It isn’t easy being a hero, although with a little help it’s relatively simple to learn how to become one. Tonight’s episode, Stronger Together, has James, Winn, Alex, Alura, and even Cat in her own way giving Kara advice that helps her become the superhero National City needs.
The DEO requires Supergirl to undergo rigorous physical and psychological evaluation to be a “field agent,” saying a novice superhero can be a liability in the field. Alex is more impressed, “My sister just broke the sound barrier.” But she does caution her sister when she starts to fly off to fight a fire after performing DEO tests all morning: “Even you have your limits.”
Can you say foreshadowing? Supergirl then makes her first major mistake. When she blows on the fire at the docks it gets bigger instead of going out. So she decides to move the ship full of crude oil away from the docks to prevent an explosion, managing to break the ship as she does so causing a major oil spill. The press reports: “Miracle or menace, that’s what the citizens of National City are asking themselves after the latest attempt at heroics by Supergirl,” causing Kara herself to complain to Winn “I went from superhero to eco terrorist in a single bound.”
Maxwell Lord then takes to the airwaves, making the fair point that a veritable super bad guy war has been waged on Metropolis, causing their maintenance budget to quadruple. ”This city does not need Metropolis’s problems.” And Cat Grant joins in with the quip ”What is the opposite of super? #Terriblegirl?”
Cat decides that since she branded her she now needs to save Supergirl from self-immolation, as well as scoop the Daily Planet, by landing the first interview with the newbie superhero. She orders James to arrange it since he “bro hangs” with Superman.
Kara’s still upset about her latest debacle, especially with how difficult it is to keep up the charade of a double life. She asks James why Clark keeps his job at the Daily Planet, and James points out, it’s so “he’s able to pay his rent.” Very true – being a superhero really doesn’t pay the bills these days. At the same time, James helps Kara believe in herself, reassuring her that she’s capable of filling Superman’s boots.
This wouldn’t be a superhero show if it didn’t have a villain of the week. This week we get an alien bad guy who breaks into a chemical plant. Luckily when Kara was a little girl her mom once told her about this specific alien species, as we see in a flashback. Her mom put one of them, a Hellgrammite, into prison in Fort Rozz. But before Kara can take him on, Alex shows her why she needs to go through training like any other agent – putting her in a room with some kryptonite that reduces her powers, Alex can easily beat Kara in a fight.
Kara then returns to work and the always clever, if self-absorbed, Cat Grant. She’s upset about Supergirl being an “inexperienced idiot,” telling Kara “Every woman worth her salt knows we have to work twice as hard as a man to be thought of as half as good.” Cat explains there’s always a learning curve. She didn’t start out owning a company. She started as Perry White’s assistant and worked her ass off to get where she is. That’s the advice she’d give to Supergirl, start small and work your way up.
James and Winn each find out the other knows Kara’s secret. They’re each surprised and maybe jealous, but they agree with Cat’s advice. Meanwhile, the aliens working for General Astra criticize the Hellgrammite for risking exposure. Astra herself makes an appearance and decides to use him as bait to capture Supergirl.
Following everyone’s advice, Kara performs a bunch of successful little saves - an ambulance stuck in traffic, a robbery, a snake stuck in a tree (named Fluffy). Alex comes over to apologizes for how she handled things back at the DEO, but she’s upset Kara told her friends about her secret. Kara’s still thrilled by her apology, telling her sister “James and Winn believe in me, but I need your faith Alex.”
Back at the newspaper, Cat continues pressuring James for an interview. If he doesn’t produce Supergirl in 24 hours he’s fired. Across town Alex and Hank try to trap the Hellgrammite without telling Supergirl about it. The plan fails miserably and Alex is captured and brought to General Astra.
Not knowing any of this, Kara bonds with James when he tells her why he left the Daily Planet. He explains that everyone knew his name not because of anything he did but because he was friends with Superman. He thought he could escape that by moving to National City and being his own man. That’s one reason he doesn’t want to ask Kara to do this interview. Kara’s learned something, though. She doesn’t want to be like Superman who does everything alone. Sometimes it’s better to work as a team. Back on Krypton the S isn’t just a sign of the House of El, it also expresses their family motto: Stronger Together. “To accept help from people is not a shame, it’s an honor,” she explains as she agrees to do the interview.
And back at the DEO, we learn Hank maybe used to have a family? As Kara searches the city for Alex, Alex wakes up and thinks Astra is Alura, Kara’s mother. Astra quickly corrects her mistake, telling Alex, “I am here to save you all.” Somehow Kara finds them – maybe by hearing them? – and radios the location to Hank before flying in on her own. Alex tries to warn her it’s a trap, but Astra shows up before Kara can react. Astra was a prisoner in Fort Rozz when Krypton exploded, and her sister Alura is the person who sent her there. Kara’s confused at first. Then Astra continues, telling her that she was the one trying to save Krypton while Alura spoke only lies. “I let one planet die, I will not do so again.” At that Kara gets angry: “Funny, I was going to say the same thing.” They end up in a heat vision battle while Alex fights off the Hellgrammite by kicking him in the balls (lucky for her his balls just happened to be in the same place as a human’s). Hank arrives and stabs Astra with a Kryptonite blade, causing her to fly off. Kara now realizes Alex was right, she won’t always have superior strength, and she wants to learn how to fight.
When Alex and Kara return to the DEO, Alex tells Kara that Superman has his Fortress of Solitude where he can speak with Jor-El (sort of), so she leads her to a room she put together – Kara’s own Fortress where she can talk with an interactive artificial intelligence program of Alura based on living memory.
Hank helped Alex set up the room, making him seem much sweeter than before. But then, as he walks away, his eyes glow red. Probably not a good sign!
We leave Astra getting treated for her injury and having someone analyze the kryptonite, while Supergirl flies over to give Cat Grant an interview to save James’s job.
What do you think of Supergirl so far? Any theories about Hank’s eyes or Astra’s ultimate plans? Please share any comments you have, I always enjoy reading them.