Thanksgiving’s a bit early this year, or at least on Supergirl it is. Because of the tragic Paris attacks, CBS decided to switch out “How Does She Do It?,” an episode about a series of bombings in National City, with tonight’s Thanksgiving-themed episode “Livewire.” Thankfully, the switch doesn’t seem to have hurt the season’s flow, and it was definitely easy to follow along with everything in the episode. In fact, “Livewire” is definitely one of the strongest episodes of the season so far because it focuses on what Greg Berlanti shows do oh so well: family.
This is our first glimpse at Kara and Alex’s relationship with their mother, Eliza Danvers, Ph.D. (Helen Slater). From the outset, we know there’s going to be some tension because Alex is freaking out about her mother’s impending arrival for Thanksgiving as she’s worried Eliza will blame her for letting Kara out herself to the world. At first, it seems as though Alex’s worries are unfounded because when Eliza arrives, she sees Kara in her uniform and tells her she’s been doing a great a job.
Once Eliza gets settled, Kara heads to work. When she arrives, she notices Cat’s having a meeting with Leslie Willis, an incendiary radio host who isn’t Supergirl’s biggest fan. Using her super-hearing, Kara overhears Cat instructing Leslie to stop going on anti-Supergirl tirades that insult her body and sexuality. Keeping with the theme of this episode, Cat and Leslie’s dynamic is resembles a mother and her terrible, rebellious daughter. Leslie refuses, so Cat demotes her to traffic reporting from the Cat-Copter. How is it different from a normal helicopter? No idea, and, honestly, I don’t care.
As Alex and Kara pick up takeout dinner, Alex continues to stress about their mother’s presence. Kara tells her she should be honest about what she does for a living — i.e. working for the DEO and protecting Kara — but it would be illegal for Alex to do so. This is actually one of the best scenes in the episode because there’s very little expository dialogue and it’s all about fleshing out the sisters’ amazing dynamic. As they leave the restaurant, they see Leslie’s copter get struck by lightning, so Kara flies off to help. While helping Leslie out of the helicopter, Supergirl gets struck by lightning, which passes through her and shocks Leslie. The lightning strike leaves Leslie in a coma and with a new makeover that could easily pass for iZombie cosplay.
It turns out Alex was right that her mother was angry and was just waiting for Kara to not be around before making it known. The tension from this first fight spills into Thanksgiving dinner later, which also includes Winn, who Kara has invited after finding out about his depressing holiday plans (Thai food and marathoning Orphan Black). At dinner, Alex is chugging white wine like it’s her job and making snide comments at the end of the table. To break the tension, Kara suggests they all say what they’re thankful for. Kara shares, Alex passes, and Winn starts to speak, but Kara gets a call from James, who is spending Thanksgiving in Ojai with Lucy Lane, and rushes out the room.
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When Kara returns from her annoyingly cute conversation with James, she finds Alex telling her mother what she does for a living. And, Eliza isn’t happy for a number of reasons (the most important reason becomes known at the end of the episode). In this moment, she’s upset because Alex lied to her. Insulted and upset, Alex storms out. Kara tries to defend her sister but gets called into the office because Cat has an emergency. Yes, the great Cat Grant works on Thanksgiving. Are you surprised?
Meanwhile, Leslie stumbles out of the hospital and discovers her new powers. She can shoot electricity from her hands and can turn herself into energy and enter any electrical system. Naturally, she decides to become evil.
When Kara arrives at the office, she finds Cat stressing out that none of her electronics are working and that she’s missing a conference call with Beijing. No surprise here: Leslie, sorry, Livewire, a.k.a. Leslie Willis 2.0, is behind the malfunction. (ASIDE: This was not a good week for professional workspaces. An alien rampaged through the DEO headquarters at the top of the hour. END ASIDE). Livewire wreaks havoc in the empty CatCo office as she chases Cat, who tells Kara to get security, which gives her an easy opportunity to turn into Supergirl. She tries using her heat vision on Livewire, but Livewire just absorbs it. While Supergirl saves Cat from a plummeting elevator, Livewire escapes.
NEXT: The humanization of Cat Grant