HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE RECAP OF MY NEW FAVORITE SUPERGIRL EPISODE.
Okay fine that’s exaggerating a little. But it was the best episode in a good long time and with the exception of a few things (some I’ll pretend never happened and some I’ll talk about) it was a really solid episode. And, by no coincidence, the episode was mostly about the ladies. Specifically, Supergirl, Lena, and Alex, but also the Worldkillers and their human counterparts, and even Imra. It was finale-esque in intensity, though we still have miles to go before we sleep.
When we last left our heroes, Team Supergirl discovered Lena’s L Corp Lab (say that five times fast) where she had been trying to cure Sam of her Reign affliction. But they swooped in just in time to see Reign take over again and get busted out by her sisters, Purity and Pestilence. So things don’t look great for Ms. Luthor.
The team takes Lena back to the DEO, and even though she’s technically sitting at a conference room table, it feels very much like an interrogation.
While she tells them that she was just trying to help her friend Sam, that she figured out Sam is Reign/Reign is Sam, we flash back to Lena picking up the broken pieces of her lab, so, SO sad that she seems to have failed her friend.
J’onn asks why Lena didn’t come to them and she snapped that technically she shouldn’t even know they exist; she did an L Corp experiment and she doesn’t answer to him or to anyone.
Lena says she was trying to find the spark that turns Sam into Reign so she could snuff it out for good, but hadn’t quite gotten there yet. Supergirl asks Lena how she kept Sam contained when Reign took over, and Lena confesses… she used Lex’s kryptonite. It’s the first time Lena’s voice even almost wavers during the whole interrogation, and you can see that it’s warranted when Supergirl flinches at the word.
Meanwhile, in the Fortress of Doomitude, the Worldkillers’… mother? Maker? Momogram? Witch Doctor? The woman in charge, whoever she is, is pleased to have all three of her girls together, and she tells her Worldkillers that they need to kill their inner humans. Pestilence does it, easy peasy. Her human, Grace, just noped the fuck right out. The three of them hold hands to help Pestilence and Reign have their humans do the same.
At the same time, in the ReignForest, Sam sees Grace dead on the ground. With the Worldkillers’ consciousnesses merged, she can see her fellow trapped humans. Julia is still alive in this shadow world, but she is BUGGING OUT. She is seeing visions of the people Purity used her body to kill and she is losing a sense of herself because of it. Sam tries to snap Julia out of it and pulls her to her feet and, together, they run.
After Lena is released from the inquisition, she calls James to confess everything to him, presumably so he didn’t hear it from Supergirl first. She says she gambled with everything that was important to her: her reputation as The Good Luthor, Supergirl’s Trust and Hopefully Lust, and also I guess this relationship based on nothing but other people saying they had chemistry.
Supergirl finds Lena and she quickly abandons her phone call. Supergirl looks sad to have to do this, but she has more questions for Lena, like why she did this in secret, why she didn’t come to her for help, and Lena says that her friend came to her, and she had to help. Supergirl crosses her arms and asks Lena to level with her, and she looks so uncomfortable. Supergirl hates having to do this to Kara’s best friend. She hates not being able to put on her fake glasses and sit down on a couch with Lena and look her in the eye and ask her plainly for the truth. Instead she has to push her shoulders back and try not to scrunch her brow too much and asks her question with as much authority as she can muster over someone she doesn’t feel like she truly has authority over: Do you have any more kryptonite? Lena immediately says no, that she used the last of it to keep Reign at bay.
Before Supergirl can ask any more questions, a darkness starts to cover the sun and Supergirl passes out. She briefly ends up in the ReignForest, spotting Sam and Julia scurrying away, and when she comes to, Alex and Lena are standing over her.
Kara talks of dark magic to Lena and Alex, of the ancient witches who formed some Worldkillers, the magic that’s likely causing the eclipse. She talks of Kryptonian fairy tales and the Shadow Valley, and Lena tells Kara about her own findings about the place Sam went when Reign was out. Supergirl realizes her dreams hadn’t really been dreams at all, so they go to Brainy to get him to help the girls use Supergirl’s link to this mystical place to all jump into it together like it’s a sidewalk chalk painting in Mary Poppins.
Supergirl is hesitant about Lena joining at first, but Alex says they could use all the help they can get so go she shall.
Also, one of Lena’s arguments is that Supergirl doesn’t know Sam, and maybe I’m projecting, but it almost felt like she threw it out there as a test, to see if Kara would come clean about being Supergirl or not. Almost daring her to. Kara gets the hint and agrees to let Lena come.
In the valley of death, Julia is starting to freak out again and Sam snaps her out of it by having Julia say her name and remember her parents and hum a song.
Sam forgets her daughter’s name for a minute and frankly I can’t even imagine because sometimes I panic when I can’t remember something simple like the word I’m looking for, or something stupid like the name of my high school science teacher. As soon as Sam remembers Ruby’s name, she shouts it, and then hands Julia a rock. Together, they write on the trees everything they remember, who they are and what they know.
Out in the real world, Kara flies to see James and tells him that she’s upset Lena would hold onto kryptonite for all those years. James points out that he treated Lena like a Luthor once, and Kara is the one who helped him see that she wasn’t her brother. But Kara is scared. She’s worried Lena is lying and that there really is more kryptonite, so she asks James to sneak into her vault and find out. I hate this a little because all of this could be solved by Kara telling Lena she’s Supergirl. Because Lena trusts Kara, and Kara trusts Lena, but since Lena doesn’t know Kara is Supergirl, Lena doesn’t trust Supergirl, so Supergirl can’t fully trust Lena. And especially in the wake of this Sam/Reign secret, Kara is spiraling, so she sends Guardian to double check. And James, still holding on to some of his original suspicions, agrees to do it. Neither one of them look 100% jazzed about any of it, but they both think it’s something they have to do.
Cut to the moment we’ve all been waiting for: BRAID. AND. TRACKSUIT. Eh hem. What I mean is, Lena Kieran Luthor (THAT’S RIGHT, HER MIDDLE NAME IS KIERAN*) is suited up in the DEO and talking to our favorite super-lesbian, Doctor Alexandra Fucking Danvers.
*So, the Arrowverse Wiki lists Lena’s middle name as Karen, which could mean one of three things, each funnier than the last. 1) The person updating the Wiki assumed Katie McGrath’s accent peeped through and she was trying to say Karen. 2) Lena’s middle name is Karen in the comics but the show changed it to Kieran because of Katie McGrath’s very obvious Irishness. 3) That WAS Katie McGrath’s attempt at saying “Karen” and we all heard “Kieran” because that accent is truly unstoppable. And not in the bad “an onion has been within three feet of this” way, more like a “you can still tell the sun is shining when you close your eyes” way.
ANYWAY, Alex asks Lena why she didn’t come to her, because Lena knew Alex knew Sam. But Lena points out that Alex had secrets too—she didn’t tell Lena she was DEO, for example—but most importantly, it wasn’t Lena’s secret to tell. It was Sam’s. Alex, of all people, understands this logic and just asks Lena to promise that Ruby is safe, which she does.
So Alex, Lena, and Supergirl go inside the upside down. Together.
This is pretty surreal for Lena, but she takes it like a champ. Also a champ? Alex. She’s collecting sticks to use as weapons, and while Lena doesn’t believe they’ll get hurt here (she knows full well her body is safe inside a spaceship), Alex pokes her in the tummy with a stick to prove that it’s still not going to feel great if they get ripped to shreds so why take chances? Alex claims a stick of her very own and is pretty delighted.
In this world, whether it’s the inherent lack of sun of her real body’s exposure to the eclipse, Kara also bleeds like everyone else, so she’ll keep that stick after all.
They find Grace’s body and know they’re running out of time so they start to speed up. After a while, Kara starts to get out of breath (a feeling she’s unfamiliar with) and starts a relatable rant about not understanding why humans exercise. But then she uses this weak feeling as an excuse to take a jab at Lena, saying nothing is as bad as kryptonite poisoning and Lena all but rolls her eyes. Right now? In this dark magic world while they’re trying to save their friend? Again it was probably me projecting, but it had the aire of a couple’s fight to it.
Supergirl looks at Lena and says she doesn’t like secrets and Lena snaps back with, “Okay then, what’s your real name?” She doesn’t say it in a way that seems like she wants the answer—or frankly in a way that implies whether or not she already knows it—the question is a point she wants to make. Supergirl has secrets, so why can’t Lena?
Their conversation is then interrupted by Kryptonian Dementors, aka, as Alex puts it, the reason they have sticks.
Alex throws her stick at it like she’s an Olympic javelin thrower and they run to a door with the Worldkiller symbol on it. Inside, they find Julia and Sam, neither quite themselves. When Sam sees Lena, Alex, and Supergirl, she assumes that means she killed them, and her little voice apologizing to them broke my damn heart. They reassure her that they’re fine, they’re just here to help, and try to snap her out of it, but Kara is starting to be too affected by the eclipse to hold on much longer.
Desperate, the three of them start to tell her things about herself, including about Ruby, and Sam remembers. She snaps back into her body and takes control long enough to send out a signal to the DEO.
The issue is, inside, our gals are now hanging out with Reign. Reign grabs Lena by the throat and Supergirl begs and pleads for her life in exchange for Lena’s. Reign laughs at her, saying Supergirl doesn’t matter to her at all. Only someone of equal strength could destroy her. Supergirl is not a threat to her. Lena on the other hand…
Luckily the DEO beams them up just in the nick of time.
In the Worldkiller Cave, Sam is so proud of herself, but Pestilence takes care of that by punching her to bring Reign back into her body.
And not a moment too soon, because the Legion ship is already at the cave, and the team is dropping in for a fight. Lena asks how she can help, and Supergirl tells her to stay on the ship to help Brainy. Before Alex joins Team Supergirl in the cave, Winn pulls her aside to give her a gift we’ve all been waiting for (though perhaps none so much as Alex): A NEW SUPERSUIT.
It has hella strong magnets in the gloves and a new kind of gun with a new kind of bullet in it and Alex is SO FUCKING HAPPY. And frankly so am I.
And just when I thought I couldn’t get happier, Lena shoves Brainiac 5 out of the way, sits down in his captain’s chair, and OWNS that whole damn spaceship.
How does she know how to fly a spaceship? How does she figure out how to use alien technology from the future so fast? I truly don’t know and I truly don’t care because smart is sexy and also she does this eyebrow quirk that makes me forget what logic even is let alone how to apply it.
The fight goes down in the cave, and despite being outnumbered, the Worldkillers are strong. They all use their best assets: Supergirl and Reign get into a beam-off, SpaceDad phases around, Alex uses her new gloves to call her gun back to her like it’s Thor’s hammer and it’s pretty badass but things still are looking overall pretty bleak.
They keep calling to Julia, telling her to rise up—they say it so much, I thought they were going to start signing Hamilton—and finally something new and fierce flashes in Purity’s eyes. Julia reminds Reign what she said about only someone of equal strength beating her, and suddenly Julia is back in her body with all of Purity’s strength.
Julia takes Pestilence down and saves the day, but not before Pestilence can stick her claws in her, and deep. They take each other down, and they both…ascend? It’s unclear exactly what happens but a glowy essence flows out of Purity and Pestilence and…into Reign. Which doesn’t bode well, but we’ll deal with that later I suppose.
And frankly I thought it was an awesome scene overall, and I’m glad it was Julia who saved them, both because Julia was a badass and Krys Marshall has been amazing this season, but also because it gave our team hope that Sam could still be saved after all. But I do so wish Julia had survived it. It was nice that Julia went out a hero, but I would have much rather her gone back to her simple, musical, beautiful life.
Anyway, Imra I guess missed the whole thing where the life essence of the two fallen Worldkillers seemed to be absorbed by Reign, so she thinks they’re free and clear. They came here to stop the Blight, and they did, so they can go home now. The Worldkiller fortress is gone, Reign is MIA, let’s just get outta here.
Kara isn’t sure what their next steps should be, but she DOES know that she loves her sister’s new look.
Somewhere amidst all this, James did what Kara asked and snuck into Lena’s lab, but when it came down to it, he couldn’t bring himself to break into Lena’s vault. (Which is probably for the best…I’d reckon it’s booby trapped up the wazoo.) Instead of telling Kara this though, that he trusts Lena and so should she, he lies and says he didn’t find anything, that Lena is telling the truth about there being no more kryptonite.
Supergirl goes to talk to Lena, thank her for her help, and assure her that they can save Sam. She apologizes for overreacting, and tells Lena that their slate is wiped clean. Lena understandably assumes this means Supergirl is finally taking her at her word and is pleased, and they shake on it.
Then Lena goes to talk to James and they have a conversation that is weeks too late, but I’ll take it. If Lena and James had been coworkers and friends spending more and more time together and then this was the conversation that tipped them into a relationship, I never would have had an issue with the Lena/James pairing. (I would and will stand by the fact that Lena has more chemistry with Kara, but that is beside the point.) James comes clean to Lena about everything, that he’s Guardian, that he almost broke into her vault. He says that now he sees that Lena was serious about not being the person everyone expects her to be when they hear she’s a Luthor. She risked her hard-earned reputation to save her friend, and that’s an admirable thing to say the least.
Lena has a confession of her own…she did lie to Supergirl. It wasn’t Lex’s kryptonite she used, and she didn’t find it in her vault. It was hers, and she knows how to make it.
And listen, I can’t fault her for it. I don’t believe she’s evil, I don’t believe she made it with the intention of hurting Supergirl, but I do believe she learned how to make it. Kara can call herself the Last Daughter of Krypton all she wants, Kryptonians have been dropping out of the sky left and right for YEARS. Plus, sure, Supergirl trusts her, but who’s to say Superman wouldn’t decide to turn on her on a dime because of some rumor he hears? What if Supergirl is possessed and needs to be restrained? I understand why Supergirl doesn’t want there to be kryptonite lying around; if it got into the wrong hands, it would be very, very bad. But I also understand why Lena would want some.
Though something tells me Kara will have a hard time seeing things from that perspective if/when she finds out.
Next week, Reign goes after Ruby, and I buckle up because there are still six episodes left and who the hell knows what will happen next.