Episode 16 of Supergirl (“Falling”) was interesting in terms of revelation and character development. After being exposed to Red Kryptonite, Kara turns malicious, mean, snarky, and wild. But what’s most interesting is how she unleashes her inner Mean Girl.
The change starts off gradually. Kara shows up to CatCo, dressed like a sexier version of herself. Kara: “What? I was getting tired of my old clothes.” Siobhan: “We all were.” Cat: “Kara, look at you, dressing like an adult.” The key is that she’s being evil, but there’s a shade of herself in her actions. Her outbursts are terrible, but it’s all within the realm of her character. Not an easy thing to do.
Kara rails against Hank for not embracing his alien powers and being J’onn J’onzz all the time, before she simply lets an enemy alien go, because he wasn’t worth her time. At CatCo, she goes so far as to use Cat’s elevator, justify it perfectly, one-up Siobhan, and eventually get her fired. Her attitude escalates and spirals, leaving a wake of destruction in her path—figuratively and literally. No one escapes unscathed, even Kara herself.
Supergirl throws Cat off of CatCo (when Winn hears this, Jeremy Jordan hilariously exclaims, “She killed Ms. Grant?!” It was a well-delivered line). Yes, she catches Cat before she goes splat, but that’s where the episode shifts. That’s one step too far. Senator Crane (who flirted with Hank super hard, btw) pushes Hank to do his job. Cat records a broadcast denouncing Supergirl as dangerous. And the saddest, most well-illustrated point is a little girl named Laura, who Kara (in the beginning of the episode) had swooped in and saved from some bullies who were making fun of her Supergirl outfit. Laura throws it in the trash.
Now, it turns out that Maxwell Lord is responsible for the manufactured Red Kryptonite. And oops! He meant to use it to kill Non. And oops! He didn’t mean for the fire to start, which brought Supergirl to the building, exposing her to it. And oops! He just kind of hoped that Non would wander by the satellite he was using as bait. He didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt. But he didn’t exactly think it through, and Alex points this out.
I will say, though, that while he did frak up exceptionally badly—creating the very type of alien he has always feared—it was nice to see him at the DEO, using his powers for good. He goes to work on a gun to reverse the effects, giving him a chance to redeem himself. And giving him and Alex some time to make googly eyes at each other.
And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I felt most badly for Winn. He finally gets some love from Siobhan. Even if said love takes place in a supply closet. I mean…not ideal, but no judgment here, y’all. It was a rather charming scene in the beginning of the episode where Kara (still sane) is looking for him and x-rays the door at a really inappropriate moment. I laughed. Because I once—wait, never mind. *wink* Winn and Siobhan are surprisingly adorable together, and he’s understandably worried when she’s fired. She doesn’t answer his texts.
Which may be in part to Cat ruining her life on account of Kara ratting her out. Cat did the one thing that would hurt Siobhan the most as punishment for a betrayal. And no, it wasn’t firing her. It was ensuring that her reputation was tarnished because of her actions, even going so far as to call Perry White. It was thorough evisceration of her prospects. I am curious to see how Siobhan is going to play out from here. I mean, they wrote Lucy off as having quit and left. (Hopefully, there’s nothing quite so abrupt.)
The big battle is Supergirl against the DEO—against her sister, whose arm she breaks (to say nothing of the emotional damage she did a scene earlier). It’s a trainwreck of bullets and destruction, exploding cop cars, and fractured concrete. But then Supergirl boasts, “Nothing on earth can stop me.” Hank does what he has struggled so fiercely against: shows his true form. In saving Alex from Supergirl—and fighting her so that Alex can use the gun—he exposes himself. In the moment, there was no other way. He was still honoring his promise to Jeramiah, protecting his daughters. In the end, Hank surrenders and ends up caged at the DEO. It’s such a beautiful act of bravery, and I love that it reveals more of his bond with Alex. David Harewood is absolutely magnificent.
Lord’s gun works, but the damage is vast. After waking, Kara’s first question is if she killed anyone. The range of emotions that Melissa Benoist displayed throughout the entire episode—but especially in this scene—was nothing short of stellar. There wasn’t a false note. There wasn’t a questionably delivered line. Even the way Kara walked was difference, under the influence of Red Kryptonite. And I really enjoyed seeing the spin she put on the endeavor.
Of course, we have to talk about Kara and Jimmy. She said some awful things about Lucy, grinded up on Jimmy, and was a bit physically callous toward him. Afterward, they’re so very not okay. And while she tries to apologize—and then explains she was jealous of Lucy, because of her feels—you can’t unring a bell. There was a kernel of truth in everything that Kara said and did, and Jimmy needs some time to think about it. And…ouch. I mean, I get it. The show obviously can’t have them be together immediately. But I also know the human heart. Realistically, if he loves Kara, Jimmy’s going to work through his feelings. Let’s just hope he’s not too late.
Thankfully, Cat is more forgiving. Supergirl shows up on her balcony to apologize, and it’s a touching scene. I keep waiting for their interactions to become trite, and I’m pleasantly surprised that they’re anything but. Here’s some of the exchange:
Kara: “I love this city. The lights. All the windows. I love that behind every window there’s a story. … To me, every person in this city is a light. … I know what happened wasn’t exactly my fault, my…my brain was altered. … What I did to you, Miss Grant…”
Cat: “Oh, please. I base jumped Mt. Kilimanjaro. Do you really think you scared me?”
Cat admits that she was scared, but that nothing is impossible—that Supergirl can make amends, that it will just take time and work. Isn’t that what anyone wants to hear when they’ve royally screwed up? That forgiveness is possible? The dynamic between Supergirl and Cat intrigues me. As much as Kara has her people, Cat is her champion. She is also Supergirl’s safe haven. Cat is reminder that everyone can be a hero in their own way–cape optional.
But those boots, guys? Those are a must-have. I’m a size 8 1/2.