Supergirl Recap: Heroes Find a Way

This Monday on CBS’ Supergirl, Kara fought a fight on three fronts: trying to rescue Hank, struggling not to Biff! Pow! the bejesus out of Maxwell Lord, and scrambling to subvert Cat Grant’s suspicions.

Picking up where the fall finale left off, Supergirl’s clash with Astra’s husband was pretty much a Non-frontation, cut short when they both crashed to the ground and the Kryptonian lieutenant elected to abduct Hank Henshaw.

With Hank gone, Alex was appointed interim DEO director — though she was promptly usurped by General Lane and the army, who went to extreme lengths to extract the location of the Rozz escapees’ base from Astra, via some brutal Kryptonite serum. But as it turns out, Astra leads the army into a trap, a shipping container that hid a bomb behind a hologram of Hank. And Kara was only able to save Alex and one soldier.

Meanwhile at CatCo, Kara did her best to appear “really, really normal,” but Cat saw through her charade, insisting that her mild-mannered assistant and Supergirl are in fact one and the same. When Kara persisted in refuting the dual identity, Cat delivered an ultimatum: prove to me you aren’t Supergirl, or pack up your desk. Because as Cat sees it, Supergirl should be a full-time job, saving lives vs. shlepping lattes.

With Astra forever dangling the “truth” about her mother in front of her and her future at CatCo in question, Kara also learns that James got pummeled for snooping around Maxwell Lord’s HQ — and both he and Winn beseech her not to exact revenge while angry. (If Kara is no different from Non and his ilk, Winn argues, “We lose.”) Met with this crisis of faith, Kara laments to both fellas that she has never felt so powerless, that she has lost everything — even the untainted memory of her own mom. But James reassures her, “Even when things look bleakest, heroes find a way.”

Kara visits Astra in captivity, wanting the truth once and for all — and her aunt reveals that before Alura banished her to Fort Rozz, she affirmed her plan to pursue Astra’s agenda but in a peaceful way, using reason and compassion. The secret, Astra reveals, is that Alura believed in her to the very end. With that said, Kara takes control of the situation and marches Astra past a cheesed-off General Lane to make the trade. And though Non has the place surrounded by his hovering buddies right after the swap, Astra orders them all to stand down — though, she assures Kara, this is no truce. Yet.

Back at the DEO, Kara asks Hank about something Alex said during the near-melee, suggesting that he “transform.” Hank comes clean about his Martian origins, while Alex reiterates how important it is to have J’onn atop the DEO command, as General Lane just proved.Supergirl Kara Visit Cat

Besides, J’onn’s shapeshifting comes in handy — such as when doubling as Kara to prove to Cat that she and Supergirl are not the same. Then again, Cat scoffs afterward, the two don’t look anything alike, she realized.

With that bullet dodged, Kara fires off a couple of IMs to cousin Clark (who of course echoes the episode’s “blood bonds us all” theme) and then vows to James and Winn that they will find out what Maxwell Lord is up to. But first, we get a tiny glimpse into the tech titan’s plan, when an underling reports that they found a woman who meets “all the requirements,” having no family ties. Maxwell checks in on the “Jane Doe,” who bears a resemblance to Kara… save for some bizarre, ink-black eyes…

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  1. Jordan says:

    The more they tease Clark/Kal-El with IMs and dialogue the more I think they’ll eventually have to feature him on the show. Matt, do you know if there are any actual restrictions from WB or DC preventing them from doing this at some point?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I would ask myself this: Whenever there has been an active superhero film franchise, have you ever seen that same major character simultaneously represented* in a live-action TV series?

      Even Smallville never actually showed us Tom Welling in the suit and flying.

      *By a different actor, in case that was not crystal clear.

      • Jordan says:

        Well, it looks like that may happen with the Flash, but your point is well taken. So they’re just going to tease him in nearly every episode for as long as the show is on the air? Ugh.

        • Ws says:

          The Flash movie is still several years off.. its possible they will have the show canceled by then.

          • Steve says:

            He’ll be in justice League in 2017. That’s one year away. Show will last at least another 3 years no problem.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          The Flash certainly will prove to be the rare, curious exception, an interesting case. Very good catch, Jordan!

          • herman1959 says:

            Is it possible that a Justice League movie could be made that did not include everyone of the 7 core members. Also, I know that Agent of Shield live action characters have shown up on the TV series via guest-star spots by the movie actors. Is it possible to do the reverse with Grant having a (maybe small) part in the movie? Let’s discuss.

      • ImperatoreFormaggio says:

        Jamie Alexander from the Thor movies and Agents of SHIELD.

      • Sammy says:

        Yes, I do think Matt is right but I remember reading once- when Geoff Jones was asked when would we see clark in the suit, he said we wouldnt because the show wasnt about Superman but Clark Kent becoming Superman and all the events leading up to that moment. Frankly I felt that Smallville should have ended they way it did and then they should have made a movie continuing where it left off. Tom Welling made an excellent Superman.

      • Adult Bruce Wayne in Dawn of Justice, teenage Bruce Wayne in Gotham.

      • And Smallville/Superman Returns would count. It doesn’t really matter if he wore the suit or not in the former while he did in the latter.

      • Then of course, the Adam West Batman movie was in theaters at the same time as the TV series, released between the first and second seasons.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Yeah, I pretty obviously meant different portrayals. And Gotham isn’t the fully realized superhero Batman. And you’re naive if you don’t think it was precisely managed that we never saw Welling in the suit and flying. But you keep doing you!

          • You said “have you ever seen that same major character simultaneously represented in a live-action TV series”, and the answer is yes. Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne. It doesn’t matter if they’re wearing a spandex suit and/or armor. They’re still the same character at different stages of their lives..

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            People aren’t paying $12 a ticket to see mild-mannered Bruce Wayne. And that is and will forever be the issue — why have the TV division give people something for “free” when we’re trying to make big bank on the same superhero character at the Cineplex?

          • The way these stories are told is evolving, especially with Marvel, which has not been shy about referencing the movies on TV and even including appearances from character from the movies, such as Hill, Fury, and Sif. This is only going to expand, not contract. We’re bound to see more references, not less, and more appearances by other characters, not less.

            Agent Carter, for instance, was as important to Captain America as Steve Rogers, and she got her own show, and she’s likely to still appear in future movies.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Agent Carter isn’t headlining her own motion pictures, though. And on that note, I am done splitting hairs with you on this issue. Have a great Tuesday!

          • “It doesn’t matter if they’re wearing a spandex suit and/or armor” or not, that is.

          • Phlarg says:

            Are you ok, Matt? Your comments are uncharacteristically snippy here. For TVLine thats a rarity.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            I am aces, just playing Mr. Sacal’s game.

      • Nick Fury appeared in Agents of SHIELD.

        • Z says:

          As the same character… the Marvel shows are in the same universe as the movies so they can do that… It becomes more complicated when they decide to do different versions of the same characters… Supergirl can get by with not showing Clark and Gotham by being set many years in the past… but the Flash is gonna be a problem… I think DC made a huge mistake in this…. they should have gone the marvel route and set them in the same world…

          • WB operates differently than Marvel. While they do tend to produce their own shows, most times they farm them out to different production companies who have a semblance of autonomy on how they operate in the way they translate the properties to TV. There is also the issue of networks having to buy the show, either from that production company or from the studio (I believe it’s the latter). That’s how Supergirl ended up at CW even though it’s handled by the same production company as Arrow and Flash and LOT. In this regard, WB acts mainly as a distributor and rights owner, not as a production company. This explains why Gotham has its own production company, as did Constantine and does Lucifer. They’re not in-house productions set up at WB, like the movies are.

            With Marvel, they are in charge of producing their shows and movies, which is how they are able to have a consistent universe.

          • When Superman Returns came out, Smallville was still on the air, presenting a different version of Superman that existed alongside the one appearing on film. It really doesn’t ultimately matter whether the character was fully formed, or seen in his suit. What matters is that they were the same character. At present, we have that situation with Batman in Gotham and Dawn of Justice.

            It used to be that WB would not allow characters like Batman to appear on TV and cinema at the same time (I’m not sure about why), which is the reason why they said no to the Young Bruce Wayne TV series that became Smallville. At that time Batman had his own series of films while Superman did not.

          • Correction, I meant Supergirl ended at CBS, not CW.

  2. My says:

    I love Calista on this show! She plays Cat perfectly.

    • John NYC says:

      Yes, surpassingly nuanced and a characterization I hadn’t at first anticipated.

    • Agreed, but the whole “office aide” job is ridiculous.
      How important can the major plots of the show be when the character has to spend 8 hours a day or more getting another character coffee?
      “OMG! Aliens are going to destroy the world in 48 hours! I’d like to help, but I have to babysit my boss’s son. Or buy her shoes. Or wash her car.”

  3. Dean says:

    Looks like they did go the ‘Digg’ way and had J’onn pose as Kara. Still don’t get why Cat seemed understanding. Ending really was for lack of a better term an eye opener to how much of a douchebag Maxie is. Can’t wait to see how his self supposed brilliant plan will come to bite him.

  4. Ws says:

    I was kinda hoping they would let Cat in on Kara’s secret.. would have made an interesting dynamic… rather than going to the ole shapeshifter route which seems too easy… and enough with the messaging with Clark stuff.

  5. Grace M says:

    I hope once and for all, people still don’t think it’s James chatting with Kara, instead of her cousin.

  6. Mr. Tran K says:

    The ending had me saying OH…MY…GOD.

  7. Joey Padron says:

    Good episode. Surprised about the ending!

  8. prish says:

    When we read a Supergirl comic, we never gave Superman a thought during the adventure. And we loved our Superman comics. The brain must be compartmentalized that way. They can keep it simple.

  9. Is anyone else ready for Maxwell Lord to get the butt whooping he so richly deserves? I am so over him.

  10. A disappointing resolution to a disappointing fall finale… And who will Maxwell Lord kill on Team Supergirl? Winn or James? I’m leaning towards James after this episode!

  11. Rafael says:

    T”Hank” you very much!

  12. Phun says:

    Great episode. Loved the message of BEING THE BETTER PERSON. Only if we could emulate those ideals in real life. Looking forward to a possible Bizaaro- Supergirl from Maxwell Lord.

  13. Andrew Blazejowski says:

    Jane Doe is also a name of a serial killer in the DC comics. She takes over people’s identities and can also mimic them flawlessly. So Jane Doe might be the human version of Jane Doe, Supergirl Bizarro, with Red Tornado robotics as this is the arm we see floating as Lord walks into the room. Remember the Red Tornado held his own uptil Kara had to extinguish her powers with an eye blast that took her almost a week to recuperate from. So I think Jane Doe will be a mixture of Red Tornado technology, Bizarro Supergirl looks, and Jane Doe psychology of her character. We will have to wait and see.