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Recap / Supergirl (2015) S3E1 "Girl of Steel"

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Six months after the Daxamite invasion, Kara is still grieving the loss of Mon-El. Meanwhile, a new developer seeks to make his own mark on the town, and won't let anyone or anything stand in his way.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Adult Fear: During the attack, a woman named Samantha sees her daughter get pinned by falling rubble, with no one around to help her.
  • Altar the Speed: Inverted; six months after their engagement, Alex and Maggie not only aren't married yet, they haven't even finished picking what food to serve at the reception.
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  • Big Bad Wannabe: Morgan Edge is not really as threatening as he thinks he is, when Supergirl gets her hands on him and leaves him stranded on a shipping barge, making it known his days are numbered for hiring a terrorist.
  • Car Cushion: Bloodsport tries to fight Supergirl atop the semi, but she just shoves him off so he lands on a car. He gets right back up and escapes, which is noted as impressive given it wasn't a soft landing.
  • Casting Gag: Adrian Pasdar is once again playing a Corrupt Corporate Executive.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Samantha bolts awake after dreaming of Alura's face turning nightmarish.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Morgan Edge not only tries to buy Catco and turn it into a Propaganda Machine, he hires a terrorist just to facilitate his purchase of property he wants to redevelop.
  • Dream Sequence: Kara dreams of walking through a field with Mon-El, then being reunited with her mother. It's redone with a twist at the end, with Alura's face turning nightmarish. Then Samantha wakes up, revealing that this time it's her dream.
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  • Enormous Engagement Ring: Not that enormous, but Alex and Maggie are now both wearing engagement rings, which is made more noticeable given that the only jewelry either has ever worn previously are earrings.
  • Evil Is Petty: Edge is very petty towards Lena, as well as James, for making their distaste for him and his ideas for National City known. He tries to buy CatCo out from under James in retaliation, and threatens to make trouble for Lena when she beats him to the punch. Having faced down almost literally apocalyptic threats, neither of them are that impressed by his posturing.
  • Fantastic Racism: Kara at one point states that "being broken" is a human thing, and since she's an alien she is above it. While this doubles as a Shout-Out to recent comic depictions of Kryptonian society having been rather emotionless and cold toward the end, it's mostly just to avoid dealing with the pain of losing Mon-El, and she gets over it.
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  • Jerkass Has a Point: Kara is speaking out of anger during her argument with James in the CatCo office, but she's right about one major point: James shouldn't have used the signal watch to pull her away from a legitimate emergency just to remind her that she had a deadline (even if his real purpose was to express his concerns about her recent behavior).
  • Karma Houdini: Zig-zagged. Edge gets away with hiring a terrorist and endangering at least hundreds of lives, but Lena thwarts his plans to buy CatCo, and Supergirl makes it clear that she's devoting all her energies to making sure he pays for nearly getting those people killed.
  • Made of Iron: Bloodsport is shoved off a moving semi onto a car and is up in seconds, which is lampshaded by Alex.
  • Married to the Job: Kara in regards to Supergirl, not so much in regards to her actual job as she wants to leave her civilian life behind.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Kara appears on the verge of drowning, both Alex and Winn desperately call out to her, only for Kara to have a vision of Mon-El demanding she "WAKE UP!" By the end of the episode she comes across a snap-shot of the two of them, taking his words to heart, she finally finds the strength to move on despite missing him, whispering "Wake up," as she texts Lena she'll be at work the next morning.
  • No-Sell: After dodging Bloodsport's electric baton a few times, Supergirl stops toying around and just grabs it, unaffected by the electricity.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: When Kara doesn't smile or talk to the kid she just saved, it's a clear sign that she isn't her normal friendly self. Maggie lampshades it by noting that she's "not even signing autographs anymore."
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Edge is openly sexist and makes little effort to hide it.
  • Propaganda Machine: Edge makes it abundantly clear that he wants to buy CatCo to run a smear campaign against Lena, who he despises.
  • Put on a Bus: A partial example with Cat. Between seasons she's become the White House Press Secretary, further justifying why she isn't running CatCo. This also allows Calista Flockhart to make all the appearances on TV screens the producers want without having to fly to Vancouver.
  • Shout-Out: Kara's hovering over National City and listening to everything is an homage to Superman Returns.
  • Start X to Stop X: Edge is planning to buy CatCo and won't be talked out of it, so Lena buys it first to prevent him from getting control.
  • Take That!:
    • A few are made at Donald Trump, with it being implied that he's the unnamed Speaker of the House whom Cat states says a lot of crazy things that nobody should believe. In particular, she dismisses the Speaker's claim that the President put listening devices in his microwave, which was a real-life conspiracy theory floated by Kellyanne Conway.
    • Lena tells Morgan Edge that he "has all the charisma of a Michael Douglas movie from the nineties." While he smugly takes it as a compliment, her tone suggests this was meant to be insulting.
    • Cat's interview from the beginning of the episode takes a dig at climate-change deniers, stating that even eight-year-olds know that global warming is real.
  • That Woman Is Dead: Kara wants to completely leave her civilian life as Kara Danvers behind and just be Supergirl. Thankfully, she changes her mind by the end of the episode.
  • Title Drop: "Girl of Steel" refers to both Kara and the Supergirl statue.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Kara gets hit by this rather strongly, down to avoiding her friends, being cold to Alex and quitting her job out of anger for James prodding her to do her piece, but gets better by the end and starts to open up again.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Samantha's Super Strength activates when she sees her daughter in mortal danger.
  • Visual Pun: National City's newly unveiled statue of Supergirl is named the Girl of Steel and appears to be made of actual steel.
  • Villain Has a Point:
    • Edge is not entirely wrong about the fact that a lot of the good Lena has done is at least partially motivated by her guilt for the actions of her brother and mother, and even her own actions for helping bring on the Daxamite invasion.
    • He also not wrong about CatCo becoming increasingly biased since James took over, as it has been shown that James doesn't want articles saying bad things about superheros or aliens, and James openly admits he doesn't like Edge.
  • Villainous Valor: DuBois is not afraid to directly take on Supergirl despite being badly outmatched.
  • Wedding Day: Alex initially doesn't want a big wedding, because she always wanted Jeremiah to give her away and that's obviously not possible now. After talking with Maggie she changes her mind, and tells J'onn they're planning "the biggest, gayest wedding that National City has ever seen." And she's decided that she wants him to walk her down the aisle.
  • Wham Line: When Lena is talking to Kara near the end of the episode, the topic of Morgan Edge attempting to buy CatCo comes up. When she informs Kara that she couldn't talk him out of doing so, she follows it up with, "I bought it," revealing that she bought the company to stop Edge's schemes for it.
  • Wham Shot: Bloodsport's torpedo attack on the waterfront has unearthed a Kryptonian pod, implicitly belonging to the third Kryptonian baby from the season 2 finale.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Alex chews out Kara for pushing everyone around her away after Mon-El's departure.
    • J'onn in turn shames everyone, especially Alex, for trying to force Kara to get over her loss in the way they want, reminding them that everyone has to grieve in their own way and on their own terms.


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