Supergirl Episode 5 Recap: Can A Superhero Have It All?

Photo: Courtesy of CBS.
This week the show gets Anne-Marie Slaughtered: Can Supergirl have it all? At least Cat tells Kara that she has “stumbled upon the most annoying question of the century.”

This episode does have a little bit of everything: there’s romance, there’s in-office antics, there’s a tormented-maybe-villain of the week, and there's a big bad reveal.

Kara is flying around declaring that she feels like she can “can finally have it all” — BUT CAN YOU, KARA? — when she encounters a drone. She shoots it down and brings it into the DEO, thinking she’s being spied upon. Hank tells her that it didn't come from his organization.

Meanwhile, back in the CatCo offices, Cat just won a big prize, finally beating Lois Lane for once. However, Cat can’t go to the ceremony in Metropolis because her mother won’t babysit her son, Carter. Hold up! Cat has a son? This is a very casual introduction to young Carter. (I do love that Carter’s father is, for now, a non-issue.) Kara steps up and says she’ll take care of Carter. Cat’s glad that Kara seems to be taking initiative.

While getting Cat her lunch, Kara sees James out with his dreaded (for now) ex, Lucy. After Lucy leaves, James confides in Kara. Lucy, he says, is preoccupied with winning. According to James, she broke up with him for her career.

Their little moment is cut short when a bomb goes off in National City, and Kara must spring into action. Kara saves a building from falling down, but it seems that pesky drone is still keeping tabs on her.

At the DEO, Hank speculates that the bombing could be an act of "corporate espionage" since the building held a lab developing a new battery. Alex has another idea: The bomb and drone share the same technology, which was developed by Maxwell Lord's company. So Alex and Hank plan to confront Maxwell, posing as FBI agents.

But before they get down solving the mystery of who set off the bomb, Alex has some romantic advice for Kara: Don’t talk to James about Lucy. “You spent more time in the friend zone than the Phantom Zone,” Alex tells her sister.

Kara can't dwell on that now though, because she's late to pick up Carter. Carter turns out to be extremely shy, but he and Kara share a sort of connection.

James’ affections for Kara may be complicated, but it’s not like she doesn’t have any admirers. There’s Winn, of course, and, now apparently Carter. He’s a sullen kid, but suddenly perks up when he hears a news report about Supergirl. "Carter do you maybe have a little crush on Supergirl?" Kara teases.

One person not keen on Supergirl? Maxwell Lord. Lord tells Alex and Hank that he can't be a suspect because he owns the lab where the bombing happened. After Hank leaves Alex and Maxwell alone, Maxwell tells Alex that he thinks Supergirl is a “glorified fireman."

There may be no love lost between Maxwell and Supergirl, but he needs her when he and Alex find a bomb in Lord Technologies. Maxwell thinks he can stop it from going off, but that's his ego talking. Supergirl must take it far away from the city. The blast ends up knocking her out, and she wakes up in the DEO. In her groggy state she sees Hank’s eyes flash red. But when she gets up it's back to work. Hank explains that there's footage of the bomber, a man named Ethan Knox. He worked in the lab that was the site of the first bombing but was fired and recently reported missing by his family.

Kara has to return to her other life for a bit, prompting Alex to ask whether she’s trying to do too much all at once. When she goes to pick up lunch for Carter, she runs into Lucy, who decides to put Kara into her friend zone. Lucy asks Kara if James is dating someone, specifically Supergirl. She thinks that James would find Supergirl "irresistible." Cue awkward laughter from Kara. To hear Lucy tell it, her relationship with James ended because he was preoccupied with Superman. She wonders how she can compete with a female version of that. So now Kara actually feels for Lucy, and gives up her quest to shut down any friend talk with James.

Alex approaches Maxwell with the information about Knox. She tells him to cancel the launch of his new train, but he refuses. Maxwell is distrustful of the government. (Why? His parents worked in a government lab and died in a coverup after an accident.) The launch goes on as planned, and Supergirl is dispatched to make sure nothing goes wrong.

While Kara is off doing her hero gig, Winn loses Carter, who has gone to the train to catch a glimpse of Supergirl. He doesn’t have a ticket, but is ushered onboard by Maxwell himself. Now things get really complicated. There’s a bomb at the airport. Kara heads there to save the day, but then hears from Winn that Carter is on the train along with Knox. She decides to stay focused on the train, and let the DEO agents handle the airport. At the airport, Hank tells Alex to get away from the bomb, and goes all red-eyed and super strong to dismantle it.

On the train, Carter comes face to face with his hero, Supergirl. Supergirl enlists Maxwell and a starstruck Carter to get all of the passengers to the back of the train. When Supergirl comes face to face with Ethan she finds a sympathetic character, a broken man, who says he is trying to help his daughter. She can’t save Knox, but she does detach his car and stop the rest of the train so the bomb will detonate far away from civilians.

Kara and Alex have lingering questions about the whole situation: How did Hank stop the detonation at the airport? Hanks said it was a decoy, but Alex found a failsafe, a feature not necessary for a fake bomb. Why did Knox commit suicide? How would the bombings have helped Knox's daughter?

Oh and there’s that other question on Kara’s mind: How does Cat do it all? That “annoying” question. Cat says bluntly, "you learn," and you do it gradually. You can have it all, but not “all at once and not right away.”

Kara does have another end-of-episode revelation. When Kara hears Maxwell talking about "failsafes" on television, she decides to pay him a visit. What else had a failsafe? Oh, just that bomb. Maxwell doesn't quite admit to making Knox execute his plan in exchange for helping his daughter, but that's what he did. Maxwell was "testing" Supergirl, and he discovered a weakness: She stayed with the train because there was someone she cared about on board. There would have been far more casualties at the airport. If Maxwell can find the people to whom Supergirl has emotional connections, he will discover who she is when she's not being a hero.

She can’t do it all. But she can fight Lord. "This isn't over," she says, and flies away.

He's clearly up for the challenge.

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