This week opens with Kara taking some time out of her Supergirl duties to help out one of her fangirls who’s being bullied by some of her classmates. While Kara’s busy with that, Cat makes an appearance on The Talk (I had no idea this show was a real thing until I watched this episode) to talk about what a positive difference Supergirl has made to National City. With an opening like that, you just know the crap is about to hit the fan.
Later that day, Senator Crane pays a visit to the DEO to tell them that she’s been trying to increase the DEO’s funding and to thank Hank for doing such a great job. This good news is interrupted though when Kara goes to save a fireman from a burning building. This seemingly routine rescue comes with serious consequences however, when Kara is exposed to some red Kryptonite.
The next day, Kara shows up at work and shows some personality changes that don’t go unnoticed by her friends at CatCo. She dresses more provocatively, has a more icy demeanor and is much more in-your-face with Siobhan (more on that later).
Later at the DEO, Alex and Hank notice something off about Kara as well. They exposition about a string of armored car robberies throughout National City that apparently has a Fort Rozz escapee called a K’hund as part of the crew. Unfortunately, Kara shows about as much interest in this as the black lady at the beginning of Forrest Gump. Despite her obvious lack of enthusiasm, she nevertheless springs into action and defeats the K’hund in less than a minute. Kara then lets him go saying he wasn’t worth her time (to be fair considering how easy he was to defeat I’d have to agree) and simply tells Alex he got away.
Back the DEO, Hank tries calling Kara out on her attitude but Kara is having none of it. She tells him that she’s tired of being expected to do what she’s told and getting reprimanded every time something goes wrong and challenges him to use his Martian powers if he thinks he can do better. Alex later catches the K’hund off screen and reveals that Supergirl let him go.
The next day at CatCo, Kara’s behavior has become more problematic as she brazenly uses Cat’s private elevator. Luckily, Cat lets it slide since Kara reasons using the private elevator allows her to get her latte sooner.
Cat calls a meeting with Supergirl at her office to ask her what’s going on with her. Supergirl tells her that she’s sick of being characterized as a girl scout and of being a superhero. Cat tries reasoning with her but unfortunately she’s a little too condescending, so Supergirl just decides to literally throw her out of the CatCo building and only deciding at the last second not to let her die.
Alex, Hank, James and Winn all voice their concerns about Kara and decide to take a look at her most recent missions. They realize that Kara’s sudden personality change started after the fire and are shocked to discover synthetic, man made, red glowing Kryptonite hidden at the building. They don’t have long to wonder where this special Kryptonite came from before Maxwell Lord comes forward to claim responsibility. He claims that he had been attempting to recreate Kryptonite to use against Non’s army but it turns out he couldn’t get it quite right. He had hoped to booby trap Non but the building had unexpectedly caught fire and his Kyptonite infected Supergirl instead. He appears to be genuinely remorseful of the damage he caused and offers his services in helping to cure Supergirl.
Unfortunately, Lord’s assistance might be too little too late since Cat has now been left with no choice but to denounce Supergirl as a threat to National City. James and Winn try talking her out of it but Cat insists that it’s something the public needs to know and with a heavy heart she makes a live broadcast warning the public to stay away from Supergirl because she unstable and extremely dangerous.
Hard But Not Impossible
Alex stops by Kara’s apartment hoping to reason with her bur that doesn’t go over so well. Instead, Kara taunts Alex accusing her of being jealous and having her work at the DEO to retain some form of control over her. She then says that Alex’s life would have no meaning without her and flies away, basically vowing to take over National City.
Alex comes back to the DEO pretty rattled from her meeting with Kara and fears that there’s no way to stop Kara. Senator Crane then shows back up and says that while she doesn’t want Supergirl dead, it might be best for everyone involved if the DEO hits her with everything they’ve got since it is their job after all to protect the world from hostile aliens and Hank reluctantly agrees. The good news though it that Lord is able to design a prototype gun that should change Supergirl back to normal.
Once Kara has started watching Cat’s announcement she decides to go on a rampage. Despite both the DEO and the local cops firing their guns at her, the bullets all bounce off her like Teflon (naturally). Hank, in an act of desperation, morphs into his Martian self in full public view and is able to keep Kara busy long enough for Alex to hit Kara with Lord’s gun. The gun’s effect makes Kara go unconscious and Hank rather than flee, turns himself in to the DEO.
Kara wakes up at the DEO base and while she’s visibly relieved that she hasn’t killed anyone, she is also devastated at all the havoc she brought on National City. She immediately apologizes for the stuff she said to Alex and while she accepts the apology she also admits that there’s some truth to what Kara said and they’ll need to work on that.
Things aren’t going any better for Hank as he is now imprisoned inside a DEO cell and questioned by Senator Crane. He admits that his real name is J’onn J’onzz and that he was the one that killed the real Hank Henshaw (yeah don’t bother to elaborate on that one or anything). Crane leaves the room in disgust and showing a feeling of betrayal.
Cat returns to her office to find Supergirl sitting on her balcony. She apologizes to Cat for her behavior, which Cat immediately accepts. Supergirl then laments about the reality that all the trust she built up with National City has now been shattered and she has no idea how to get it back. Cat admits that regaining the city’s trust will be hard but not impossible.
Since Cat is more directly involved with the plot this week, this section is a little shorter than usual but there’s still a couple subplots that probably warrants mentioning. Kara finds out about Winn and Siobhan’s “relationship” and she takes it about as well as can be expected given that she apparently caught them getting it on in a supply closet. Once the red Kryptonite has infected Kara though, her rivalry with Siobhan comes to a head. Siobhan gets a hold of some security footage of Supergirl letting the K’hund go and tries pitching the scoop to Cat. When Cat refuses to release the video, Siobhan tries selling the story to the Daily Planet. However, before she can carry through with the plan, Kara rats her out to Cat, who rightfully fires Siobhan on the spot.
Meanwhile, in the aftermath of James and Lucy’s breakup, Lucy has resigned from CatCo and left National City. While this would seemingly clear the way for Kara and James, they’re both hesitant. Their awkwardness towards each other isn’t helped when they go clubbing with Winn and a red Kryptonite infected Kara gets a little too aggressive with James and says some not so kind words about Lucy. James acknowledges that all of this was the red Kryptonite talking but still thinks that it’s best they give each other space for a little while.
I was never all that crazy about the red Kryptonite plots on Smallville, so this wasn’t exactly an episode I was anxious to see. To my surprise though, Supergirl handled things surprisingly well. One of the problems I had with how Smallville did it is that the consequences for Clark’s actions tended to me minimal and usually forgotten by the next episode. Here though, Supergirl doesn’t take the easy way out and makes it clear there won’t be any quick fixes here (which has been something of a recurring problem with this show) and the characters will likely suffer some long-term ramifications as a result of this episode. It also doesn’t hurt that evil Kara gets some funny lines here with my personal favorites being “Don’t be jealous. Or do, I don’t really care.” and “My mother sentenced you to Fort Rozz, blah blah, ruined your life. I’ve heard the story. Want to fight about it?” It’s nice to know that the writers are apparently aware of how repetitive their villains are sounding.
While there were times where I found it hard to completely buy into the dark side Kara, Melissa Benoist gives a solid performance especially at the end once the smoke has cleared.
The only downside I found was the continued relationship problems with Kara and James. At the end of the episode I found myself getting even more frustrated about a romantic subplot I didn’t even care about in the first place. Also, the fact that Lucy left CatCo the second she broke up with James seems to indicate her sole reason for existing in the show was to cause some pointless drama for Kara and James which frankly seems to be rather insulting for Lucy as a character.
Tune in next week as J’onn J’onnz reveals how he came to assume Hank Henshaw’s identity in ‘Manhunter.’