“Supergirl” Episode 505 Recap: Tidal Wave of Feelings

Previously on Supergirl, J’onn erased the memory of his brother Mal and how his father treated him like a criminal for being born different, Team Supergirl thought they sent Mal to the Phantom Zone but Lena had re-calibrated the weapon to send him to her lab instead, William revealed he’s only PRETENDING to be a jerk, and also Leviathan is coming.

We open with Andrea Rojas in a commercial for her VR lenses, which will be going public soon. It’s a little creepy but also pretty cool, which I guess is how I feel about technology in general. When real-life Andrea finishes showing this commercial to her CatCo employees, she tells them to work in a mention of the launch into all their articles, which makes Kara and Nia feel a little icky.

nia and kara make disgusted faces

Live footage in me in a meeting.

After the meeting, Nia expresses her disappointment that Kara didn’t find anything at William’s address, so it seems like Kara didn’t fill her in on William’s undercover-ness. She plays into William’s ploy, telling Nia he’s just a regular jerk, not a jerky criminal mastermind. But on that note, she has to talk to him, so she heads out to meet him.

On the way she runs into Kelly, who asks Kara for advice on what to get Alex for their dativersery (cute), and Kara tells her to get her a motorcycle helmet (gay). It’s a sweet and cute lil interaction, and Kelly says that she’s glad that Kara is the delightful little gift-with-purchase she gets from dating Alex.

kelly smiles at kara

I like that this episode set up Kelly to start having relationships with people in Alex’s life but outside of Alex.

In the coffee shop, William tells Kara to drop it but Kara says she can use her sister’s connection to get them more information but only if William keeps her in the loop. He doesn’t want her to get hurt, but Kara insists that she can take care of herself, so he concedes.

Meanwhile, in the Luthor Lab, Lena and Hope are trying to map Mal’s brain to learn how to make technology that can mimic his inception powers. But when Hope tries to start the mapping, Mal incepts her and overloads her and uses her to yell at Lena for poking around in his brain without permission.

Lena looks surprised

I’m surprised there was room in Eve’s brain for Hope AND Mal.

William and Kara go to the DEO, and Alex is going to let them sit in on an interrogation but tells them to be quiet. Alex doesn’t want to take down Obsidian North all willy-nilly so they have to be super sure Andrea is involved before they start accusing her of these huge allegations. Alex interrogates the woman who tried to kill Elena, whose code name is Breathtaker, which is fucking badass if you ask me.

Alex interrogates Breathtaker

“So you agree, you think you’re really pretty?”

The truth-seeker confirms that she’s telling the truth when she says that she’s just a hit-alien and doesn’t know or care about who hired her or why, just that she gets the bitcoin she’s owed. She mentions that one of her contractors is a man with four arms and William flips the flip out. He shows her a picture and starts yelling incoherent questions until Alex kicks him out. When Kara asks what the heck that was all about, William says that the four-armed man, RipRoar, killed his best friend.

After Kara leaves the DEO, she goes to J’onn to check in with her Space Dad. She’s feeling a little weird about how wrong her instincts seemed to be about William and Andrea, and we seem to get to the bottom of her VR issues when she says that she’s having a hard time knowing what’s real anymore. And as someone who has been traumatized with fake but realistic visions of her parents and the life she could have had if Krypton wasn’t destroyed, I suppose that’s warranted. J’onn gives his best Space Dad speech and says that as long as you’re sure of the people who love you, the rest will fall into place in time.

Kara goes from there to the DEO, where Alex tells her that RipRoar broke into the Fort Summit army base and stole a Marathon Laser from Lex Luthor’s vault…which is basically a sniper-beam and a bad thing to fall into the wrong hands. They don’t really get what this guy is up to because the Obsidian North VR launch is virtual, so it’s not like he can be planning an attack on the event. Brainy suggests interviewing the spider tattoos, even though it will mean they need a host.

Back in the Secret Lab of Secrets, Lena tries to level with Mal. She explains that she wants to study his brain and map the frequency of his inception powers, but he doesn’t trust her or anyone interested in the skill that got him locked up for most of his life. But she reminds him that she saved him from the phantom zone he had been banished to.

lena is wearing a button down and a vest and a skirt i dunno it feels like overkill but i like it

“You can tell I mean business by how many different types of businesswear I have on right now.”

Mal offers her a deal: if she can remove the part of his Martian brain that makes it impossible to kill his brother, he’ll help her. She says that her goal is to have people STOP hurting each other, not to get someone killed, but he senses her desperation and believes she’ll sacrifice the one for the many. And when she agrees to his terms, for a moment it seems that might be true.

lena glares at mal

Anyone else worried that Lena doesn’t go outside anymore? I feel like she needs some of that sweet, sweet yellow sun.

Back at the DEO, Brainy comes the host for the spider tattoo, who is gross and keeps using sweet Brainy to be rude to our girls.

Kara and Alex interrogate brainy

I love when Supergirl is just like…sitting around in her suit.

But also it’s yet another hit-alien who cares not for whomst they kill.

Kara is so, so frustrated, and wants to confront Andrea, but Alex points out that she might not even be involved. Kara had a bad feeling that something big is going on, and she’s having Lex Luthor flashbacks and she doesn’t want to cut things as close this time. But Alex reassures her that they’ll be fine; she trusts Supergirl’s gut and her sister’s heart but they just need to take it slow.

Alex supports Supergirl

All I need in my life is for Alex Danvers to reassure me.

At the lab, Lena explains Q-waves to Mal and tells him that she needs him to incept three different aliens of various levels of ferocity and pacify them so they can map out the frequencies that allow him to do such things. He agrees to this task and no one asks how on earth Lena got her hands on these creatures.

Lena gestures to metal boxes full of ferocious creatures

“These little boxes contain my feelings.”

Upstairs, Kelly brings Alex dinner because she has to work late, and they exchange work stories, including Kelly’s first success story from one of her VR therapy patients. She also booked a reservation at a waterfront restaurant for them to celebrate their Dativersary together and they toast with their dumplings and it’s all very sweet and pure.

alex and kelly share dumplings on a date

Kelly has all the makings for a perfect girlfriend which obviously has me very stressed out because TV has conditioned me to not trust queer happiness. :upside down smiley emoji:

On a slightly less pure side of the spectrum, Kara and William are doing some light breaking and entering into Andrea’s office to look for clues. Kara finds a secret hiding spot that has a lockbox of foreign currency and a photo of Andrea and William’s friend Russel. William confesses that the best friend RipRoar killed was in love with Andrea, which I feel like would have been relevant information to have earlier, but whatever. Anyway, the day after Russell told William about Andrea is the day William found RipRoar in Russell’s house but no sign of Russell. Turns out Russell going missing is how William got into researching Andrea and the Rojas family in the first place, and he wants to confront her but Kara tells him to cool his heels for now, telling him what Alex told her about needing to be sure before they show their cards.

Alex calls Kara to tell her that they tracked the Marathon Laser to New Mexico, so Supergirl flies off to stop RipRoar. But he had already used a satellite to modify the marathon laser to make it hella powerful; powerful enough to temporarily knock Supergirl on her ass.

Luckily she called for backup before she passed fully out, so she’s back in the safety of the DEO before she knows it. J’onn tells her that he didn’t find any violent psychic imprint at Russell’s apartment, despite William’s description of the mess when he arrived, so it’s possible Russell isn’t dead after all.

Kara is so sure all of these crazy things that are happening are connected but they’re running out of time to figure out what and why.

Meanwhile, Kelly just wants to have a nice dinner with her girlfriend so they can relax together because this sweet summer child is still new to National City.

Kelly smiles on the phone

“Ah I love this world where technology is safe and all date nights go exactly as planned!”

Mal has been passing Lena’s test with flying colors, pacifying the aggressive animals easily, surprising even Lena with the ease at which he turns a vicious little monster that probably gave her flashbacks to a past life where she was eaten by a dinosaur into a harmless little lizard. And just like that, the frequencies are mapped, and she’s ready to finish her technology.

lena looks alarmed

“‘Cause getting your dreams, it’s strange, but it seems a little, well, complicated…”

Brainy tracks RipRoar to Antarctica, so Supergirl and the Martian Manhunter go there to fight him and stop him from melting the polar ice caps. They make a whirlpool to stop the flood while Dreamer stays back in National City to use her dream energy to stop a tidal wave from taking over the waterfront.

Dreamer uses her dream energy

Tag yourself I’m the woman on the pier who was super pumped to see Dreamer.

The waterfront, mind you, that Kelly is sitting at, blissfully unaware because of her VR contacts.

Kelly zones out in her contacts

I mean can you also not HEAR the real world when you’re in these VR contacts?

They don’t really go into the mechanics of why or how Dreamer’s energy can stop a tidal wave, but honestly her proud little smile and nod at the end of it when she saves the day makes me not even care about the metaphysics of it all.

When Kelly finally gets out of her contacts, she sees Alex saving people’s lives from the damage of the incoming tidal wave, including a bunch of people who for some reason decided to go into their virtual realities while also walking around outside? Which just seems foolish.

And when Alex gets back to the DEO, she tells Kara that Andrea couldn’t have been behind it, because if they hadn’t stopped the effects of RipRoar’s actions, Obsidian North would have been out billions of dollars. So they’re back to the drawing board re: suspects.

alex looks disappointed

“I know, I wanted to nail her too. Wait, no. I mean not necessarily no but that’s not what I meant.”

Meanwhile in the bathroom that apparently CatCo and Obsidian North share, Nia walks in on Kelly having a bit of a panic attack because she saw a news segment about the tidal wave and seeing Alex on the front lines triggered her trauma about losing her fiance in battle. She tells Nia that she knows Alex can take care of herself, but she can’t help living in fear for her girlfriend’s life, and she’s not sure how to or if she can shake it. Nia realizes that Kelly hasn’t really been part of the group aside from being Alex’s plus one yet, so she offers to go to lunch with her so she has an unbiased party to talk to about these things that isn’t Alex or Alex’s sister.

Nia smiles at Kelly

This made me EXTRA happy because I stan Nicole and Azie’s friendship in real life. #Nikazie

And this might not have been their intention at all, but I think this scene happening in the women’s restroom of the CatCo building is a really nice touch, since Nicole Maines spent much of her adolescence publicly fighting for her right to use the women’s bathroom when her school banned her from using it, ending in a landmark anti-discrimination court ruling.

Down in Lena’s Lair Lab, Mal tells her that he’s decided how he’s going to kill his brother, and she just cooly lays it on him that she lied and didn’t remove his fratricide freezer. He goes to attack her but her eyes glow green and she tells him he likes it here and he calms down and agrees with her.

lena's eyes turn green as she incepts

“There are bridges you cross you didn’t know you crossed until you’ve crossed.”

When Kelly gets to Alex’s apartment that night, maybe she was planning to tell Alex all the things she told Nia in the bathroom, and Alex in a silk purple robe holding two glasses of wine distracted her, or maybe she’s hoping she can work it out on her own before telling Alex why she feels unsettled. All she knows right now is how she feels about Alex, and how much she loves that Alex wants her to be her riding partner so badly that she gave Kelly the same helmet Kelly got her for their Dativersery.

Kelly smiles at Alex

I love Alex and Kelly’s dedication to keeping the gays from being buried.

Across town, Kara goes to talk to William because she found out something he might want to know: RipRoar is Russell. Russell is RipRoar. William is so grateful to have answers and thanks Kara for all her help. And…I won’t lie to you, in a moment that surprised even me, I realized I actually like William. Now that we’ve seen his non-jerk persona, he’s actually just a dude trying to find out what happened to his buddy. He seems to really respect Kara and also have you heard his accent? I still don’t think Supergirl needs a love interest, even though I have no doubt that’s where this is headed, but I think I could get used to him being around.

The episode ends with Andrea getting in her car and the Leviathan woman waiting for her. And while it was clear Andrea had no idea that the tidal wave situation was happening, something tells me that Andrea knows exactly what the woman means when she says RipRoar is a problem.

Andrea Rojas looks terrified

Seeing Andrea Rojas look scared is unsettling and I don’t like it one bit.

Next week, Alex is in danger, must be Sunday.

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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 548 articles for us.


  1. – The first thing that I thought of when I saw Andrea’s commercial is deployed parents able to spend time with their children.
    – “Your friends are your rock.” This is how Kara will forgive Lena. She’ll see what she did to Lena. Kara was her rock, and she was lying to her the entire time.
    – Why do they keep saying that he has four arms? The guy has a couple of bionic arms, but I wouldn’t have ever said that he had four arms.
    – The FX does seem a little better this episode.
    – Okay, Nia saved National City. What about the rest of the Pacific coast?
    – I don’t feel Kelly and Alex chemistry, but I do like Kelly as a character. She feels like a wholly three-dimensional person.
    – Lena putting M’ale’fic down was some real big dick energy.
    – Not to say that Supercorp is endgame, but Kara hangs out with William all episode and Lena literally turns into a green-eyed monster.

    • I’m not feeling the Kelly/Alex chemistry either, and I think it has something to do with all the lesbian hugs and super platonic kissing. We haven’t seen them physically express attraction to each other yet.

  2. I appreciate your … generosity re William, but the predictability and raging heteronormativity of it all frustrates me. Why can’t he be a queer character who was romantically involved with pre-Rip Roar Russell? I don’t mean to devalue the strength of friendship ties, but Supergirl loves patting itself on the back for Alex and then later, Nia, and yeah – those are two characters worthy of some praise. But then in so many other respects, I might as well be watching a teen show from the 1990s, ugh.

    I did like the swerve on Lena – she’s not *totally* evil yet, but we’ll see how far the writers take her from gray to even darker gray. I just hope she isn’t shown to do something too beyond the pale for even someone with a heart as big as Kara’s to forgive.

    • She’s not an evil genius, but she is a genius!

      This is like the third or fourth of Lex’s failed evil plans that she was able to complete. And like most of her greatest achievements (the Daxomite portal, the lead bomb, making synthetic Kryptonite, the Harun-El), I figure someone will use it to try to hurt the people she loves.

      • Ha, good point re Lena’s past accomplishments. The big difference this time, of course, is that she is doing this secretly, knowing that it would not fly (no pun intended) with Kara and her gang. Keeping secrets on this show never ends well …

  3. I can’t work out whether I still don’t like William or don’t trust him.. hmm. His accent over here ( UK) says upper-class twit, avoid!

  4. I, too, do my best science in a leopard print top.


    Come to think of it, has any date ever in the entire Arrowverse gone off without a hitch?


    The ending of this episode was spoiled for me on Twitter before I could watch it, so by the rule of three, I had expected that they kept referring to the VR as a “Shared Dream” or whatever as the basis for how Nia could stop a thousand mile long tidal wave (by channeling the dream energy of all the people in the shared VR “dream”).

    But she did it all on her own! That’s our girl. :)


    “Alex is in danger, must be Sunday.”

    Almost like it happens every time somebody finds out Kara is Supergirl…


    I’m worried about Lena.

    Flash and Arrow have been banging the drumbeat of “The Crisis is coming, out lead character is going to die!” since the finales of last season. Meanwhile, all the Monitor has done on Earth 38 is release M’ale’fic and possibly resurrect Lex Luthor?

    And now Lena has taken Mal’s power for his own, Lex is still out there, and the Crisis is a month away, and I can’t believe the Monitor will just give Lena a pass for interfering with his plans.

    …unless her taking Mal’s power was his plan all along!

    [Dramatic Chipmunk GIF]


    (Looks into Lena’s glowing green eyes)

    …Lena Luthor is all the woman we need!

    • OMG, I hope you meant to write “The Crisis is coming, *our* [not “out”] lead character is going to die!”

      • I did. That is a genuine typo, but alas, one cannot edit their own comments here.

        Don’t worry, the lesbians will live.

  5. Valerie, I love it when you use Wicked lyrics as the photo captions 😂 One of the first articles I read on Autostraddle was your Supergirl recap where every caption was a line from Wicked and in that moment I knew I had found my people!

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