What if you could live in your perfect reality? Where you could have the life you always dreamed; a life that perhaps was taken from you or just out of reach? Would you choose to get lost in that dream world or would you fight your way back to reality?
That’s what Kara struggled with in this week’s episode of Supergirl where a parasitic alien gave her the curse of her perfect dream world all the while slowly killing her. Kara found herself thrown into a false reality where Krypton was still intact and her family was alive. It was too good to be true until Kara eventually gave into the parasite and the dream world and found herself trapped in a false reality.
Meanwhile, Kara’s family back on Earth — in reality — fought tirelessly to save her. From her sister Alex’s vast determination to protect her baby sister from this hell to her friends Winn and James being there by her side to Hank Henshaw posing as Cat Grant’s assistant in order for Kara to maintain her job at CatCo. If this episode proved anything it’s how much Kara is loved by her family on Earth and the lengths that they’re willing to go to ensure her safety and happiness.
Here’s the rundown…
Who said the most difficult thing Kara’s had to face since becoming Supergirl were some volatile aliens? Kara’s toughest challenge came in this episode where she was trapped in a dream world where everything that wanted was coming true. We saw Kara reject it from the beginning — even when familiar faces like her mother, father, Aunt Astra and her cousin Kal-El appeared. We saw Kara acknowledge that, yes, this is what she had always dreamed about wanting — about a “what could’ve been” kind of reality — and eventually we saw her slip into that life and accept this faux reality as something that was real.
That, my friends, is the effect of the Black Mercy, a parasitic alien that latched itself onto Kara and sent her into this fake reality that would occupy her while the parasite slowly killed her. Only to Kara this was about getting to live the life that she was meant to live had her planet not been destroyed and her family not taken away from her.
One of the things that was big on convincing Kara that this fake world was “real” were the little details woven throughout this dream. Whether it was a present that Kara had made for her father or the dent on the table that was her doing as a little girl — and the memories those brought back — that helped in making Kara believe that maybe this world was real. And if she was living it why not embrace it? It was almost as if she was taking the easy way out, which is acceptable seeing as her reality is one that is filled with pain but also love, which was Alex’s argument when she entered her sister’s conscious to bring her home.
But it took more than Alex’s arrival and her pleading with Kara for her to go home. This was about Kara. Kara had to make the decision whether she was going to go home to a reality that is painful but real or if she was going to remain in this place where there was no pain but wasn’t real. Eventually Kara made the decision to remember who she is — and that this place isn’t real — and she returned back to her reality. But not without a price.
As Kara sucuumbed to the effects of a parasite known as Black Mercy, her friends and family worked tirelessly to try and find a way to pull her out of this dream world that essentially was killing her slowly. While Hank and Alex tried pulling the parasite off directly — which only served to make things worse — Winn and James attempted to cover for Kara at CatCo before Cat demanded Kara be at work else she be fired. While protecting Kara’s job at CatCo is the furthest thing from Henshaw’s mind at this point, Alex stressed that CatCo is incredibly improtant to Kara because she can live a normal life when she’s working there. And because it’s Alex asking, Henshaw agrees to help…by posing as Kara and serving as Cat’s assistant for the day. How hard could it be? Henshaw wonders. Oh, he learned just how much.
We learned in this episode that Kara having a deadly run-in with that Black Mercy parasite was no accident. And no it wasn’t released by Maxwell Lord either — shocker, I know. Turns out Non — who is proving to be one annoying SOB — planted that thing in Kara’s apartment in order to get her out of the way for his and Astra’s grand plans. It was a way to incapacitate her, and Non thought himself being honorable with the whole giving her her dreamworld before the thing killed her. But we could see — even then — that Astra was so not okay with that. Once again, Astra’s love for Kara proved to be her greatest strength.
Whie Kara slept in this dream world, Astra and Non went forward with their plan to wipe out human kind and take Earth as their own. It wasn’t until Astra learned of what Non had done that we began to once again see the hesitation within Astra to strike at Kara — or those that she cares about. Astra paid a visit to Kara’s apartment where Alex was looking at old photos and missing her sister like crazy trying anything to save her. It’s here where Astra revealed a way to get that parasite off of Kara: Kara needs to reject the fantasy world. But wouldn’t that be hard if she already believes it’s real?
So now the problem became: How do they alert Kara that this world is all dream and not reality? Alex and co. turn to Maxwell Lord for an assist — an enemy of my enemy is my friend sort of thing — and Lord reveals a technology he has developed which allows two people to share one consciousness. So the intent is to send Alex into Kara’s conscious and help pull her out of that faux reality. Before Alex goes through with it she pulls James to the side and tells him to not let Henshaw pull her out. Either she’s returning with Kara in tow or she’s not returning at all. This episode really drove how just how much Alex loves Kara and the lengths that she’s willing to go to protect her baby sister.
By the time Alex journeys into Kara’s consciousness she has already forgotten about her life on Earth, which includes Alex. We see Alex fight to get through to Kara — telling her about her friends and family that love her all the while Krypton guards restrain her and sentence her to the Phantom Zone. It’s an emotionally powerful scene as Alex fights with and through emotions to convey her live — which is real unlike this place — to Kara. But it’s not until Alex references Supergirl that she seems to break through the faux reality that Kara has believed. You see the realization on Kara’s face, see how difficult it is for her not to choose this false fantasy where those that she loves are alive on Krypton. But she’s able to break free of that dream world and return to her home on Earth, where the faces of the people she loves and cares about await her. Then it’s back to work to stop Astra and Non.
Back to Reality
Kara’s return to reality wasn’t the end of this action-packed, emotional hour of television. There was still a really big problem that awaited Kara: dealing with Astra and Non’s plan to unleash Myriad, something that they see as a cure to humanity.
As for taking on Non, who was responsible for Kara’s state — he was all Kara’s. When Kara confronted him and fought him we saw a fierce anger that we’ve only seen one other time in this series and it was equally compelling as it was scary. Kara really hated Non for what he’d done. But why?
As she’s beating the living crap out of Non, Kara reveals the reason why her emotions are running so high: Non is the reason that Kara had to say goodbye to her family and her world…again. Not once, but twice Kara had to have the perfect reality with her family and her planet, and twice it was ripped away from her in such a painful way.
Meanwhile, Alex and J’Onn J’Onzz (in his true form!) took on Astra who was trying to unleash Myriad, her and Non’s so-called cure. Alex pleaded with Astra to help them seeing as there were plenty of times where Astra could’ve killed Kara or the ones she cared about, but she didn’t. She hinted at those caring feelings beneath the surface that never dissipated no matter how much Astra tried to claim that she spared Kara because of a sense of duty. It was out of love. Astra couldn’t hide those feelings.
You could see that Alex so very much wanted to keep Astra alive for Kara, but when J’Onzz’s life was on the line, Alex made the difficult but right decision to kill Astra with a Kryptonite blade through the chest. Non distracted Kara with a fallen satellite to make his exit after which Kara arrived by her aunt’s side. Just as Alex was about to tell Kara that she was the one who killed Astra, J’Onzz immediately took the fall for it knowing that Alex is Kara’s hero and he wasn’t about to let that change. But Astra still has a little bit of time left, so Kara gets to say goodbye. She tells Astra that she was also in her dream world — but not as her enemy, as her family. And you knew right then and there that they’d come to a mutual understanding of their love for one another.
Later that evening, Alex, Winn, and James are awaiting Kara’s return home as they tidy up the mess left by that parasitic alien. Also, food! Kara addresses the elephant in the room — that her dream world consisted of her family back on Krypton and not her family here on Earth. She explained that for the past couple of weeks she’d been struggling and once again felt like she did when she first arrived on Earth — scared and missing home. So that’s why her dream world was that reality and not this reality. But she admitted that they — Alex, Winn, and James — are her family and that she really appreciates them.
Sure, Kara’s dream world might’ve been one that was free of pain and full of love, but her reality back at home also surrounded by family was full of pain, love, and everything that makes life worth living.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.