know” or “assume” her secret identity for various reasons, but mostly because she’s a terrible liar.

        You have to assume that anyone that knows both Kara and Supergirl suspects.

        But it’s such a delicious juxtaposition with the psychology of people and “seeing what they want to”.

      • After this episode, I think Rhea will tell Lena that Kara is Supergirl and I think that knowledge coming from someone else will devastate Lena, especially if she finds out how many people know. Kara has been portrayed as pretty much her best friend and the only person who has consistently trusted her despite her being a Luthor. I’m concerned about what losing that will do to Lena and her relationship with Kara.

  17. I felt this was a medium plus episode… which I now feel bad about. But seriously, the plot holes are just too much, is plot-driven convenience going to become a theme on this show? It makes it hard to invest in a scenario when the rules change in-universe whenever the writers need it to. The tension was ratcheted up really well though, I knew Alex wasn’t gonna die but it was interesting how long they let it linger before saving her. Kudos for that.

    J’onn is apparently so non-stealthy about his identity that a random civilian watching closely can figure it out and also a random civilian can block his powers? Nope.

    And perhaps it is because I just re-watched the season 1 episode where Kara loses her powers but when was Kara a ‘punch first’ kind of person? When was she unnecessarily violent? She’s always emphasized saving people, including criminals, until very recently. It’s like the writers have forgotten who the character is. Kara was beaten with the stupid stick for this episode to work and I resent it. Especially because it was unnecessary – we know how important Alex is to her, simply playing up her panic to the point it makes her irrational would’ve worked. I’m not against Kara being unreasonable, but this struck me as out of character.

    The DEO is so compromised as a location I think it’s time to blow it up and move the operation out of town. It’s not secret if literally everyone knows about it and can just walk in.

    Alex Danvers was spectacular as per usual. No complaints.

    Maggie Sawyer is proving to be an interesting character. I am glad that her characterization is getting more time. I think she and Kara both carry a lot of trauma that could bond them – but I also thought they were both very thoughtful characters, which I guess has been remover from Kara’s character sheet now so who knows. Anyway. I get why Alex is so quickly invested in her first girlfriend, but Maggie is a grown-ass lesbian with enough experience that her wide-eyed adoration and exclamations that she has ‘just as much to lose’ as her girlfriend-of-a-few-months’ sister are a little baffling to me. Dude, you hardly know her yet… anyway, tv is weird like that I guess.

    I wasn’t as charmed by the romance stuff, but I never am. TV writers and I do not have the same idea of romance and that’s fine – it was pretty cute and played well even if it wasn’t my style.

    Teri Hatcher is KILLING IT I love queen Rhea. And Katie McGrath did such a good job this episode, she acted the heck out of Lena being a precious broken person with Issues. I enjoyed their scenes.

    But Valerie, friends don’t call each other to ask each other to brunch IN THE MIDDLE OF A MEETING. Hearing Kara’s voice was just that urgent? Gaaaaay.
    Also, I am Team Lena re:food as I too love kale. I can’t believe we’re supposed to buy this woman is straight when all her personal details are straight out of Queer Lady Stereotypes ‘R Us.

    • I agree that Kara’s character has been all over the place and used as a prop this season. It’s frustrating.

      There was a thread in the first season about her anger and channeling it appropriately. That combined with her getting bored with “regular” crime, and in general lacking direction or mentoring this season allows me to fairly easily believe that she’d be rather lazy with her crime-fighting choices, then double-down defensively (in embarrassment) when called on it. But I totally agree on the violence part, because she’s always had to be so careful around humans.

      Alex’s violent streak this season worries me more.

      Yes on bonding through trauma. And I’m loving Teri Hatcher. Yes to this. And also to the gay in the awkward placement of the Lena phone call (and I’m even indifferent to Supercorp!).

      • I find Alex’s casual violence and the way the show presents it as ‘badassery’ so disturbing and counter to everything her character otherwise espouses. But I think people overall are into it? So I doubt it’ll change.

        I can totally see Kara doubling down defensively when called on stuff, but I also guess my issue with the characterization this week is I don’t see her as a crime fighter when left on her own? I was surprised she came out of that building in the beginning with the hostage takers rather than carrying an injured hostage, flanked by other hostages because she’d tied up the hostage takers and left them inside. Which sums up how I think of her, I guess – I see her as someone largely motivated by her wish to save people, not ‘fighting crime’.

  18. I find it so weird that Lena could tell instantly that Rhea was an alien just from her “Gods” comment but Kara literally said she flew on a bus

    • Also, I feel like Lena would be the kind of person who is used to people stammering and stuttering around her. You know? 😀 Not necessarily business partners/rivals. But we ordinary folk. You have to think Kara isn’t the first one to spout incoherent nonsense in conversation with Ms. Luthor, particularly when she turns on the charm.

  19. Okay this episode was fucking amazing and everything you said, like, YES, and I can’t wait to rewatch it and this is just a little thing but

    I swear every time Mon-El opened his mouth this episode Alex literally rolled her eyes or pinched the bridge of her nose and I AM HERE FOR THAT.

    • Alex Is All Of Us

      Personally I rolled my eyes so hard at him describing himself as a superhero that I almost needed a second pair of eyeballs to assist in the rolling.

  20. ALSO OH MY GOD HER GAY ASS UNDERPANTS.

    After 2×06 we were all like, okay, when is a baby gay no longer too shiny to date, you know? How will we know when a person is a full grown gay?
    UH I GUESS WHEN THOSE ARE THEIR UNDERPANTS, CONGRATULATIONS ALEXANDRA ON YOUR GAY BAT MITZVAH

  21. Well. I liked this episode; I think it was tight and mostly well acted. And if it was written for anyone but Kara, I’d have been all the way with the liking to loving.

    But…Kara.

    Because this involved Kara and I have seen two seasons (nearly) worth of Supergirl, I didn’t like the contrived conflict at all.

    Rather, I felt the conflict was contrived (I know not everyone agrees). Kara has always been considerate of others, always a talk first and punch later person. Someone, who believes in the best parts of other people, even villains. Not just in Season 1, but in Season 2 as well. Survivors, where she talks to aliens and stops cops from taking them down. The Red sun episode, where she talks to the prisoners. Even with Mxy (ugh! I hated the episode), she tries. With Rhea as well.

    So, for them to say that it is Maggie’s idea, and Supergirl punches first, it was OOC for me; it seemed like they were destroying Kara’s best and core character traits just for the sake of conflict. And, it was not just with that hostage situation (and that was weird in itself) but even at the end. The way Kara talks to Thompson is so Kara, and yet, she says that she did it because Maggie has been talking about it?

    And even J’onn corrects her for saying “the person most important to me?” when the moment should have been spent in just supporting her? I didn’t blame her at all for rushing out when they found Alex’s location. Considering Rick was not breaking, what would they have done? Wait around, or try every possible avenue? (After all, Maggie herself went out and freed the dad because there was nothing else to do). Unless, you have precognition, I don’t think anybody could’ve predicted how it would have gone once Kara went to that location.

    And to be blamed for that and considered the bad guy… Well, I am not much impressed. And, I felt, that like much of the season, the focus was on romance, rather than on the sister’s relationship. I know they did have Kara worried sick about Alex, but, there was no actual Kara-Alex talking moment. Alex apparently didn’t even care enough to say goodbye to her sister. (I am torn on this; I can’t make up my mind whether it’s because Alex doesn’t know just how important she is to Kara [any more than Kara knows how important she is to Alex, I believe; as per episode 2, she still feels she is an obligation to Alex] or because Alex herself considers sisterly relationships are secondary–because Kara will have Mon El–and needed to say goodbye to Maggie, which I believe is kind of a variation of the other reason, but with Alex less invested. Or, if it is like Season 1, Alex couldn’t bear to say goodbye to Kara anymore than Kara could in S1E20.)

    Alex was a badass. I was very impressed especially with the pants thing. (But yeah, I don’t think the cavaliar use of violence by Alex, and the show condoning it, even praising it, is good.)

    Regarding the hostage situation: I thought Maggie was science division or alien division. Why was she negotiating in a bank robbery? Don’t the police have skilled negotiators for the purpose? A separate team?

    I didn’t realise it until I read it on Supergirl.TV but, yeah, it is heartbreaking how starved for a parental figure’s approval Lena is.

  22. This is not to say anything about the recap of course. This recap, as almost all recaps from you Valerie Anne are, is wonderful! It almost made me love this episode (until I remembered the Kara thing; and the lack of an actual Danvers sisters conversation or hug or anything; and the plot holes).

    And I am really glad you got to meet Chyler and had a nice time. It’s great that Chyler and Nathan are the real thing and are so great and it’s so great you like them. Nothing like meeting your heroes and feeling vindicated in your hero worship. 🙂

    I am sorry, I am the uncommon gay woman who doesn’t like Sanvers. I am really glad about it for all the gay kids and folks who like it everywhere.

  23. Great Episode.. the writing, the themes, the acting.. everything was perfect.. and great recap, as always!

    When Lena will find out that Kara is supergirl will be so pissed off! I am looking forward to see how they are going to do that, it seems like they are building up so much the “you lied and you are an alien” thing..

  24. Since I said I don’t like Sanvers, I guess I should explain myself.

    I may be the only person who believes the writers are using Sanvers and Kara-Alex relationship as a prop (whatever it is that holds you up) for not doing better work with either of these. They dust these out of the cupboard, bring them out for the feels and good reviews, and then lets them fall by the wayside. And they cost most of it on the strength of actor’s performances. They are lucky to have gotten such a set of talented actors, especially Chyler and Melissa (and David Harewood, Jeremy Jordan and Katie Mcgrath too) because this plot would have fallen flat with anyone else but Melissa and Chyler.

    They could have created a more believable conflict for Maggie–it would have been very realistic for her to resent Supergirl (though as per Ep4, she was all for aliens), when her job becomes kind of pointless (again, she is science PD, so I am not sure why) and for Kara to resent the amount of time and space that Maggie takes up in Alex’s life and to use another way to channel that anger (by acting out as Supergirl in Maggie’s presence).

    They could have just even started on the wrong footing like people do for no reason from time to time. They could have built this up through the season, instead of using just one episode to focus on Maggie-Kara relationship. They could have built Maggie’s position in science PD and made her a character important to Supergirl in her own right, instead of just using her when it’s convenient and mostly as Alex’s girlfriend.

    Just like the reporter arc, which again, the writers didn’t do proper research on or bother to spent time on; and coasted on the actor’s abilities.

    If only they had pushed Mon El’s romance arc to S3, they could have had time for this in this season. But, I believe the writers are lazy, or don’t care, or do not think enough to tie up all plot holes, think about all character motivations, and focus on character interactions.

    May be season 3 will be better?

    On a completely different note: I guess Lena Luthor has never met any polytheistic Hindus? Because “thank the gods” (plural) is literally among the most common sayings I have heard in Malayalam (my mother tongue), and I know a lot of Malayalis who just translate to English while speaking instead of just using English (like you do with a second language, I suppose). Or may be, this universe of Kara’s doesn’t have Hindus.

    • I agree that they are able to take (unnecessary) short-cuts with the audience based on the strength of the performances. And I totally agree that the Mon-El arc should have either been stretched out more in S2, or moved to S3.

      I’m just frustrated, because the character arcs were relatively tight in S1, and I’m not sure what they’re trying to say about the characters in S2, but they seem to serve the plot versus the plot serving the character so much that it’s hard to know what is “in character”. When based on this season anything can be in character if they say so! This just seems like a haphazard way of running a show.

      RE: Earth polytheistic societies…right?! I thought that at the time, though it didn’t really bug me. Perhaps it was just non-standard enough given Rhea’s American accent and stated Oxford/MIT background that it was enough to pull out the old Alien Detector. I’m comfortable with that, from a character standpoint. Lena thinks, “Either she’s an alien, or an avid Xena fan.” And pulls out the technology to check the first, while hoping for a buddy for the second since Kara seems oblivious. 😉

  25. It was a good episode. But since when does Kara/Supergirl believe that brute force is the best way to solve problems… It seems like something Mon-El would do. Oh well, no show (or episode) is perfect. There was a lot of good things about this one, and the recapper pretty much covered them all.

  26. I liked this episode a lot because despite the sometimes contrived conflict, lack of narrative through-line for emotional development this season, and relationship short-cuts (which I blame on a surfeit of Mon-El this season), it set up conflict in a way that epitomizes how someone as powerful as Martian Manhunter or Supergirl can be drawn in though emotional stakes, yet thwarted by ordinary(ish) means.

    They don’t properly explain how Rick blocked the mind-reading, blocked Alex’s implant, thwarted Win’s hacking…or if he could do all this why he couldn’t break his dad out (when Maggie clearly could at the drop of a hat). There’s some hand-waving “planned this while stalking you all for a year” in order to set up the conflict, and even then the viewer has to work hard to fill in the gaps in motivation for Kara and Maggie (when normal friction gets blown out of proportion).

    But they established enough “could be”s that it would be really interesting if any of this showed up again in the future. Is there some sort of underground resistance/anarchist group (like the dark side of the Wayne Industries off-shoot in “Powerless”) that works out how to thwart superpowers by ordinary means? Can one obsessed person stalk the Superfriends enough to learn their secrets in a way organized and trained organizations cannot?

    Also, the Supergirl Defense? Love it! Like, this is so relevant to any throughline on police brutality, etc. Does this affect James’ vigilantism too? I just wish they’d talk about Alex punching/beating defenseless prisoners, because that needs to be addressed too.

    I love that there are ways to create conflict on a normal, Earthly scale. That was what this episode epitomized to me.

    Meanwhile, it was our ladies on the screen. And J’onn reaffirming the Space Family bond. I wish Alex and Kara got to bond more one-on-one, but get that they’re also trying to establish bonds for Alex with others this season.

    And I’m so pleased that they had the Lena B-plot. I wish they would do more of this on this show, versus springing everything on us in just one episode. I also thought they folded it in nicely with the phone calls (even the random one Lena made to Kara during her meeting with Rhea…maybe Rhea was taking time to read through and sign contracts?).

    Two thumbs up.

    Though I thought maybe Alex should have belted her pants around the pipe in a bid to slow down the water, it’s hard to criticize given everything that was going on, and also her other very clever attempts at escape.

    • I too loved the Supergirl Defense! I hope this gets explored in it’s full ethical and practical depth going forth, but I doubt it….

      And YES YES YES to finally letting some stories build over multiple episodes, setting up stakes longer term. It’s so necessary, because as this episode demonstrated the Earthly stakes are the only stakes possible because Supergirl and Martian Manhunter are too formidable a team otherwise.

      • Right? They’re ostensibly a too formidable team for anything to keep them down!

        Along those practical lines, I feel like J’onn has defined a very narrow role for himself that he feels beholden to: that of DEO commander. He doesn’t *have* to follow all the rules, laws and procedures to get the job done, but it gives him fulfillment to do so. He wants to work within the system. Otherwise, there’s not a lot that a man who can read minds, fly, is as strong as a Kryptonian, and can walk through walls can’t do to solve a problem.

        This is similar to Supergirl. She’s done a lot in her life while trying to integrate into human/American society to not use her powers to give her a visible edge. But also with her crime-fighting, I feel like you keep it interesting from a narrative standpoint by playing at the edges of how you can swoop in as a superhero to help without simultaneously subverting the system you’re trying to support.

        Sigh. You’re probably right that this isn’t interesting enough fodder (based on what has made it to the screen this season) for the current decision-makers, but I think it’s rife with interesting explorations of character.

  27. Now THIS was the ep we’ve been waiting (what seems like) half a season for!

    Like you, VA, I was continually impressed w/ the writing—and to FINALLY exploring some of the ethical conflicts that having SG pretty much be a Deux Ex Machina here on Earth (her ability to smash into everything/anything, the “Supergirl Defense”, her lack of CONSIDERING the ethical consequenses—at least this season!)

    Sanvers was almost (ALMOST) the iceing on the cake of this ep (the mutual “ILY”s. Le Sigh.)

    I, for one, really LIKED the “meanwhiles” of Leah&Mom-El. It properly concentrated the pace for the main “Alex” s/l. [Not crazy re “random dude” as Big Bad (hmmm, sounds like Buffy S6?)] Can’t wait for the shoes to drop, re what’s up for Kara/SG & Lena (not fond of the “SuperCorp” neologism: people have NAMES, y’know?). Lena HAS to find out re Kara=SG before the end of the season: absolutely can’t effing wait!

  28. Lena, hun, stopping a meeting to ask Kara to brunch and trying to get her to like kale is about as inconspicuous as the time I begged my mom for a leather fringe vest in the fourth grade. We never found one in town but she ended up making me one for my birthday. So I guess what I’m saying is, don’t give up hope?

  29. This was Melissa and Chyler and Floriana at their best. Seriously, the three of them STOLE THE SHOW. Danvers Sisters and Sanvers, when used individually this season have been amazing. When its put together, it gives us the best episode of the season and potentially the series.

    And since we’re talking about great episodes, here are my Supergirl favorite episodes: Red Faced(1×06), Human For A Day(1×07), Falling(1×16), The Adventures of Supergirl (2×01), The Last Children Of Krypton(2×02), Changing(2×06), The Martian Chronicles(2×11), Luthors(2×12), Exodus(2×15), and Alex(2×19).

    Special Mentions to Ace Reporter(2×18) and For The Girl Who Has Everything(1×13).

    tl;dr Focus on Alex, Kara, Maggie, Lena, J’onn, Cat or Winn and you’ve probably got gold. The other characters are eh.

  30. I loved the episode, I can’t praise it more than you already did. I just have to say thank god Alex was wearing the most conservative underwear in the world. Shit would have been so awkward if she was kidnapped while wearing a thong.

  31. “She even makes her pants into a goddamn flotation device.”

    A skill I was forced to master during hours in the training pool during boot camp (many many years ago). I really wish I had known earlier how impressive this apparently is to lesbians. I have no idea how I would have used that knowledge, but I still wish I would have had it. I suppose I’ll start packing cargo pants for beach trips, just in case.

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