“Supergirl” Episode 514 Recap: VR Troopers

Previously on Supergirl, Alex quit the DEO, Lena was still hung up on her Non Nocheri plan, and Lex was trying to infiltrate Leviathan.

This week opened with a lady holding a sword chasing a dragon and, I’ll be honest, I thought for a second I accidentally put on an episode of Legends of Tomorrow. But no, we’re properly in National City, and the lady on a horse is actually just a lady using Obsidian tech.

It’s some kind of Obsidian cafe that Alex, Kara, and Nia are walking by. They’re chatting about the launch of the new VR program, and how it’s Alex’s first day out of the DEO and as a free agent at The Tower with J’onn.

nia kara and alex walk togetehr

Dear Supergil, more of :gestures to these three women: THIS.

Kelly shows up because she’s packed a lunch of Alex’s favorite foods for Alex’s first day at her new “job.” (Even though I’m still not entirely sure if she’s being paid?) And despite the fact that I have some concerns about how exactly a hot pocket, mac and cheese, and dumplings are situated in the lunch box, they’re pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself.

nia smiles as alex and kelly kiss

Nia is me. I am Nia.

And there are even dumplings in this lunch, which Kara adorably envies. William approaches this group of gals and Alex and Kelly promptly scatter to leave the CatCo employees with the potential post-rejection awkwardness. But it turns out William doesn’t feel awkward at all; he has Nia and Kara’s coffee orders down pat and has one in hand for each of them.

He skips off and Nia is surprised he’s being so chill after being rejected. Kara just feels awkward.

Nia and Kara awkwardly watch William leave

Frankly I feel like it would have been a better message if Kara rejected him and they went on to be great friends. But no one asked me.

Upstairs, Andrea is ready for her big new launch, feeling untouchable. But then the elevator she’s in goes haywire and she starts plummeting down. She cries out for help, and help of course Supergirl is there to save her.

When they get into the CatCo office, they find a manifesto that speaks as though Andrea is dead, saying if they don’t cancel the Obsidian VR launch, more people will die.

andrea and kara look a the mantifesto

I think I’ve been watching too much Nancy Drew because I saw the coffee stain on this manifesto and I was like A CLUE.

But Andrea is determined and won’t let a little near death experience get in the way of her launch.

Down in her lab, Lena is testing Non Nocere, getting a vicious alien and a puppy to get along.

lena looks sciencey

Where did she get this puppy? What is she going to do with this puppy? Is this her puppy now?

Lex is impressed, but Lena is worried that human brains are more complex and she doesn’t know if it will work. Plus, she’s worried about what the Superfriends said, how they think she wants to puppet master people, that she’s going down a dark path. But she really does just want people to be the best versions of themselves, to be more free and creative without their anger and violence weighing them down. Lex tells her she seems awfully concerned about what Kara thinks of her and that she should buck up because he has human participants for her. Prisoners who are volunteering to be part of her experiment. He leaves, proud of himself, and Lena is rightly suspicious.

lena looks suspicious

And alarmingly attractive.

Lex heads back to the DEO, where Brainy is hard at work trying to reverse Toyman’s immortality code so they can take down Leviathan. But Brainy says that even once he does crack this, he assumes they are impenetrable like Supergirl is, so they have to find a way to weaken them before they inject them with the anti-immortality serum. So they have to find, essentially, Leviathan Kryptonite.

Lex decides that he can use the Obsidian launch to his advantage to get closer to Gemma, so he has the DEO offer Supergirl as Andrea’s personal bodyguard. (Side note, the name of this episode was The Bodyguard, which I think means technically Kara and Andrea should have kissed or Kara should have at least sung I Will Always Love You about Lena on a balcony but whatever.)

Supergirl is a little insulted to be asked to be a bodyguard but Brainy tells her the odds and Lex low-key threatens her, so she agrees. There IS a violent alien on the loose, after all.

kara glares at lex

“I hate this for me. But fine.”

Across town, Alex and J’onn are in the Tower working, and Alex admits she feels a little untethered. She’s never not had a boss, or a clear mission or responsibility. Frankly, it’s even been a long time since she hasn’t had a gun and a badge. But J’onn assures her she’ll find her way.

alex pouts

“Can I at least carry a baseball bat? Harley Quinn style?”

Supergirl flies in and complains about her new assignment, and asks for their help. She describes the kind of alien who attacked and J’onn thinks it sounds like a race of alien that usually uses their powers and energies to farm, and aren’t usually a violent people, but they’ll use that as a lead anyway.

Lex goes to meet with Gemma and do some wily dealings, and I’ll be honest with you, I’m starting to feel about Lex the way I feel about Constantine on Legends. He’s in his own sideplot that I don’t really care about at all and I kind of wish he would just go away and Lena would re-join the Superfriends. I really enjoyed Jon Cryer’s take on Lex but I think this has run its course.

The only blessing is Gemma seems as annoyed by Lex as I am.

Lena goes to the prison and is surprised to see how many people volunteered, from very violent men to the squirrely guy Steve that we’ve seen before. Steve is being beat on by a man named Toby and he tells Lena that he’s super excited for the idea that Non Nocere would end his torment. Lena is feeling the pressure.

Lena looks worried

“Ah yes, human trials means interacting with humans. I failed to predict this outcome.”

At the first Obsidian event of the day, Andrea is positively delighted to have what she dubs a #SuperGuard and takes a selfie.

Andrea takes a selfie

This tickled me. And Melissa did some really cute subtle reluctant/awkward moves before and after.

While she’s watching her charge, William strolls in and giddily introduces himself to Supergirl. Supergirl is concerned with him being near Andrea while she’s under attack but he says he’s an investigative journalist and that’s part of the job. (Kara wouldn’t know, she’s never done her job a day in her life.) Supergirl calls him heroic and Kara reconsiders rejecting him and I yawn and yawn and yawn because I’m still not buying their chemistry; I like them as chums.

On an investigative mission on their own, J’onn and Alex go to the gaylien bar to ask if anyone’s heard about this pink-energy wielding alien. The bartender points them to a man named Dimitri, who isn’t too pleased to see Alex. But once she assures him she doesn’t work for the government anymore, he helps them out and gives them a tip.

Alex pulls a face

Me when a guy tries to hit on me at a bar.

Alex calls the tip into Brainy to see if he can find a location, despite J’onn’s concerns about using Lex’s resources for this, but Alex says Brainy is family and trusts him to tell her if he doesn’t think he can get away with helping. Brainy says he can help but then tells Alex that he didn’t find any information, which was a big fat lie.

This lie sends Brainy into a bit of a spiral and so he beckons Hip Brainy from the Big Brain to ask for his advice. He knows that he’s supposed to be helping Lex but he’s worried about his friendships because he’s a good pure boy. Hip Brainy tells him that aligning himself with Lex is the only way to be sure his friends even survive to decide to be his friend or not, so Brainy reluctantly continues on his duplicitous journey.

In the prison, Lena gives everyone lenses and starts her first human trial of Non Nocere. As soon as they take out their lenses, the energy is more chill. Steve’s bully asks him on a lunch date. Lena is so happy.

Lena smiles

I wanted to live in this moment for the rest of the hour.

While Andrea is interviewed for a talk show, William and Supergirl chat about their stance on VR in general, and how William used to be into it until he started making real life connections via karaoke and game night. He says VR can’t replace real connection, and it seems that’s Supergirl’s stance on it, too. (The Kryptonian and the show at large.)

Before the interview is over, the lights go out and pink energy flows through and the mystery attacker goes for Andrea again, but Supergirl flies in just in time. Supergirl tries to get Andrea to back off the launch but she’s sacrificed too much (namely, Lena’s friendship) to give up now. And so she’s grateful for Supergirl’s help because she knows that together they can get this tech off the ground.

andrea thanks supergirl

Can I just say, I love Andrea’s lil scar on the bridge of her nose. (The rumors are true, chicks dig scars.)

In prison, Steve’s bully is nice to him, but suddenly Steve is overcome and he looks like he wants to punch Toby but he can’t so he has a seizure. Lena is by his side when he wakes (THE DREAM) and he says that he has an insatiable hunger for vengeance now that he never had before; Lena feels awful.

Lena looks distraught

I wish Kara had somehow walked in on this moment. To see the real fear and sorrow in Lena’s eyes when she realized she caused someone harm.

Alex and J’onn somehow still find their way to the barn without Brainy’s help, and they find schematics for a modified gauntlet that the alien seems to be using as a weapon. The alien in question shows up (I would say what kind they are—it sounded like Chlorophyllian—but I can’t be sure of the spelling. That was just my best guess based on my knowledge of Latin roots and their sun/plant powers.) The alien sucks up J’onn’s powers and renders him to weak too fight back, and sets the barn on fire as Alex throws a crowbar at them, having to improvise a weapon in absence of her gun. The alien zips off and Alex presses her Supergirl button.

alex presses her supergiril button in the burning barn

Portrait of an Alex on Fire

Hearing the call, Supergirl interrupts Andrea’s latest event and swooshes her to the DEO, leaving her there while she goes to put out the barn fire. They realize that the gauntlets were modified to help this alien use their powers of absorption against other aliens.

Meanwhile, Lena is trying to science her way to an answer as to what happened to Steve.

Lena sciences seriously

I just think Alex’s science/medicine background could really help her out.

Lex comes in to check on her, and Lena is saying that maybe she’s delusional like Lex was, maybe her idea IS bad, maybe she is taking free will away, like Supergirl thought, even though that was never her goal. Maybe she is going down a dark path. Which is just so pure and definitely not something Lex ever considered about himself. Lex reminds her that his downfall was his obsession with beating Superman, and he encourages her to beware of her downfall being her obsession on what Supergirl thinks of her.

Lena looks sad

“Technically, it’s Kara’s opinion I’m obsessed with, but point taken.”

Back at the Tower, Alex is feeling weird because she was so helpful in that fight without powers or a weapon. She never had to worry about being a mere human before, because she had a team by her side. What if the DEO was her power? But J’onn promises her that she still has a team behind her, and that it’s only her first day; she’ll figure things out as she goes.

Alex looks blue

Alex! Buck up! You’re your own damn weapon!

Amongst the debris of the barn, Supergirl finds a box with Obsidian credentials and a suicide note. In the note, a man named Todd admits that he was obsessed with escaping in Obsidian because he was finding it impossible to adjust to Earth after leaving their home planet. He writes about not being able to cope, and once he got caught using the lenses he was fired and denied access to them, and he couldn’t bear to live without it. At first they wonder if he’s the attacker, but then they realize he died a year ago. So instead they suspect his wife, Amy, and figure she’s seeking revenge for taking her husband away from her.

Supergirl flies to Obsidian, where Amy is on a rampage trying to find Andrea. Amy absorbs Supergirl’s powers, knocking her out, and even Dreamer’s powers don’t stop her for long.

At the DEO, Andrea is telling Brainy about all the failsafes, and they’re worried about explosions, so Brainy says he’ll go to Obsidian to turn them off. Andrea wants to help, but Brainy says it’s not safe, so he orders her put in a holding cell.

Meanwhile, Amy is attacking everyone, including Kelly when she tries to reason with her. But Alex swoops in like a lesbian in shining armor just in the nick of time.

kelly and alex against a wall

Okay show good yes THIS but MORE.

Andrea, frustrated, starts banging around her cell, and ends up accidentally falling through her shadow and ending up in her office to help Brainy shut down the failsafe.

Amy makes her way to the servers and starts to absorb energy from them to try to shut down the launch. Supergirl realizes she’s no physical match for these gauntlets, so she tries to talk to Amy instead. They talk about Todd, about his dark spiral, and Supergirl points out that Amy is on a dark spiral of her own. Supergirl understands her frustration, her pain, but if Amy continues, more people will die, which she knows isn’t what Amy wants. She just wants people to connect. She tells Amy she’s in control of her future, and Amy stops supercharging the servers, and Obsidian launches as planned.

Amy isn’t mad anymore, just sad. Tired. She says she misses him so much, and Supergirl understands. More than Amy could know.

Kara looks knowingly at Amy

“I, too, have suffered many, many tragic losses. But how good do I look in this light, be honest.”

Supergirl asks how Andrea got here so fast, but Andrea lies; she eventually puts together that it was the medallion that gave her those powers, but she tells Supergirl she just convinced agents to take her. Supergirl expresses her concerns about VR addiction, but Andrea says that it will help far more people than it hurts. That it can be used in trauma healing, and coping. Not just for escapism. She says that Supergirl has to remember that when it comes down to it, all Andrea wants to do is help people. Just like Lena.

At the Tower, J’onn asks Alex how she’s feeling after her first day, and our little overachiever is bummed she hasn’t solved the Lex mystery and mastered non-weaponed fighting in one day. To cheer her up, J’onn gives her a weapon. At first it looks like a gun, but he shows her that it’s a Martian weapon called the Hand of the Soldier, that can turn into any weapon she chooses as long as she can picture it.

alex looks down at her new toy

Yes, I did immediately start chanting, “SWORD SWORD SWORD!” thanks for asking.

She’s gonna make it after all.

After talking to Lex, Lena figures out that the vengeance part of the brain is different from general violence, so she reworks Non Nocere to help rid Steve of his icky feelings. He calls her a hero, and she says wistfully that if her plan works, there won’t be a need for heroes.

Lena looks wistful

“And if there are no heroes, there is no Supergirl. Only my best friend Kara Danvers.”

The Danvers Sisters settle into Kara’s loft for some dinner (sitting in front of the couch like a coupla gays) and Alex tells her sister about her new weapon. Kara gets a text from William and for some reason Alex yet again encourages Kara to try going on a date with him, even though she has made it pretty clear she doesn’t want to.

alex looks at kara

“Listen as we’ve well learned, even geniuses can have bad ideas sometimes.”

But this time, Kara relents. Maybe it’s because she realized that he was going to be in the line of danger by nature of his job anyway, and dating her wouldn’t put him in any more danger than usual, or maybe she’s just tired of the pressure, I don’t know. But she asks William to go to dinner with her, and looks medium amounts of happy about it.

kara forces a smile

“This is fine.”

Across town, Brainy is questioning Lex’s leadership but he has his eyes on the Leviathan prize and can’t worry about a few civilians he was sure Supergirl would save anyway. Now that he proved he was useful to Leviathan, he asks Gemma if he can meet them, and Gemma says she’ll think about it. :yawn:

Next week looks very Nia-centric, and frankly, it’s about damn time.

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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 574 articles for us.


  1. I wish this show had the same caliber writers as Batwoman. The episodes are so hit or miss for me this season that, as hard as it is for me to admit, it’s hard to watch.

    At first, I liked Lex despite having reservations about the actor but now, he’s too much. And Lena continuing on blindly and immorally with this Non nocere experiment is getting old too.

    Also getting old is how much people (on other sites) have latched onto Lena as their Supergirl messiah to the point where she is all that is talked about. They want her to be queer and have more screen time when they almost never advocate for more of Alex or her storyline when she’s canonically gay and has a gf. Not you Autostraddle but certainly many other places.

    The fighting and griping about Lena and Supergirl not being in a relationship has also ruined the show for me some. For me, yeah the queer baiting sucks but that was never and never will be the draw for me. It was never Lena or her relationship with Supergirl. Yeah Lena’s pretty and smart but most of the women on this show are/have been. For me, the heart and best part of the show was Alex, Kara, space dad (J’onn) and Winn. The bickering and debate have only fueled these subpar writers to be petty and unoriginal as they continue to write stories that either entice with the queer baiting because they know it will get people watching and talking only to force something different and it sucks.

    Rant over. My bad for the length.

  2. The opening was so out of left field I had to pause the episode to make sure I was watching the right series.

    Kara’s face when Alex says she won’t share her dumplings is everything.


    It should be obvious to anyone on this side of the fourth wall that Lex has learned to “delegate”, and is going to use Non Nocere for his own nefarious purposes. After all, Supergirl would have to harm him to stop him. One of Lena’s weaknesses (yes, she has more than one) is that she continues to be too idealistic, and can’t see how her inventions will be misused.

    At least the season arc is starting to pick up speed.


    So, William/Kara (ship name TBD) may happen. The writers seem to be bending over backwards to make him seem like a good guy. It may be motivated by external factors, in which case I admonish the writers for ignoring the opportunity the Crisis gave them to explain it literally any way they want.

    The premise of next week’s episode made me nervous, but it looks like Nicole was in the writers room for this one, so bring it on. And bring on the one after that (Alex in Wonderland) and the one after that (Melissa’s hopefully Luthor-centric directorial debut). Also the B-story next week involves Alex, J’onn, and Kelly, so maybe she’ll get some actual screen time.


    Alex has survived water, air, and now fire. No element in this ‘verse can bury this gay.

  3. I know we can’t expect the science on this show to be realistic, but CAN WE PLEASE DISCUSS HOW UNSCIENTIFIC LENA’S “HUMAN TRIAL” IS? This is not how data works! She needs to be doing a double blind experiment! And observing the subjects over a long period of time! And not personally interacting with them! This is not what science is!

  4. also I need shenanigans with Alex’s new weapon akin to Adora learning to shapeshift her sword. If we don’t see Alex using her weapon as a mop or a pitcher, what’s even the point.

    • Does she shout a catch phrase, too, and get an elaborate transformation sequence?


      (Twenty seconds of 80’s metal)

      Kara: “Do you have to do that every time?”

      Alex: “Hush, you.”

  5. also also, my first thought with the opening was that the characters were playing DnD at game night and I was SO EXCITED.

  6. Supergirl is the straightest show right mow on tv and gets big articles every week on here. While Batwoman basically gets ignored. Why is that?

  7. Supergirl, please don’t make Valerie gesture for nothing.
    i am am asking you, Valerie, what is a better message for the Kara/William trajectory?
    pretty sure too much Nancy Drew is not a thing, so you’re good.
    puppy update, stat!
    i feel good about Lena alarming the population in this way.
    gotta say, don’t think this will be fine at second, or maybe third…
    don’t think this is the last outcome Lena fails to predict, but hope i’m wrong.
    Supergirl has surely been asked for a selfie before?
    Alex needs to use this face on Brainy.
    13/10 would also want the hour to go that way.
    scar concur
    failure to predict…
    Alex is always en fuego.
    they should be making beautiful science together.
    obsess over Kara’s opinion, Lena, obsess.
    her super alien gun was cool, though.
    more concur
    not entirely used to the bangs, but …
    thanks for chanting.
    wistful Lena is my favorite Lena.
    she looks like she knows it, too.
    coffee to go with those flames?

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