- "I really like that you care about me. You have to care enough to let me fly my own path, separate from his. Trust that I'm going to save the day."
- "Kara, you are amazing. You leap into the sky headfirst into danger. And you don't seem scared of falling."
"Well, what's so bad about falling?"
- —Kara Danvers and James Olsen
"Fight or Flight" is the third episode of the first season of , and the third episode overall. It aired on November 9, 2015.
|Supergirl's powers are tested when Reactron, one of Superman's formidable enemies, arrives in National City and targets the young hero. Also, Cat plans to run an exposé on Supergirl.|
- Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers/Supergirl
- Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen
- Chyler Leigh as Dr. Alex Danvers
- Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott
- David Harewood as Director "Hank Henshaw"
- Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant
Special guest stars
- Jay Jackson as Male Newscaster
- Pilar Holland as Female Newscaster
- Briana Venskus as Agent Vasquez
- John Churchill as Second Engineer
- Nerlyn Jean as Waitress
- Angela Meryl as Bus Driver
- Majeed Nami as An Engineer
- Joshua Triplett as Passenger
- Nischelle Turner as Morning Talk Show Host
Supergirl starts her interview with Cat Grant, during which the latter questions her about her origin, powers, and whereabouts, all while recording the interview. Eventually, Kara became frustrated because she felt that no one asked Superman the type of questions that Cat was asking her, and she accidentally reveals that she and Superman are in fact cousins. After doing so, she promptly ends the interview, flying off. The next morning, Kara ate sticky buns at a cafe, with her server questioning as to how Kara could eat sticky buns for breakfast every morning, and stay as thin as she was. She was soon joined by Alex, who teased her that she liked James Olsen, after seeing how Kara had looked at him after he had stopped at their table after getting his tea. Alex emphasized to Kara that she had to stop telling people her identity as Supergirl, as the fewer people who knew, the better.
At CatCo Worldwide Media, Winn Schott commented on Kara revealing her relationship to Superman after the latter arrived. In an attempt to defend herself, Kara tries to argue that Grant tricked her into revealing it as she didn't mean to, before being called away by Cat herself. Walking into Cat's office, Grant announced to Kara that it was a big day for journalism, and that she had scooped The Daily Planet with revealing Supergirl and Superman's relationship. Kara however attempted to tell Cat that Supergirl might have wanted her familial connection to Superman publicly known, though to no avail. Soon after, Cat told Kara that she would be writing an expose on Supergirl for a special issue of their monthly magazine, and as such she would need bulletproof coffee, a type of coffee that improved brain energy. Finishing, Cat announced that they'd be having a big party to launch the magazine with around 1,000 guests, and she ordered Kara to move Dave to another desk, as she found his hair distracting.
At the D.E.O. headquarters, Kara was berated by Hank Henshaw for doing the interview with Cat Grant. Afterwards, she was question by Alex as to why she did in the interview, with Kara explaining that although at first she was doing it for James, she did it for her as well, because she thought interviewing with Cat Grant would give her perspective on what being Supergirl meant. Both Kara and Alex were alerted to Agent Vasquez reporting to Henshaw about a multiple car collision on the highway. Attempting to finish his warning about giving interviews to Kara, Hank turned to find that she already had left, with Alex explaining that she was excited as it was her first car pile up. At the highway pile up, Kara landed at the scene with an injured passenger telling her that the bus driver was still inside trapped. Flying over to the bus, Kara rescued the bus driver, placing her on a nearby gurney. While being thanked by the driver, Kara was blasted backwards by a flying figure. After getting up, Kara questioned him as to his identity, with the man commenting that he was a ghost, and that he wanted Superman to suffer and lose everything, starting with Kara. After a brief battle between the two, the man flew away after his suit was damaged by Kara.
Back at the D.E.O. headquarters, Henshaw identified the man as Reactron, a villain who was at large after several public fights with Superman in the past. Kara asked Henshaw how exactly they were going to stop him, she was told by Henshaw that the D.E.O. wasn't going to help her, as Reactron was human, and as such fell out of their jurisdiction. Though she tried to argue that he could fly and shoot nuclear blasts, Alex told Kara that Reactron had simply been using bio-medical technology, which was man made. Hank finished by telling Kara that he couldn't risk exposing the D.E.O.'s existence as such, and that she should call Superman if she wanted to stop him.
At CatCo, Kara walked into Cat Grant's office, as she was putting the finishing touches on the party and needed Cat's okay on a few things. Changing the subject, Cat told Kara to have maintenance take a look at the vents, as they were emitting an incessant humming that was disrupting Cat's train of thought while she was trying to write her expose on Supergirl. Kara agreed to have them look at it, before bringing up that she needed Cat to sign off on the appetizers for tomorrow night's party. After Cat made it clear that Kara was at that point disrupting her work, Kara announced that she'd take care of it herself. Leaving the office, James questioned Kara as to whether Cat was always that tense while writing, with Kara explaining that she was. The two were then called by Winn, who told them to follow him and act natural. The three then took the elevator to Ed Flaherty's old office, with Winn explaining that since the latter had died from a heart attack behind his desk, no one wanted it, making it perfect for their base involving Supergirl related matters.
Finishing, Winn explained that he had setup the office with state of the art technology, and after being thanked by Kara, Winn moved on to the subject of Reactron. The three went over Reactron's powers and his history with Superman, with Winn telling James and Kara that he had written an algorithm that would sweep the city for any changes in radiation to potentially track down Reactron. James questioned Winn as to what they'd if they in fact found Reactron, suggesting that Kara call Superman on this particular case, as he had almost killed Superman in the past. However, Kara argued that if she did so, National City would become an easy target to every villain. She further elaborated that she was going to be defined not as Superman's cousins, but by her victories and losses, and no one elses. Meanwhile, at Lord Technologies, Maxwell Lord fired an employee after he argued with him over increasing the speed to the train the company was working on. While talking with the rest of his employees, Lord was interrupted by Reactron who was seeking out someone with a background in nuclear fission. Though he attempted to abduct Carl, Lord offered himself instead.
24 hours later at CatCo, Kara and Winn watched KPJT News' report of Lord's abduction. Though Winn tried to convince Kara that it wasn't her fault, Kara told him that she had to find Maxwell Lord, though had no clue how to do so. At the same time Alex arrived offering her help, prompting the three to go down to the base Winn had setup for Supergirl operations. There, the group soon deduced the identity of Reactron, who was in fact Ben Krull, a reactor engineer of Bakerline Nuclear Power Station. Though he and his wife were thought to be dead from an attack on the Power Station by terrorists, Ben had survived the radiation, carrying a vendetta against Superman for the death of his wife. Elsewhere at the junkyard, Maxwell Lord offered to take Ben Krull back to his lab so that his team could analyze Ben's case, and he could regain a normal life. However, Ben rejected the offer and went on to order Lord to fix his suit, or the people of National City would be building memorials to him.
In Cat's office, Kara reads the article that Grant wrote about Supergirl, and is surprised to find out that Cat insulted her. Later that afternoon Kara discovers the location of Reactron's hideout and races there upon learning that he has Maxwell. When she arrives, Kara saves Maxwell but Reactron is still fixated on Supergirl and uses his powers to weaken her, but just as she loses consciousness, she is saved by her cousin Superman. The following day, Kara discovers that Supergirl is now being discredited by Lord in the media because of Superman, and when she discovers that James called Clark Kent with a device to help her, Kara asks James to leave. Back at the DEO, Hank whose eyes start glowing red, as he grew suspicious, asks Alex if there were others who knew about Kara by using DEO information. Alex says no, as she tries to find out more about Reactron and how to defeat him.
Later that night at the party that Cat organized in celebrating the Supergirl article, Cat is greeted by Maxwell but his fails in getting Cat to reveal her story, while Kara shares a dance with Winn. James decided to patch things up by also dancing with Kara, but before they can finish the conservation Reactron breaks in and terrorizes everything around him in searching for Supergirl. He then sees Maxwell but before he can kill him, Supergirl arrived and stops him, allowing James to divert Reactron's attention towards him. Kara learns from Alex that removing his power core (his chest plate) will render him powerless but to prevent it melting down immediately it needs to be covered in lead. Kara then melts part of a lead statue onto her hand and heads outside to battle Reactron, where she successfully removes the power core and stops him, saving James.
Afterwards, Kara thanks Alex and Hank for their help. Back at Kara's apartment, Kara and Alex make up, with Alex suggesting that Kara asks James out. However, when Kara goes to CatCo Worldwide Media, going into his office, Kara sees Lucy Lane, James' ex-girlfriend, who arrived to talk to him. Kara overhears that conversation, leading her to believe that Lucy wants to get back with James. While Kara was upset about this, even giving Winn the cold shoulder, she does receive a texted apology from Clark. Alex also reads the article on Supergirl, telling Kara that Cat was impressed before she took off to answer a siren's sound.
- Many of the questions Cat Grant asks Supergirl are the same ones that Lois Lane asked Superman in Superman: The Movie.
- Hank Henshaw makes a reference to the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians after Kara's slip-up while talking to Cat, wondering if "Keeping up with the Kryptonians" is next.
- Hank states that Superman fights for "truth, justice, and the American way". This is a reference to one of Superman's more popular taglines.
- Part of the title of Cat's article is the "Millennial Falcon". This is a reference to the fact that Calista Flockhart's real-life husband is Harrison Ford, known for his role as Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise.
- James states that Superman averted an "American Chernobyl" in regards to preventing a nuclear meltdown. This is a reference the Chernobyl disaster of April 26, 1986 near the now ghost city of Pripyat in northern Ukraine, which is considered one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.
- During the online conversation between Clark and Kara, Clark references a popular Superman catchphrase, stating that Reactron was "a job for Supergirl".
- At the end of the episode, Kara tells Alex, "Do not watch Homeland until I get back." Melissa Benoist guest-starred in Homeland during its first season as Stacy Moore.
- The real demon core was a sub-critical sphere of plutonium used in nuclear weapons development during World War II. In reality, surrounding such a sphere with a neutron reflector (especially partially surrounding it, as it was with Supergirl's hand) would have increased the radioactive output and caused it to go critical, emitting large doses of radiation which could've killed every human in vicinity. This happened twice accidentally to the real demon core, which resulted in the deaths of two scientists and poisoning of several other Manhattan Project personnel.
- According to Melissa Benoist, the scenes at the "disgusting" junkyard in this episode were hard to film due to the high temperatures and she subsequently became sick.
- According to Brandon Routh on Twitter, the "bulletproof coffee" Cat mentions in this episode was used by writer Andrew Kreisberg after Routh's "obsessive" use of the term. Routh, of course, played the title character in Superman Returns.
- The couch scene between Alex and Kara was a natural scene between Chyler Leigh and Melissa. Kara throwing the pillow at Alex wasn't scripted; Melissa did it on the spot, as was Chyler's reaction.
- At the scene of the traffic collision, Supergirl's path is blocked by a fallen electricity cable that appears to be live as it is sparking and dancing around. She grabs the cable and snaps it, which "kills it". This is not how electricity works; live wires do not spark and dance, and snapping the cable would have no effect.
- When Supergirl kicks Reactron, her kick does not connect, yet he still flies back.
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