Previously on Supergirl, the Worldkillers were plaguing National City… quite literally. Like, pigeons are dropping from the sky. And the folks from the future are here to help Team Supergirl because they live in a world where Blight, formerly known as Pestilence, wins and it’s not pretty.
Reign is safely in Lena’s protection/control, Purity is MIA, but Pestilence is out wreaking havoc, starting at the mayor’s office, because why the heck not. Bodies start dropping like… well, pigeons.
Speaking of pigeons, Alex can’t quite figure out why these pigeons are dying. They don’t seem sick, and whatever it is isn’t contagious. Imra is back and she is wigging out, saying the stronger Pestilence gets, the more contagious her disease. But the cure is in the future folks’ DNA so they start getting ready to extract it while Imra makes her plans to kill the heck out of Pestilence.
Supergirl is like please hold, murder isn’t on the table, being too aggressive with Purity is how they lost her, they shouldn’t make the same mistake with Pestilence. Supergirl tries to reassure Imra that they’ll still take Pestilence down without murdering her human host, and the team breaks to get started on their next moves, but Imra looks uncharacteristically untrusting of this plan.
Meanwhile, in the bunker, Lena and Sam are chatting about The Reign Dilemma.
Lena wants to study Reign more, because she thinks she can find a way to switch her off, to control when she comes and goes, but she’s going to have to electrocure her buddy first, just a bit. Lena puts those sensors on Sam so gently, and you know she hates what she has to do. But she does it, for science, activating Reign, and sending Sam to what my friend Macy called the ReignForest. https://twitter.com/mightyamazon24/status/991111011204784129
But Lena is suppressing Reign so they’re both there at the same time. Reign issues what could either be a warning or a promise: “They’re coming for us.”
Team Supergirl goes to the mayor’s office, where everyone who is sick has a mysterious scratch on their hand they don’t remember getting. A doctor swoops in to insult Winn and flirt with Alex and frankly it was a good move because I was too distracted by that excellent combination of things to suspect her of anything.
Team Supergirl is trying to keep things relatively calm when Imra creates a forcefield around the office in an attempt to contain Pestilence, but all she does is spread panic like a plague. Supergirl uses her super stern voice to get Imra to let her do things their way because if she doesn’t, people could die.
In the bunker of fortitude, Sam comes back to consciousness and tells Lena about the Dark Valley (not as clever as ReignForest but I’ll allow it) and how she talked to Reign, face to face. Weirdly, Reign still had Sam’s face. I guess she was always meant to have Sam’s face? It’s truly unclear. But Lena immediately recognizes what anyone else would have assumed was a lucid dream as being a parallel dimension that Sam’s mind goes to when Reign is in control, and vice versa. It would have been cute if there was like a little evil treehouse there where Reign spent her time since she’s presumably been there for a while.
Back at the DEO, Codpiece defends Supergirl to Imra. He says they always wanted to be more like Supergirl and now they have the chance to literally do what she says and Imra is balking; but Imra storms off, determined to do what she has to in this past to save their future.
Meanwhile, Alex is doing the same but opposite thing to Kara. She’s on Supergirl’s side of this, but Alex doesn’t want her to give up on Imra. Alex didn’t see it at first, the humanity left in the Worldkillers, but Kara showed her, and she can show Imra, too. She just has to keep trying.
They get a lead on the Worldkiller and head to her house but Imra is already there and the suspect is already dead. But she was already dead when Imra got there, and she wasn’t Pestilence but a victim thereof.
Also a victim? Winn. They give him what they hope is a cure.
Supergirl goes to talk to Imra and fights about what to do. Imra doesn’t WANT to kill anyone, but she’s seen what happens if they don’t stop this now. She’s seen the people dying, seen the mass graves. She’s willing to make this one sacrifice. But Kara says there are innocent humans inside each of those Worldkillers who don’t deserve to die. Imra just shakes her head sadly; Supergirl’s way won’t work. She knows this. She’s seen it. She fails.
In the Dark Valley, Reign calls Sam strong but accuses Lena of breaking their body. Reign tries to reason with her, tries to tempt her with promises of freedom, power, control…all she has to do is surrender.
But Sam forces herself a wake the way you sometimes can snap yourself out of a vivid nightmare and finds Lena there to comfort her which is really a best case scenario. Sam agrees to more testing because she trusts her friend will help her through this, no matter what it takes.
At the DEO, J’onn gives Kara one of his patented Space Dad pep talks, reminding her that just because something’s hard, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and that she’s literally always doing the impossible. What I loved most about this Space Dad advice is that it reminded me of something my dad says all the time: The impossible just takes a little longer.
Despite having been given the supposed cure, Winn’s vitals spike and he doesn’t look so hot. Turns out the cure for Blight wouldn’t quite be the same as the one for Pestilence…they need Pestilence’s DNA. Alex gives him meds to stabilize Winn, but then almost immediately becomes destabilized her own self.
When Alex comes to again, she wants to get up and help, but Kara absolutely will not allow it. J’onn and Kara are by her side, and Imra runs out crying.
Winn, in the other bed, is feeling a bit weepy about the whole maybe-dying thing, and laments to James about finally reconnecting with his mother, and not wanting to give that up just yet.
After the heartfelt speech, James calls the smartest person he knows who isn’t lying on a hospital bed, and Lena assures him that she’s on the case.
The next time Sam wakes up, she comes with a threat to Ruby’s life from Reign. She begs Lena to call Supergirl, but turning Sam in without knowing how to turn Reign off is a risk she’s not willing to take.
Lena promises she’s doing everything she can, and that she’ll protect Ruby at all costs. She leans toward Sam and let me tell you something. This year in TV has been full of surprises. Subtext has been becoming maintext everywhere I look without warning. Every time I think a show will do the same old zig and the same old zag, it arcs into a rainbow. So for one heartbeat, one fleeting moment, I thought Lena was leaning in to kiss Sam on the mouth.
It honestly wouldn’t have been the craziest thing that has happened in 20Gayteen. BUT they just press foreheads like the good ol’ gal pals they are.
Team Supergirl uses social media to find out who Pestilence really is: the cute doctor who was flirting with Alex in the beginning, Dr. Grace Parker. They head out to get her, and Brainy tips off Imra who goes on her own parallel mission.
Grace busts into a conference room to attack some corrupt big pharma folks, and it occurs to me that Imra is a hypocrite. A beautiful hypocrite, but a hypocrite nonetheless. She wants to stop Pestilence, a murderer, by murdering her. She wants to take life into her own hands, just the same way Pestilence does. The Worldkillers don’t think they’re villains. They think they’re saving humanity from the worst of us. They’re just going about it with excessive violence.
Supergirl catches up to Grace before Imra does, and tries to reason with the doctor in her, the Do No Harm aspect of her soul. But Grace says there’s no reward to being good, she’s learned that the hard way, but Supergirl assures her this isn’t the answer. Grace isn’t quite like Julia or Sam though. Where Julia and Sam seem to have a healthy fear of their alter ego, Grace seems to embrace it. She calls herself a god and starts to fight.
Imra joins in, and tries to kill her with a poison dart, but not before Pestilence scratches Supergirl. Purity shows up in time to save Pestilence from giving in to Imra’s poison, but leaves behind the dart, so they at least have her DNA, which is quickly used to save Alex and Kara.
J’onn is so happy that Alex is okay because he’s come to rely on his little buddy and she said wasn’t about to leave him, not this year, not after they’ve been through so much.
Imra goes to talk to Supergirl and finally try to explain why she’s been acting more like her husband than herself these past few days. You see, the thing is, her sister was murdered by Blight. Murdering Pestilence felt like the only way to ensure she could get her sister back. Kara, the memory of her sister collapsing right in front of her fresh in her mind, promises Imra they’ll save her sister. Together. Presumably with as little murder as possible.
The DEO tracks Pestilence heading to L Corp, and despite it being a company of hundreds of people, including others she knows personally, Kara makes this face and says, “Lena,” her voice dripping with worry.
Down in Bunkertown, Lena is on the verge of something when Sam says, “They’re coming.” At first it’s unclear who exactly she was talking about, because first Team Supergirl shows up, ready to save Lena, then to ask questions about her setup, but then the Worldkillers come down. They unplug the all-powerful cage Reign is in and take her with them.
Before they leave, Reign says, “El Mayarah,” which is the Kryptonian phrase, “Stronger Together” which is SUPERGIRL’S THING and really fucking rude.
Lena and Kara exchange a look because things just got real bad real fast, and Lena’s got some explaining to do.
Next week, Lena goes to the DEO to get a tracksuit and, most importantly, A BRAID. See you then!