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Supergirl Recap: Cat Grant Returns to Remind National City to “Resist”


image: Robert Falconer/The CW

image: Robert Falconer/The CW

This week’s episode of Supergirl was the best episode of the entire series. Not “recently,” not of the season, but of the whole show. Don’t agree? I will fight you. Not really, but I’ll probably think a little less of you. Not that it matters, but I will. Also, how amazing was it to see Calista Flockhart, Lynda Carter, and Teri Hatcher having an Olympic-level snark-off? SO amazing, that’s how. Welcome to Season 2, Episode 21, “Resist.”


image: Robert Falconer/The CW

image: Robert Falconer/The CW

S2, EP. 21 – THE RECAP

  • Lena wakes up in a new dress on a Daxumite ship, and is greeted by Rhea, who’s trying really hard not to seem super-creepy when she is, in fact, super creepy and has kidnapped Lena while she takes over the Earth and turns it into New Daxum. But hey, it’s not all bad. She wants Lena to rule along with her. Yay?
  • Meanwhile, there’s chaos on the ground in National City. The Daxumite military is making a show of force, and rounding up/trying to kill any dissenters. Rhea speaks to the people of Earth, informing them that all they need to do is chill out. She’ll be their new queen, and all will be well. Maggie is on the street doing her best to fight. She’s on the phone with Alex, who’s trying to figure out what to do over at the DEO.
  • Suddenly the DEO is under attack! Daxumite soldiers materialize inside, and Alex evacuates her agents. She calls Supergirl to let her know that they’re under attack, but can’t wait for Supergirl to arrive to save them. Then, in THE MOST BADASS SHOT ALEX HAS EVER HAD ON THIS SHOW, SHE LEAPS OFF THE BALCONY SHOOTING AT THE DAXUMITES ALL TRINITY-IN-THE-MATRIX-STYLE CONFIDENT THAT SUPERGIRL WILL SAVE HER BEFORE SHE FALLS. Spoiler alert: Supergirl catches her mid-air.
  • Up on Rhea’s ship, Mon-El is doing his best to try and get his mom to come to her senses and, you know, not take over a planet, but Rhea’s very one-track-mind about all of this. Oh, and guess what? She wants Mon-El to marry Lena to make the claim to Earth legitimate to the Daxumite people.
image: Robert Falconer/The CW

image: Robert Falconer/The CW

  • With the DEO operation relocated to the alien dive bar, both James and Maggie arrive to help the Get Rid Of Our Alien Overlords effort. J’onn is still unconscious after Rhea messed with his brain. He’s unconscious, but his brain activity is off the charts. He’s trapped in there. As Team Supergirl begins to figure out a plan of action, Lillian Luthor arrives, and they are not happy to see her. She’s come to work together to save Lena and Mon-El from Rhea’s ship, but the team isn’t having it. No way they work with Cadmus. Lillian tries a special appeal to Supergirl directly, trying to appeal to her desire to always talk things out, but even Supergirl isn’t having her nonsense. Lillian leaves, but gives Supergirl her contact info just in case.
  • Rhea is contacted by President Olivia Marsdin, who is mid-air in Air Force One. She demands that Rhea stand down. Rhea is all “Um, I’m your queen now. You don’t tell me things, I tell you things.” They engage in some pretty quality snarky banter. But then the true Queen of Snarky Banter emerges. Cat Grant is back, and she’s hanging out with the President! At first, she tries to be the voice of reason, reminding them that “surely we don’t need to measure…anything. We’re women.” But her attempts at fostering diplomacy are falling on deaf ears. Rhea isn’t about that life, so Cat lays the verbal smackdown. In reference to Rhea’s tiara, Cat says “Real royals don’t need to try that hard.” Rhea says, “I don’t confab, I command.” And honestly, if the whole rest of the episode were them throwing insults back and forth, I would’ve been okay with that.
  • Rhea SHOOTS DOWN AIR FORCE ONE! Cat falls out of the plane, but Supergirl whooshes in to save her. As they land amid the pieces of the plane on the ground, they panic for the President, whom they assume is dead. But, she’s not … because she’s AN ALIEN AND TOTALLY SURVIVED SOMEHOW. Cat has zero problem with an alien President, but says, “At least tell me you’re still a Democrat.”
  • Cat, Supergirl, and President Marsdin arrive at the alien dive bar, where Cat learns about the DEO for the first time. Alex tells her they’re responsible for keeping the world safe from extraterrestrial threats, to which Cat replies, “Well, you do a bang-up job.” Team Supergirl then learns that the President is an alien. Olivia asks that they keep it a secret, and they agree. She explains that she is from the planet Durla, where her people were invaded and enslaved. She’s keenly aware of the way invasions work, and she doesn’t want to see the same thing that happened to her home happen to Earth. The DEO has a positron canon that can be used to destroy Rhea’s ship. She orders Alex, as the acting Director of the DEO, to destroy the ship. Whether Mon-El and Lena are on it or not.
image: Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW --

image: Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW

  • On Rhea’s ship, she summons both Mon-El and Lena and tells them both that they will get married and produce an heir. They each refuse. Rhea tells them that she’s already taken the genetic material she needs to produce an heir while they were sleeping. (Don’t worry, Daxum has the technology to use anything, like hair, to create a kid) She then coerces their agreement by threatening a Luthor children’s hospital. Silly Lena actually caring about people …
  • Alex talks to Supergirl about what needs to be done. She sees no alternative, but Supergirl wants to hold out for another way that doesn’t involve thousands of deaths.
  • Frustrated, Supergirl goes out to her favorite thinking spot over at the dumpsters behind the bar, where she finds Cat sitting alone with her thoughts. Supergirl is conflicted: on the one hand, she knows that she has to think about the greater good. On the other, she’s terrified of losing her boyfriend and her best friend. Cat thinks her concern is the opposite of selfish. She says it’s human. She tells Supergirl that she’s been in a yurt in Bhutan in the Himalayas for a while, after asking Siri what the “happiest place on Earth” is. (I guess it’s not Disneyworld?) She marveled at how the people in Bhutan celebrated everything, even and especially the small but meaningful things that happened in people’s lives. She soon realized that the key to happiness is human connection, and that the loneliness she felt in National City followed her to Bhutan. “It’s not about what you do,” she says. “It’s about who you love.” This inspires Supergirl to go and save Mon-El and Lena. Cat watches in awe as Supergirl goes up-up-and-away.
  • Supergirl goes to Lillian and Cyborg Superman to take Lillian up on her offer. She brings them back to the alien dive bar, and at first Alex is skeptical and furious. Eventually, the team calms down, and they go over a plan. Cadmus needed the DEO’s help, because they have access to a Phantom Zone projector, which Cyborg Superman can modify to transport them onto Rhea’s ship. He can then interface with the ship’s system so that they can look around undetected. While they’re doing that, Alex is to break into the DEO to gain control of the positron gun. The second Supergirl, Lillian, and Cyborg Superman have returned with Mon-El and Lena, Alex will blow up Rhea’s ship. And Cat? Cat will be a distraction.
image: Robert Falconer/The CW

image: Robert Falconer/The CW

  • Cyborg Superman stands over an unconscious J’onn, making a crack about how he hates aliens, but that they did a good job here. Winn tries to step up to him over it, but ends up getting his arm twisted back. Meanwhile, Alex approaches Supergirl and tells her that, yes, if Maggie were up on Rhea’s ship, she too would do whatever she had to to bring her back, so she understands that Supergirl has to do this. However, she’s under strict orders from the President to shoot down that ship, so Supergirl needs to hurry and find them. She tells Supergirl, “Be faster than me.”
  • At the Fortress of Solitude, Cyborg Superman has set up the projector. After a quick confirmation with each other that they are only working together right now while their interests are aligned, but will go back to being enemies when this is all over, Supergirl and Lillian, along with Cyborg Superman, beam up onto Rhea’s ship.
  • Rhea has already started Mon-El and Lena’s “wedding.” (PS – Lena looks hot as hell)
  • Back at CatCo, Cat and Winn arrive, and Cat is not happy with what gym rat, Jimmy Olsen has done with her office, saying “It smells like a West Hollywood gym in here.” Be that as it may, Cat and Winn are here to be a distraction. Winn has set up a camera.
image: Robert Falconer/The CW

image: Robert Falconer/The CW

  • THE PLAN IN MOTION: Alex and Maggie get into the DEO as Team Supergirl begins to search Rhea’s ship. Winn has hacked into whatever signal Rhea was using to broadcast, and Cat begins broadcasting instead, giving an inspiring speech to remind National City that they need to resist. “Everyone needs to get up and say ‘not in my house.'” Rhea, pissed off that Cat is managing to do this and ruining her son’s wedding, sends her men to kill Cat and has a guard escort Mon-El and Lena to their chamber. Mon-El and Lena then take out the guard and are about to try and figure out how to escape when they happen upon Supergirl. They are rescued! Except not really. Lillian, Cyborg Superman, and Lena end up beaming off the ship alone, leaving Supergirl and Mon-El behind.
  • Turns out (surprise, surprise) Lillian had no intention of allowing those aliens to come back to Earth. She calls Alex and tells her that “we’re all” back and safe, hoping that Alex will destroy the ship with them on it.
  • However, the DEO planned for a Luthor double-cross, and Winn bugged Cyborg Superman so that if they were left behind, they could use him to control the projector and get them back. Supergirl sends Mon-El back, wanting to try and reason with Rhea one more time, so she doesn’t have to die.
  • After her speech, Cat and Winn are attacked by Daxumite soldiers, who have suddenly materialized at CatCo. As they run and try to hide, Guardian arrives to save them. They watch in awe from behind a desk as Guardian expertly takes down all the soldiers. When it’s all clear, and Cat and Winn emerge from behind the desk, Cat says “Thank you, Jimmy.” When Jimmy insists that he’s Guardian, Cat says “Oh, come on. I can see your eyes through the slit of your mask.” (Which is hilarious, because she’s seen Supergirl’s whole face and hasn’t fully accepted that she and “Kira” are the same person.)
image: Robert Falconer/The CW

image: Robert Falconer/The CW

  • As Alex is about to fire, Mon-El gets a hold of her and tells her that Supergirl is still on the ship. The President, meanwhile, is pressuring her to fire. Alex hesitates.
  • Supergirl finds Rhea, and gives her one last chance to surrender peacefully. Rhea, however, seems to think that Supergirl is woefully misguided if she thinks that she’s actually won. Suddenly, a beam hits the positron gun at the DEO, destroying it. She then brings out a weapon of her own. SUPERMAN, UNDER HER CONTROL.
image: Robert Falconer/The CW

image: Robert Falconer/The CW


I’ve already said this in my opening paragraph, but I’ll say it again. I think that “Resist” is the best episode of Supergirl to date.

I loved that it provided an amazing showcase for three older female actresses to be powerful and sexy and snarky all at once. Watching Flockhart, Carter, and Hatcher interact was priceless! Really, though, this episode was all about the return of Cat, who served as a huge breath of fresh air. Like the Joni Mitchell song says, Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. I didn’t realize just how much has been missing from Supergirl until she came back, and it reaffirmed how important the Cat/Kara and Cat/Supergirl relationships are.

Lena has been a wonderful addition as a character who serves a similar function to Cat, but Kara/Supergirl needs a mentor. She has one as an alien and hero in J’onn, but she’s been missing a mentor that teaches her how to be a woman. How to be human. Cat Grant is that and then some, and Flockhart gave her best performance in the role in this episode. Cat’s always been larger-than-life, and in the first season of Supergirl, whereas Cat was always fun when she was snarky, it was sometimes too much. In this episode, for whatever reason, Cat felt more natural. Still as snarky and spirited as ever, but as if the time away had chilled her out.

“Resist” was fast-paced, gave everyone on the show something important to do, and had the plot unfold in a real and harrowing way. I was on the edge of my seat, and/or squeeing the whole time. And that ending! OH that ending. How the hell is Rhea controlling Superman?!

But more importantly, “Resist” was exactly the episode of Supergirl we need in our current political climate. Cat Grant’s charge to the citizens of National City is something that we all can and should remember. And when those who are trying to make everything “great again” attempt to put us under their thumb, we say Not in my house.

What did you think of “Resist?” Let’s chat about it in the comments below!

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on The CW.

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.