The benefits CW’s Oliver Queen and Barry Allen had from the very beginning of super heroic lives is that they had mentors. Barry is a forensic scientist with a team of other scientists helping him discover the limits of his power without tearing the world apart. He was also mentored by the brilliant Harrison Wells. Oliver went through five years of surviving on an island as well as fighting against heavily armed enemies. His partner, Diggle, always kept him in check during sir early years together. So far Kara, who’s had superpowers since she arrived, lacks both.
The problem for Kara as Supergirl is that she has romanticized being a superhero so much that she is more than eager to become the savior of National City. As a result, she skips over the essential training in both fighting and in gauging her powers. During her first week of super heroics she caused an oil slick in the harbor while trying to save the ship holding the oil from catching on fire and exploding. And as Cat Grant points out, Supergirl may have saved he plane from crashing, but she also leaves it bobbing in the middle of the bay. Crews are still trying to pull it out of the water.
Alex and the DEO are trying to help Kara hone her powers, though. The problem here is that the organization merely sees Kara as an alien asset. In other words, Kara is just the heavy for when things get dicey. While Kara is willing to help put these aliens away like her mother once did on Krypton, she’s more interested in helping the citizens of National City. Alex tries to make Kara see reason. If she doesn’t wise up, Kara will always come across an enemy who is smarter, faster, and a better fighter. The tough love approach (putting Kara in a sparring ring that emits a small percentage of Kryptonite) doesn’t work as well, but it does make Kara realize that she sucks as a fighter. Stubborn as she is, however, the lesson doesn’t hit home until her discussion with Cat Grant.
As pointed out before, Supergirl becoming National City’s superhero has not been without its consequences. Actually, “blunders” would be a better word to use. Grant wants Supergirl to succeed, she wants the hero to be shown in a better light. But in order for that to happen, Supergirl needs to “calm the hell down” and work her way up instead of just diving into the big saves. Like with every successful career, one has to start small.
Enter Jimmy Olsen and Winn who become Supergirl‘s support team. Together, they tackle the small jobs and lend practical advice from stopping a bank robbery (and reminding Supergirl that bullets ricochet) to saving a pet stuck in a tree. All really good, really successful PR stories for the hero.
The whole experience makes Kara recall what her family symbol means: “Stronger together.” Kal-El has never experienced Krypton because he was only an infant when he left. Kara on the other hand thinks about her lost homeworld a lot. She may want to be a hero like her cousin, but she doesn’t want to be him. Superman is used to working alone, that works for him. But Kara knows now that the loner approach does not work for her. She needs her friend to help and believe in her. That in and of itself is a worthy lesson we viewers can appreciate. It’s not weakness to admit one needs a little bit of help with something.
Meanwhile there is an alien breaking into chemical plants. Because the chemicals that are being taken are components to building a wicked bomb, the DEO are under the impression that it’s planning a terrorist attack. We find out later that the alien’s DNA is chlorine based and is actually consuming the stolen chemicals since they’re his only source of food on Earth. This guy doesn’t even want to participate in Astra’s schemes, but he is ultimately forced to serve as bait to lure Supergirl into a trap.
Speaking of traps, the DEO are trying to lure the alien with truck load of DDT. He shows up, but the mission goes sideways and ends with Alex getting captured and given to Astra.
Kara learns of Alex’s abduction from Henshaw and leaves to find her sister without the DEO. There, she meets Aunt Astra for the first time since before Krypton was destroyed. The surprise gives Astra the upper hand in the fight for a while, but Henshaw’s use of a blade made from Kryptonite drives a shocked and weakened Astra away.
Back at the DEO base, Alex reassures Kara of their sisterly bond, that they will always have each other’s backs no matter what. Then, we are introduced to Supergirl‘s very own Fortress of Solitude within the DEO base, which can only be accessed by Kara. It comes equipped with an AI program developed by Alura. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Alura is to Jor-El as Supergirl is to Superman in this story.
Elsewhere, Astra and her doctor are figuring out what the hell Henshaw’s knife is made of. This their first time dealing with Kryptonite. One curious thing that happens in this scene is there is a third person in the room, but we never see him. By the way Astra interacts with is disembodied voice he may be a co-conspirator. I haven’t made the effort of comparing voices, but my money is on Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli), whom we meets via news report as one of Supergirl’s major critics.
- Throughout the episode, Jimmy’s job is on the line if he doesn’t secure an exclusive interview with Cat Grant. Jimmy is unwilling to exploit his friendship in that way, but Kara, after learning it’s okay to ask for help, gives him the same life lesson.
- Henshaw’s has glowing red eyes! Is he a meta human or an alien! Is he with Astra or not? Is his jamming the Kryptonite knife into Astra’s arm his way of letting her know what the humans have as an effective resource against her?