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Tear Jerker / Supergirl (2015)

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Season 1

    Pilot 
  • Kara is shown a hologram of her mother relaying a message of how proud she is of her daughter. When Kara attempts to embrace the hologram, it disintegrates as soon as she touches it. Poor Kara sobs as she realizes that she can never feel the physical, loving embrace from her mother ever again (until late Season 3, that is).
  • This episode also highlights the key difference between Supergirl and Superman: Clark/Kal-El was a baby when he left Krypton, so Earth is the only home he has ever known, the Kents are sentimentally his real parents, and so on. Kara, on the other hand, was a preteen, so she has full memories of her parents dying and her home being blown to bits. No matter how much she's loved on Earth, she'll always be an outsider in her heart.

    Stronger Together 
  • When Kara finds out that Alura created a Digital Avatar to talk with her, the first thing she asks is if she can get a hug. The avatar replies, "I'm sorry, I'm not programmed for that." And Kara looks like she's about to break down, before steeling herself and then asking for information about her aunt Astra.
  • Kara angrily confronts J'onn after Alex is kidnapped, saying that while Alex is just an agent to him, she's Kara's family.
    • "Do you have family?" "I did." Doubly biting when we learn, a few episodes later, of J'onn's backstory.

    Fight or Flight 
  • Reactron was driven into Revenge Myopia by Superman being unable to save him and his wife from radiation poisoning. When Maxwell Lord says he can help him have a normal life, he bitterly responds "I had a normal life. It didn't work out."
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    How Does She Do It? 
  • Another Tragic Villain: A Mad Bomber named Ethan. Ever since he got fired by Lord, his wife divorced him and gained custody of their daughter. But what makes it even worse is that his daughter's sickness is overwhelming him due to lacking the financial means to pay for a decent doctor. Supergirl attempts to persuade Ethan from bombing the train, only for him to lament that he can't face his daughter anymore.
  • Lord might be a dick, but his story about his parents is pretty messed up: They were doctors who developed vaccines for the government, but when they raised concerns about the safety of their lab, their superiors told them everything was fine. They trusted the findings and were killed by a virus as a result, leaving young Maxwell an orphan.

    Red-Faced 
  • The reason why General Lane holds great disdain towards James isn't because of being affiliated with Superman, but because he doesn't find James worthy enough for his daughter Lucy. Sam believes that James is holding back Lucy's greatness in practicing law, which really strikes a nerve to James.
  • Basically, Kara's whole arc through the episode. She gets madder and madder because she hates being an outsider on Earth, and because she lost her normal life on Krypton. Her flashback-full scene of fighting Red Tornado is nearly as sad as it is awesome, but the worst comes in Kara's "boxing" scene as she realizes what she's really mad about: The death of her planet and parents, which she can do nothing about, to the point she can barely speak; she's so angry. A very identifiable, sympathetic, human moment. For her, "normal" is being Kara Zor-El of Krypton, and Krypton is gone. No matter who she chooses to be on Earth, Kara Danvers or Supergirl, neither is who she was supposed to be before her planet exploded.
    • And even as she's being honest about the root of her problems, "the anger behind the anger" as Cat put it, she can't be completely honest. . . she's talking with James, and can't tell him that seeing him with Lucy is pissing her off because she likes him. Rather, she goes for a metaphorical truth, that she'll never find someone who gets her the way James and Lucy get each other.

    Human For A Day 
  • James reveals the reason why he used a camera ever since he was a child: His Disappeared Dad gave him a camera to take the first photo, but then died in the Gulf War. Because of his father, James constantly held onto his camera for sentimental reasons.
  • Winn stumbles upon an intimate moment between James and Kara, feeling disappointed that he will always be the guy who Did Not Get the Girl.
    • It's even more upsetting that Kara tries to explain herself, only for Winn to say that he's not disappointed in Supergirl, but rather in Kara.
  • Kara desperately trying to will her X-ray vision to start so she can save a dying man, as his daughter weeps just feet away.
  • J'onn's backstory in this show is even more tragic than usual. After escaping the destruction of his entire race, he was hunted by the DEO simply for being an alien, until Jeremiah Danvers pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to save him and take out Hank Henshaw. J'onn then had to assume Henshaw's identity to fulfill his promise to keep Jeremiah's daughters safe, working among the people who'd put him through it all while keeping up a Jerkass Façade so they wouldn't suspect anything.

    Hostile Takeover 
  • Kara's breakdown/What the Hell, Hero? to Alura's Digital Avatar, beginning with her demanding to know whether Alura really did use her to catch Astra, then demanding more information, such as whether Astra really could have saved Krypton, only to be told that the avatar isn't authorized to give her that information, which frustrates her to the point of blasting it with her heat vision. To reiterate: She's driven to use her heat vision against the spitting image of her own mother.
    Alura: She was a criminal.
    Kara: But was she right?
    Alura: I am not programmed to give you that information.
    Kara: [anguished] Tell me!
    Alura: I'm sorry, I am not programmed to give you that information.
    Kara: [in tears] You let everyone that I love die! You left me, you left me alone! You sent me away! How could you do that?
    Alura: I am not programmed— [Kara blasts the hologram with her heat vision]
  • Cat's vulnerable moment where she reveals that she had another son when she was younger and was forced to chose between fighting a custody battle to keep him or letting him go so she could continue to pursue her career. In the end, she chose to give up the custody battle, but reveals that it was a painful decision and that, aside from sending her son a regular sum of money and a yearly Christmas card, she is not in contact with him because she feels it would not be fair to force her way into his life after abandoning him. And then she reveals that she would rather give up said career than let her son get hurt by being in the center of the media storm surrounding her. Calista Flockhart's performance really drives it home.

    Blood Bonds 
  • Kara's breakdown, due to a combination of being unable to rescue J'onn, losing her job, and her mother becoming a Broken Pedestal, all hitting a boiling point.
  • Despite Alura reminding Astra how much she loves her twin sister and still has faith in her, she is bound by her duty to sentence Astra to prison for her crimes.
    • Even worse, Astra can't bear to look at Alura because of how betrayed she feels, not even after Alura said she believed her and will use the law to get word out about Krypton's impeding doom. She never made any effort at closure despite the odds that they would never meet again. Hearing her speak to Kara, you see she deeply regrets never saying goodbye to her sister.
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    Childish Things 
  • Poor Winn is The Woobie of this episode, as not only he has to face the sins of his father, he's also forced into a Sadistic Choice where either he himself kills the toy creator that stole his father's toy design or the people at the convention get bombed. And if that's not enough, Winn kisses Kara, but she does not reciprocate his romantic affection and it only complicates their relationship. Winn goes through some tough times in this episode, especially how his father's crimes utterly warped Winn's life and he nearly went to jail just because he is related to the Toyman.
  • When Kara asks why doesn't J'onn stay in Martian form, he answers that the world needs Hank Henshaw more than the Martian Manhunter. He also adds that Supergirl can easily show herself in public due to looking like a "blonde cheerleader" as he puts it, whereas he has been hunted for 50 years just because he looks like a monstrous alien.

    Strange Visitor From Another Planet 
  • It's hard not to feel for J'onn in this episode when he is forced to confront his past in the form of a White Martian hunting him. For someone usually so controlled, it's hard to watch him so angry and afraid. His Survivor Guilt is even more prominent when he wishes that it was him that died instead of his wife and daughters.
  • When Cat attempts to reconnect with her son Adam through dinner, she keeps talking about herself instead of being considerate about Adam's feelings. This leads to Adam believing that nothing has changed, and his mother is the same narcissistic, heartless woman who abandoned him. The tear-jerking moment is when he addresses Cat by her name instead of "Mother."

    Bizarro 
  • The very concept of Earth-38's Bizarro. Imagine a woman who's been in a coma for two years, with no family to visit her, forgotten by the world...until she's found by Lord, who then subjects her to horrible, life-threatening experiments, twisting her into a monster designed to defeat Supergirl. There's still a part of her in there, but she's under her master's control. Now imagine Lord doing this to six other women, just like this unfortunate soul, except they didn't survive the process.
  • Kara and Adam's break-up. Doubles as Harsher in Hindsight as Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner, who were married at the time, later got divorced.

    For the Girl Who Has Everything 
  • As with Superman in the original, seeing Kara's sheer despair as the fantasy world of the Black Mercy falls apart and she's forced to experience the destruction of her entire world and the death of her family, yet again.
    • And unlike Superman, Kara actually has her own concrete memories of Krypton, making this even more painful for her.
    • Even before she has to lose it all again, the look on her face when she sees young Kal-El is devastating. It's clear how much she wishes he had the chance to know Krypton, how much she wishes she had gotten to see him grow up. For the first time, we get to see how much Kara loves her cousin.
  • Alex's despair and fear at losing her sister to the Black Mercy. The speech she gives trying to wake Kara up from the dream world is heartbreaking.
  • It's not helped by Astra's death later. In the span of a single night, Kara loses both her parents (for the second time) and her aunt. Every single direct link Kara has to Krypton is gone now; there's no one left alive besides Non's rogue Kryptonians who remember it now.

    Truth, Justice, and The American Way 
  • Kara consistently being in a bad mood throughout the episode. She's furious at J'onn, she's visibly jealous of the new assistant that Cat hired, and she's extra-vicious during her first fight with Master Jailer. James says that he doesn't even recognize her like this. It's understandable, given what happened last episode, but it's still painful to watch.
  • Cat tells James a story about one of her early assignments. She was assigned to profile an actor, so she interviewed everyone who knew him. They all said how great he was...except for his wife's makeup artist, who told Cat all about the bruises she had to cover up every morning. Cat considered telling the truth, but she ultimately caved under the pressure of the studio and wrote a puff piece about the actor. Three months later, he shot and killed his wife. Cat still thinks every day that if she had written the truth, the wife might have lived.
  • Luzano's story about why he became a criminal, in order to pay for one of his wife's medicine, and was caught drug smuggling on his first job. And that he is the only escapee to not hold ill will towards Alura.

    Solitude 
  • Siobhan reveals her backstory about how, when she was 17, she caught her father cheating on her mother with his personal assistant. Even though her father tearfully apologized and promised not to cheat on Siobhan's mother again, Siobhan found out that her father was still a platinum member of an adult affair website anyways.
  • Kara telling James that Clark had tried to take her to his Fortress of Solitude, but she had always found an excuse to not go. It really drives home a key difference between her and Clark. For Clark, connections to Krypton are incredible and interesting, because they allow him to learn about his heritage and home planet as someone who grew up away from it. For Kara, they're a very real, painful memory of the place where she grew up and can never return to.
  • Lucy breaking up with James because of all the secrets she doesn't know about him. This time, it's not about Supergirl, but rather because of Kara being so close to James that Lucy concludes that Kara and James are in love with each other.
  • Alex is absolutely distraught as she reveals to Kara that she killed Astra to protect J'onn and that she went along with the lie because she was utterly terrified that she'd lose her sister if Kara found out. In response, Kara embraces her sister tightly. When J'onn prepares to leave them alone, Kara offers a hand as an apology to him for her past behavior and lets him be part of their family moment.

    Falling 
  • One Danvers sister crying is devastating enough. This episode had both. Kara sobbing while telling Alex about how the Red Kryptonite made every negative thought she'd ever had resurface, and Alex reassuring her that they're sisters and Alex will always love her is a mixture of heartwarming and heart-wrenching.
  • Kara, under the influence of the Red Kryptonite, telling Alex that they aren't sisters, that Alex wouldn't have a life without her, and accusing her of killing Astra because she secretly hated Kara. This reduces Alex to tears, and Kara then mocks her for crying. Possibly the hardest scene to watch in the entire season.
  • Kara and James's conversation at the end of the episode about Kara's jealousy of Lucy. Her being on the verge of tears and James cutting her off before she can admit out loud that she loves him is painful to watch, especially as both of their perspectives are so understandable.
  • After holding out as long as she can, Cat is forced to publicly denounce Supergirl, leading to the little girl Supergirl helped at the start of the episode throwing away her own Supergirl costume, and the firemen she saved taking down the banner praising her.
  • J'onn is publicly exposed as an alien (at least to the DEO) and is held as a prisoner in his own organization. It becomes even sadder when you realize that on both his homeworld and on Earth, he is being persecuted for being a Green Martian.

    Manhunter 
  • Anything about J'onn's past is always a tearjerker, and the flashbacks in this episode are no different. A special mention has to go out to his conversation with Jeremiah when he looked at the photograph of Kara and Alex and admitted that he too had two daughters.
  • Kara telling Lucy what it's like to be an alien on a new planet after losing an entire world and the flashbacks to her 13-year-old self. Everything from her feeling overwhelmed by everything she could see and hear to being told that she should hide her powers because they're dangerous and the world already has a Superman to the look on her face as she apologizes for saving a stranger and her baby are painful to see.

    World's Finest 
  • When Livewire is about to torture Cat by stopping her heart, Cat begs Livewire to spare her. It wasn't because Cat feared for her life, but rather, her two sons Adam and Carter won't have a mother to look after them. It's actually enough to give Livewire pause.

    Myriad 
  • Kara's emotionally shell-shocked reaction to the implementation of Myriad and everything that comes with it: Seeing her friends reduced to drones, forced to make a Sadistic Choice to save Winn and James that sees another co-worker killed, her despair at finding a way to stop Non, and finally being forced to fight a mind-controlled Alex.

    Better Angels 
  • The first photo released shows Kara kissing J'onn on the forehead. This would be heartwarming, except J'onn looks empty and broken. He's not even focusing on Kara, just staring emptily forward and a bit down. We don't know context yet, but it can't be good.
    • While not quite as bad as it could have been, the actual context is still pretty heartbreaking: Kara thinks she's going to have to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to save Earth and is going around to everyone (not just J'onn) saying her Pre Sacrifice Final Goodbyes.
  • The entire episode is one long Tear Jerker for Kara, with special mentions having to go to her talking about how protecting Earth was her responsibility and to her conversation with Alex, where she told her how much she loved her and everything she had to do without Kara.

Season 2

    The Adventures of Supergirl 
  • The strained relationship between Superman and J'onn comes from the fact that the DEO has stored massive amounts of Kryptonite that can easily kill Superman and Supergirl. The thing is, Both Sides Have a Point, but so long as the Beware the Superman mindset exists, their friendship is at risk.
    • Clark's concern is understandable considering that the next director of the DEO might not be as open-minded and tolerant about aliens as J'onn. He also might think that J'onn, Kara, and the DEO's access to advanced technology makes it unnecessary.
    • On the other hand, it's literally the DEO's job to prepare against any possible alien threats; they can't be expected to get rid of one of their only defenses against Superman because Superman said so. And J'onn can't be everywhere.
  • Superman asks Kara to tell him about his parents. Assuming that he has the Kryptonian archives that can show him his parents so he can see them and hear their voices, it's not the same as Kara's stories, even if she was just a little girl when she last saw them.

    The Last Children of Krypton 
  • J'onn reveals the real reason behind his mistrust of Superman: J'onn was powerless when a host of god-like aliens tore his world apart, and he refuses to be caught unawares ever again.
  • Kara says she's thinking about leaving for Metropolis, causing Alex to feel like she's being ignored for someone who, as she points out, left Kara with another family.
  • Kara's concern for Cat when the latter announces she's leaving CatCo and their subsequent hug.

    Welcome to Earth 
  • Kara overcomes her prejudice towards Mon-El and apologizes...and then realizes she has to tell him the destruction of Krypton also wiped out his whole race.

    Survivors 
  • Miss Martian's self-loathing due to surviving the White Martian's genocide of Green Martians. It becomes a bigger tearjerker when we find out she's not a Green Martian but a White Martian who escaped because she couldn't stand the cruelty. J'onn truly is the last survivor of the Green Martian race.
    J'onn: There is no shame in surviving.
  • Most of National City's alien population are desperate enough that they turn to people like Roulette just to survive.
  • A minor one, but one can't help but feel for Alex at the dejected look on her face when she sees that Maggie has a girlfriend.

    Crossfire 
  • During a bank robbery, James tries to stop the crooks armed with high-tech guns, only to get beaten up and have his father's camera destroyed for his troubles.
  • Cadmus's leader is revealed to be Lillian Luthor. While it's hard to feel sorry for her as she's a Politically Incorrect Villain, it's clear her relationship with Lena is strained, and finding themselves on opposite sides of the inevitable conflict is sure to strain it more.
    • Think about it from Lena's perspective. Her brother, Lex, is an incarcerated criminal who tried to kill her while she is trying to fix the mess he left behind, and her mother is a xenophobic terrorist. Girl's got it hard.

    Changing 
  • Alex getting rejected by Maggie after Alex kisses her. She's so upset about this that she starts wondering if coming out was just a big mistake.

    Medusa 
  • Barry introduces Cisco as his friend, but Cisco clarifies that friend is a "loose term." The wounds of "Killer Frost" heal slowly.
  • This exchange between Lena and Lillian:
    Lena: I know you're lying.
    Lillian: And how would you know that ?
    Lena: Because you tell me you love me. And we both know that's not true.
  • Seeing what he thinks is the alien-killing cloud fall from the sky, J'onn whispers "I'm coming, M'yri'ah."

    Supergirl Lives 
  • Winn is physically traumatized by his attack.

    We Can Be Heroes 
  • Kara burns some bridges with Mon-El, James, and Winn, and much like "Falling," they aren't going to be repaired that easily.
  • When Fridge Logic kicks in on M'gann's story, you remember that J'onn is the only surviving Green Martian. Which means the little boy and all the other Green Martians that M'gann saved died. There was no happy ending for them, only a temporary respite until they too were slaughtered.

    The Martian Chronicles 
  • Poor Kara just looks so crushed when Alex tells her that she can't celebrate her Earth birthday with her because Maggie surprised her with concert tickets for that same day.
    • In general, Kara has just become more increasingly isolated. She's burned her bridges with James and Winn due to their Guardian business; Cat is gone, and now Alex is less available for her because she has Maggie.
  • Kara having to fight a White Martian impersonating her sister can be really painful to watch. And this is after she had a deep heart-to-heart conversation with who she thought was Alex, too!
  • After realizing, and being pushed by Alex to act upon her feelings for Mon-El, Kara is crushed to discover he's moved on with Eve.
    • Just the look on her face as she walks into CatCo after watching Eve and Mon-El leave for their lunch date. She's trying everything in her power to keep from crying.
  • The mere idea of someone sweet and open-minded as M'gann being in an Arranged Marriage to Armek, especially with certain implications.

    Luthors 
  • No one but Kara (and presumably Mon-El, since he doesn't think she's wrong to do it) is willing to believe in Lena's innocence, due to her being a Luthor.
  • Despite her words to the contrary, it's made very, and rather cruelly, clear that Lillian only views her stepdaughter as a means to an end.
  • The look on Alex's face when she and Winn realize that Kara is within the blast radius when Metallo is getting close to meltdown, and they can't do anything about it except yell uselessly at her to get out of there. Alex is so distressed that, rather than calling her "Supergirl" like she usually does when Kara is on Supergirl business, she calls her by her real name.
    Alex: [on the verge of tears] Kara, please!
  • Poor Eve; while she does eventually make peace with it, and dare say even resemble something of a shred of happiness for two people she considers friends, she did show a genuine interest in Mon-El/Mike before it became very clear to her that he only had feelings for Kara, and vice-versa.
  • Though he makes no appearance in the present, the episode paints a very sad background picture for Lex Luthor. In the flashback, we see he was a nice-enough kid, accepting Lena as his sister with open arms. From the way James words his story, Clark was publicly best buddies with him as Supes at some point, apparently having a very strong and genuine bond with him. Then, somehow, it deteriorated, ending with Lex going off the rails and damning his family name. Whether it really was Superman's fault or Lex's, it's awfully sad to picture the iconic Arch-Enemy of the Boy Scout as a decent, even nice, human being before becoming the Mad Scientist psychopath he's known as today.

    Mr. And Mrs. Mxyzptlk 
  • The reason why Maggie utterly hates Valentine's Day is because of her traumatic past. When she was 14, she sent a love letter to her first crush on Valentine's Day, but instead got outed as gay by said crush and was kicked out of her home by her own homophobic parents.
  • Mon-El tries to dissuade Kara from marrying Mxyzptlk, but Kara tells him that Mxyzptlk can offer her more of what she wants. Even though Kara lies, it's tough to watch Mon-El being distraught at the thought of losing Kara.
    • Particularly what he says when she tells him that she and Mxyzptlk can become a great team and fight for justice:
      Mon-El: I thought we were gonna do that.
  • Honestly, it's hard to not feel sorry for Mxyzptlk at the end. Even though he was looking for love in the wrong ways, it's all he wanted.
    Mxyzptlk: I just wanted someone to love me.

    Homecoming 
  • Alex and Kara's argument after Kara tries to argue that Jeremiah could still be working for Cadmus. It's really hard to watch, especially considering how strong their bond usually is.
    Alex: You really don't trust him, do you?
    Kara: No. I don't trust Cadmus. And I will do what I have to... to protect us.
    Alex: Well, I guess you have chosen your side.
    Kara: This is not about sides.
    Alex: No, it is. You're either part of this family or you're not.
    Kara: You don't mean that.
    Alex: He's my father.
    Kara: He's my father, too!
    Alex: Then, act like it! [storms off]
  • One that seems largely ignored: When asked what he would do if his own father showed up, Mon-El answers, without the slightest bit of hesitation, that he would run. Kara dismisses this in favor of the issue on hand, but it's still sobering to know that he had to grow up with that kind of man.
  • How absolutely shattered the Danvers are, after learning Jeremiah is still working Cadmus, the way they look they'd rather prefer it if he had been Dead All Along.
  • Alex confronting Jeremiah in the woods. She just looks so utterly betrayed.
    Alex: How could you?!
    Jeremiah: Would you believe me if you said I did it for you?
    Alex: You betrayed everyone at the DEO. Your friends, our family. Everyone that I love. You did that for me.
    Jeremiah: Family's complicated, honey.
    Alex: I'm bringing you in.
    Jeremiah: Not alive, you're not. If you wanna bring me in, you're going to have to shoot me. If you do it, I'll understand... You were always the best part of me.
    Alex: [lowers her gun and lets Jeremiah walk away, and then starts sobbing]
  • Near the end of the episode, Alex, who's one of the toughest characters in the show, completely breaking down into sobs in Maggie's arms about her father's betrayal.
  • At the same time, Kara lying curled up and heartbroken on her couch for the same reason. We almost never see her this upset, and the contrast, especially with the opening scene of the episode, is striking. When Mon-El comes in, he holds her for a minute...and then they get interrupted by more bad news.

    Exodus 
  • Winn's horrified reaction when Cadmus agents kidnap Lyra. He is completely distraught.
  • Alex's face when J'onn suspends her from the DEO when she fails his Secret Test of Character.
  • Kara getting fired from CatCo because of her publishing her article using CatCo resources onto a blog. Kara looks like she's seconds away from breaking down into sobs, and Snapper is clearly not happy about firing her.
    Snapper: You know what the worst part is? I was rooting for you.
    • Even worse is how humiliating it is for her. She walks into CatCo, getting stares from her co-workers, and finds her belongings packed up in a box, waiting for her on her desk.
    • Later, she sobs that being a reporter was special to her because it was something she can do on her own without her powers.

    Star-Crossed 
  • It's hard to watch Kara fall back into her anti-Damaxite prejudices so easily when she learns Mon-El's true identity as Daxam's prince, considering all she tries to uphold and how far she had come.
  • Kara and Mon-El breaking up is about as sad as you can imagine, but the real gut punch is when Kara asks if Mon-El ever planned on telling her the truth about his past, to which Mon-El simply says "I don't know." It really is sad to see these two incredibly bubbly and happy characters be so broken at the end of this episode.

    Ace Reporter 
  • Lena's reaction to Jack's death.
    Lena: I think when I feel things again, I'm gonna be very, very afraid of the person I might be.

    Alex 
  • This scene. Alex trying to work up to a tear-jerking goodbye speech, but Maggie just won't let her. Which somehow makes it even sadder.

    City of Lost Children 
  • Poor Marcus has been through the ringer. His father died, he and his mother had to flee their home; and the two of them were regularly driven off planets before coming to Earth. It's small wonder he just shuts down when the authorities are hunting down his mother.

    Nevertheless, She Persisted 
  • Due to Rhea blatantly cheating in solo combat, Kara is forced to even the odds by using the remote signal device. As a result, because the device targets Daxamites, Mon-El also suffers the effects and Kara must send him off Earth or he will die. Kara tearfully watches as his pod flies away, knowing there is a good chance she will never see him again.

Season 3

    Girl of Steel 
  • Supergirl's state of mind, in general. Mon-El's departure has taken a huge toll on her, to the point that she is downright nasty towards her friends and family.
  • Lena's awkward desperation to fix whatever has broken between her and Kara is bit heart-wrenching.
    Lena: I wanted to say that I was sorry for the part I played in what happened to Mon-El and that I'm here for you if you still want that. (ouch)
    • The fact that Kara barely acknowledged Lena's request to meet up for brunch afterward was definitely not helpful to soothing Lena's fears that she is slowly but surely losing Kara.

    Triggers 
  • Kara's breakdown in the climax as we learn what her true deepest fear is, one that cuts her even deeper than her claustrophobia or even reliving Krypton's destruction: She's afraid that Mon-El is dead and that she's responsible for it because she put him in his pod. It clearly hits her harder than anything else she's experienced this episode.
  • Alex and Maggie are shocked to discover they strongly disagree on whether they want kids, and at the episode's end, Alex somberly tells Kara they couldn't even decide on a band or DJ at the wedding, clearly having whole new doubts about the relationship.

    Far From the Tree 
  • It is revealed that Maggie's parents disowned her for being a lesbian; when she was 14, she was kicked out of the house and forced to live with her aunt when her parents found out she told a girl at school she liked her. What's worse is Maggie's father Oscar, whom Maggie tried to reconnect with, storming out in disgust when he sees Maggie and Alex kissing each other, being unable to overcome his bigotry.
    • While it doesn't excuse his actions, Oscar's backstory is rather tragic as well. He came to America when he was 9, worked in a factory at 11 where all the other white boys would beat him because he was Mexican, and worked hard enough that those same boys elected him sheriff as an adult. He tells Maggie he worked that hard so that his children would never have to face that sort of prejudice and he sees Maggie's homosexuality as something that could hurt her in the long run; he doesn't want her to not get married, he just doesn't want to see it. It's still unequivocally bigotry, but it comes from a place of genuinely wanting what he thinks is best for his daughter.
  • M'yrnn, J'onn's father, has been a captive of the White Martians for over 200 years and remained strong. This changes when he is brought back to his old home by J'onn and Kara (whom he thinks to be impostors). He breaks down in tears and says that he is broken now and just wants to die.
    • J'onn's reaction to his father's heartbreak is just the sad cherry on top; he hunches his shoulders and stares at the floor, obviously near tears himself at how much M'yrnn is suffering.

    The Faithful 
  • Coville's reason for founding his cult: Around the time Supergirl saved him, his wife had left him for another man and his life had taken a nosedive down the bottle. Being Supergirl's devoted, albeit misguided, shepherd is literally all he has now.
  • Listening to Ruby singing stirs something in Alex who, despite her previous agreement with Maggie, wants kids.
    Alex: [crying] Maggie's not gonna change her mind, and the only way we're gonna work through it is if I let it go. And I tried, Kara... I love her so much that it hurts, and I convinced myself living a life with her was enough. But watching Ruby... I want all the experiences that Mom had with us. I want to take her camping and show her the constellations. I want to teach her how to read and throw a punch, and how to make cheesy Valentines. And I want to hold her when she has bad dreams and tell her that the world is a much better place because she is in it. I want it all! I want to be a mom! [sobbing] What am I going to do?!?

    Damage 
  • Lena getting drunk and breaking down to Kara, all the while confessing her fear that no matter how hard she tries to be good, hurting people is in her blood and there's nothing she can do about it. Her self-loathing is not even subtle anymore.
    Lena: I don't know, it's in my DNA, okay, so please just stop believing me, okay.
  • The scene where the heartbroken father of a 12-year-old boy who stopped breathing and is barely alive storms into the office and accuses Lena of not caring about the little people. Even more tragic when the same man is shown assisting the equally desperate mother in attempting to shoot Lena. Parental grief is indeed a very powerful and tragic thing.
  • Watching Sanvers come to an end and a recognition that, sometimes, love really isn't enough.

    Wake Up 
  • The way Kara is so overjoyed to see Mon-El back...and that's what makes it worse when she discovers that A) he's spent the last seven years of his life in the future. And B)...he's married to another woman, Imra Ardeen. Kara's crushed face hearing that and her breaking down to Alex are moving.
  • After so long ignoring it, Sam accepts she has superpowers. She goes to her foster mom to discover a spaceship and believes she's on the path to becoming a hero. She bids Ruby goodbye with a warm smile, promising the next time they meet, it'll be better. She then goes to the desert, where a crystal from her ship creates the Fortress of Sanctuary which she then enters, excited and eager to finally embrace becoming a hero...only to then discover that her destiny is actually to be a monstrous destroyer: Reign. All she wanted was to be a good person and, at the end of the episode, she is turned into something that her daughter would be horrified by.

     Crisis On Earth-X, Part 1 

    Reign 
  • In a scene that is quite reminiscent of The Flash's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by Zoom, Supergirl is left in critical condition by Reign. It's hard to watch as the people of National City as well as Supergirl's friends and family are devastated by her defeat and can only hope that she will be able to pull through.

    Fort Rozz 
  • Livewire's death. Despite all her claims to the contrary, she proves that Kara did have a positive effect on her life by performing a Heroic Sacrifice for her.

    Both Sides Now 
  • Ruby left alone when Reign takes over Sam and crying over her mom leaving her behind.
  • Sam realizing just what she has been doing.

    Schott Through The Heart 
  • Winn reacting to hearing the news of his dad's death. As horrible as the Toyman was, he was still his father and Winn feels something hard for him. He says he just needs to be alone but James is sticking with him.
  • Winn's backstory in general, revealing just how bad his father really was. But the most heart-wrenching part is when Winn tells of the night his father snapped and he waited at the police station, freezing, for his mother to pick him up. But she didn't as she still feared his father might kill him if he got near him.
  • M'yrnn slowly losing his memories, starting with simple things like forgetting words and then even forgetting his own deceased granddaughters. And he tries to keep it a secret because he doesn't want to become a burden for his son. And while Alex is right to persuade M'yrnn to tell his son the truth, after J'onn finds out, the scene with him entering the bar after being told (off-screen) what's wrong is truly heart-breaking.
  • Alex tells M'yrnn she knows what is happening as he's showing the same signs her grandmother did when she had dementia, down to a love of music to cling to some memory.
  • Lena lying to James, who had been trying to get in contact with her over the course of the episode, about what she and Sam are up to. To wit: Lena has Sam locked up in a secret lab while she's clearly running tests on her.

    In Search of Lost Time 
  • Lena manages to bring Reign out with Berserk Button mashing and tapes the ensuing super-powered tantrum; the undeniable proof that she's not just an alien, but an alien spree killer. Poor Sam is reduced to a sobbing and inconsolable ball on the floor. (Although some of the people, including those gang members, deserved it.)
  • The whole plot involving M'yrnn and J'onn. Imagine having to realize that your father is a danger to not only to himself but to others. And then having to tell your father that and having to force him to see how bad the situation is.
  • Alex telling the story of an incident where her grandmother, who had dementia, had been driving and drove through a red light. Her mother was then forced to take her car keys away from her, and how her grandmother was not happy about being treated like a child, but it's what had to be done as she was a danger to herself and others in her condition.

    Of Two Minds 
  • Winn's breakdown when he thinks he's going to die from Pestilence's plague, tearfully talking about all the things he's wanted to do with his life but never did. James' Manly Tears as he listens to his friend's fears are just as bad.
  • Imra revealing she had a sister who died from the Blight, which is why she's so obsessed with stopping it from existing.

    Trinity 
  • Trapped in a mindscape, Sam and Julia connect, Julia in tears as she's haunted by the victims of all she's killed and Sam trying to help her.
  • Sam fighting to remember Ruby's name as each woman battles to hold onto their humanity even as they feel the agony of all they've done.
  • When Kara and Alex show up in the mindscape, Sam assumes she killed them too and cries out how she's sorry.

    Shelter from the Storm 
  • Ruby finding out that her mother is Reign.
  • Lena telling Kara that she no longer trusts Supergirl following Supergirl's reaction to finding out that Lena found a way to synthesize Kryptonite.
    • Also Kara learning that James lied to her about breaking into Lena's vault at L Corp.

    The Fanatical 
  • James telling Lena about his personal experiences of racism. The first time cops put him in cuffs, he was seven years old! Because of this, he is afraid to death of public opinion turning against him if he reveals himself as Guardian.
  • M'yrnn having a breakdown when J'onn takes him to an arcade, as the shooting sounds from one game make him re-live the genocide of his people.
  • Ruby's general state of mind throughout most of the episode. She is still so devastated about her mom being Reign that she hardly does anything except sit around in a depressed manner.
  • Supergirl being unable to convince Lena to forgive her and being unable to unmask herself, fearing that Lena would feel even more betrayed.

    Let It Reign 
  • M'yrnn saying goodbye to Alex and thanking her for all her help as she fights back tears.
  • Winn's reaction to Demos being killed.

    Battles Lost and Won 

Season 4

    American Alien 
  • Kara's near-breakdown on how she can handle monsters and criminals, but the idea of regular human beings going so far as to want to know how to kill alien children in school is far too much for her to take.

    Fallout 
  • After all she's done and truly loving the country, President Marsdin is forced to resign after being exposed as an alien. Her last words are to tell Kara to be a beacon of hope for all.
  • When his image inducer fails, Brainy is thrown when a pizza parlor owner he counts as a friend instantly calls out some workers to beat up this "freak." This deeply affects Brainy as he confesses that, in the future, Earth is far more united and he simply wasn't ready to face such prejudice firsthand.

    Man of Steel 
  • In a flashback, we see Ben racing to find his father at the family factory when the Worldkiller quakes strike. His dad is pinned down and confesses he came to the factory wanting to die as the place was his life. He encourages Ben to get away before it's too late and Ben tearfully says he loves his dad before running out.
  • In so many ways, the entire episode is a tearjerker as it shows how Ben turned from a decent man into a murderous fanatic. Especially when, at the start of the episode, he's trying to curb his father's casually-hateful opinions; by the end, he's turned into someone far, far worse.

    Ahimsa 
  • Fiona dying after J'onn and Manchester finding her, then Manchester's heartbroken meltdown afterward.
  • Despite Fiona pleading with him not to, Manchester still decides to seek revenge.

    Rather The Fallen Angel 
  • J'onn emotionally breaking down in front of Kara on how he was unable to save Manchester from crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Adam is a young man who volunteers for Lena's human augmentation experiments. Lena ends up bonding with him despite her attempts to not get emotionally attached over their shared feelings of letting the people they love die. Sadly, Adam does not survive the experiment and his death weighs heavily on Lena.

    Suspicious Minds 
  • At the end of the episode, J'onn is forced to mind-wipe every single person at the DEO who knows about Kara's Secret Identity. Including Alex!

    Blood Memory 
  • Kara is still dealing with Alex no longer remembering her Secret Identity and how it's changed her toward aliens. That includes Alex bad-mouthing Supergirl both to her face and around Kara, and Kara realizing their bond is much different now.
    • A subtle bit is at game night and Alex unable to answer what is Kara's favorite movie, a question that should have been a no-brainer. (It was The Wizard of Oz, as Kara related to being in a strange world.)
  • It's clear Nia's family has had issues handling her being trans. Nia is with her mother when she dies, the two sharing a dream where her mother realizes Nia will inherit the powers and is proud of her, with Nia crying over the loss.
    • However, the worst part is when her sister Maeve, who had assumed she would inherit the dream powers, is upset Nia got them instead. She openly rants she doesn't deserve it as "you're not even a real woman" and clearly regrets it when she sees Nia's face.
    • Supportive as Nia's family was, it clearly never occurred to them that she might be "really" a woman in the sense of being able to inherit the female-exclusive dream powers. Even Nia's mother states that she never saw the face of the daughter who would gain them, and just assumed it was the daughter who'd been born female.

    Menagerie 
  • James and Lena break up. On Valentine's Day, no less. And while they're on their way to a romantic vacation in Paris.
  • Kara realizes she's been holding Alex back because Alex felt a need to protect her after the Kryptonite bomb. Now that Alex no longer remembers her secret, Kara thinks she can finally "be free of me."

    The House of L 
  • From her creation, Red Daughter has all of Supergirl's goodness, compassion, and desire to help people. To see someone so innocent be trained as an attack dog, especially when she was just starting to figure Lex out, is heartbreaking.

    American Dreamer 
  • Seeing all those innocent aliens brutally rounded up by Lockwood and his henchman brings certain parallels to mind...
  • James' Repressed Memories of the day of his father's funeral. He was locked into a casket by two bullies and kept from attending to the funeral. It was so traumatizing, he later made himself believe a different story.

    Red Dawn 

    The Quest For Peace 
  • Lena finally learns that Kara is Supergirl. But it isn't Kara who tells her (and Kara did intend to tell Lena on her own terms); it's Lex who delivers the news via an especially brutal Breaking Speech as he lays dying of a gunshot wound.
    Lex: [to Lena] But when I'm gone, who will be left to be proud of you? What, your friends? The joke's on you. It's always been on you. Your friends have been lying to you from the start. Your boyfriend Jimmy, Alex, J'onn, that little alien runt Brainy. Even your own mother. They've mocked you, humiliated you, betrayed you. Every last one. Denial's a very powerful thing, isn't it? It's been standing right in front of you all this time. And you chose not to see it. Kara Danvers is Supergirl. I'm about to die, but at least I lived without ever being a fool. You're left with no one and nothing.

Season 5

    Event Horizon 
  • Lena refusing to forgive Kara for deceiving her and edging even closer to The Dark Side by declaring her intentions to use Supergirl for her own ends.
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