Previously on Supergirl, baddies called Worldkillers were sometimes on the loose and sometimes so undercover they didn’t even know they were Worldkillers, and coincidentally, Sam kept losing time. Also Space Dad saved his father from White Martians and then found out he had dementia.
Last we left our heroes, Lena had set up an entire medical bunker just for her good pal Sam. She has abandoned all earthly responsibilities and the only thing that matters to her now is finding out what’s wrong with Sam and, presumably, how to fix her.
So far what’s Lena has learned about Sam is that her friend is…transforming. It’s very sweet because Lena first records her medical findings, all business, then as soon as the recording is over, her face softens and she just begs her friend to be Sam when she wakes up.
Cut to Game Night, where Kara and Alex aren’t worried about their dear friends Lena and Sam, because sometimes adults are too busy to hang out with other adults, and that’s okay. The game is all very cute and Papa J’onn keeps accidentally cheating by using his powers. He teases J’onn about having cheated when he was litting, saying he used to blame it on his imaginary friend Zook (which is a very sweet nod to the comics).
But then Alex gets an alert that Team Supergirl is needed, and they all watch in confusion as Kara slowly unbuttons her blouse to reveal her supersuit. But hey, she likes this shirt; it gets expensive replacing all those buttons all the time!
This episode was dotted with funny little moments like that and I hope they lean into it as they get through some of these heavier storylines. I want them to find the fun again, and I really do feel like they’re on their way there.
Anyway, the call Supergirl got was for a disturbance at the Gaylien Bar; it turns out a psychic alien was affected by some astronomical event and kind of went berserk for no reason — they’re normally pretty peaceful. So they put her in containment for now to keep an eye on her and try to figure out what’s wrong.
Oh and in case you were wondering where Brainy and Imra have been, they went off to check out a river of blood, since that’s Pestilence’s MO, but probably that’s fine and normal…
Back at Lena’s bunker, Sam wakes up and is, indeed, Sam. Lena assures her Ruby is safe, then tries to explain that she thinks Sam is actually Reign during her blackouts. And of course, of all people, Lena Luthor figured it out. Our clever girl, our resident genius. (Tell me again she doesn’t know Kara is Supergirl I DARE YOU.)
Anyway, Sam refuses to believe it. She wants to storm out but Lena has her trapped in a forcefield of her own genius design. Lena is so, so sad about it, but she promised Sam she would help her, and that’s exactly what she’s doing.
Sam is mad and lashes out but Lena stays strong.
Meanwhile, James shows up in Lena’s office because he can’t take a damn hint. If the girl wants space, give her space!!
Eh hem. Anyway, Winn gave me a new nickname for Imra’s husband, because he fixed his suit. So now he is Codpiece. I think Cisco would approve. Something I personally approve of is when Papa J’onn accidentally sends anger vibes into the DEO, Kara punches Codpiece square in the chest. It’s pretty great. (And turns out that’s what set the alien in the bar off, too; Papa J’onn’s attempts at meditation are having ripple effects.)
The anger vibes shake everyone up, and Alex tries to break up a fight between Winn and Agent Demos, but then SHE starts to fight Winn. Kara tries to break THAT fight up and then Space Dad jumps in to stop the madness. They all look like they just woke up from a trance and they decide to get psychic inhibitors on in case it happens again. Kara tells Alex about the rage-punching and Alex suggests that maybe it’s a bit deeper than that.
As they talk, they’re walking to check on the psychic alien, but she’s seizing and rambling in Martian. Which Alex recognizes by sound because she’s super smart.
Back in the babe bunker, Lena tries to jog Sam’s memory by talking her through every Reign incident she has logged. She of course takes the chance to compliment Supergirl while she’s at it.
But when that doesn’t work, she starts to play the part of Evil Luthor that Sam tried to accuse her of being. She channels her mother and says Sam isn’t fit to be anywhere near Ruby. She pokes at the weakest parts of Sam’s armor, the ones she only knows are there because of how close they are, until finally Sam breaks and Reign emerges.
At the DEO, Space Dad finally comes clean to Alex and Kara about how his dad is deteriorating and the psychic episodes are all his fault. His space daughters listen intently and are supportive, assuring him that they’re in this together. They understand that he feels like he’s losing his father all over again, but Alex tells the story of when her mother had to take away her grandmother’s keys and how hard but necessary it was; sometimes you have to take steps to protect the ones you love from themselves.
(Not unlike what Lena is doing for Sam as they speak.)
Kara says her uncle used to say, “The son becomes the father, the father the son.” Or maybe the sun. Either way, it’s the circle of life.
When Sam comes to, the room around her is destroyed. Lena plays the video and Sam watches her body zip around the containment room with superhuman speed, and zap things with laser vision. Lena hates making her watch it, but she knew seeing it with her own eyes was the only way Sam would have believed her. Sam realizes now that she did indeed kill people, and her heart is broken for knowing. Lena lets down the barrier and goes to her friend, rests her head on her, says that it’s good that they know now, for sure. They can get through this. Together.
J’onn goes to talk to his dad and give him a bracelet that would be a psychic dampener to help prevent these dangerous incidents, but Papa J’onn feels like he’s being imprisoned again, so things get worse. Kara is affected again, and calls Codpiece a lying jackass who disrespected her and now claims to be this new good person but he wasn’t here during all that supposed development and no one around here seems to be willing to say out loud that he was the literal worst so how are we supposed to trust it’s going to get better!!!!
I mean, more or less, that’s what she says. She speaks our frustrations out loud with her mouth. Alex comes in and gives her a dampener and she looks like she feels a little bad, but hopefully just at the way she snapped and not the actual message she delivered.
Papa J’onn’s episode gets worse and opens all the containment cells, letting loose a slew of baddies, including a White Martian, which really doesn’t help things. Alex fights with taser sticks in a way that would make Sara Lance proud, and Kara uses new cape tricks that I doubt they’ll be able to afford to let her do too many more times.
While Space Dad fights off the White Martian, Kara gives Papa J’onn a pep talk, saying that sometimes things happen that are simply beyond our control; no amount of fighting will change it. And when that happens, the only thing we can do is try to make the best of it.
Papa J’onn finally understands that his son is just trying to help him and takes the bracelet, instantly calming the chaos.
Underground somewhere, Sam calls Ruby to try to keep her from worrying too much, and makes Lena promise her that she won’t even tell her where Ruby is until they cure her. They sit on the floor together on either side of the containment unit—yes, Lena fucking Luthor was sitting on the floor to be there for her friend—and Lena promises her friend she’ll do everything she can.
While the DEO is being cleaned up, Papa J’onn gathers everyone together and apologizes that his stubbornness caused so much damage, but they rally around him and support him because they’re a found family and that’s what found families do.
Lena goes back to her office, maybe for her sweatshirt, who knows, and finds James there again. He claims he was just dropping food off but we’re bordering on stalker-like behavior now. Lena says that because of the nature of her work, she can’t share everything with him. He claims to be okay with that, maybe because there’s things he can’t tell her either, but only time will tell if he truly gives her the space she’s asking for.
In the training room, Kara admits to Codpiece that she realizes now, after that release of anger, that she hadn’t really been dealing with her feelings about him being back.
She says, however, that she does feel better after having said what she said. She feels bad she didn’t just talk to him, and let it kind of spew out of her like that, but doesn’t retract any of the statements she made. She says she romanticized their relationship, especially in the time she thought she rocketed him into space just to die, but now that he’s back she sees how toxic their relationship really was. He apologizes. You read that right. He says he realizes now that he was a jerk to her and he’s sorry. She then says she’s sorry for punching him because the patriarchy has conditioned women to apologize the most but he says they should just stop now or they’ll be apologizing back and forth for eternity so there it ends.
And I won’t lie, it felt a little like the writers were apologizing to us through Codpiece. It felt like they were acknowledging that they fucked up, and that they see that now, and that they want to prove that this new, improved man is here to stay. But the thing is, other shows have apologized to us right on screen. And the apology is nice, it is, and I appreciate it, but it’s what comes after that matters. That said, I think this is a step in the right direction, and if the marketing team can stop putting only the Codpiece in the promo gifs and stills, and we can go back to the Kara-first storylines, everything is going to be okay. And I do think Codpiece is here to stay, and while that is unfortunate, I think we have to do what Kara said and make the best of the situation. That is, hope that he’ll put his money where is mouth is and actually change, actually step back and let her be in charge. Time will tell.
Supergirl and Captain Codpiece suit up and go out together to do some patrolling, perhaps the way it always should have been, just a girl and her sidekick. And together they find enough dead birds to make a horror movie.
Pestilence is here.