Sing a song of joy, raise it up to Rao, for our show has returned to us, its heart fully intact.
You know how when Supergirl uses her powers too much and she burns out and needs to recharge for a bit? Maybe that’s what happened here. The show was on a season-and-a-half run of pure awesomeness, it lost its powers for a few episodes, but it’s back, baby.
I think what made it great (besides Mon-El taking a backseat and James being back, however briefly) is that the episode focused on the women at the helm of the show, with themes of family, trust, and the risks and rewards of doing What’s Right. Plus it felt very relevant and took a bunch of jabs at the current state of things, which felt like old times.
Last we left National City, Cadmus had stolen the alien registry with Jeremiah’s help, and this week we open with Cadmus henchmen kidnapping a family roadtripping. They do it by using cops to pull the family over and claim a broken headlight, then they throw them in a van and take them away. It’s scary and all too real.
Back at the DEO, they are lamenting the fact that they’re up to their 20th abduction and they don’t have any leads. J’onn points out that Jeremiah is an enemy combatant now and that he’ll have to be arrested on sight, which Alex assures through gritted teeth that it won’t be a problem for her.
Meanwhile, the littlest Danvers girl wants to write an article about the alien registry being compromised so she can warn them to be vigilant. She’s so sure, our optimistic ray of light, that Snapper will be happy to run the article, but she is so wrong. He says he can’t risk being accused of being “fake news” (lol) and says Kara can’t have Supergirl as her only source anymore. Kara tries to entice him with an exclusive interview with Supergirl and he doesn’t seem wholly convinced but he agrees to it.
That night, Alex and Maggie are playing pool in the gaylien bar, Maggie coming out on top and ready to reap her rewards: Dinner with her lady, scotch, and a flash grenade. But Alex is zoned out; she can’t stop running the scenario where Jeremiah gets caught by the DEO, sure there will be enough of a struggle to risk him getting killed in the process, knowing nobody but her would take the extra care to keep him alive. She’s the only one who doesn’t believe he’s completely turned over to the dark side. Maggie believes, though, because Alex believes. She looks at her girlfriend and tells her not to worry; Alex WILL be there when they find him, so she can protect him if no one else will. With renewed hope, Alex challenges Maggie to a double-or-nothing game, because there’s no way she’s giving that tiny spitfire a flash grenade.
So Maggie heads off to grab another round while Alex re-racks because they’re the perfect pair.
Across the bar, Winn and Lyra are on a date and James is third-wheeling it. James asks how long she’s been on Earth because he’s surprised how well she “speaks Winn” and I thought he was going to question her intentions (because I’m still not ruling out a Veela situation) but he sees how happy the two nerdballs are together and can’t help but beam back at them.
Lyra goes off to get more drinks when suddenly the bar is ambushed. Targeted for being an alien bar, again. Guns are blazing, Alex, Maggie and James are fighting, but Lyra and a bunch of other aliens get swept away in the chaos. Alex runs outside and tries to stop the guy hauling Lyra to the van, but a bald baddie comes up from behind her and pulls a gun on her. Maggie comes out to save her girl, but the bald guy grabs Alex and there’s a bit of a stand off.
And even though I’d like to think Maggie and Alex could have tag-teamed their way out of it, Guardian appears to step in, and usually I’d feel very “women don’t need men to save them!” about a situation like this, but frankly anyone who is protecting our queer ladies on TV is fine by me. Maggie grabs Winn to stop him from running after the van full of aliens and getting himself shot, and they all watch helplessly as their friends and neighbors are carted away.
Back at the DEO, Winn blames Jeremiah for this and takes his frustration out on Alex, pushing her over the edge. She marches into bald baddie’s cell and WAILS on him. It’s heartbreaking to watch because you know she’s falling apart at the seams, but DAMN is it fierce. J’onn pulls her out before she smashes him to death and she promises him that she’s fine despite the steam pouring out of her ears.
In a feat of speed and swiftness, Kara sends Snapper in for his interview with Supergirl, who gives her best stance while he deadpans questions at her.
He tries to trick her into giving more information than she feels comfortable with, but she doesn’t bite. She just confirms Kara’s story and flits away. When Kara asks how it went, he says he isn’t sold, and still won’t run the story, making Kara feel frustrated.
Back at Alex’s apartment, where Alex is about to pour from what looks like a milk carton, but knowing Alex, is probably just orange juice she mostly poured out to make room for champagne, when Jeremiah appears. He says he’s pretending to be on Team Cadmus, and Alex wants to trust him, but is understandably a little wary. He begs her for help; Lillian is going to slaughter the aliens and she needs to get him an important magnetic field disruptor from the DEO. He uses classic manipulation: she can’t tell anyone, she’s the only one who can help him, she has to answer now.
She paces a bit and finally starts to say yes when Jeremiah morphs into J’onn: this was a test, and Alex failed. She feels rightly violated and he understands but he had to know. So he suspends her until further notice.
Before long, Maggie and Kara are over at Alex’s apartment, and Kara apologizes for J’onn’s behavior.
BUT the thing is, while Kara wouldn’t have gone about it this way, she’s concerned that he might be right in thinking Alex is too much heart and not enough head about this particular mission because of the whole punching-out-her-feelings-on-a-prisoner’s-face thing.
Alex’s voice starts to quiver – the one person who always has her back is not on her side. Jeremiah is their father, Kara should know how she feels. And Kara does, but she’s just more even-keeled about it, so she promises to protect Jeremiah; it’s just, letting Alex join the mission could risk putting Jeremiah in danger – or worse, could get Alex killed.
And here’s the thing; Kara loves her Earth family. But she didn’t spend as much time with Jeremiah as she did with Eliza and Alex, and while she has a fondness for the kindness he showed her and the sacrifice he made for her, she’s bound to be quicker to believe it’s possible Jeremiah has been compromised. Or even that maybe the man they remember from when they were younger isn’t who they thought he was; think of Astra, think of the things she’s learned of her Kryptonian parents as an adult. She understands why Alex feels the way she does, but Kara’s heart has been broken enough times for the possibility of betrayal to be something she wants to be prepared for.
After Kara leaves, Alex, shaking with teary-eyed frustration, turns to Maggie and asks if she agrees with her sister. Maggie surprises her by saying no; if Alex wants to protect her father, she needs to protect her father. So she’ll help Alex however she can. “Ride or die.”
Speaking of girlfriends, Kara is surprised to see Lena at CatCo, which hurts Lena’s feelings: they had plans to go get kombucha. Kombucha! But Lena makes the best of the situation, and when Kara explains what she’s working on, Lena offers to be a second source for her story and do some research at L Corp for her. And in fact seems delighted to be working together. Kara thanks her and Lena uses her favorite line, “What are friends for?” and Kara dips her head and blushes. :bites knuckle to keep from shouting about how in love they are:
Out on the street, Cadmus tries their pull-over-the-alien trick again, but this time Alex and Maggie are on the job. Maggie borrowed Alex’s laser gun and loves it, but Alex tells her not to get used to it.
While Maggie saves the alien, Alex hops in the van and gets the GPS data so she can locate Cadmus. Maggie asks if she needs backup, and Alex says no, so Maggie sends her off with her laser gun and a kiss.
(The alien says, “I want what you guys have,” which sounds sweet on paper, but the slight grin on his face made the girls tell him to gtfo. It was a cute moment.)
Alex successfully sneaks into Cadmus, ninjas some dudes down, and is eventually intercepted by Jeremiah. He leads her to the center of operations, where he explains that he convinced Lillian to send the aliens back to space instead of executing them. He says he did this all for Alex and Kara, because they’ve been threatening them ever since they took him, but Alex is HORRIFIED. Forced deportation is basically just delayed execution for some of these aliens; so many of them escaped horrors like famine or war or genocide for a better life here. She looks her father in the eye and asks how he could possibly think that she and Kara would want him to hurt others just to protect them.
Alex even tries to pull the mom card, but he’s confident Eliza will understand.
At her apartment, Kara is trying to decide whether or not to publish the piece Snapper wouldn’t run on her personal blog (which was Lena’s idea btw). She ultimately decides to do it, and is rewarded with a call from Lena.
Lena, true to her word, has been feverishly researching for Kara, but it turns out the assistant she has helping her warned Lillian, who ordered her to temporarily incapacitate her daughter, so while Lena is on the phone with Kara, she gets attacked. Lena fights back with a taser, which takes her attackers by surprise, ending with her falling off the balcony.
But never fear, Supergirl is here!
And I’m sorry but if you don’t want me to want them to date each other, you can’t keep giving them the most romantic moments ON THE ENTIRE PLANET.
Lillian, worried about Lena and Kara’s interference, decides to just send the aliens they already have up since they’re out of time. But Alex has planted mines and blows a little bit of Cadmus up every time Lillian doesn’t listen to her.
Jeremiah finds himself between listening to Lillian or Alex, and he ultimately chooses Alex and they fight their way out together. Alex decides to stop the spaceship from taking off from the inside – and then, just when you thought Alex couldn’t get any more badass, she runs as fast as she can with explosions going off behind her. It’s action-movie-hero stuff and it’s everything Alex Danvers deserves.
Alex lets one cell of prisoners loose on the ship and puts Lyra in charge of getting everyone to safety while she tries to shut down the ship from the captain’s seat. Where she looks goooood.
Autopilot kicks in and the ship takes off and she calls the DEO for help. They try to talk her through it but they need more time, they need to slow the ship down somehow. Never fear, thanks to Lena, Supergirl is here! And Alex is so happy to see her, despite their recent fights. Supergirl brushes off a few missiles then goes to the front of the spaceship to push it back and slow it down. The sisters lock eyes through the glass of the windshield and they both press their hands on the same place of the glass and Alex says, “You can do this.” Because despite any disagreements, first and foremost, they are sisters.
Inspired by her sister’s words, Kara uses all of her might to push and push and saves the day once again. And Alex is so, so proud of her baby sister.
This scene made my heart swell up and I realized I had that dopey grin on my face that I’d been missing the past two episodes and it felt like coming home. I hope this show never forgets who it is ever again.
The next day, Kara goes to CatCo and finds her stuff packed up. Snapper accuses her of being lucky, not right, and that she’s fired for breaking the rules. He gives her one last look, seeming genuinely upset and says, “I was rooting for you. We were all rooting for you!”
Alex finds J’onn at the DEO and says she’s sorry for going against his orders, but stand by her original statement that the way he went about “testing” her was cruel. He agrees, and he’s sorry. He was afraid of losing her, but he almost lost her anyway. Alex says she’s had just enough of father figures in her life trying to protect her by doing awful things, so they agree to stick to doing What’s Right from now on. They hug and it’s beautiful.
Maggie is there to greet her when she’s done hugging her space dad and is glad to hear she got her job back, though Alex will always have a gig as her trophy girlfriend if she wants it.
And then nothing happens at Kara’s apartment at all.
Lastly, King Hercules and Queen Lois Lane arrive in Earth’s atmosphere to stir up trouble. But we’ll deal with them next week.