Previously on Supergirl, ‘Bizarro’
Is this the real life?
When Kara awakens to find herself in her bedroom on Krypton, she can’t help but feel like something is a little off, especially when her mother walks in. Kara voices her concerns, but they are brushed off by Alura, who chalks them up to hallucinations brought about by a recent bout of Argo Fever.
As it turns out, it’s all a hallucination brought about by a Black Mercy, some kind of animal/plant hybrid that attaches itself to your chest and lets you live out your heart’s desire. Remember a few weeks ago when Astra told Non that killing Supergirl was out of the question? Since she didn’t say anything about incapacitating her, Non seized on the loophole and delivered the Black Mercy to Kara’s apartment.
With no Supergirl to stand in their way, the Kryptonians are going to unleash phase two of their “Myriad” plan; a plan which isn’t really explained but sounds kind of bad. Unfortunately for them, Supergirl isn’t their only threat.
She’s also become kind of essential to the day-to-day operations at CatCo, so when her friends aren’t able to wake her up in time, Hank agrees to shapeshift into Kara and take her place at work. This leads to some amusing banter between an unsuspecting (but kind of suspecting, still) Cat, and a totally in-on-the-whole-thing James and Winn.
Or is this just fantasy?
Meanwhile, Alex pleads with the Alura Construct for information about the Black Mercy. But when she can offer no real help, she heads to the apartment where Astra shows up. They don’t exactly have a heart to heart, but come to terms over the fact that Kara is family to them both.
Alex decides to use an experimental DEO technology and enter Kara’s mind, not completely unlike Jennifer Lopez entering Vincent D’onofrio’s mind in 2000’s The Cell. But unlike that movie–in which Jennifer Lopez risks losing herself to the fantasy–nobody really knows what could go wrong. So before she goes under, Alex tells James to stand in Hank’s way when (not if) he orders the team to pull her out.
She also enlists the help of an unlikely ally–Max Lord, whom she convinces to lend a hand using the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” tactic. Because the reason the Kryptonians attacked Lord Technologies in the first place, it turns out, was to use his servers to overpower the civilian network.
Winn was actually the one who figured that out. Finally. I expect to see Winn working with the DEO a lot more from here on out.
No escape from reality
When Alex wakes up in Kara’s mind again, things don’t go exactly as planned. Not only does Kara reject her, the rest of her vision does, too, which puts her at odds not only with Kara’s biological parents, but Astra and Kal-El (the future Superman) as well.
Nevertheless, Alex convinces Kara that she has to give up the fantasy because Earth needs Supergirl. The appeal to her herosim works, and after a tense moment when both women wake up in the real world, Supergirl wants to know just one thing: who did it. Who made her have to go through the pain of losing her birth family again?
And so Supergirl, backed up by the DEO, head off to find Non and Astra. Kara punches the ever-loving snot out of Non while Alex tries to talk Astra into becoming a good guy full time. Astra doesn’t thing that’s much of a good idea, so Hank shows up in his Martian Manhunter form and punches the ever-loving snot out of Astra, vowing to her that he will never let Earth be taken away from him.
Their scuffle ends when Astra gets the upper hand and, to save Hank, Alex plunges the Kryptonite knife (the one we learned about way back in the first episode) through her heart. When Kara shows up, Hank sees the fragility of the situation and decides to take the hit for Alex and tells Kara that he delivered the fatal blow instead. Why did he lie? Because Alex is Supergirl’s hero, and he doesn’t want her to be seen as anything else.
Later, the gang meets up at the apartment over pot stickers and ice cream. Winn and Kara come to a mutual, if silent, agreement over their friendship, and James wants to postpone talk of the office to just enjoy each other’s company instead.
Thus, our story ends.
I thought this was one of the better episodes of the season so far. The entire cast really delivered, particularly Chyler Leigh during her scenes on Krypton; and at this point it is hard to see Supergirl as anyone other than Melissa Benoist.
Last week, I said that this episode would have to be a quasi-finale since it was produced before the future of the show was certain. I think I was mostly right, because in many ways this feels like it could be the end if it needed to be. There were lots of season long mini-plots that had a fairly satisfying end (Cat’s too- brief realization of Kara’s true identity makes more sense in this light), and the main story about family was tied up nicely but left loose enough to revisit should the show get renewed. All of that is to say that I like where we are, even if I’m a bit cautious to see where the show goes from here. The show could end here, and it would be a pretty good run.
But since we know the show will go on, Astra’s death (right? she’s not going to magically be brought back to life… right?) open up a huge hole for the role of Big Bad. The Phantom Zone/Fort Rozz is likely full of contenders, but personally I’d like to see the “family” thing taken to the next level and have Superman go bad or at least fanatical, like he does in the Injustice comics. I’m (kind of) joking, but for a show that regularly ups the intensity as much as this one, they’re going to have to do something just as shocking.