Hello and welcome to my Supergirl recap for Episode 609, “Dream Weaver,” aka the one where Guardian rises.
We open this week in the woods where Lena poked Alex with a stick that one time. Oh wait, no, it’s not the Reignforest, it’s Nia’s dreamscape. She’s in a pretty blue dress and following a woman in white with a snowy owl on her shoulder.
She recognizes the woman as her mother and calls out to her, but she gets her dress caught on a stick and gets thwarted by an unkindness of ravens. She wakes herself up before she sees what we see: Nyxly lurking in the shadows.
Out in the world of the waking, it’s my favorite night of the year: GAME NIGHT! Alex and Kelly are on a team and absolutely killing it. Just totally on the same page the whole time, with shorthand that surprises even them. Kara is delighted, J’onn jokes that they’re cheating, and it’s all very cute and wholesome fun. They even quote Frozen.
J’onn says that living together suits them, and I agree. Nia and J’onn are up next but Nia is having a hard time keeping her eyes open; she hasn’t been sleeping well lately. She thinks it’s because Brainy is gone, which is sweet, but I have a feeling something imp-ier is afoot.
Kara is keeping score because Lena is still “Back East” (which would mean, like, Boston to most people, but apparently means the Mysterious European Country Lena is from to National City) and if she can’t team up with Alex or Lena, she won’t play at all. Kara says that she hopes Lena finds peace and they all take a moment to think about how dirty Lena has been done by the family that took her in.
They ask about Kelly’s new job as a social worker and she tells them about a new case she has with a 10-year-old alien orphan with EMP powers. Alex knows this will be the perfect gig because empathy is Kelly’s superpower.
While the Superfriends were having a lovely game night together, it seems Andrea was making a murderboard wondering what the Superfriends do for fun together. She calls Kara, Nia, and William to her office to demand they find the answers, but I think she’s asking the wrong questions. MY question is, does Andrea have any friends? Can Lena hang out with her more when she’s back in town? This obsession with the Superfriends is starting to worry me.
While Andrea is giving them their next assignments, Nia falls asleep standing up. It’s truly impressive, and I say this as someone who has watched a friend fall asleep sitting up on a backless stool during a New Year’s Eve party. Andrea is displeased by this, but instead of berating her or belittling her, she sends Nia home for a mental health day to sleep.
She turns her attention to Kara and William, and warns them that if they don’t get an interview with Supergirl soon, they’ll be stuck writing obits. Pulitzer shmulitzer.
Knowing she has a head start on finding out how to access the Superfriends, Kara zips off to help J’onn on a mission instead. When she gets to the scene, she sees a truck that has been opened like a sardine can. After a brief investigation, they realize that two different types of alien worked together for this gig. Kara is a little confused. “Since when do those two types of aliens work together,” asks a Kryptonian who dated a Daxximite to a Green Martian who dated a White Martian. But the important thing they DO know is that the stolen goods are bomb ingredients, so that can’t be a good thing.
When Kelly shows up for her first day with her new case, the foster mom says she’s been having trouble with the boy Kelly is here to see, Joey. He used to be a sweet kid but the last time he went to visit his brother in prison, he started acting out, getting so emotional his powers surge. She’s worried someone will get hurt.
The women are interrupted by a little girl running through the room on a quest for justice, specifically re: her stolen bread roll. It reminded me of all of us who stood up against the misogyny of teachers asking only the boys to help carry things in grade school even when you hit puberty first and have a good three inches on all the boys in your class and the leg strength of a dancer. Eh hem. Anyway, Kelly and I are both amused by this little ball of energy.
As the little girl (Esme) scampers away, Kelly realizes that all the kids are wearing power dampening cuffs. As the foster mom defends that choice by saying it’s the only way to keep all the kids safe, Kelly notices that there are also high-tech security cameras installed. And suddenly Kelly has even more concerns than ever.
When Kelly goes up to Joey’s room, he’s reading a Captain Carrot comic, which is apparently a real DC comic about a superhero who is also a bunny, and she bonds with him about having a big brother to look up to and worry about.
Understandably soothed by Kelly’s calm, understanding tone Joey admits that he’s worried about his big brother because when he last saw him, he had bags under his eyes, a clear sign of overusing his powers. He’s in a work release program in prison, and he’s worried if he uses his powers too much he’ll die. The only reason Orlando is in prison in the first place is because their parents died and he needed more money to help take care of Joey than a minimum wage job could provide so he robbed a store.
Kelly looks at this scared little boy and promises she’ll do anything she can do to help.
Back at the Tower, Kara, Alex and J’onn are making a plan to stop the aliens from making a bomb when Kelly comes in looking concerned. She explains Joey’s predicament and Kara says she’s familiar with the work release program; it’s called Second Chance and she wrote an article on it once. The jobs are all with a clothing manufacturer so she doesn’t understand why Orlando would need to use his EMP powers, but that’s what Kelly wants to find out. She asks for Kara’s help and she IMMEDIATELY leaves Alex and J’onn in charge of the bomb mystery to help her future sister-in-law.
And what I loved most about this moment is how uniquely Supergirl it is. (Both the hero and the show.) Oliver Queen or later-seasons Barry Allen would have been like THERE ARE ALIENS MAKING A BOMB WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR SIDE MISSION and would only help later when things got desperate/it became obvious it was related to the main mission. But Kara loves teamwork and friendship and she loves her sister most of all and thus she loves the woman her sister loves. So it wasn’t even a question. She not only prioritized Kelly but also trusted Alex and J’onn to handle the main mission in her stead. No convincing needed.
Trying to relax during her mental health day, Nia is looking at pictures of her mom to prepare to go back into her dreamscape. When she gets into her dream forest, the same thing happens. Her dress gets caught on a branch, the birds swoop…but this time, Nyxly saves her from the birds. And Nia is surprised to see her.
Nyxly apologizes for dream crashing and explains how during the rescue from the Phantom Zone she ended up trapped here, and she can be sentient/corporeal here because she’s a fifth dimensional imp. And she needs Nia’s help.
You see, she wants Nia to use her powers (the same powers that accidentally conjured a pink panther back in Midvale) to materialize her in the real world. She promises she’ll go straight back to the fifth dimension to see her father and brother who she “dearly misses” despite having told Kara her father was a “mad king” who killed her older brother and sent her to the Phantom Zone to keep her from being queen. Whether either of these stories are true is anyone’s guess, but the fact that it’s such a different story proves she’s lied tremendously at least once, either then or now, if not both.
Nia is wisely hesitant, until Nyxly tells her what she’ll do for Nia in return: She’ll bring her mother back from the dead. Interestingly and importantly, Nyxly doesn’t add this next part until Nia seems against this plan; the caveat would be that she could only bring her back for 24 hours. And again it’s unclear how much of this is a lie. Is it true she can only do it for 24 hours and she just wasn’t going to mention it until it was clear she wasn’t one to bend the rules of magic for personal gain, is the whole thing a lie and she just thought the caveat would make it seem more believable when she saw Nia’s reaction…it’s anyone’s guess!
Nia is suspicious but it’s hard to fully write someone off when they just offered to make your wildest dreams come true.
Just as Nia seems on the edge of agreeing to the trade, the white owl swoops down to attack Nyxly and Nia takes this opportunity to leave her dream, like when you’re trapped in a conversation in a party and they’re finally distracted enough for you to slip away to the bathroom. (At least, that’s how I remember them being. It’s been a while.)
While Nia naps, Kara and Kelly go to see the prison warden and ask him about the Second Chances program. He is so proud of it, and credits Kara with giving it positive publicity that attracted more donors. They ask about why a prisoner might be using his EMP powers, and the warden can’t think of a reason so he promises to look into it. They want to see him but there’s a two week waiting period for visitors so they’re simply out of luck.
Just kidding, Kara uses her Super powers to distract a guard and check the computers and realizes Orlando is already being transported to his job so they decide to just catch him en route.
When they go outside, they see what Joey was talking about; Orlando looks worn down and tired and he hasn’t even gotten to work yet. Kara senses something hinky going on so she flies to the job site and does a little x-ray spying. She notices the workers getting sorted into two groups; most prisoners go to the manufacturing job as expected, but she notices some men being pulled out of line, put in a van, and taken to a second location.
When Kara gets to said location, J’onn shows up, and they realize their two cases are connected. Kara can see that Orlando and the other men don’t want to be doing this, don’t want to hurt anyone, but the guard who pulled them aside is holding them at gunpoint and forcing them to use their powers to help him steal bomb supplies.
Valerie Anne’s Supergirl recap continues on the next page!