Supergirl (S03E02) "Triggers"

This week’s episode continued the theme from previous week and the title absolutely and perfectly encompassed of all that the episode deals with.
The opening montage mixes the domestic happiness of Alex and Maggie as well as of Samantha and her daughter Ruby. The happiness and bright lighting of these scenes contrasts heavily with Kara’s apartment which is huge, empty and dark. It’s also a reflection of her current mental position.
The nemesis of the week was Psi, a woman with psychic powers which helped in opening up the Pandora’s box of Kara’s mental issues. Supergirl’s first encounter with Psi is an absolute disaster with Psi incapacitating Kara by showing one of her fears- being trapped powerless in space under a red sun. The whole visual imagery makes it seem like this was exactly what she saw when she was hurtled from Krypton in a spaceship- the vast expanse of endless darkness. Maggie comforting Kara in her most vulnerable moment was also a nice touch. When the DEO examines her, she again pulls her ‘I am not human, it shouldn’t have affected me’ card and goes on to stop Psi again.
The second time they meet, it’s an even worse situation. While j’onn does try to shield Kara’s mind but it ultimately proves futile as psi repels the attack. Left vulnerable to psi’s ministrations, Kara is helpless and once more a layer of her fears are peeled back. Kara sees herself back in Krypton, at the time of its destruction when Alura puts her in the pod. We get a visually cool first person POV of what Kara is experiencing. There is no music, just sounds of kara’s panicked breathing as her pod is thrown off course and she watches her world burn.
Meanwhile, Lena has taken over Catco and is adamant to learn the workings of the company with Kara’s help. But duty calls Supergirl and she has to frequently leave the office. While Cat and James understood her superheroic duties and even encouraged it, with Lena, it’s more troublesome since she doesn’t know the secret and to her it seems that Kara is avoiding her job. This leads to a wonderfully done confrontation scene between a boss and an employee. Lena begins by being understanding and trying to get Kara to open up about her problems, which leads to Kara’s defense mechanisms being on full alert and just like she did with James and Alex, she lashes out at Lena. But unlike the other two, Lena doesn’t take it and instead assumes her boss persona to reprimand Kara for not doing her job properly and not attending staff meetings. Kara feels a bit humiliated and leaves to catch up on her job when the phone rings and duty calls.
The next scene, of Kara experiencing a panic attack inside an elevator reminds viewers that she is also claustrophobic which is perhaps the result of being trapped in a small pod for around twenty years in space. But she gathers her strength and bursts through the roof of the elevator to get some much needed air. Supergirl is certainly being put through a ringer in this episode.
To guard her mind and prepare herself for facing Psi, Kara does Kryptonian meditation and Melissa benoist nails that scene by adding an accent to those alien words. Small acting details matter. Alex then arrives to comfort Kara and tells her that fear doesnt control her. They hug and we get a beautiful Danvers Sister moment.
It is during the penultimate fight that Kara’s real fears are revealed- that she might have killed mon-el when she sent him off. Supergirl’s motto is to never kill and for her to be an active proponent of someone’s death must be an horrifying thought. But Alex again reassures her that Kara instead saved Mon- el when she put him in the pod. The almost child-like acceptance of this statement from her sister, makes her seem both vulnerable and strong at the same time. As usual Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh nailed the scenes.
Atlast, psi is defeated and Kara even apologizes to Lena for her behaviour and they hug and make up.
Some other things which stood out for me is the slow and steady integration of Samantha/ Reign into the plot by making her the head of L-Corp on behalf of Lena. The last scene where Sam and Kara shake hands seemed very foreboding to me and a sign for things for come. I can’t wait, I am totally hooked.
It seems like its more or less smooth sailing for Alex and Maggie for now but something gives me the vibes that there will be trouble in paradise.
Another nice touch was when Psi was showing everyone their fears, that bee swarm attacking the police officers or those snakes jumbling on the crane operator made for an excellent scene.
It’s very difficult for episodes which deal with mind control powers to come off as powerful action packed. But the show knows this and instead of focusing on the action they focus on unravelling their hero’s trauma and past buried memories which makes this episode an absolute treat for any Supergirl fan.
All in all, every thing was great. Onto the next! But who will fix that elevator roof?