G’day and welcome to this recap of Supergirl episode 607, Fear Knot.
Previously on Supergirl, Kara got trapped in the Phantom Zone where she found her Kryptonian dad and a 5th dimensional imp named Nyxly, Team Super captured some Phantoms that got loose, and Brainy and Nia went back in time to Midvale to get Kara’s DNA so they could go on a mission to save Supergirl.
After two delightful Midvale episodes, we finally pop back into the Phantom Zone to check on Kara, who is dragging her dad away from the explosion she caused during her fight with Nyxly. As soon as they’re out of the danger of burning to a crisp, they find themselves in the wake of a phantom that scratches Kara, causing her eyes to cloud over in fear. She starts to feel hopeless, and loses the will to keep going. Her dad tries to pull her back to her feet, to tell her that her Earth family is surely looking for her, but she’s suddenly convinced they’re all going to die and it’s going to be all her fault.
Back on Earth, Nia and Brainy return from the past with Kara’s blood to find that Brainy missed the mark a little again (sounds like he needs some time travel lessons from AvaLance) and they were gone for three days. The good news is, Team Super was busy in their absence and everyone – Kelly, Lena, EVERYONE – is ready to go to the Phantom Zone immediately. (Except M’gann who is patrolling National City.)
Brainy is about to finish repairs on his Legion ship but one of the things J’onn has been busy doing is turning the Tower into a spaceship. Alex. is. THRILLED.
Kelly hops onto the controls, using Lena’s q-waves, and the DNA Nia and Brainy got, and the Tower J’onn commandeered, and under Alex’s leadership. Truly a team effort as they head for the Phantom Zone. J’onn warns them that when they get there, they might be plagued with their worst nightmares; think Dementors that create Boggarts. So Kelly uses her therapist skills to give them grounding techniques any of us who have had panic attacks or a need to walk back anxiety fainting already knew: Ground yourself. Name things you can see, touch, hear, smell. Things you know beyond a shadow of a doubt are real.
Lena gets it right away because she’s super smart and probably has suffered her fair share of waking nightmares. Alex is worried about Kelly coming on this mission with them, but Kelly is ready. She knows how important Kara is to Alex, and she’ll do anything for Alex.
They plan for the scenario where they show up and Kara doesn’t believe the rescue is real, which leads J’onn and Alex to fight about who should be the one on the ground when they get to the Phandom Zone. J’onn continues to be his Season Six pushy self and says Alex needs to be a leader to the rest while he’s on the ground, and she’s annoyed by this presumption but doesn’t press the issue further…for now.
They all have their roles; Dreamer will be on Phantom lookout, Lena made a sun grenade that will recharge Supergirl and scatter the Phantoms, but there’s only one so they have to time it just right, then Brainy will be the getaway driver. Plus, they only have so much power, so the countdown is on.
J’onn asks Lena to do the honors, and she sets them on course to find
They do their final checks and hit a bit of a turbulence and a power surge but then it seems they’re in the clear.
Once the turbulence settles, Alex works up the nerve to demand J’onn let her come with her on the ground mission. J’onn barks that he doesn’t want to risk losing both Alex and Kara but Alex wants to do whatever it takes to protect her baby sister. Before they have to officially make that decision, they get an alert that the Phantom broke out of containment so they go down to fight it. They swiftly get it back in its cage, and J’onn is about to tell Alex she’s earned the right to come with him to save Kara when he realizes she’s been scratched by the Phantom, and if she doesn’t get to the med bay soon, she could become one.
Alex, desperate to save her sister, kicks J’onn into a containment cell of his own, pulls up her hood, and heads back to the rest of the team. When Phantoms start banging up against the side of the Towership, Brainy realizes that Alex has been scratched and her transformation is attracting more Phantoms like New York City mice to exposed packets of Ramen.
Alex starts to panic that she made the wrong choice. And I think this is where I should have realized this was Alex’s nightmare scenario playing out, but I’ll admit I didn’t see it yet at this point. But of course Alex’s worst fear is her making a leadership decision that hurts more than it helps. That the consequence will be that she not only doesn’t save her sister but she also loses Kelly and the rest of her found family, too. So in this scenario, Alex realizes the only way to save everyone is to go out into the Phantom Zone and act as bait while she waits for the transformation to take hold.
Then the clock reverts and we’re back to final checks again. Nia compliments Lena on her ability to harness the literal sun, and Lena is impressed by Nia’s ability to harness dream energy. And then they both bond over losing their moms and missing them dearly.
They’re both so, so grateful for their new found family, but it does always feel like a little part of them is missing. But Lena has a book of folk tales from her mother, and Nia has her mother’s powers, so they’ll always be connected to the women they lost on some level.
Then the power surge happens again, and Lena notices something wrong with the coolant and goes to check on it. When she gets there, she sees a monster made of water rise up and traps it in the control room and calls for backup, but no one answers.
When she gets back to the main room, most of her friends were killed by what Lena recognizes now as a kelpie; only Nia is still alive. Lena remembers her mother drowning and feeling so guilty for not doing anything to save her, and reading her mom’s storybooks and specifically torturing herself with the one about the kelpie. Nia wants to know how to defeat a kelpie, but before Lena can give her the answer, the kelpie appears and drowns Nia, right in front of Lena.
But Lena is very clever and when she realizes this is a nightmare scenario, she also realizes it’s probably literally a nightmare. So she takes Kelly’s advice and starts listing things that are real. She starts with physical things, like the Martian steel she’s standing on, but she then goes into the things that really matter, like her friends. Her friends! There was a while she had distanced herself from considering them her friends, so the fact that they’re her touchstone now in this moment of sheer terror is very important and lovely.
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The balloons are a metaphor, you see. Because tiny boxes would have been too on the nose, even for the Supergirl writers.
Does anyone else feel like this episode was too short? Like, we got four rhyming stanzas of the women on board facing their worst fear – all having to do with failing to protect someone the love – and then a quick fifth stanza and an incredibly quick coda.
They just rescued the titular character from a literal hell and all we got was a quick hug.
Best case, they never intended this to be a midseason finale but the unplanned Superman and Lois hiatus screwed up the schedule.
Lena: “…like there’s a whole part of yourself you’ll never understand.”
Is this queer subtext?
So, if Lena was traumatized at such a young age by her mother drowning, did she ever learn to swim?
Your fanfic/fanart premise for the week is “Kara tries to teach Lena to swim.”
After the break… CatCo shenanigans, Kara in a plaid blazer, and the return of the Super Armor?
Instead of narcisistically replying to myself, I’ll just narcisistically cut&paste my lengthy Recap/Analysis from here: https://tavernwall.proboards.com/post/2029/thread
As much build-up as this episode had (the entire season to this point), it was almost inevitable that it was going to be disappointing (and that’s before we get to the abbreviated promo for the rest of the season, returning ye-god-what-a-wait August 24)
I’ll try to summarize my disappointment:
1) It felt simultaneously rushed, and slow (repetitive!). The ending was particularly rushed: all this, and blink, it’s over. But perhaps worse was the repetitive nature of the narrative . . . in a format other shows have done, better. The episode was entitled “Fear Knot”, for the fear visions that each . . . well, some of the Super Friends had, in the Phantom Zone (who did, who didn’t? A word about that, to come!) I couldn’t help but remember that BTVS did this same format, TWICE. [Once, in late S1 “Nightmares; and once in S4, the aptly-named “Fear, Itself”] “Fear Itself” was set in a haunted house (on Halloween: the season the Scoobies are freshmen in college), with their fears appearing by a (summoned) fear demon. The haunted house setting enabled each Scooby to see their fears in various places around the house: the narrative literally flowed from room to room. “Fear Knot” was abrupt, choppy: repetitive! [ala the repetitive nature of the ST:TNG ep “Deja Vu”, where the Enterprise blows up over and over. It’s great the first time, not so much the 5th or 6th]
2) Parent Issues: I know that it’s a timeless theme (especially in our post-Freudian times), but here in the Arrowverse there’s starting to be too much of it (I made a remark about Daddy Issues over on the Batwoman thread). Kara and her dad! Nia and her mom! Lena and HER mom! It’s too much. These are adults: grow up already! [At least Alex & Kelly had fears about each other (appropriate I think, in a fear-based ep). What I wouldn’t have given, to see Kara’s fears re Lena, and vice-versa!]
3) Why TF was it that the only two Super Friends NOT beset by fears, happened to be the two males, J’on and Brainy [Brainy said he had fears re balloons—I think that was something of a comic relief line?—but he said he was able to compartmentalize his fear away. Which is weird, as much as he’s been stressed out this season, AND how he was supposedly dispensing (along w/ Lena) w/ Lena’s “little boxes” technique]. Kelly begins the episode w/ her grounding technique (to cope w/ the PREDICTED fear visions), how is she not able to truly subdue her fear w/ it? (she makes an effort, in telling “Alex”—her fear delusion version of Alex—who she is, but it doesn’t ultimately work). Nia is the one who has her calming song (“9 to 5”!), how come she doesn’t try that? Instead, Brainy compartmentalizes, and J’on prevails in mental combat w/ the Prime Phantom. Meanwhile, Kara is losing hope (I actually predicted this part, before this episode), and it’s her DAD who restores her faith! Good googly-moogly, all these heroines would sure be in real trouble w/o their menfolk, huh? >:-/
At any rate, Super J’on defeats the Phantom, breaks the visions (strangely, he credits each Super Friend w/ doing it themselves, but it sure looked hopeless w/o J’on’s efforts), and they arrive at Kara’s location.
Then, if I may single it out, was really the ONE example that one could call “Supercorp” (if they tried hard enough—raises hand!): dropping Lena’s “Yellow Sun Bomb” (they don’t call it a bomb), which annihilates the phantoms closing in on Kara and her dad, and powers them up (Kara realizes that this is the Super Friends’ rescue effort). Zip, and into Alex’s arms!
Seriously, I was fine w/ a hug just between Kara and Alex: I will NEVER resent these two their closeness. I call the Danvers Sisters the “soul” of Supergirl. But in terms of heart: Alex’s heart got a moment, through Kelly’s profession of love (during her fear vision). But Kara’s? As the Super Friends take their battle stations (after J’on’s rescue of them from their visions), we never see Lena again. [We don’t see Nia or Kelly either. After Kara and Alex embrace, it’s just J’on “Brainy, get us out of here!” (I’m not sure we even see Brainy piloting the ship here). But we do see, in the background of K&A’s hug, Kara’s dad: Yes, he was Real&Rescued! And finally, we see Nyxly, stowing away on the outside of the (“Tower”) ship: setting her up to be the final eps’ Big Bad.
So that was “Fear Knot”, and no more eps until late August.
OK, the promo: Kara and Alex (looks like Kara’s in the infirmary, as one would expect after her PZ ordeal). [There are several S5 shots, just for filler] But mainly . . . they’re focused on Kara’s Dad.
Argh, I DO NOT CARE ABOUT KARA’S FATHER!!! Not now! There’s not enough time left for this!
Admittedly, this could just be from an ep or two, not dominating the final 13 episodes. But oy vey, just ANY more time devoted to him bothers me. Send him to Argo to be reunited w/ Alura (Kara’s mom), and fuhgeddabouthim! Besides this, though: in one of the new shots (I think that, besides the infirmary scene, they were ALL at CATCO?), there he was (blurry): William. }-0<<<
And no new shots of Lena. Yes, there was an extremely limited # of new shots: maybe only a half dozen, mostly focused on Kara's dad. (Being at CATCO, Nia is in a couple, too).
But seeing William, and not Lena—along w/ all the time-wasting re Kara's dad—just left an extremely bad taste in my mouth.
Now, off to read others who will talk me off the ledge . . . OR who will be even madder than I am, who I have to avoid!
Knowing me, I will be back on the Supercorp Hope (which some call "Clown") Train, shortly. And I have to remember: we'll always have 6.4! "I have to get Kara back": Lena, you succeeded. Now go get your girl!
“It felt simultaneously rushed, and slow (repetitive!)”
I totally agree… I found it boring, and then the end was rushed!!!
I suppose they didn’t have all the actors on set with Melissa to film a proper reunion with all the team. Strange choici for an episode of the last season, just before a hiatus.
I really hope the next episodes won’t give to much time to Lex, Willia or Kara’s dad :-(
Time loss, time loops, time running out… wheee, it certainly didn’t make for neat story telling, but a showcase for everyone’s fears. Nothing we hadn’t heard about before though, so not sure we really needed a full episode about it.
Either way, those little character moments between Nia and Lena were great or Kelly trying to remind Vampire Alex about their life together, or Dad Zor El being touched by Kara’s hopes and beliefs.
And then there’s Nyxly, ready to cause some havoc. Hope this story line will not dominate the second and final half of the season, and not allow for some proper Danvers sisters time as well as some kind of closure for Kara/Lena (something, anything, writers?!)