Previously on Supergirl, Leviathan was looming, Lena was seething and incepting, Kara was stressing, Alex was fighting, Kelly was worrying, and everything was a big gay mess.
We open this episode with Supergirl sparring with Space Dad. He says she seems a little off, she counters that he does, too. She admits she’s punching away her anxiety about the Leviathan unknowns and is still wrestling some leftover guilt from the Lena thing, which was kind of rekindled by William finding out his friend was RipRoar. Before they can talk all that much though, J’onn gets knocked down by some kind of psychic blast.
Meanwhile, Lena is home reading a book in the dark, sitting straight up on the couch, still wearing her jeans, as you do.
The Leviathan woman shows up for the medallion but even though she strolled right into Lena’s living room, she can’t get to Lena because of all her security. She looks the Leviathan woman in the face and says she’s not afraid, and the Leviathan woman assures her she will be.
Hope comes out, which honestly alarmed me, but I guess it would be weird if a janitor or something saw Eve Teschmacher sleeping on a stool in the lab. So Hope tells Lena that it’s not really logical to keep a technically useless medallion that a mysterious and dangerous organization wants, but Lena feels very finders keepers about it. Besides, her mother would want her to have it. Anyway, Lena can use it as leverage. And speaking of leverage, she also wants to use her leverage with Kara to get into the Fortress of Solitude.
Hope thinks Lena should cancel the L Corp event because Leviathan could attack, but Lena just smiles a haughty smile and says, “Supergirl will save me.”
After leaving Lena’s apartment, the Leviathan woman goes to a mansion of sorts that also serves as Leviathan HQ. When she gets downstairs, she greets a man and for the first time, she doesn’t sound like the all-knowing leader of an underground society. She sounds like a nervous henchperson who failed her mission. She insists she was no match for a Luthor, but the man, Rama Khan, says that they’ve been around since they accidentally killed all the dinosaurs with their spaceship (lol) and that she shouldn’t have failed. But another woman appears from the shadows and says that maybe it’s Rama Khan’s fault and that they should use her tech instead of Rama Khan’s brute force, but he waves her off and goes about his business.
His business, of course, being attacking Lena’s charity event.
Lena presses her Supergirl call button and leaps off the cliff, which frankly was a risk that had to involve some level of trust whether Lena wants to admit it or not. And of course, Supergirl is there just in time, saving her first, asking questions later.
When Lena says it’s Leviathan attacking, Supergirl shoots her laser beams at him but he just heals up so she flies them to safety. She takes her all the way to the DEO, where they consult with Alex and Brainy about who this man could be.
Brainy calls him an Earthbender, and says he must be thousands of years old, if not older, therefore definitely an alien, and from a sister planet to Krypton. Lena casually says it’s too bad Lex’s Kryptonian-killing weapons were destroyed, and Kara plays right into her hands, saying they’re in the Fortress of Solitude. Lena offers to give Kara a list to bring, a clever ploy; most people would beg to come and make up some lie about why they should. Lena just makes it sound like she’s unconcerned with going, while also making it sound mildly inconvenient to NOT invite her, and Kara trusts Lena, so of course Kara tells her they’ll make a road trip out of it.
Lena asks if Kara is sure it’s okay that a Luthor can go there, and Kara playfully insists that it’ll be fun, and that Lena will need a jacket. A fox running off with the hound.
Back at the DEO, Brainy is looking for Rama Khan but finds RipRoar instead. But when he and Alex show up at the scene to get him, they realize it’s a trap and they get a little exploded. At first Alex says she’s not injured, just angry, but before she can finish fuming, she falls down.
In the Fortress of Solitude, Kara and Lena barely get a few steps in before the defense system clocks that there’s a Luthor inside and shoots up an ice cell around her. Supergirl disarms it just in time but the whole thing is pretty harrowing for both of them.
Kara apologizing, saying that Lena is not Lex. Lena knows that Kara isn’t her cousin either. Lena says, “We are miles beyond those boys with their sticks and stones.”
And she’s right, of course. But unfortunately she doesn’t mean they’re above fighting each other. Lena just means she’s elevated her tactics. They don’t need to punch or explode each other, because they’ve got the power of emotional manipulation. Cuts much deeper than any Kryptonite blade.
Back at the DEO, Kelly comes to visit Alex, who is just mildly concussed so she didn’t bother texting Kelly right away; but she heard from Nia that she and Brainy were in an explosion.
But when Kelly sees Alex is fine, she starts to cry. She was so scared. Alex is a little surprised by this reaction but she promises to call or text and tell her exactly what’s going on next time. Alex is ready to get back up and at ’em but Kelly is too worried about her and her lil concussion, so Alex agrees to stay for a little while longer.
While they’re walking through the Fortress of Solitude, Lena does this thing that I am so guilty of and politely, almost jokingly, brings up things that have been weighing on her. Like how it’s soooo hilarious that she risked her life for her squishy little friend Kara over and over, having no idea that Kara was literally bulletproof and also could fly. How absolutely hysterical it is that when she thought she was making her own choices, Kara was secretly saving her time and time again. “You’re an excellent actress,” she says, a smile blooming like a poisonous flower.
It works, this angle, because Kara is positively squirming. She feels horrible. For all the times she lied. For all the danger she put Lena in. For all the memories Lena has to go over again with sharper vision now that the wool is off her eyes.
Back in National City, the young, blonde, Leviathan woman whose name I don’t believe was said and is definitely not on IMDb, so I will just call Tech Lady for now (listen, I’m no Cisco), tries to get Rama Khan to see that the world has changed, and a little biblical flood or volcano eruption isn’t going to solve the climate issues they have, but her technology might. Because apparently, in what may be the biggest plot twist in history, Leviathan just might be eco-terrorists? Anyway, Rama Khan ignores her AGAIN (which I can almost guarantee he will come to regret) and says that since he can’t sense the medallion on Earth anymore, it must be in the one place on the planet that is not of this Earth at all.
Kara and Lena get to the quantum processor, which Lena recognizes immediately even though Kara couldn’t have named it if you asked her to, despite having used it before. Lena asks if she can use it to send Brainy a message and Kara lets her, amused by her nerdy excitement.
Lena and Kara find the gun that can weaken Rama Khan enough to get power dampening cuffs on him. Lena says, “It was designed for evil but maybe we can use it for good.”
But while they were looking for the gun, Kara points out Myriad, the weapon her Aunt Astra used to turn everyone into mindless zombies.
A lot is about to go down, so I’ll take a break right here to give you a Space Dad update. J’onn’s storyline, despite being the closing chapter in a book we’ve been reading all season, is buried beneath all the drama and angst of the other stories. They packed so much into this episode, and I have to imagine it’s because they’re preparing for a crisis. (I don’t know if you’ve heard.) J’onn meditates and his father helps him and realize it’s not his guilt making him sense his brother, his brother is actually nearby. So J’onn finds him, apologizes, and lets Mal see into his mind to know he’s telling the truth about never hating him, never wanting to hurt him. So in the end, Mal offers a hand to his brother, and perhaps they can help each other now instead of fighting.
Back at the DEO, Alex and Kelly are playing cards, and Alex tells Kelly that she appreciates her taking the time to make sure Alex took care of herself. That she’s used to just dealing with things (or decidedly not dealing with them) on her own. Alex tells Kelly that being with her feels like home, and all of Kelly’s anxieties bubble up and spill over.
She admits that when she had to hear through Nia and had no message from Alex, she assumed the worst, which in anyone else’s case might seem like an overreaction, but Kelly has literally been through the worst, and Alex’s job is literally life or death. Kelly tried to convince herself she could handle it, but she tells Alex now that she doesn’t think she’s strong enough. But she knows how important this job is to Alex and would never, ever ask her to change.
But Kelly isn’t sure she can keep going through this. Brainy comes in and tells Alex they have to leave immediately, but Alex is so confused as to what the hell just happened. Kelly tells Alex she should go back to work, and Alex knows that there will be time to talk later but Leviathan is more important right now.
And honestly this scene broke my heart. Because it’s once again someone telling Alex, “I love you but I can’t.” It’s once again someone telling her they don’t want to change her, but that their situation just won’t allow them to stay. Because “I don’t love you” and “I love them more than you” hurt in obvious ways. “I love you, but” can come out of nowhere. “I love you, but” can feel like someone flipped the switch on gravity and suddenly the wall is the floor. “I love you, but” can be like following the map only to find there’s no bridge where it said there would be a bridge. What can you do with, “I love you, but”? When they insist it’s not you, or them, or us, but the situation you have no control over? What do you do when you feel like you’re not enough?
But also, Kelly has trauma and I can’t fault her for not wanting to be in such a triggering situation. All in all it’s a lot of emotions and it all hurts.
Alex tries to shake it off while she goes with Brainy to where he thinks the Leviathan Headquarters are but they find themselves in a cave, since Leviathan HQ obviously has better security than an unlocked door and a hackable elevator.
The Earthbender has made his way to the Fortress of Solitude, proud of himself for figuring out where they were, but Supergirl just tells him it’s impolite to come inside without an invitation and prepares to fight.
Unfortunately, Supergirl isn’t quite a match for the ancient alien, until she uses her brains over her brawn and freezes up the cracks in the floor so Rama Khan has no earth to bend. Realizing he probably could not face her in such conditions, and that he has no idea what else she has hiding in this cave of wonders, he cracks the floor and nopes out of there.
When Kara heads back into the weapon’s closet, she sees Lena with Myriad in her hand. Where was she going? What was her endgame? She couldn’t have walked home. She didn’t bring a backpack. And you better believe Lena didn’t decide last minute to grab this thing. Besides, she had already fiddled with the quantum processor. So I think she was just wandering around back there with Myriad in her hand, waiting to be caught.
She even says, “You caught me,” with such an even tone. She wasn’t surprised, or guilty. She was just ready for this stiletto-heeled shoe to drop. She reveals that she knew Kara was Supergirl weeks before she told her, tells her she found out with her brother’s dying breath. Kara is confused, she thought she killed Lex. (Something I don’t think was properly processed on either count. Kara and Lena both thought they killed a human man.) Lena says that she had the gun pointed at Lex and every fiber of her being rebelled. It went against her every instinct, her very nature. But she knew killing Lex would save the world, save her friends. Save Kara.
Kara’s eyes are filling up with tears. She didn’t mean to hurt her. Lena scoffs at the idea. Lena had told Kara that everyone she ever trusted betrayed her. She didn’t even WANT to trust Kara, but she was so warm and welcoming. And she promised, PROMISED, she would never lie to her, never betray her, that she was different, that she was Lena’s one true friend.
Lena’s practiced speech starts to unravel now, her even tone wavering. Tears fill her own eyes. “I killed my brother for you,” she yells. Kara, to her credit, doesn’t get angry or defensive. She just looks so, so sad. She inches her way toward Lena this whole time. Never flinching away, never backing down. She asks why Lena didn’t come to her, or out her. Why did she pretend to be her friend for so long, pretend like everything was fine? Lena admits she wanted Kara to feel what she felt. She wanted Kara to truly understand what it felt like to be lied to, to be betrayed.
Kara understands. She says Lena is right, but that Lena shouldn’t use Myriad just because Kara fucked up. She’s not her brother. But Lena is still seeing red, so she just snaps that Kara doesn’t get to say who or what Lena is.
An ice cell like the one that appeared around Lena when she entered shoots up around Kara now. Kryptonite seeps into her and she can’t move. With big, sad eyes and a defeated tone, Kara lets out a quiet, “Are you going to try to kill me?” She’s not afraid of dying. She’s afraid of Lena killing her. She’s not scared or angry or sassy. She’s just. So. SAD.
Lena says she’s not, by the way. Going to kill her. Though she calls her Supergirl in this moment. Distancing herself from the woman she once thought to be the most important person in her life. “I’m not a villain,” she says, again, maybe as much for herself as it is for Kara at this point. “You shouldn’t have treated me like one,” she adds, to the only person who never did.
And what hurts is that I get it. They’re both right, they’re both wrong. They’re both hurt. If they were just regular people they would have to fight it out, talk it out, work it out. But they’re a Super and a Luthor. They’re a superpowered alien and a supergenius scientist. There’s more at stake here than just their relationship with each other. And on one hand, maybe it’s good that it’s all out there now. Now that all the blindfolds are off, maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to see a path to forgiveness.
As if that wasn’t enough of an emotional roller coaster for one episode, next up we have Alex and Kelly. Alex starts the scene by showing us how much she’s grown. Two seasons ago Alex would have run in this room begging and crying and pleading and bargaining. But Alex now walks calmly up to Kelly and tells her that she understands. She was hurting too when they first met, but Kelly helped ground her.
She wants to do the same for Kelly, now that she has both feet on the ground. Kelly asks what if it’s not possible, what if she’s just broken? But Alex knows she’s not. Alex knows they can heal each other because Kelly’s already done it for her. Alex repeats what she said before because she means it: Kelly feels like home to her, and she’s going to fight to protect it. Kelly says Alex feels like home too, and they pull each other close, giving my poor gay heart a goddamned break for once.
This all felt so inherently queer to me. In my own queer circles, at least, we almost all have our traumas and/or anxieties; even without something as big as what Kelly has been through, I think just the nature of having grown up in a society where heteronormativity is assumed and having to come out into a society where it’s still not entirely safe or accepting of us is traumatizing in its own way. So we find ways to get through it, together. We do our best to make safe spaces and have open hearts and we take turns healing each other. So that’s why I loved this scene, because Alex and Kelly are making room for each other, not trying to change or “fix” each other, but to heal. To just be a warm fire to thaw the parts that were frozen by fear, to be a hot meal to fill the spaces that were hollowed out by sorrow, to be four walls and a roof to keep each other safe. To be each other’s home.
But don’t worry, lest you think an episode of Supergirl end on such a warm, fuzzy feeling, it cuts back to the Fortress of Solitude, where Kara is just CRYING IN HER ICE PRISON. Despite all the things we’ve seen Kara do (or try to do) while her veins are glowing green, Kara isn’t even moving. She’s not pounding her fists against the ice, she’s not trying to use her heat vision in small bursts, she’s not calling Alex for help. She’s just crying.
We’re off next week, but we’ll be back in two for 508, the last episode before the CRISIS. Good luck with all those feelings! Bye!