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A Time For Goodbye on Supergirl

Ooof. So this is the episode we knew was coming, and boy did it hurt really, really good. Also, Lena has a pretty crappy day, and Morgan Edge continues to be a super effective villain. Let’s jump in.

Recap

We open with Supergirl and Alex stopping a prison bus that has been hijacked by the inmates. The Danvers sisters make short work of the renegade prisoners, and afterward, Kara asks how Alex is holding up. She’s not, and she says tomorrow is the day (that she talks to Maggie). Kara hugs her as they walk into the night.

The next morning, Sam is still a little shaken by her vision from the end of the last episode. Ruby is concerned, but Sam brushes it off. As Ruby walks into the school, one of her classmates passes out in front of her. She calls for her mom and Sam calls 911.

Cut to CatCo, James and Lena are sort of butting heads over an advertorial (advertisers get to write an editorial more or less) and the operating break-even costs. Before they can get ramped up, Kara comes in and directs their attention to the television display. Morgan Edge is on the news, in the children’s hospital which has been flooded with patients having come down with lead poisoning. He blames Lena Luthor and the device she built to drive the Daxamites off of earth. Lena leaves immediately to get to the hospital.

Alex and Maggie Part One starts. I’ll say right now; this is probably one of the healthiest breakups I’ve seen across media. The show has gone out of its way to be clear that there is no villain here. Both of these women desperately love each other, but there’s no getting over this issue. Alex asks Maggie if she’ll ever want kids, and Maggie tearfully says she wants Alex. Unfortunately, Alex also wants kids, she’s always going to want kids, and that’s not going to go away. It hurts, both women, and it hurts us because we know how much they love each other. Watching Alex break down in bed at the end of the last episode was excruciating because she was with the woman who brings her comfort. Where bed is supposed to be your safe space and whose arms still make a bad day melt away.

And that’s what sucks about this. These two still madly love each other. It’s just sometimes; life doesn’t work out like that, as much as you wish you could simply fall into bed into each other’s arms and let everything magically fix itself. There’s no bad guy here. Just two people who love each other, but can’t make it work.

But back to the crisis. Lena meets Sam at the hospital, and Sam is not happy with Morgan’s stunt. Lena, however, is furious. Morgan warns Lena about the cobra effect and brings up colonial India (gross). He tells Lena she made her problem worse and says people will die because of it. Kara jumps in and tries to take some blame, bless her heart, saying Supergirl was the one who pushed the button. Morgan slimily reminds them that the tech was all Luthor.

Lord (callback pun intended), I hate this guy. He is such a good villain this season, and Adrian Pasdar has been terrific in bringing him to life.

Lady power time! Lena, Kara, and Sam walk back into the CatCo office. Sam and Kara try to tell Lena something else has to be going on. Sam even reminds her that is was use the device or let the planet be overrun. Still, Lena is too noble to let anyone else take the blame for her potential mistakes. James joins them and Lena, obviously upset, accuses him of coming to gloat at another Luthor gone bad. Also, McGrath’s accent slips out wildly, and I adore that the show just lets it happen now.

Anyway.

James reminds her that after everything he sees her more than a position of her brother. James recommends she steps down from CatCo so they can report on the crisis objectively. Kara doesn’t want her to, thinking it’s an admission of guilt. Lena, surprisingly, agrees with James, saying the people need answers and they need integrity, now more than ever. She makes the call for James to run the show at CatCo and then tells Sam that she’ll be stepping away from LCorp as well until this is resolved. Lena won’t this be like Flint, Mich. ZING! (By the way, it’s been three years, they still don’t have safe drinking water.)

An angry parent somehow manages to get to the CatCo offices and confronts Lena over his son. This might be a big misstep, where angry dad lays it on very thick for dramatic tension when they could have done the same with the very next scene. The one where an angry mob chants “lock her up” at a press conference.

I think they’re angry…

At said press conference, an angry mom opens fire at the stage. James, human James Olsen who unlike Kara can be hurt by bullets, rushes to push her to safety, getting shot in the process. Look, I know some people might be saying the scene was in poor taste after Sunday’s incident. I’d like to remind everyone that this was shot weeks, months in advance. The show has no way of predicting gun violence. Moreover, we sadly live in a country where this is now commonplace, and gun-related deaths happen every day. If you’re angry about that fact, get out and vote today if there are elections in your area, and send a message that you won’t allow this to happen anymore.

At the DEO, the Super Friends talk about the incident. James is not completely on Lena’s side because right now the data does look like this was an inadvertent result. Winn retests the device, and the results come back differently, now showing there is a 10% chance the device caused this.

In the meantime, Sam and Ruby take Lena and let her crash at their place. Why does Sam have to go bad? URGH. I hope we get some redemption later. Come on Supergirl, don’t let me down.

Alex and Maggie Part Two. Alex and packing some belongings in a box. I’m not going to cry. Maggie stops packing her luggage and changes the sad music to something a little happier. This is where I say their ending is beautiful because it is. Sad, incredibly sad, I’m tearing up as I write this, but again. Supergirl is going out of its way to make sure we know there’s no bad guy here. These two love each other, but life. Life happens, and it’s not meant to be.

Kara goes to talk to Lena and assures her that she’s not giving up. Lena doesn’t want to hear it, convinced she’s guilty. All Lena ever wanted to be was good. She’s been a pariah her whole life and thought she did one thing that was good, and it wound up poisoning children. Lena is shaken, and wonders if she’s just as bad as Lex. Lena loves Kara’s faith, but tells her in the real world, her real name is pretty much Bin Laden, and everything she does hurts people. She’s not worth Kara’s faith.

Naturally, Kara will not. Sam comes home and she and Kara talk. They get to work, and there’s a delightful moment as Sam pulls out a map marking all the sick kids. Kara asks what happens when you connect all the “x’s” and Sam quips “nothing, the movie’s lie.” Hee. Sam notes that normally there’s a connection via location, but there’s nothing here. The kids live all over, and there is no connection visible.

They dig deeper, Sam pulling up bank records of all the victims (impressing Kara in the process), and they realize all the families had visited a Delaney’s Dumpling Truck before getting sick. They look up where the truck is headed and decide to check out Oktoberfest.

Alex and Maggie Part Three. After their romp in bed, we have more sad times. They talk more and listen to each other. Alex talks about why she wants kids and wants to be a mom. Again, it’s beautifully done, and hats off to Kevin Smith for bringing this home. They’re open with each other, and we see the look on Maggie’s face as she realizes that she loves Alex enough to want her to be happy, even without her, and they hold each other in bed for the last time.

Sam and Kara’s detective hour! Kara opens a locked door and then covers with “ah, sticky hinge!” Kara mentions Eliza used to bring her to a place like the community swim center. Sam opens up that she was adopted as well, and her mom used to bring her as well, saying Ruby loves swimming too. Kara scans the pool and notices something off, and says she wants to test the pool water.

She sticks a device into the water and then connects it to her phone (I want one) to send to Winn. There’s a fun little bit where Winn is delighted that someone used a device he made in spite of J’onn telling him nobody would ever use it. Winn tells Kara that it’s an advanced chemical made to mimic the effects of lead poisoning when mixed with water. Lena’s device didn’t do it.

They find a whole shed of tubs containing chlorine “replacement” tabs from a company called Acre Lee Chemical. When Kara calls to relay the news to Lena, Lena acts like she doesn’t know who the chemical company is. (She totally does.)

Cue Lena going to confront Morgan in his office at night. Alone. Morgan taunts her and Lena pulls a gun on him. He tries to gaslight her, and Lena says she’s thinking like a Luthor. Unfortunately, Morgan’s security knocks her out before we see if she would have actually pulled the trigger. When she comes too, she’s trapped inside a plane in the air that’s rigged to blow.

Morgan is having it remotely flown and has the remote pilot jam the transmission. DEO picks up an unidentified plane, and Kara realizes it’s Lena. Morgan is planning to dump even more of his chemical into the National City water reservoir (because he’s puppy-stomping, child-endangering mustache twirler now). Once he realizes Supergirl is on hand, he orders the plane crashed. As long as the barrels hit the water, he wins.

Kara struggles as Morgan does everything he can to crash the plane, and it splits in two. Kara grabs both sides, but one side has the chemicals, the other has Lena. She can’t keep both of them with the plane crumbling, and Lena yells at her to save the chemicals. Lena tells Supergirl to let her go, and Kara refuses. She orders Lena to climb and jump to safety. Kara catches her and lands the chemicals safely.

I’ll never let go!

Morgan kills the remote pilot so he can weasel his way out of the situation. (CSI voice: Morgan, you touched the console, and the controls and your DNA is all over the crime scene you idiot.) ANYWAYS. Supergirl confronts him, and he’s still a weasel. I really want to punch Morgan in the face. This isn’t over.

At CatCo, Lena talks to James. James tells Lena she can call him Jimmy and I’m swooning.

Alex and Maggie The End. Break out the tissues. I’m going to let Elizabeth handle most of this, but I’m just going to reiterate that Supergirl has given me the best, most positive, and healthy end to a relationship I’ve ever seen. I will always be grateful to them for this. I will not, however, appreciate that parting “you’re gonna be a great mom” line because I did not need my heart ripped out of my chest, dammit.

Back at Sam’s, we learn the LCorp antidote is working. Lena thanks Kara and Sam for not giving up on her. Sam and Kara think they made a great team. Kara says when they’re family, you can say what you need to say, and family will still love you. They call each other sisters, and COME ON! This season is going to rip my heart out.

At the bar, Alex is getting drunk and tells Kara she was right about what would happen if she lost Maggie. Kara calls J’onn and tells him the DEO will have to get by without them for a few days. They’re going back to Midvale.

Back at Sam’s house, Ruby says she really likes Sam’s friends. She also notices a hole in Sam’s shirt that she hasn’t changed out of since the shooting earlier. When she inspects her jacket, a bullet falls out. We flashback to the shooting scene and realize Sam had been shot, she’s bulletproof.

Analysis

So. Where to begin with this one.

Let’s start at the ending. I loved that this arc was given a clearly definitive end, as it is likely Lima will be gone for good. I hate it when television shows try to have it both ways by having the show narrative leave their departure open when the actor who plays the role has zero intention of ever returning to it. I also loved that Maggie pushed back against Alex’s decision, so it didn’t feel like a surrender, despite us not being privy to the several days of discussion and arguments. Speaking of which, I love that they spared us the dramatic part of The Drama, and instead focused on the process of closure.

Closure is not something that lesbian characters get on television. A lot of them are killed off, the rest are typically demonized in some way before being written off of the show to ensure the remaining character appears to be the “good guy” in the break up. But the thing is, real adults don’t (or at least they shouldn’t) act like this. They act like Alex and Maggie did. Yes, they’re both incredibly torn up about this, but it’s a mutual understanding. There is literally no way for them to cross this impasse; love is not enough sometimes. It’s certainly not going to carry you through a life you don’t want to live.

I’ve seen that some people are upset that they ended things over the issue of children. Now, I have to ask, and I sincerely mean this: if not over children, how would you have written this arc to satisfy the audience but also fit within the restrictions of Lima’s remaining time on the show? Because “don’t lose Lima” is not an option here. They had to come up with a way to wrap up this engagement in five episodes, so if it wasn’t over having kids, I can’t imagine what else might be big enough to break them up other than a death or a cheating scenario (and you all know how much I hate those.)

In my opinion this was the perfect send-off for Maggie. I can’t think of another show that has done a quick write off this elegantly. It’s especially commendable, as it really feels like they were sure they were keeping Lima for season 3 when they filmed the engagement in the season two finale. To have to backtrack from that is a daunting task, and they really pulled it off. I will miss Maggie Sawyer very dearly, but life has gotta go on. We can’t get stuck wallowing in despair over this. I look forward to Alex and Kara growing out of their experiences together, and of course I can’t wait to see who Alex actually does marry.

I dare to dream.

If you haven’t watched the episode yet, watch it. It may take you more than one session to get through it, but watch it. There’s no other show that has done this better. Trust me.

Alright let’s talk about Lena Luthor for a second. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before but I love chaotic neutral, grey hat, renegade, kind of morally ambiguous heroes. However, they must still remain heroes even in their darkest moments, and damn does Lena Luthor really scratch this itch. The attention that her character arc is being given is excellent, and has helped re-center the show around women, as that was a big critique of the previous season. We saw in this episode that even at her darkest, Kara is not a killer: Lena, however… debatable. I eagerly anticipate the ways they explore this further, because watching what makes Lena spiral is quite fascinating. But also I just want Lena to have friends, and how she has two! And I don’t mean Kara and Supergirl this time!

The closing thought I’ll leave you with is this: the core of the show has always been Alex and Kara’s relationship above all else, and that’s what we’re getting a heaping portion of this season. It’s clear that the critiques of last season were taken into consideration while writing this one, because it’s astounding how much they seem to improve with each episode. The show, surprisingly, still continues to get better and better. And we’re going to ride that wave as far as it takes us.

Elizabeth’s Final Thoughts: That was hard to get through but I’m glad I did.

Kori’s Final Thoughts: That was beautifully done. I’m so happy the show and writers and actors put so much time and thought into this. Sometimes positive representation isn’t happily ever afters; sometimes it’s showing that you can respectfully and healthily end a relationship and come out on the other side of it okay.

Next Week on Supergirl: Alex and Kara head home to clear their heads, and Elizabeth will be on vacation, so she will see you in two weeks. Kori will be here next Tuesday. See you then!


Images courtesy of The CW

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    Part time gamer, full time complainer. Gotta go fast cuz I’ve got ADHD! Nonbinary, they/them. El serves as a Managing Editor for The Fandomentals. You can find them on Twitter.

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