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Recap / Supergirl (2015) S1E16 "Falling"

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Supergirl is exposed to red Kryptonite, changing her personality.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Accidental Pervert: The Power Perversion Potential of the X-Ray Vision is shown when Kara uses it and sees Winn and Siobhan in the climax of their "session".
  • Adaptation Name Change: A minor example: the alien species "Khund" is here known as "K'hund". For once, this is a correct usage of an apostrophe, as it acts as a glottal stop and makes it clear the word is two syllables instead of one.
  • Badass Boast: When asked why he didn't just run when exposed:
    J'onn: Because I'd spend a thousand years in this cell to keep you and your sister safe.
  • Batman Gambit: Maxwell Lord engineered the red Kryptonite and stuck it on the roof. However, he meant to attract Non's attention, since his satellite was over the area. Instead the fire brings Supergirl, and the synthetic Kryptonite has a completely unexpected effect.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: As Alex lampshades, Lord, by accident, has managed to turn Supergirl into the very threat he thought she was.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Kara's behaviour at CatCo and her actions toward Siobhan are very much like how Siobhan herself was when she was introduced.
  • Beware the Superman: An almost literal case, as the entire city learns they have to beware the Supergirl.
  • Big Damn Heroes: J'onn publicly reveals himself in order to save Alex and stop/save Supergirl.
  • Brain Bleach: Kara uses X-Ray vision to see Siobhan and Winn fooling around in a closet. She instantly regrets it.
  • Breaking Speech: Kara—under the influence of red Kryptonite—loves giving these, and she gives some pretty brutal ones to Cat and Alex. Made worse by the fact that even if they are her most base of thoughts, there is some truth to her words.
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  • Broken Masquerade: J'onn has finally publicly revealed himself as an alien and an impostor (well, at least "public" to the DEO and Miranda Crane).
  • Broken Pedestal: The unfortunate consequence of everything that has happened in this episode.
    • The entire National City is disappointed to see their hero and champion acting so brash and callous.
    • It is heavily implied that the entire DEO sans Alex feels this way about J'onn. Senator Crane is an unambiguous example.
  • Broken Tears: Kara after a heartbreaking My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • Brutal Honesty: The red Kryptonite makes Kara say every negative thought with painful honesty.
  • The Bus Came Back: Both Maxwell Lord and Senator Crane return after last appearing a few episodes ago.
  • Butt-Monkey: Siobhan is really on the receiving end this episode. Also counts as Humiliation Conga.
  • Cassandra Truth: The alien K'Hund claims Supergirl didn't even bother trying to capture him, only to be incarcerated by the DEO for his troubles.
  • Create Your Own Villain: See Start of Darkness below.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Kara is on both ends of this, effortlessly taking down the K'hund, and getting trounced in the climax by J'onn.
  • Darkest Hour: The end of this episode is definitely one of the lowest points for Team Supergirl: J'onn is in prison for being an alien, Kara is forced to deal with the knowledge that there's a part of her that revels in abusing her powers, and perhaps worst of all, National City has lost faith in her and she fears that she'll never get it back.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Siobhan is revealed as one. When Cat tells her that they won't reveal the story of Supergirl letting the K'hund go until they have more information, Siobhan loses no time in trying to sell the story to Perry White.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title refers to Cat being thrown from the top of her building, as well as both Kara and J'onn's fall from grace.
  • Downer Ending: The episode ends with J'onn outed and captured and Kara becoming a Broken Pedestal for the entire National City.
  • Dramatic Irony: Evil Kara's conversation with Alex is eerily similar to Astra and Alura's during an earlier flashback, not helped by the fact that Kara is dressed similar to Astra.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Maxwell Lord seems to be horrified by what's happening, and willingly comes to the DEO to work on a way to fix it.
  • Evil Costume Switch: At CatCo, Kara starts dressing in outfits similar to Cat's, and as Supergirl, she eventually switches to an outfit evocative of her late aunt.
  • Evil Wears Black: All of the clothes Kara wears after her Evil Costume Switch are black.
  • Evil Feels Good: When told that her behavior is due to the red Kryptonite, Kara states that she feels more like herself than she ever has.
  • Exact Words: "Nothing on Earth can stop me." Cue J'onn…
  • Friendly Rivalry: Cat is still on good terms with Perry White, so when she tells him about Siobhan's betrayal and attempts to sell him a story, he assures Cat that he won't employ Siobhan either if she looks for a job at the Daily Planet.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The audience finding out—through Kara—that Winn and Siobhan are having sex in the storage closet. It is the most risque thing that's happened on the series so far.
  • A God Am I: Bad Supergirl eventually revels in being worshiped and feared by the denizens of National City.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: The Red Kryptonite is an attempt to replicate the normal, green stone's effects; the result is a substance that doesn't physically weaken Kryptonians but affects their minds, making them progressively more aggressive.
  • Good Girl Gone Bad: The red Kryptonite has changed Kara's attitude for the worst. Luckily, the effects are reversible.
  • Godzilla Threshold: J'onn really doesn't want to reveal himself, but he has no choice in order to save Alex's life.
  • Hate Plague: What the red Kryptonite does to Kryptonians.
  • Hero Antagonist: Since Kara herself is the episode's Villain of the Week, everyone sans Siobhan can be considered this by default.
  • Internal Reveal: J'onn is revealed as the Martian Manhunter to the public.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: James stops Kara's confession because he needs some time to think first.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: A core theme throughout the episode. Many of Bad Supergirl's criticisms toward her friends and family have a certain degree of validity to them.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Before Siobhan sends the e-mail with the news to Perry White, Red Kriptonite Kara gets her out of the computer, prints the e-mail and shows it to Cat. She didn't do this out of loyalty or goodness, just to leave her without work.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Kara helps a girl being bullied by other kids for her homemade Supergirl costume early in the episode. Just to drive the Broken Pedestal home, the kid has a brief scene later, throwing the outfit in the trash.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Cat calls Siobhan a "backstabbing, opportunistic little... imp," in a tone that implies that she would like to substitute that last word with something decidedly less polite.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The Martian Manhunter vs. Supergirl.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Despite the effects of the Red Kryptonite wearing off, Kara retains all the Kick the Dog moments she did in its influence and breaks down.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Bad!Supergirl flicks some peanuts through a bar's bottle wall, like Superman did after he went bad in Superman III. (Although we don't have a scene where Supergirl fights herself, because we've had that a few episodes back.)
    • Not to mention the Kryptonite being synthetic.
    • Just like in Smallville, the Red Kryptonite removes any inhibitions and makes her act on erotic and selfish emotions.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Maxwell Lord has done a trap for Non, but it instead traps Supergirl and makes her go mad.
    • Miranda Crane implies that after J'onn's revelation of who he really is, she will distrust aliens again.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Not a single casualty is caused by Kara's rampage.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In order to save Alex and National City from Supergirl's acts of destruction, J'onn reveals his true self and subduing Supergirl long enough to reverse the Red Kryptonite effects. His reward? The DEO incarcerates him and Senator Miranda Crane distrusts aliens again, all because he revealed himself to save the day.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Tough to tell, because we only get a very quick shot of Kara catching Cat, but it does look like she decelerates to the ground once Cat is in her arms.
  • Not Worth Killing: Kara spares a K'hund just because she believes that the alien isn't worth her time.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Everybody that knows Kara/Supergirl is alarmed after her attitude changes due to the Red Kryptonite.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Maxwell Lord actually being remorseful for creating the red Kryptonite and then willingly working with the DEO on a way to fix it does seem out of character for him based on his past attitude toward Supergirl, particularly during "Bizarro". Possibly justified in Max realizing a rogue Supergirl will be coming after him.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Maxwell Lord tries to fix his mistake without being forced to do so.
    • Cat tries to give Supergirl some comfort at the end of the episode (in her own, special way).
  • Power Perversion Potential: Kara's X-Ray Vision allows her to see Winn and Siobhan hooking up in a storage room. Cue Squick.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Both Cat and Alex get these from Evil!Kara.
  • Recycled Script: The episode's premise is quite similar to an early episode of The Flash (2014), complete with a showdown between heroes (and the other one being green to boot), The Hero attacking her civilian identity rival (professionally in Kara's case), and the source of The Hero's antagonism being connected to the color red (although Red Kryptonite has existed in the Superman mythos for quite awhile).
    • In fact, it's lampshaded in The Flash's appearance later in the series when Kara explains what happened and Barry tells her how "the same thing happened to me" to help give her advice.
  • Ring... Ring... CRUNCH: Kara post-Red Kryptonite does a number on her alarm clock.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When Kara stops being mousy and dresses to the nines, she looks stunning, if evil.
  • Shipper on Deck: Kara looks excited when she notices the closeness between J'onn and Sen. Crane.
  • Spoiler Opening: Peter Facinelli being listed in the opening credits is a major clue that Maxwell Lord is responsible for the whole mess. What IS a surprise, though, is that it was actually an accident—he was trying to make green Kryptonite, and to target Non's crew.
  • Squick: Kara is horrified after using X-Ray Vision to see Winn and Siobhan getting real close and intimate inside a closet.
  • Start of Darkness: Siobhan getting fired by Cat is implied to set up Siobhan to become Silver Banshee, just like how Leslie became Livewire.
  • Tainted Veins: Kara's veins occasionally glow with the red Kryptonite.
  • Tempting Fate: During her final rant, Kara states that no one on Earth can stop her. Cue Martian Manhunter.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: The first words out of her mouth when Supergirl is cured: "Did I kill anyone?"
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The main conflict of the episode.
  • Trash the Set: Kara just loves destroying things in this episode.
  • Undying Loyalty: One of the main traits that Cat wants from her employees; unsurprisingly, this gets Siobhan fired (see Deceptive Disciple above).
  • Villain Protagonist: Kara herself becomes the Villain of the Week thanks to the Red Kryptonite.
  • Wham Episode: J'onn exposes himself as an alien publically, leading to him getting imprisoned at the DEO. Supergirl loses the public's trust due to her actions while affected by Red Kryptonite, and will have to work hard to earn it back.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Cat lampshades how Siobhan thinks that she's the go-getting reporter who will make a big splash by selling the story on Supergirl to Perry White, and Cat will be so impressed by her gumption that she'll hire her back. Cat makes it clear that is not the case.

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