Hello and welcome back to Supergirl recaps! A lot has happened since the season four finale: Azie Tesfai and Andrea Brooks got promoted to series regulars, the Supergirl cast started a “pants!” chant at SDCC about Kara’s new suit, Katie McGrath played a bisexual lawyer in Secret Bridesmaids’ Business, and I broke my rule about not reading fanfic of shows I cover because of Stay the Night. All of this will likely affect my recaps in some ways, so I just thought I should let you know. But A LOT happened in this episode so let’s get back to it, shall we?
Previously on Supergirl, Eve betrayed Lena, Lex betrayed Lena, then Lex told Lena that Kara betrayed her, too. And just like that, the secret was out there. After holding our breath for years, instead of being able to breathe a sigh of relief, Lex punctured our lungs. And last we left her, Lena was privately pissed but still playing the pal in person.
The new season opens with Supergirl and her new bangs saving kids from a runaway bus.
Kara tells some of the kids to “tell the truth” and a wild Lena Luthor appears, the phrase “that’s rich” dripping off her tongue. Lena confronts the person she thought was her best friend, calling the woman dressed as Supergirl in front of her, “Kara.”
Kara stumbles and stammers until Lena punches her and Supergirl explodes.
And then the virtual reality simulation ends.
Lena takes out her new VR contacts (in a way no contacts have ever been taken out) and starts talking to her new AI, Hope, who wonders why she doesn’t kill Supergirl in real life. Lena tells Hope that she just has some feelings she has to let out and that’s all this is, catharsis; she doesn’t want to kill Supergirl. Though she does want to hurt her the way she’s been hurt.
And can we just talk about how fucking heartbreaking it is that Lena had to BUILD AN AI to have someone to talk to about what she’s going through? Her best friend betrayed her, which means she also doesn’t trust any of the friends she made through Kara. Sam is long gone. She could never trust anyone in her family. She has no one. So she had to build someone. AND IT HURTS MY FEELINGS. Not to mention Lena said that Hope is growing and learning, but Hope is named a bit ironically; Hope not inspiring hope in me. Hope was born of Lena’s anger and fear and insecurities, I can’t imagine this AI evolving into the next Gideon.
Anyway, the real Kara meets up with J’onn, Alex, and Kelly at a digital cafe where everyone is testing Obsidian North augmented reality contacts. Kara, the youngest of the group, starts complaining that no one is paying attention to anything anymore because of technology. I’ll be honest, it falls a little flat to me that she, who uses the power of the yellow sun to enhance her life, would be against humans doing the same with the powers available to them, but fine. We’ll pretend that this TV-loving, earpiece wearing 20-something hates technology. And anyway, she can’t complain more about it right now since Kelly works at Obsidian North now — and in fact, it’s her first day. And Alex is very proud of her.
Also I’m going to mention this here and only here because it’s so ridiculous: Kara apparently won a Pulitzer. Girl is barely a journalist, I refuse to participate in this tomfoolery. I’m just going to call it “an award” from here on out because they should have just made something up. I have suspended my disbelief on plenty on this show, but this is a step too far.
Once Kara finishes putting her foot in her mouth about Kelly’s new company, Kelly heads off with a quick good luck kiss from her girlfriend.
J’onn heads off too, and as soon as they’re alone, Alex demands to know if Kara has told Lena that she’s Supergirl yet. When Alex had told Kara to wait to tell her, she had only intended for Kara put it off until after game night, but it’s been a month now and Kara is still making up excuses. Kara hasn’t felt like it’s the right time, but when is the right time to admit you’ve been lying to someone you care about for your entire relationship? She admits out loud, which I really appreciate, that she’s feeling guilty and scared. That she’s afraid this will be the end, and that maybe having this secret slowly eat away at her from the inside is better than Lena hating her forever. But Alex implores her to be brave, as she always does.
Kara and Alex head upstairs and run into Nia and Brainy who are fighting about who the worst movie villain is. Everyone’s answers are different and hilarious and these are the kinds of conversations I have with my friends so I found it quite delightful.
Before Kara can get to work writing another award-winning article, she runs into a woman named Andrea Rojas who owns Obsidian North… and now apparently also CatCo. Lena sold CatCo and didn’t tell Kara. Andrea is the Editor in Chief now.
Obviously Kara immediately goes to Lena’s office. Lena plays nice and hugs her and tells her she’s missed her lately.
Lena admits that she did sell CatCo, but that she had wanted to tell Kara and James herself. She says she only bought CatCo for Kara and she needs the capital for a new project she’s working on. Lena really lays it on thick, apologizing for keeping Kara in the dark, really hoping she didn’t make Kara feel like a fool.
And here is how I know Kara is in deeper denial about the state of things than I realized. The period of time between when I officially decided I was going to come out to my parents and when I actually came out to my parents was almost more stressful than being fully in the closet. I, like Kara, put it off for weeks because of one excuse or another. But I was also on high alert. Everything they said had me questioning if they somehow already knew. I looked for any hints that they had any suspicions, or any clues that would help me predict how the conversation would go. And even though some of my interpretations were wrong and not red flags at all (apparently my mother really WAS trying to set me up with a prince?) I still always had that feeling of “oh god this could apply to my secret OH GOD” and at first I was surprised Kara didn’t feel that way, too. But I guess, in Kara’s defense, she’s been careful, and nothing new has happened to help Lena figure it out. Kara has no way of knowing or deducing that Lex told Lena.
Before they can finish their conversation, Kara gets a Supergirl alert and has to run off. Lena plays nice until she’s out of sight, but then the pain and anger wash over her again.
Supergirl was called because across town, Kate Micucci is giving some kids a museum tour when a little girl makes the T-Rex come to life so she can steal something from the Kryptonian section. Supergirl punches the dinosaur and it shapeshifts and Superman’s pod goes missing. Team Supergirl is worried someone could make a universe-destroying bomb out of the materials that were just hanging out, barely guarded, in this public space, so they set out to find whoever stole it.
Back at Obsidian North, Andrea is showing Kelly around when Lena shows up and Kelly and Lena are excited to see each other, which makes my heart ache a bit for the game nights we missed.
Lena pulls Andrea aside to talk privately and HOO boy. Tensions. Are. High. Apparently Lena and Andrea go way back and had some kind of “relationship” (Lena’s word for it, not mine) and they’re in cahoots but Lena is not pleased that Andrea didn’t followed her explicit instruction to wait until the next day to reveal that she owns CatCo now.
Lena says, “Everything I do has a purpose,” and Andrea promises to trust her. And reminds Lena that she’s waiting on that big story that will drop tomorrow at 9pm.
Andrea gives CatCo a speech about her takeover and how they’re going to pivot to digital and James and Kara are over here like, “The news is not about clicks” and “we’ll all walk if you try to make our company more successful,” and Andrea says somehow their contracts are a) three years and b) have a non-compete which means if they leave they can’t be in journalism anymore? Which maybe was a fun trick to get Kara to quit reporting forever but also sounds insane??? Was that the original contract?? Why would anyone sign on for that? I mean listen I don’t know how print newspapers work but all of this sounded a little like nonsense to me. Bottom line is, Andrea is here to shake things up and James and Kara feel weird about it.
Team Supergirl trace some energies to a warehouse, where Alex and Brainy have learned about a phantom zone projector.
As soon as they realize they were probably lead here as a trap, an alien who calls herself Midnight appears. Supergirl tries to talk to her as the daughter of Midnight’s jailer, but J’onn says that it was actually him who threw her into the alien space prison. So it’s him she’s here for.
Midnight can scream and create an energy void, which is very inconvenient, but they manage to get away for now.
Across town, James goes downstairs to visit Kelly and complain about his new boss, who also is Kelly’s new boss. Kelly reminds James that he wasn’t a journalist before he started at CatCo, so not being able to be one for three years wouldn’t necessarily stop him from living his dreams. And she does it with this calming energy that makes you feel like she can really fix your life if you let her.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Andrea introduces Kara to William Day. Whomst Andrea has asked to rewrite Kara’s piece. REWRITE. Is that a thing?! Have I been spoiled here at Autostraddle dot com that I have an editor who edits and reviews but NEVER REWRITES MY WORDS and demands a shared byline?! Is Andrea a MONSTER??? Is this how doctors feel when they watch Grey’s Anatomy???? Whether this is common practice or not, Kara will not stand for it. She’ll take the legitimate feedback — like not burying the lede, writing more concisely — but she will not be silenced.
Andrea is frustratingly calm and agrees with everything Kara says, never flinching, even when Kara storms out.
Later, at the awards ceremony, Kara tells Alex all about it and ponders why she was so ready and able to put her career on the line for the sake of the truth but can’t bear the thought of risking her relationship with Lena.
Alex says that tonight is all about Kara and she can take the night off stressing.
Then Kelly comes by and asks her for a dance, and it’s sweet and cute and I can’t wait for them to ruin my life.
Brainy comes over and gives Kara a microscopic device that will deploy her new suit, and then Kara spots Lena in a balcony, what light through yonder window breaks.
Lena tells her that she was practicing her speech, because she’s actually the one who will be presenting her with her award tonight. Kara panics and says she doesn’t deserve it, not from Lena, and when Lena insists, Kara just… blurts it out. “I’m Supergirl.”
She takes off her glasses. “I’ve always been Supergirl.”
She starts an apology that is truly some astounding acting by Melissa Benoist. Her eyes fill up with tears, her voice fights to stay strong and not break. Kara acknowledges that she should have told her ages ago, but that Lena has been hurt so many times, she didn’t want to be one more person who let her down. She said there were so many times she wanted to tell Lena the truth, but then Lena got so mad at Supergirl, she wanted to be able to keep being Kara. To keep Lena. She admits she was scared, she admits she was selfish. She just didn’t want to lose Lena.
She apologizes over and over until finally she can’t take it and she begs Lena to say something. But Lena looks like she forgot all of the words she’s ever known.
And Lena IS truly shocked, just not for the reasons Kara thinks. Lena had been working so hard to convince herself that Kara was just like everyone else who betrayed her, she hadn’t imagined a scenario, in all her simulations, where Kara came clean. Where Kara was honest and empathetic and so, so sorry. Lena doesn’t have the words, because she never anticipated this. So she just walks away, leaving Kara there crying.
As she walks away, Lena can hear Hope in her ear asking her if they should release the file, because it’s getting close to 9pm. But Lena doesn’t answer, and decides to leave Andrea hanging. Which she hates. Also James quits. So she’s not having a great first week of business.
Instead, Lena gives a speech. It’s another loaded message for Kara, about how even award-winning journalists can stumble whilst climbing the mountain of truth.
When Kara realizes what Lena is saying, she’s so grateful. She rushes up to the stage and Lena grabs her by the shoulders and says, “You will always be my best friend.”
And while my heart of hearts wants to believe that means that deep down Lena will never be able to fully hate her, that even though she feels betrayed and hurt, they will always have that time they spent as best friends. But something tells me that it’s another one of Lena’s double-meanings. That what Lena really means is that Kara will always be her best friend because she’ll never have another. She’ll never be closer with or even as close with anyone else, not because of how special her bond with Kara is, but because she won’t be letting anyone else get that close. And it hurts. IT HURTS.
Midnight ends up crashing the award ceremony, and Lena, with an excitement I don’t think is 100% faked, is ready to see Kara put on Supergirl’s mantle. And lucky for her, she gets to be the first one to see the brand new outfit and reveal Brainy created for her. And it’s pants!
Everyone rushes to the theater and Alex is still in her formal wear, which is a very funny bit. They fight Midnight again and Alex shoots her with the phantom phaser again, and Supergirl saves J’onn from a black hole. But the whole time the little dino girl was watching.
The team goes back to the bar and Nia asks the villains question again, and Kelly gives the same answer as Alex, which is apparently a character in Die Hard? It’s honestly the least I’ve ever related to Alex so I dunno but they’re very cute.
Also cute? Nia and Brainy. Nia gets the feeling Brainy is holding back a bit and Brainy finally admits that he’s afraid to hurting her like he did back at the camp when he turned into Brainiac. But Nia insists that she trusts him and asks if he’d like to kiss her.
And he does so they do and I LOVE THEM.
Also cute is the little dino girl until she turns into a Martian (further proving my point that none of these fools should be calling themselves The Last Anything of Anywhere because they’re always wrong) and says he’s J’onn’s brother.
Meanwhile, Supergirl flies to Lena’s apartment, onto the balcony, where Lena is wearing jeans.
Kara is so, so thrilled that Lena seems totally fine and not at all upset by the fact that Kara has been lying to her since the day they met. Lena says that things can’t be like they were, but instead of explaining the real reason that’s true, she just asks to be looped in to everything. Kara agrees, and gives Lena one of her emergency Superwatches, and they exchange shy smiles.
All shipping aside, I’m very invested in the Kara/Lena dynamic – the pessimist and the optimist, the scientist and the writer, the guarded and the fearless… and two of the strongest women in this city. I’m excited that this season is going to explore this relationship.
After Kara leaves, Hope asks Lena why she didn’t send the file to Andrea revealing Supergirl’s identity. Hope asks if Lena will forgive Kara. Lena says that Kara broke her heart. She can never forgive her.
Which is yet another heartbreaking thing about Lena Luthor. She has no frame of reference for forgiveness on this scale, because of all the people in her life who have betrayed her, no one has been worthy of redemption. No one has been remorseful or regretful. No one has ever wanted to fight to keep her love. Her loyalty, maybe, when it comes to her family. But not her love, her friendship, her game nights, her wine pairings, her grand gestures, her dry humor, her smooth lilt, her joy, her genius. All of her. She doesn’t know how to give forgiveness because no one’s ever asked her for it. So of course she wouldn’t know how to move past a broken heart.
Hope asks why she’s not revealing Supergirl’s identity if she doesn’t forgive her, and it’s because Lena’s apparently on a mission to “fix humanity” and is going to use Supergirl to do it. (If someone wants to draw me Lena in her purple suit with Thanos’s Infinity Gauntlet on, I would not be mad about it.) Before we leave her, Lena starts up the simulation again.The episode ends with Eve getting kidnapped from a diner, where she appears to be working. Though whether or not it was really Eve remains anyone’s guess.
So! It finally happened?? I feel… everything. Kara and Lena had such beautiful, intimate, brilliantly acted moments (in this episode where there is also a dinosaur) that really reminded me why I love this show when it’s at its best. But also my heart is so nervous about what’s to come.