“Supergirl” Episode 603 Recap: Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again

Welcome! Thanks for joining me here in this Supergirl recap for episode 603: “Phantom Menace.” Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Previously on Supergirl, Brainy thought he had to work with Lex to ultimately stop him and it got him in a heap of trouble, Lex sent Supergirl to the Phantom Zone, Team Super tried to get her back but failed spectacularly, and Lex was found not guilty of his attempted MASS MURDER because the justice system and also maybe the structure of this TV show is broken.

This week, Kara is set on her plan to hitch a ride on a phantom to get through a portal to see where it leads, but things go sideways and she hurts her leg, and her and her dad find themselves in a crater with some raiders. While they’re being tied up, a woman drops in and manages to convince the men to leave with a little trickery. The men take Father Zor-El but leave Kara behind, and she’s grateful.

Supergirl recap: Kara looks up at her new friend.

“Honestly he looks nothing like I remember so we can probably just let him go.”

Back on Earth, Brainy is working in the Tower, talking to himself while scanning the Phantom Zone for signs of a petite blonde heroine, when Lex comes on the TV. Brainy starts to lose it, screaming at the news coverage, almost punching the image of Lex, but luckily before Lex can claim the TV as another victim, the Martians swoop in. They had found Silas at his apartment and he told them a phantom had hitched a ride inside him and now is loose in the world. Silas says his roommates are missing and J’onn needs his team but looks around and finds his numbers lacking. Brainy explains that Nia is taking over for Kara at a reporter retreat (which let’s be honest she probably would have had to do for Kara even if she were here) and Alex hasn’t come in yet today, so J’onn calls her.

But Alex isn’t answering her phone right now. No, she’s wallowing in her grief and watching Kara’s Legacy Download, listening to Kara talk about how Alex was her first companion on this Earth and taught her how to be human. Kelly comes in and asks why she’s watching it now when she wouldn’t before, and Alex says before she didn’t think Kara is gone, now she does.

Kelly comforts Alex.

Alex was making some really good points here like, “What’s the point of anything” and also “Why bother trying.”

Alex thinks Kara is in hell because of her, and what’s the point in doing anything if she can’t save her baby sister. Kelly comforts her, says that she was upset when Obsidian folded but found helping people made her feel better. Showing up for other people can be easier than showing up for ourselves. Only she can decide to keep going, but she had to make that choice.

Across town, Lena arrives at her office to find her brother lurking like a bad stench.

Supergirl recap: Lena looks comfortable but angry. Also: BRAID.

I love that as Lena finds herself, she is starting to loosen up, emotionally and re: her outfit/hair choices.

He’s mad about being shut out of his company but Lena is dead-set on protecting not only LuthorCorp but also the world from him. She doesn’t want to give him more power so she’ll fight him at every turn. Lex says he has tricks of his own and he will win this game she’s playing, he’s seen the Queen’s Gambit and thinks he knows how it ends.

 Lena glares at Lex.

“How dare you say anything even remotely related to Oliver Queen in my presence.”

At first I thought this was going to be Lena’s new role despite finally knowing Supergirl’s identity, that she was going to just be stuck alone in Lex’s web, but luckily I was wrong.

After her pep talk from Kelly, Alex does manage to pull herself together enough to make it to work, where J’onna and Brainy have figured out the Phantom that was let loose can make new Phantoms now, and probably started with Silas’s roommates. Unfortunately they get to watch the process in real time when Silas’s soul leaves his body and he becomes a Phantom before their very eyes. As the Phantom rises up and attacks, Alex has flashbacks about the last time they fought Phantoms which makes her think of Kara and how she might be gone forever and Alex just…freezes. Alex “would jump off a balcony because it looks cool” Danvers can’t move for fear she’ll be unable to save her friends, that she’ll lose someone else she cares about.

Supergirl recap: Alex looks stunned.

This is what I’m going to look like the first time I’m in a social situation with more than one other person.

But luckily the team rallies and stops the Phantom before that happens. There’s a lot of totems shmotems here about the history of the Phantoms and their alien race and how all this metaphysics works but the important thing is, they come up with a plan to stop the Phantoms before they start a Phantom apocalypse.

Alex goes out on to the Feelings Balcony and J’onn joins her for a Space Dad pep talk. Alex doesn’t understand how he can soldier on, but J’onn says marching forward is the only way to get Kara back. But Alex is too tired to march.

Supergirl recap: Alex looks incredulous.

Me @ my day job when they want me to do things despite the world falling apart.

Back up in the prison world, Kara is trying to stand on her broken leg, unused to this pain but trying to power through it, and blaming herself for her dad getting kidnapped. The new lady says that the men who took her father are going to sacrifice him to a terrible monster, but the good news is there’s some time before that will happen.

They decide to get to know each other, Kara giving her the spiel from the top of every episode and explaining how at one point she thought there were only two Krytponians left in the universe but then they started popping up like weeds so that’s no longer the case. The lady introduces herself as Nyxly, a fifth dimensional imp like Mxyzptlk. She has a power dampening cuff on so she’s not at full power but she has a crystal ball she can use to scry on dad, who seems fine for now.

Nyxly looks into her crystal ball.

Don’t even worry that this looks exactly like the one the Wicked Witch of the West had, just don’t think about it.

Down on Earth, M’gann has an idea to contain the Phantoms, but J’onn rudely yells at her to not, which is a surefire way to get someone to do something, in my humble opinion.

Lena is working in her office when Brainy holograms in to discuss what they’re adorably calling Operation: Vengeance, aka their plan to take Lex down. They talk about how they already locked Lex out of some aspects of the company, and the next step is to take money from one of his shady fake foundations he uses to buy Kasnian weapons and donate it to a children’s hospital.

Supergirl recap: Lena smiles a mischievous smile.

Mischievous looks good on her. Well fine literally everything looks good on her but I like this a lot.

And so Brainy gets to hacking for her. A formidable duo of intelligence, these two.

But then Brainy hears something happening in the Tower so he hangs up his hologram and goes to see what’s happening. The Phantom looks like he’s trying to head south even though he’s in a containment unit, and Alex scans the news and finds an alert for a disturbance at a warehouse to the south. They turn to tell M’gann to suit up and realize she left without them, against J’onn’s orders. Which frankly doesn’t feel like something M’gann would do? But maybe when they melded souls she caught some of J’onn’s “my way or the highway” tendencies.

It does turn out J’onn was right this time though, because when they find M’gann at the warehouse, the Phantoms are portaling away and M’gann has been scratched. If they don’t do something fast, she’s going to start luring teen girls into her watery underground lair.

In the Phantom Zone, Nyxly tells Kara that she was sent to the prison realm for no reason other than she was the daughter of a mad king. Her father was a power-hungry, paranoid narcissist who got rid of his heirs, killing Nyxly’s older brother and banishing her.

While she tells her princess origin story, she builds Kara a splint and a crutch, all while calling herself useless without her powers. But Kara points out that she has saved her twice over at this point, and that Nyxly is resourceful. They might not have their powers, but they have each other and they have the one thing this place hasn’t taken from them yet: Hope.

Kara looks determined.

Literally a light in the dark, this one.

In his lackluster lair of lethargy, Lex is trying to strike a deal with Kasnian weapons dealers when he realizes his accounts have been drained and donated to the Luthor wing of the children’s hospital. And what happens next Lena learns about on the news: Lex sets fire to the wing and publicly blames Lena, saying she was in charge of the most recent updates to the hospital.

Supergirl recap: Lena looks horrified

I don’t know how anyone ever thought this precious bean was a villain.

While Kara gets some rest, the princess imp uses her crystal ball and Kara’s inspirational speech to access her powers again and get the power dampener off; she has her magic back. She tells Kara she’s been having flashes of parallel lives, likely due to CRISIS, but that she was happy to save Kara because she has a good feeling about her. And now that she has her magic, she’s more ready than ever to help. And Kara is so happy she was able to spread hope in such a dark, cold place.

Supergirl smiles in the shadows of the Phantom Zone

I can’t wait until Kara is back under the yellow sun, partially so she has her powers back, but also because there are TOO MANY SHADOWS FOR SCREENSHOTS.

Lena and Brainy are in the Tower bonding over their hatred of Lex and Lena off-handedly says she wishes she could kill him and Brainy takes that idea and runs with it, serious as can be about taking him out once and for all, and while Lena watches Brainy devolve before her eyes, her expression goes from rage to a soft empathy.

Supergirl recap: Lena looks empathetic toward an upset Brainy.

As much as it hurts to watch Brainy break, it must feel so nice to realize how very not alone she is.

Brainy doesn’t understand why she’d oppose this plan, she’s already killed him once. But Lena remembers that timeline and how it broke her, turned her into the darkest version of herself, made her more like him than she ever wanted to be. Brainy is having a hard time dealing with these feelings, the depth and weight of them being fairly new to him. His rage feels like an endless ocean, he wants it to go away, he wants to shut it all off.

Next page: Sentinel babes!

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Valerie Anne

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 560 articles for us.


  1. Kill your (half) brother ONE time and then everyone keeps bringing it up like you kicked a chicken or something.


    I think it finally clicked for me what the writers are trying to do with this version of Lex. We have yet to see him succeed at, well, anything, without someone else (usually a woman) doing most of the work. He’s the eponymous mediocre man. And he fixates on Lena and Supergirl because he’s furious that they’re better than him at, well, everything.

    So Lena cutting him off is the perfect move. Like she said, he’ll spiral, he’ll self destruct, and run Luthor Corp into the ground again.


    Lena Kieran Luthor, making two healthy emotional choices in the same episode? I never thought I’d see the day!


    One could imagine that after Luthor Corp goes out of business again, Lena will start a new business, but instead of trying to rebrand and salvage the family name, she’ll use a play on words and start El-Corp (for the House of El), with Supergirl as one of the board members.

    Or as it will be referred to by CatCo, “SuperCorp”.

    Sorry, not sorry!

  2. Hey, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad? [For being 3 episodes into the season]

    * For me, literally EVERYTHING goes back to Xena, so when I saw them crib *2* XWP plot points, I was all Bring It On! [1) Nxyly healing Kara’s leg Lao Ma style and 2) Lex essentially yelling “You Will Fight Me!”, as Lena (and did Xena, w/ her male douchebag in S6 “Dangerous Prey”) refuses to give him the satisfaction. [I just wish that WE got the satisfaction of seeing Lex impaled on a pointy log. Xena and Lena have more than a few similarities, but that one Lena still needs some lessons on…]

    * Yay, Dansen Key Ship-Moments Actually On-Screen!!!

    * All that was missing was Nia, and previews show she’ll be back next ep. [Will Kara? I remain unspoiled by choice, kthxbye]

    * I welcome Nyxly. Whatever plot you can imagine for this show, in the (sigh) 17 episodes left, that you then write off “…but they can’t do that, there’s no time”, we can now assign “Magic Ex Machina”! ;-D

    * So help me, if it turns out be [Disclaimer: useless spec] a “One Out/One In” rule in the Phantom Zone, Kara can switch w/ Lex, and Nyxly w/ her POS father. And for Zor-El: Otis? Eh, that’s the least that trash deserves for setting a *children’s hospital on fire*!!

    * Can Silas be saved? I’d sure hate Yet Another BYG (am also sort of hoping one of the Phantoms is Silas’s husband, who can ALSO be returned-to-original um, vampire?)

    * Re Lena’s (early) S6 style: part of me misses the high-maintenance femme look, but overall, have to agree. Leaving the HBIC at L(uthor)Corp role, a kiki-er look suits her (and am hoping that Kara agrees! Want to see Kara in her pre-S5 look, too. Time for Kara&Lena to share clothing—among other things {eyebrow waggle} )

    * Good Lord, Brainy REALLY is the Voice of Supergirl Fandom this year, isn’t he? Last week (para.), “We’ve had enough William”; this week “Lex: I hate him, I hate him, I want him DEAD!” >;-D

    * I get the feeling that when they finally get ALL the Super Team fighting together, they can take down Any/ALL Big Bads! [Ep 1: no Lena and Kelly fighting SuperLex (Yes, of course Lena helped Kara, y’know, be ALIVE to fight SuperLex); Ep 3: no Kara and Nia fighting the Phantoms (why Phantom Prime escaped)]

    * Alex is a grief vector: her crying is contagious (to me anyway. Stop hurting my baby! sob). Maybe Chyler can do that in any role…

    On the whole: really solid episode! Showrunners have done 2 out of 3, can we make it 3 out of 4? [19 out of 20?]

    • Question, though: was it really killing Lex that took Lena “down a dark path”? Because I thought it was really more her reaction to dying Lex revealing Kara’s identity.

      [FWIW, I note that—until corrected by Lena in 5.7—Kara thought that SHE killed Lex, and it seems to have bothered her little if at all. I get that, if Lena had known Kara=SG, she *probably* wouldn’t have been as motivated to kill Lex, to protect Kara. Though having seen the lengths to which he went to kill *Supergirl* (in S4), maybe she still would have shot him anyway? We’ll never know.]

  3. When Alex came into the apartment at the end of the episode I somehow thought she will propose to Kelly, so was confused for a moment how the writers can go from basically no growth to marriage. Anyhow, was *just* about moving in, but really, it’s bread crumbs. If your fanon couple has more growth than your canon one, you know something is off.

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