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