Synopsis: Kara has trouble managing her anger, and Cat’s mother is in town.
Okay first of all can we talk about how Kara is canonically this low-paid and unappreciated, clumsy assistant, who somehow manages to have a bomb-ass loft all to herself? In fact, there’s been no evidence whatsoever of any kind of lower class or “bad part of town” in National City at all. It seems it’s an economically stellar place to live and honestly I’m down to move there. I’ll take my chances with the escaped alien convicts. Who are kind enough to show up once a week, one at a time.
Kara is enjoying the lovely town, flying around surveying her city and clearing her head, when she overhears some serious road rage happening below. She descends to find two guys in cars, all worked up, screaming down the highway trying to bump each other of the road. She stops the cars about two inches shy of taking out a crosswalk full of kids, but one of the guys is only worried about the damage to his car. He takes a swing at Kara, who throws him down hard, accidentally hurting him. The kids are screaming, the news is all over it, with help from Maxwell Lord, and poor Kara is a pariah once again. Henshaw and the DEO are pissed – he says that people with powers don’t get to lose their temper in front of people – it makes them scared.
While Kara picks up Cat’s coffee on her way to work, she runs into James and Lucy, who are excited to come to game night at Kara’s. It’s news to Kara that Lucy’s going to be there, but, being Kara, she’s cool about it. After she leaves, James and Lucy discuss having dinner with Kara’s father, an army general. James does not like the general, but agrees for Lucy’s sake.
At CatCo, Cat is being berated by her condescending, pretentious, prickly mother for not being good enough or having enough integrity – or something. Cat is clearly upset, but takes it in stride and offers for her mother to see Carter – she claims no interest in seeing her only grandchild, and then proceeds to talk smack about Supergirl, while Cat contemplates matricide. It’s of note that seeing Cat and Carter together last week was incredibly significant story-wise, because we know already that Cat is actually an amazing mother, not at all like her own.
Kara is then called to the middle of the desert by the DEO, who has been ordered by the army (The General and Major Lucy Lane specifically) to have Supergirl face off against their fancy new robot – the Red Tornado. She agrees to do it the following day. Back at base camp, Winn and James both think this is a terrible idea, but Kara says that after the whole car incident, she needs to prove she’s a team player.
Meanwhile, Cat’s mother shows up to cancel the dinner plans that Cat went to great lengths to set up, in favor of dinner with some other, better “real author” friends. She says that Cat is not invited, because she’s not the same high caliber as these people with her trashy magazine (that is actually a global media empire she built singlehandedly, but anyway). She leaves as an unsuspecting Kara enters, and a viciously hurt and frustrated Cat takes her anger out on Kara. Kara lets it go though, and goes off to game night with Winn, and James and Lucy, who are crushing it at team trivia and being disgustingly cute and in love. Lucy also comments on how she met Supergirl in the desert earlier and was not impressed. Awkward.
Back in the desert, Supergirl takes on Red Tornado, and Kara’s anger really bubbles over. She practically beats the robot to a short-circuiting pulp, long after Alex and Henshaw tell her to stand down. Somehow, this triggers a ridiculous failsafe in Red Tornado that makes him turn invisible and fly away forever. I mean, honestly. It’s a big deal though, apparently, and the General throws a fit over his lost toy, blaming Supergirl for everything, and firing the scientist who built the robot (?).
Even angrier, Kara goes back to work where she’s once again made Cat’s plaything. She snaps this time though and lets Cat have both barrels, right in the face. Kara tells her she will not be spoken to like that, and that she’s very good at her job. She instantly regrets it and apologizes six ways from Sunday, but Cat seems impressed. She tells Kara to hold that thought, and to come with her. While they head out to a bar, Alex visits Maxwell Lord to ask him for help tracking down the robot. She tells him it will help convince her that he’s a good guy, after all the shadiness surrounding the train incident last week. He’s happy to see her, but refuses to help.
At the same time, James and Lucy are having the tensest and awkwardest dinner in history with the General. While Lucy is in the bathroom, he tells James he’s nowhere near good enough for Lucy, and he clings on to silly superheroes without even realizing they’re terrible because he’s a coward. Damn, General who peed in your cheerios? James, bless him, just smiles sarcastically and sticks out the rest of dinner like a champ.
At the bar, Cat and Kara (mostly Cat) are drinking heavily. Cat tells Kara that her anger is awesome and normal but the terrible truth is that women can’t show that kind of emotion at work. Instead of seeming passionate and tough like men do, they’re seen as hysterical and irrational and difficult. Cat tells her the solution is to find a release, and also to know the core of what’s truly making you feel how you feel, so you can keep a lid on it. She’s says Kara’s angry about more than just Cat being mean, and she needs to figure it out.
Just in time to make matters worse, Red Tornado appears at the restaurant. He knocks out Lucy, and takes a run at the General. Supergirl shows up just in time, but old Red just makes himself scarce. Back at the DEO, Henshaw discovers that Red Tornado has a shell that makes him X-Ray Vision-proof. He was designed to kill Kryptonians – that’s why the army wanted Supergirl to fight him. He confronts the General about it, but the man couldn’t care less about being found out, and storms off (leaving his injured daughter there, by the way).
Alex gets a call from Maxwell Lord, claiming he has information on Red Tornado. She shows up to see him and he’s set up an incredibly creepy romantic table for two. He gives some ridiculous speech about how he’s allowed to be selfish since his parents died and he’s seen what happens to selfless people. He also says that Red Tornado isn’t autonomous. The scientist who built him is still controlling him.
Later, Kara and James are working out their frustrations in a makeshift gym. A punching bag for Jimmy, and an SUV hanging from the rafters for Kara. They have a brief but super important discussion about how any kind of minority group is immediately pigeonholed and thought the worst of if they have any kind of overt reaction to anything. Kara finally admits she’s truly the angriest about never getting to live a real life. She’s on an alien planet with a huge responsibility and a big secret, and no one like her. She says she’ll never have what James and Lucy have. Her “normal” life ended when Krypton did and she’s furious. But she gets it now.
They track down the guy who built Red Tornado and discover they’re mentally linked. To stop Red Tornado, they’ll have to kill the scientist. There’s an awesome double fight scene where Alex fights the scientist and Kara fights the robot. Ultimately, Alex kills the guy, but our buddy Red just restarts and becomes sentient all on his own. Typical. But Kara’s in control of her stuff now. She channels all her anger into her heat vision, and blows Red Tornado to smithereens.
After that, things level out. Kara finds her chill again, Cat tells her mom to get the hell out of town, and Lucy tells her dad to stick it because James is the best (true).
Roses have thorns though, and Winn discovers, by hacking the DEO, that Alex’s father disappeared on a mission to South America where he was partnered with Henshaw, who reappeared a month later, apparently with no memory of what happened. We are then conveniently reminded of his glowing red eyes.
To top it off, Kara accidentally breaks a glass in Cat’s office, and when she goes to pick it up, she cuts herself on the glass. She’s bleeding. And in pain. Like a human.