Previously on Supergirl, Nia had a feeling that James fighting as Guardian at the fair would be bad and she was right, Colonel Lauren Haley was sent to the DEO to oversee Alex, and Agent Jensen got a power-absorbing slug in his ear, which was uncomfortable for everyone involved.
This episode begins in what I would have assumed was a dream sequence but for the lack of a hazy filter. Kara, Alex, J’onn, Lena, James, and Brainy are all hanging out on a rooftop, drinking mojitos and looking amazing.
James is having a hard time letting go of his Guardian stress to enjoy the garden party, so Lena tries to help by telling him that all press is good press, and that getting the positive attention of the other side might be how he affects change.
Maybe he can be the bridge over the divide.
Then a wild Brainy appears, declaring drunken truths: Lena is always right.
On the other side of the garden, Alex is so happy to see her little sister happy. (And free of the bread-shaped weight that was dragging her down before.) Kara is finally doing “journalism” again, she doesn’t have to be trapped in a supersuit, her family is all together. She’s happy.
Alex is still not quite up to Cloud Nine with her yet though, not with Colonel Haley looming over her. But, you can’t win them all.
Lena goes to tell the girls that Brainy is drunk and they are all mildly alarmed but amused.
At the mention of mojitos, the newest member of the party appears: the one and only Nia Nal. The team welcomes her and compliments her and it’s all VERY CUTE.
By the time Alex goes to fetch him, he has slept it off and is doing just fine. Ten points to alien metabolism. Nia looks adorably nervous when she sees Brainy.
Nia notes that Brainy never found her after the pizza parlor incident, but he declares that he has, rattling off all of her personal information. Alex nervously tries to write it off as a cute quirk but Nia doesn’t seem all that fazed. She just clarifies: you never called me. Brainy says, in his matter-of-fact way, that she never asked him to. She just said to find her.
And they all get a good giggle over that.
So Kara proposes a toast, to friends new and old, and looking at this adorable bunch I truly couldn’t be happier.
In the Liberty Lair, Ben is having Jensen test his powers on a firestarter. The man is fully engulfed in flames as a defense mechanism, but Jensen sticks his hands right in and absorbs his powers and leaves the poor man a dried up, mummified husk.
It’s not pretty, but Ben is pleased.
Alex goes to see the Colonel at the DEO (who I shall henceforth just be calling Haley because “colonel” is one of the most nonsensical words in the English language and I hate it), who points out that Alex has upended a system that has been in place since the DEO’s inception. Alex keeps her cool but defends her decision, saying it was outdated and she shaved 30 seconds off deployment, which Haley points out could save lives. Alex is a little confused until Haley says, in the same even tone with which she’s been stating the aforementioned facts, that she’s commending Director Danvers, something that was not apparent from her delivery. Tone is important, ma’am!
Kara decides to take Nia along on a journalistic adventure to interview a well-known alien who heals other aliens named Amadei. He had stopped giving interviews decades ago but has agreed to do one for CatCo. When the girls sit down to talk to him, he says that he changed his mind about interviews because the hate is so prominent right now that he thought maybe he could be a symbol of hope, a positive example of an alien’s powers not being dangerous to help debunk the Earth First assholes and their narrative. Amadei can’t heal humans with his powers, but he wants to try to work towards healing their hearts.
Also Nia looks cute, felt worth mentioning.
Back at CatCo, James is watching a video Ben Lockwood posted on a fringe site when Lena comes in to tell him to stop being such an emotional masochist. Sure there are fringe people talking about him, but he got invited to speak at a very fancy media press dinner situation, so chin up!
Across town, the DEO gets pinged for a Jensen sighting and Alex gets to work, sending Supergirl out to grab him. Jensen is watching a shapeshifter act as a street performer, to the PURE DELIGHT of the crowd, and Jensen is about to attack when Supergirl intervenes.
Jensen grabs Supergirl’s arm and starts absorbing but she pulls away before he husks her. He did get her heat vision, however, and weakened her enough that she can’t do much else but defend herself. Also, she recognizes his powers as the Parasite.
The DEO swoops in as backup for the weakened Supergirl, but Jensen gets to the shapeshifter before the DEO gets to him and disappears into the crowd disguised as a little girl who is extremely good at parkour.
Alex goes to Supergirl’s side to make sure she’s okay before taking her back to the DEO.
Alex gives Haley the breakdown of how the Parasite was stolen from the DEO with the help from traitor agents, and Haley seems more and more impressed with Alex as the day goes on. Alex seems as surprised by it as I do, and I’m starting to think I could like this Haley after all.
Alex even agrees with Haley when she starts to say Supergirl has to sit this fight out since Parasite is so dangerous. So Alex goes to see her sister, who is baking under sunlamps again and probably pretty sick of being taken down like this. Alex tells Kara that Supergirl has to sit this one out, and at first Kara goes full whine about it.
But when Alex apologizes Kara says she understands; she wasn’t mad at Alex, just the situation. Besides, she doesn’t have to fight as Supergirl. She can fight as Kara.
Back at the Liberty Lair, Jensen tells Ben that his powers keep fizzling after a short period of time, and losing them is making him weaker and weaker. This is frustrating to Ben and he is determined to fix this design flaw in the Parasite.
Meanwhile, Nia is looking over Kara’s article with her and is so happy with how it turned out.
Kara is reading happy comments and is so pleased, but then she sees some awful and violent ones and is Shocked and Appalled. And I know it’s been a minute since Kara has actually done some journalism, but I feel like hateful commenters shouldn’t be a new experience for her. But she’s afraid that highlighting Amadei may have put a target on his back.
In the gaylien bar, J’onn is leading Fiona’s support group, and aliens are telling their coming out stories, talking about not using the image inducer anymore and being out and proud aliens, encouraging others to do the same. The hate is increasing but so is the hope. People are scared but they’re strong, and they’re meeting the haters at their volume.
But then J’onn and Kara get a call and run to Amadei; someone stole his amulet, and now he’s sick and dying.
They don’t want to call the police, so J’onn tries to read Amadei’s mind instead. He sees the image of a young woman, and shifts to look like her so Brainy can use facial recognition to find her. Her name is Elizabeth Hawkins, and Brainy found her address, so Kara and J’onn head there right away.
Instead of trying to use their charm to get invited in, they decide to take a divide-and-conquer approach. Kara goes in the front door and spins some tale about writing a story about the ever-changing neighborhoods to the very sassy Elizabeth while J’onn sneaks around back and tries to sense where the amulet is. But their plan backfires because Elizabeth’s mom is also home and doesn’t care for a strange man wandering around her house. This woman is listed only as “Elizabeth’s Mother” on IMDb but she played Wilhelmina in Saving Face so that’s what we’ll call her.
But Kara tries to reassure them that even though they set up a sneaky scheme, they’re there to help. They ask about Amadei and say Elizabeth is the last thing he thought about before he slipped into his coma. Elizabeth scoffs at the thought; Amadei is her father and she’s never even met him. She’s written to him to no response for years.
Wilhelmina says that she was a one night stand and Amadei ditched as soon as she found out she was pregnant, and Elizabeth says they must have something wrong, and insists they leave. Surprised and stunned, Kara and J’onn do just that.
Jensen is still falling apart, but Liberty says he found a way to let Jensen keep all the powers he absorbs, meaning soon he will be a powerful weapon for the Children of Liberty.
At the DEO, Haley and Alex banter some tactical brilliance. Haley has Uranium, Alex has Brainy make them a forcefield and a proton pack. It’s a really strong back-and-forth and once again I find myself thinking that these two could be a power-team and that I was wrong to feel defensive when she first showed up.
James and Lena go to a fancy event for important media people and somehow Ben got himself an invite, so he goes to see James. Lena literally doesn’t give a single fuck about him and the hate he spews, so she heads right for the booze, a woman after my own heart.
Ben and James butt heads, with Ben trying to explain how Guardian can be the human hope the world needs, but James shrugs him off. Ben tells him to be careful about dismissing these people; he says they’re not crazy, just scared. And that shutting them down will turn them the wrong way, push them further into darkness. But James won’t let Ben put this on him; it’s not fair to put solving this problem on his shoulders. He didn’t ask to be this “human hope,” and he never claimed to stand what they stood for.
Kara and J’onn go back to Kara’s loft to do more research to try to find the amulet when Alex comes home with pizza like a literal angel from heaven.
Kara is starting to feel bad about writing a glowing review of Amadei when she’s finding out now he’s actually pretty flawed. She’s also afraid she made him a target. She’s starting to wonder if being able to see the good in people is blinding her too much to the truth. Alex says that’s not necessarily the case, because the opposite can be the same; for example, she thought Haley was going to come in and ruin her life, but they’ve actually been working really well together. There needs to be more of a balance.
Then Kara decides to go back and read the last interview Amadei gave. Kara Danvers, top reporter at CatCo, is only now, after her interview was published, reading the last interview Amadei gave. I love the girl dearly but are we SURE Nia should be learning from her?
Anyway, after a VERY quick Google search, making both Kara’s research skills and Elizabeth’s mom’s lying skills equally terrible, Kara finds many photos of Amadei and the woman who claimed to be a one night stand.
So Kara and J’onn go back to Elizabeth’s house to find the house torn apart and her mom near tears. Turns out, Mom was keeping Amadei’s responses away from her, and after J’onn and Kara left, Elizabeth found them all. Understandably, Elizabeth was pissed and accused her mom of making her ashamed of her alien half all these years. Wilhelmina blames J’onn and Kara for this and then quickly turns to the racist rhetoric, saying the Children of Liberty were right, and she admits to stealing Amadei’s amulet to give to a human so he could get rid of more “roaches.”
So Kara and J’onn decide to hit up the vigil outside Amadei’s house because it seems like an alien buffet for someone with a power-eating parasite.
The DEO has also tracked Jensen to the vigil and Haley gives the agents two orders: do not engage with Jensen, since his touch is lethal, and listen to Director Danvers.
It made my heart so happy! I was solidly on board, Team Haley, feeling great.
Brainy makes a dome over the whole neighborhood to keep Jensen in. Jensen, meanwhile, doesn’t like this dome, and is sucking powers left and right to try to find one that will help him escape, but alas Brainy got him good.
Meanwhile at the press dinner, Lena and James are talking to a dude that frankly Lena has more chemistry with than she does James. (Pausing here to reiterate that I love James and I am so happy they’re giving him his own storyline this season, I just don’t think James and Lena work as a couple.) But then all of a sudden things take a turn and this perfectly-nice-seeming gentleman starts spewing xenophobic bullshit. Lena is shocked and I feel her pain because I hate surprise racists so much. I mean, I hate all racists, but it’s just a shitty feeling when you’re talking to someone and then realize you just gave so much of your time/energy to someone who super doesn’t deserve it. And Lena’s time and charm is precious!! So rude.
Anyway, the press dinner gets an alert about the Jensen thing and Ben puts James on the spot, asking him if Guardian is going to go help stop the bad aliens.
Already there and trying to stop the singular bad alien is Alex, who is wearing what looks like a Ghostbuster pack full of uranium to take Jensen down.
The first time she blasts him, Jensen falls onto a car, but the amulet heals him back up and he gets out of their sights again. Alex wants Brainy to open a little hole in the dome so people can be let out but Haley is like, “What? Our DEO agents can protect themselves.” And just like that, my faith in her cracks.
My faith in Alex only grows though, because she isn’t about to give up on the civilians so easily.
Guardian does end up showing up to help, for better or for worse.
Jensen is starting to overload the dome and they’re running out of time. J’onn goes to protect Amadei and when Kara radios to Alex that she wants to help, Haley is surprised to hear Supergirl on the comms. Kara plays it off as a coincidence that she was in the area, but they don’t dwell on it because Alex needs her help getting people out from under the dome while she fights Jensen.
One really cute thing is that right before Supergirl swooshes someone to the exit, she politely and quickly asks their consent.
But before Supergirl can finish her escape mission, she comes face to face with Jensen. She holds him off while Alex approaches and tries to reason with him. Haley is shouting in her ear to just kill him, even though the blast will kill all non-DEO in the dome, but Alex isn’t listening. She talks to Jensen, tells him that he was a good man once, and that she understands that he’s scared, but this isn’t who he is.
She tells him to be the hero she knows he can be, and he takes out the amulet from his clavicle. He mutters a cryptic, “He’s still out there,” before dropping the amulet and collapsing.
The amulet is returned to Amadei, and Elizabeth is there when he wakes up. The apologize to each other and are happy to be meeting. Amadei thanks J’onn and Kara for helping, and Kara feels like maybe she didn’t ruin this family’s life after all.
When they get back to the DEO, Haley tells Alex she did a good job, and that Jensen is at the desert facility and in no shape to talk to anyone. Alex is ready to go on with her day when Haley stops her and pulls rank. She says she likes Alex, but she has to listen to her orders. She wants Alex to succeed, because she likes her better than “that imposter” J’onn Jones. He was “employing aliens instead of catching them” and she wants to return to “more civil, honest times.” And just like that, all hope I had in Col. Haley shattered. Alex was right to be hesitant.
Alex, to her credit, doesn’t just nod along nor does she flip the flip out.
She calmly and firmly tells Haley that J’onn taught her everything she knows, that he’s family. Haley sees now that they’re never going to see eye to eye so yet again pulls rank. Alex fumes but when Haley tells her to salute, she dutifully salutes.
J’onn goes to the gaylien bar to wind down after a busy day and he finds that a woman whose store got vandalized had been there and left her number so J’onn could help her. He’s becoming a sort of Alien PI, which is convenient since he already has a 40s Gumshoe hat.
Lena goes to talk to James, who is realizing that the hate has spread more than he anticipated. He’s starting to think she was right, that maybe he can be the voice of a human who supports aliens, to bridge the gap and really reach people.
Besides, with her by his side, James can do anything! But suddenly Lena looks… not so sure.
Kara talks to Nia about her article and how she’s learned from it. She wants to do regular profiles on aliens, whole-picture stories about their flawed and complicated lives. After she says her ideas out loud, she realizes that Nia just got to hear her first-draft pitch and is suddenly kind of nervous about it, but Nia loves it and is very supportive.
In the Liberty Lair, Ben is falling apart at the seams. He smashes his bug juice, he starts to destroy things, but then he gets a call from James. He wants to talk.
It looks like things might be coming to a head next week, so I’ll be interested to see if we’re reaching the end of the Agent Liberty storyline in time for the crossover. Either way, things are gonna be stressful, so hold onto your butts.