Now that Kara has exposed Supergirl to the world, she’s beginning to notice a lot of reminders of Superman everywhere she turns in National City. This week, she finds herself at odds with one of Superman’s old foes, Reactron, rather than one of the Gang of Fort Rozz.
First up, however, “Fight or Flight” picks up exactly where last week’s episode left off: the Cat Grant interview. In a bold move to save James Olsen’s job, Kara — as Supergirl, of course — lifts Cat’s towncar to a remote overlook of National City and starts answering some questions. Her answers tend to give away more than she intends, though. In an exchange highlighting the oft-ingrained sexism in media, she rebuts a question from Cat about “starting a family” with the appropriate response “nobody ever asks my cousin these questions”, but the reveal of family ties was not one she intended to make.
Back at the CatCo offices the next day, Winn questions whether it was a wise move for Kara to give that little detail away so soon. Kara assures him that it was an accidental reveal, and he then shows her a secret project he’s been working on right in the CatCo building: an abandoned office to use as a new base of operations. Her apartment was getting a bit small for the big things hitting National City, so now they can work from one of the city’s skyscrapers. (Later in the episode Lucy Lane, little sister of Lois and ex-girlfriend of James, also shows up at CatCo, throwing a wrench into Kara’s love plans.)
Meanwhile, a highway accident has left multiple people injured, and an overturned bus still has a driver trapped inside. After seeing Cat’s now-viral story about Supergirl’s familial heritage, Reactron decides to make his old foe Superman suffer by targeting Supergirl, and he shows up at the vehicle pileup to make that intention known. Kara saves the bus driver, but is immediately ambushed. It becomes clear that even when Reactron is revealed to be a one-note revenge bully who blames Superman for the death of his wife, his nuclear bursts are still a pretty hefty match for Kryptonians. A lucky strike from a car door thrown by Kara deactivates a portion of Reactron’s suit’s power core, and that means he needs some help getting back to full power before finishing the plan.
Maxwell Lord, who we noted in last week’s “Blink and you’ll miss it”, with his well known Lord Technologies and Elon Musk-like célébrité, winds up being the person Reactron kidnaps to get his suit back online to full capacity. It’s unlikely we’ll see Lord become the Supergirl’s personal Lex Luthor, but he is quite indifferent to the plight of alien superheroes. He would rather the human race solve human problems. Well, to be more specific, it seems like he would rather Lord Technologies solve all of humanity’s problems.
When Kara does battle Reactron for the final time, she arms herself with a handful of molten lead and the key piece of knowledge that Superman never had: Reactron’s motive. Mixing a fair dose of empathy with her brawn, Kara tries again to appeal to Reactron’s, real name Ben Kroll, remaining sense of humanity. After all, Ben is essentially blaming Superman for not saving him and his wife from a terrorist attack on a nuclear reactor. And yeah, losing your wife would be enough to sour you on anyone who was involved, but you’d think if he was going to go all Dollar Store Iron Man on someone, it would be the terrorists responsible for setting the nuclear meltdown in motion, and not the man who saved a city. Motives aside, Kara again saves the day thanks to some teamwork from her sister with the lead tip.
Blink and you’ll miss it:
Director Henshaw’s red eyes. He is either under Hellgrimite control, or was somehow replaced with a Hellgrimite doppelgänger last week. He hasn’t actively interfered with Alex or Kara’s plans yet, so he’s one to watch in the coming weeks.
James totally lets Superman’s secret identity slip in front of Winn. I mean, c’mon! I’m calling you Jimmy, pal. You need to earn James back.
“I’m a writer. It’s like riding a bike, or severe childhood trauma, you never really lose it.” – Cat Grant
“You know, Kara, I’m sorry that you’re mad at me, but I’m not sorry you’re alive.” – James Olsen
“Do not watch Homeland until I get back.” – Kara Danvers
“What’s next? A book deal? A reality show? ‘Keeping Up With The Kryptonians’?” – Director Henshaw
“Cecilia and the Satellite” by Andrew McMahon
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