[Review] Supergirl Episode 6×08: “Welcome Back, Kara”

written by Cara Russell

SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT

We return already knowing that Kara and her father, Zor-El, have been rescued from the Phantom Zone. Zor-El got off pretty easy, but Kara, having blown out her powers, doesn’t get to pass “Go” and is put straight into a sun bed, which gives the team an opportunity to organize a welcome-back party with Kara’s favorite thing: food. As it turns out, Kara’s other favorite thing is in attendance: Lena! Kara attributes her rescue to Lena’s contributions. After a tearful embrace, Kara attempts to go in for a kiss, only to be interrupted by clam jammer Alex, who is supposed to be the one who fills the role of the Designated Lesbian.

Listen, folks: Nobody on this show is straight, and we’ll all be better off if this is recognized. Even our straight shooter J’onn is a goddamn shapeshifter and nothing is physically stopping him from living his life as a different gender, as evidenced by the sheer number of times he’s impersonated Kara herself. Let Kara and Lena kiss, goddamn it! They deserve to have nice things.

Meanwhile, the rest of this episode is excellent. Kara has difficulty with some PTSD from her Phantom Zone adventure, but is given support by her family to adjust to the trauma. Zor-El deals with getting all of his super-powers at once, while his own trauma of being unable to save Krypton emerges. This is the main plot of this week’s episode, where he attempts to save Earth from climate-related doom as a way of compensating, but he goes overboard in a highly emotional arc that surprisingly doesn’t take ten episodes to resolve.

Supergirl ends up dumping the garbage island polluting the ocean into the sun, and Zor-El decides to head to Argo City to reunite with Alura, something he had been trying to avoid. The only unsatisfying thing about this is that Clark wasn’t involved (although Kara and Zor-El visit the Fortress of Solitude and break Kelex).

Elsewhere, Lena and Nia commiserate over their absent mothers, prompting Lena to go on a road trip to track down her biological mother. Nia dreams about hers, which sets up next week’s episode. Andrea is under pressure from advertisers to bring up Catco’s ratings, and zeroes in on getting her reporters to become besties with the “Super Friends.” Alex also opens up to Kara about how she felt when Kara was trapped in the Phantom Zone. All in all, a very honest, well-executed episode to kick off the final arc.

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Supergirl airs Tuesday nights at 9 Eastern/8 Central on the CW. Cara can be found on Twitter @virtualcara.

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