Following last week’s devastating breakup with Maggie, Alex hits the road with Kara to head to their hometown of Midvale in J’onn’s vintage convertible.
While Alex gets mean drunk upstairs, Eliza frets that Kara’s shutting down her Mon-El pain and pretending she’s fine, but Kara argues that too many people depend on her to give in to those vulnerabilities.
When Kara makes it to their shared bedroom, Alex is in the mood to fight, snarling that Kara has no right to push her to talk about Maggie when the Girl of Steel shut down for months post-Mon-El. But Kara didn’t sign up for drunken verbal abuse, so they go to bed angry. It’s awful.
Then we jump back 10 years to a time when Alex and a newly adopted Kara exist in mutual, unadulterated loathing. Kara uses her speed to beat Alex to the bathroom and then whines about having to waste time in school, while Alex, sporting the perfect mid-aughts choker, resents being Kara’s babysitter.
At school, history teacher Mr. Bernard has to pull an “Earth to Ms. Danvers” (ha!) to bring Kara’s attention back to class, where Alex shows her up with all the answers. “Try and keep up,” she whispers. Later that day, Kara zooms up the rope in gym class and volleys back a “Try and keep up” of her own.
Before we move on, please join me in LOSING YOUR MIND over how well cast young Kara (Izabela Vidovic) and young Alex (Olivia Nikkanen) are, from looks to voice to acting. Incredible work, Supergirl!
In line at the cafeteria, there’s chatter about Superman’s recent takedown of Lex Luthor, but when Kara joins in with her hero worships, the kids scoff that Superman wears his underwear over his tights. Alex tells them to stuff it but brushes off Kara’s thanks. Then Alex’s crowd are jerks to Kara’s friend Kenny, who says it’s because he’s got dirt on basically everybody.
Kara accepts an invitation to go stargazing with Kenny that night, and he busts out a fancy telescope, explaining that he downloads the photos to his laptop. They talk and smile and almost kiss, but Kara pulls away at the last minute to tell Kenny he’s the only person in Midvale who makes her feel like she belongs.
Then Kara sneaks in the window and Alex busts her, yelling, “Before you crashed in that pod, I had a great life with two great parents, and now I have you. And you are not worth it.” Ouuuchh. With Kara mourning the literal loss of her whole world and Alex missing her dad and adjusting to a new sister, it’s no wonder their communication is 70 percent screaming.
The next day, Kara super-hears police scanner talk about the body of a 17-year-old male. “Great Rao,” she breathes and races to the scene, where she’s crushed to see Kenny’s body. Back in school, she brushes off Alex’s sympathy, accusing her of being as bad as everybody else crying crocodile tears for someone they always ignored.
Then quarterback Jake makes an “Oh my God, they killed Kenny” joke, and, enraged, Kara charges into the locker room to accuse him of hurting Kenny because Kenny had dirt on him. In the tradition of pathetic cretins everywhere, Jake accuses Kara of being on her period, so she slams him around until he confesses that Kenny caught him smoking pot. But he’s got a solid alibi for the night before.
Kara then visits Kenny’s house to share her condolences with his parents, who haven’t recovered his telescope. Sheriff Collins kindly tells Kara that for her own safety, she shouldn’t dig around any further. Kara agrees and then heads straight to the forest crime scene. When a noise startles her, she swings her laser eyes around and almost zaps Alex. When she’s scared, she can’t always control them, okay?
Alex confesses that this was where Kenny secretly tutored her in calculus (she likely kept it a secret because Kara’s such a snot about superior Kryptonian math education), and she came there to remember him. She then encourages Kara to use her powers to look for his telescope in the dark. Kara does and finds his laptop buried in leaves.
Kara wants to turn it over to Collins, but Alex suggests they check it first. It’s full of encrypted files, so they send them to Clark’s tech-savvy friend Chloe.
Then they find an email Kenny sent Mr. Bernard with a photo of him kissing Alex’s friend Josie. Look who just became a suspect! When Alex confronts her, Josie says she and “Samuel” are in love. Alex points out this is statutory rape, and “Samuel” needs to be locked up. Josie tells Alex to stay out of it. “Like Kenny should have?” Alex snaps. Yes, girl, channel your baby DEO agent mojo! (Next page: The sisters take down a murderer)
While Alex calls the police, Josie heads straight to Mr. Bernard to tell him what’s going down. After school, Kara and Alex are walking home together — a first — when a car comes barreling at them as they’re crossing a bridge. Kara sweeps them both over the railing to hover in safety.
After the police take their statements and send them home, there’s someone waiting to talk sense into Kara. “Mom?” asks a shocked Kara. And while it’s Erica Durance, who now plays Kara’s mother, she introduces herself as FBI Agent Noel Neill, who knows about Kara and Clark. Noel says she and Alex may have solved the case, but Kara’s only 15, and it was sheer luck that Alex wasn’t injured. It’s time for Kara to stop using her powers.
Poor Kara tells Noel that she remembers her real family, and now she’s here in a place that will never feel like home. “I just want to live with Clark and be super!” No, Noel says, she has to be human. But Noel’s kind about it, and, defeated, Kara says, “I love you, Mom” in Krypton, then promises to curb her powers.
Satisfied, Noel leaves the Danvers home and climbs into a familiar blue convertible, shifting into J’onn’s human form, and now I’m melting at J’onn having looked out for Kara all of her life on Earth.
The next visitor to the Danvers home is Josie, who announces that she’s grounded forever, Samuel’s been arrested (as he should be!), and, oh yeah, she was with him during the attempted murder by car. Despite the news that the killer’s still at large, Kara has Noel’s words ringing in her ears and wants to drop it. Disappointed, Alex says she thought they were doing something important together, then sets off to investigate on her own.
She finds Sheriff Collins at the football games and tells him it wasn’t Bernard, but they have Kenny’s laptop, and one of the other people in his pictures is likely the murderer. At this point, Collins, who might as well be wearing a neon T-shirt that says, “ME ME ME I AM THE MURDERER,” walks Alex into a secluded part of the high school.
Meanwhile, Kara gets an email from Chloe with the unencrypted files, one of which is a photo of Collins engaging in some sort of illicit drug deal. She calls and warns Alex (on her flip phone!), and Alex tries to play it cool, but Collins is no dummy and pulls his gun.
He hits redial to see where the laptop’s stashed, and Alex shouts, “The stadium! Here’s here!” before he hangs up. At home, Kara paces for two seconds before bursting out the window to fly to Alex.
Although Collins is giving the patented pre-murder “here’s my motive” villain speech, Alex isn’t scared. “Someone’s listening right now. Someone who can hear every single word you say, every time you breathe. Can you feel it? She’s coming.”
She shouts for Kara, and the Supergirl theme plays as Kara busts through a wall, knocking out Collins and hugging Alex. “I knew you’d come,” Alex tells her sister.
The next day, Alex receives as old-fashioned high school shunning and sits at Kara’s lonely table. They busted a pot-smoking quarterback, caught a predator, and solved a murder, and now everybody hates them. Kara says Alex’ll get used to being on the outside.
Oh, and Chloe found a file on Kenny’s laptop that she printed for Kara: a shot of her flying across the night sky. Kara’s astounded that he knew her secret but didn’t tell anyone, then is swamped with regret that she didn’t kiss him when she had the chance. “He liked me. All of me,” she marvels, which is such a universal teenage girl feeling, it hurts. When Alex asks to go flying later, Kara declines. “I’d rather be human than risk losing you.” Feeeelings!
That night, the girls are laughing together in their bedroom when Eliza delivers Kenny’s telescope, which was in Collins’ car. Kenny’s mother wanted them to have it as a thank you. Before they fall asleep, Kara agrees to let Alex use the bathroom first tomorrow.
And then we’re back to the present, where Alex pulls herself out of hungover misery sleep to find Kara on the porch with the telescope. Kara says Kenny was one of the first people she lost on Earth, and it never got any easier.
Alex says that was the first time she really understood what it could mean to have a sister, and Kara says it was the first time she felt like a Danvers. And while she still doesn’t feel completely at home on Earth, “I feel at home with you.” They both apologize, Alex for being mean and Kara for bottling up her own healing process.
By the time the sisters Danvers are ready to leave, Alex has shaken off her gloom and insists on driving because, while an accident didn’t sound too bad on their way to Midvale with Kara behind the wheel, today Alex would prefer to avoid that. The women don their sunglasses and drive off in the sunshine, singing along to Gwen Stefani’s perfectly on-the-nose “Sweet Escape.”
Snaps of the cape:
- So many Superman universe Easter eggs tonight! You’ve got Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane on Smallville, portraying Noel Neill, the name of the first big-screen Lois Lane from the 1940s. And then, of course, there’s the reference to Clark’s old high school buddy Chloe Sullivan, a.k.a. the best character on Smallville. They even mention Chloe’s wall of weird!
- Thank Rao that Supergirl’s returning to the sister dynamic that provided so much of the heart of season 1. Presumably this is the first step in Alex’s journey of grief and healing; here’s hoping we keep seeing this level of sisterly support in future episodes.
- Did you love watching these high schoolers testing their crime-fighting moxie as much as I did? Let me know in the comments!