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Supergirl Recap: “Falling”

"Get used to the flames, people. 'Cause I quit." -Supergirl

Supergirl - Ep 16 - 2

This week’s episode shows us another side of Supergirl. In “Falling,” Kara Zor-Sassypants fall under the effects of Red Kryptonite, and the results are EPIC. Let’s dive into Season 1, Episode 16 of CBS’ Supergirl!

**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**

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S1, Episode 16 – The Basics

  • Cat is on a show remarkably like The View called The Talk, and it happens to have many of the same hosts as The View does. Anyway, she talks a lot about how awesome Supergirl is, and how everyone—herself included—could stand to learn from her.
  • Meanwhile, Supergirl hears a girl (who’s rocking some serious middle school Supergirl swag) being bullied by classmates and rushes in to save the day by defending her and teaching the bullies that kindness has its privileges—like being friends with cool aliens who can fly.
  • At CatCo, Kara is beaming over Cat’s appearance on The Talk, and when Cat returns, she doesn’t hesitate in patting herself on the back for how awesome her appearance was. When Cat needs Winn and he isn’t at his desk, Kara goes off in search of him, stopping at a storage closet from which she hears a lot of banging. When the door is locked, she uses her X-ray vision to see what’s inside. There is banging happening in there. Lots and lots of banging. Between Winn and Siobhan. That Kara can now never unsee. (Ah well, so much for my asexual theory—but bisexual is still on the table!)
  • Kara goes to James’ office after she hears from Cat that Lucy has quit. Kara, ever trying to be a good friend, talks about how she doesn’t understand how this could happen when Lucy clearly loves James and James clearly loves Lucy. But James says, “Maybe I didn’t love her as much as I thought I did.” He also doesn’t tell her that the reason for the breakup was that Lucy knows that he loves Kara and Kara loves him.
  • At the DEO, Supergirl relates her encounter with James to Alex, who encourages her to get in there and tell him how she feels. Supergirl doesn’t want to be Reboundgirl, but Alex cites the solid example of Kim and Kanye as proof that some rebound relationships last, and Supergirl is mortified that Alex even knows that.
    Senator Crane has arrived at the DEO, and has made it her mission to get the DEO more funding and resources from the government. She also seems to want to get into Hank Henshaw’s pants. OOOOOOOOOOOOOoooohhh!
  • There’s a fire that Supergirl needs to rush to. She saves a firefighter who’s trapped under rubble—but as she leaves, her face flashes red and she seems to feel a little woozy. Shaking it off, she flies away—and we see that under some of the rubble is RED KRYPTONITE.

Supergirl - Ep 16 - 3

  • Kara wakes up the following morning feeling way more rambunctious than usual. She smashes her alarm clock when it goes off, and as she’s getting ready and looks at her wardrobe options, she finds them lacking.
  • Later, she breezes into CatCo in a stunning, sophisticated (and curve-hugging) dress that would make Cat Grant proud. Everyone is stunned as she makes her way to her desk. When Cat approaches, she compliments Kara’s dress, commending her on dressing like a grown-up for once. When Cat asks for a list of potential candidates to replace Lucy Lane, Kara beats Siobhan to the punch, not only having found candidates, but organized them into how annoying Cat would find them. As a reward, Cat gifts Kara with tickets to see some hip Scandinavian DJ spin. When Cat walks away and Siobhan looks pouty, Kara says “Don’t be jealous. Or do. I don’t care.” Is it wrong that I LOVE this Kara SO MUCH?!
  • At the DEO, Hank explains a series of armored car robberies that have been happening where the thieves have employed an alien—a K’Hund—as a weapon. Apparently, this isn’t interesting enough for Supergirl, though, who’s sitting in a swivel chair spinning around and examining her nails. When Hank asks if he’s boring her, she says “Only boring people get bored.”  She then goes off to “kick alien ass.” Hank and Alex are floored by her attitude.
  • Supergirl and the DEO thwart the next armored car robbery. Supergirl corners the K’Hund who is about to bring up the fact that Supergirl’s mom put him in Fort Rozz but Supergirl interrupts, saying “My mother put you in Fort Rozz, ruined your life, blah-blah. I’ve heard the story. You wanna fight about it?” And fight they do. But right when Supergirl has him down, she says “I’ve defeated White Martians…and Kryptonians. You, aren’t even worth me looking at.” She then lets him go. Alex approaches, wondering where the K’Hund is, and Supergirl says he “got away.”
  • Back at the DEO, Hank confronts Supergirl about letting the K’Hund go, and Supersass goes apeshit. She calls him out on expecting her to go after all the aliens he’s afraid to go after even though he’s much more powerful than she is, allowing her to bear the brunt of the physical danger. She hits a little too close to home when she asks him why, if he’s so passionate about his people, he’s so afraid to be one of them. When Alex tries to point out how dangerous it would be for J’onn to reveal himself, Supergirl says “Every Kryptonian on this planet wants to kill me except my cousin, and I have to live with that! Why doesn’t he?” She’s not wrong.

Supergirl - Ep 16 - 1

  • Kara walks into CatCo doing her best Cat Grant impression—even using Cat’s elevator! She tells Cat that walking from the regular elevator means that her latte is 90 seconds colder by the time she gets it. Cat is still processing Kara’s new brazenness, but she thinks she likes it. Meanwhile, Siobhan asks to see Cat in her office because she has a scoop. Video footage of Supergirl letting the K’Hund go. Rather than being thrilled to break the story, Cat asks Siobhan to hide it until they know what’s going on. Siobhan doesn’t get it.
  • At the DEO, Alex has brought in the K’Hund, who tells her and Hank that Supergirl let him go. They’re not sure whether they should believe him.
  • Siobhan is at her desk about to send the Daily Planet the scoop about Supergirl, when Kara tells her there’s something she needs to sign for for Cat downstairs. When Siobhan leaves, Kara deletes the email. But not before printing out a copy to give to Cat. Later, Cat calls Siobhan into her office and promptly fires her—with her outside voice—because Cat doesn’t value backstabbing. She values loyalty, and employees she can trust. To celebrate ease the awkwardness, Kara invites Winn and James out for drinks and dancing using the tickets Cat gave her.
  • At the cloughb, Kara shows up late, but looking fierce. Because this is far from a group hang. Winn will have to fly solo, because Kara is all about James. She promptly gets him out on the dance floor and proceeds to (over)confidently come on to him, while talking trash about Lucy in the process. James doesn’t think arrogance is a cute look on her, and when he tries to leave, she grabs his arm hard and pulls her back to him. “What’s wrong with being confident,” Demi Lovato? THIS SHIT RIGHT HERE. Cat calls James asking him to send Supergirl her way, but when he turns to tell Kara, she’s already gone.
  • Supergirl arrives at Cat’s balcony at CatCo, and Cat confronts her about letting the K’Hund go. Supergirl goes on a rant about how she’s been “enabling people’s victimhood” by constantly saving them, and she’s sick of it. “Get used to the flames, people,” she says. “‘Cause I quit.” When Cat tries to convince her otherwise, Supergirl starts coming for Cat, telling her how mean and self-serving she thinks Cat is. Cat is about to threaten her with something, but Supergirl isn’t having it. She mocks Cat’s title as “the most powerful woman in National City,” and proceeds to show her what power is by FLINGING CAT OFF THE BALCONY.
  • Cat hurtles to her certain doom, but Supergirl swoops in to catch her at the last possible second. As Cat sits on the sidewalk, understandably freaked the fuck out, Supergirl says that “real power is deciding who lives, and who dies.”

Supergirl - Ep 16 - 5

  • Winn and James go to the DEO to talk to Hank and Alex about the changes in Kara’s behavior. Yeah, they’ve noticed. Hank asks Alex to do a scan of the roof where the fire was, and they discover the Red Kryptonite—synthetic Kryptonite that doesn’t kill Kara, but affects her brain instead. But, who would make Kryptonite? Yeah…
  • Enter Maxwell Lord, who shows up to “help,” and Alex be like GET BACK IN A HOLDING CELL YOU MORON. Lord was apparently setting a trap for Non on that roof, and was attempting to recreate Kryptonite, but got it wrong. Boy, did he! After the fire, he tracked Supergirl to see the effects of the Red Kryptonite on her. When he saw that she’d become erratic, he came to the DEO to “help.” At first, Alex won’t let him, but she eventually lets him out, warning him that he’d better help, because “You just turned Supergirl into the monster you always feared she’d be.”
  • At CatCo, a clearly shaken-up Cat goes on the air to denounce Supergirl. She hates having to do it, but she needs to warn the public of the potential danger.
  • Later, Alex goes to Kara’s apartment only to find Kara in a sleek Kryptonian jumpsuit. Kara revels in telling Alex that she dressed herself without any fashion advice from Alex before burning all her clothes with her heat vision. When Alex tries to talk to her, Kara launches into all her complaints about Alex: that she’s always been jealous of Kara (and hated her deep down), that she’d have nothing in her life if it weren’t for Kara, that Kara’s powers make Alex feel small. Alex starts to cry, and Kara mocks her. She’s a huge bitch—but her makeup is FLAWLESS. She then prepares to fly off and talks about the people of National City as if she owns them. “They worship me,” she says. “And those who don’t, will.” She flies off. Look out, National City.

Supergirl - Ep 16 - 4

  • Alex worries about Kara as Lord finishes up an antidote to the Red Kryptonite. Senator Crane insists that they apprehend Supergirl despite their feelings toward her. Hank agrees. As they leave to do so, Lord gives Alex his anti-Red Kryptonite gun and sincerely wishes her luck.
  • While listening to Cat’s broadcast, Supergirl sits in a bar pretty much doing this:
  • When she exits the bar, the DEO comes at her, and just as Alex aims the anti-Red Kryptonite gun at her, Supergirl speedily dispatches with all the DEO’s guns. Angry, she approaches Alex menacingly, quite possibly about to kill her. Hank attempts to take her down, but she flings him to the ground. He can’t hide now—so he reveals himself as Martian Manhunter. CUE AWESOME FIGHT SEQUENCE! (And is it me, or are the Martian Manhunter effects getting better and better? This was the best that character has looked on screen!) When J’onn finally gets Supergirl down on the ground, Alex shoots her with the antidote gun.
  • Back at the DEO Kara comes back to consciousness and immediately feels horrible about everything she’s done. Her first question is “did I kill anyone?” And then she tearfully apologizes to Alex, who will always love her no matter what. She even acknowledges that “there’s some truth to what you said. We’ll have to work on that.”
  • Meanwhile, J’onn let himself be captured as Hank Henshaw after revealing himself in front of the DEO, and now, in a holding cell, Senator Crane questions him, getting insufficient answers for her liking. Alex comes in to see him and asks him why he didn’t just run. He says he would do anything to keep Alex and Kara safe.
  • At CatCo the next day, Kara is back to her old self and looking to rebuild some of the bridges she’d torn down as she sadly watches Siobhan’s desk being hauled out of the office. She approaches James to apologize for her behavior, and was about to tell him she loves him, but he stops her. He can barely look at her and is clearly shaken up by the pettiness and anger bubbling under the surface in Kara. He needs space from her.
  • Later that evening, Supergirl arrives to apologize to Cat for what she’s done. Cat accepts and says that, while repairing Supergirl’s relationship with National City won’t be easy, “If anyone can win this city back, it’s you.”

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The Review Bit, Wherein I Express OPINIONS:

THIS.

WAS.

THE.

BEST

EPISODE.

OF.

THE.

SEASON.

Hands down. And I will fight anyone who doesn’t agree, Red Kryptonite Kara-style. Not really, but still. SO GOOD. If anyone were to ask me to point to a perfect episode of this show, I’d point to this one.

The best superhero stories are often the ones in which they are somehow their own worst enemy. I love how they re-purpose Superman stories on Supergirl. Yes, we’ve seen them before, but watching a female hero do the same things tells a slightly different story. That bar scene was amazing. But it was about more than that, it was about this script giving every single main and recurring character strong, character-based plots and sub-plots, and none of them were particularly cut and dried.

“Falling” got me thinking about my own life, and how I’ve tried to get better about being honest about what I want and need. However, when people get used to you being a certain way, any change—even a positive one—can cause a negative reaction and they’ll say “that’s not you,” even as you’re trying to redefine yourself. So, there have been certain people who, as I’ve gotten more comfortable in my own skin were so used to me being their sidekick that they couldn’t handle me standing up for myself.

And so, as Kara grew worse and worse throughout the episode, continuing to tell people off in the worst way, I kept thinking She’s not wrong. She wasn’t saying things in a particularly nice way—but she was telling the truth. And so it annoyed me to watch Kara finally saying all these things she’s clearly been feeling only to have all the people in her life miss/prefer Mousy Kara, the Kara who was nice to others even at the expense of her own feelings. Accommodating Kara.

I have to say—I loved Red Kryptonite Kara. I sort of wish she could be that way more often! You know, minus the violence and the sexual harassment.

Just when I think I know how good Melissa Benoist is as an actress, she does work like this and I’m dumbfounded. Every bit of her performance was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. The same goes for the entire cast!

I also have to shout out Supergirl‘s make up and wardrobe departments. Between the sleek new jumpsuit and the flawless make-up, we really felt the shift in Kara’s personality. And the VFX department—J’onn J’onnz has never looked better on this show!

There’s so much more that I want to say about this episode, but I think I should join you in the comments below and we’ll chat. Let’s talk favorite and least favorite moments, ideas explored, etc. What did you think of this week’s Supergirl?

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. For more Supergirl fun, check out The House of El—February’s video is up now!

(images via CBS)

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