This post contains spoilers for Supergirl.
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And that, boys and girls, is how a penultimate episode should be done! Broken Brainiacs, Red Daughters, and truth serums, oh my! Every single character is done playing this week. As a result, there’s hardly a dull moment in “Red Dawn”.
Brainiac 5’s depiction in Supergirl has left some fans wanting, but I’ve always found him pretty charming. It’s a bit of a deviation from the comic pages, but the same can be said for the majority of the characters in the DCTV universe. With that said, Brainy has gone bye-bye. In an effort to save an alien child (and all of the other incarcerated aliens being deported to Rao knows where), Brainy and Dreamer allow themselves to be captured. The plan goes awry, and they find themselves separated. Dreamer’s taken off to some undisclosed location while Brainy is tortured. Note to any super villains out there: torturing a Brainiac is a very bad idea.
“My ancestors? Very. Bad. People. And I remember everything,” pretty much summarizes Brainy’s snap. Putting all of your emotions in little tiny boxes works as a quick fix, but using tactics like that long term can result in some serious Pandora’s Box situations. What’s unleased after Brainiac 5’s reboot is his truly emotionless self. This version not only leaves the woman he loves in captivity to see where the other aliens are being taken, but actively knocks J’onn out to be captured as well to up their chances. But here’s the curious thing about this new Brainy: even as a hyper logical being, he makes the call to help the Super Friends. He also doesn’t murder any of his captors. More and more curious…
Speaking of folks with shitty families, Lena Luthor straight up poisons her mom to get her to help find out how to extract the hironel. Happy Mother’s Day, Lillian! In addition to the poison, Lena also enlists the help of a tiny truth telling squid-thing. The only interesting thing that comes of said truth-squid is that Lillian genuinely loves her daughter. Plot twist!
With Lillian working to crack the hironel, Lena and James track down Ben Lockwood to try and find Lex. Problem is, Lockwood had no idea that Lex Luthor was pulling his sad little strings. In true mediocre bigot fashion, Lockwood believed that his sudden skyrocket to success was his own doing. No one likes to find out that they’re a pawn, but you won’t find me offering sympathy to him or any of his racist ilk. An ill-timed temper tantrum results in Otis’ (third?) death. We’ll see how long it takes for his return.
And then there was Supergirl. Kara’s got some seriously emotionally taxing arcs this week, as is appropriate at this point in the season. Melissa Benoist has been an incredible Girl of Steel from day one, but she sure does act her ass off in “Red Dawn”. Red Daughter and Supergirl finally meet face-to-face. Lex’s brainwashing has worked gangbusters on the clone, who violently believes that everything Supergirl stands for needs to burn for the world to be safe. The two have a couple standoffs, with scenes in Red Daughter’s stalker apartment and the attack of Eliza sandwiched in between. The final battle leaves Supergirl dead in the forest near her childhood home.
Throughout the episode, we see glimpses of Alex starting to get her memories of Kara as Supergirl back. A distraught Kara begs J’onn to let her bring her sister back in the fold after her first escape from Red Daughter, but he insists that doing so could break Alex’s mind. He does relent that it could be ok if her mind broke through the barriers naturally, which is exactly what happens as she’s watching her sister be beat to death.
Alex Danvers is having a hard week. First she finds out that she won’t get to adopt, and then she loses her sister right as her memories return. Watching the scene where J’onn takes her memories away was emotional enough, but watching a distraught Alex beg her sister to come back was more than enough to bring the waterworks. Desperately, she starts throwing grass on Supergirl’s corpse in an attempt to get her body to absorb the sunlight in them. Eventually, it works, and Kara wakes up. Anyone frustrated by this reach is hereby sentenced to ten years of re-watching Superman shoot cellophane “S” symbols out of his chest.
So what about Lex? Well, everything went exactly as he planned! With Red Daughter occupied with Supergirl, and the American people at peak terror over the “alien crisis”, he advises Kasnia to make their move. Once they do, it’s Lex who stops them with his newly upgraded Lexo Suit. The President declares him the hero that he’s always wanted to be. The episode closes with him holding a lifeless Red Daughter in his arms.
This week the terrorists won. Next week said terrorists are going to have a very bad day. Supergirl’s alive, Red Daughter’s likely not gone for long, and Lillian’s successfully found a way to extract the hironel. Jimmy’s amped up on his second dose, Dreamer and Martian Manhunter are about to find out where the aliens are being deported to, and Alex knows who Kara is again. There’s a lot of excitement to be had as we head into season four’s finale, but we’ll have to wait for now. Shout out in the comments if you had thoughts on this week’s episode!