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Recap / Supergirl (2015) S3E2 "Triggers"

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Supergirl faces a bank-robbing metahuman with the power to make people experience their worst fears.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Adult Fear: Samantha receives a text from Ruby asking her mom to come save her.
  • All Lesbians Want Kids: Subverted, as when Alex talks about her and Maggie having children one day, Maggie makes it clear she does not want kids.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: To force Samantha to use her powers, Ruby walks into the middle of chaos caused by Psi.
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  • Disappeared Dad: Samantha only obliquely says that Ruby has no father when asked about him by the school principal, who doesn't push any further.
  • Face Your Fears: Alex ultimately helps Kara through her fears, allowing her to power through Psi's psychic attacks.
  • Idiot Ball: Everyone who fights Psi refrains from attacking her long enough for her to use her powers and disable them.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: This is revealed as Kara's greatest fear, that Mon-El was killed in the space pod she sent him off of Earth in and that is why he hasn't reached out and contacted her, though Alex manages to assure her that he is most likely alive.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In-Universe, Samantha and Ruby have this argument about Samantha lifting heavy metal scaffolding to save her daughter. Samantha attributes it to adrenaline, but Ruby is convinced it's superpowers. Ruby tries to test her theory by being a Deliberately Distressed Damsel, but Supergirl steps in before any confirmation. Later, at her home's work bench, Samantha tries to bend a crowbar with her bare hands as a test, but can't even budge it.
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  • Mind over Matter: In addition to her fear-inducing powers, Psi has enough telekinetic strength to launch Kara at least a city block.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Supergirl tries to attack Psi with Eye Beams in their second encounter, but Psi can sense Supergirl is near and takes cover.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Kara's nightmare has her tumbling around in a Kryptonian pod, seemingly falling into a black hole, which she attributes to when she was launched away from Krypton as it was destroyed. When she admits that she's actually worried about Mon-El, we see a shot of him in the pod as it's bombarded by asteroids, showing that she's imagining how he might have died.
  • One Degree of Separation: Samantha happens to have been hired by Lena to manage her company while Lena's running CatCo.
  • Perp Sweating: Alex wordlessly does this to Winn, causing him to fold and reveal the truth behind what's bothering Kara.
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  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: J'onn provides Supergirl psychic protection from the DEO base while doing this.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: The nature of Psi's powers.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Ruby arguably qualifies by deliberately running into the chaos caused by Psi to try and force her mother to save her. Only Supergirl's involvement saves Ruby from getting herself and Samantha killed by her idiocy.
  • Villain Ball: In their final confrontation, Psi keeps hitting Supergirl with fear attacks even though it's obvious they're no longer working. It earns her a headbutt and some fancy psychic nullifiers as she's carted off to jail.
  • Wham Line: M'Gann telepathically contacts J'onn in the final scene, telling him he needs to come to Mars.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Ruby's desire for Samantha to have powers was because she thought being a superhero would be less time consuming than Samantha's new job. Samantha assures her daughter that she will always make time for her, which seems to satisfy Ruby.
  • The Worf Effect: J'onn is unable to shield against Psi's psychic attacks, demonstrating just how strong she is.


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