Supergirl Episode 5 Recap: How Does She Do It?


CBS got their programming schedule back on track with week with the latest episode of Supergirl. The network chose to delay the broadcast of “How Does She Do It?” from last week to this week due to the subject matter. The network felt like having an episode centered in part on a suicide bomber didn’t need to be shown so close to the events in Paris.

So last week we got the Thanksgiving episode, and this week we get something a little different. For the most part, the continuity of the series wasn’t affected too much by the flip-flop of episodes except in one regard. And the value of the episode in terms of the ongoing story meant this one needed to be aired and aired quickly.

If you watched last week and didn’t read my recap, you might be a bit confused about some of the events of this week’s episode. The only story arc dinged by the change related to James Olsen and Lucy Lane. A good chunk of this episode showed the two of them reconnecting, which led to them going off together for Thanksgiving. Yes, the timeline is out of order, but with such a solid episode, it’s a small quibble.

This week’s episode opened some real doors into one of our Big Bads, Maxwell Lord. It also gave us an entertaining look at the positive side of how Supergirl is making a name for herself in the public eye.

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The episode starts with Supergirl out for a flight when she is pursued by a very high tech drone before turning pursuer herself. The DEO looks at the remains and they are shocked at the level of technology. It’s clear at this point someone is very interested in Kara and wants to know more about her.

Speaking of Kara, her alter ego story arc is all about trying to bond with her boss, Cat Grant. She agrees to keep an eye on Grant’s son as a way of proving her value to Cat. Her son is brilliant and shy, and as we quickly discover, a total Supergirl fanboy.

The episode bounces between three separate stories, the first involving Olsen, Lane and Kara and their little almost-love triangle. The second involving a series of bombings and Supergirl coming to save the day in each instance, as well as their eventual connection to Lord. The final plot is this lighter story about Kara’s day keeping an eye on Cat’s son, finding out he has a crush on Supergirl, and eventually having to save him.

The writers do a nice job pulling the three arcs together at the end of the show, but this episode is all about Lord and DEO boss Hank Henshaw. We’ve all known something is up with Henshaw,  but in this episode, much more is revealed. When Henshaw goes in to defuse a bomb, we see the glowing eyes that have been showing up and also super strength as he tears into the bomb with ease. There’s little doubt at this point he is going to be some version of Cyborg Superman.

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We also get to see the motivations of Lord. Even though all the targets of the bomber are his properties, Kara sorts out that he set them all up to monitor and measure her abilities. And in one of the final scenes, he admits as much. The drone was to test her agility, the lab her strength, and his train to test her will.

He is dying to know who she is and thinks her choice to save the train over the airport is a clue. Lord hates the government, and it is clear he’s angling how to use Supergirl against them. As of yet, still no display of super powers out of Lord.

CBS has put out another solid episode. They are really allowing Kara to mature in her alter ego, and that confidence is spilling over as Supergirl. The level of camp is dipping each week, and the show is getting stronger and stronger.

Next: Supergirl Episode 4 Recap: Livewire

It’s far from a perfect series, and very much middle of the pack among the super hero shows on now, but when I watch my eight-year-old daughter watch it and her eyes light up at Kara and Supergirl, I respect the fact that they are treating the character the way they are, providing a great example for their audience.