By Sara Netzley
May 12, 2019 at 11:00 PM EDT
Sergei Bachlakov/The CW
S4 E21
B+
type
  • TV Show
Network
Genre

Supergirl’s penultimate episode finds our heroes embarking on different missions, all of which are presumably racing toward the same end goal in next week’s finale.

Let’s start with Lena, who’s such a boss that she bought her mother’s privately owned prison so Lillian could work on extracting Harun-El from James. To ensure her compliance, Lena poisons her and gives her a day to earn the antidote. She also slaps a baby Truth Seeker on her mother’s arm.

“Couldn’t you just waterboard me like a normal person?” Lillian asks, but she also confesses that she paid $14,000 to make Lena’s middle-school boyfriend scram and she tells her daughter that she loves her. Aww! Happy Mother’s Day!

Lena also tracks down Lockwood to let him know that President Baker, and therefore he himself, is working for Lex. Lockwood, who’s got Harun-El-induced red eyes and shedding hair, isn’t pleased by this news and goes tearing off. James and Lena follow.

Before he confronts Otis, Lockwood injects himself with more Harun-El, which is certainly a choice. Dumb-dumb Otis, tucked away in a safe house with video games and what looks like a sweet plate of donut holes, confirms that yep, they’re working toward Lex’s goals of money and world domination. “Supervillain, right, I get it,” says a disgusted Lockwood. Then Otis and Lockwood start to fight. James tries to pull them apart but is overcome by his Harun-El, and in the end, Lockwood rips out Otis’s Metallo Kryptonite heart and bolts.

Lena then helps James to the lab, where Lillian injects him with her anti-Harun-El solution. And when she suggests that Lena didn’t have the ovaries to actually poison her, Lena coolly offers her a vial and suggests, “You should drink it.”

Okay, our next group of heroes are Brainy, J’onn, and Nia, who are tasked with finding the aliens from the DEO desert facility. Brainy’s also tasked himself with telling Nia he’s in love with her because he’s a multitasker.

A unicorn keychain gives Dreamer a vision that leads them to an Amertek facility, but J’onn says Brainy’s odds for successfully Wookiee prisoner gag-ing their way in are too risky. But when he flies off to survey the scene and the young’uns spot the keychain girl, they move in on their own, with Brainy’s image inducer making him look like Lockwood.

And let me tell you, friends, what follows is an amazing 60 seconds of television as Sam Witwer delightfully channels Jesse Rath’s Brainy trying to be Lockwood. It’s *chef’s kiss* perfection. And the Children of Liberty bust them immediately, of course, because Ben Lockwood’s a lot of things, but robotic he is not.

Time for a little light torture. At first, Brainy begs them to spare Dreamer, but the harsher the treatment gets, the more affected he is. Then he starts glitching—and I use that word intentionally. As he tells his captors, he’s from a race of synthetic beings who are time and space travelers with ancestral memories. And those ancestors were very bad people: conquerers and collectors. He laughs and cries, and the lights on forehead flicker and flash.

Then he announces that they rebooted him to be more like his emotionless ancestors. “And that was a calamitous mistake,” he warns before he effortlessly takes out a roomful of guards, smoothing his hair, and collecting his Legion ring.

In a voice several shades deeper and more dispassionate than we’ve come to know, he explains to J’onn, who snuck in disguised as Eve, that Nia could be useful to his plans. He enters her cell and kneels in front of her. She’s clearly expecting that love declaration, but instead, he locks her back up and informs her that she’s to walk through the portal with the other aliens. Then she can astral project and they can liberate the camp.

Nia’s not cool with this plan, but Brainy doesn’t care. Then he performs what to my untrained eye looked like the five-point palm exploding heart technique and leaves J’onn to be captured, calculating that this doubles their odds of success.

Dreamer catches sight of Brainy turning his back on her as she’s waiting to be ushered through the portal, and dang, you thought Brainy was cold? You haven’t met Brain the Fifth.

Finally this week, we have Kara, informing Baker’s henchmen that in the U.S., we don’t just black-bag journalists. They sneer that the CatCo servers have been scrubbed, so bye-bye evidence. She easily escapes the humans, but Red Daughter gets the jump on her with the help of some Kryptonite.

As Red Daughter casually screws a silencer onto a gun, Kara, restrained with a Kryptonite chain, begs her to see that they’re the same. Red Daughter disagrees, calling Kara limited and mocking her cheerleader skirt. (She’s just jealous, Kar-Kar!)

As Red Daughter rants about the American Dream being snake oil, Kara reminds her that she’s got 15 years of Kryptonite tolerance on her and escapes out the window with only a bullet wound in the arm.

She heads to J’onn for patching up (prior to his Brainy/Amertek exploits), and she realizes that if Lex knows who she is, Alex is in danger. But J’onn says restoring Alex’s memories could destroy her mind if her sealed-off neural pathways are opened up through his psychic force. The only hope is that she remembers on her own.

Well, how convenient, then, that Alex just had a dream about Kara’s unexplained strength when they were children. Kelly, who’s casually hanging at Alex’s, suggests the adoption trauma led to adopted sister memories, but Alex says it’s the same weird feeling she had during the recent DEO security sweep. I think it’s happening tonight, friends! The remembering is upon us!

Concerned, Supergirl sneaks into the DEO to work with Alex on locating Red Daughter using a satellite scan. When Haley finds them, she immediately believes their story that Baker’s working with Lex, particularly because she has reason to believe that Lex hopes to acquire Project Claymore technology. (Apparently,pp all six of the engineers on the project recently woke up dead.)

When the tracker turns up Red Daughter, Supergirl ditches Alex and finds an apartment filled with her belongings. “Oh, Rao, she’s stalking me,” Supergirl breathes.

She’s studying a photo of Mikhail when Alex comes in, horrified that Red Daughter’s place looks like Kara’s. Alex describes her fear for Kara as feeling like a piece of her heart is out there in the world, on its own without protection. As she cries, Supergirl takes her hand, but the almost-sisterly moment is interrupted when their mother calls to say that Kara’s there with her.

Supergirl freaks and races to Eliza’s, where Red Daughter’s super judgy about all of Kara’s stuff. She insists that Lex goes by “Alex” and says she serves the collective, not individuals. Kara asks about Mikhail, which was a mistake because Red Daughter believes the Americans killed him. She unleashes the exo-suit and the pair fight, with Kara insisting, “Hope, help, and compassion for all. That’s what I stand for.” But Red Daughter refuses to listen to her warning that Lex will turn on her.

While Kara assumes they’ll be evenly matched in the powers department, Red Daughter brags that she’s “evolved” and unleashes a purple lightning punch that … knocks out the daylight, somehow? I don’t quite understand it, but it’s suddenly dark as she pummels Kara into submission just as Alex arrives on her bike.

Kara the hero, of course, refuses to submit, and as Alex watches the power show, she experiences the return of other memories: Kara roasting marshmallows with her laser eyes, making it snow indoors with her cold breath, rescuing her plane in the series premiere, reluctantly accepting Alex’s offer to save her with the memory wipe.

“Kara,” she breathes just as Red Daughter delivers a terrible blow. Alex tries to intervene, but Red Daughter knocks her down, listens to the slowing of Kara’s heart, and flies upward. Come on, did Lex not teach her the double tap? Alex remembers everything now and races over to Kara’s body, screaming, “Kara, you can’t go!” as their mother arrives. Red Daughter watches from the sky until a distant noise summons her.

Desperate, Alex tells the unmoving Kara that there’s sunlight in everything, stuffing grass into her fists and insisting, “Kara, just take it. Take the grass. Please.” Then streaks of light travel through the ground and flow toward Kara, who’s pulling the sunlight from the Earth into her body. It revives her, and her first words to Alex are, “I missed you so much.” Danvers sisters forever!

Then Haley calls Alex with bad news: She found plans for a compact Claymore that could fit into a Lexosuit. And the television gives them worse news: Kaznia invaded while everybody else was busy with all the other stuff, apparently. The president tells the nation that Kaznia was aided by the terrorist Supergirl, and Lex in a Lexosuit singlehanded thwarted their plans and killed her. As proof, the news shows a dead-looking Red Daughter in Lex’s arms.

Snaps of the cape

  • Questions! I’ve got ‘em! How did the Kaznian invasion slip by such that everybody’s hearing about it for the first time on TV? Who can un-reboot Brainy? Was Red Daughter’s purple lightning what brought down Lena’s plane last week? Who else instinctively screams “Wolverines!” when they see the title “Red Dawn”? Is Red Daughter really Dead Daughter? I mean, she can’t be, right? We need her “Mikhail’s still alive!” redemption arc.
  • Such fun acting challenges for both Witwer and Rath this week! The former nailed the “Brainy-as-Ben” vibe, and the latter gets to create a whole new approach to his character. I can’t wait to see how this storyline unfolds, but I hope it ends with a lot of groveling for forgiveness from poor Nia.
  • Are you ready for the finale next week? I am (give us more Lex!), and I’m not (the show’s been so fun this season!). Until then, super-friends…

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episodes
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