“Supergirl” Episode 314 Recap: The Long, Straight Road Ahead

Hi, friends. To quote Kara Danvers, “I know some of you are scared… just remember why we do this. We do this… for the people!” We’re here, together, to discuss Supergirl. I went into the back half of this season with two things in my head: One, they probably filmed at least two of these episodes before the hiatus, before the supposed shift. Two, keep an open mind and an open heart.

So I entered this episode with a blank slate, and I think it helped. I didn’t hate this episode, which honestly is all I could hope for at this point. I hated some parts of it, but we’ll get there. Overall though, it had some of the fun elements of Supergirl: female supervillain, fun guest star, quippy lines, found-family bonding. If they can lean into these things, they can find themselves again.

We open with one of my favorite tropes: Kara is giving a serious speech about how important what they’re about to do is, her friends all lined up, listening intently. And then they cut to the mission, and it’s karaoke!

It’s goofy and fun and Kara is doing the robot and Alex is crying into her drink one minute and giggling at James slaying the next.

Alex is sing-crying I Drove All Night

A mood.

J’onn and his dad even join the fun, to everyone’s delight. It’s all fun and games until Winn gets on stage to do his song and the news catches his eye: his father has died in prison. He runs outside and James follows, reassuring him that whatever he’s feeling — or not feeling — is okay. It’s very sweet.

And what Winn is feeling is… complicated. He goes to his father’s funeral, but can’t bring himself to offer any final words, and chucks his handful of dirt at the coffin unceremoniously. As soon as the funeral ends, Winn’s mother shows up, surprising everyone, except apparently Winn.

Kara and Alex look concerned (but beautiful)

“Is this why Lena is missing? We had to save up for Laurie Metcalf?”

Their conversation is interrupted though because the coffin explodes.

I’m only going to talk about Imra’s husband twice in this episode, and this first time it’s because my anger was so deep I can’t contain it. This crusty baguette had the AUDACITY to come up to Kara and be like, “Wow okay so I didn’t believe you when you TOLD me that all my lying hurt your feelings, but someone just lied to ME and MY feelings are hurt, so NOW I understand that maybe your actions had consequences? The #1 symptom of a lifetime of privilege is an extreme lack of empathy and this Daxamite is the epitome of it. I do feel like they’re trying to make him a better person. I do understand that they can’t snap their fingers and have him be 100% different overnight. But if he doesn’t get his act together AND ALSO take three giant steps back in the next few episodes, I am going to be one grumpy girl.

Anyway when they say their goodbyes they both say “buddy” a lot as if to convince themselves that’s all they want to be which is also what Kara and Lena do all the time JUST SAYING.

Winn’s mom is being housed at the DEO and he’s mad because she left him when his dad snapped. She insists it was for his own safety but he doesn’t want to hear it. Their conversation is interrupted by a Wizard-of-Oz-esque message in the sky telling Mary to surrender and a bunch of killer flying monkeys attacking the joint.

Supergirl uses a building antennae as a bo staff and fights off all the monkeys on her own like the damn badass she is.

Supergirl uses her heat vision and also the post as a fighting stick

Bo staff + heat vision = yes, please

Meanwhile, I guess our resident lesbian has decided that Kara and the boys have this Mama Winn storyline handled, so Alex invites herself over J’onn and Papa J’onn’s house for dinner. They have a lovely chat about racism, and about how J’onn doesn’t want to change the color of his human skin just to feel safe; he’d rather change the world. Throughout their conversation, Alex has her eye on Papa J’onn, worried about a few things she’s noticed throughout the day; more specifically, a few things he’s forgotten.

The proof comes when J’onn is in the kitchen I assume making a pie from scratch with earbuds in. Alex and Papa J’onn are talking and Papa forgets that he had granddaughters. Alex is patient and kind and says she had a grandmother who started to forget things, too. Papa J’onn admits that he already knew he had the Mars version of Dementia, which loosely translates to “memory decay.” Alex’s heart breaks all over her face and so does mine. Alex wants to help him tell J’onn but Papa doesn’t want his son to have to go through losing him all over again so he yells at her to get out.

Alex looks worried

I think Chyler Leigh is an empath.

And get out she does, looking more sad than anything.

Back at the DEO, James talks to Winn and it’s a very sweet conversation about their feelings, and how sometimes the past is in the past, and sometimes life gives you the chance to try a relationship with someone again. Maybe Winn’s mother didn’t act the way he thought his mother should, but maybe she deserves the chance to explain. Maybe she did the best she could. Just maybe.

At the same time, Mary and Supergirl bond over how smart Winn is and flying monkeys and it’s very sweet and cute. She had hoped leaving him had been the right thing to do, and the fact that he’s thriving means maybe it was.

Supergirl and Winn's mom have a chat on the balcony

I loved this interaction very, very much.

So, thanks in part to James, the next time Winn’s mother tries to open up to him, Winn listens. She explains the night he remembers as a failed attempt at going to Disney was actually a thwarted attempt to go to a domestic abuse shelter. Winn starts to realize now that the memories he has might not have been the whole picture. And it’s a strange and uncomfortable thing to, as an adult, start to understand your parents as fellow adults. And while not everything they’ve done is necessarily and automatically forgivable just on account of them being humans, sometimes seeing past-them and present-you as peers can help gain some insight into why or how certain mistakes were made. And it can shift your perspective just enough to try to have a different relationship with them. Maybe it will never be parent/child, maybe it’s too far gone for that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to be in each other’s lives in a way that works for both of you.

Downstairs, J’onn tries to get out of Alex what happened with his father, but she says it’s not her place. She assures him she had a great time though, even though her eyes are the saddest puppy dog eyes ever.

Alex looks like she wants to tell J'onn what's going on but can't

SEND HELP

The big bad of this episode ended up being Erica Hahn, who was the maintenance worker in the jail where Winn’s father was held, and ended up becoming his apprentice and promising to carry out his last wishes that his ex-wife be tortured should she ever try to contact Winn again. I listen to this podcast called Wine & Crime and I just listened to their episode on Stockholm Syndrome and learned that there’s sort of an inverse version of it called Lima Syndrome and I think maybe that’s what happened here; she grew overly attached to this inmate and ended up sharing in his delusion. But Supergirl and her merry men come in to save the kidnapped Mary, and Winn and Mary end up working together to save the day.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

(courtesy of Nic the Gif Queen)
Back at another karaoke night, Winn’s mom tells him she’s proud of him and says she can leave now if he wants; it’s clear he doesn’t need his mother anymore. But Winn listened to James and realizes now that he CAN have that new kind of relationship with Mary, so he asks her to stay. And I do hope we get to see her again, because she was a lot of fun.

This is the second and final time I’m going to mention Kara’s useless ex-boyfriend in this episode, and the only reason I’m going to is because he comes to talk to Kara about something his wife told him, and she stops him and says something that couldn’t have been easy, but that she should have said episodes ago: She can’t be here for him, especially not about Imra. It’s not fair to her, and frankly not fair to Imra, either. But that’s not why he’s here this time; Imra told him that they didn’t accidentally end up in this timeline. The third yet-unidentified Worldkiller, Pestilence, grows up to be the Blight that ruined the future. So they need to stop her ASAP.

Back at the karaoke bar, Winn and his mom get up on stage for their turn, because little bonds two strangers like singing poorly together in a dimly lit bar (this sounds sarcastic but I am being genuine). J’onn, after getting his father to admit what was really going on with him, comes in to talk to Alex about it, and y’all… Chyler Leigh’s FACE. She doesn’t say a single word! One second, Alex is laughing at whatever the heck is coming through those microphones, and the next she sees J’onn and knows he knows, and her face just CRUMPLES.

Alex' sad face is the saddest

This is AN ATTACK

She gets up immediately to hug him and I was doing so well with holding all my feelings in up until this point, but I’ve been basically non-stop crying about Chyler Leigh’s general existence since her panel at ClexaCon, so I was doomed from the start.

In the final scene of the episode, Lena Luthor finally answers the phone after scaring us half to death by not only not answering for James but, most unsettlingly, not checking in with her assistant at work. But Lena Luthor is doing just fine. Also, looking just fine.

Lena is on the phone looks GREAT

“SO sorry I know they said we had chemistry but I’m a little busy building an entire personalized hospital space for my gal pal Sam.”

She claims to be squirreled away pulling all-nighters doing L-Corp work with Sam, but in reality she seems to have built some kind of hospital bunker to help figure out what’s wrong with her friend. Because Lena Luthor doesn’t do anything halfway.


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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 86 articles for us.

17 Comments

  1. I need Supergirl to reach its full potential again. Mostly because I love Alex Danvers with my whole heart and I want to be able to get excited for every episode like I used to. Chyler Leigh is a gift to us all, and I just want her to have every opportunity to keep playing Alex with every ounce of love that she has been.

  2. With Winn being the center of this episode, it ran my mind back to his other episode “Childish Things”, and I think I may have hit on who could be a great next girlfriend for Alex. When I saw her back then I thought that she’d make a great girlfriend for Alex, and now the way is open. And she’s…

  3. I NEED SOMEONE TO NOTICE ALEX’S CREEPING ALCOHOLISM ASAP THANK YOU.

    Other than that, I mostly enjoyed this episode. Laurie Metcalf was great, Erica Hahn as the villain was a welcome surprise, Jeremy Jordan did incredible work, and I love the gang all doing karaoke!

    This new dementia storyline though, ooof. That hurt. My grandmother has dementia, and watching M’rryn forget his granddaughters was hard. I’m glad they are giving him a storyline though!

    I just hope Alex doesn’t get too wrapped up in it and can still have her own storyline again at some point. I’m fully on board with Kristana’s proposal of having her hook up with Emma Caulfield as Agent Cameron Chase!

  4. I cannot for the life of me fathom why anyone would choose the outfit Lena apparently chose for being hidden in a secret hospital bunker/lab wiht only one (1) other person there and that person is not conscious.

    I wish this show did more character work and grounded plot points in their characters more and also let their characters and plot speak for itself. God, the dialogue is carrying all the weight in getting us to care about stuff where truly there should have been groundwork laid so we already did care. Not sure why Winn’s whole family drama was chosen to be a stand-alone A-plot for one episode instead of an ongoing B-plot first for a while to build up to this.

    Anyway, I have such founts of goodwill for these characters and also for Kara’s hair (which had some great moments as per usual) that I’m willing to be extremely patient. But like – this show could and should be as good as Black Lightning, they have the characters they need. Just invest in them!

    I am frustrated about the timetravelers. The inevitable love triangle bores me, but more than that the amount of superpowered characters who are dang near invincible is getting silly. Also, they need to sit down and decide how powerful Kara is and then from now on scrap all plots that involve her being knocked out by a strong gust of wind whenever the plot demands it, that shit is so frustrating. It is impossible to get invested if the rules aren’t consistent in-universe.

    I am excited to see how the new-and-improved Supergirl will turn out! Hopefully it will finally be what we all know it can be 🙂

    • Thanks, yes. Her powers are as strong as they need to be for whatever the writers want to accomplish. It’s like someone who is blind but only some of the time. And what was that plastic thing supposed to be made of that she couldn’t get out? I’ve complained about bad writing from the beginning and this is just the latest.

  5. reading this I’m soo happy that I don’t have to watch the series! I have these recaps of yours, plenty of crack videos and fanfictions. So in my mind Supergirl is great piece of art mainly about Romeo&Juliet relationship between Kara&Lena and many other good storylines. Our community is awesome!

  6. Oh man, I’ve been waffling for months on end about whether to go back to watching Supergirl in a post Sanvers world, and finally just caught up on all of your (wonderful) recaps instead. The problem is that now I’m extremely convinced by the version of the show that you’ve depicted, which is just Chyler Leigh’s face being on screen like 80% of the time and doing amazing and heart-string-pull-y things, and Kara being awesome and her and Lena being so gosh darn in love…..and absolutely no men around at all. Clearly there is some annoying person named “Imra’s husband” wandering around in the background, but that sounds harmless enough. Maybe I should just go back and watch it and cry forever about my Alex Danvers feelings…

    Okay, no, I am going to remain strong and keep only engaging with very select part of Supergirl. Thank you for the extremely important work that you do in these recaps. I genuinely feel like I completely caught up on the complex and heart-breaking emotional realities of Alex Danvers and her sister, without any of the annoying stuff.

  7. This episode was a nice little break but it also asked us to suspend A LOT of what we know about the characters to make the story believable.
    For example:
    1- J’onn knew Alex was gay and dating Maggie because he is psychic but he didn’t pick up on his father’s illness…an illness of the mind.
    2- Everyone was busy on the Winn story and Lena had Sam in the lab/hospital for at least a few days so who was looking after Ruby?
    3- Why didn’t Kara pick up any sounds with her super hearing? Not to mention why is fighting so hard for her? I always found it so weird that she struggles to fight sometimes and all of a sudden she doesn’t know how to use her cape?

    There’s probably more that I really don’t care enough about to put effort into it.

    That being said did anyone pick up on the Buffalo Bill reference that Mama Winn made to Erica Hahn (did she have a name?). If you don’t know Brooke Smith was in Silence of the Lambs and she was held captive in a well and tortured by a guy that went by the name Buffalo Bill.

  8. Thank you.

    I don’t think they are going to completely forgo Mon El or Kara’s relationship there. May be they would end it by the season end? (I am sorry to say that)

    For the first time after Mon El came back though, I actually didn’t mind him in this episode; was happy that he finally apologised even if he said he didn’t realise it until it happened to him (which yeah, shows lack of empathy); and that Kara finally stood up to him and said he can’t come to her about Imra.

    I was very happy with Kara and Mary’s conversation. And the Alex bits were great too. I did feel there were too many things going on and people from the two plots weren’t interacting. I hope it doesn’t continue though. And, there was less of Kara this week; at least, it felt so.

  9. I enjoy all the episodes as long as Chyler is there. 🙂 The balcony scene with Kara and Mary was sweet, but did it bug anyone else that the director had people walking in front of the camera — between the actors and the camera — (which is a technique I HATE no matter where or when) — yet they were leaning on a balcony railing!! So, like, were those people walking on air? Flying? Kinda weird.

  10. Not even Chyler’s acting and charisma could save the cringe-worthy script. The racism scene read like an awkward PSA reenactment, so on the nose and delivered so earnestly that it came off as didactic. And, while I’m sure that the not!dementia storyline is well-intentioned and all, suddenly finding out that Martians can suffer from it – and in a way so similar to humans – just came off as Random Soap Opera Plot Bingo for me.

    Also, if I never again hear James and Lena talk about each other and their relationship to various people, that would be totally swell. If they have her do an unintentional villain stint to create drama for James, I will be pissed.

  11. “Anyway when they say their goodbyes they both say “buddy” a lot as if to convince themselves that’s all they want to be which is also what Kara and Lena do all the time JUST SAYING.”

    COME ON! Kara even said the famous “what are friends for?” to him and I just thought to myself “they gotta be kidding me”! It’s 2018 this kind of subtext game is ridiculous.

    From now on, I’m only watching for Alex and Lena. The rest is blur.

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