Previously on SUPERGIRL…
Last week, Kara lost her closest confidant, as Alex had to lose any and all memory that her sister is an alien (along with any agents at the DEO who know Supergirl’s secret identity) in order to keep the government from learning the truth. This week, we see the ramifications of that, as Alex lost some of the tolerance she had for aliens, not to mention a lot of the memories she had of her sister growing up, because so much of that was tied to growing up with someone from another planet.
And she knows something is wrong, too. She is a world-class federal agent who knows when to trust her gut and when something doesn’t add up. While it hurts Kara that Alex doesn’t know her as Supergirl and no longer seems to be OK with the help Kara provides, it’s impossible to reverse course, because Alex knowing that her sister is Supergirl can only mean bad things for her family if the government gets wind of it.
Instead of hammering the conflict between the DEO and Supergirl this time around, the show lets the conflict simmer and show the cost of this kerfuffle, and it’s very refreshing. Kara takes a road trip with Nia Nal to her hometown, while Alex and the DEO try and track down two pill pushers who are selling product that induces a rage attack of alien origin in whoever takes it.
While on her roadtrip with Kara, Nia experiences a vision of her mother dying, which adds even more trepidation about her visit. She hasn’t told her family that she’s experiencing the visions, and her sister, Maeve, expects to be the one to inherit it. When her mother actually does die during the festival, and Maeve finally learns that Nia has the gift, she’s mad because Nia Nal is trans, so there was no expectation she would get the visions as they are passed down from mother to daughter. This is gutting to Nia, because Maeve was always her biggest supporter.
There’s no real subtlety with this plot, which I think is a good choice. It allows for a bit more clarity of character as Nia works through her feelings with Kara – who was unaware of Nia’s history.
The two plots converge, of course, when members of the Children of Liberty beat up the guys selling the pills so they can travel up to Nia’s hometown to cause trouble. The people of Parthas have always lived a tolerant lifestyle, humans living side-by-side with aliens.
The plot convergence gives us our big staredown between Alex and Kara. Both women think they’re in the right – and the are. But while Kara tries to reason with Alex, her sister just reminds Supergirl that she’s an alien who doesn’t know the pain that humans go through. She even sounds like she could end up sympathizing with the Children of Liberty, which should offer some more conflict between the sisters before it’s all said and done.
Alex’s tongue lashing reverberates later, as Nia tells Kara she could never understand what she’s going through, being an alien on Earth. A frustrated Kara pulls the car over and reveals that she’s Supergirl.
The pills – which were just supposed to make users happy – got supercharged in the opening scene when the Russian Supergirl we’ve been getting glimpses of all season collapsed after another war game exercise. The doctors use a defibrillator to revive her and it somehow exerts an electrical charge to the other side of the world.
I am really curious about this Russian Supergirl clone and where this particular plot is going. More importantly, I’m impressed with the restraint shown in how long they’ve drawn out these teases.
I really enjoyed this episode, as the show managed to have a message-heavy episode without feeling too preachy. They let the characters tell their story, and the show is always good when they do that. Plus, it integrated the Russian Supergirl bits for the first time. Feels like a win-win all around.