Supergirl’s not wasting any time this season exploring its new characters, or its returning characters in their new situations. Let’s recap!
The episode opens with morning routines. Alex and Maggie share morning kisses and jewelry commercial-ready shots of their engagement rings. Samantha nudges her sleeping daughter awake. Kara eyes the empty side of her bed. You know, she’d probably feel a little better if she embraced the starfish sprawl to reclaim her space.
During the school drop-off, Samantha reminds Ruby that it’s her first day in a new position at work, so she’ll be late getting home. Ruby’s more interested in how her mom lifted that tower off of her at the waterfront. Samantha passes it off as mama-bear adrenaline.
It’s also Lena’s first day at CatCo. She flummoxes James by showing up unannounced, inviting everyone to use Cat Grant’s private elevator, and breezily saying that she’ll be a free-range CEO with no office, all the better to roam around and ask questions. In fact, she’s arranged for a fill-in at L-Corp so she can be full time at CatCo for now. Then almost immediately, Kara bails when Lena tries to assign her what I can only assume is a non-politically motivated story on Morgan Edge. Yeah, uh, did anybody think how this was going to go with a non-James boss hanging around as Kara literally flies in and out?
At the DEO, J’onn breaks up a brewing Sanvers fight over wedding band versus DJ by declaring that a DJ keeps you jiggy on the dance floor. J’onn has spoken, y’all. Respect his authority.
The team summoned Kara because a woman has robbed two banks so far using no weapons or overt shows of force. When a third alarm sounds, Supergirl flies in and finds an unconcerned blond woman (Yael Grobglas from Jane the Virgin) who sniffs, “Oh, you think you’re the cat and I’m the bird? You’ve got it backward.” She explains her motivation — more money, more happy — and then hits Supergirl with the opposite of the Care Bear stare, leaving Kara cowering against a wall. Afterward, J’onn scans Kara’s mind and finds residual psionic interference only used by metahumans.
These thwarted superheroics kept Kara from a news department meeting with Lena — a meeting to which James was not invited. So James is displeased at being excluded, and Lena’s displeased when Kara races out again, this time for another suspect sighting.
J’onn tries to create a psychic shield from afar for Supergirl, but the woman overpowers him and crows that she’ll win this fight of mind over matter.
“Fear is a powerful tool,” she says, hitting Kara with her memories of escaping in a solitary pod as Krypton burned behind her. We get a cool first-person-shooter-type view of her flight through what I assume are the remains of her planet, and when Kara comes to, the robber is gone.
At least the DEO has identified the woman as Gayle Marsh from Skokie, Illinois, a formerly law-abiding citizen who suddenly started robbing Midwestern banks. Authorities named her Psi, and J’onn declares her the most powerful psychic he’s ever encountered.
Kara doesn’t want to worry J’onn and Alex, so she pulls Winn aside to tell him how awful it was to relive her time stuck trapped and alone in the pod. She urges him to use this information to tweak the psychic dampeners he’s working on, then races back to CatCo.
Lena’s no dummy and busts Kara for lying about where she’s been, although she guesses it’s related to Mon-El. Kara says no, but it’s personal and she doesn’t want to talk about personal things on the job.
Fine. Lena can play that game. She tells Kara it’s unacceptable for an employee to miss staff meetings and blow off tasks at what Lena considers her new investment. “I didn’t spend $750 million on a company as a favor to a friend,” she tells Kara. Daaaang. Kara grimly marches off to contact a potential source Lena found for the Edge story.
However, when Kara steps on the elevator, she gets a call from Alex about yet another Psi bank heist. She rips open her shirt to reveal her S but ends up huddled in a corner, once again victim to Psi’s claustrophobic mojo. She fixes this problem by bursting out the top of the elevator, which seems like it’ll be hard to explain.
When Winn checks her over, though, he diagnoses this as a regular human panic attack. She leaves, and when Alex asks what’s going on, Winn’s obvious lies don’t hold up to her stone-cold interrogation face. He babbles out the truth, and Alex heads to Kara’s.
She finds her sister reciting a Kryptonian mantra as a mind-strengthening meditation and chides Kara for not telling her. “You fight the most dangerous and evil people on the planet, so I’m kind of always gonna worry,” she says. Kara tells her that reliving the scariest moment of her life was torture. And worse, it’s affecting her job as Supergirl. Her Kara persona’s broken thanks to no Mon-El and a shifting work/friend relationship with Lena, and now Psi is stealing her ability to feel strong and make a difference as a hero. “If I don’t have Supergirl, what do I have?”
“You’ve got me,” Alex says, pulling her in for a sister hug, which is perfect. (Next page: Supergirl puts mind over matter)
Now let’s check in on Samantha, whose important-sounding business calls on her important-looking first day are interrupted by the news that Ruby punched a girl in the face at school. Ruby says the girl called her a liar for claiming her mom has superpowers.
Samantha assures her that she doesn’t have powers, and now Ruby feels like her mom thinks she’s a liar, too. “I just want you to let it go,” Samantha says tiredly. Later, when their pizza arrives (to what I should point out is an incredibly nice house), Ruby’s nowhere to be found. We see her sulking at a restaurant and ignoring her mom’s worried texts.
Suddenly, right outside the restaurant window, Psi shows up to make two armored truck guards believe they’re being swarmed by bees (NOT COOL). Then she makes a wrecking ball operator think he’s covered in snakes, causing him to lose control of the machine.
That wrecking ball comes in like a, well, a wrecking ball and starts tearing up nearby vehicles and buildings. A terrible idea pops into Ruby’s head, and she sends her mom a text with the location and the message “Come save me.”
Ruby, who’s really putting a lot on the line here, is in the thick of the action when Samantha arrives, but all Samantha can do is shield her daughter with her body as the wrecking ball descends…only to be plucked from midair at the last moment by Supergirl.
This time, Supergirl’s armed with a psionic inhibiter ray, which looks like a disconnected old-school telephone receiver. It doesn’t work, though, and Kara gets blasted both physically and mentally. This time, she sees Mon-El, alone in his pod and dying in an asteroid field. “I killed him,” she cries over and over. Thankfully, Alex finds her and promises her that he’s alive because Kara saved him, just the way her mother saved Kara.
This gives her the strength to try again, and now she’s able to withstand the physic blast. Psi gets increasingly frustrated when the fear doesn’t cripple Supergirl. “Mind over matter,” Kara says, head butting Psi. Yesss, I love it when Supergirl mixes her brain with her brawn!
Psi’s led away in some kind of dampening device, and Alex checks in on Samantha and Ruby, whom she remembers from the waterfront. She assures Ruby of her smarts and her toughness, and Maggie compliments Alex on her way with kids. This prompts the “do you want any of your own” conversation, which for some reason they’re having (a) for the first time (b) in the middle of a crime scene. We learn that Maggie doesn’t see herself as a mom, and Alex nervously says, “That’s something we should talk about.” Ummm yes, you should. *crying emoji*
Samantha, meanwhile, flexes her parenting muscles and realizes that Ruby thought if her mom had superpowers, she wouldn’t have to work and could save people and hang out with her daughter. Samantha assures Ruby that she’s the most important thing to her but doesn’t inform her that superheroes have light bills, just light the rest of us. In fact, if you’re Bruce Wayne, your light bills are probably the size of some small municipalities. Not that Bruce Wayne is hurting for money, but you see my point.
At CatCo, Kara meekly approaches Lena to say that she talked to her bank source, then apologizes and says she still carries the burden of not knowing what happened to Mon-El. Lena, in turn, says she’s learning how to combine friends and work, and they hug it out. Then Lena’s temporary L-Corp replacement arrives, and it’s Samantha! This definitely explains the posh house.
The episode winds down with nighttime routines.
Samantha checks on a sleeping Ruby and then heads to the garage for a replacement lightbulb. On a whim, she picks up a crowbar and experimentally tries to bend it. She can’t make it budge and sheepishly puts it back down.
James and Lena share a stiff, formal goodnight. Gee, can these two uneasy professionals become allies and maybe even friends?
The Danvers sisters cuddle up on the couch to watch The Wizard of Oz, and we learn that Alex and Maggie never did decide on the reception music.
Finally, J’onn’s solo drinking is interrupted by a vision of M’Gann in her Green Martian form to beg him to come to Mars right now.
YES, LET’S GO TO MARS!
Snaps of the cape:
- Every Alex scene tonight was fantastic, and from here on out, I require no fewer than two sister heart-to-hearts per week. Also, of course the traditional Danvers first-day-of-school gift was a planner.
- Look, I know Mon-El was a divisive character last season, but it’s swoonworthy that a man who knows a thing or two about intergalactic travel would write “Kara” next to this passage of Romeo and Juliet: “The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars.” That Kara shoves it under the couch where she found it tells us that she’s still not okay, but maybe she’s getting a little better.
- On that subject, some viewers last week were frustrated at Kara’s mopiness about a boy, but this week drives home the guilt that she feels: She believes she might have sent the man she loves to his death. Those are deep, earned feelings; she loved and she lost in a painful way. She’s allowed to feel those feelings, and I’m glad that she’s not sparkly and fine again by episode 2.
- How cool was Yael Grobglas as a straight-up villain? She wielded her power with confidence and pride. Fingers crossed that this season keeps bringing us these fun, formidable foes!