The wait is finally over. After it was announced by The CW earlier this year, Kelly Olsen finally becomes the new Guardian in this week's episode of Supergirl, "Blind Spots". The episode, co-written by series star Azie Tesfai, sees Kelly step into the role as hero to take up the causes of inequality and the underserved in the community and it comes at an important time. Last week's "Mxy in the Middle" saw Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) destroy the Ormfell building, a building whose designation as affordable housing had been hard won by the very people Kelly is fighting for.
Kelly's journey to Guardian is one that has been a long time coming and it's something fans have been hoping for since the character's first appearance.
"You know what's funny about that, is I think the fans did because I can tag the Guardian arc for the last two and a half years pretty much," Tesfai recently told ComicBook.com. "And I could never say anything about it in seeing it, but they have really rallied in so much of what she's become in the multidimensional layers of her as a character, and her being a superhero, and this new career path for her, and what's the empathy that shows within Kelly. I feel like a lot of that has come through the fans being so vocal, which, to me, makes it even better."
She continued, "I think it's Kelly finally stepping into her purpose and what she realizes is her destiny in so many ways."
"You know, me personally feeling empowered to have such a hand on the story arc, and the episode that I got to co-write particularly, and my character stepping in her power as a woman, as a gay woman, as a Black woman, it wasn't lost on me," she said. "I think that we, Kelly and I both, were finding our footing and finding our voice, and using it at the same time, which was emotional and powerful and changed me forever, and how I see who I am. And so, I think, when the fans do see this arc, it isn't just watching Kelly step into her power. It's watching me, Azie as a person, stepping into my own power as a Black woman. And so it does mean a lot to me."
Need to get caught up on the events of this week's episode of Supergirl, "Blind Spots"? We've got you covered with our recap below but be warned: there are full spoilers beyond this point.
On Mitchell's ship, Nyxly looks at the orb. She doesn't yet have the location of the totem and isn't sure what went wrong. We roll back to 24 hours earlier. Kelly is on the phone with Joey, who is excited about his new room, when the Ormfell collapses. Kelly rushes to the scene and finds Joey and his friend. Orlando shows up. They get the kids to the hospital as Joey is having issues breathing but the hospital doesn't have enough resources. Councilwoman Rankin is wheeled in, more focused on trying to get corporate dollars than helping people. She leaves when Kelly asks for help. Kelly calls Alex for help from the Super Friends, but they can't come.
At a wealthier hospital, Rankin demands that she be given an experimental drug. All of those exposed to the building collapse subtly have some sort of blue glow happening, though it goes unseen. Distraught because no one is helping, Kelly calls her brother to vent and admits she's so exhausted because she can't get anyone to see the real problem. While she's on the phone, Rankin gets the drug, injects it, starts to glow blue and every other victim collapses.
Friends to the rescue?
In Newfoundland, Lena is starting to learn about her powers when she gets alerts about what's happening in National City. She rushes off to help, leaving behind her lessons and a book important to knowing more about her heritage. In National City, the Super Friends can't find Nyxly but Brainy has an idea of how they might be able to find Mxy.
Kelly reaches out to Andrea for media attention to the issues regarding the Ormfell and the victims, but Andrea also brushes her off. CatCo is covering the traffic issues because the "demographic" doesn't care about the issues in The Heights. There's a knock on the door. It's Diggle. James sent him.
Kelly and Diggle investigate
Kelly admits that she feels alone in this because the superheroes have super villains to fight. Diggle understands, and asks Kelly what she knows - which is that something other than the dust is making people sick. Diggle goes with her to investigate. They notice a blue glow coming from a structure inside the building that has survived. Rankin drives up, giddy that the affordable housing is now gone. She also manifests a sandwich and realizes she has powers and that she can transform the neighborhood the way she wants to. At the Tower, Alex gets scanners that can track Fifth Dimensional Energy and they find a lot of it at the remains of the Ormfell. They show up and find Kelly and Diggle investigating. Turns out, the building was also charged with the energy which is what is making people sick. The Super Friends plan to track and remove the energy so they can use it to find Nyxly. In her office, Rankin uses her newfound powers to bribe another politician to her side, though each time she uses those powers others impacted by the collapse suffer.prevnext
Kelly tries to tell Supergirl about how the larger systemic issues of the underserved community that is The Heights, but Supergirl is focused on Nyxly and putting things back they way they were. She's not listening. No one is, not even Alex, who is also focused on the Nyxly situation though Dreamer gives Kelly a scanner that she can use to see if there is anything they missed. At the hospital, the scanner picks up the energy on Rankin, but Kelly and Diggle are surprised she's doing so well.
Rankin gives a press conference saying that people shouldn't let their weakness hold them back, but Orlando confronts her and tells her that she and the system are the problem. One of her bodyguards goes to harm Orlando and Kelly - as Guardian - shows up, protecting Orlando. Guardian goes after Rankin, and the two fight with Rankin using her powers. She ultimately escapes, but not before Kelly gets a chunk of her hair.
Justice for some
At the Tower, Kelly confronts the Super Friends, demanding to know where they were. She tells them that Rankin was the issue but they don't care. They don't see her or the real issues. They are too fixated on Nyxly to care. She reminds them that they are supposed to fight for everyone, but instead, she sees people like her struggle and die while the Super Friends turn a blind eye. Diggle goes to talk to Kelly. He tells her had the opportunity to become a "special kind of hero" but he would have had to leave his family behind. He had to ask himself what kind of hero he really wanted to be and he poses the same question to her. Supergirl comes to talk to Kelly, saying she's sorry. Kelly admits that she's pushed down so much of her own trauma to keep going. She says Supergirl may not get it, but she needs to know this exists and that the disenfranchised need hope and do not have the luxury of focusing on tomorrow. The disenfranchised are struggling to survive the day and Supergirl isn't a bad person for not seeing it, but she needs to acknowledge her blind spots and support her in restoring justice. Elsewhere, Alex talks with J'onn, who talks about how he chose to present as a Black man, and in many ways, it's made him feel more like an alien than on this world than being an alien, but he also understands that Kelly and Diggle do not have the same choice.prevnext
It turns out that Rankin has become an energy siphon and each time she uses her powers, she's essentially stealing their lifeforce. They can stop her, but it will render the Fifth Dimensional Energy useless for tracking Nyxly. Supergirl doesn't care. They're going to save the people of The Heights. Kelly then asks Brainy for help with her helmet and it turns out, Brainy's been working on her suit for a long time. Kelly asks Brainy if, in the 31st century, things are any better. He tells her that even in the future, it's better in a lot of ways, but they haven't fully evolved. There are generational scars and work to be done but the present has Kelly and there is still time to make a difference.prevnext
Kelly, now suited up in her Guardian suit, faces Rankin with the Super Friends behind her. Rankin says she's going to destroy the whole city and rebuild it from the ground up. The Super Friends start to protect the neighborhood as Rankin attacks. Guardian goes to get Orlando to help, but he's unwilling to trust at first, but she convinces him. Orlando gets the Ormfell victims out into the street while Guardian takes to the roof and activates the device that takes Rankin's powers. The energies are redirected to where they belong and the people are saved. Energy also goes into Nyxly's orb. Rankin gets arrested. Guardian tells Orlando he should run for her spot on city council. The kids of the neighborhood are inspired by Guardian.
Kelly becomes part of the Super Friends as a hero of the people. Diggle heads back to Metropolis saying "worlds await". On Mitch's ship, Nyxly begins to plan to get the courage totem. Lena returns home to find the book she left behind in Newfoundland has been mailed to her. At home, we see Kelly wrap her hair up protectively in a scarf before sitting down. Alex comes home and tells her that she understands that she doesn't understand and she never fully will but she wants to be an ally. Kelly tells Alex to just let her be without having to unpack everything, hold a space for her, and love her.