Well, this episode hurt in a lot of ways. From the crumbling relationship between Kara and Lena, to M’rynn’s continuing struggles with his memories, to everything about Sam Arias and Reign. Let’s jump in. Elizabeth is still on vacation, so Kori is steering the ship again this week.
Okay, what’s the least painful part of “Shelter From the Storm” to start with? Let’s go with the incredibly pure moment of friendship between Querl and Winn as Querl gives Winn a jar of Earth dirt from the 31st century. That was a moment of pure delight in an otherwise dark episode, so relish it while you can kiddos. Unless you’re a Mets fan, then that little dig might have hurt. Or you might be used to it. But it still hurts to be called out like that.
Moving on. The Legion celebrate what they think is the defeat of Pestilence/Blight, (spoiler, I’m still salty AF that they’re celebrating the deaths of Purity and Pestilence) and now at least Imra needs to get back to the future as soon as possible so they can keep the Titanian-Earthen alliance intact. Somehow that means Mon-El doesn’t need to come with? His marriage with Imra is what secured that alliance in the first place, right? But no, Imra tells him to follow his heart and bleh. This will they, won’t they is past the point of tiresome. I just want to know at this point, so either keep Mon-El in the current time and tell us he’s getting divorced or have them go back to the future. (That was a fun pop culture call out though.)
We naturally don’t have closure because there’s still five episodes left. The Legion realizes the future is still in shambles because Reign absorbed the powers of her sisters, so the Blight is still very much on the table. Welp, Imra and Mon-El’s shaky marriage is staying in place for now. Can I just say that Imra has been an amazing sport about all of this? It was still wrong of her to lie to Mon-El about why they came back, but it’s been a few episodes now and she’s been living with the knowledge that her husband of several years is currently mooning over and superheroing with his ex-girlfriend of what, six months?
It’s a trope I absolutely hate in fanfic and other media, with the hero’s long-lost love coming back and then the current “love” is suddenly treated like week-old leftovers, and the years of relationship they built are completely and utterly written as “not as good, not as meaningful, and not as real” as a past relationship that’s been over for years. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate.
Anyway, let’s get into the part of the episode I’m going to title “Lena was right about everything” and make a list.
Lena told you that giving out Ruby’s location would put her in danger. Spoiler alert: Not only did it put Ruby in danger, it has likely permanently traumatized her because now the poor kid will live with the memories of Reign in her mother’s meat suit trying to kill her. Double spoiler alert: She also knows her mom murdered her grandmother.
Oh yeah! So that happened! Honestly, it was one of my favorite parts of the episode. Supergirl isn’t the kind of show to go very dark often, so when they do it’s usually picked carefully and it means something. Betty Buckley is terrific as always and played the hell out of Patricia Arias. Patricia was not the best parent, nobody is debating that. But in the end, she sacrificed herself to try and protect her family. Reign murdered her for it. The reaction Kara has to Patricia’s death? This should have been her reaction last week to Julia’s sacrifice.
Melissa Benoist knocked Kara’s reaction out of the park, however.
But that leads to another part of Lena was right! Kara is seemingly fixated on Lena’s ability to make kryptonite. Nothing about that makes sense because the DEO has handled it for years, even used it against her before. Superman had an issue with the DEO holding it and flying it off into space, but Kara’s not shown any of that. Until now, and it feels like Kara randomly made a line in the that she can’t cross. I detailed last week why I understand her being wary of it and whose hands it could fall into. But this episode Kara acts like version Extreme of her concern about it. Instead of just explaining this to Lena, she perches on a soapbox.
She also asked one of her best friends and Lena’s boyfriend to spy on her, which is still not okay.
Then there’s the part where the SuperFriends finally catch Reign, and what’s the first thing they do? Take her the DEO and lock her away in a lab. Exactly where Lena had Sam.
This all leads to Kara and Lena having a conversation in an elevator where Lena rightfully unloads on Kara about her feelings regarding Supergirl. That whole trust issue that Kara’s so overwhelmed with about Supergirl trusting Lena? That goes both ways, Kara. And Supergirl has just spent several days proving to Lena that she can’t be trusted, and worse, is starting to remind Lena of her not so illustrious family members. She leaves the elevator and Kara is left to eat those words because they were deserved. Yes, kryptonite is frightening. But humans can die in any million of ways every single day, and they don’t stop living. Yes, maybe Lena should have told Supergirl about Sam in the first place, but she didn’t out of concern for a friend. Supergirl sent Lena’s own boyfriend to try and spy on her, intentionally, for herself.
Worse, they’ve played this “Lena doesn’t know Kara is Supergirl” game for so long, that I can’t tell in the elevator if Lena is telling this to Kara as a way to let her know that she knows, or if she’s venting to what she thinks is her human best friend. Either way, the lie has gone on for so long that Kara can’t do anything else but realize that this is another way she’s lied to Lena from the beginning.
I’m ecstatic that we’re finally getting more depth to Lena; it felt like she was spinning her tires for a while this season. I just don’t necessarily want what might tip her over to black hat being Kara’s self-righteousness, because then we get the dynamic of a human fighting against a godlike alien who has seriously overstepped their bounds and it makes the other Luthors seem justified in their distrust. Right the course and build the rest of it from there so we can see that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, because this? This isn’t a good look right now.
Finally, M’yrnn doesn’t deserve any of this and everything hurts. I’m happy he was able to help Kara with Reign, but having family members going through this themselves, it hits really close to home.
Next week, we’re due for another James-centric episode where he wants to unmask as Guardian. There’s absolutely no way that could possibly go wrong.