Previously on Supergirl, Kara was learning how to be single and happy even though she rocketed someone into space to meet an unknown fate, Sam starting to notice something strange happening to her body, and Lena went missing so I put out a BOLO.
We open this week with a submarine finding the alien spaceship that got jostled by Byron Montgomery’s bomb a few weeks ago. The spaceship shoots the submarine with a bright light and it’s Very Mysterious.
Meanwhile in Very Mysterious goings-on, Sam is making dinner for Ruby and eyes the boiling water and decides to discreetly put her ENTIRE HAND IN IT. A) Ruby is standing RIGHT THERE B) probably that test would have worked just as well if you just stuck a pinky in there. But you do you, Sam.
Sam decides she can’t deny this change anymore and ditches Ruby to get some answers. She hugs Ruby and promise she’ll explain everything when she gets back… :sad trumpet noise: (Side note, they do this thing where Sam makes Ruby feel her pulse and says that Ruby IS her pulse, so I’m sure that’ll come back around someday.)
Back at the DEO, Supergirl comes for the daily report and Winn tells her about the whole submarine thing.
Apparently the spaceship has been under this particular rock for 12,000 years and is made of a mystery metal not of this Earth.
Winn leads Kara and J’onn to the place in National City over where the spaceship is currently and in a very cute moment, Kara gets ready to wind up and become a humanoid drill but J’onn stops her, much to her (and my and Winn’s) chagrin.
Instead J’onn zip-a-dee-doo-dahs them down to the spaceship using his Martian powers. Someone comes out guns blazing and speaking Saturnian and after some eye-ball glowing and yelling, a figure appears.
I was going to try to write this whole recap without actually mentioning or talking about him but unfortunately Kara’s whole arc this episode is inextricably tied to him which is exactly why I ever disliked him in the first place.
So they take him back to the med bay at the DEO, and Alex comes in and speaks with the voice of the fandom and asks how he’s breathing.
They have a lot of questions but Sir Tapioca is still a little out of it from coming out of hypersleep so Kara kicks everyone else and tells him to relax.
Sam’s adventure this episode takes her home to see her mother who she hasn’t seen in as many years as Ruby is old. Sam got pregnant as a teengaer, and her mother kicked her out because of it. Sam explains that strange things are happening to her and asks about her birth mother. Mama decides now is the time to tell Sam the truth about who she is, and leads her out into the barn.
Oh, also her mother is Grandma Marin.
In this otherwise-empty barn, there is a pod under a tarp that apparently nobody has ever noticed before. Sam’s mother explains that technically she wasn’t adopted so much as found in this pod. She was going to tell Sam when she turned 18 that she was flung from space, but she was long gone by then. Sam touches the pod and it lights up and opens and presents her with a crystal of her own, and Sam is confronted with the realization that she had been suspecting for a while now: She is an alien.
Meanwhile, Kara is lurking outside the med bay and James pops in to remind us he still knows where the DEO is, even though he’s been confined to CatCo as of late. He promises Kara things he has no business promising her, such as the motivations of an unconscious alien who has been gone for a long time and having Rao knows what kind of life-changing experiences.
Also in this episode is a side story about J’onn trying to figure out his relationship with his father he thought was long gone, and how he fits into his life. Winn encourages J’onn to take Space Granddad outside for a bit, and Alex won’t let him use work as an excuse, because we all know she can handle things in his absence.
Things are awkward but eventually J’onn gets his dad a new apartment and he vows to work on forging their relationship and helping his dad carve out his own space in this world.
In the DEO med bay, as soon as his nurse is gone, the interloper sneaks off into a storage room and tries to steal something but ends up getting knocked down with a really cathartic punch by Supergirl.
He’s taken to a holding cell and Kara asks him what the heck is going on. He’s been quiet and distant and weird and now he’s trying to steal shit. She begs him to explain, gives him outs – is it the hypersleep? Is it not really him? He remains silent so she goes on, trying to fight back tears as she explains that she doesn’t sleep anymore because she just remembers shooting him into the unknowable abyss over and over and over. And that when she saw him again, alive, right in front of her, she remembered what hoping felt like.
He just sits there and listens and doesn’t move from his space sitting against the wall even though I was watching with Heather and both of us kept inching closer to the screen, the urge to reach out and comfort Kara in her pain overwhelming us.
The only thing the prisoner utters is a weak, “I’m sorry.”
Winn is next up to visit the prisoner, and all of a sudden he remembers how to talk. He convinces Winn to help him get the part he was trying to steal and go back to the spaceship, and when Kara realizes what happened, she. is. PISSED.
Kara goes to the spaceship and the boys claim to be acting in her best interest but Kara has learned a few things since last season after all, and tells them both they’re not the boss of her.
Kara is ready to march them both back to the DEO but first she wants to know what the heck is going on; why would someone be acting so weird if he was only gone for seven months? (Why Kara doesn’t consider he was in an untold hell dimension I’ll never know, but that is neither here nor there.) Captain Breadbeard says that it hasn’t been only seven months for him…it’s been seven years.
So here’s the thing. My misandry has been evolving over the past few years, and exponentially over the past year. And we’re now at the point where if a man I don’t care about is talking, all I hear is a soft buzzing sound. So I THINK this is what happened but I honestly can’t be sure and I really, really don’t want to have to watch his face say words again to find out: after leaving Earth, his pod hit a wormhole and he was rocketed to a very distant future. In 300 years, L Corp will have created a cure for the lead-laden air (proof Lena isn’t in charge), which is why he can breathe the air now. Also, presumably, at some point, he was put into hypersleep on a spaceship with a half-dozen others and sent back 24,000 years in time? Which is when they got stuck where the spaceship was eventually found? Just coincidentally a few months after he left? Honestly I can’t be sure, but he’s lived seven years in our seven months. (Which is also how this year felt for a lot of us, frankly.)
Kara is confused and thinks he forgot about her or hates her for banishing him or something but then she realizes he’s still wearing her necklace.
But he still won’t answer her questions and he’s still acting tortured and it’s still really annoying. (At this point, Heather rolled her eyes and said that Rory waited for Amy Pond for 1,894 years.)
Just then, the spaceship starts to beep and whir and one of the hypersleep chambers starts to drown its inhabitant, so the Daxamite tries to break the glass but can’t. Despite being frustrated by this whole situation, Supergirl doesn’t hesitate to save what ends up being a very beautiful girl from the chamber.
They take the girl back to the DEO and try to stabilizer. We find out her name is Imra, and she’s from Titan (the largest moon of Saturn).
Everything is timey wimey, wibbly wobbly, and Kara is all twisted up and doesn’t know how to feel and Alex is worried about her baby girl.
And THEN Señor Secrets DARES go out on OUR FEELINGS BALCONY and promise Kara that while he thought they were over, that he’d never see her again, he’d never forget her. She tells him that the “truth never hurts as much as secrets” which I love because it’s so, so true. They joke a bit about Kara’s ability tuck away an alarming amount of ribs at once and it’s nice to see our girl smile again, even though it’s still tinged in sadness.
There’s one more truth to be revealed, but before he can do it himself, Imra comes outside and all but does it for him.
Which is fine, I already like Imra Ardeen because a) it turns out she’s his wife! and b) I mean, I have eyes.
Also Imra’s husband straight-away outs Kara as Supergirl, and Imra responds, “I can’t believe it’s really you,” which could mean a few things: he talks about her a lot, or she’s a legend, even hundreds of years in the future.
Out in the desert, Sam follows her glowy crystal to a very specific patch and up from the ground comes a henge of stone, spiky and huge. She enters the cave of wonders, and it’s all dark and glowing red and not exactly the Good Guy-est lair to ever exist. (“These people need to read more comic books.” – Heather)
A hologram appears, and Sam recognizes the figure as the woman who attacked her with symbols that one time. Sam finds out she’s Kryptonian, and compares herself to Supergirl, but the hologram says she’s so much more. She is a being designed to execute justice, which sounds pretty badass, except Sam isn’t going to get to be the hero she wants to be. The woman calls her “Worldkiller” and Sam shouts I’M NOT A WORLDKILLER. I’M A GOOD PERSON. Which is also what I’m going to shout…just at random.
Sam doesn’t want to be a villain, she has a life, she has a daughter. But Ruby was a flaw in the plan that will soon be forgotten, and is the reason it took so long for them to activate this sleeper alien. It’s still unclear why/how they managed to delay her being affected by the yellow sun until now but that is neither here nor there because understand it, like it, or not, it’s time for Sam to “emerge.”
And emerge she does, her eyes glowing red, declaring herself awoken.
And honestly, as whackadoodle as it was that she shoved her hand into a pot of water and THAT convinced her she was an alien, that her mother had a pod in an empty barn she never noticed before, and that her Kryptonian powers came in like this, I’m glad she was turned into Reign by an outside source. They’ve been teasing Reign as a bad guy for months, and based on what we’ve seen of Sam so far, short of Ruby dying at Supergirl’s hands, I couldn’t see how they could possibly make this character a viable villain. But now there’s something to fight, and someone to fight for, and watching Kara and Team Supergirl try to defeat Reign without hurting Sam could be an interesting journey.
Next week will be the four-show crossover, and I’ll be recapping them ALL because this year, Alex is going along for the ride!