“Supergirl” Episode 316 Recap: Girl Gangs Galore

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.

Imra has her planning face on

Welcome back, girl. Missed you. You’re much prettier than your husband.

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.

Imra has doubts

But looks good doing it.

Meanwhile, in the bunker, Lena and Sam are chatting about The Reign Dilemma.

Lena stares lovingly at Sam with her impeccable bedside manner

I feel like they’re living in a fanfic while the rest of the show goes on as usual

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.

Doctor Grace looks goood

What’s up, Doc?

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.

Supergirl has her hands on her hips, Alex has one hand on her hip one on the rail


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.

Kara looks shook by the word "fail"

Success is my only motherfucking option. Failure’s not.

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.

LESBIAN DOWN BEEDOOBEEDOO Alex is unconscious with a bleeding nose

mmm whatcha sayyyy

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.

Kara kisses Alex gently on the forehead

I mean this also makes me want to cry but for different reasons.

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.

Lena Luthor is on the phone

It’s cute that you think I’m not three steps ahead of everyone else at all times.

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 Luthor and her fancy ponytail comforts Sam

I know this is a really touching scene but all I can see is that FANCY PONYTAIL

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.

Lena and Sam press their foreheads together

I have 73 screenshots of post- or mid-kiss wlw scenes on my computer that look JUST LIKE THIS just saying

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.

Pestilence's eyes glow

I feel like Pestilence got the raw end of the deal name-wise. Reign and Purity sound badass.

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.

THE LESBIAN LIVES (literally it's just alex sitting up and being alive)


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.

Kara looks worried about Lena

“Oh, also Sam and other people I guess.”

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.

Reign, Pestilence, and Purity fly high in the sky in their cool suits

I think I saw a concert that started like this once.

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!

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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 574 articles for us.


  1. – I’m glad that I’m not the only one that thought that Pestilence was hitting on Alex. I’ve seen it on virtually every review of the show.
    – I like that Kara is a beacon of hope, but I’m glad that Imra threw the fact that she obviously failed back in her face. Kara, sometimes you need to be a bit more pragmatic.
    – This episode was just the final demonstration of the fact that James needs to go. He’s really contributed nothing to the show for a while now. He doesn’t really have an effect on the story in any real way.

  2. I was calling it the Ponytail of Science. But a braid is an acceptable substitute. Maybe it could be the Ponytail of Research and the Braid of Applied Science.

    Hair aside, I really liked the Lena/Sam stuff, and also that Lena was being an actor and driver in the storyline or its resolution, when too often she’s seemed to be relegated to reaction (this is not a criticism of Lena who does all she can to be a continuing force for good).

  3. Soooooo now it’s just rotating from character to character who gets to be the overeager and aggressive moron who won’t fully explain their reasoning (which is inevitably their hurt fee fees) until the end of the episode? I’m sorry they did this to you, Imra, just like I was sorry when it was Alex in the Purity episode. And Mon-El a bunch of times obvs. but at least that seemed consistent with his character.

    • It does seem that way, doesn’t it? It’s been going on for a while too. Kara fell prey to it last season when she and Maggie were at odds trying to rescue Alex.

  4. ALSO can’t wait for Supergirl and Lena to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT, Supergirl looked real mad.

    • I’m not sure there’ll be a fight because our heroes will probably have plenty of other stuff on their minds (like worldkillers on the loose) but yeah, I expect fallout.

  5. Since we knew the actress who had been cast as Pestilence it wasn’t hard to figure if you weren’t being distracted by the flirting with Alex.

    Of course Reign has Sam’s face, it’s the same actress. I always assumed Reign was just Sam in a different outfit.

    I’m not sure Imra “doesn’t WANT to kill anyone,” she seems to have made up her mind.

    It’s interesting that Lena doesn’t trust Supergirl. She’s literally saved her life more than once and Lena has seen Supergirl’s goodness up close.

    I wouldn’t say Imra is a “hypocrite” per se. For example, police kill snipers before they can do further harm. The problem comes when killing is your first response.

  6. Based on what played this season on Legends of Tomorrow, if Irma kills Pestilence in the past, thereby preventing the existing of Blight and preemptively saving her sister from refrigeration, it will create an anachronism so damaging to the timeline that the finale of Supergirl will also feature [spoilers]. I’m sure Captain Sara Lance would have a few things to say to Imra on the subject.

    R.I.P Adelaide, who like Kelly from season 1 played the role of redheaded Red Shirt. Do the writers have something against gingers?

    Obviously, Kara and Lena will air their grievances the only way one can: through a song.

    “What is this feeling, so sudden, and new,
    I felt the moment I found out what you were up to…”

    • Yeah, it seems reasonable that Kara and company will defeat the worldkillers but then what? You’ve got this ginormous paradox where Imra’s sister doesn’t die so Imra has no reason to stop Pestilence so she doesn’t so her sister dies… Or her sister lives but she still remembers her sister’s death. Or they defeat Reign and Purity but Pestilence escapes and bides her time until the 31st century.

      No clue what the casting folks/writers have against redheads. I dated one in college and married another so I’m biased.

      Finally, a Kara/Lena duet like that one would be worth a month’s cable bill all by itself.

  7. “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.”

    Thank you for this. I had not had this particular thought.. Although, I agree with you that Kara should never go into battle planning to kill. But, I didn’t mind that Imra, having seen what she had seen and lost what she had lost, had a different approach. It is not based on vengeance but fear.

    Anyways… They needed to talk about it and continue to talk about it, which I hope they will. It is not a decision to be made lightly and based on emotions (unless, you are killing someone during battle in self-defense, which is different.. There is a reason why these are different categories in legal defense, yes?).

    I am actually happy that someone challenges Kara because at times Alex and J’onn just act as her cheerleaders. I hope Alex will do that too in Season 4.

    Also.. I was very happy to learn that Imra’s worst fear that Psi showed her was losing her sister (and not losing Mon El to Kara as many speculated).

    This show always surprises when you expect the worst of it.

  8. Finally caught up with the latest episodes. Phew, I must say apart from all the worldkilling, I love the increased female/alien vs male/alien ratio on screen. Alas, they still run through a lot of plot without leaving us space to breath and get to know new characters (i.e. Winn’s mum, who was great, but duh, Laurie Metcalf or Dr Pestilence Parker).

    Interesting that the bottomline for Imra and Lena is they do it their way for good enough reasons but then things get out hand vs stronger together on the baddie side. Which can only mean //cos, baby, now we got bad blood…// :D

    Anyway, hoping for the best like bringing together Alex (all the feels!), Kara, Imra, Psy and Lena, and maybe even Mama Danvers, Cat Grant and WW to save the day. That would be epic.

    I still wonder what the re-shuffle behind the scenes of the show means for its characters and storylines. Will have to wait and see and read your recaps, Valerie Anne, I guess.

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