“Supergirl” Episode 413 Recap: Among the Elite

Previously on Supergirl, Lena was offered a military contract which caused James to break up with her, Nia finally suited up as Dreamer and asked Brainy to help her train, Menagerie got a letter in prison from Manchester Black, and Lockwood got out of prison on a presidential pardon.

The episode opens with a man collecting change in a bowler hat attacking the man who put coins in it, presumably because he’s a prison guard. It’s kind of a strange cold-open, I won’t lie to you. It wasn’t until I revisited it just now to write this that I realized it was to establish how the man I believe is called…The Hat??? got into the prison to break Manchester out.

ANYWAY more importantly in a few minutes, at CatCo, Kara is in James’ office when she realizes she accidentally double-booked with Nia and Alex.

Alex smiles knowingly at her little sister

What breaks my heart is Alex would have LOVED to ditch lunch to help Nia train. :sob:

She rain checks with Alex, who will be busy moving Lena into the DEO anyway, and takes Nia to secretly train with Brainy.

After everyone leads, Mackenzie comes in to tell James about more evidence she found of an L Corp subsidiary being shady, and this time, since he’s not dating Lena anymore, he entertains it.

Nia asks if she did okay asking about training without saying training, and Kara says she did great and it’ll feel more natural in time. It’s all about subtlety.

Nia and Kara look very cute


Cue Brainy with the least subtle disguise ever because he’s a precious bean. Kara and Brainy take Nia to the Fortress of Solitude and introduce her to Kelex, Brainy’s arch nemesis. Nia is so happy to be looped into this side of the Superfriends and to start to learn about what her powers can do.

nia smiles excitedly in the fortress of solitude

Weird, this is also what I look like when I watch Nia train.

Back in National City, J’onn gets a call to visit Manchester in prison, and Manchester and The Hat zap him and make him watch as they break out. I guess it was just to taunt him? It’s unclear. Also, apparently The Hat’s hat is some kind of portal because he can pull swords and other weapons out of it and bamf to anywhere he’s seen before. When Supergirl gets there, she realizes it’s not just Manchester and The Hat, but also Menagerie and a Morai. They’re going to pop off and kill all the alien-haters that have been popping up lately, but Supergirl knows mass murder isn’t how justice is served.

Supergirl stands proudly

I mean her hair alone is enough to make me want to be a better person.

It turns out Nia is pretty naturally good at fighting while she trains with Brainy, though she of course still has work to do. She wants Brainy to tell her more about the descendent he knows so she can understand the full extend of her powers, but he’s afraid of breaking the space/time continuum by telling Nia too much about her future.

Nia blindfolded

Nia gave me real Eretria vibes in this scene and I am here. for. it.

The Fortress of Solitude then gets an alert about Manchester and his buds livestreaming and Supergirl watches as they talk about an alien torture base where they just killed thirteen humans. They’re vigilantes on a mission, but it directly goes against the message Supergirl is trying to spread, so she knows she has to stop them.

Alex and Col. Haley see this same stream at the DEO, so Col. Haley goes off to deal with higher-level stuff while Alex gets the lucky job of checkin in on Lena Luthor. Lena has taken over Alex’s old lab and before long, they’re sciencing together.

Lena looks up at Alex approvingly

“I want to make crazy science with you.”

Alex takes one peep through a microscope and immediately knows that Lena is doing what she mentioned hypothetically at Thanksgiving; she’s figuring out how to make humans super. Lena is impressed and says that management is a waste of Alex’s talents, and frankly I had never thought about that before, but Alex SHOULD kind of be doing more science-y things… but, as long as Alex is happy, I’m happy.

Alex wants to up Lena’s security and lock down her reports, but Lena explains that her deal with the military is pretty one-sided, giving her access to their equipment and them access to the final results, but not the process, so they can’t go off and do any of it without her. She doesn’t trust the government.

Lena Luthor looked so goddamned fine

I don’t know how Alex formed words talking to her, to be honest. I, also A Gay, am speechless.

Alex winces a little at this, saying she is the government, but Lena knows that’s not as true as Alex thinks it is. Lena insists it’s not personal and Alex leaves her to her science.

Alex talks to Lena

The partnership I never knew I always wanted.

Another livestream comes through of Manchester & Co. but this time they’ve named themselves: The Elite. They don’t like Supergirls “they go low, we go high” method and instead wants to put the low even lower… six feet lower to be exact. Manchester then looks right in the camera and asks Supergirl to meet him, alone, even using her platform of hope against her in his taunts.

He sends her a secret map only she can see, so she knows he wants her to meet him in Manchester.

Meanwhile, Lockwood goes to DC, where he meets a follower that wants him to know that the Children of Liberty are getting a bit restless since their leader isn’t really making any moves lately. The Agent of Liberty was a threat, a force to be reckoned with. But Lockwood is just… a man. Lockwood tries to shake this off but his self-doubt is re-inforced when he goes to meet with the President and realizes he’s just there for a photo op, not to actually make any decisions.

Supergirl is getting ready to go to Manchester when J’onn confesses he’s having a hard time figuring out if he’s supposed to join her in this fight or not. He wants to be a man of peace, but he also wants to be a man of action. He wants to live up to his father’s name, but he also wants to help his friends save this planet. Supergirl tells him that whatever he chooses, she knows it will be what’s right for him, and that either way, his father will understand. He’ll find clarity. And he’ll have some time to think, since she has to go see Manchester alone.

Kara and her reflection

I love when good directing subtly reflects internal duality (no pun intended.)

While on a break from training, Nia finds Kelex and asks about her planet, Naltor, and what her ancestors could do. Technically this isn’t breaking Brainy’s rules RE: learning the future, so I say she found a loophole.

When Supergirl gets to the meeting in Manchester, everyone in The Elite is there. He wants a truce in which she lets The Elite kill all the Earth First assholes, because Supergirl’s way isn’t working anymore. In fact, the good ol’ US-of-A has a spaceship-shooting satellite about to launch. Operation Claymore.

Not willing to risk it not being a bluff, Supergirl immediately flies to the Oval Office to ask what gives.

Kara confronts the president

“A very different Kryptonian would be flying around if I had been shot to Earth violently instead of gently landing on a farm.”

She tries to reason with the President, but he stands firm in thinking they need this satellite. In fact, when she storms off, he makes a call to move up the launch in case she gets any ideas about stopping it.

What the President doesn’t realize, is that the Elite Morai was hiding invisibly in his office, so he’s able to go back to Manchester and tell him everything.

In the Fortress of Solitude, Brainy walks in on Nia nearly astral projecting, so he knows she learned more about her powers without him.

Nia tries to astral project

Me trying to meditate.

She starts to apologizing for pushing things too far, but he tells her that not accepting limits someone else put on her and going above and beyond to better herself is hero activity, so he’s actually more impressed than upset.

Feeling a bit like she’s out of options, Supergirl flies to a porch I didn’t realize Alex had and tells her about Project Claymore. When Alex hears about this, she’s surprised and appalled. Both that she wasn’t briefed about it but also that they would go to such extreme anti-alien measures. Supergirl is feeling torn because she thinks if she stops the satellite, it’s like saying she sides with the Elite, but if she doesn’t, it will feel like siding with the Children of Liberty. Something Supergirl says about feeling lonely and helpless is reminding her of her sister, and her heart goes out to the Girl of Steel. Alex assures Supergirl that Supergirl will do what’s right. Supergirl asks her to come with her, but Alex can’t put the DEO in jeopardy, though you can tell by her face she truly does want to help.

Alex wants to help

“Something about that girl seems so familiar…”

Supergirl understands though, and flies off to face the Elite.

The Elite think they have Supergirl outnumbered, but she has Superfriends. And sure enough, Nia, Brainy, and J’onn are right behind her. Fighting ensues, and Dreamer is kicking Menagerie’s butt with dreamblasting gloves Brainy made her.

Nia loves her powers

Nia’s joy about her powers is so reminiscent about Kara’s in Season 1. It’s such a breath of fresh air.

The fight seems almost too even when like an angel from above, Alex busts in, taking Manchester down with some epic badassery. Supergirl is surprised to see her, but it turns out Alex took her own advice and did what she thought was right.

Alex shows up

“Surprise, bitch.”

More fighting ensues, and Nia and Brainy make a good team against The Hat, excepting the part where The Hat stole Brainy’s Legion ring.

Somewhere in this fight, Manchester villainsplains that he pointed the satellite back toward the White House to teach the government a lesson. Alex channels her badassiest voice and locks eyes with Supergirl and says, “Fly,” tossing her the super spacesuit.

Alex looks tuff

“So strange how we’re so easily able to non-verbally communicate as though we’ve known each other for decades.”

The Hat tosses Manchester the Legion ring, which means he can fly too. But before he can stop Supergirl, J’onn swoops in and takes him down with a few swift punches. I guess he found the line someone has to cross for J’onn to break from his peaceful ways; don’t fuck with family.

Supergirl redirects the satellite away from DC and into the water just in time, and is about to fly back down to Earth when she hesitates. She looks back at this weapon designed to attack spacecrafts on sight, even if it was just a pod that got knocked off course. And she decides to destroy it.

Down on Earth, Brainy is upset that his ring is gone, but Nia gives him some words of encouragement; she’s sure they’ll get through this, together.

When Supergirl arrives, she finds Alex fixing up her own damn wounds and Supergirl thanks her for helping. Supergirl is stressed that the Elite is still out there wreaking havoc, but Alex has a newfound trust in Supergirl, especially now that she’s less sure her own bosses are fighting on the right side of all this. Before Supergirl flies off, she sort of shyly says that if Supergirl hypothetically wanted to maybe continue to show up at her apartment and ask her for help, completely off the record, she hypothetically would be down to secretly kick ass alongside her. Like they used to.

alex smirks

“And you should come to game night and meet my sister and my friend Lena! I think you’d really like them!”

And let me tell you, I will never, ever get sick of the “love will find a way” trope. Whether it’s alternate timelines, memory wipes, curses, I don’t care. I love when love defies. And Alex and Kara’s love for each other, that sisterly bond that blood didn’t form and nothing can break, is doing just that.

Supergirl flies to the White House to get yelled at by the president for destroying his satellite. He’s sure she could have saved the nation’s capital and spared the really expensive satellite, but Supergirl’s face remains steely (pun intended) and she insists, “There was no other way.” Because for her, there wasn’t.

supergirl hands on hips

Villains can mock her stance all they want, I love watching her arm placement reflect her mood shift, and noticing when she crosses her arms vs. puts her hands on her hips.

Alex goes back to the DEO to talk to Col. Haley and demands that next time something like this is going down, she be informed. But Haley says that the President broke protocol and didn’t brief her on this either. Which is even more concerning than Alex originally thought.

Alex has Concerns


So Alex marches into Lena’s lab and subtly shuts off the security cameras, saying that she isn’t the government after all, not this government anyway. She’s just Lena’s friend, and she trusts Lena more than her bosses at the moment, so she wants to help in any way she can. Lena trusts Alex, THIS version of Alex, and says that if Alex comes back tomorrow she’ll give her the “real tour.” And like, I know what she meant, but also Katie McGrath makes everything sound sexier than it has any right to, so now I’m back to accidentally shipping AgentCorp. Dammit, McGrath! You and your magnetic energy!

Lena smiles at Alex

Stop building me ships when you know we’re in a desert!

Kara goes back to work to give James a rundown of her day, and honestly I don’t think anything important happened during their conversation, and literally the only reason I’m mentioning it here because I was really into Kara’s hair/shirt combo.

Kara has a button down with a fake little tie thing

Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of Kara not making a goofy face? I love her.

After Kara leaves, it becomes clear that James is still working with Mackenzie on investigating these L Corp shenanigans, which I hate a lot and wish he would stop. I’d much rather see his brunches with Brainy than him tear down his ex-girlfriend boss. But maybe that’s just me.

The episode wraps up with Lockwood feeling emboldened by the President’s support and beating the snot out of one of his followers who was questioning his leadership skils.

Next week things seem to escalate, with the Children of Liberty and Elite on opposite extremes of the spectrum inciting the same level of violence for different reasons, and still no sign of that Kasnian Kara they occasionally tease us about.

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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 559 articles for us.


  1. I’ve wanted Alex and Lena to be a thing for a long, long time since Maggie’s gone and Supercorp is unlikely. Just think how much better the past season would have been if they were a couple and “Lames” never happened. *sigh*

  2. Did anyone else get the feeling Alex was trying to flirt with Supergirl at the end there? Like, now she has no sense of being related to her, her first thought is “Huh, it’d be kinda cool to fuck Supergirl…” And in all fairness, if Supergirl showed up on your porch wouldn’t you give it a go?
    Or am I just gross and inappropriate?

    • I saw something there as well and hope that the show does not go down that route unless they can make it funny. I was creeped out by the sisterly kiss in Wynonna Earp and that wasn’t even that big a deal.

    • I would. If you’re really asking.
      But it also reminds me of the mindfuck I had when my sister borrowed my former girlfriend a skirt and it still smelled like my sister, so every time I approached my girlfriend to kiss her my brain screamed:”this is wrong”. So perhaps giving it a go by Alex would be a nail in this “secret identity” coffin.

      • If Alex hits on Supergirl because she doesn’t realize she’s Kara, what does that mean about #LenaKnows? I mean, if Alex Danvers can’t even recognize her own sister when she’s standing right in front of her, what hope does Lena have for realizing that the two women she loves are the same person.

        wait, what?

    • I think they could play it as a joke – like not have Alex try to kiss her or anything but just like, “So are you…single?” and Kara having to be like erm uh ahh how do I let her down gently and not make an ew-face and not hurt her like “I don’t date, married to the job, gotta go!!”

  3. I’m here for Alex/Lena, Alex/Kara – platonic or romantic. It’s about damn time. And Supergirl has a great plot this season, and it keeps getting better!

    • I would like to state for the record that I am staunchly against Alex/Kara romantically because they are sisters. That said, I’m here for their sisterly love always finding a way.

      But Alex/Lena I’ll take in any way, shape or form.

  4. Alex Danvers stitches up her own head wounds with the same casual demeanor as a woman fixing her makeup.


    I love the power move of Supergirl showing up to the Oval Office, uninvited, twice, and leaving both times without being excused. As far as I know (based on watching too much West Wing), protocol dictates otherwise. And since this president is such a thin skinned, polls obsessed, coward, it definitely got to him.


    There was something I noticed last episode that I initially dismissed because the writers didn’t call attention to it. The only scene in Menagerie between two men was one in which negative or toxic behavior was modeled or encouraged. In this episode, the scenes featuring only men were the same. In fact, aside from any scene between J’onn and Brainy, I think most scenes this season that have been male dominated have been like that. I can’t tell if the writers are doing this on purpose, though.


    So… did Alex call Becca?

  5. I’m so here for Alex/Lena. Kara/Lena is great, but if they won’t go there then go for Alex/Lena. Nothing is being them back :D :D :D

  6. I didn’t watch this episode but as always joined the whole panic attack that happens on Twitter every time Lena Luthor does something gay like wearing a suit or looking at other female character’s boobs.

  7. “Stop building me ships when you know we’re in a desert!”


    This is the second time in two episodes where I have to begrudgingly stand up for James Olson: his decision to pursue the story now that he and Lena aren’t dating is no more egregious than his decision to not pursue the story when they were dating. If he had any ethics, he’d recuse himself from consideration about the piece and let another editor at CatCo handle it.

    Relatedly, if this was Lena’s plan all along — to give the government the final product but not the ability to replicate it themselves — what was her fight with James all about? There has to be more to this, right?

    *Enter existential dread over Jon Cryer’s future Supergirl appearance *

    • Oh I was anti him not persuing it while they were dating too. I believe my words were “this is why we don’t date our bosses/CEOs of our companies, kids.” I agree he should have given it to another editor but…is there one? The structure of this company is really unclear to me.

      I think Lena felt like James jumped to conclusions about her and she was too tired to fight him so she let him leave. She’s too sensitive to people assuming the worst about her because of her last name, so if she perceived that to be happening with James, she’s not going to fight to make him stay.


  8. Someone on Tumblr pointed out that Kara does the ‘hands on the hips’ pose when she’s trying to look impressive, but it always looks a little forced. And you can bet that people think that she’s copying Superman’s pose, but you know who looks really comfortable with her hands on her hips? Alex Danvers.

    • I think Kara feels most comfortable with her arms crossed over her chest, protecting her symbol, her hope. But she puts her hand on her hips to make a statement, like you said. So not comfortable necessarily, but purposeful. Very telling.

  9. Stop building me ships when you know we’re in a desert is I think the best sentence I’ve ever read.

    • :tips hat: Thank you! Making puns/meatphors based on the term “ship” is one of my favorite pastimes. Second only to shipping.

  10. I have to say, Nia Nall and Brainy, who have never even kissed, have more chemistry than James and Lena had in their entire relationship! And I am definitely a fan of both characters, imperfect though they are.
    Also, Kara’s shirt in the last scene looks pretty Janet-esque to me…just another super-not-a-girl spaceship in the desert for ya

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