Explorations of friendship is one of the things Supergirl excels at for me. In this episode, we're looking at how people come together in response to personal crisis.
At the end of last week's episode, Sam's concern about her blackouts finally drove her to confide in Alex who pledged to help her get to the bottom of things. We haven't seen Sam and Alex spend much time alone together and it was good to see them not just interact, but connect and navigate a difficult situation together.
Sam's reluctance to talk about her struggles, to ask for help, is extremely relatable and very real. So is Alex's determination to help her, no matter what. Being calm, optimistic and reassuring as a friend experiences a medical scare is something I've done repeatedly before and will likely do many more times in my life. I've been the first to know, like Alex, and I've been in Lena and Kara's position, finding out later and pledging support. Even when the root of the problem is fantastical, grounding the reaction and treatment of the issue gives the audience a way to empathize and perhaps even provides solace for those who find themselves in similar situations.
Odette Annable makes the most of her scenes, once again delivering the vulnerability and emotion necessary to make everything land. Her soliloquy about her fears and not knowing how to ask for help later in the episode was a particular highlight.
Meanwhile, an assassination attempt is made against Morgan Edge which leads to an escalation in hostility towards Lena, including a poisoned coffee. Lena, who had intended to kill Morgan before, faces a bit of a moral crisis now. She is constantly at odds with her Luthor upbringing and her genuine desire to do good—killing Edge would contradictorily check both boxes but wouldn't really sit well with anyone long term.
Lena's support system in this case is primarily Kara, James and her mother, Lillian, who is actually behind the attempts on Morgan's life. I mean, unconventional, certainly, but what other way would someone as ruthless and pragmatic as Lillian show her love than eliminating someone who harbors a deadly ill will towards her daughter?
Everyone risks something to help Lena: Kara flies Lena to DEO headquarters when she's poisoned, potentially compromising her secret identity; James as Guardian threatens Edge, which now puts the vigilante on his radar; and Lilian, who escaped prison, risks her freedom and a much harsher sentence.
Lena has never really depended on other people and often needs to be convinced to let others help her. In fact, she often makes promises not to act, only to immediately turn around and do something in secret. This episode is no exception—she is the one who discovers Lillian, which sets up a fateful encounter. Their conversation makes Lena realize that, in order to succeed, she must reconcile with her dispassionate, calculating Luthor nature. This does two things for me: It makes her more formidable and gives temporary relief to the worry she may make a villain turn anytime soon. We're already worrying about Samantha, we don't need to worry about Lena too.
- When Alex and Sam are in an L-Corp Lab to secretly scan Sam's brain, she first goes to take a blood sample. It's a wonderfully tense scene as, while they talk, we get to wonder if the needle will actually puncture Sam's skin and worry what happens if it doesn't.
- Lillian's power suit is one of DC's most familiar bit of tech as Lex has been using a version of it to fight Superman in various forms of media since 1983, making its debut in ACTION COMICS #544 and immediately being adapted in the Super Friends animated series.
- Acknowledging vulnerability was a big thing this episode. Not just acknowledging it, but accepting and reconciling it, perhaps even turning it into a source of strength. It's a very human struggle and I very much appreciate the many ways it's being explored.
- Alex briefly mentioned that she was a doc in Seattle. I have no doubt that this was a sneaky reference to Chyler Leigh's previous gig as a doctor on Grey's Anatomy.
- During one of Lena and Edge's verbal confrontations, Morgan says he loves "powerful women." That was a fine comment that lead to a dig at Lena, but...is this a low-key reference to Granny Goodness and the Female Furies? His arrest and potential fall from prominence would certainly be a way to speed up any Intergang/Apokaliptic associations.
- While Kara discussed her uneasiness with the battles to come with J'onn, he told her, "There is great power in being the calm at the center of the storm, a beacon to show the way. Supergirl is here to remind us on Earth of what's best in ourselves." I love this quote.
- Winn was able to identify some of the aliens who fell to Earth during the Kryptonite storm that heralded Kara's arrival. One of them is definitely the woman who was awoken last week...who Kara also saw in a nightmare. Hmmm...
What do you think? Do you want Lena to take a turn for the villainous? Or do you like her in Supergirl’s corner? Sound off in the comments below, and I’ll see you in a week for Supergirl’s second midseason (mid-midseason?) finale!