“Supergirl” Episode 518 Recap: Bridge Over Troubled Water

The prison riot is getting more and more intense, so Lex distracts the prisoners using portals while Lena finishes her science, and hits everyone with a q-wave blast. Everyone is knocked down and chills out a little. Steve says he’s back to normal but…the OLD normal. Not the Non Nocere normal.

lena looks distraught

“But prison experiments usually go so well…”

After the battle at the DEO, Kara and Nia look at the rubble of the DEO headquarters. Maybe the DEO as they knew it has been gone for a while, but this feels so much more final.

kara and nia survey the damage

“RIP DEO Building. You were my third favorite balcony to have feelings on.”

Brainy tries to talk to Nia but she doesn’t want to hear it. She was willing to work with Brainy as he adapted to not having personality inhibitors, but he pushed her away. And now Nia doesn’t know who this new Brainy even is, and whoever he is, she sure doesn’t trust him.

nia stands up to brainy

Nia has come so far from the nervous, sleepy reporter we first met and I love her so much.


Nia tries to ask him questions, what language is he speaking, how is Lex involved, but he won’t answer, of course. So she tells him to pick a side or she’ll do it for him.

Kelly and William take Eve’s name to Andrea but she’s so sick of their shit. Gemma herself recommended Eve, there’s no reason to assume Eve is a problem. And if they don’t stop bothering her with their conspiracy theories, they’re fired.

andrea threatens kelly

At this point I genuinely can’t tell if she’s playing them or prefers to be willfully ignorant to keep her company going. But she’s a boss bitch and I can’t help but hope she’s on the right side of this.

At the prison, Lex tells Lena that things have calmed down with the prisoners, but Lena’s not feeling calm. She smashes one of her machines to the ground. Non Nocere is dead. She’s realizing now what she was hoping to avoid having to admit. Pain is a necessary part of life. Humans will always evolve to protect themselves, and sometimes protecting themselves means causing someone else pain. She sees that now. She feels foolish for trying.

lena regards her brother coldly

“Alex Danvers is smarter than you, anyway. I should have worked with her.”

Lex agrees that humanity can’t be changed, but thinks they need to be controlled. By a human. Lena sees the knowing glint in her eye and knows which human he means. Lex says they should join forces and be humanity’s saviors. Lena laughs at the word.

lena smiles ironically

“Ah, there it is. The god complex.”

Lena sees her brother clearly again for the first time in a while. He knew she would fail. He was planning on it. But then,when Lex realizes his cool, collected manipulation isn’t working this time, he flips. Starts screaming. He says he did everything for her, he helped her, he needed her to fail on her own terms so she could see he was the only one who could save humanity, that she needed him.

But Lena looks him square in the eye and says that just because he’s a monster doesn’t mean she has to be one, too.

Lena glares at Lex

:extreme Frozen the Musical voice: “I’ll do all that I can to make things right. I cannot be a monster. I will not be a monster. Not tonight!”

At the Tower, Kara is freaking out about Leviathan having Krytponite. Without Lena to build her another kryptosuit, how is she supposed to stand a chance against these gods? J’onn tells her they’ll figure something out, and then when Kara leaves, he has a romantic moment with M’gann. And again I ask…why? Frankly I’ve been burned by so much TV, I’m afraid for M’gann’s life right now. It feels like they’re setting her up to die. But I’m hoping that’s my own bias and that they just needed extra bodies for the final boss battle.

Alex heads back to her apartment to find Kelly there, drinking.

kelly drinks wine

Me thinking about how much of Alex and Kelly’s relationship development happens off-screen.

Alex tells her about her day and how she feels bad for taking risks and putting Pete in danger. She just feels so…lost without the DEO.

Alex and Kelly stand two feet apart for no reason

Ladies, I don’t think the pandemic has reached National City yet, you don’t have to practice social distancing.

Kelly tells her girlfriend about HER day, about Eve Tessmacher and Andrea’s threats. She needs to get sneakier, and maybe Alex should, too.

Kelly smiles at alex

“Didn’t you tell me that hot lesbian superhero in Gotham wears a mask?”

They talk about maybe getting Alex a vigilante alter ego and I am HERE! FOR! IT!

alex smiles nervously

“Hot? Did I say she was hot? Who said she’s hot? Is she hot? I hadn’t noticed?”

A few more things get tied up before the most important scene in the episode: Lex blows the prison up, Gemma invites him to the Leviathan ship, Brainy confronts Lex, who says things are going according to plan, William goes to try to meet Eve in a back alley because he’s apparently an idiot, and ends up getting kidnapped, etc, etc.

But then.

This last scene is one of the most beautiful scenes on this show in a good, long while. Kara gets a knock on her loft door, and when she opens it, everything goes totally still. No score underneath, no sounds, nothing. Just stillness and silence as the camera slowly pans to reveal Lena Luthor at her door.

Without saying a word, Kara steps back from the open door. A silent invitation. A gesture that shows that though she might not have the words to invite Lena in, she might have the room to let her in.

lena enters kara's loft

“I will not let anything, take away what’s standing in front of me. Every breath, every hour has come to this. One step closer.”

Lena takes a wavering breath and says, “I have made a terrible mistake.” Lena sets aside the Luthor pride that was drilled into her from years of being raised with and by sociopaths, she moves through the grudge she was clinging to like a life raft, she musters up all of her strength, and she apologizes to Kara. She says she was genuinely trying to do something good, she wanted to take away people’s pain. She was tired, so tired, from being hurt over and over and over again, so she thought this was the only way forward. Tears start to fall from her eyes as she tells Kara she was right, she was acting like a villain. Kara looks uncomfortable at the reminder.

Kara crosses her arms

“I have died every day, waiting for you.”

Lena says that she went down a dark path and couldn’t see that she was setting the forest on fire to try to save the trees from being chopped down. She knows it’s too much to ask Kara to forgive her, so she won’t even try. All she wants is for Kara to listen. She tells Kara that Lex is working with Leviathan, and manipulating her tech to do something terrible via Obsidian. She didn’t realize until it was too late that she was unwittingly helping the enemy. She wants to help stop them. She wants to help KARA. Please.

Lena begs

“I’m just a Luthor, standing in front of a Super, asking her to love her.”

Kara takes a deep breath and considers this woman who stands before her. The person who has hurt her more than she’s been hurt before, because of how deeply she cared. The person she’s hurt deeper than she’s hurt anyone before, for the same reason. The woman whose mother and brother are evil geniuses but who has stood by her side time and time again. The woman who didn’t know she was Supergirl, but saved her life anyway. Before this moment, Kara was afraid to reach out for hope that might not be there. That they were too far gone now, too many bridges burned to find their way back to each other. And honestly I worried the same. But now, watching Lena be more vulnerable than she’s ever been, doing two of the hardest things anyone can do – admitting that she was wrong and asking for help – Kara makes her choice. She reaches out. And she pulls out a chair, offering Lena a seat at her table.

Lena is so relieved

Lena’s wild relief, the breath she let out like someone lifted a 50lb weight from her chest…I felt it. I share it.

I thought this moment was beautiful and poignant and it gave me more hope for the rest of the season than I’ve had for a while. Even though sadly now there’s only one episode left. But hopefully they continue this trajectory into next season, too, and we get back on track with Lena and Kara breaking the Luthor vs Super mold and working together.

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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 258 articles for us.


  1. God, that last scene was just devastating, and so incredible. I just … I just think on what the season COULD have been had this been the focus of the season, instead of Lex, or Leviathan, or technology (or whatever the mess this season has been trying to make the big bad). The strength of this show has ALWAYS been the relationships between the women characters, and its been at its best when it has leant into such, and at its worst when it tried to go away from it, and it’s all embodied in the relationship between Kara and Lena, both all the amazing potential (as so much manifest in that last scene) and how they have so so often failed to use that potential (as this season has so shown). Supercorp or no (it’s going to be no of course unfortunately, despite all the queer-baiting) I just hope that this is the end of the Lex in this show, because honestly, he should have been gone the last time. Yes, I may have feels here :)

  2. Those final scenes… Plus the one where Lena finally sees / remembers the truth about her brother. Plus Kara and Nia in Co-Op. Plus seeing four women in one frame earlier. Lots of good things in this episodes.

    When some overblown story arc (Lex’s megalomania, Leviathon, Obsidian) gets bigger than the relationships between this SuperFam or its lead character, I find it hard to appreciate the goodies.

    But damn, Lena Kieran Luthor! Glad you came around and knocked on that door. Saying those words. Crying those tears. Sitting down at that table.

    Kara, whose hope in humanity has been diminishing with every second that Lex was on screen, offering Lena to sit down. Very well then, let’s talk.

    One more episode!!!

  3. Kelly who would’ve had her pre-crisis memories restored knows Eve is the person who shot her brother, James. It’s unclear if Kelly knows the whole story but that doesn’t really change anything.

    I think they may be setting up M’gann staying. Things seem to be going well on Mars so she might feel her work is done there. More importantly the show Sharon Leal played a main character on was canceled so she’s available.

  4. The confession at the award ceremony.

    The confrontation in the Fortress.

    The condolences at her desk.

    The apology at her door.

    As beautiful and heart wrenching as those moments were, I’m left wanting more. The signal to noise ratio of this season is such that Lena’s emotional arc doesn’t feel like it’s been fully earned.


    There was a moment when Lena hit rock bottom and Lex started screaming where I was afraid she was going to grab a shovel and start digging. I’m glad she found her way back to the light, instead.


    I hope there’s a costume montage next season of Alex refining her vigilante suit. With an appropriately cheesy needle drop behind it.


    According to what I’ve read, the season was supposed to be 22 episodes, then cut to 20, and shortened to 19 because of the pandemic. So we’re in for a rushed ending and possibly a cliffhanger. I’m going to hold onto my grain of salt until then.


    Kara: “Reporting 101. When you get kidnapped, you’re on the right track.”
    Nia Nal: “But that doesn’t make any sense.”
    Kara: “Tell that to Lois Lane.”

    Clearly, William learned that from Kara.

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