“Supergirl” Episode 313 Recap: Stay

Friends! I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch but we’re on a good roll for Supergirl episodes that feel like Supergirl episodes and I think they finally found their way back to the path they were meant to be on.

The first step on this path this week starts with Supergirl leading her team to the house of Julia Freeman, suspected worldkiller, in hopes of catching her off-guard and taking her in. But instead it’s Team Supergirl who is taken aback, because Julia is just minding her own business in her house, singing along to some Lisa Loeb.

Supergirl tries to get her attention, and when Julia realizes a fuckton of armed agents are all up in her house, she rightly freaks out. When she sees Supergirl she’s slightly less freaked out, but looks to her for answers.

Julia looks pleadingly at Supergirl

“It’s none of your business why I was listening to headphones while I was alone in my apartment.”

Supergirl orders her team to stand down because it’s clear to her that this is no Worldkiller. Julia looks from the weapons pointed at her to Supergirl and asks her for protection, which Supergirl promises to give her. But as Julia reaches out to take Supergirl’s outstretched hand, Alex panics and starts to yell at the woman, telling her not to move. This triggers something in Julia and her eyes go white, waves of energy pulse off her and she knocks everyone down, then blows them clear across the room, even Supergirl.

There’s a tussel but eventually J’onn gets the mystery woman in cuffs and as they lead her off to the DEO, Kara can’t help but be confused by this series of events.

Kara is confused af about this situation

“Giles said the bad guys would be easy to distinguish by their pointy horns…”

Meanwhile, at L Corp, Lena is in Sam’s office when she gets to work. Lena offers to take over for the day and Sam is nervous about this offer, but Lena reassures her that she’s wanted to work with her from the moment they met, and that hasn’t changed; she just wants Sam to take care of herself and get better.

Lena smiles at Sam and it's a doozy

I don’t know about you but this outfit/makeup/smile combination made ME feel better.

So off Sam goes to play hooky with Ruby and go ice skating. I think the writers have finally, I dunno, met a 12-year-old, because Ruby was very cute and sweet in this episode and for once didn’t act like she was written as being nine.

Anyway, back at the DEO, they talk about the crystal they found in Julia’s apartment that they think they can use to track down the Worldkiller lair. They also discovered that Purity’s sound vibes are specifically designed to hurt Kryptonians, which pisses Alex the fuck off.

But also there’s a look on Kara’s face that worries Alex, so she asks to be alone with her sister. Kara admits that she’s not in pain from getting Canary Cried, but something about that whole interaction with Julia/Purity is bugging her.

Kara looks conflicted

“Also I can’t get that damn Lisa Loeb song out of my head.”

Kara says that the woman who was scared and asked for help felt like a totally different person than the one who tried to scream them all to oblivion. Alex thinks it was just an act to pull one over on them, but Kara thinks maybe Julia is still in there, and she wants to try to get through to her. Alex says that Kara can try, but when that doesn’t work, they’re going to do things her way.

So the sisters go into the holding room and talk to Purity through the glass of her cell. Kara tries to talk to her, tries to talk to Julia, but Purity says that’s not her name and lists off a string of titles to rival a khaleesi.

Purity sits menacingly I know that sound weird but just trust me

Singer of songs, master of intimidating sits.

She is Purity, but Kara wants to talk to Julia. Alex grows impatient and storms forward, playing the bad cop even though that’s not the way Kara wanted to play this. Alex asserts her authority, saying that she’ll call her prisoner whatever she wants, but Purity can call her Agent Danvers.

Alex looks so fierce halp

I’ll call you WHATEVER YOU WANT!

Ignoring Alex’s interruption and her rant to Purity, Kara still tries to talk to Julia, and the Worldkiller thinks it’s hilarious that these two women sent to interrogate her can’t agree on a tactic.

Kara’s next step in her kill ’em with kindness routine is to read Julia’s personal file out loud. Purity just laughs, saying that Julia was a farce, a figment of her imagination, only a vessel until it was time for her to emerge. A mask. But when Kara shows Purity a picture of Julia’s best friend, her roommate, the girl she saved from getting squished by the car, saying she’s probably worried about Julia now. Purity calls the girl clingy, but something in her voice wavers; Kara can see Julia fighting, but ultimately Purity still wins out.

Purity doubles down now, saying she doesn’t care about humans like Supergirl does, and threatens Supergirl. This is when Alex can’t hold back anymore, and Alex turns the threat right around.

Kara pulls Alex outside, having seen enough of her sister’s eyes glaze over with hatred, and says that she still thinks they can find a nicer way out of this. But Alex is frustrated so she lashes out at her sister, saying she’s frustrated by Kara’s optimism, that her feelings are costing them precious time.

Alex looks a bit crazed


Kara is confused, because Alex is now complaining about the very things she’s complimented her on in the past. Kara sees this anger overtaking Alex, this unwillingness to consider that Julia is still under the Purity guise, this uncharacteristic lack of empathy, and asks her sister why. Alex says they’re not all bulletproof, and cynicism is what’s keeping her alive, and you can practically see the fire in her eyes; she’s ready for a fight.

Alex looks mad as hell

Or a sandwich. I get those feelings confused myself sometimes.

But the thing is, she’s not mad at her sister. Not really. There’s a lot of things going on for Alex right now. Reign broke her leg not that long ago, and not long before that, she watched her sister, the strongest being on the planet, get taken down by the Worldkiller. Watched her fall to the ground and lie there, unmoving. She’s scared. And now, on top of Reign, who is still on the loose, and Purity, who is in a cell, there’s a third mystery being out there? It’s so much unknown. Alex likes problems she can science or punch her way out of. She’s beaten enemies before with a cool head, but this is different. The fear is too much to bear. And hope is too hard for her amidst all this fear, so seeing Kara have so much hope, seemingly effortlessly, is frustrating. Not to mention she’s going through this heartache that won’t quit, something that is making her feel like she’s not as strong as she thought, which is a damning realization when you’re facing what could be the biggest fight of your life.

But we’ll get to that part later.

And all these things, all this fear, all this new and overwhelming insecurity…maybe Kara is too close to her to see it, but Purity sees it for what it is. She holds a mirror up to Alex’s pain and Alex is furious.

Kara holds Alex back

Kara’s face though

Maybe she took a shot in the dark and hit, or maybe Purity has some kind of ability that helps her read people, but Purity blames Alex’s rage on her loneliness, and says she threw away her chance at happiness. She spoke Alex’s fear out loud and it hit her, hard. Like she told Kara earlier, not everyone is bulletproof.

Alex storms out and Purity just laughs.

Kara is mad now, too. She was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but she saw the blow Purity dealt her sister and she’s done playing Ms. Nice Gal. She’s going to do what it takes to make sure she doesn’t hurt anyone else.

Purity starts talking in Kryptonian about “the three” and Kara angrily talks in Kryptonian back, saying things like, “I defy you,” and making my heart race.

Kara glares at Purity

I think Kara’s hair works the same as mood rings. It gets curlier and blonder the angrier she gets.

What she doesn’t realize though, is that what Purity is doing is activating her crystal, which is in Winn’s lab. She uses the crystal to short out the DEO’s power enough to escape, knocking Supergirl down and getting the crystal from the lab. This also activates Reign, causing Sam to leave Ruby in the middle of the ice skating rink, alone.

Ruby calls Lena and tells her about how weird her mother has been lately, and how scared she is. Ruby knows something is wrong and knows there’s something the grown-ups aren’t telling her, so Lena reassures her that whatever is happening, Lena is going to help.

Lena smirks at Ruby

Lena’s look of reassurance was so good it went back into my past and made little me feel better about that one time my mother forgot to pick me up after dance class.

I can see this path leading to Lena being pulled into the DEO team and I need it. It also makes me feel a wee bit more confident that Sam isn’t totally doomed just because Reign is a nightmare.

Speaking of the DEO, they made some special sonic protectors so Purity’s blasts can’t take them down so easily. Supergirl swears this time she won’t be caught off-guard, she won’t underestimate Purity.

Cut to Supergirl and Purity facing off in the train station, unaffected now by the blasts, and therefore TOTALLY UNDERESTIMATING HER. They have Purity surrounded, yes, but three super-fast beings (and Alex) walk toward her slowly, smug smiles on their faces, and it gives Purity time to formulate an escape plan. Purity smashes through the floor and into the below train station, causing chaos. Alex evacuates the civilians while J’onn holds up a crumbling pillar so Supergirl can take on the Worldkiller.

Kara once again pleads with Julia, tries to talk past the Purity mask, and for a second, Julia flickers in. It’s just a moment before Purity takes back over, but Alex sees it, and understands now what maybe she always knew deep down, her sister was right. So she tries to talk to Julia, too.

Alex reaches out to Julia

“We can sing another Lisa Loeb song? How about that one from Buffy?”

Alex gives Julia advice she herself should take — we’re all so good at saying the things we most need to hear. “You can fight this,” she says. “You are stronger than you think.”

She sees Julia now, in a way she hadn’t before, and she apologizes. Alex vows to help her now, but she needs Julia to keep fighting. So Julia does. She fights and she fights until finally she overpowers Purity, and it’s just her. She lets Supergirl go and falls down beside her, finally Julia again.

Alex, Supergirl and Julia look at Reign

Now THIS is a trio I can get behind.

But before they can talk to her, or get her out of there, Reign drops down. Alex beelines for her but Reign takes her down easily and is one muscle flex away from burying a gay when Julia steps in and tells Reign to stop. Either she remembers what happened while she was Purity, or she just assessed this situation really quickly, but either way she bravely and boldly steps up to Reign and says, “Take me.”

Julia bravely faces Reign

Julia is the hero we need, even if we don’t deserve her.

Pleased, Reign spares Alex and says they’ll find their sister Pestilence and takes Julia away.

Reign tells Julia it's time to go

Every time Reign or Purity mention their third sister Pestilence, all I can think is, “and Peggy.”

They take Alex back to the DEO and her ribs are cracked and her butt and pride are a bit bruised but overall she’s fine. Alex also says that Julia is tough, and thinks she’ll be okay, even though the DEO lost track of them as soon as Reign flew them away.

Kara is worried but is realizing now that even though she feels they can’t beat the Worldkillers, maybe they don’t have to. Maybe they’re coming at this all wrong. Maybe they should be trying to save them.

Kara looks resolved

“We can always use more ladies at the DEO, especially since Vasquez works part time with SHIELD.”

Which honestly I really hope is the case. Because Sam and Julia are women of color and when we asked for more women of color on the show, we didn’t mean as bad guys. It is pretty rad that in this storyline, we technically get four new characters of color with these two actresses. We have Reign and Purity, Worldkillers, but we also have Sam, the badass boss single mom sweetheart, and Julia, the Lisa Loeb loving loyal brave friend. This is the whole-self/humanizing treatment all white superheroes and supervillains get, especially white men, so while it’s clear Reign and Purity need to be stopped, I desperately don’t want to lose Sam and Julia, because I think Odette Annable and Krys Marshall are KILLING IT and expertly playing the nuances of both their characters.

Julia wakes up in Worldkiller Cavern and she’s understandably scared. The hooded figure tells her that her time to awaken is come, and Purity tries to take over but Julia tries so hard to fight it.

Throughout this episode, the boys were off doing their own thing, and I thought I could ignore it completely, but then Imra got involved and I’ll take any excuse to have pictures of her. So I will sum it up quickly: Imra’s husband admits he was a misogynist asshole before he met Kara but he swears he isn’t one now. He originally married Imra out of convenience for an alliance but grew to love her for real eventually. And so now he feels bad that his old feelings for Kara are being stirred up.

Imra is mostly mad she wasn’t invited to the fight against the Worldkillers.

Imra is unnaturally beautiful

I have no doubt she’s not of this earth because holy wow she’s stunning.

She gets that he’s still into Kara and just wants her husband to talk to her about his feelings. As a show of good faith, she thinks it’s time to tell her husband the truth about their mission to Earth-38 in 2018. (But we won’t find out said truth until after the hiatus.)

Now that the fighting is done, at least temporarily, Kara and Alex go to the bar for some wings. Kara asks if they’re okay, and Alex says they are, as a sisterly unit, intact.

Alex and Kara sit across from each other


But Alex herself might not be. She says every single day it’s hard not to call Maggie. And every single day it’s impossible to delete her from her phone. She’s scared that this heartbreak, this pain, is forever. She’s afraid she’s too weak to move on. But the thing is, Alex isn’t weak, her strength is just being tested. She spent her whole life with walls up; it was easier to be strong when you have to do it every day, when you never allow yourself to be vulnerable. But keeping the walls down while going through something like this hurts so much you think you can’t bear it. Your well of hope starts to feel like it’s running dry.

Alex looks forlorn

Pro tip: Hope doesn’t come to you on its own, you have to look for it.

Kara knows this feeling. She once thought she’d never hope again. But here she is, sitting across from her sister, almost on the other side of it. Despite having to see the cause of her pain every day. And she says Alex has always been stronger than her. Supergirl can move literal mountains, but Alex was always her emotional anchor. And Kara has enough hope to share some until Alex finds her own renewed source. Kara says Alex did the right thing, even though it was the hard thing, and knows there’s someone out there for Alex who will want to be a mom, too. She can have “all the things.”

Kara smiles at her sestra

“I know, statistically, TV lesbians don’t often get a second sweeping romance, but I have hope for you. Hope enough for all of us.”

Alex is so glad Kara is Kara, and I’m glad Kara is Kara too. For a while I was afraid we’d lost her, but she’s back, and it warms my cockles.

Alex smirks

Plus is made Alex do this smirk. RIP me.

Across town, Sam rushes into her office to find Lena waiting for her. She’s scared, but Ruby is safe. Ruby told Lena about all the other times Sam has blacked out, and Sam starts to panic; she hadn’t wanted Ruby to know there was something wrong with her, and she doesn’t hear Lena when she tries to explain that she figured it out for herself, that all Lena did was reassure her that they were looking into it. Sam’s anxiety swells up and Reign starts to take over and her fear comes out like anger. She says, “Silence!” in a voice that’s still Sam’s but a tone she’s never taken with Lena.

Reign tries to take over

See also: Me when I’m undercaffeinated.

Lena knows something’s wrong and searches her friend’s eyes for answer. Sam’s eyes flash red but when Lena calls out to her, the flicker back to brown again and admits she just blacked out again. Lena crouches near Sam and looks her square in the eyes that are her own again and says she knows what’s wrong with her, and she’s going to make it better.

Lena looks like she wants to help her bff

Lena I don’t want to tell you how to help your friend, but may I recommend another sweatshirt?

I personally am VERY excited for Lena Luthor to the Rescue, but sadly we’ll have to wait a while to get there. After this episode, they leave us for nine weeks. That said, hopefully it’s just to hyperfocus on the badass women on screen and behind the scenes and the lady-led badassery with their lesbian main character on the frontlines continues apace. Plus, Legends of Tomorrow and it’s bisexual badass captain will be taking Supergirl’s timeslot and I can’t promise you Sara and Ava will be getting together but I can hope beyond hope that Sara and Ava will be getting together.

Until next time, do as the Orphan Black clones and Kara Danvers do and defy them.

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd 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 558 articles for us.


  1. I enjoyed this episode too. I like how they keep circling back to the complex, emotional things our Danvers sisters have been through. I even enjoyed the boy-time with Space Dad giving advice.

    I had to yell at the screen when White Bread was talking about how he and Kara didn’t make sense, etc., originally because of course he fell in love with Kara. WHO DOESN’T?! I don’t see what’s hard to understand there at all. The incomprehensible part was her thinking she was in love with him after he pretty much epitomized toxic. (Don’t worry, I’ve honey-potted/head-cannoned that all out).

    I’m so excited for Lena being part of the team (please).

    I was also so touched when Kara started talking about how we need to *save* them, not beat them. She’s so pure. Such a good.

    P.S. Yes, more smirking Alex. That comprises a large percentage of my sexuality. ;)

  2. Literally all this show had to do to be perfect was break up Mon-El and Kara & focus less on male characters. And they did all that this season. I really hope Mon-El will stay with Imra and that Imra doesn’t die, because I’m totally fine with Mon-El just being Kara’s friend. And, hopefully, he’s no longer a misogynist, like he claims, although I’m not sure that he’s *shown* us that yet. But it’s a good sign that the writers had him actually say that.

    • Mon-El is a pig, a dog, a whatever your preferred derogatory term for a guy is. “Space Dad” is wrong: Mon-el keeping secrets isn’t noble, it’s not protecting people he cares about, it’s entirely selfish. I’m reasonably sure the “misogynist” line was fan service, nothing more. He hasn’t changed much and I’m not holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

      When I read about Mon-El and Imra’s marriage being in a rough place, I thought, “Oh, God, no, not more love triangle crap.” I don’t want to see that because 1. the “Karamel” ship has sailed and 2. he’s married and that means something to some of us. To be truthful, he doesn’t deserve either of them.

      I doubt Imra will die–I hope not, anyway–she’s a founding member of the Legion in the comics.

      • I don’t see what the problem with the secrets thing is. His secret was that he still has some feelings for Kara but also has feelings for Imra? Why would it be important for him to tell either of them that? He only kept it a secret for a few days anyway, and the reason was because he was trying to get over his feelings for Kara. As for if he’s changed, we don’t really know. He’s just been battling villains since his return. I like his friendship with Winn though.

        • Last season he spent half the season keeping up the lie that he wasn’t the prince. What was he “protecting” Kara from? In “Awakening,” earlier this season, he wouldn’t tell her why he needed to return to the Legion ship. Instead, he went sneaking around, and in fact referred to the occupants of the other pods as “just passengers.” What was he “protecting” her from then? After they saved Imra, Kara asked him point blank, “Who is she?” and he said, “Her name is Imra.” That’s it. What was he “protecting” her from? He could have said, “Kara, I need to talk to you,” and gone somewhere away from the others. He kept stalling about telling her he was married until Imra threw her arms around him in front of her, which ended up causing even more pain.

          Imra isn’t stupid even if she’s not a telepath like in the comics. Your husband’s ex turns up and he starts acting weird. It hardly takes Dr. Phil to figure something’s going on. He hasn’t grown up in seven years, he hasn’t matured; his first reflex is still to lie by omission. I’m convinced “space dad” is wrong; he’s not keeping secrets to “protect” either Imra or Kara, or to spare their feelings but to avoid having to deal with any potential fallout (i.e., maybe if I just don’t tell her about the car, the cable bill, the affair, etc., everything will be fine). From what I’ve seen he’s motivated by selfishness and the only one he’s interested in “protecting” is himself. As “space dad” pointed out, shutting Imra out isn’t the answer. Again, she’s not stupid and she understands the nature of their marriage at least as well as he does.

  3. I am very concerned about the state of the municipal building codes in National City. This is at least the third time in the series we have seen an entire building nearly come down because of one support beam being taken out!

  4. It was rude as hell last year when Alex came out and uttered sentences that could basically have come out of my mouth when I came out. Like, Alex’s coming out matched my own better than any other coming out story I’ve ever seen on TV. That was bad enough.

    But then THIS year her break up and heartbreak happen at almost the exact same time as my own and there she goes again, saying things that sound like they could have come out of my mouth. Damnit, show! I don’t need this right now!

  5. I am so excited for Legends to return, Caity Lotz the Goddess herself said something about the AvaLance ship that’ll be of interest to us all. And honestly the way White Canary came to life or so to speak after that horrible stint at arrow, the growth in her as a character has been amazing to watch. So all for it.

    For this episode of Supergirl, I really hope that the writers show Alex going to either a counselor or Hank just to sort out her issues with excessive use of force. Like I recently saw the first 2 seasons with a friend of mine on our mental health week off( I so rue the fact that they couldn’t keep Astra on for longer, I wanted Astra/Alex to be a thing so bad T_T) and the amount of casual police brutality by Alex is kind of troubling to watch.

  6. I have a lot of not great things to say about how I am feeling about this show at the moment.
    This is Supergirl, not Supergirl and Friends. She shouldn’t need 4 people to help her take down Reign or the World Killers. Yes okay, Reign beat the shit out of her but just like the writers wrote that they could write that Supergirl defeated Reign. And also I know every show needs a villain so make her a villain, this Sam/Reign back and forth doesn’t make me root for Sam more or against Reign, it just bores me.

    I don’t think this show will find its footing again until they get the balance of Kara the reporter and Supergirl(only) the hero. I’m not saying she can’t have Winn as the tech guy and J’onn as Space dad and even Alex as backup but Mon-El gone, Imra even, James/Guardian out.

    Lena’s offer (I don’t remember how she put it) to cure Sam was a bit sinister and maybe will reveal Lena’s true evil nature and the big bad all season wasn’t Sam/Reign but Lena.

    And all this talk about Maggie really got me thinking and this is probably not the place to discuss this but I’m gonna throw this out there. I don’t think Maggie got a proper goodbye, in fact letting Floriana go came out of the blue given that Sanvers was THE most popular couple on the show (on the network?). So given how EP Andrew Kreisberg was fired because of sexual assault I can’t help but wonder if Floriana’s firing was a result of her rejecting his advances. And she can’t speak publicly about it since she’s dating Casey Affleck also known for sexual harassment and it could be seen as hypocritical of her. According to Andrew anyway she left to “pursue other opportunities” which have included what exactly? She was regular/recurring on Supergirl why leave that steady job (unless it wasn’t your decision) and the only other thing she’s done is reprise her dead character on Lethal Weapon for 1 or 2 episodes. And make Insta-videos with her friend.

    As I said I know this wasn’t the forum to spill this business and it is my own speculation which you can call bullshit on but I just wanted some place to make sense especially since they keep bringing Maggie up. Maybe it is my hope that with Andrew gone they will bring Floriana back and this whole season could be like a Bobby Ewing dream.

    • Supergirl has been about Kara and her team from the beginning. It’s one of the things that sets her apart from Superman, who goes it alone. The whole “stronger together” thing. I do definitely want Mon-El gone though.

      I agree that we need to get Kara the reporter back. We haven’t really seen her since last season and I miss her. Superman doesn’t work without Clark Kent. The whole CatCo side doesn’t work without that connection, no matter how much you like Katie McGrath.

      I can’t speculate as to why Floriana Lima left, although she supposedly never signed on past last season in the first place. It would be cool to see Maggie again but I’m not holding my breath.

  7. When Kara, with her blue-green eyes, looks into Lena’s blue-green eyes, which one is hearing “Ocean Eyes”?

    • Yeah, they haven’t really dealt with Alex and her inappropriate use of force when super mad. In season 1, James helped to be a counter balance (insisting on due process). J’onn can calm her down, too, and Maggie, at the very beginning, didn’t hesitate to be critical of the DEO disappearing aliens (though that changed with the Ride or Die thing). Kara tried to rein her in, but wasn’t necessarily successful. I need some more conversation about how they treat people on custody.

  8. also, if Mon-El can get a redeeming arc, I sincerely hope Sam/Reign gets one too

    —and Lena as well (i.e. please don’t let her become Supergirl’s enemy).

    • I think Lena’s arc of defying the legacy of the Luthor name is so interesting – hers is a ending-the-cycle-of-abuse success story, and it would be very disheartening if she goes down an irredeemable path. I think watching with her struggle with it is interesting – like with the gun in Edge’s office – but I like that even when she slips up, she ultimately makes the right choice. I hope they continue that.

  9. And… so… I guess, I have come to the conclusion that I should not doubt you or not keep myself from reading these recaps. Because this actually made me feel better about the episode.

    Thank you. :)

    And.. I am hoping I can share and make a lot of others feel better.

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