We’re recapping Supergirl 3×21, “Not Kansas,” in which Kara finds things are not as peaceful as they seem in Argo City.
“Not Kansas” looks at the situations in Argo and National Cities, and things aren’t quite right in either place. The episode opens with a seemingly anti-climactic confrontation with Reign. Kara and Mon-El keep her busy while Lena synthesizes the black rock into a cure. They then inject Reign with it, and she reverts back into Sam.
It happens so quickly and with so little fanfare, considering how Reign has been built up as the season’s Big Bad, that clearly something is amiss. But after a few tests, the DEO sends her home with Ruby. What could go wrong with two more episodes left this season?
Kara, meanwhile, seems to have no interest in telling Clark about Argo City (we don’t even need to see Tyler Hoechlin, as much as I’d like to; just send him a text! Or script in the last few moments of a phone call between the cousins. Something!) and instead decides to go back with Mon-El. He’s getting ready to go back to the future, and Kara doesn’t seem to think taking her ex, who is married, to stay with her mother is weird at all.
Everyone is sad to see Kara go, but she promises to come back. The show is named after her, after all.
While Kara is busy getting her normal on in Argo City, Guardian attempts to stop a robbery, only to be shot at by a DEO-grade weapon. This is a perfect distraction for J’onn, who has just learned his father is preparing for a ceremony to transfer his memories to his son before he dies. This is a painful juxtaposition to Kara’s departure to be with her mother, who she thought was dead. My heart.
Cue an overly preachy gun control plotline. Supergirl has never been shy about tackling political issues, and it’s not that I disagree with the show’s stance on gun control, but this story lacks any subtlety — it had the chance when Lena told James she carries a gun, but that conversation is quickly dropped.
Considering James and J’onn are the ones at the center of this story, it would have been much more powerful to see them grappling with the racial issues surrounding guns. James often gets to discuss what life is like for a black man in America, and J’onn has made a specific political statement in choosing to take the form of a black man. I enjoy the few interactions we get between James and J’onn, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity for a story with more subtlety and depth.
Unfortunately, that’s not what the episode provides. We get a pretty cliched story about a guy who wants to shoot up his former workplace, but J’onn talks him down because feelings. J’onn then decides the DEO is going to pull an Agents of SHIELD and arm themselves with non-fatal weapons.
I’m not quite sure how J’onn thinks this will make a difference since the DEO is a secret government organization, so it’s not like they can publicly denounce the use of regular guns. Overall, it’s a strange story.
Meanwhile, on Argo City, Kara is struggling to fit in, especially when she is sure that a woman in a dark cloak is stalking and trying to kill her. No one believes her and instead thinks she’s just struggling to adjust to being among her own people — but Mon-El believes her. He also confesses his feelings for her (sigh). Kara doesn’t really get the chance to respond because they are attacked.
As much as the series has tried to rehabilitate Mon-El’s image this season, I find the continued attempts to reconcile Kara and Mon-El forced. Mon-El was gone for seven years. He’s married. He has a life in the future and with the Legion. For him to do anything but return to the future with closure for both him and Kara at the end of the season will be a major black mark against his character — a character the show has been trying to convince us is much improved since his return.
Anyway, Kara and Mon-El confront their attacker and she reveals that she works for Serena, the Dark Kryptonian leader of the Worldkillers. Cue a call from Alura: J’onn’s ship is gone. Serena and two of her acolytes have come to Earth, where they are greeted by Coville. And it seems Sam may not be so cured of Reign after all.
This may be the worst possible time for Alex to start looking into adoption.
So, what does Serena want with Earth? And how will Kara get back to stop her?