Previously on Supergirl, J’onn’s brother attacked, Kelly helped J’onn explore his missing memories, Lena put her AI into Eve’s body, Andrea and William were turning CatCo on its head, and Brainy was bugging the heck out of Nia.
We open this episode with a very lovely, very tattooed lady at a bar.
William is in this same bar, fighting with a man who ultimately decides to blow William off to go hook up with the Spider Woman. Unfortunately they don’t get very far before one of Spider Woman’s tattoos COMES TO LIFE and crawls INSIDE HIM and kills him dead.
Outside Catco, Kelly is therapizing her barista while she gets her morning coffee, which honestly is relatable, and this leaves Alex concerned about her girlfriend’s openness, what with a shapeshifter running around.
Kelly waves off her concern, kisses her goodbye, and heads into work.
When she’s gone, it’s Kara’s turn to worry, because she’s having lunch with Lena today, their first time since Kara’s coming out. Alex reassures her that it will be fine and that they’ll get their relationship back on track; Kara just has to let go and let Lena love her.
In her secret lab of secrets, Lena is getting frustrated because she can only figure out how to use the Q Waves to map the brain, not to change it. Or at least, not to change it without obliterating willpower. But Hope knows Lena doesn’t want a world of robots, just better people. This prompts Hope to hug Lena, maybe acting in instincts taken from Eve, but either way, Lena is taken aback.
Hope suggests that Lex’s research could help Lena, and Lena knows just the person to help her get his journals.
At Nia’s apartment, Brainy is still shouting poetry (and villanelles!) at his girlfriend, and not getting her hints when she asks him to tone it down a bit.
At the CatCo morning meeting, the death of that man in the club comes up, and turns out it’s Dr. Niles Jarrett, the man Andrea was fighting with in the photos on William’s computer last week. Andrea and William shut down Kara’s request to look into his death, since she had interviewed him about gene manipulation once, which makes her a bit suspicious.
Kara tells James about this mysterious behavior, and James offers to help by talking to the M.E. about it. He still hasn’t made his career path choices yet, so he’s down to Superfriend the case with Kara as a little distraction.
Across town, J’onn’s brother, as a Martian fly, goes into Kelly’s apartment and inspects her pictures and becomes one of the men he sees. Which is risky but a bold move. And my question is… can J’onn do this? Can he shapeshift into anything he wants? We’ve seen him be people but can he also be animals? Can he be a cactus? Or a trash can? I feel like he’s been holding out on us.
Anyway, the Martian goes to see Kelly, who seems excited to see her old pal Pete Andrews. He asks for her help, and of course she offers to help him, because she has a big heart.
And if there was supposed to be some kind of parallel there between her helping the barista and her helping her old friend, I’d like to call foul.
If, before I watched this episode, you told me that Kara Danvers flew all around the world to get Lena her favorite foods, I would assume you were talking about a fanfic. But guess what? I did watch this episode and Kara did fly around the world to get Lena her favorite foods and it was NOT a fanfic. It was real life. And Lena is delighted.
They talk a little about work and how Lena’s old boarding school buddy is low-key ruining Kara’s life, but Kara wants to talk about how Lena is doing. And Lena, oh Lena. Lena lies. Lena lies BIG. And Lena lies WELL. She tells Kara she’s been having nightmares about Lex and that she thinks the only cure would be reading Lex’s journal. Like how I listen to true crime podcasts to quell my fear of being murdered. Knowledge is power. She knows Kara is feeling guilty and like their relationship is fragile, and she knows Kara will do just about anything, now more than ever, to make Lena happy, and Lena takes advantage of that.
And Lena is brilliant about how she does it, too. She never asks Kara to do anything. She lays out the bait and Kara predictable eats it up. Offers to help. Lena even insists she could never ask Kara to do such a thing, knowing full well that it would make Kara double down on helping.
To her credit, when it works, she does appear to have a flash of regret, or questioning. Like maybe this win didn’t feel as satisfying as she might have liked.
When Kara and James get to the morgue, Kara scans Niles and sees a spider tattoo… on his heart. Which is disconcerting to say the least, but proves her point that this death was suspicious and worth looking into.
Meanwhile, J’onn is still having some brain issues so he asks Nia to use her dream powers to help.
J’onn unlocks a memory of his little brother being teased for not being able to connect to the hive mind aka cheat at hide-and-seek. When they realize he can also control people’s minds, he’s also locked away by J’onn’s dad. But soon White Martians come and take him away, causing J’onn’s dad so much grief that young J’onn panics and erases the memory of his brother from the entire hive mind, which to Martians is a fate worse than death.
That night, at Kara’s loft, Alex asks Kara about her Lena lunch, and Kara tells her about the favor she agreed to do. Alex has… concerns, to say the least.
Kara insists it’s a victimless crime and it would be worth it to help ease her gal pal’s mind.
And besides, Alex doesn’t really have a leg to stand on re: “we can’t do that, because it’s wrong” considering they break the law all the time. This very moment, Kara is reviewing security footage from the bar that Brainy hacked to get her. Alex huffs a little about that, but they have more important things to worry about, like the Spider Woman in the video who definitely killed Niles.
Alex takes this info back to the DEO and explains that the tattoos are actually an alien, and the woman is a host. So Supergirl flies off to this woman’s apartment and finds a flash drive, but she gets Spider Pinned to the wall and Guardian has to swoop in to help. Supergirl eventually gets herself unstuck, but not before the woman flings a spider at/into James.
Supergirl takes him back to the DEO, where Alex shoots him with science and collects the spiders for them to study. James putting himself in danger to help her inspires Kara, and she decides to do the thing for Lena after all, getting Lex’s journals and also swiping a watch while she’s at it.
She gets back just in time to kill a spider thrown by the Spider Woman, with Alex none the wiser about her side quest.
At Obsidian North, Kelly starts to scan Pete’s memories with Q Waves but quickly realizes it’s J’onn’s brother, not her old friend. His mind-control powers are back and the first thing he decides to do with it is try to force Kelly to kill herself.
But Nia gets a dream-blast warning that Kelly is in danger, so J’onn gets there just in time. And as J’onn’s brother tries to get away by shapeshifting, Kelly realizes that she can tell who the Martian is, even when he’s shifted into human form.
Back at the DEO, Alex uses her science gun to get the spider alien out of the host woman, but while she’s interrogating her, a shadow swoops in and kills the woman without warning. When she hears about the attack on Kelly, she of course goes to check on her girl.
They figure out that apparently the explosion at the Obsidian lab somehow linked Kelly and J’onn’s brother. J’onn feels horrible that he got all of his friends into this mess, but the Superfriends have his back no matter what. Alex inexplicably wants Kelly to go somewhere far away from Supergirl to be “safer” which makes no sense at all but okay. I would personally have handcuffed her to Kara but whatever helps her sleep at night. James offers to go with Kelly, which is the only reason Kelly agrees to go in the first place, because if James is willing to back down from a fight for her, it must be serious.
Nia, seeing that J’onn learning the truth about his brother hurt him but ultimately was for the best, decides to go home and tell Brainy that he’s being a little too over the top for her, but instead of being grateful to know the truth, Brainy explains that he operates at 100% so if she doesn’t want his excess of love, she doesn’t want him at all.
While all this is happening, William is being shady with a man in the park, who gives him money and tells him to keep on keeping on, so I guess William is going to be more than just a foil for our Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter.
Since the fighting all seems to have settled down for now, Kara suits up and flies over to Lena’s to give her the journals, but not before gazing down into the window at her for a minute. Lena is delighted to see Kara in the moonlight.
Then there are intercut scenes that are both taking things too far in opposite directions.
Kelly says she’s too open and trusting, which is unfair to her because of course she was open and trusting with a man she thought was her friend, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing that she was running around being terrified that everyone she talked to was the Martian who wanted to kill her friends.
And on the other hand, Kara is telling Lena that there should be no boundaries between them, which is just a bad idea for any kind of relationship. Romantic relationships, friendships, coworkerships, twitter mutualships, they all need boundaries.
After she leaves Lena’s, Kara goes to meet up with Alex, where the Danvers sisters see the Olsen
twins siblings off. Kara gives James one of Lex’s portal watches, and they all say their goodbyes.
Alex is still worried about Kelly, because she’s “so open,” which is also technically something she worried about for Kara becoming Supergirl back in the day, and now she’s encouraging Kara to come out to people and Kara is giving her identity away to random bakery cashiers in other countries. So maybe Alex will come to trust that Kelly knows what her own boundaries are, too.
In her lab, Lena is reading Lex’s journal.
She gives Hope Lex’s journal and tells her what kind of cipher it is, and Hope immediately gets to work decoding it. As the screen starts scrawling out notes about Q Waves and mind control, Lena gets ready to get to work.
Which… can’t be good. Lena should have learned from the last time she made some awesome science and the military tried to weaponize it that just because her intentions are good doesn’t mean this is a good idea. It’s the age old mad-scientist conundrum: just because you CAN doesn’t mean you should.