Previously on Supergirl, Nia found out that it’s her destiny to be Dreamer, Alex was mind-wiped of the memory that Kara is Supergirl, and a hate group called the Children of Liberty was causing a lot of anti-alien upset all over the country.
We open on a couple just back from a little Bonnie and Clyde action, the Bonnie being played by Jessica Meraz who you might remember from the show Chasing Life. (Also her name isn’t really Bonnie but we’ll get to that later.) A meteor shoots down from the sky and sends the couple’s car careening off course, and when the woman goes to investigate, she’s attacked by an alien snake that looks like one of those plants from Jumanji.
But surely everything’s fine there, so let’s go check on Alex and Kara, who are visiting J’onn in his PI office and have Valentine’s treats for him. Alex doesn’t remember ever having seen this place, so she compliments on his new digs.
Alex is feeling a little blue because even though Col. Haley is in Washington right now, she can’t help but feel like she has all this extra capacity right now (what with not working with her sister the superhero, though she doesn’t know that) but she hasn’t done what she set out to do when she took the role as Director, including finishing her adoption paperwork. She says she’s been dating a lot, and Kara confirms, but I feel very MONTAGE OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN about the whole situation.
Kara wants to help her sister out, so she tells Alex that Nia is having a Valentine’s party, and that she’ll be her big sister’s wingwoman, and Alex reluctantly agrees. But before they can talk about it further, Alex gets the call about the asteroid and has to go to work.
After she’s gone, Kara admits that she misses the Cagney to Alex’s Lacey.
Kara heads to work and passes by J’onn’s newest client, a woman who thinks her husband Mr. Stuart has been kidnapped.
Across town, Brainy goes to see Nia for what is decidedly not a date, even though she looks cute enough to be ready for one. Brainy offers condolences for the passing of her mother, but he’s mostly there to offer to train Nia now that she’s embraced her powers. Nia appreciates the gesture, but she’s not ready to train, not yet. Her mother died so suddenly and she’s still grieving.
But before he leaves, she invites him to her Valentine’s party, and makes sure he knows that THIS time, it’s a date.
Y’all I have bad news…Ben Lockwood is back. Later in the episode Nia says, “I thought we were done with the Children of Liberty” and frankly, so did I. But Ben is still causing mayhem from prison, telling his son (his wee, impressionable, preteen son) to be a “man of action” and pick up where he left off as the Agent of Liberty.
When Alex gets to the crater crime scene, she’s surprised to see Col. Haley there, but she had to come back into town to help her daughter with a science project. Which is surprising on a lot of levels. But they quickly get to work and see that the body at the crime scene is the male from the car earlier, and his heart has been eaten clean out of his body.
Back at the DEO, Alex is almost impressed by the precision of the creature eating only the heart, and Brainy has found the shed skin of the snakelike alien they’re likely looking for. Haley comes in to tell them about two more victims, so they set out to look for their snake murderer.
J’onn goes to see Kara at CatCo and asks to trade her the scoop for some of CatCo’s intel. And in fact, since the man who’s missing helped write the Alien Amnesty Act, they might even get to bring Alex in on this mission too, so Kara can work with her again. Kara loves this idea, and agrees to it because she doesn’t even need to pitch articles or ask permission for things anymore. Or you know, be in the office.
Speaking of offices, Lena is in hers, looking great but also looking upset by something she sees on her phone.
James comes in and gives her the Valentine’s gift of a photo he took without her knowing while she was sleeping and then had it framed and said he liked her better like this. (Okay fine he said it was to remember their peaceful vacation but I WAS CREEPED OUT.) She mostly ignores his gift, still thinking of whatever upset her on her phone, and tells him that they should go to Paris like…right now. YOLO and all that. She’s kind of frantic but plays it off as spontaneity so James agrees.
Back at the DEO, Brainy is splitting his time between work and trying to pick out a Valentine’s gift for Nia, and he asks for Alex’s help. Alex spits that she hates Valentine’s Day, and that’s probably because nothing will ever beat her Valentine’s Day with Maggie, but she agrees to help Brainy because let’s be honest, what’s cuter than Brainy/Nia.
Once they get back to work, Brainy points out that the one thing the heartless victims all have in common is that they all had all their jewelry taken from their homes after they were killed.
Lena gets back to her office lacking the kind of joy you’d expect from a person on their way to Paris, when she finds Col. Haley waiting for her there. The President caught wind of her research that would turn humans a little super and wants it for the US Military. Lena says this was never her intention, but Haley is going to send her the government contract to look over anyway.
After Haley leaves, Lena considers the implications of this and is Very Concerned.
Also Ben’s son is being a little shit and sending out xenophobic messages with the Agent of Liberty mask, blah blah blah.
J’onn calls Alex for help with the case he’s working on with Kara, but she’s too busy. Little do they know, they’re both working on the same case, which they figure out when the DEO storms into the next victims’ house and find J’onn and Kara there standing over the body of their missing Mr. Stuart.
Alex is worried about Kara being exposed to danger because her fragile, untrained little reporter body could be in danger. J’onn tries to encourage them working together, and Kara “stumbles” on a secret door (glad x-ray vision doesn’t require lasers like her heat vision) and so, caught up in the next clues, Alex agrees to let Kara and J’onn come with her to talk to Brainy, who happens to be at Nia’s Valentine’s party.
While at the party, in what is possibly the most realistic portrayal of LGBTQ+ culture I’ve seen on the CW, Alex runs into a girl she went on a date with twice. The thing is, Alex didn’t remember her name. (It was Becca.)
And we learn that they got as far as talking about Alex going through the process of adopting a kid, which Becca seemed totally down with, and then Alex ghosted her. So I am choosing to believe that this part of her memory got jumbled up in the mind-wipe, like maybe she told Kara about the date while they were on a mission with Kara as Supergirl, or maybe she had been running late and had Kara fly her to the date, because while we know a drunken romp can make name exchanges a low priority, this seemed like a little more of a connection than that. And Alex doesn’t seem like the ghosting type.
Anyway, J’onn and Kara find Brainy hiding in the closet because Nia’s roommate Yvette wanted him to dance with her a little more than he was comfortable with. He takes the samples of the alien blood they brought back into the closet with him to study, while Kara steals off to check on Nia.
Kara is supportive and sweet with Nia, and Nia knows her mother would want her to keep dreaming. When Nia admits her sister turning out to be kind of a nightmare is still bumming her out, Kara tells Nia about Alex’s mind wipe, so they both have sister drama going on. But they both can’t let that stop them from being heroes.
Kara tells Nia she’s family now, and in her family, all are welcome. (Which for a second I thought was the CW’s new inclusion slogan, but that’s Open to All, which would have been pretty funny, though I imagine funny isn’t what they were going for.)
Brainy has figured out that the blood is still part human and that human is Pamela Ferrer. Kara convinces Alex to let her come with her on this mission, with J’onn to “protect” her (lol) and off they go, leaving poor Becca in the dust.
When they get to the house, Pamela comes out looking fierce af before Brainy kicks her because he’s very sure that’s only partly Pamela but also is part snake alien. And sure enough, Pamela wakes up and throws Alex across the room, saying she doesn’t go by Pamela anymore. They are Menagerie.
Menagerie feels powerful and can THROW SNAKES. Which feels unfair. But there are motherfuckin snakes all up in this motherfuckin mansion and one heads right for Kara. But when the snake bites Kara’s arm, it’s met with a mouthful of steel, so it jerks back in pain, though all Alex can see is her baby sister’s life flash before her eyes.
Menagerie gets away, and even though Kara insists she’s okay and that the snake only got her jacket, Alex is shooketh. Alex tells Kara that she’s the most important person in her life and that her safety is her main priority. Kara understands, and so she agrees to go home to keep her sister from being distracted on the job.
Meanwhile, Lena is still getting some kind of information from her phone that is causing her alarm, even though she’s on the way to the airport with James. Lena tells James that she got offered a government contract, and in a very “that escalated quickly” conversation, they come to the conclusion that they are incompatible because James thinks she’s better than militarizing her science and could never be with someone who signed over such power to the US military.
Even though technically she didn’t even say she was considering it, she literally just said she was offered it. Astounded by his firm declarations, Lena breaks up with him and kicks him out of the car. Praise be.
Back at her apartment, Nia wakes up from a dream about Supergirl fighting Menagerie to her roommate cleaning up the party.
And I know her roommate only swoops in for a hilarious comment here and there, but I like her.
Elsewhere, Kara is having an existential crisis and she thinks that Alex having to worry about her delicate human sister is the reason suddenly everything Alex pre-mind-wipe was focused on got dropped. She’s afraid she’s distracting her, so she lets her dream of working with Alex as Sometimes Reporter Kara Danvers die.
The Children of Liberty show up at the latest crime scenes, and it appears all the DEO agents are dead, but Menagerie is there too. Menagerie talks out loud to themselves (more literally it’s their human side talking to their snake symbiont but they’re all one being at this point so) and says they’re off to the Heart Association’s Masquerade Ball for both hearts and jewels.
Off Menagerie goes, flirting with people and killing them right there in the middle of the party, stealing their jewelry off their person. The Children of Liberty show up, phone cameras on, to engage with Menagerie.
Alex shows up and tries to get the Children of Liberty to stand down for their own safety but they dumb so they get taken down anyway. Supergirl shows up and flies Menagerie outside and away from people whose hearts aren’t protected by steely skin.
She gets snaked by Menagerie, who doesn’t understand why Supergirl wouldn’t just let her kill some Children of Liberty, but Supergirl says she protects all people.
When it looks like Supergirl might lose consciousness from her snake choker, swooping in like the hero we always knew she could be, a suited-up Dreamer saves the day, using her dream knowledge to her advantage.
Supergirl is thrilled, and sends Nia inside to help Alex, and finally takes down Menagerie. She’s ready to take them in to DEO jail but Ben Lockwood’s son appears and chops off Menagerie’s snakehead instead.
Since they think the alien inside Menagerie was killed, Haley says the President wants Pamela in a regular prison instead of a DEO black site, to prove that they’re serious about punishing aliens who break the law. Alex wants to balance that message but saying it was Supergirl who got Menagerie under control, but Haley doesn’t want that either. Basically there’s a lot of bureaucratic bullshit going on.
Kara thanks Nia for joining her, and Nia thanks Kara for giving her the push she needed; being Dreamer made her feel closer to her mother.
But she’s learned something: she has a lot of training to do. So when she gets home and finds Brainy on her couch with Yvette, she asks him to help her.
That night, Alex goes to Kara’s apartment for a debrief and to give her some discount Valentine’s candy. Alex apologizes for freaking out when she thought Kara got hurt, and admits that she needs to learn to trust that she doesn’t have to be taking care of everyone else at all times, that others can take care of themselves, and that she should be focusing a little more on herself.
Kara is ready to help with that because she got Becca’s number for Alex. And Alex is going to finish her adoption portfolio. She’s going to take steps toward her happiness. I want to take a moment here to make one thing clear: I can get on board with Alex adopting a child as long as her storyline also involves a girlfriend or girlfriends. My only issue with the “single lesbian wants a child” storyline is when it becomes the only thing about her, and when it becomes a part of her personality that eclipses her gayness. I still think Alex is too young to be freaking out about this (she says a little desperately as a 32 year old single lesbian who wants kids someday even if she has to adopt them herself but isn’t anywhere near ready for that) but if she wants to date Becca while applying for a kid, I think there’s still a way to make this work. Maybe.
Alex and Kara cheers with their marshmallow roses and I’m so glad they’re still precious even though Alex has a memory blip.
Cut to L Corp, where at first it looks like Lena is sipping whiskey and glaring menacingly into the darkness in her high-back chair like a supervillain, but then it turns out she’s crying because she’s NOT A SUPERVILLAIN.
She picks up her phone that is theoretically ringing and says, “I’m in” and we’re being lead to believe she’s talking to Haley about her government contract but she’s also been getting some other messages all day so honestly she could have just been agreeing to meet up with one of her more troublesome family members.
At the prison, we see that Ben Lockwood is free to give all the xenophobic speeches he desires, and not only does Pamela get a letter from Manchester Black, but also it’s not really Pamela at all. Based on the very disturbing creepy crawly motion in the back of their neck, it seems they’re still Menagerie.
I’m really into Menagerie and their fierceness, and can’t wait for Manchester and his crew to hopefully eclipse the Children of Liberty stuff. Also where the hell is Kasnian Kara? Can SHE save us? I feel like they’re getting so much right (Nia!!!!) and so much wrong (I swear to Rao if they make Lena evil…) all at once and I still have hope that we’ll have some really fun eps before the season is through.