“Supergirl” Episode 408 Recap: Dream Team

Previously on Supergirl, Manchester went out of his mind with grief, Nia started falling asleep on the job and lying to Kara, and Ben Lockwood continued to be the worst as he marched around as a xenophobe by day and a xenophobe in a mask by night.

We open with Nia! Hooray! For a second I thought it was Kara because it was dark and then for another second I thought Nia was in Kara’s apartment but turns out it’s just Nia in Nia’s apartment. She wakes up on her couch and it’s dark and suddenly we realize it’s a vision. She sees a woman vibrating and shouting something unintelligible at Agent Liberty then she wakes up on her couch, for real this time.

Nia wakes up and is cute

Waking up cute is illegal, Nia.

Her roommate, who has a hilarious amount of attitude, is watching her sleep and Nia scolds her for letting her fall asleep in the first place. It sounds like she might have been on the couch avoiding sleep because she’s avoiding these visions. So it’s no wonder she’s been falling asleep at her desk.

Across town, Kara and J’onn are raiding Manchester’s apartment, looking for something they can use to link to him psychically so they can stop him before he hurts anyone else. J’onn is worried he’s too far gone, but Kara thinks they can get him back, help him see the light again. They find his brass knuckles and J’onn thinks that’ll work just fine.

At work, Nia runs into James and Kara in the elevator and she’s juggling three coffees. When the elevator opens, Nia sees Agent Liberty on the news and drops all three of her coffees, but Kara reflexively catches them and Nia is too tired to question how she did it. Kara pulls Nia aside and says she knows Nia is lying and that she can help, but Nia insists she’s fine.

Nia juggles coffees

Monday mood.

Colonel Haley is back at the DEO this week, that good ol’ bundle of joy, and she’s interviewing a Libertym’n about the identity of the leader of the pack. Alex is watching and getting frustrated when Supergirl comes in and tells Alex and Brainy about Nia. Brainy starts to get weird about the news that Nia is being shady and then confesses that he knows more than he’s been letting on, but doesn’t want to Barry Allen the timeline by telling them what he knows. This news surprises the Danvers sisters but they are intrigued.

Alex and Kara listen to Brainy

Tell me more, tell me more.

All Brainy will cop to though is that he knows Nia can help them. Kara agrees but says that maybe she should lead this particular charge since Brainy is so… well, Brainy. Alex is going to stay behind because her and Haley have a call with the president.

And I’m just going to go ahead and say it: the president sucks. He’s more worried about his poll numbers than the state of the country, and he’s bossy and rude. It’s frustrating for me and it’s frustrating for Alex.

Alex looks frustrated

So impressed Alex (mostly) held her tongue.

Hell it even seems a little frustrating for Haley.

Also not having a great day is Ben Lockwood, who seems to feel like he’s making good headway on his talk show and kind of wants to step back from being Agent Liberty for a while, but according to whoever this Thack person is he’s on the phone with, it seems like he can’t unring that particular bell.

When Kara gets to Nia’s apartment, she tells Nia that she thinks they can both help each other. With just a wee bit of coaxing and that very trusting face Kara has, Nia opens up and admits that she’s an alien.

Nia smiles

“I’m also a Libra.”

Kara smiles understandingly and reassures her that she didn’t need to hide it from her. Nia goes on to explain that every so often in her alien race, women inherit the genetic ability to have prophetic dreams. And she can’t control when or how the visions come to her, and frankly she can hardly ever make sense of them.

And I do want to pause for a brief moment to point out something Supergirl did here. Or I guess, is doing with Nia in general. A few episodes ago, Nia told James she was trans because it was relevant to what she was talking about, and she thought it would help him understand where she was coming from as she made her point. He thanked her for sharing her truth, and that was the end of that. Her trans-ness hasn’t come up again at all, and in this moment, she tells Kara that she has inherited a gift that only appears in the women of her alien race. Which means this mythical genetic trait knows what some idiots seem to have a hard time wrapping their head around: trans women are women. It was a subtle, perfect, beautiful moment and I didn’t want it to go uncelebrated. Much like Alex’s lesbianism, Nia being trans isn’t the POINT of her character, and yet it’s still a part of her. It’s not dwelled on or ignored. And for all this show can get wrong, I think this is something they’re getting right with both of these women.

Okay back to the show. Nia tells Kara about her vision, that really all she could pull out of it was that Agent Liberty was going to murder someone, and that isn’t really breaking news. So Kara asks if Nia would mind if she called in help, and when Nia agrees, she calls in Brainy. Who tries to make a smooth entrance and fails miserably, much to the horror/amusement of the girls.

Brainy explains that, with prophetic dreams, what Nia sees isn’t necessarily set in stone. So if they figure out what’s going to happen, there’s a chance they can stop it. Also Brainy accidentally calls her Nura, but distracts them away from following up on that at all.

So they sort of hypnotize Nia to help her go back into the dream.

Nia is in her dream

“Is…is this Ravenswood?”

Nia sees a swinging hook and the vibrating woman. But this time she manages to slow the woman down, and can hear that she’s shouting at someone to put a gun down. Then Nia turns around and sees Agent Liberty and starts to panic, and begs Brainy to get her out of the dream, which he does. But the good news is, she now knows where to go because she saw the woman’s sweatshirt.

And she leads them to Collinwood aka the town with two steel factories in it aka home of the Lockwoods, men of steel. (I guess Collinsteel and Locksteel would have been a little too on the nose.)

Speaking of Lockwood, Ben heads home after his upsetting phone call and finds Manchester waiting for him, tossing veiled threats at him while he sips Mrs. Lydia Lockwood’s tea. Manchester eventually accuses him of being Agent Liberty, much to the surprise of Lydia. All throughout this encounter, J’onn keeps jumping into Manchester’s brain and sending him messages, until eventually Manchester has had enough and cuts his hand using Lockwood’s bayonet to shut him up.

Wandering around Collinwood, Nia feels bad that they haven’t found anything yet, especially because she’s getting Purge vibes from the town in general. Kara pulls Brainy aside and says there are Children of Liberty tailing them and that she wants to use herself as bait to have them lead her to Agent Liberty.

Kara smiles silly

The fate of the free world is in this girl’s hands.

So she goes up to them and proves she can never be an undercover reporter but upsets their alien-sniffing dog enough to get them to shove her into a van. Unfortunately Brainy failed at his task of distracting Nia and she runs up to try to save Kara.

Kara in the van

It’s so weird how this genius, well-thought-out plan didn’t pan out.

And of course Brainy ran to try to stop Nia, so now all three of them are kidnapped. Which Kara says is great journalism, proving once again she has no business being a reporter. Though she does name-check Lois Lane, which is intriguing to say the least.

Nia suddenly gets a waking vision of one of their kidnappers shooting at them moments before it happens, so she uses that knowledge to duck and have the bullet cut her cuffs off instead. It’s pretty badass. And so the three get their fight on with these angry Children of Liberty.

Once they have all the baddies knocked out, Kara praises Nia, who said it was just a reflex.

nia impresses herself

I hope they let Nia design her own supersuit.

Kara says it makes sense, that powers are like muscles and you gain more control the more you use them. (She actually says “our powers” but Nia doesn’t seem to catch that part.)

Kara sees a sign and realizes they’re at Lockwood Steel, quickly puts together that Ben is Agent Liberty, and calls in the DEO to help them confirm.

Alex is on the phone

“Oh, you need me in this storyline? What’s it like outside this building,? I’m starting to forget.”

So Alex marches into the interrogation room and plays the Libertym’n they have in custody until he caves and confirms.

Alex smirks

I can practically hear Chyler thinking, “Okay I’m not in this episode much, how can I sustain the queer gals I KNOW I’LL GIVE ‘EM A SIDE SMIRK”

Unwittingly nearby, Manchester has demanded to see Ben’s Agent Liberty suit, and his wife is upset to learn about his side hustle. And because he’s truly lost his mind, Manchester makes Ben put the suit on. They’re fighting when J’onn mentally interrupts again, and Manchester wishes J’onn would either do some long-distance brain melting or leave him the hell alone. But J’onn does neither so the fighting continues.

While Supergirl flies off to find Ben/Agent Liberty, Brainy and Nia look around the factory. Nia quickly realizes this is where her dream took place.

Brainy holds her by her shoulders and tells her she contains greatness, inspiring her to close her eyes and see more of her vision.

Supergirl eventually finds Ben fighting with Manchester and tries to interrupt, but Manchester has some sort of alien mace ready for her. While she tries to convince him to back down, he pours NTH metal on her and traps her to the floor, telling her to pick a side, and calling her Pollyanna. But the thing is, she’s picked a side, it’s just not a side Manchester recognizes.

But she will never be like him.

Kara looks determined

Proof you can have the same beliefs but not be on the same side.

Nia’s vision leads her and Brainy to the fight and Nia sees the hook from her dream. She quickly figures out what it means, and swings it to knock Manchester out. Ben ends up with a gun and he wants to shoot Manchester, but before he can, Supergirl, still stuck to the floor in the pile of NTH metal, flies up and lifts the entire building up with her. (Do yourself a favor and don’t ask how. As the ladies of Buffering would say, it’s all metaphyddics.) When she drops it down, the NTH metal shatters, leaving her free to save the falling Lydia Lockwood.

Supergirl saves Lydia

Lydia will act like she forgets this in a few moments, but I bet she’ll dream of it for years to come.

Supergirl feigns not knowing Nia and thanks Ms. Nal for her good work. Nia smiles brightly and I AM STILL NOT OVER HOW ADORABLE SHE IS in case you were wondering.

Nia smiles

“Hi Supergirl! You’re so pretty and I like you so much!”

Ben gets arrested and while Supergirl knows this isn’t going to magically stop xenophobia, or even likely the Children of Liberty, one bad man is stopped now, and that’s a win.

Supergirl talks to Nia

You have to celebrate the small wins to stay energized for the big fight.

Nia asks Brainy and Supergirl about Kara, but they’re interrupted by reporters. Before he’s shoved into the cop car, Ben rattles off some nonsense, but calls out one thing that will stick in the country’s craw: Who is Supergirl, really? His mask was pulled off, what about hers?

Later, J’onn goes to visit Manchester in his giant, swanky prison cell, thinking he can still be saved. Manchester is not so sure.

When Supergirl gets back to the DEO, the president is there to suck live and in person. He says they serve all people, not just those they agree with, which is why a recent article calling Ben Lockwood a “Human Rights Activist” is something he feels the need to respond to. He says that the nation has been posed a question that needs answering: Who is Supergirl, really? Supergirl says that if she reveals who she really is, everyone she cares about will be in danger, but the president doesn’t care. He says that no one should be “above” the rest of us, that they should put “country first.” It’s gross and stupid and I hate him.

Alex looks upset

“I will not yell at the president, I will not yell at the president.”

But Supergirl stands her ground. She puts her foot down on the matter, even when the president fires her. He tells her that the United States doesn’t want a war with Supergirl, so she recommends he not start one.

Supergirl stands her ground

“I will not hurl the president into space, I will not hurl the president into space.”

Alex thinks maybe she can fix this with enough time, but Kara just tells her to protect the DEO and its people and flies off.

Alex looks distraught

“Wait if we don’t work together anymore, how will I have screentime?”

Across town, Nia finally sleeps without fear. And there are protests outside the jail, demanding they free Agent Liberty, chanting a chant lead by Lydia herself.

Supergirl hovers overhead, watching with a broken heart but a renewed fire for the fight. This isn’t over.

Supergirl hovers over the riot

“I need you to hope…Hope, that those who once may have shunned you, will in a moment of crisis come to your aid.”

And then we cut to a totally disjointed tag that is obviously just a set-up for the next episode of Supergirl being part of the Elseworlds SuperFlarrow crossover. The scene is Earth-90, where Barry’s dad is the Flash and he’s crawling toward a man with a magical tome, who insists that everyone will perish. Very vague but I’m still excited for Elseworlds! I’ll be recapping the whole thing, so be sure to check back Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for all three installments.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

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 567 articles for us.


  1. I find it odd that Manchester Black has been so much more effective and proactive at tracking down the Children of Liberty than Supergirl and the DEO. I’m not saying I approve of his methods, but at least he has a plan.

    I would have laughed out loud if the entire factory had collapsed when Supergirl slammed it back into the ground. Realistically, I feel like that’s what should have happened.

    • I thought just like the patch of ground around her would have flown up?? it was definitely some funky science hahaha

      • AFAIK, buildings are normally anchored to the ground and not just sitting on it. She should have ripped out a huge section of ground/pavement along with the factory. Or not been able to lift it at all.

    • Given that Nth metal is apparently so cheap they’re making chalkboard trays out of it, I choose to assume that the structural parts of the factory are also made out of it.

  2. It was borderline embarrassing how quickly Manchester incapacitated Supergirl. Actually it’s just downright embarrassing how Manchester managed to suss out the man behind Agent Liberty so quickly while the freakin’ DEO with all their fancy tech AND Supergirl couldn’t. While I don’t condone his thirst for vengence and revenge, he at least has been much more productive.

    Speaking of douchebag Ben Lockwood, do we think this is going to be the conclusion of his arc? I’m tired of this infestation of douchebag men on this show – first Lockwood, then James then the President. Can we get more screentime for Nia, Alex, Eve and Lena instead? Can we go back to storylines that don’t quite mirror so closely the problems in society now? Every day we’re bombarded by news and talk of anti-immmigrant, xenophobic, sexist, homophobic crap and the last thing I want now is to turn on one of my TV shows only to see the same thing. Siiigh, maybe I should just stick to Legends. There they’ve got demonic unicorns, parasitic fairy godmothers, murderous possessed dolls and the joy that is AvaLance.

    • James certainly hasn’t been a saint recently but I don’t think it’s fair to put him in the same category with Lockwood and the President. I don’t necessarily think we’ll se more of Lockwood but there will probably be echoes of his movement going into the second half of the season. I suspect Red Kara will drive the story. It’s possible she’ll show the President what it means to be at war with Supergirl.

  3. So….. they are really going with the concept that everyone in the DEO DOESN’T know who Supergirl is? That Alex and Supergirl aren’t sisters?

    Kara started out in the first episode helping people without the DEO, and her cousin also doesn’t work for the government, so I hope Kara realizes she CAN still help people, DEO or no DEO.

    • I’m sure she will. She might even find “flying without a net” refreshing. Clark apparently does all right without a support system and it’s not like she can’t call on Nia or James or even Lena. Whether it will be done in a way that is watchable is another story.

    • The DEO agents were looking down and at each other. I think they know Supergirl is Kara and Alex’s sister, come on Kara’s been chilling at the DEO in civilian clothes since season two. I think the agents kept the secret out of loyalty to the sisters. We may even get a scene where an agent is being interrogated to spill what they know.

  4. Not even Cat Grant could figure who Supergirl really is… or could she?

    Transparency from our assets! That’s rich coming from the temp boss of a secret government organisation– I think, the reason why alien chose to use Lena’s masking device, is because some/many homo sapiens don’t do well with anything ‘other’ than the default [white] male. Part of me wishes that visibility will bring acceptance of what we have in common rather than what divides us, but alas, maybe in the future.

    Or rather now, thinks Supergirl. I admire her unwavering belief in the goodness of people, same with J’onn, when hate and ignorance just seem so pervasive (I guess, I’m an Alex, the sceptic! ?)

    Interesting to see her become a vigilante if at all… Agree with above commenter that she doesn’t have to be employed by the government to help save Earth.

    Anyhow, might want to wrap up the Libertym’n storyline asap before Kara’s twin-sy or Lena’s brother show up to cause more trouble. Wouldn’t mind a bit more filler or campy lightness in between (although Brainy goofing around helps).

  5. I get what you are saying about Nia and her superpowers being specific to some women on her planet but the writing was really clunky. I saw some viewers on twitter being super confused about this in relation to her being trans because of the alien aspect of her identity alone. Also, people are pissed that there seems to be more aliens on the show than humans and making Nia a meta-human would’ve been a better storytelling move.

    • “people are pissed that there seems to be more aliens on the show than humans” are you following the Children of Liberty on twitter? I don’t understand this take at all.

      • I was reading some tweets that said they were pissed that making Nia an alien robs the show of more human main characters. The balance is all off.

        Also, many people are confused by Nia’s superpowers being genetic to some women line (paraphrasing here) because they can’t square that with her being trans and what being trans means on her planet because the only one who knows this is James. That’s why I say the writing is clunky. Making Nia a meta human would’ve made her origin story easier to follow.

  6. When Nia gets her suit, will there be a training montage with her, Kara and/or Alex, and inspirational power chords?


    Writers: “There are 53 Earths.”
    Fandom: “Ok… that seems arbitrary.”
    Writers: “The following events take place on Earth 90.”
    Fandom: “Oh shit!”


    I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. It looks like the writers may be going for the same rhythm as Agents of SHIELD did in seasons 4 and 5 – three stories that flow one into another. With the bad guys caught and in jail, we turn now to the aftermath…


    Why did President Marsdin pick such a little shit to be her running mate?

    • A training montage would be cool but if she gets a suit I hope they depart from the comics where her “costume” was a white one piece bathing suit with a wide belt and heels.

    • I’m assuming that the reason there are currently 52+1 Earths is that the others have been destroyed. One might call it a Crisis.
      (And apparently the Flash from the 1990 TV show comes from Earth-90.)

  7. kinda disappointed that nia is an alien, tbh. i would have loved her just being a meta-human. but not mad otherwise.
    did supergirl every work for the DEO? i thought it was just like, she helps them out – it seems that way from the intro.

    • Supergirl didn’t “work for” the DEO until this season when the writers found it expedient to make her a government employee. The intro voiceover even has her say, “I work with the DEO.” Speaking of which, if the intro voiceover is there for the benefit of new viewers, shouldn’t she go ahead and say the full “Department of Extra-Normal Operations”?

  8. I lost it when Kara was trying to get kidnapped, but Nia got involved ;D See, Kara, it would have been so much easier to work if you had told Nia and Lena the truth!
    Can’t wait to see Nia as superhero!

    And let me just say – that fight scene with Brainy – AWESOME! Gimme more Brainy!

    Also, for last few episodes I felt like Manchester was actually productive? He’s a cool guy and I hope that Supergirl will team up with him eventually. I can’t really see him as villain and I hope they won’t make him one.

    Lena wasn’t in this episode… *hello Darkness my old friend…* :(

    I miss Alex kicking asses in the field. I miss Alex having personal life. I miss Alex being more than just narrative tool.

    This season started so well, but ever since ep. 3 it’s just… meh. Characters are acting out of character, plot and villain so far is just irritating (seriously, I want to punch that a-hole in that stupid mask). Brainy, Nia and Manchester are mostly what keeps me watching. I can’t even include Alex in it, because she’s barely on screen. Lena is in pain and I’m in pain, because I can’t hug her, so it’s just all pain… I think I might have an existential crisis.


    • This season had so much promise and then they screwed it up after the third or fourth episode. The writing has been clunky and keeping Alex at the DEO most of the time is a crime because Chyler deserves better. Also, they botched the Nia origin story by making her an alien because now her being trans won’t resonate with the audience as much. I call it a cop out.
      I would love to hear from trans viewers (I’m a cis lesbian) about the Nia story so far. Are the disappointed or happy or neutral?

      • That awkward moment when plot from your TV bleeds onto real world… Honestly, I think you are slightly overreaching. From what I have seen from trans people watching the show, they don’t give a flying fork about Nia not being human. As cis lesbian I also would not give a flying fork if next lesbian character showing up in the show would be and alien, or an orc, or a goddamn muppet. It’s kinda like saying that you can’t relate to some characters despite them being gay, because they have different skin color than you. Also from what I recall Nia is played by Nicole Maines, who is transgender so correct me if I’m wrong but that’s hella awesome.

        If they say in the show that only female members of Nia’s family have this attribute then some people would connect it with genetic inheritance. Human biological inheritance is a byatch and makes some things (almost) impossible to happen. There are some diseases and attributes that are exclusively tied to recessive alleles on two X chromosomes or are inherited with mitochondrial DNA which is passed only from genetic mother to genetic daughter. Making her an alien gives some people the opportunity to consider that some things that we attribute to biological sex actually can be caused by identifying with specific gender and can be caused by the way we think or alas we where taught to think. And it’s not like they couldn’t do the same with Nia being human, but let’s be honest, some people are really narrow minded and are happy with the first argument that they come up with, which means they will not look for another explanation. If you take the easiest argument from them they will be forced to look for something else and hopefully will realize a thing or two in the process.

        I live in a country where people use “biology” against LGBTQ+ people all the time and they never actually spend any time to research what they are talking about (and realize how awfully wrong they were) so for me it’s good to see that stupid argument taken out of their hands.

        • I’ve been thinking about what I said and came to conclusion that it kind of may sound… wrong, so I want to make some things clearer.

          With that genetic part what I meant is that some people still associate womanhood, manhood, etc. with being born with genetic traits and cannot comprehend that humans are actually more complex. And sometimes if you want to explain something to people you have to use more “abstract” examples that forces them to look at said problem from another perspective.

          Trans Women are Women. Full awesome woman. And nothing proves this better than Nia Nal and her abilities.

          • I agree with you but the writers did a terrible job building up to this moment because some of the audience isn’t as woke as we are. I was looking at it from their perspective seeing as this might be their first exposure to a trans woman playing a trans character (that we now know is an alien).

  9. “Her trans-ness hasn’t come up again at all, and in this moment, she tells Kara that she has inherited a gift that only appears in the women of her alien race. Which means this mythical genetic trait knows what some idiots seem to have a hard time wrapping their head around: trans women are women.”

    My eyebrows were somewhere up at my hairline when I was reading this sentence. I’m honestly shocked (in a good way!) that this happened in a relatively mainstream TV show while I’m alive.

Comments are closed.