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