Hello and welcome to this recap of Supergirl season 6, episode 14, “Magical Thinking,” aka the one with Kara once again trying to out-gay her canonically gay sister.
Previously on Supergirl, Lena found out she was descended from witches, Nyxly set out on a quest for totems because apparently she didn’t watch Season 3 of Legends of Tomorrow, and after a tussle over the Totem of Courage, Kara found herself linked to Nyxly, which she hopes will help find the imp so they can stop her.
We open on game night, which already has me thinking maybe I accidentally started lucid dreaming fanfic, because Lena is actually invited this time. And Kelly, Alex, J’onn and Nia are playing Jenga, a game that doesn’t require teams, and yet Lena is pacing around the loft waiting for Kara to arrive before she can settle down and have fun.
When Kara does come back, she is too stressed about Nyxly to appreciate that no one started eating the Chinese food without her. Lena wants to help her, and offers to look in her mother’s book of spells for an answer.
Lena is worried about it though; she has been analyzing and studying the book and can’t seem to make heads or tails of it, scientifically speaking. When she’s explaining it though, Nia thinks she can help, since her dream powers can’t exactly be broken down in a rational way. She offers to help Lena and Lena graciously agrees.
Kara tells Lena that CatCo wants to do a story about the Superfriends, and Alex agrees that they need the public’s support to stop Nyxly, but they want to keep Lena’s newfound magic abilities off the record. If I’m being honest, the reasons were not clear to me. They even know that Lena Luthor works closely with Supergirl Back East, surely it wouldn’t be a surprise that she was working with the Superfriends now? I guess the magic thing is worth keeping under wraps for now, but I still don’t really get why.
Anyway, Lena agrees. She’s just happy to be here, if we’re being honest.
Kelly isn’t going to be back at the Tower just yet because, unlike the reporters in the room, she actually likes to show up at her job now and then, so she’s going to take on one of the other kids displaced by the group home she dissolved: the justice-loving, whip-smart cutie named Esme.
Despite Kelly speaking sincerely, all of a sudden Kara starts laughing maniacally, confusing her family.
But the laugh is not her own; it’s the unhinged glee of Nyxly, who has just discovered a second totem right here in National City.
When Kelly goes to check on Esme, she’s so excited to tell her guardian angel about how her new foster parents are so nice and even make her pancakes for dinner, and Kelly is so pleased. Esme is happy, too; so happy, in fact, that she made Kelly a friendship bracelet to thank her for saving them from Miss Hannigan. Esme has a matching one, of course.
It’s very fucking cute!
J’onn is showing the CatCo reporter around the Tower and the way they explain how Kara and Nia are so close to the Superfriends is by exposing that Alex Danvers is part of the Superfriends; which I guess makes sense, since I don’t think it was a secret before that she worked for the DEO. It’s just that “no one knows” she’s Sentinel. Totems shmotems…wait, dammit I can’t use that for this show anymore! Secret identities, shmecret shmidentities…I’ll workshop it.
The reporter agrees to their terms about what can and cannot be published and they all move on with their lives.
Across town, a fighter has the totem Nyxly is looking for, and simply demands it from him.
He gives it to her and she thinks it’s too easy, but she speaks the password quickly and Olmec’s voice tells her to use the totem wisely. Supergirl, hot on her heels, lands in front of her, and Nyxly uses the totem to defend herself, shooting totem energy out into the crowd of men around her. She has Mitch beam her back up to their glam rock ship, and Nyxly is surprised it doesn’t seem like she has a gauntlet the way she did with the courage totem.
Below, however, everyone that was in the totem’s blast radius has become quite fighty.
Kara heads back to update the team and finds Lena and Nia studying the spellbook, which is heckin’ cute. Looking at their list of totems, they think perhaps this is the humanity totem, what with people seeming to have lost theirs.
After Nia says a particularly clever string of words, and Lena and Kara seem surprised, Nia says, “I’m smart, too, you guys are just show-offs.” Which Kara and Lena can’t disagree with. Also, as someone who had this thought literally yesterday at my day job when I piped up in a meeting I usually just lurk in and everyone looked at me like they forgot I was smart.
Lena tells Kara that they found a spell that might work, and Lena is hesitant but Kara is very encouraging. She believes in Lena.
Out doing crowd control, Sentinel and Guardian are chatting about their days while fighting back some angry men, and it’s actually very cute. Kelly tells her about Esme, and Alex is charmed by the tidbit about the friendship bracelet.
Back in the Tower, Nia and Lena are trying to find that balance between magic and science and I love this on so many levels, partially because this pairing is a lovely developing friendship in its own right, but also just knowing that Katie McGrath and Nicole Maines are such good friends in real life, it’s truly delightful to watch.
Lena’s spell floats into the air and the lights flicker, so Nia goes to check if the Tower’s sensors clocked that energy spike but all of a sudden Nia can’t tell her left from her right. She looks mildly amused by it but Lena is sent into an immediate spiral. When Kara comes in to check on them, Nia says, “Lena broke my brain,” which is very funny and relatable, but Lena doesn’t laugh. In fact, she looks quite desperate; especially when Kara pleads with her. She needs this to work. She needs Lena’s help.
Lena goes back to reading her spell book and completely of her own accord without anyone else’s help or boring backstories, Lena realizes that she’s trying to replicate the spell too clinically, without taking into consideration the difference between dried vs fresh herbs, or brain vs heart. She needs to create vs recreate.
Outside, people continue to gleefully be terrible to each other for seemingly no reason, but in such number that I guess it’s slightly different than most days. Esme and her new foster mom are on their way home with groceries when they’re confronted by one of these humanity-lite people and he breathes fire at them, so little orphan Esme, on instinct, fire breathes right back at him. Perhaps siphoning powers like the Saltzman twins, or maybe a mirroring power of sorts. Her foster mom holds her close as the bad man runs away; perhaps too close.
Lena has an idea for how to get her spell to work, so Kara takes her to the Botanical Gardens. Kara protects Lena with her whole body, strong-arming men while her
girlfriend gardens, like some kind of AU Dani and Jamie from Bly Manor. Lena tries the spell again right then and there.
But instead of making the raging less ragey, it makes a perfectly peaceful woman get a little punchy. Lena thinks she made things worse, but what she doesn’t see is that as more people get more dangerous, Nyxly gets less so. For example, she can’t follow through on her plan to shoot a security guard; so technically, Lena saved a whole life. But she doesn’t know this.
Instead, when she and Kara get back to the Tower, Lena is fully spiraling about once again trying to do the right thing but instead making things worse. Kara tries to reassure her that she’s not to blame for all this mess, Nyxly is.
Kara wants Lena to do another spell, and Lena looks hesitant but Kara is practically begging her.
And what are you going to do when those baby blues are pleading with you? When the woman who used to come to you for help that you thought would stop doing that when you found out she was a literal superhero is standing in front of you once again, asking for you to be there for her in a way that only you can?
Meanwhile, Nyxly is as confused as Mitch is about why she didn’t shoot the guard when she had the chance. She’s feeling all this…compassion. And she thinks maybe these new emotions ARE the gauntlet.
Trying to reason with her in this new state, Mitch suggests maybe they just keep finding totems, but without hurting anyone. This gets Nyxly back on board.
Down on Earth, Kara is struck by a feeling, so sudden and new. She feels Nyxly’s overwhelming emotions and realizes that the humanity that was removed from the citizens of National City is being put INTO Nyxly. Realizing this is her gauntlet, Lena says they can find a way to use this to their advantage.
Kara realizes that Lena’s mistake can actually be the solution. If they take more humanity from people, they can overload Nyxly and force her to either restore everyone’s humanity or at least reveal her location.
Kara is excited by her idea but Lena looks at her like she has three heads. Is she KIDDING her with this? Lena doesn’t want to purposefully hurt more people and Kara says it’s “for the greater good” and Lena gapes at her like, “Does the phrase Non Nocere ring a bell?” This isn’t how Kara does things, and Lena knows it.
Kara tries to explain that she’s desperate; that Nyxly having magic is more than Kara knows how to handle, and if she gets all the totems she’ll be virtually unstoppable.
Lena points out that it’s not just Nyxly’s magic that makes her dangerous, it’s the fact that she’s cunning and cruel. And the way they’re going to beat her isn’t by matching her in her cruelty, but by doing the right thing.
Lena explains to Kara that hurting people unintentionally sort of runs in her bloodline and she wants to end the cycle. But she has an idea for how to figure out if what they do IS the right thing. She wants to come out. As a witch.
And she wants to compromise. Instead of removing ALL the humanity from everyone affected by the totem, they’re going to affect MORE people the same amount, the goal still being the same: to overwhelm Nyxly. And they’re going to let CatCo report on it all, because the public should be able to weigh in on whether their choices were the right ones, and help them learn and grow as a team that unofficially represents the community.
Lena goes outside to do her magic this time, and her spell spreads out and works exactly the way she wants it to.
Up in her spaceship, Nyxly is doing an excellent impression of me at the height of the pandemic, lying on the floor and wondering how exactly she’s meant to get anything done when there’s so much suffering in the world and she feels positively burdened by it.
She doesn’t care about being found out anymore, she just has to do something about this feeling, so she leaves the ship.
Meanwhile, Esme’s foster mom is so afraid of the violence brewing outside she decides to shove her brand new, teensy weensy foster child onto the front porch to protect them, despite them having a seemingly functional front door, and also despite Esme’s desperate protests that she doesn’t even know how she breathed fire at that man in the first place.
But in Esme’s time of need, once again a guardian angel shows up to protect her, this time in the form of literally Guardian, and her crime fighting girlfriend Sentinel.
Across town, Supergirl is protecting people by doing the Dolores Abernathy walk directly into a spray of bullets, then artfully catching one in her fingers.
The Superfriends get a hit on Nyxly’s ship, so when Nyxly restores the city’s humanity and the totem falls to the ground, Supergirl easily catches it, so pleased her and Lena’s plan worked.
Back at the Tower, Lena has some ideas for how they can track another totem, since all the totems have the same energy, but the problem is, she only has enough energy for one, so they have to choose what’s next. Especially since they don’t plan on activating them, just keeping them from Nyxly, so it’s not like they have to go in order. (Since I believe Nyxly said Hope is the next totem she’s going after.) Nia wants them to go after the Dream Totem because she thinks she’ll be able to lend a hand with her particular set of skills.
Later, Lena is chilling out in the Tower, feeling comfy in her new home away from home.
Kara brings her some food, just like they used to do, and Kara is grateful CatCo reported on their decisions today so they can debate their choices out in the open. Lena thanks Kara for pushing her out of her comfort zone, and Kara thanks her for compromising but setting clear boundaries.
They share potstickers and it’s so very cute and comfortable. It’s amazing how relaxed they both are now that there are no secrets between them.
After getting out of her Guardian garb, Kelly goes to check on Esme as she waits for social services to pick her up, but this time she brings Alex. She introduces Alex to Esme as her girlfriend and Esme shyly says, “Hello, Miss Danvers” and it’s very cute. Kelly pulls Alex aside and explains that her foster parents are essentially sending her back, and Alex is furious, especially after the stunt they pulled.
Esme just shrugs about it though. She’s already been moved around so much in her young life, she’s pretty sure she’ll never have a real home. Alex and Kelly look at Kelly’s bracelet, look at Esme, look at each other. They have an ENTIRE conversation without saying a single word. And considering Alex broke up with Maggie because she wanted to have kids someday and Maggie didn’t, and Kelly being drawn to all these children and wanting to be able to help them, PLUS the two of them being uniquely capable to accept and help little Esme with her alien powers, this decision feels inevitable. They never do say it out loud, but it seems clear when Alex holds out her hand and says, “C’mere kiddo,” and her and Kelly each take one of Esme’s hands.
And Nyxly is back on her totem-hunting bullshit, but I don’t even care right now because this is some beautiful Kelly and Alex relationship development and is so much better than when Alex was going to find a baby on the internet. A too-smart-for-her-own good alien child with a big attitude and a bigger heart? Absolutely this is the perfect child for Alex and Kelly. And if we had more than six episodes left, I might be concerned about how this would affect their integration into the rest of the team, but instead I’m just excited for how well this will set up their (hopefully) inevitable happy ever after as lesbian supermoms.
Next week, Hope totem mayhem!