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Recap / Supergirl (2015) S4E17 "All About Eve"

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On Alex's advice, Supergirl hunts down Eve Tessmacher as the best lead to find Lex. Meanwhile Lex puts his evil scheme into overdrive.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Absentee Actor: Though he drives the plot, Lex himself is absent from the entire episode. Nia also does not appear, although her absence is mentioned.
  • Beam-O-War: Supergirl pits her Heat Vision agains the Kryptonite beam of a failed Metallo subject.
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  • Beneath the Mask: While her objection to Lena's experiments with Kryptonite initially came off as arrogance, Supergirl reveals in this episode that she feels the weight of the world on her shoulders and feels that she can't be vulnerable. Once she tells this to Lena, the two of them finally make amends.
  • Blackmail: Eve and Lex blackmail a senator into voting with Lockwood on repealing the Alien Amnesty Act, as they need a motive to go with Red Daughter's attack on the White House.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Supergirl points out that Lena's well-meaning experiments can be exploited for evil ends, which is exactly what's happened. Lena hits back that Supergirl tends to ignore the good Lena tries to do whenever she feels vulnerable, and Alex backs her up by pointing out the good that's come of Lena's experiments. They're all right, and once Kara calms down and apologises, they're all back to being friends in short order.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • M'yrnn — or more accurately J'onn's extension of his memories of him — to have a heart-to-heart with his conflicted son.
    • Lillian Luthor, although still in prison.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: After one too many taunts from his father, J'onn snaps and explains how he just isn't like M'yrnn, and if that means losing the Green Martian's culture, then so be it. M'yrnn then embraces his son and apologizes for having J'onn follow his example.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Team Supergirl knows Eve's cousin has been given the Harun-El serum when she takes a pan out of the oven barehanded without the slightest reaction or burn mark.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Red Daughter gets a good quip in at Eve's expense after Eve speaks very slowly and condescendingly to her:
    Red Daughter: I speak better English than you.
    Eve: Oh, whatever! It's not a contest.
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  • Decided by One Vote: The Alien Amnesty Act is repealed by one vote, thanks to a senator who is being blackmailed by Eve and Lex. Presumably at least one senator abstained, assuming there are still 100 senators in this setting.
  • Disappointed in You: M'yrnn gives J'onn a serious rebuke about not following a path of peace. Though it then turns out that it was just a way of testing him.
  • Downer Ending: The Alien Amnesty Act is repealed. Red Daughter disguises herself as Supergirl to attack the White House at the ceremony to repeal the law, making her Public Enemy Number One and President Baker declaring martial law, stirring up alien xenophobia to unprecedented levels. The only silver lining is that Colonel Haley, Lena, and Alex know she's being set up and Lena and Alex team up with Supergirl to prove her innocence.
  • Embarrassing Password: Eve's password is "IloveLex". Supergirl groans in disgust.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Eve gave her cousin an injection of Harun-El to cure her cancer.
    • Ben and George Lockwood's top priority during Red Daughter's attack is each other's safety.
    • Averted with Lex Luthor; not only does he not love his mother, he was planning to kill her to tie up a potential loose end. Lillian, who genuinely does love Lex, is shocked.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Lillian is horrified that Lex would want her dead. She's left lost for words after finding out.
    • Even a xenophobe like Lockwood wants nothing to do with a lunatic like Lex; he's distinctly shaken when James tells him about Lex's connection to Otis. Lockwood also seems a bit uneasy by a senator's sudden turn in his favor, troubled by the implication that something forced her to change her vote.
    • A mild example with Colonel Haley, who isn't really evil. Despite all her distrust of Supergirl, even she has a hard time believing that Supergirl would savagely attack the White House.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Lillian cruelly mocks Lena, believing that Lena's friends would abandon her for working with Lex. That Lena's loved ones might forgive her mistakes (which they do) is lost on Lillian.
  • Evil Is Petty: After playing Lena for a fool, planting a spy in her company, and stealing her research, Lex felt the need to write her a taunting note just to point out that it was entirely personal.
  • Failed a Spot Check: One that stretches credibility; Eve's image inducer flickers on live television, a broadcast that's likely being watched by millions of people, with dozens of press at the actual event... and the only ones who seem to notice are Kara and James.
  • Female Misogynist: Lillian doesn't seem to have a particularly high opinion of other women, seeing Eve as a simpering fool for being in love with Lex, and demeaning Lena for being emotional.
  • Forced to Watch: Eve lures Supergirl to an SUV near the White House so she can trap Supergirl in a Lexo-suit, forcing Supergirl to watch as her double trashes the White House. By the time Supergirl forces her way free, she's too late to stop it.
  • Frame-Up: Red Daughter attacks the White House wearing Supergirl's uniform and then President Baker (whose relationship with her has slowly deteriorated over the season) has no trouble declaring her Public Enemy Number One. However, Alex and Colonel Haley are fully aware that Supergirl would never do something like this and that she's being set up.
  • Glamour Failure: Kara figures out that Eve is in Washington when her image inducer fails for a few seconds on live TV, revealing that she's pretending to be a senatorial aide. Strangely, no one else catches this, even though Eve is probably on the FBI's most wanted list.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Lillian gives Lena one during her first visit.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Team Supergirl works out Lex is behind pretty much everything — Lockwood's rise to power, James getting shot, etc.
    • Kara also learns that Lena has been keeping the Harun-El.
    • Lockwood learns about Lex's connection to Otis; by the end of the episode, he seems to be slowly realising the Unwitting Pawn he's been all along.
    • While they're still in the dark on the details, the heroes now know that Lex has a Kryptonian ally.
  • Irony: Lillian Luthor's favored child Lex is perfectly willing to kill her for exactly the reasons that he is her favorite (lack of attachment, isn't swayed by sentiment), while she has to rely on her unloved adoptive daughter for protection. The irony isn't lost on Lena, who takes a moment to revel in her mother's predicament.
  • It's All My Fault: Kara beats herself up about having let Lex escape, feeling as if she failed Clark, who asked her to carry on his legacy.
  • It's Personal: Lex leaves Lena a letter behind to gloat, stating that his actions (planting Eve as a spy, stealing her research for his own ends) were very much personal.
  • Jerkass Façade: M'yrnn acts like a grade-A jerk to J'onn, but he's really being Cruel to Be Kind, forcing J'onn to resolve his own internal conflict.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Lillian verbally beats Lena down, expressing her belief that Lena's friends would abandon her if they knew she worked with Lex, gleefully anticipating Lena being left completely alone, seeing it as karma for not following in Lillian and Lex's evil ways.
    • While disabling her was a necessary part of the plan, there was really no reason to force Supergirl to watch Red Daughter's attack on the White House apart from sheer cruelty.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: It's implied Lena couldn't remember the exact events right before Otis drugged her, given that Lex freely admitted in that scene to having James shot, but being seemingly unaware of that fact for much of this episode until the gun is found in Eve's lab.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: M'yrnn saying "it was good to see you too... Martian Manhunter" is easy to see as Carl Lumbly (who originated the role on Justice League) giving David Harewood his seal of approval in the part.
  • Living Lie Detector: Kara takes a page out of Daredevil's playbook and listens to Eve's cousin's heartbeat to find out that she is lying about Eve's whereabouts.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Alex, Haley, and Lena immediately see through Red Daughter's frame job, knowing Supergirl would never do something like this. We can presume the rest of her friends feel the same, but these three characters are the only ones given focus.
  • Pet the Dog: Eve used some Harun-El to cure her cousin's terminal cancer.
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: J'onn's powers start acting up due to being conflicted about who he really is. Early in the episode, he falls right out of the sky, with Kara having to catch him.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Lillian raised Lex not to value emotional attachments. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that he has no emotional attachment to her.
    • James' trauma has a real, visible impact on him; Red Daughter's attack triggers his PTSD, and he ends the episode by going to Kelly to ask for help.
    • Nobody who actually knows Supergirl believes that she attacked the White House. Her friends know her too well to buy it for a second, Colonel Haley's spent too much time around Supergirl's heroics to believe it, and judging from his expression at the end of the episode, even Lockwood seems to have some doubts.
  • Red Herring: Eve tells Red Daughter to wait at a specific location then dig a certain distance. At Eve's lab, Lena finds a map of Lillian's prison with her cell marked. The two aren't connected. Red Daughter is actually going to burrow beneath the White House, while the map is Lex planning ahead.
  • The Reveal:
    • Eve is the one who shot James on Lex's orders and revived Otis with the Kryptonite Heart used to fuel Metallo.
    • Lillian learns the hard way that Lex hates her as much as Lena and wants her dead, because she knows too much.
  • Running Gag: Even in death, M'yrnn still loves coffee.
  • She Knows Too Much: Lillian is on Lex's hit list due to knowing about his possible whereabouts.
  • Smug Snake: Lillian spends most of her screentime smugly talking down to Lena, believing that Lena's friends would abandon her for working with Lex. Once Lena gains the upper hand by revealing Lex's plans for matricide, Lillian is lost for words.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Invoked. Kara brings doughnuts to the DEO as a peace offering to Colonel Haley. Haley's not overly pleased about accepting Supergirl's help, but she has no problem accepting the doughnuts.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Haley isn't exactly comfortable with Supergirl offering her help, but she accepts nonetheless.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The big twist of Red Daughter disguised as Supergirl attacking the White House to destroy Supergirl's image and reputation is front and center in the trailers.
  • Trauma Button: After being shot, James reacts to gunshots or noises that sound similar. He tries to brush it off at first, but after freezing up at the White House when Red Daughter attacks, he admits to his sister that he needs help dealing with it.
  • Villainous Valor: Impressively for someone who spent most of the season as a Dirty Coward, Lockwood seems ready to go out fighting when Red Daughter attacks the White House; he grabs a gun and pulls the trigger, only for the weapon to be empty. Red Daughter spares him anyway, presumably on Lex's orders.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kara is angry about Lena keeping the Harun-El. However, both Lena and Alex then retort that Kara always sees red and ignores all the good things Lena did with the Harun-El, which causes her to apologize.


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