Supergirl’s fifth episode (“How Does She Do It?”, which was originally scheduled as episode four) opens with Supergirl being followed by some kind of megadrone. We later learn it’s powered by Maxwell Lord’s tech—yes, the smarmy billionaire is back. And no, nobody has punched him yet. (I volunteer as tribute.)
Meanwhile, Cat Grant has earned a Spiegel award, but she’s going to have to miss the ceremony. She can’t find someone to watch her son, Carter. Kara steps right up and offers to do it. Cat misreads this as a power play and admires her for it.
Cut to the most awkward breakfast ever: Jimmy and Lucy are skirting around their relationship issues, each blaming the other, but neither are saying anything solid or real. As much as I like Mehcad Brooks (Jimmy) and Jenna Dewan Tatum (Lucy), I don’t quite feel the connection between these two as much as I’d like. Kara wanders in and ends up listening to Jimmy’s romantic woes. And that’s where I start to feel stabby. We’re supposed to buy that he has feelings for Kara. No sane man with two brain cells would start babbling about his ex to a girl he fancies.
A bomb goes off nearby, and Supergirl swoops in, welding support beams as she’s holding up a great deal of weight. It’s pretty impressive, but she somehow fails to miss a second drone stalking her. Maybe it should’ve had some kind of cloaking? Anyway, Kara heads back to the DEO, where she finds out that Alex has a fancy badge that’s basically science-based psychic paper. Kara is neatly rebuked by her sister for, essentially, being too nice and listening to Jimmy: “You spent more time in the friend zone than the phantom zone.” (Note: this made me Hulk-level angry. Yes, it was meant to be funny, but the friend zone is a not a thing. And just…no.)
Hank and Alex visit the DEO, where Maxwell pleads innocence in regard to the bomb. Plus, he insists on going to the train launch. (Can trains launch? Are we really supposed to care about some souped-up monorail? I digress…) Hank leaves Alex behind to babysit God Complex, who manages to consistently by charming by negative degrees and expertly smug. Eventually, we learn that his backstory involves two dead parent scientists and no real social skills. More on that later.
Kara, after arriving late to pick up Carter, is fumbling at looking after Carter at Catco. I will say that the kid was pretty endearing: “My mom says it’s OK to be a nerd. She says if you can face your fears and come out of your shell, nerds can win in the end.” Amen, kid. Nerd life forever. Of course, Winn has to nearly go and ruin everything, because he is trying to impress Carter and starts to tell him that he knows Supergirl. Which…holy cats and cradles, STOP. Secrets are supposed to be secret. This was literally in the middle of the office. Gag orders, all around. *side eyes Jimmy for outing Superman’s identity to Winn in an earlier episode*
When Maxwell and Alex find a bomb in his office building and he cuts a wire speeding up the countdown, Kara is called in to help. She leaves Carter with a hapless Winn, who tries to protest he knows nothing about kids. She rebuffs, “You eat cereal for dinner, and your desk is covered in toys.” In that case, I’m still five.
Long story short, Supergirl flies the bomb far away and then throws it, but manages to get knocked out by the blast. She wakes up in an industrial-strength tanning bed at the DEO and sees Hank with his glowing red eyes, but nothing comes of it. Here, we learn that the bomber (Ethan Knox) has a sick kid and is an ex-employee of Tony Stark-lite.
Kara pops back into Catco to find Winn and Carter playing video games on Cat’s giant wall of TVs, and I cannot blame them. But Kara’s back for approximately 3 seconds before she rushes off to get food and runs into Lucy. The conversation between them ends up later being relayed to Jimmy by Kara, and the discussion was…trite. Lucy explained she broke up with Jimmy, because he was always putting Superman first. She felt abandoned. Blah blah blah. Is it wrong that I wanted there to be more to it? Because I did. It was like wanting Doritos, but getting a rice cake. Nobody wants that.
When Jimmy and Lucy finally have an honest fight and come clean with each other (she’s leaving), each admits that they want the other to be happy. A kiss follows. Because of Kara’s open heart and earnest advice, we’re supposed to believe that these two are suddenly receptive, despite Jimmy’s earlier protest that he’s so done with that bridge he lit it on fire and danced on the shoreline. For me, that was the only real moment: when he talked about how he couldn’t go back. The hurt that registered on his face was raw and honest. More of that, please.
Elsewhere, Maxwell insists on going to the launch despite the danger. Which is fantastic, because Carter has found his way there, but he’s ticketless. So, Maxwell sees him on board. (I kept waiting for there to be an Indiana Jones “no ticket” reference, but I was greatly disappointed. Boo. Fie. Hiss.) Kara didn’t see a bomb on the train, but when a bomb is found at the airport, she goes racing off toward it—only to head back, because of Carter. On the train, Supergirl confronts Knox, who seems to have been forced into the role of villain (spoiler alert: it was Maxwell, who then ends up caring for Knox’s ill daughter). Kara unlinks the trains, stops the cars that have people in them, and Knox blows himself up far enough away not to harm anyone else.
Concurrently, DEO handles the bomb at the airport. Hank sends Alex away and uses whatever powers he has to dismantle/disarm the bomb, claiming it was a dud (Alex later discovers that is a pile of lies). Jimmy rushes to find Lucy, and they make out. I really wish this was less predictable.
Back at Catco, Cat is reunited with Carter, and the two have a nice bonding moment about Supergirl—which is a lesson in appreciating who a person is, not how a person looks. When he goes off to school Kara (maddeningly, Cat calls her Keira) apologizes profusely and bewilderingly asks how Cat does it, how she does everything. Cat’s speech here is on point and well-delivered: “How do you juggle it all? You learn, that’s how. You start with two balls, then add another.” I love the dynamic between these two, because Cat is always giving Kara something to chew on—and, in her own way, someone to look up to.
Of course, Kara sees Jimmy and Lucy kissing in the hallway, and the standard sad trombone music plays. But Kara is distracted by Maxwell on the news, and she gets suspicious. She later pays Smugface a visit as Supergirl, essentially putting him on notice. He was behind Knox’s reign of terror, and it was all a test to gauge her and her powers. It was a shrewd method, but he grandstands and faffs about like a textbook supervillain. Kara, however, is fairly defiant and menacing. She gets the last word in, before leaving him to his—I’m guessing—scotch.