“Supergirl” Episode 512 Recap: Compulsory Heterosexuality

Previously on Supergirl, Winn came back from the future to stop his alter-Earth-ego from destroying his reputation, Brainy was convinced by his female counterpart that he had to work with Lex to save the world, and the Toyman that Team Super thought they stopped didn’t seem to be fully gone.

We open at the gaylien bar, where it’s karaoke night. It’s Winn’s last night out and they’re trying to enjoy their time together. He tells them about his call sign, Computer Lad, which is definitely not Cisco approved, and they tease him for it. William shows up and everyone gives her faces about it. He is pumped it’s karaoke night and they do an admittedly cute rendition of “Africa” by Toto.

kara sings karaoke

I do like seeing Kara happy and she did seem to be having a great time. (And it’s always funny watching Melissa be only medium good at singing when in reality she’s a powerhouse.)

While they sing, J’onn asks how she’s handling working for Lex, and she hates it but she’s sticking it out because she wants to keep an eye on him. She has spyware in the system to keep tabs on what he’s up to, and when J’onn tells her to be careful, she says that Brainy has her back.

Alex smiles cutely

Confession: This isn’t actually from that moment it was just too cute to not include.

Unfortunately, we then cut to Brainy chit chatting with Lex, talking about Gemma Cooper and how Lex knows Alex is spying. Lex tells Brainy to keep Alex in line, and asks if there are any technical difficulties. Brainy is confused and says no, but as soon as he hangs up, some drones attack him.

Alex gets called in to help and Winn says he’s going to join for one last mission. Winn goes to get Kara, who is being asked on a date by William. But Winn, apparently very rusty with the whole secret identity thing, almost calls Kara “Supergirl” and makes up a very bad lie about Kara’s “Gran Gran” being sick and Alex needing her. So Kara excuses herself before she can give William an answer.

The SuperFriends show up and save Brainy from the attack of the drones, and as soon as they do, they hear a song coming through on their comms that Winn recognizes it as a song his father would play.

alex kara listen to their comms

“When you comin’ home, son, I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then.”

Brainy explains that the Toyman uploaded himself digitally, so he’s basically like AI now, a hyper-consciousness in the mainframe. If he leaves the DEO network, he’ll have access to things like air traffic and other dangerous things a madman shouldn’t have access to.

“That would be like if a narcissistic monster on trial for impeachment continued to tweet like an unprofessional narcissistic monster. Absurd!”

They realize that Toyman used Obsidian lendes to accomplish this and find the laptop he used. Winn says he can create a kill code, but before he can run off and do that, the DEO goes under lockdown as the Toyman appears on a screen and shows him a little of what he can do, manipulating their own lasers to attack them.

Brainy deactivates it but he knows it’s just a bandaid and won’t last long.

Alex tells everyone to start collecting tech so Supergirl can fly it to safety, because they have to keep the Toyman contained to the DEO’s network.

Then suddenly Alex hears a landline ring. She finds an old rotary phone under the war room table and it’s Lex, because of course it is.

Alex eyes the phone suspiciously

Funnily enough, this is also the face I make when my cell phone rings.

She tells him the plan, and Lex says that they have kryptonite defenses on all their stuff so Supergirl can’t fly everything out like Alex planned. Alex says they have anti-kryptonite technology for Kara, but Lex points out that they don’t have those suits in this universe.

Alex is annoyed because she doesn’t think it’s reasonable for Lex to ask her to have her crew do all of this work on their own, but he tells her she has no choice. Annoyed, she relents.

alex is on an old timey telephone

“What’s the story, morning glory?”

As soon as she hangs up and heads out, Brainy picks up the phone and calls Lex himself. He knows now that Lex knew this was coming, and Lex says he had his suspicions. He tells Brainy that he wants Toyman’s code to beat Leviathan because mutual immortality will even the playing field. I personally don’t want this at all because Lex should be dead as it is, I don’t need him around literally forever, please and thank you. Cryer is doing a great job, but I’m sick of Lex.

Over at CatCo, Andrea is in her office eating a lobster tail. Because why the hell not?

Andrea is about to take a bite

Now that we know she was in a simulation I have questions about her choice of dining locations.

But she has an allergic reaction and snaps awake and we learn that she had been in Obsidian lenses. She asks Kelly (hi Kelly!) why that happened, and Kelly explains that it has something to do with the biolink. They’ve been trying to get eating digitally to provide real nutrients but there are wacky side effects and she can’t quite figure it out.

Kelly! It's Kelly!

Kelly! Hi Kelly! Hey girl! How are you? I miss you. Hope they let you take walks for a little sunshine now and then.

Andrea gets a call that Lena is waiting for her in her office, leaving Kelly in her Lab of Isolation for the rest of the episode. Andrea is thrilled to see her old pal Lena, who is here to give the new Obsidian Platinum a test run.

lena asks andrea a question

“Remember how I convinced you I forgave you for stealing the one thing my dead mother wanted me to find? Can I try your new technology?”

Andrea admits it’s not ready yet because of a few kinks they have to work out, and Lena offers some biolinking tech she’s developed. Andrea doesn’t want to risk their friendship by working together again, because apparently this universe’s Andrea is not as ambitious as the one we once knew.

Lena fakes a smile and excuses herself but you can tell she’s bummed this plan didn’t work out as she planned.

Lena smirks

Lena in dark lipstick. That is all.

Back at the DEO, Winn and Supergirl head to the servers to find Toyman while Brainy and Alex stay upstairs to stop Toyman from getting up to anything shady. Alex says something about how we use technology to watch things but it’s watching us back, and I hate how this season all of a sudden everyone has a boomer-esque conspiracy theory about modern technology. When time and time again, it’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s the people who misuse it.

BUT I’ll go on my diatribe about how the internet saved my life and continues to do so some other time. I have a feeling there will be plenty of opportunities this season.

Before going down to the servers, Winn pulls Brainy aside and asks about Lex, and Brainy says he doesn’t really know what Lex is up to but he’s handling it, and Winn trusts him because why wouldn’t he? It’s Brainy!

At LuthorCorp, Lex brings his sister coffee and asks her how her science is going. She says she needs a distribution method, and explains how she thought she could use Obsidian but Andrea turned her down. He offers to help her but she doesn’t want anyone murdered. He insists he has other skills, but Lena is rightly suspicious.

Lena makes a suspicious face

“I bet this isn’t even really oat milk.”

However, she’s desperate for Non Nocere to work, so she accepts his help.

Supergirl and Winn go down to the server rooms and Winn admits that he’s the one who came up with the code Toyman used to upload himself, because he had wanted to be part of a video game when he was younger. But he changes the subject to Kara and William, and Kara admits she’s hesitant…because of Lena. She says the word “friendship” but if she didn’t you wouldn’t know she wasn’t talking about an ex. Living a double life ruined her relationship with Lena, and she doesn’t want to risk going through that heartbreak again. To start another relationship on a lie. Winn says it’s just a date, but Kara is still unsure.

Alex’s team has been de-linking all the digital stuff, but the Toyman got into some robotic flying monkeys and has them go attack Winn and Kara. Winn’s dad comes onto a screen and reveals he was also uploaded, and he tries to help Winn, but Winn doesn’t trust him. So he goes a different way than his dad says while Supergirl thunderclaps the monkeys away.

Across town, Lex finds Gemma Cooper and introduces himself, pitching the same thing Lena did, but going over Andrea’s head about it.

gemma cooper smiles mischievously

I don’t know what Leviathan’s deal is but if they’re going to take down Lex Luthor, sign me up.

He also pitches a longer-term partnership between Obsidian and LutherCorp, and she seems intrigued by this proposal.

Back at the DEO, before Alex de-links her tablet, she checks the activity on her spyware and realizes that Brainy deactivated it.

Alex ponders

Me trying to remember which version of my password I used for any given login.

She goes to confront Brainy about it, and he insists that he did it for her own good, that Lex would have definitely realized it and that it would have been bad for everyone. She’s pissed and says that he’s been acting shady ever since all the other Brainys left and she doesn’t think it has anything to do with his personality inhibitors being removed. He says that technology can always be used against you, and promises her he’s on her side. And while I believe he believes that, I’m not so sure that’s true.

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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. – Eh. That William/Kara Karaoke was trying so hard to manufacture chemistry and just felt so cringe.
    – And now “Supergirl” is doing one of the romance tropes that I hate the most. The one where the friends try to push the people together despite protestations from the people.
    – Kara is comparing her possibly romantic relationship with William to her relationship with Lena.
    – Alex isn’t using her alien gun. She’s using a regular gun. That’s a small detail that I wouldn’t have thought that they would have remembered.
    – I have to admit, Lex can be both bold and subtle.
    – Has Brainy not told anybody that he absorbed the other Brainys?
    – Do you think that’s air that you’re breathing, Winn?
    – So now the question is, “Is Leviathan manipulating the Luthors or vice versa?”
    – Kara couldn’t go through with the date. I’ll withhold judgement on this because they left it open for her to revisit it. Let’s see if they do.

    • I saw somebody on Twitter say, “William was invited to karaoke night. Not Kelly or Nia, just William. Think on that.”

  2. There is a part of me that is hoping that the writers have finally caught on and are pulling a KorAsami. There is a ridiculous amount of crossover between KarLena and KorAsami not even considering the baiting the writers are doing.

    Kora and Kara are both Superheroes. They both have trouble stepping out of the shadow of the other famous hero they get compared to. (Aang/Superman)

    Lena and Asami are both business women who inherited a company from a corrupt male family member who hated everything Kara/Kira stand for. They both just want to make the world better.

    Kora and Asami both dated Mako before getting storylines that thrust the two women closer and closer together.

    Kara and Lena both dated James before getting storylines that heavily featured their relationship.


    As has been said many times though, these writers are never likely to do that. They can’t even consistently have the canon lesbians together… Or have Nia on screen…

  3. I’m just over here to say, with a heavy sigh and the biggest eye roll that I called William from episode one.That’s how cliché that whole deal is.
    Also, the other day a German Newspaper writer I follow on Twitter tweeted that a lot more people congratulate her on her new boyfriend than on her first book.
    I keep thinking back to that quote because it is SUCH a mood and so relatable.
    Leave Kara be to figure out her own shit before pairing her with anyone. It’s such an opportunity to get Ms.Goodytwoshoes’ fallout from causing someone she cared deeply for major pain. Kara emotionally annihilated her best friend and she knows it.
    And also, Kara is canonically pan. She is a Kryptonian who has dated at least two different SPECIES from her own. That compulsory heteronormativity thing is getting really old really fast and quite ridiculous, tbh.
    “Oh, but they were human and Daxamite MEN!” is maybe not the message we want to be sending here?
    No matter if it’s a green and a white Martian as long as they’re straight? Come on, writers and network. You can do better.

    • The total head-in-the-sand refusal to acknowledge Lena even as a *potential* romantic interest is just excruciating.

  4. So… the DEO’s on lockdown. Must be Tuesday.


    Compulsory Heteronormativity sounds like one of the awful distribution courses you have to take when getting your Castorology degree.


    Once again, Kara compares her “friendship” with Lena to a romantic relationship. The only thing separating canon from a slow burn, meandering fanfic is that the fanfic would have an “angst, but with a happy ending” tag to encourage you to get through the two hundred thousand words leading up to the first time they hold hands.


    A Harry Chapin reference? I was not expecting that. Kudos.

    This episode felt like filler to me; moving pieces around the board. We’ve still got ten episodes left, and the double whammy of the mid-season finale and the Crisis took a lot of the momentum out of the plot. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again; 23 episodes is too much. Or, to put it another way, from one of Mr. Chapin’s many cheerful songs with happy endings:

    “It’s got to be the going, not the getting there, that’s good.”

  5. Favourite screenshots: Second page 1 LOL, 8, 10.

    I’d like to paged to a waiting Lena Luthor in my office please.

  6. It hurts my heart, but I can’t watch this show regularly anymore. Which is so sad because I love Katie, Chyler, and Nicole. I watch Abnormally Adams reactions, because he is hilarious, but I just can’t support the insane SwanQueen level of queerbaiting.

    I wish it was a Korrasami event, but unfortunately I think they will never allow that to happen especially since currently the Arrowverse has three female led shows and two of them have LGBT leads.

    That’s okay because Batwoman is comic cannon lesbian, and Legends is always a little off the rails and not a mainstream comic, but I don’t think they will let Supergirl be anything other than “normal.” All of the characters have so much potential for deeper stories and the writers, or producers, just keep rehashing the same standard bs over and over.

  7. Not much to say about this strange episode, really, but hard same. Hope it doesn’t take the better half of the season to get rid of Lex.

    Compulsory heteronormativity be damned! Well, speaking of toast, Mon-El is back for the 100th episode. Ugh!

    Thought you might like this, Valerie Anne:

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