In this episode, we see Alex and Kara take a road trip back to their hometown of Midvale. Not only that, but we get to see them both brave high school in a flashback to ten years prior. Both young Alex and Kara have been recast from Season 1, and it was definitely a good move. The way they act and carry themselves is scarily accurate, to the point where I thought Izabela Vidovic could have been Melissa Benoist’s younger sister, and Olivia Nikkanen has Alex’s attitude down perfectly.
The focus on Alex’s grief is very light, which I think is an asset in this case. Besides, most of the episode is focused on the flashback. In the beginning, modern day Alex is unsurprisingly grumpy and doesn’t speak to her mother when she gets to the house. Later, we find her drinking in bed, and Kara comes to check on her. Alex doesn’t want to talk about Maggie or the break up, and then calls Kara out for shutting down for six months about Mon El. She also wonders why they’re there at all, because eventually she will have to go home to an empty apartment. They end the night on a bad note and both fall asleep.
We then flash back to ten years earlier. Alex is supposedly 17, but the timeline is a little off considering she’s currently around 29 in the show. The sisters wake up and argue over who is going to use the bathroom first. Kara cheats and uses her speed to get there, which only further annoys Alex. You can tell it’s still the early stages of their little family, because Alex doesn’t even consider her a sister yet and Kara thinks going to school and being human is completely pointless. Kara is actually a lot more teenager-y than I thought she would be, which is an interesting surprise.
When they get to school, it’s clear Kara isn’t a part of the popular crowd. In the cafeteria, some kids make a reference to Lex Luthor being defeated by Superman (a nice Easter egg) and when Kara tries to join in the conversation, they shut her out. She does have one friend, Kenny, who asks her if she wants to go stargazing with his telescope that night. On their little outing, they almost kiss, but Kara pulls away and says he’s the only person who makes her feel like she belongs in Midvale. Aww.
Kara sneaks back into her bedroom window that night, causing Alex to yell at her. The next morning, Kara overhears that they found a body in the woods, and it turns out to be Kenny. Alex seems to be a little torn up about it, but Kara brushes her off as being fake, like everyone else is. Kara has decided to make it her mission to find out what happened to Kenny, considering nobody else seems to care about him. We later learn that Alex has been failing calculus, and Kenny was helping her, so she joins the hunt as well. They go out to the woods to look for Kenny’s laptop (which was with his telescope the night before) and when they find it Alex tells Kara to keep it from the police, as she’ll look like a suspect. Is that future DEO agent Alex in the making?
After sending the contents of the laptop to one of Clark’s friends, they find an email Kenny sent to one of his teachers, and it’s a photo of him kissing Alex’s friend Josie. Not sure if a statutory rape B-plot was really necessary in this episode, but anyway. Obviously this makes the teacher a prime suspect, but after Alex confronts Josie about it, they realise he isn’t the murderer after all. At least he still gets arrested. While Alex goes to the football game to find the Sheriff, Kara finally receives an email back from Clark’s friend. It turns out that Kenny had photos of the Sheriff involved in a drug deal, and it’s then very obvious that he’s the killer.
Alex is in danger, as the Sheriff leads her to a room and pulls a gun on her. However, Kara arrives just in time to save her by listening out for Alex’s voice and crashing through the wall. The best part is that Alex has complete faith in Kara, and knows she’s coming for her. Back at home, Kara decides to be human, saying that she’d rather do that than risk losing Alex. Ouch, the feels. Also, apparently Kenny had photos of Kara flying across the sky stashed away, and didn’t tell anyone, which just makes his death that much sadder.
As the episode winds down, we’re brought back to the present day. Alex comes downstairs, hungover, and finds Kara on the porch playing with Kenny’s telescope (which Kenny’s parents give to Kara after his death). They both apologise to each other, and Kara reiterates that they can get through anything together, while reflecting back on Kenny. Alex finally acknowledges that this getaway was a good idea after all. There’s also an adorable part of the flashback involving J’onn, and it’s revealed that he’s been looking out for Kara and Alex the whole time their father has been gone. Also, Kara lets Alex use the bathroom first the next morning.
After last week, this episode was the only thing that could follow it. Lingering too long on Alex’s sadness could only be painful, despite the fact that I feel she does deserve to have time to grieve. Also, I hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of young Kara and Alex, because the casting was really great. This was definitely a great, much-needed Danvers sisters episode, and it certainly eased the pain of Maggie’s absence.
THE REEL SCORE: 8/10