Tonight opens with Kara flying around National City when she notices that a weird looking drone (which to me looks like a miniature version of a SHIELD hellicarrier) has been not so subtlety following her around. Kara is able to destroy it and naturally assumes it belonged to the DEO, so she goes to confront Henshaw about it. Surprisingly though, the DEO isn’t the one spying on Kara and Alex is quick to note that the drone’s tech while advanced are also not alien. Kara is still suspicious of Henshaw but Alex assures her that she can trust him (yeah this is one of those moments where the episode swapping gets a little awkward).
Meanwhile at CatCo, Cat has won an award called the Siegel Prize for Women in Media (kudos for the Jerry Siegel shout-out) and has been invited to accept the award in Metropolis the next night. Unfortunately, Cat won’t be able to attend the ceremony since she is unable to find a babysitter for her awkward teenage son Carter but Kara quickly offers to watch him herself. Cat assumes that Kara is doing this as a way of sucking up but nevertheless accepts.
A bomb goes off inside a building and Kara flies in to save the day by using her strength and heat vision to keep the building from collapsing. This is a largely uneventful act of heroism from Kara but I found it to simple yet effective. When the DEO inspects the bomb, Alex discovers that the bomb has some of the same tech as the drone spying on Kara indicating that the bomber and Kara’s spy might be the same person. Alex also finds out that both the drone and the bomb were made with parts only available at Lord Tech.
Afterwards, Kara’s babysitting gig for Cat gets off to a not so great start and she almost forgets to pick Carter up from school (though that’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a little super speed). She later figures out that Carter has a crush on Supergirl and yes that conversation is pretty much as awkward as it sounds. He even asks Kara if there’s a way James can introduce him to Supergirl.
Meanwhile, Alex and Henshaw go to question Lord about the bombing while once again posing as FBI agents. Lord reveals to them that he owned the building that got blown up, so the bomber is likely someone with a grudge against him, so Henshaw orders Alex to work as his protection detail. Alex and Lord talk for a bit and he admits that he has a deep mistrust of the government because his parents died in an accident caused by them which was then covered up. There’s also some hints of a romance between the two of them which I found to be dumb since we’re already wasting enough screen time focusing on James and Lucy (more on that one later), the pairing makes no sense and the actors while talented individually have no chemistry together. Thankfully, we don’t spend much time focusing on that since a bomb has been found inside Lord Tech. Lord tries disarming the bomb himself but only succeeds in making things worse. Luckily, Kara flies in to get rid of it and is able to throw it up in the air just before it goes off, though Kara gets knocked unconscious in the process.
Kara wakes up a couple hours later at the DEO, and it turns out in that time, they’ve figured out the bomber is an ex-employee of Lord’s named Ethan Knox. Knox had been fired from Lord Tech about six months ago for behaving erratically, causing his wife and daughter to leave him. Knox then presumably snapped when his daughter started getting sick and he had no way to pay for her treatment and blamed Lord for it.
I’ll Be Watching
Kara and the DEO figure that Knox is likely to target the opening of a new super train that Lord built and despite Alex’s urge that Lord cancel the event, he proceeds with the launch as scheduled. Kara and the DEO stake out the train station to look for the bomb when they get a report that another bomb has been spotted at the airport. When Kata finds out that Knox has not only been spotted at the train station with a bomb strapped to his chest but that Carter has also sneaked out over there as well in the hopes of meeting Supergirl she decides decides to handle the train while the DEO deals with the airport.
Alex and Henshaw examines the airport bomb and Alex discovers that she’s unable to disarm it so Henshaw orders her to evacuate along with everybody else while he stays behind to deal with the bomb on his own. Once the coast is clear, he goes all red eyes and pries the bomb open with his bare hands and rips out the explosive (which begs the question as to why Kara didn’t do that with the Lord Tech bomb). Once the bomb has been disarmed, Henshaw comes out and claims it was a dud meant to distract them from the train bomb.
Kara meanwhile has Lord move all of the train passengers to the back while she deals with Knox up front. Once she finds Knox, she does everything she can to talk him down. He detonates the bomb anyway but not wanting to kill anybody on the train, gives Supergirl a thirty second head start before setting it off. She uses that time to separate the front car from the rest of the train and ensuring the only person that dies from the bomb is Knox.
Back at the DEO, both Kara and Alex feel that something is off about the bombings. When Alex examines the airport bomb, she finds a kill switch which is generally pretty pointless on a supposedly fake bomb. Kara on the other hand feels that there was something off about Knox. She tells Alex that he didn’t look angry or crazy but instead he looked sad.
Meanwhile, at CatCo, Cat returns to check up on Carter, who despite the near death experience appears to be no worse for wear and talks about how cool it was to be able to meet Supergirl. Nevertheless, Cat is still understandably upset with Kara that Carter was almost killed on her watch, prompting Kara to ask Cat how she’s able to do it. She basically tells Kara the trick is to not do too much too fast and if this sounds familiar it’s because she said pretty much the same thing about Supergirl in episode two (come on guys, there’s no need to repeat yourselves this early).
Afterwards, Kara still being bothered by Knox’s behavior before the bombing is finally able to figure out why he did it. As it turns out, Lord had put him up to it to test Supergirl’s limitations in exchange for paying for his daughter’s treatment. When Kara confronts him about this, he points out she has no way to prove it but notes that Supergirl opted to save the train instead of the airport despite the airport having considerably more people. This indicates to him that there was someone on the train that she cared about, thus giving him a clue about Supergirl’s identity (yeah it couldn’t possibly be that the government could easily deal with the airport on their own while she on the other hand was the only one fast enough to catch up with the super train). Supergirl declares that this isn’t over and she’ll be watching, with Lord agreeing that the fun is just beginning as she flies off. It’s clear now that Maxwell Lord will be serving as the show’s equivalent of Lex Luthor for the foreseeable future, especially considering Superman himself had some very similar confrontations with Luthor to open both Lois and Clark and Superman: The Animated Series, and honestly I am perfectly okay with that.
James and Lucy
While Lucy initially claims that she’s in National City for work, she eventually admits that she used it as an excuse to see James in the hopes of them getting back together. James isn’t exactly receptive to this idea though since their last relationship ended badly and it’s also not helped that Cat seems to have left him in charge of things while she’s in Metropolis. He tells Kara that yet another reason why he left Metropolis was because Lucy dumped him to focus more on her career.
Lucy on the other hand tells Kara that she dumped James because he would always drop everything, including their relationship, to help Superman. She’s now afraid he’s doing the same thing with Supergirl and that now the hero he’s helping is “wearing a skirt” that she won’t be able to compete.
Lucy decides to cut her losses and fly back to Metropolis but when James finds out about the bomb at the airport, he rushes over to warn her, proving he still cares about her and they get back together (whoop dee doo).
This is easily the shows weakest episode so far but to be fair that isn’t entirely the writers fault. While I found CBS’s decision to air ‘Livewire’ first to be perfectly understandable, this also makes it feel like the show is regressing slightly this week for fairly obvious reasons. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t take away from the fact that outside of the reveal about Maxwell Lord, this episode is completely pointless to the overall narrative. If you take that plot point out, the episode could have been left unaired and I doubt the audience would’ve cared that much.
As for Lord, while I completely understand his desire to find out more about Supergirl this was a really stupid way to go about it. There had to simpler and more cost effective ways to do this that don’t risk the lives of thousands of people, bring a crap load of unwanted attention on him from the government and the media and cause the destruction of his own property, including what was quite obviously a pet project of his. It also doesn’t help that this plot is a complete ripoff of an early Lois and Clark episode where Lex Luthor puts Superman through some similar tests, except he did it at the risk of a couple of nameless henchmen.
Of course, none of this was as annoying as the James and Lucy subplot. Frankly, I could care less about this relationship and it certainly didn’t need so much time dedicated to it since as their both completely boring as a couple and it’s clear these two aren’t going to last anyway. I understand the writers wanting to put some obstacles in the Kara/James pairing but can those obstacles at least be remotely interesting?
That’s not to say there aren’t some good moments here. Even though she doesn’t make much an appearance this week, this was another strong episode for Cat. For the first time we get to see her softer side by seeing how much she cares for her son. This also helps Cat to warm up to Supergirl since not only does she save her son but also gets to see through Carter’s eyes that Supergirl is defined not by her powers but her heart. This also helps to explain why Cat seemed to suddenly decide to stop trashing Supergirl in ‘Livewire.’
Tune in next week as Supergirl takes on Red Tornado in ‘Red Faced.’