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When a parasitic alien offers Kara the perfect life, she must choose between her Kryptonian family and the family she's created on Earth.

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February 09, 2016 at 05:01 PM EST

When we left Kara last week, she was at a pretty low point. Pretty much all of her relationships (save the one with her sister) were in varying states of disarray Cat, the mentor she needs, wants to keep things strictly “professional.” Winn is barely talking to her, and things with James are just weird. With this baggage going into tonight, we came into “For the Girl Who Has Everything” ready for a poignant episode to set things right, and Supergirl definitely delivered. 

Tonight’s episode is an adaptation of Alan Moore’s heartwrenching Superman story “For the Man Who Has Everything,” which was published in Superman Annual #11 in 1985. In the story, the Black Mercy — a parasitic alien plant that shows its host his or her heart’s desire — attaches itself to Superman, trapping him in a dream world where Krypton was never destroyed and he’s married and has a son. Basically, the evil alien dictator Mongul, who sends Superman the plant for his birthday, uses his heart’s desire against him, and to free himself, Superman must give up this idyllic life that’s been created for him.

Supergirl‘s take on this landmark Superman story comes with one change: Kara starts off questioning whether or not this is real. When Kara wakes up on Krypton, she’s confused because, well, duh. Her mom enters and tries to comfort her, saying that her belief that Krypton exploded was obviously part of the hallucinations she had while suffering from the Argo Fever. But, again, Kara isn’t buying it. (It’s funny that her first thought is that Astra is trying to use her memories of Krypton against her, which isn’t too far off.) Slowly, however, she starts to give in to this perfect prison. Her father, young Kal-El, and Aunt Astra start showing up, and that draws her deeper into the dream to the point that she forgets Earth’s name. Eventually, Kara succumbs when lil’ Kal-El shows her a hologram of Krypton and all she can say is “It’s so beautiful.” 

Meanwhile back in the real world, a solar storm is disrupting Earth’s satellite and network systems. When James, Winn, and Alex realize that Kara’s missing, they head to her apartment and find her on the ground with this gross-looking plant strapped to her chest. They rush her to the DEO, and Alex’s first suspect is Maxwell Lord, but his hands are clean in this one (for once). They try removing the plant, but they realize that forcibly removing it will kill Kara. 

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Cat is still upset about what Kara did last week, so she tells Winn that if Kara doesn’t show up to work, she’ll be we fired. Cue Hank impersonating Kara to save her job… Guys, do we have to talk about the scenes between Hank as Kara and Cat? Any other week, they would’ve been enjoyable, but, honestly, they just got in the way of the very emotional story being told in the episode. I would’ve given anything to have spent more time with Kara on Krypton, watching her interact with her newly recovered family and experiencing that happiness, instead of these distractions.

Astra and Non are planning on using the current solar storm to activate some plan called Myriad, which remains unexplained by the end of the episode. Astra’s worried that her niece will be a problem, but Non assures her that won’t be the case because he used the Black Mercy on her. Astra is horrified, which leads her to offer her help to Alex, who is not handling Kara’s current condition well. 

The responsibilities of being a big sister are weighing on Alex as she feels powerless to do anything to help Kara. They can’t forcibly remove the Black Mercy from her chest. Hologram Alura is of no help at all. So, when Astra offers her a solution, a desperate Alex doesn’t hesitate, ignoring the risks because that’s what you do for family. The only thing Kara can do to free herself from the Black Mercy is to willingly reject the fantasy; however, Alex can help her do that by using the DEO’s technology to merge her consciousness with Kara’s to enter the dream. After convincing Maxwell Lord to do the tech stuff, Alex goes under but not before making James promise to not let Hank pull her out before she saves her sister. 

NEXT: A death in the family

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