Warning: The following recap contains major spoilers for Supergirl Episode 22, Nevertheless, She Persisted.
The episode picks up where the last left off, with Supergirl fighting Superman on Rhea’s ship. It is revealed that Rhea used silver kryptonite to make Superman believe Supergirl was General Zod. The two begin a fight that spans all over National City. In the end, Supergirl defeats Superman by knocking him out with her last punch.
Kara wakes up in bed next to Mon-El, who calls her necklace beautiful. She explains that it was a gift from her mother, and what it means to her. She then realizes she was dreaming and wakes up in the fortress of solitude next to Superman and Alex.
Lilian then visits Lena in her office, and she expresses her disappointment in her daughter for listening to Rhea. Lena then expresses her resentment toward her mother. The conversation results in Lilian proposing that Lena weaponize one of Lex’s inventions to fight the Daxamites.
Back in the Fortress of Solitude, Superman admits that he was not weakened, and Supergirl beat him in a fight while at full strength. They use the fortress’ computer to find something to use against the fight with the Daxamites. Kara then recognizes a Kryptonian word in the mess and Superman says it may be old, but useful.
The three return to the DEO and Kara recommends Dakam-ur to use against the Daxamites. Mon-El urges against it, but she says it would be the only way. Kara speaks to Rhea, and it is revealed that Dakam-ur is a duel. This then reveals that Supergirl will fight Rhea in a one-on-one match to settle their conflict.
Mon-El worries for Supergirl, saying if she loses, she’ll have to watch as Rhea invades Earth. At the same time, J’onn wakes up when he hears the voice of M’gann M’orzz (Miss Martian) telling him to wake up. He does, only to find that M’gann is not there.
Clark and Kara visit Cat Grant at Cat Co. asking her to tone down the hype of the fight between Rhea and Supergirl in exchange for an interview with Supergirl. At the same time, Cat reveals to Superman that James Olsen is Guardian. Kara and Clark are then reached out to by the Luthors. They say their machine from Lex could be modified to make the planet unlivable for Daxamites, however that would mean Mon-El would have to leave the planet.
Supergirl and Superman tell the people at the DEO of the Luthors’ failsafe, and Mon-El tells them they must use it if it comes to it. Supergirl and Superman spar, and she admits her fear of losing the life she wants if she is unable to defeat Rhea. After a motivating talk, Supergirl faces Rhea. Supergirl begins defeating Rhea, until the Daxamite forces start attacking the city. Rhea then reveals she has traces of Kryptonite in her body which starts weakening Supergirl.
Back in Lena’s office, she, Winn, and Lilian work on the weapon to defeat the Daxamites. Upon its completion, Lilian tries to activate it, but Lena reveals that she only gave Supergirl the remote to activate it. While this happens, Martian Manhunter is surrounded by Daxamites, only to be helped by Miss Martian and other white martians.
Supergirl defeats Rhea, but her forces continue to invade, leaving her no choice but to turn on the machine. Rhea perishes, but Mon-El begins dying. Supergirl gives Mon-El her necklace, and after they say goodbye, sends him off-planet.
The world celebrates, Superman returns to Metropolis, and M’gann tells J’onn she’ll stay on Earth for a while. Alex comforts Kara, who tells her that she just wants everybody to be happy. Then, Alex tells Maggie to marry her. Kara comes to Cat’s office and tells her of her sorrow due to her relationship with Mon-El not working out. Cat motivates Kara to keep going. Kara hears of a fire on the news and goes to stop it. As she walks away, Cat says, “Go get them, Supergirl.”
In space, Mon-El travels through a portal which closes after he passes through. There is then a flashback of the day Krypton was destroyed, revealing a third pod was sent to Earth with the intent of the child reigning over the Earth’s people.
This episode of Supergirl was truly a great one. There was no wasted time on sub-plots or scenes that did not push the narrative forward in an effective manner. Superman’s appearance on the show was a great addition. He acted as a guiding hand to Supergirl, and his defeat marked a milestone for her that solidifies her as a true hero. Then, the decision to activate the machine not only showed her heart as a hero, but also proved that this show has stakes. This act represented the idea of people’s decisions having consequences, and doing things for the greater good. The culmination of these two events, coupled with the motivating dialogue, especially from Cat Grant, pushed the theme of the episode forward. (The theme being the greater good, and heroes persisting) Therefore, there are a lot of things to look forward to next season, especially if the show carries this style of writing and directing.