Hi, friends. Welcome back to my Supergirl recaps. It’s been a long summer! A lot of articles have come out about what this season of Supergirl would bring that were cause for mild alarm, a few interviews were given that were less than favorable, and things overall were feeling a little bleak. But I am who I am, so I went into this episode with as much optimism as I could muster, and I really enjoyed it. It felt, in my heart, like the Supergirl I know and love. There are still some big issues lurking under the surface, but for now I’m choosing to enjoy the things I enjoy and worry about the problems when they get here.
There was no “previously on” to start of Season 3, just a cold open of Kara Zor-El in a field, dressed all in white. She dreams of nibbling on white bread and hugging her mother, who has visited the Jason DiLaurentis Center for Head Transplants and New Faces.
But soon Kara realizes that it’s just a dream. Or a daydream. It’s unclear if she’s remembering a dream or just zoning out, but either way when we snap back to reality, she’s flying above the city, listening to the sounds of the city she saved, the city she’ll continue to save.
What she hears while she’s listening is our girls, Alex and Maggie, car-chasing a baddie we later learn is called Bloodsport (though we never learn why) and Kara swoops in just in time to save them from becoming a statistic.
Supergirl also saves a family from being smooshed by the careening truck, and when a young kid thanks her, she doesn’t stop to be her sweet self as usual; something Maggie notices as she and Alex watch her fly away.
Back at the DEO, Kara is still all business. She’s harping on the fact that Bloodsport got away, and her team feels really weird about her being in such a bad mood. And listen, as much as I hate that this is about the most bland man in all the land, I get it. As someone who was dubbed a “happy, peppy person” in high school, someone who once cried in front of a friend only to have her say in a wide-eyed panic, “You’re Valerie! You don’t cry!” and not know what to do, as someone who was asked by three separate people at work if I was mad at them for something the day after the election because they were so taken aback by the fact that I could be visibly upset…I get it. Optimism might come naturally to people like me and Kara, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It doesn’t mean it’s not a choice we make every day, every hour. It doesn’t mean it’s not a thing we carry. So sometimes when things get so heavy that even optimism feels like a burden, we put it down for a while. And it unnerves the ones closest to us, because of how rarely it happens. Which can be good in some ways, but can be hard when we just need some space and time and we feel like we’re not allowed to be sad because it upsets other people.
It’s possible there’s a lot I need to work though there. So let’s get back to Kara.
After Kara’s tactical speech, Alex finds an excuse to call Maggie her fiancée and invites Kara to an hors d’oeuvres tasting after a visit to the gaylien bar tomorrow. Kara sort of brushes her off saying she’ll come if she’s not busy, and Alex is pretty sad about it.
Winn and J’onn try to assure Alex that Kara is fine, and that Alex herself is pretty serious all the time so it’s not that weird. Alex, having eyeballs and a head on her shoulders, calls after them that she’s not like THAT. Not at all. (And I agree.)
Meanwhile up in corporateville, Lena and James are in a board meeting with Maxwell Lord 2.0 and they both interrupt his boring spiel at the same time to mention Supergirl
because they’re both in love with her. Being a cis (probably straight) man in power, he decides to belittle them both, and since Lena is the easier target for very specific public humiliation, what with her family’s history, he digs in and insults her in front of anyone. Lena was raised a Luthor though, so she’s got a backbone and doesn’t flinch in the face of misogyny.
Over at CatCo, Cat herself is on the TV screens because she’s the new Press Secretary. And she might have a new position, but she’s the same old Cat, explaining that President Wonder Woman is as aware that climate change is real as she is that the Earth is round and the sky is blue. And honestly, I’m still not over that brief stint where I was afraid they brought Cat back just to kill her off, so I’m totally fine with this development/explanation for her not being in National City anymore.
At the CatCo team meeting, we learn that crime is down because Supergirl has been putting in overtime, and also that Kara hasn’t been able to snag an exclusive interview about the upcoming statue reveal with Supergirl yet and perhaps the two are related; though I guess not for the reason James and Kara’s coworkers think.
After the meeting, James tries to talk to Kara, but she snaps at him and pulls away, same as she did to Alex. They’re interrupted when the TV shows the new Maxwell Lord…ugh, fine, I’ll look up his name…Morgan Edge (what a waste of what could have been a cool lesbian name) announcing he’s going to buy CatCo, mostly just to be an asshole. Upon learning this, Kara goes right to Lena.
Kara asks if there’s any way Lena can reason with him, but Lena knows that Edge is anti-Luthor and super sexist, so her argument is lost before it even begins. They flirt a bit more and Lena says she’ll do whatever she can to save CatCo, for Kara. And for feminism.
With that decided, Kara starts to leave, but Lena stops her. She wants Kara to know that she’s still here for her, that she misses her, that she’s worried about her. Kara keeps ditching plans with Lena, and Lena is worried maybe she came on too strong. Lena asks her on a brunch date but Kara leaves without giving her an answer.
And probably this is just the writers trying to show us that every different person in Kara’s life is trying to show Kara how much they care and how worried they are, but this is definitely the most romantic of all the ways, and I can’t tell if it’s a) because I already shipped Kara and Lena b) because I myself am queer af c) because Katie McGrath has sexual chemistry with literally everyone d) because the writers are actively trying to kill me or e) all of the above.
ANYWAY, back in CANON gay land, Alex and Maggie are at the gaylien bar, having a drink before their appetizer tasting. Alex is feeling squirmy about Kara not being around and still being so sullen all the time, but J’onn implores her to give her baby sister some more time. Alex goes to the jukebox to try to clear her mind and Maggie is quickly by her side.
Alex admits that she feels selfish for saying so but that she misses her sister. And that feeling is all too relatable; sometimes when someone close to you is going through something and acting different, it can be a difficult balance between being there for them and missing who they were before. Maggie feels like maybe Alex is using Kara as an excuse to get out of wedding stuff and tries to ask her about it, but Alex deflects, annoying her fiancée.
Team Supergirl has figured out a little more about Bloodsport (except why that’s his name) and sends their hero after him, and she’s angry and determined and fearless and it’s kind of great. Especially since, when presented with the option of chasing after Bloodsport or helping his victim, she chooses to stay and helped the injured man. Even if she did consider leaving for a moment, it means our Kara isn’t totally gone. She’s truly just hurting.
While she’s helping the vic, she hears a sound she recognizes as the emergency tone from the comm she gave James and zips to his side. When she realizes he pulled her away from an actual bleeding human to tell her she’s pushing up against her submission headline for the article in which she would interview herself, she is understandably pissed. In the short time it took her to fly here, she probably thought up at least a thousand things that could warrant him using their emergencies-only signal. Like how when one of my parents texts me, “Call me when you have a second,” and I run through the list of everyone I love who could be dead until I get ahold of them and they just wanted to know how to create a photo album on Facebook. So when really James was mostly just celebrating National Suddenly Worry About Kara’s Sadness Day, Kara decides she’s had enough. She tells James that she’s Supergirl at her core, and that Kara Danvers the reporter isn’t as important to her anymore. And so Kara Danvers quits CatCo.
The least Kara-like thing Kara has ever done, but she does have a Kara-like determination about it as she storms out.
Back at the DEO, Alex and the boys figure out that the bad guys are working on a super-cloaking situation that would allow them to be able to bomb the city without even Supergirl and her x-ray vision to be able to stop them. Alex is stressed and likely much prefers it when her SuperSister is by her side and gung-ho for saving the day.
Across town, Lena goes to visit Morgan Edge and tries to save CatCo, but he just oozes his slime all over her. She calls him despicable and leaves, because you don’t look like Lena Luthor and have a family like Lena Luthor’s and get as far as Lena Luthor without learning how to stand up to rude dudes. Almost as soon as Lena leaves, Bloodsport enters, making it clear in no uncertain terms whose side Edge is on.
Kara is in her apartment, watching Cat crush more interviews as Press Secretary, when Alex comes by to check on her. Alex decides to try some tough love, but in her sisterly concern/frustration, she uses terms like “pity party” and, for better or worse, it pushes Kara to say some long-buried truths. Including but not limited to, “Kara Danvers sucks right now,” and that if Alex had to send Maggie away forever, she’d probably be a mess in her own right.
Alex agrees, but her whole point is, it’s okay not to be okay.
Kara clenches her jaw and says that being broken is a human thing, and that she’s a Kryptonian. She’s better than that and she will not succumb to human emotion. She is trying to leave Kara Danvers behind, the part of her with a broken heart, and will only talk to Alex about work.
Alex gets that her little sister needs space, so she starts to leave, but before she does she says, with firmness and clarity in her voice: “Kara Danvers is my favorite person.” She says that Kara is the one who saved her, not Supergirl. Kara is who she’s worried about. Kara is who she loves.
The next day is the statue reveal day, which is when a lot of National City will be gathered, and when the DEO thinks Bloodsport will attack next. There, J’onn is the next on the list of trying to help Kara remember who she is. She doubles down on the not being human thing, thinking maybe the Martian will understand, but her Space Dad just reminds her of all the times she’s helped him. She quietly admits she can’t help people if she’s broken, but he insists she’s not broken, and that even if her heart is, she can still help people.
Meanwhile, down below, Alex and Maggie have a conversation from across the crowd over comms. Maggie asks Alex if she’s having second thoughts about marrying her, but Alex assures her it’s not the marriage that’s giving her pause. Not being her wife, not getting a dog named Gertrude, not moving in together. It’s the wedding itself she’s wigging out over. Maggie begs her to tell her why.
Alex admits that it has to do with her dad; he won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. And the reason she didn’t tell her fiancée this is because she thought it sounded silly compared to Maggie’s own family struggles. But Maggie gets it, and reminds Alex that she should know better than anyone that family doesn’t mean people who share your bloodline. Or even who you grew up with. Maggie knows a thing or two about chosen family and knows their wedding day will be special, as long as they surround themselves with people who love them. They exchange their own “I love you”s and it’s very cute and sweet and I’m clinging to it like a person might cling to a canteen of water when they know they’re about to enter a desert.
When their conversation dies down, Winn manages to channel all of us and swoons a little over the good ship Sanvers, earning some cute “shut up”-like quips from Alex and Maggie.
Just then, a little girl bumps into Alex and her mother makes her apologize to the DEO agent. Alex smiles and says she doesn’t mind, and I might not think this was going to be more than a Victim of the Week if I didn’t recognize that precious face as belonging to promised regular Odette Annable. She calls herself Sam.
But more on her later, because right now Lena Luthor is here to sing Supergirl’s praises. She reveals the giant Girl of Literal Steel statue and calls Supergirl a mentor and friend, and I still firmly refuse to believe Lena doesn’t know that Supergirl is Kara and Kara is Supergirl. J’onn tells Kara that she should go down into the crowd to graciously accept the honor of being immortalized as the literal girl of steel, but before she can make her appearance, there’s an explosion in the crowd.
Everyone panics because they can’t see where the missiles are coming from, but Kara focuses her powers and realizes the blast came from underwater.
The chaos continues, and while Supergirl tries to stop the blast below the surface, Sam is looking for her daughter when she’s knocked down; she gets up and finds her daughter pinned down by some scaffolding, and uses her mom strength to lift it off her. But when her daughter is safe and she realizes some of the metal is crushed, Sam seems to wonder if maybe it was more than mama bear adrenaline.
Below the water, Kara has been knocked out by the blast. She floats and floats until a voice in her head shouts at her to wake up. She opens her eyes, full of a new determination, and saves the day while her sister and future sister-in-law look on proudly.
Once the chaos is behind them, Kara goes to see Lena to see if she talked Edge out of buying CatCo. But Lena did her one better; she bought CatCo. Lena Luthor PURCHASED an entire media conglomerate. For her “best friend.” Gal-palling aside, Lena’s face does really cute things when Kara tells her technically she quit. She furrows her brow and gives a cute pout and begs Kara to work with her, to help her.
Upon learning he’s been bested, Edge marches into Lena’s office and yells at her. Kara steps in front of her to protect her, which is hilarious and adorable when she’s dressed as Kara Danvers, cinnamon bun.
Realizing this, Kara leaves Lena to sass him on her own and then comes in through her special Supergirl entrance all suited up. She threatens him and does her pose and Lena is downright delighted. And once again it totally feels like Lena knows.
Supergirl flies Edge to a barge and says she knows he was behind the attack earlier. She uses his own gross words against him, and then leaves him there. It’s beautiful.
Back at the DEO, Alex goes to see J’onn and says that she and Maggie have decided on having the – and I quote – “biggest, gayest wedding” ever, and that she wants J’onn to walk her down the aisle. They both cry and hug and he of course agrees because Maggie is right and Alex’s found family loves her.
Back at her apartment, Kara is moping a bit but then remembers that voice she heard in the water telling her to wake up. Regardless of what shape the voice took, the voice is hers, and so she takes her own advice and decides to wake up in her life, too. The time for hiding from her pain is through. It’s time to move on. So she shoots off a text to Lena, who sends her back a heart-emoji to which I respond to with a sobbing emoji because my queer heart can’t take it.
The team goes out to the gaylien bar again, but this time, Kara shows up and joins her family. She’s ready to try to get back to who she was. Back to Kara Danvers, scars and all.
The episode ends on Sam waking up after having a fever dream of Alura Zor-El’s new face turning into an even newer, even scarier face.
And next week, we get Evil Petra.
Overall, I’m pleased with this episode. I don’t know how long it will last, but it felt like the show I fell in love with again. I’m still disappointed some of the actors and what they said at San Diego Comic Con, I’m still wary of what’s to come for Maggie Sawyer, but I’m cautiously optimistic that this season will be a lot of fun.