Previously on Supergirl, Kara found out the hard way that the President worked for Lex Luthor, Lena found out the hard way that Eve did too, Kara and Lena found out together that Lex was keeping a Harun-El split of Supergirl named the Red Daughter as a weapon, and Alex remembered that her sister is Supergirl just in time to save her life.
When we left our friends in National City, we were watching the news report of Lex stopping an Kaznian invasion and killing “Supergirl” aka the Red Daughter. But we pick this episode up 24 hours earlier so we can get a little insight into how things got to that point.
After Kara escaped Red Daughter’s capture, the Red Daughter went back to Lex to report her failure, but Lex had a backup plan: if he couldn’t shoot her in the literal heart, he’ll go for the metaphorical. Which is when he sent her after Eliza.
Lex and Eve are using the captured aliens to harness their energy for his Lexosuit, and he’s feeling pretty confident he’s about to win this whole thing. The president is even a little hesitant, but Lex tells him he has everything under control.
This time, when Supergirl and Red Daughter fight, instead of focusing on that, we also see what Lex was up to. Which is fighting the Kaznians to “save” the United States from this attack he orchestrated while singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
After Red Daughter is satisfied that she killed Supergirl, she leaves Alex over Kara’s body and flies back to her own “Alex” to ask him why he’s fighting Kaznia. When she realizes what’s happening, she’s horrified that he would betray their country like that.
But Kaznia isn’t the only thing Lex is more than happy to turn on today, so he blasts her with a Kryptonite ray and carries her triumphantly to make the world think he killed Public Enemy #1.
When Alex, Kara and Eliza see this on TV, Kara knows she needs to get out there, but Alex and Eliza are worried about her. If he killed Red Daughter, he could kill her, too.
But she insists that he had an advantage on Red Daughter, who is different enough from her. And also Lex thinks she’s dead, so she has an advantage. Alex reminds her she WAS literally dead for a second there but Kara won’t let fear win. With truth and her sister in her arsenal, nothing can stop her.
Lex takes Red Daughter back to his alien torture chamber; she’s not dead, though she is still traumatized by all this betrayal. Lex literally laughs in her face for trusting him, saying all the clues were there for her, that he hates Kryptonians, why would she be any different? She says she wishes he had just killed her, but Lex has bigger plans for the Red Daughter, so he shoves her in a containment pod and leaves her there.
After being transported as prisoners, Dreamer and J’onn are put to work as laborers in this Luthor-operated Amertek factory. But they’re on Shelley Island, so they don’t have their powers, which means Dreamer can’t do Brainiac 5’s original plan of astral projecting out for help. So Dreamer and J’onn recruit the help of some of their refugee buddies and cause a distraction so they can shut off the power dampeners for a minute and Dreamer can astral project.
Back at L Corp, Brainiac 5 and Lena are watching Lex get praised on TV when Alex and Kara come in. Lena is so happy to see Kara is safe after the President tried to “silence” her aka use a silencer to shoot her to death.
Kara tells Brainiac 5 about the evidence that was wiped from the CatCo server, so he quickly recovers it. He then casually mentions that hundreds of aliens are being kidnapped, including Dreamer and J’onn.
Everyone is a little alarmed he didn’t mention this sooner, but he’s unconcerned; they are already planning on saving the aliens, it is inconsequential that they happen to be familiar with two of them. And I guess there’s just a lot going on but I feel like it was a little depressing that no one stopped to ask what the hell was going on and why he wasn’t acting like Brainy.
Or maybe no one asks because they get interrupted by Lena receiving a formal invitation to the White House from her brother. Everyone is like, “Sooo you’re not going right? Because that’s literally insane?” but we’ve all gone to one too many family functions with people we hate and Lena doesn’t want to think about what Lex will do to get her there if she resists, so she’s going to woman up and hold her head high and go see her brother. She even jokes about getting quotes for Kara’s story.
When she shows up in the Oval Office, she looks amazing and surprised to see her mother there, too.
Lena is so sassy, it’s brilliant. She doesn’t understand why Lex has them here at all, but he claims everything he did, he did for all of them. He cleared the Luthor name, and has a new business venture to propose. To his mother, the convict, and his sister who already owns at least one corporation and one media conglomerate. You see, when he was in jail, he watched like A LOT of Monsters, Inc (but he never got all the way to the end) so he wants to harness the aliens’ powers to use as energy they can sell. Lena is absolutely horrified he would just nonchalantly suggest this, and as if to prove her point, Lex Luthor literally quotes Hitler.
When it’s pointed out that even though Supergirl is dead, Superman would never let this plan come to fruition, Lex tells them that he has a satellite being charged up and pointed at Argo right this very minute.
Eve pulls Lex out of the office for a word, leaving Lex’s sister in a state of shock.
When he’s gone, Lillian admits that she poisoned his tea, but he was talking too much to sip it. Meanwhile, outside, Eve is alarmed by this kill-Superman plan, but he reminds her that she’s not his partner, just his protege if anything, and that his decision to destroy Superman is final.
Still in Lena’s office, Alex is reading Kara’s article exposing Lex and really thinks that this will help people finally see the truth of what’s going on.
As Brainiac 5 finishes downloading Lillian’s plans for the Harun-El extractor, he predicts that probably Dreamer is astral projecting into the office right now, if all is going according to his plan. The problem is, when Dreamer astral projects, she can’t interact with her surroundings. Which makes her and Alex wonder why the heck this was his plan in the first place.
And actually they say that at the same time and it’s very cute and Dreamer is pleased to have someone on her side speaking up for her. But since her astral projection is dream energy, she can mess with molecules, so she uses her energy-finger to write “Shelley Island” on the window. Science!
Kara rips off her glasses and springs into action and Alex breathes a sigh of relief; things are back on track.
Back in the Oval Office, Lex is failing to convince his mother and sister to buy into his plans for monetizing genocide, and waxing poetic about how he’s the leader of the United States now, and that people are too dumb to read or think so nothing anyone can do or say will change their minds about him. But as he’s saying this, he’s doing the one thing he doesn’t even know he’s good at: underestimating people. Because as he’s saying this, people are reading Kara’s article. People are thinking. People are changing their minds about him.
Team Super goes to Shelley Island to end this thing once and for all. Brainiac 5 is going to go stop the Superman Satellite and save Dreamer and J’onn, but the rest of the team finds themself face to face with an unhinged Lockwood on the edge of a Harun-El overdose, and what’s left of his posse.
Supergirl and James fight with their powers, and Alex is what my Lyft driver this weekend called a “badass normal.” (He is very into TV tropes, apparently.)
Inside, Brainiac 5 says they’re too late to power down the Argo-sploder, so J’onn decides to overload it instead, despite Brainiac 5 saying the odds are not in his favor.
When Lex finds out about this ruckus, he suits up and flies off to the island, leaving Eve alone with his family…stupidly.
Lena easily knocks Eve out and Lillian takes down the guards with two spritzes of her pepper spray, and the two of them are out in a flash.
When Lex gets to the island and sees Supergirl alive, he’s pissed. He asks her how she did it, and she just responds that she’s Supergirl. Yet again, he underestimated her.
She tells him that truth and justice will always prevail, but he’s pretty sure Kryptonite will. But Supergirl has a new suit that Lena made her, and she’s not going down without a fight.
Inside, when Dreamer joins J’onn in his attempt to energy surge, Brainiac 5 starts to panic, because what they’re doing isn’t logical. Seeing Dreamer fighting against the odds, seeing her look like she’s fighting, well, it finally brings our Brainy back to us. Back to his old self, instead of telling them the logical conclusions, he just cheers his friends on. In his excitement, he tells Dreamer that he loves her, and that confession gives her the little extra jolt she needs to overload the system and save Superman/an entire planet of people.
They then start freeing the alien prisoners, including Red Daughter.
Outside, there is a tussle involving some Harun-El extractors, and for better or worse, both James and Lockwood get hit with one.
Elsewhere on the island, Supergirl is fighting like she’s never fought before. They seem pretty evenly matched, now that Lex has powered up his suit with alien energies, but the outcome starts to look bleak when Lex points a Kryptonite ray at her. But as soon as he fires, the Red Daughter leaps in front of the blast and saves Supergirl. When Supergirl kneels by her side, Red Daughter says that her Alex is nothing like Supergirl’s Alex, and that she should protect her people. And then she dies.
And my question is…why did they show us that Mikhail wasn’t dead if they weren’t going to reunite them in the end? Was it just to pat themselves on the back for not killing a small child? Because I really just wanted the Red Daughter to get a real name and a happy ending. Alas, she dies, and Kara absorbs her. Back from whence she came.
With this added energy, Supergirl is stronger than Lex, and he finds himself overpowered and at Supergirl’s mercy. She wants to save him, but he is too proud to be saved by a Kryptonian. He lets himself fall and lands back on the ground with a boom.
Of course, the villain never dies the first time. But know who is anticipating this very fact? Lena Luthor. And she has an extractor with his name on it.
Lex tries to win her over, one last guilt-trip, one last attempt at gaslighting her, telling her they can succeed together, telling her she’s not ruthless enough to shoot him. And then, to his surprise, she shoots him. Twice. Saying the world will never be safe as longer as her brother is allowed to roam around in it.
He’s impressed, if we’re being honest. And he finally realizes what we’ve known all along: that he’s been underestimating Lena from day one. But of course, because he’s Lex, he can’t just admit defeat and die. He has to leave as much damage in his wake as possible. So as he bleeds out, he tells Lena to have fun with her friends, oh just kidding, she doesn’t have any real friends, because they’ve all been lying to her. (His words, not mine.) He shows her video proof that Kara Danvers is Supergirl, and that probably she always knew, or could have known, but just actively chose to ignore it.
Lena looks traumatized.
He calls Lena a fool one last time before losing consciousness.
And Lena looks like her whole world just fell apart. Because in a way, it did. Everything she thought was true was tainted with a lie. The truth she’d been avoiding looking direct at was just shined right in her eyeballs. She is, as they say, shook.
Back at CatCo, it seems like things are over. James is wearing an eye patch a la Nick Fury or High King Margo, a side effect of the Harun-El Extractor, but he’s okay with it, because he actually is kind of over having powers. Which is a surprising turn of events I’m not mad about. The President and Lockwood are being arrested, and Kara and Nia hug it out. Kara admits she almost lost hope a few times in this very, very long season, but she’s glad that we stuck it out together and never gave up.
They watch on the news as Martial Law is lifted, and Col. Haley publicly apologizes for doubting Supergirl, and thank her for ultimately saving the day.
To celebrate, the whole fam is going to have a game night, and of course Alex and Kelly are rolling up together. Before they go inside, Kelly stops them, because she wants to talk about how they’ve technically only known each other for a short amount of time, but they’ve been through some intense things together. Kelly says that the only thing weird about how close they’ve gotten so quickly is how it doesn’t feel strange at all. She says it feels natural and new all at the same time, and she doesn’t want to ruin what they have, but she has to acknowledge that she’s been feeling that slow burn and wants to know how Alex would feel about fanning it into a real flame.
She just hasn’t felt like this in a long time, is all. As a response, Alex leans in and kisses her.
She says, “Ditto,” and coming from the girl who has been known to ramble her way into the awkwardest of corners, this short, sweet, confident reaction is really indicative of how far she’s come since first realizing she liked girls.
Brainy and Nia walk by hand in hand and pretend like they don’t see them (poorly) but Alex and Kelly aren’t embarrassed and keep on kissing. It all feels very…adult. I know that’s an over-simplification but, but it wasn’t the fiery burning passion of teenagers in love, it wasn’t the overly dramatic re-connection of adult exes. It was just two women who were becoming fast friends realizing they want something more and going for it. Alex simply kissed the girl she wanted to kiss.
Eventually they go into game night, and everything is happy and cheerful and cute and this found family is finally all together without an imminent threat to worry about.
Lena comes in and everyone is so genuinely happy to see her. For a beat it seems like she’s about to tell them all off for keeping secrets from her, but instead she just holds up that she brought two kinds of wine and smiles brightly, joining everyone in the festivities.
Kara tells Lena that J’onn is forcing her and Alex to split up for teams, but asks Lena if she’s with her. Lena responds, “Always.”
Off to the side, Kara tells Alex that she’s worried about Lena and really wants to tell her the truth, but Alex is afraid that would be a lot to handle after all this Lex stuff that just went down, and Kara agrees that maybe now isn’t the right time. And I know, I KNOW, Alex’s heart is in the right place, but I couldn’t help think of the time I was at my parents’ for Thanksgiving and told my brother I was going to come out to them and he told me not to. He said it wasn’t the right time, because depending on how they reacted, it could “ruin the holiday.” So I didn’t tell them then, even though I was ready, albeit scared. He planted the seed of doubt in my head, gave me an excuse to put it off even more, even though it was already weighing so heavy on me, even though I already felt like I was living a lie. And like Alex, my brother’s intentions were good; he was afraid if it went poorly, it would ruin the gathering for all of us. So in the end, Kara takes Alex’s advice, and decides to wait another day before telling Lena the truth.
The next day, Lockwood’s son gives a speech about wanting to help keep other families from succumbing to anger the way his dad did. He wants to help spread messages of hope, not hatred. Also, Nia is interviewing him because she’s the best.
Supergirl watches from overhead, proud. The kids are alright.
But of course, what kind of finale would this be if we ended on a Happily Ever After? No, we have to set up some giant questions for next season. So we see an older woman approach Eve in disguise, and they have a conversation that implies Eve sidled up to Lex under orders from this woman and her organization, Leviathan. And while it’s unclear what this organization is, it’s clear that they’re not exactly selling Girl Scout Cookies in the off-season.
Possibly/probably unrelated, a portal opens and The Monitor (from the Elseworlds crossover) welcomes a Green Martian to earth who immediately swears to destroy our favorite Space Dad. (Also I think we should make a rule that no aliens are allowed to claim to be the last of their race/species/planet, because so far it has been correct 0% of the time.)
The Monitor then goes to Lex’s bunker and starts to do some wooshy-looking magic on Lex Luthor’s body. Hopefully, in an ironic twist, he’s just harvesting his energy and not bringing him back to life.
When we check in on Lena one last time, she’s rage-drinking in her office and smashing a picture of her and her friends.
And here’s the thing. At game night, Lena told Kara that she would always be with her, and I want to take her at her word. I really do. Even when it was sort of working, Lena always knew when Lex was manipulating her. Even when she was feeling the hurt or the anger she knew was his intention, she was self-aware enough to be frustrated with him for it. So I am hoping with all of my might that Lena is just working through this. That she’s smart enough to know why people might have kept this secret from her. That she knows Lex only told her like this to upset her and turn her against the friends who make her stronger, to isolate her like abusive people do. I’m hoping that this was a fake-out, and that when we see her again she’s reframing the photo she broke while angrily thinking of her brother. I’m hoping that Kara tells Lena before she gets a chance to reveal that she knows, and she is grateful for that. Maybe even fakes like this is brand new information.
I don’t know. There are a lot of ways this could go that I would be okay with — her and the group fight for a while then make up, she works with her mother exclusively for a while then realizes she’s better than that and holding a grudge, she realizes actually she’s fine with it and moves on, she goes to a dark place but her friends pull her out of it, etc. But there’s exactly one way this could go that would send me into the fiery depths of rage: if Lena Luthor turns evil. I think there’s something so special about the way this show has defied the Luthor/Super tropes of old, the same way Supergirl constantly steps out of her cousin’s Super shadow. Because even though Lena had a healthy dose of skepticism about Supergirl at first, this season she really started to be able to work with her and Alex and it was a powerful thing to watch. And Lena and Kara’s friendship has also been poignant and lovely and real. Lena has been fighting — and winning — against the Luthor stigma. She’s always been pro-science but anti-violence. She’s STILL fucked up by that one time her totally consenting human test subject died. And yes, this is going to affect her; every single person in her life has lied to and/or betrayed her. Her parents, her brother, her assistant/partner, her colleagues, and her best friend. Plus, she technically just murdered her brother. But the core of her is good, you could see it in the way she didn’t even consider Lex’s energy plan, the way she protected her Harun-El research from the government, the way she worked with Supergirl. Just like how the Red Daughter was betrayed by everyone and everything she knew, but ultimately did the right thing, because deep down she was good, I hope Lena can overcome this betrayal. Lena has proven time and time again that she’s a good person. It would break my heart if they ruined all that.
But one thing I feel confident they will not ruin, if from Chyler Leigh’s willpower alone, is the Alex/Kelly relationship. While it might not end up being everyone’s cup of tea (we are not a monolith, and there’s finally enough queer TV that we don’t all have to love the same characters), I think it will be handled with the care and respect we deserve. And I personally am here for it. Alex’s last relationship struck a chord with a lot of us because it was passionate and electric and wrought with Big Feelings; it was all tangled up in Alex’s coming out and first love. And as amazing as it was for us to watch her find herself with Maggie, Alex was still figuring out who she was and what she wanted. But this will be something new. Alex has dated around and Kelly already knows all the weirdest baggage Alex has to offer. (Except maybe that her sister is Supergirl? But in Alex’s defense, she didn’t know that either when she first met Kelly.) I for one am super intrigued by this soft but deep relationship and where it will go next season.
Thanks for going on this wild and emotional journey with me this season. We got the purest gift of Nia Nal, so much Lena content (especially re: suits), and the focus finally shifted back to the women on the show. There were some dark spots in there with the Children of Liberty and Manchester, and there were times we almost lost hope, but I’m glad we stuck together and didn’t give up.
Until next year. As they’d say on Krypton, “Kaoshuh.”