“Supergirl” Episode 306 Recap: Smells like Teen Spirit

Previously on Supergirl, Kara had to thrust her boyfriend into space to save us all from his insufferability, and Alex had to say an emotional goodbye to her first love. They were both sad and broken and lost, and Kara decided they needed to hit ‘restart.’ So she told J’onn they needed a few days off (and his car) and took her sister away from her too-empty apartment, took her back home.

They don’t really seem to talk much on the way to Midvale, they just listen to sad songs and look forlornly out the window. Eliza is waiting for them when they get there, with a hug and a sympathetic smile for her girls.

Alex gives her mother a hug but doesn’t linger. She brushes past without even making eye contact and takes a shower, but it doesn’t wash away the pain.

Alex looks sadly at her reflection sadly

When will myyy reflefction shoooow…

Eliza and Kara talk outside. Eliza worried about both of them, and hoping Alex will take this time to dive into her sadness, start to work through it. Unlike Kara is doing. Eliza says that Kara is here, taking care of Alex, hoping she’ll work through her sadness, open up, talk about it…but Kara never did that. Not really. Eliza says that Kara has the most wide open heart when it comes to other people, but she’s so hard on her own self.

Eliza is worried about Kara

Eliza Danvers is #momgoals

If someone else wants to talk about their pain, Kara will listen until her ears fall off, but she’d rather cut her own tongue out than burden someone else with HER pain. She’s the strongest person on this planet, she can shoulder her own baggage. But Eliza says that just because she CAN carry the weight of her sadness on her own, doesn’t mean she should have to. Kara says that she’s trying to accept the fact that she’s not human, that she’s a Kryptonian, and that she can’t succumb to human weaknesses…but I think she’s just hiding beneath her bulletproof skin. Surely Kryptonians felt sadness, mourned, were weak sometimes. And her and Clark are the only Kryptonians raised on Earth, so there’s really no precedent here. But I suppose all this comes with the territory of trying to figure out who you are.

Kara goes inside to find Alex alone in the bedroom they shared, drunk, angry and so, so sad.

Alex lashes out at Kara, saying she doesn’t understand how this is supposed to help; they could stay there for an hour, a night, a week, and Maggie would still be gone when she got back. Kara tries to coax her to talk to her, but Alex calls her out on being a hypocrite. Kara shut down for six months, she wouldn’t talk about it, and even after she did start to talk about it a little, Kara didn’t seem like she was doing much better than she was six months ago.

Sad Alex is sad

Alex’s eyes are wet and black with pain and it HURTS ME.

Frustrated with her sister, Kara says she was just trying to help but clearly she shouldn’t have. They snipe at each other back and forth a few times then go to bed in a huff. It’s the kind of snapping that is an open-hand slap to the face, not a stab in the gut. It’s meant to sting, it’s meant to rile the other person up, it’s meant to relieve the pent up anger inside, but only for a minute, and hopefully resulting in no lasting damage. It’s the fight of siblings.

Kara and Alex going to sleep fighting transports us into a flashback from ten years ago, where Kara and Alex wake up fighting. It starts with a fight to the bathroom but it devolves quickly into shouts of “I don’t have a sister” because sure Kara might have been there for two years, but when you’re 13 or 15, those years are long but they are HARD. My brother and I fought like mad when we were teenagers, and I’m so sure would shout things like “he’s not my brother” or “I swear I was adopted” and as far as I know no one in my family literally fell from the sky so all of this teenage angst rang so true to me.

Downstairs, Alex double-checks her calculus homework like the adorkable nerd we all know and love, while Kara scoffs at such simple maths. She does have a time with history class, but frankly so did I. She doesn’t really see the point in going to school; on this planet, she has powers, what does she need to know the dates of the French Revolution for anyway? But Eliza informs her this is not up for debate. Also not up for debate, Alex has to babysit Kara tonight, much to the girls’ chagrin.

Young Alex and Kara are PISSED

Also I love that they’re dressed exactly the same as they will ten years from now.

Alex and Kara are in all the same classes, so I guess they’re closer in age than I thought they were. (I just went to the Arrowverse Wiki, and had to do some math because of the whole in-stasis-for-24-years thing, but yes it does seem like they’re only about a year apart.) Anyway, Alex is better at history, Kara is better at gym, and they are in a day-long standoff, until Kara is bullied because she wants to gush about Superman and Alex steps in to stand up for her. Alex then goes to sit with her friends at the cool kids’ table, while Kara sits alone and waits for her buddy Kenny. Kenny says hi to Alex, who brushes him off as Kara’s friend when prodded by her friend Josie, and then Kenny gets pushed around by a football player.

A kind human on Twitter pointed out to me that during this scene, a girl calls the football player off, and Kenny thanks her, calling her Vicki. Could this girl also be the one Vicki Donahue of Alex-s-coming-out-speech fame? She happens to be the one who renders Alex a little speechless, so I’m thinking perhaps.

Alex swoons over her friend Vicki

I remember the nervous laughter so well.

Anyway, Kara sees this all unfold and gets so upset she accidentally crushes part of the table in her hands.

Kenny isn’t too upset; he has so much dirt on that football player and takes a quiet pleasure in knowing he’s the one with the power, even if he’s not using it. People say things around him all the time because they think he’s invisible. Kara wishes she could be invisible too because Alex is being so mean, but Kenny says she’s just upset because her dad left. Kara says she’s sad too but isn’t yelling about it, but everyone handles their pain differently, sweet one.

Later that night, Kenny takes Kara out stargazing and it’s very cute and sweet but Kara gets nervous when he tries to kiss her and changes the subject and he just smiles and looks up at the stars some more with her. It’s so, so lovely.

Kara sneaks back home through her bedroom window and Alex sits up and hisses out, “Where are you?” Angry, sure, but I detected a hint of worry in there, too.

Young Alex scolds Kara

IF YOU DIED I WOULD HAVE BEEN SO PISSED AT YOU

Alex says she’s upset because Kara could have gotten her in trouble, but we know the truth. Alex says it’s Kara’s fault her dad is gone, that her mom is always stressed, that people at school think she’s weird because she has a weird new sister, that she feels something twisted up insider her that her friends don’t seem to have and she hates it because she doesn’t understand it and maybe it’s always been there but Kara’s here now so why not just take it out on her?

It’s so hard to watch, Alex yelling at Kara. But I totally understand it. At school, my friends made up a whole new personality type to call me, saying I was a “happypeppyperson” (always said very fast and cheerfully). At home, I was usually screaming, crying or sulking at any given moment. I was going through a lot of shit for a lot of reasons, but I surely took out more of it on my brother than he deserved. No, he shouldn’t have been coming into my room without knocking, but also probably there was a better way to deal with it than screaming and throwing Spice-Girls-inspired platform sneakers at him.

ANYWAY the next morning Kara can hear trouble in the distance and run-jump-flies to the scene of an accident, where she sees Kenny dead in the woods.

Young Kara cries

HE CAN’T SEE WITHOUT HIS TELESCOPE

At school, Kara can overhear everyone talking about Kenny like they knew him, and it hurts her. Alex tries to say she understands, but Kara snaps that Alex didn’t know Kenny and accuses her of not actually caring. Kara overhears the football player making Southpark jokes about Kenny dying and pins him to the lockers until he confesses his alibi.

Determined now to figure out what happened to her friend, Kara goes to Kenny’s parents house. They tell her that they can’t find his telescope, and she promises to find it for them, and fully intends to do so, even after she promises the sheriff she won’t.

While she’s looking for the telescope in the woods where they had been stargazing, she runs into her sister.

Young Alex crosses her arms at her sister in the woods

Teen Alex wearing chokers being canon is my favorite new thing we learned, I think.

Alex confesses now that Kenny was tutoring Alex in calculus here in these very woods and she was just going for a walk to mourn him. Kara tells her sister that it’s weird Kenny’s laptop and telescope were gone so Alex tells her to use her powers and they work together to find the laptop. They take it home and start checking out what’s on the computer (they’re going to send the files to Clark’s friend Chloe and her Wall of Weird, which I’m told is a Smallville reference), hoping it will give them clues as to who killed Kenny. The first thing they find is a big ol’ red flag: Alex’s friend Josie kissing Mr. Bernard, their history teacher.

Alex and Kara look intensely at their computer

“I’m loving this season of Grey’s Anatomy.” “I know! I can’t believe Meredith has a sister!”

The next day at school, Alex confronts Josie in the bathroom and tells her they need to go to the cops. She’s being Aria Montgomeried and her Ezra might have killed someone. Wait, I guess that’s redundant. She’s being Aria Montgomeried! Alex calls it disgusting and illegal, and even says the words “statutory rape” because this might be a CW show but we ain’t in Riverdale anymore.

Josie says that Mr. Bernard may have been angry when he found out Kenny knew about him being a predatory, but yells Alex to stay out of it.

Young Alex is appalled

“He’s writing a true crime novel about your life? You realize that doesn’t make it BETTER right?”

As soon as the girl she’s been best friends with for half her life is out of sight, Josie calls Mr. Bernard and says simply, “Alex Danvers knows.”

Kara and Alex walk home from school together, something that doesn’t usually happen. They have a common goal, and common ideals, and maybe Kara was invisible and maybe Alex is also seeing her for the first time.

What Kara sees, however, is a car zooming toward them, so she saves her sister and hover-flies over the ridge until the car is gone.

Kara carries Alex to safety

Hell all I ever did was make my brother dinner.

They assume it was Mr. Bernard and tell the police just this, and before long Eliza is there to wrap her perfect mom arms around them both. Back home though the hug phase is over and it’s punishment time; Alex is sent to do her homework and Kara is scolded and handed off to a special agent who is here to tell her not to use her powers. The thing is, this special agent looks like Kara’s mom. Well, Kara thinks it looks like her mom. It’s still not Laura Benanti.

Young Kara is so frustrated that she has all these powers and this burning desire to help people but no one will let her. She hates it here, she hates school, she just wants to go be Super with her cousin.

Young Kara looks so frustrated

You’re super to me, little Kara!

But the agent says she’s too young and it’s too dangerous, so she makes her pinky swear she’ll never use her powers, which Kara agrees to very reluctantly. We see the Agent go back to their car, and lo and behold, it’s actually J’onn Jones. Already doing some Space Dad prep.

The next visitor at the Danvers’ is Josie, who is PISSED at Alex for getting Mr. Bernard arrested. But all this was dramatically going down right after work, so it wasn’t them who tried to kill Alex with their car. Alex excitedly tells Kara, but Kara is dejected; she’s been scolded one too many times for trying to be a superhero, she’s going to finally listen. But Alex doesn’t want to stop. Kara remembers how Alex almost died earlier and tells her sister that she’s going to be human now. Alex enjoyed doing something important with her little sister but no matter, she’ll do it herself.

Alex will do it herself

“I’ll just put on a second choker instead.”

Alex finds the Sheriff at the high school football game and tells him that she and Kara were wrong about who tried to run them over.

The Sheriff wants to talk inside, and Alex is immediately a little sketched out. As soon as Alex is alone in the empty hallway of the stadium with the sheriff and she realizes she’s in danger, Kara calls to warn her that the other images on Kenny’s computer were of the Sheriff doing something illegal.

Alex plays the phone call off like a champ, not responding to Kara’s statement directly. But by the time she hangs up, the jig is up, and the Sheriff has a gun pointed at our dear, sweet girl.

I’ll admit, despite knowing full well Alex survived this scene, I was stressed. Alex isn’t though, and remains cool and collected, even continuing her investigation, trying to get the Sheriff to confess and tell her his motives.

Alex looks determined af

“I laugh in the face of danger, ha ha ha ha!”

He’s impressed she’s not screaming or begging for her life, but Alex isn’t afraid for her life. You know why? Because she knows her sister is coming. And for the first time of many, Alex’s pointed speech is perfectly punctuated by Kara appearing just in time to save the day.

Young Kara busts through the wall like the Kool-Aid man

KARA SMASH

They hug and they smile; Alex knew she would come. They might fight each other day in and day out, but when it comes down to it, despite what Alex has said in anger, they’re sisters. They’ll always be fighting WITH each other when it counts.

Kara and Alex smile at each other

lylas

The next day at school, Josie tells Alex she can’t sit with them, so Alex joins her sister instead. Alex doesn’t mind much; they saved the day three times over, and at least they have each other. Alex even asks if they can hang out later that night, maybe even go flying. Kara is SO down to hang out, but not so much with the flying; she wants to keep her sister safe. Speaking of which, Alex realizes now that she could be trying harder to be a good sister, and vows to do just that from now on.

Kara is so happy her sister is sitting with her

Also my face if Alex Danvers wanted to sit with me

That night before sending the girls to bed, Eliza brings in Kenny’s telescope; his parents wanted the girls who solved his murder (and presumably his only friends) to have it. They go to bed without fighting and it’s very cute and sweet.

Young Alex goes to sleep smiling

Also are we sure this girl isn’t related to Chyler Leigh?

When morning comes it’s 2017 again, and Alex drags her mildly physically and emotionally hungover self to the porch, where Kara is using Kenny’s telescope to look at the morning sky.

Alex remembers Kenny, remembers the first case they worked on together. She also remembers that it was the first time she realized that maybe having a new sister wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to her. That maybe it could be the best. Because now Alex knows that they can get through anything together.

How pensive, how sad Alex seems to be

Alex at her worst looks better than most people at their best JUST SAYING

Kara says it was the first time she truly started trying to be human, to fit in, to be Kara Danvers instead of Kara Zor-El. Their closeness after that case is how they survived the last ten years. Earth still doesn’t entirely feel like home to Kara, but Alex does.

Kara smiles at her sister

I know Kara is powered by the sun but it’s possible even her smallest smiles power the sun right back.

Alex answers, “Always,” and jeepers my heart almost burst full out of my chest.

Alex admits that this weekend was a good idea, that waking up alone in her childhood bed was a lot less traumatizing than waking up without Maggie would have been. She apologizes for lashing out, reminds Kara that she never means to hurt her, not really. Kara understands, she’s done the same thing, they both have, and they both will, over and over forever.

Kara also says she’s doing better, feeling better, now that she’s gluten-free, even though she really misses sandwiches. She feels herself healing, which Alex couldn’t know, because Kara doesn’t talk about her feelings enough. Alex understands now. Kara asks what Alex needs, but all she needs right now is for her to be there, so she’s doing a great job.

Then Kara pulls Alex close to her and kisses her head and this shot here, with the family photo in the foreground, the sisters holding each other…this is what Supergirl means to me. This whole episode is. It’s about navigating heartbreak, what it means to be a family, what it means to be human. It’s about fighting with and for and against, it’s about strength in all its forms, it’s about love. In all its forms.

Alex and Kara are being sweet on the porch

This is what I’m sending people whenever they ask me why I love Supergirl from now on.

And speaking of love in all forms, Eliza Danvers is the human manifestation of all things loving and good in this world. She gives her girls a picnic to take back with them, and tells Alex she’s strong and brave, even if she’s not ready to be just yet.

Alex hugs Eliza with all her might

Alex and Kara are so lucky to have an Earth Mom and a Space Dad who love them so.

Kara tells Alex that they’re due back at the DEO STAT, with the car in pristine condition, so Alex decided this means she gets to drive. You see yesterday, an accident didn’t seem so bad. Today, she’d rather make it back in one piece. Baby steps.

They’re in a better mood on the way back, turning up the music and enjoying the wind in their hair, singing Gwen Stefani’s “Sweet Escape,” which I thought was a solid choice lyrically but an odd one to have them jamming to, until I realized THAT SONG CAME OUT TEN YEARS AGO and then I felt old and sad so let’s go back to the road trip and the whole wind-in-our-hair thing.

Kara and Alex drive in their car in their sweet escape

“Let’s keep goin’.”

I loved this episode so very, very much. I would watch an entire spinoff of the Superteens solving crimes and getting into mischief. Even if the show all goes down in flames from here, at least this was the perfect episode to use as a series finale in any future rewatches.

Every show has its missteps, but we know this show can be so great, which is why we’re so disappointed when it isn’t. I hope we get more entire episodes focused on Alex and Kara’s relationship and teamwork skills. I hope that this beautiful episode means that the writers realized that Kara and Alex are the heart of this show, even more so than Supergirl, and that the potential return of any characters won’t ruin that. I hope that Kara figures out how to be both Kryptonian and human and use the strengths of both aspects of herself to keep imbuing positivity and strength into the world. I hope this continues to be the show we know it can be. I hope and I hope and I hope.


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Profile gravatar of Valerie Anne

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 69 articles for us.

16 Comments

  1. Baby Alex looks so much like grown up Alex that I kept doing double takes, like are you sure that isn’t somehow Chyler? Amazing casting!

    Also, I too would absolutely watch a spinoff of the superteens. Those girls absolutely carried that episode with zero trouble, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.

  2. Am I the only one who wasn’t entirely happy with this episode? While Kara and Alex’s younger selves were perfectly cast physically, I thought their acting left much to be desired. And while the plot of the episode was interesting, I was annoyed at how it seemed to retcon a lot of what we had previously learned about the Danvers’ school days. Was Alex really one of the “popular” kids? Did it really take them until after Jeremiah was gone to become friends? How were they in the same classes? And who the hell is this Kenny kid who was apparently Kara’s only friend in high school who got brutally murdered and yet Kara has never ever mentioned him or his telescope!? And why oh why wasn’t there more of baby gay Alex Danvers and her high school crush Vicky Donoghue!?

    I also felt like the story they told in the flashback didn’t really make sense in the context of Alex’s present-day heartbreak. Why was solving that mystery relevant to helping her get over Maggie? It just felt like it didn’t really fit in with the story being told in the present day.

    I’ve seen some comments that this episode was written because Melissa and Chyler were busy filming the scenes from the big crossover episodes, so they needed to give them a bit of a break, which I can understand. But I still would have much preferred an entire episode of present-day Alex being drunk and sad in Midvale while Kara and Eliza try to cheer her up.

    Finally – it’s now been two and a half years. for the love of god, is SOMEONE going to bring up Alex’s drinking habit!?

    • i bring it up with my tv screen every episode. thank you for validating me!

      in some ways it’s maddening to see her alcoholism go unacknowledged or referred to as a funny quirk, but if i imagine there’s one person with sense involved in writing this thing then maybe it’s the best crafted alcoholism story arc we will ever see. so often alcoholism arcs come out of nowhere. this one is VERY firm. they could acknowledge it at any moment. any moment now.

    • From the little flashbacks we have seen, I think Alex was indeed one of the popular kids. She was invited to the beach party and she was asked out by someone earlier in another flashback. Alex started out resenting Kara and it makes sense the resentment intensified when Jeremiah went missing.

      As for Kara mentioning him; Kara is not very big on sharing even though it feels like she is happy go lucky and hasn’t a care in the world. It has been 3 seasons, and we have barely gotten a glimpse into her abandonment issues. Besides, why would she mention Kenny out of nowhere? There is no reason to just like Alex had no reason to until she was actually in a relationship.

      The actors had mimicked even the mannerisms that Chyler and Melissa brought to Alex and Kara. I think that was good.

      Solving the mystery was not relevant to Alex and Kara feeling better. Them going back home was about going back to a time when things were simpler. It allowed them to remember what they still had (each other). And the flashback allowed us to see why it was important and where they started going in a positive direction in their relationship. They do talk about that in the balcony.

      Neither of them have actually gotten over their losses. Far from it. They just have realised that the world has not really ended. And, that probably makes them feel better.

      Also, sometimes, some experiences are poignant and healing more because of the silence than the discussions and analysing.

      I think the episode was purposely written this way. For crossover, they actually had shutdown days so that it didn’t impact the schedule for other episodes.

      I have no idea why they have not addressed Alex’s drinking yet. But, I am hoping they will some day.

  3. Solid Grey’s Anatomy reference. Nice work.

    I was going through some old stuff last week. I sent a picture of some of the stuff I dug up and sent to a friend labeled “my 90’s lesbian kit”. It involved a few chokers.

    Young Alex Danvers and Veronica Mars would make a great fanfic.

  4. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this episode with regard to Alex and Kara bonding sister time that was promised at the end of last week and they would be home and help each other heal; we got too little of that.

    I did like the episode for what it was as a flashback to the Danvers sisters and their crime solving skills and yes I too would watch a whole series focused on that.

    I was a little annoyed by the timeline fudging to suit the story, like Alex said on Valentine’s Day she was 28, they said teen Kara was 15 in this episode so they are 3 years apart.

    The young actresses were great (except for the bad blue contacts Kara had to wear) but Kara seemed too grown up and Alex seemed not grown enough to make that 3 year age difference plausible.

    Also if Kara was advanced in math and science then why was she in Alex’s (assuming senior year) history class instead of math?

    Anyway so yeah that’s my take on things.

    • I was so happy to hear the Chloe shoutout! 😛 Also: yeah… wow. Smallville was ages ago in TV time.

      I’m just glad that the character of Chloe is canon. She was always my favourite and I really would love to see her on Supergirl someday. It’d be fun to see a different actress in the role (seeing as how the character was created for Smallville & there’s only ever been one “Chloe”…)

  5. I liked this episode so much; there was not enough Melissa and Chyler, but still.

    Young Kara and Alex behaved exactly as you would expect teens in their age to behave. They have just 1 to 1 and a half years between them, so they are close enough to be this irritated with each other.

    Kara has lost a lot and wants the only thing that links her to Krypton–her cousin. Alex has lost some too–her father, her earlier life, her freedom and because she can’t blame anyone else, she blames Kara.

    And it makes sense that at the end Alex is the person who makes Kara feel at home. After all, she is one person that was new (not another parent who will remind her of her own, but a new relation altogether).

    Anyways, I am with you–and I was thinking just this yesterday–that if all future episodes were bad, we will have this and the previous ones in this season. But, I don’t think all future ones will be bad. I don’t have much hopes for the next one; but am pretty sure the writers will keep coming back to the sisters and friendship and family often enough times to make us still enjoy the show.

    And, I firmly believe Mon El is not coming back as a romantic interest (though there will be some angst before that is clarified).

    Thanks for the recap; I used to be the same with my younger sister. 🙂

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