“Supergirl” Episode 416 Recap: The Lost Daughter of Krypton

Previously on Supergirl, we got teased with little snippets of a version of Kara that split off when she first encountered the Harun-El and landed in Kasnia and was presumably being turned into a weapon, Lex tricked Lena into having to use her Harun-El serum on James to see if it was safe for humans and then had Eve Tessmacher use it on him since turns out she’s been on his side this whole time. Which apparently would have been obvious to me if I’d ever read a comic featuring Lex Luthor but alas I was SHOCKED.

We pick up where we left off, with Lex finding himself and his escape helicopter face to face with Supergirl. He dons a supersuit of his own and flies off but she catches up easily and throws him onto a rooftop, breaking his suit. They start to fight but he catches her off-guard because he’s strong. Very strong. TOO strong. He lifts up the giant metal Daily Planet globe and lifts it up after the fallen, very surprised Supergirl.

But before we go forward in time, we go back. There have been a lot of questions over the course of this season, a lot of missing puzzle pieces, and this episode works to fill a bunch of them in.

So we start a few years ago, after the Red Sun incident, with Lena testifying against Lex in court, including handing over evidence she recorded on the day he had her tied to a chair.

Lena is in court in a really cute stripey button-down

OBJECTION this outfit is attempted murder

James testifies against him too, but the whole time Lex is just writing in what I believe is Kryptonian. When asked if he has any final words, he rants about how Superman is the downfall of mankind and he was the only one trying to save it. Classic narcissism stuff. As the judge tells him his sentence, he just smirks and says he thinks it’s about to get longer, and everyone in the room starts choking to death. (Though Lena is escorted quickly to safety. Unclear how James remained unaffected.)

As Lex is removed from the courthouse, he sees Eve Tessmacher in the crowd outside and she has Bug Bunny hearteyes for him. Otis is there too, so they’ve been in cahoots since we ever got to National City, too.

Eventually Eve finagles a meeting with Lex and convinces him to let her help him, starting by getting a job at CatCo so she can keep an eye on the man he still calls Jimmy Olsen.

Eve looks incredulously at Lex

DON’T BITE THE APPLE, EVE

Now we jump forward a bit to six months before present day. The still-imprisoned Lex gets a call from Kasnia, where they tell him about a feral, memory-less version of Supergirl they found. When they found her, one guy called her “just a girl” and got his fingers broken for it, all while she was wearing a cute little hat.

Kasnian Kara wears a Russian fuzzy hat and is cozy in a too-big coat

When a cinnamon roll looks really soft but turns out it’s rock hard.

The only thing she knows is the name “Alex” so they give her children’s books and teach her how to speak and train and use her powers, to varying levels of success. At one point when she gets out of control and they have to taze her into submission, as her faculties fail her, still the only thing she says is, “Alex.”

Kasnian Kara is in her room one night when she hears a kid calling for help and breaks out to save him, which is where Lex finds her, huddled in a room of dead bodies, protecting a little boy. He tells her his name is Lex and when she looks up at him hopefully and says, “Alex?” he says, “Sure.”

Which is maybe the most evil thing Lex Luthor has ever done.

Kasnian Kara looks scared and confused

BESMIRCHING A PERFECTLY GOOD GAY NAME

So over the next few months, Lex works with the Kasnians (in exchange for money) to train Kara, to answer her existential questions about why she’s so different, to give her cookies.

Kasnian Kara eats a cookie curiously

I would have watched a whole montage of Kasnian Kara trying different foods for the first time. “This I like.”

Eve has figured out that Kasnian Kara is the result of our Kara being in contact with Harun-El and that Lena is doing research on it. Lex’s plan is to send America into crisis and then swoop in to be there hero, so while he’s in prison he needs a puppet to stir the pot – and this is where Otis and his sister recruiting Ben Lockwood fits into the timeline.

Kasnian Kara gets packages from “Alex” regularly, and consumes every book she is sent. When she meets up with Lex again, he mentions his sister, and she says the word, “Lena” all cute like it’s her new favorite word.

Kasnian Kara smiles at the thought of Lena

“She sounds pretty.”

Kasnian Kara liked Great Gatsby the best, which pisses Lex off because she wasn’t supposed to like it, she was supposed to learn from it. The two of them go to visit the boy Kasnian Kara saved and Lex doesn’t seem to like that she gets on so well with him.

When the air was filled with Kryptonite, and Kasnian Kara got sick (which we saw a brief glimpse of when it happened), Lex put her in a special box with screens on it and tells her about Krypton and Supergirl…and also pierces her ears, in case she ever has to impersonate Kara.

It’s kind of a lot to take in, and she wants to learn more about Supergirl, and why she looks like her. Lex says let’s just think of her as her sister. Someone who stole her rightful place. And Kasnian Kara says, “Like your Lena,” to which Lex agrees.

Around the time of the crossover, Lex and Kasnian Kara go to National City in disguise, where Lex has her pose as a server in a fancy club so she could see the rich scum of the earth and how they treat people.

Kasnian Kara in a wig and a waitistaff uniform

I’ve never seen it but I’m pretty sure this is the plot of The Americans.

Lex tells Kasnian Kara that this opulence is the reason Kasnia is suffering.

The next stop is our Kara’s loft, which somehow Lex has a key to. I guess maybe Eve stole Lena’s copy to make a copy of for Lex? Unclear. Kasnian Kara looks around the loft and gleans what she can about Kara Danvers. She sees Alex’s picture on the fridge, and her name on the Game Night score sheet, and she can’t help but linger on it. Lex tries to shrug it off as just something they both have in common but something about it tugs at her.

Speaking of Alex, just about then, she shows up to water Kara’s plants, because Kara is supposed to be in Smallville.

Alex looks surprised to see Kara

“Why am I suddenly craving vodka?”

But Kasnian Kara has been training for this, so she does her best Kara Danvers impression and convinces Alex she just came back for her journal. Lex leaves through the door and tells Kasnian Kara to fly home but this whole encounter has piqued too much of Kasnian Kara curiosity, so before she goes she wraps herself in one of Kara’s blankets and starts to read her journal. She reads about Lena Luthor, things like “Lena doesn’t know how much potential she has.”

Kasnian Kara reads Kara's journal and some news clippings about Lena Kara had apparently tucked inside it because THEY'RE IN LOVE

“I wonder what this code is, xoxo. It must mean something important, it’s all over these pages about Lena.”

She’s so intrigued by these journal entries and the way Kara writes about Lena, especially in contrast to all the things Lex has told her, that she puts on Kara’s glasses and goes to CatCo to meet her.

Kasnian Kara looks at Lena like she’s in one of those videos of colorblind people using those glasses to see color for the first time.

Kasnian Kara poses as Kara to talk to Lena in an elevator and is just staring at her adoringly

If someone wants to make a ‘trapped-in-an-elevator’ fic inspired by this shot I wouldn’t be mad about it.

She uses her memory of the diary entries to make conversation, until Eve interrupts and sends Lena off on a fake emergency so she can scold Kasnian Kara and tell her to go home. But the whole time Eve is in the elevator with her, the whole time Lena walks away and until she’s out of sight, Kasnian Kara cannot take her eyes off Lena Luthor. Kasnian Kara is starting to wonder if Lex was wrong about this country and this city, because she’s only been here for a day and she’s found so many beautiful things and seen three of the most beautiful women. She says this Kara doesn’t seem all that bad either; after spending time in her head, she’s found that Kara has compassion and friends, including Lena, which goes against everything she’s been taught.

Eve calls Lex panicked, and the thing she says is exactly what Lex wasn’t counting on. It’s the thing he hadn’t been counting on, the thing he underestimated: She has a mind of her own. Kasnian Kara might have seemed like really dangerous clay when he found her, something he could mold into whatever he wanted. But he forgets that at the end of the day, she still comes from the same stuff Kara Danvers is made of. He’s the mayor to Kasnian Kara’s Faith; she doesn’t want to be bad, she just wants to do right by someone, and he happens to be the most powerful person asking things of her right now.

So Lex decides to manipulate Kasnian Kara since she’s no longer taking orders blindly. He tells Otis to kill the little boy she once saved, and when Kasnian Kara hears a commotion and goes to the boy’s house, all she finds is pile of rubble and a destroyed soccer ball..

She falls to her knees and wails; this is her first real heartbreak.

Kasnian Kara looks over the rubble sadly

Even her hair is like 0.005% less bouncy and bright, that’s how sad she is.

Lex shows up and points to a bomb casing with a logo on it and says that Americans did this. Furious and blind with rage and grief, she flies off immediately to sink a random American Navy vessel. Lex is pissed; he was hoping he’d be able to control her after this.

When he gets to the ship and starts yelling at her about having to clean up after her, she starts yelling back. Is she a pet? Or a soldier? What is she?

Kasnian Kara scowls at Lex

“Who am I anyway? Am I my resume?

She asks if this is all about Lena, and he just shakes his head and calls her weak.

Speaking of what Lex would consider weakness, don’t worry, the little boy isn’t actually dead; Otis kept him alive and just tells him to play dead if he ever sees a bald guy again.

Kasnian Kara gets a nosebleed so Lex freaks out because he told her she’d never get sick again. Eve knows Lena’s Harun-El would save her, but the serum isn’t ready yet. And thus is concocted the plan to give himself cancer so Lena is forced to rush the project to save her.

He holograms in to Lena and tells her what’s up, and manages to convince her to help.

Lena listens to Lex spin his web of lies

Preying on her inherent goodness is cruel. Smart, but cruel.

The events of the last episode happened two days ago, and after leaving his chloroformed sister with his evil assistant, Lex flies back to Kasnia to give Kasnian Kara a blood transfusion, which wakes her up. He apologizes to her for yelling at her, and she promises not to act on her emotions anymore like the other Kara. She will help Lex destroy her. Lex figured out that any Kara’s base instinct is going to be to help and find justice, so he just had to brainwash her into thinking what he was doing was noble.

Lex calls Kasnian Kara his Red Daughter and gives her a black suit.

After her fight with Lex, Supergirl flies off to find Alex, who tells her to go find J’onn while she warns Lena.

Alex looks concerned as she thinks about Lena

The literal only person who looks good in hospital lighting. Look at the way her hair glows!

And hopefully she finds her fast, because Lena is tied up in her office, where Eve left her and a note.

Eve looks down at Lena as if maybe she's having second thoughts

There’s no way Eve worked alongside Lena this long and isn’t a little in love with her.

The episode ends with Kasnian Kara in her badass black suit, ready to take on our Superfriends. But the thing is, Lex is still underestimating all of the women in his life. He’s underestimating Kasnian Kara’s ability to figure out what’s right and wrong for herself, he’s underestimating our Kara’s intrinsic nature for hope and kindness, which is in Kasnian Kara somewhere. He’s underestimating Kara’s bond with Alex, and how that might affect Kasnian Kara too. And he’s underestimating his sister, as he always has. I believe that Lena Luthor will be the key to saving the day on this one.

Just a nerdy, TV-loving, Twitter-addicted Hufflepuff 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 150 articles for us.

25 Comments

  1. Excellent recap as always Valerie.

    I think it might be Alex and Lena who save the day because I think both are strong emotional tethers for Kasnian Kara just as they are for original Kara.

    I thought I wouldn’t like this Lex storyline especially with Jon Cryer playing the character but I like it? Yeah, I begrudgingly like it.

  2. Great recap!
    Note though that it wasn’t some random US ship; it was the ship that launched the missile that “killed” the Kasnian boy (courtesy of Miss Tessmacher in a sexy sailor suit).

  3. I think Kara repeating Alex’s name like a mantra is peak level gay and all the Danver’s sisters feels, and it’s a shame that the real heart and love story on the show gets hijacked by a bunch of Supercorp fans even in these recaps.

    • I call it like I see it.

      And I know the true love story is the sisterly love of the Danvers sisters, but I feel like they’re building up to something and didn’t want to waste all my sister feels on an episode Alex is barely in.

  4. Don’t know why but watching this episode I started thinking about Kara as Freud would and it’s ridiculous but stay with me for a while. If Supergirl is her superego, which operates as a moral conscience, and Kara Danvers is the ego, the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the superego, Red Daughter must be id – instinctual part of mind that contains sexual and aggressive desires as well as hidden memories. So if Kasnian Kara looks at Lena with heart eyes and can’t take her eyes off her, it’s because she has no filter and you know what I mean… Supercorp endgame. Okay, I’ll see myself out.

  5. (deep breath) I’m … confused about the timeline now because back in the Midvale episode, some kids in high school were talking about how Superman took down some guy named Lex Luthor, which would suggest that that was when the Red Sun incident happened but then the kids would surely have been talking about that so how to the writers justify the timeline?

    Writers: “…Barry Allen did it.”

    Students: “…he doesn’t even go here.”

    ————

    I’m reminded of the Hitchcock quote about the difference between suspense and surprise. We, the audience, were never shown the metaphorical bomb under the table. So when it went off, sure, we’re surprised, but it’s a jump scare, not a slow, methodical, buildup that gets brings you to the edge of your seat when you realize it’s going to go off at the worst possible moment.

    So to suddenly whip the table cloth off and declare, “surprise! There’s a box of one dozen starving crazed weasels under the table!” and then stop and spend an entire episode explaining how and why said box got there feels like a bit of a momentum killer.

    Now, if they had kept this under wraps the whole season, let the heroes bring down Agent Liberty, quell the rising tide of xenophobia, and leave you with that uneasy feeling of “hey, wait a minute, there’s still 20 minutes left in the episode…” and end with an abrupt cut to black after the reveal that Eve has been evil this whole time… that’d be different.

    Anyway, I digress. Happy beeps, buddy.

    ——–

    I see you writers, trying to justify how Kkara gets her pierced ears. But how did Kara get HERS pierced? Did she get them done during the Red Sun incident?

    ——–

    I would be completely satisfied with this season ending one episode earlier than expected, and then the finale is just them taking Kkara to a candy store.

      • That’s… kind of disappointing. Like, they couldn’t do a montage of young Kara and Alex trying increasingly desperate and dangerous things as part of Alex’s new role as older sister, ultimately just using a mirror, some lenses, and Kara’s heat vision to make a pinpoint laser?

        • I like your idea, and there hasn’t been anything on-screen to contradict it. Plus, it’d be kind of a callback to how Superman shaved his face in old-time comics (heat vision, reflected off of some Kryptonian glass taken from the window of the ship he landed in.)

  6. I can’t be the only fan of Supergirl that has read a comic book before. We are talking about an ALIEN crime fighter living on earth as a run of the mill reporter, right? Not only was this episode AMAZING, but Lex is the best villain on Supergirl since the series’ inception. And Jon Cryer is great in that role. Having said that, if we are going to bitch and complain about the show’s minor details, can we talk about the fact that Alex doesn’t remember who her sister is. For several episodes now . . . . This bothers me to no end that a part of the foundation of Alex’s life has been wiped away. The reason why she works for the DEO is Kara and she can’t tell that Supergirl is her sister????? Now that is something that needs to change, but in the meantime, I can’t wait to see how Lex utilizes Alt-Kara.

  7. Re James in the courtroom: (1) A lot of people think it was James escorting/running Lena out. It was not. Just another actor who is a black man. (2) I think James testified one day, and Lena another. (Tortured? 16x? Really? That was random.) James wasn’t in the courtroom when Lex was deemed guilty. (3) Lastly, I was confused here because it would seem that James and Lena had met before Lena appeared in S2. But maybe they never met during the court trial because they were testifying on different days. Otherwise being introduced to her in S2 wouldn’t make sense.

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