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Recap / Supergirl (2015) S2E10 "We Can Be Heroes"

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Supergirl goes on a hunt for Livewire after she escapes from prison, while dealing with finding out about James being Guardian and Mon-El's first attempts at being a hero. J'onn finds M'Gann dying.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Aesop Amnesia: Kara misremembers how her previous battles with Leslie. While she did win the first time around, it took several tries, and the second time, she was saved by firemen.
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  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: J'onn's speech to Winn at the end of the episode. Winn was insubordinate, he hid information, he should never do anything like that again or J'onn will fire him... and he and Jimmy make a pretty good team.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The opening makes it look like Livewire is being rescued via prison break. No, she was being abducted by said group.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Supergirl, Mon-El and Guardian do the three-way version while fighting the electrified bad guys.
  • Berserk Button: J'onn continues to have this pressed when it comes to M'gann, this time when Alex tries to guilt him into helping M'gann, since she helped him.
    Alex: I — I know how you feel about White Martians —
    J'onn: Don't ask me to do this, Alex.
    Alex: You have shown them mercy before.
    J'onn: Not this! I will not give her my people's memories. I will not give her my daughters' smiles. Her kind has taken enough from me. From us! If she dies, she dies, she deserves it a thousand times over. Let her drown in her own sins.
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  • Cardboard Prison: Invoked by Kara after Livewire's escape (later revealed as a kidnapping); she complains about how they should have imprisoned Livewire in the DEO facilities instead of a human prison.
  • Civvie Spandex: Mon-El's initial superhero outfit is nothing more than a leather jacket and sunglasses.
  • Defector from Decadence: M'gann's backstory is filled out. Ordered to kill a young Green Martian boy, she refused, sent him off to escape, and then killed all the other camp guards, giving the rest of the prisoners a chance to escape as well, before fleeing herself.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Averted. Winn believes J'onn will have him killed if Winn keeps secrets from him again. J'onn is obviously amused and points out that no, he'll have him fired.
  • Enemy Mine: Supergirl, Livewire, Guardian, and Mon-El end up fighting together to stop the scientist and his Livewire copies.
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  • Evil Knockoff: The scientist drains Livewire's powers to create copies of her, as well as empowering himself.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Livewire vs the Mad Scientist and his cronies who kidnapped her.
  • Fantastic Racism: J'onn initially refuses to help M'gann and is willing to let her die for what her people did to his, since he doesn't want to give up hating them.
  • Foil: A theme in this episode that applies to Mon-El and Jimmy. Jimmy protests to Kara that Mon-El isn't a hero because he cares only for himself and Kara. Meanwhile, he has to face pushback from Kara about his Guardian activities due to the fact that he doesn't have powers.
  • Forgiveness: The theme in this episode applies to J'onn and M'gann. In J'onn's case, it's to acknowledge that not every White Martian is despicable.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Twice, Maggie places a bet with Alex that if Alex loses, she has to try "vegan ice cream." Alex's response is, "That's disgusting." Though there is actual vegan ice cream, it is also, according to Urban Dictionary, "lesbian slang for eating ass."
  • A God Am I: Livewire's interaction with the prison therapist indicates that her electrical powers also granted her a God complex.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Alex points out to J'onn that M'gann agreed to save his life even though she knew that doing so would probably reveal herself as a White Martian and destroy the life she had created for herself.
  • Hypocrite: Kara bases her argument of why James and Winn should give up being Team Guardian on the fact that they have no powers. In the previous episode, Kara was transported to a world with a Red Sun, meaning she was just as squishy and prone to death as them, and was still adamant about storming 'Murder Castle' with the equally de-powered Mon-El, on the basis that they should be willing to take the risks even without powers—the same argument James makes to her, to no avail.
  • Internal Reveal: Supergirl unmasks James as the Guardian after he gets knocked out during the fight with the Livewire soldiers.
  • Kindness Button: M'gann reveals the reason she disguised herself as a Green Martian wasn't an attempt to fool J'onn to hide her true identity, but to allow him some peace in believing that he wasn't the last of his people.
  • Le Parkour: Kara and especially Mon-El do this during their training session.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Livewire is presented in a sympathetic light in her Evil vs. Evil plot.
  • Living Battery: The scientist uses Livewire's energy to empower both his super soldiers and himself.
  • Madness Mantra: M'gann cites the creed of her people when she goes into a trance in her cell.
  • Mercy Lead: Supergirl offers to let Livewire run for however long it takes her to put the scientist in jail, provided Livewire spares his life.
  • Mind Rape: M'gann freeing the Green Martians are known to the White Martians, so they proceed to assault her psyche while she's in prison.
  • Multi-Character Title: Referring to James, Winn, and Mon-El.
  • Oh, Crap!: M'Gann reveals that she had been psychically attacked by other White Martians, who have discovered where she is and will be coming to kill her.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Livewire accuses Guardian and Mon-El of feeling like this when compared to Supergirl, saying that they're two guys who can't stand the fact that the top hero's a woman.
  • Pet the Dog: Livewire actually decides to spare Supergirl and her tormentor after the former appeals to her humanity.
  • Prison Episode: Livewire's introduction scene, at least.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Invoked by the scientist that captured Livewire, mentioning that, before empowering his underlings, he first (successfully) experimented on himself.
  • Sequel Hook: M'gann tells J'onn that White Martians are heading to Earth.
  • Side Bet: Alex and Maggie make their personal wagers to see whether Supergirl is willing to let Livewire go or not.
  • Stealth Pun: Mon-El does a "Superman Punch"note  on the final drone to conclude his and Kara's training session.
  • Super Soldier: The scientist plans on copying Livewire's powers to make super soldiers he can sell to whoever is willing to pay.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Even though she is a bad guy, Mon-El, James and Kara all feel for Livewire's ordeal and don't think she deserves to die.
  • Take a Third Option: Kara can't let Livewire kill her captor or get away from justice... but she can give her a head start.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Kara is inexplicably against James and Winn's work as Guardian because they lack powers. The fact that she regularly works with her Badass Normal sister and recently teamed up with fournote  Badass Normals on Earth-1 never dawns on her. While a valid point could be made that Guardian lacks the sufficient skill and training to go toe-to-toe with powered supervillains, this is never brought up even though he's demonstrated he's quite capable of handling non-powered individuals.
  • Training Montage: Kara and Mon-El in the opening scene.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • Kara doesn't even thank James for the policemen he saved while Mon-El decided to ignore her orders.
    • Subverted with Livewire, who initially attacks, but then spares Supergirl after she gets her out of her restraints.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: After Kara outright orders him to stop being Guardian, James angrily retorts that she has no right to do that and that it's his choice to do this, just like Kara. She doesn't care to hear it, however.
  • Whip It Good: Livewire (and her copies) use an electrical variation of this.

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