By Sara Netzley
October 21, 2018 at 11:31 PM EDT
Credit: Bettina Strauss/The CW
S4 E2

Supergirl is always at its best when it balances fights, feels, and fun, and “Fallout” is packed with all three.

We open amid furious protests outside the White House as President Marsdin prepares to resign — Article II of the Constitution, don’t you know. She’s relieved not to have to hide any longer and encourages Supergirl to remain a beacon of hope. “Fear can create monsters where none existed before,” she says.

The protests finally explode into a full-blown brawl, sending a news van careening into a flagpole. Supergirl, who knows how to make a killer entrance, swoops into the middle of the melee with the stars and bars held high, ordering everyone to talk, not fight.

In the DEO, Alex has to break up a similar argument that erupts between her people. She reminds them that the DEO defends humans and aliens alike, although she privately worries that the traffic on the dark web anti-alien forums has skyrocketed since the Marsdin news.

Under interrogation, Otis mostly proves himself to be a dummy who enjoys the suffering of others, although he does slip and mentions “those two,” clueing Alex in that Mercy might have another accomplice.

Then we cut to Agent Liberty, in his mask and hate-watching Supergirl on the news. Mercy swans in with a vial of Kryptonite she acquired online — “The web is dark and full of fun things,” she says — and a laptop she killed an L-Corp employee to acquire.

Kara, meanwhile, has arrived at L-Corp with Big Belly Burger and a request for information on Mercy. Lena says Mercy started as Lex’s head of security and morphed into his close confidante. She was also like a big sister and role model to Lena, which explains their similarly exquisite fashion sense.

When Mercy left Lex, Lena felt a bit abandoned, and in some ways, Lena’s sympathetic to Mercy’s belief that humans should have technological power to rival aliens. But she pushes those similarities aside when she realizes that Mercy’s trying to hack into L-Corp with the stolen laptop. At first, Mercy succeeds and shuts down the image inducer tech, causing users all over the world to be outed as aliens.

This becomes a problem for Brainy, who’s on a DEO mission at a local pizza place. (He’s noticed that Alex reverts to snark when her blood sugar gets low and has diagnosed pizza as an acceptable remedy, which is his most accurate calculation ever. Also, his “pizza and coffee name” is Barney, if you’re curious.)

While he waits for his order and chats with the owner, Massimo, two things happen: Nia shows up for an espresso, and “Barney’s” image inducer shuts down. Massimo’s friendly demeanor vanishes, and he snarls as a pack of enormous employees step out of the back to threaten Brainy with a bat. Who knew that making pizzas required a passel of gone-to-seed former football players?

Sensing the danger, Nia doesn’t hesitate to physically put herself between Brainy and the angry mob, giving me chills with her bravery. She threatens to expose their cruelty in a story and barks, “Give him his pizzas.” Cape-less hero, right here!

Lena’s able to shut down Mercy’s hack, restoring Brainy’s inducer but leaving him shocked that a man he thought was his friend could turn on him so viciously. He asks Nia if they could get to know each other; she drops her name and tells him to track her down if he means it. Something tells me that’ll be no problem for him.

At CatCo, Nia pushes James to write an editorial condemning the rising intolerance, arguing that she was one voice in that restaurant, but the editor-in-chief of CatCo Worldwide Media has a vast platform to bring about change. Then she tells him that she’s a transgender woman who knows what it’s like to be attacked for being who she is.

James worries that if he pushes his readers too far, too fast, they’ll accuse him of bias. (This argument fails, though, because editorial pages are explicitly designed for outlets to present opinion pieces.) Still, James thanks her for sharing her truth.

Her hacking attempt having failed, Mercy now invades L-Corp itself — she did design the security system, after all. Unfortunately, Kara’s trapped with Lena and Eve Teschmacher, and her attempts to sneak away and unleash Supergirl fail spectacularly. First, she looks for a closet to “hide” in and then she suggests splitting up, but Lena won’t hear of it, insisting that Kara will be safer with her. Awww, Lena! Such a protective lioness!

This forces Kara to flee on foot with Lena and Eve, all three of them awkwardly trotting on their heels. Melissa Benoist’s body language, especially, makes it hilariously clear how impractical that footwear is for any kind of running and fighting.

Kara resorts to lagging behind and deflecting bullets with her hands, accusing the attackers of poor marksmanship. She also uses a well-placed foot to break a sliding door that threatened to trap them, blaming a glitch, and she “sneezes” over a squad of assailants, blaming her allergies. It’s all wonderfully fun.

All that awkward stealth is almost destroyed when Alex activates Kara’s speakerphone to ask for Supergirl. They might want to consider code names in the future. Kara babbles that “LOL no no no, Supergirl isn’t here, it’s just Kara and Lena and Eve!”

Brainy then takes over and tries to direct Kara to the nearest location for a quick change, but he’s still rattled by his pizza shop encounter and fails miserably. Good thing Eve, her hairpin, and her theme park experience allow her to activate the door’s hidden quick release. She worked as a bunny, natch. (Next page: Lexosuit fight!)

Eve heads to the control room while Lena and Kara run to the prototype lab, where Lena and Mercy each grab an arm from the Lexosuit and it. is. on. Listen, sometimes all you really need on a Sunday night is two gorgeously dressed brunettes from the British Isles threatening each other in American accents with enormous mech guns, okay?

Mercy threatens and cajoles and appeals to Lena’s vanity. She reminds Lena that Lex used to tell her to make her cute little inventions in pink and urges Lena to join her in giving humans superior firepower. When Lena declines, Mercy spits that she doesn’t deserve the Luthor name.

By now, Kara’s finally found an excuse to “hide,” and moments later, Supergirl bursts in to nab Mercy and announces, “The Luthor name doesn’t’ deserve Lena.” Y’all, Lena and Kara protected each other in their own ways, and every second was a delight.

Both Graveses end up in DEO cells, where they immediately go to work on one of the agents, Jensen, asking if he intended to spend his life locking up humans. He says he trusts Alex, but his heart doesn’t seem in it.

Speaking of Alex, she listens as Brainy frets that his accurate prediction rate has fallen from 99.12 percent to 98.525 percent thanks to the pizza incident. He was aware that humans would have a period of adjustment to the ideas of aliens. He’s struggling with the fact that Massimo knew him, yet it didn’t make a difference once his alien identity was revealed.

Alex tells him to send the next bully her way, causing Brainy to declare, “All aliens deserve an Alex Danvers.” Yes! Yes, they do! But Jensen overhears this and decides to bust the Graves out of their cells.

At CatCo, James is brooding over the white space where the editorial will go when a newsroom commotion breaks out. You see, McKenzie put wood chips in Franklin’s coffee mug because Franklin’s a Dryad who told McKenzie in confidence that Dryads eat wood and stone.

McKenzie blows it off as a prank, but James tells the assembled staff that CatCo doesn’t tolerate hate and ignorance, not in their offices and not on their pages. It’s the final push he needs to write his editorial, “Justice is what matters now.”

Supergirl also takes her message to the masses, speaking into news cameras and urging citizens to fight the fear that’s spreading like wildfire.

“The character of a person or alien is not defined by where we are from, but what we do,” she says, asking everyone to come together with love and respect on this planet she’s proud to call home.

Supergirl next heads to the White House, where Vice President Baker (Bruce Boxleitner) is fussing with his tie and preparing to assume the presidency. He’s grateful that Supergirl’s standing by him. She straightens his tie and assures him, “You’ve got this, sir.”

J’onn hasn’t been idle this week, either. He’s on a mission to find the missing Fiona, and it takes him to the alien bar, where he tells one of the patrons, “When they go low, we go high.” Next stop is her apartment, where he finds her wedding invitation and a list of ID numbers that lead him to a group of police officers. He finds one of them in a bar, ranting about the world changing. He’s a beat cop in Fiona’s neighborhood but claims not to know her.

J’onn’s search eventually takes him to a rally, where Agent Liberty, still masked, is working a crowd into a frenzy over aliens taking their jobs and destroying their homes. “It’s always protect the aliens, protect the aliens. Who’s going to protect us?” he roars before leading the crowd in a chant of “Earth first!”

In the end, we cut to Mercy, Otis, and Jensen using the stolen lead bomb from season 2 to spray Kryptonite into the atmosphere where Supergirl is flying. The green poison invades her body, and as she tumbles toward the Earth, we cut to black.

Snaps of the cape

  • Oh, dear. Those Agent Liberty rallies are going to be tough to watch this season. Please also spare a moment of sympathy for the actor, Sam Witwer; wearing that mask cannot be pleasant.
  • Of course Brainy orders olive and apple pizza. The bigger question is, what’s wrong with me that I kind of want to try that myself?
  • President Baker’s gonna turn into a bad guy, isn’t he? I feel it in my bones.
  • See you next week, friends! Until then, why not try giving Barney as your coffee name? You know, live a little.

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