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"Human for a Day" is the seventh episode in the first season of the CBS television series Supergirl, which aired on December 7, 2015. It was written by Yahlin Chang and Ted Sullivan, and directed by Larry Teng.

"Human for a Day"
Supergirl episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 7
Directed byLarry Teng
Written by
Production code4X7607
Original air dateDecember 6, 2015 (2015-12-06)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Red Faced"
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"Hostile Takeover"
Supergirl (season 1)
List of Supergirl episodes

The episode centers on an earthquake that shakes up National City, causing the Department of Extranormal Operations headquarters to trap a suspicious Alex inside with Hank and the alien fugitive Jemm.


In the wake of her recent battle with Red Tornado and her anger issues, Kara's powers have been drained after she used her heat vision at full force. She is told by the Kryptonian artificial intelligence at the Fortress of Solitude that it will return in a few days, which is what Hank Henshaw is hoping for though Kara is concerned about her powers never returning. Alex, more suspicious than ever, tells Kara that she doesn't trust Hank anymore but urges Kara to enjoy her day without her powers.

At work, Kara is sick and has a cold which Winn sees this and asks what's going on with her to which she replies she had to take the bus and there was a 10 year old on the bus who had a runny nose. Winn sees that since she's sick and took the bus she has lost her powers which she says is true. When Kara gets to her desk Winn goes to get her something to help. As Cat's elevator opens Kara sneezes which Cat hears and demands who sneezed. Kara tries to hold it in but she sneezes and Cat was surprised she was sick as she's never sick to which she says that's the best part about her which Kara finds surprising. She says that if she gets sick the company will go downhill so she gives Kara the day off.

Back at the DEO, an alien conqueror known as Jemm is determined to escape, but Hank informs the psychic criminal that the neural shielding can withstand his powers. Jemm threatens Hank's family, but Hank tells him that he has none. Meanwhile, Kara and James bump into one another, who tells her that he and Lucy are getting a place together.

When Kara is walking home James comes up to her. Kara starts to sneeze and James sees that Kara has lost her powers and calls it a solar flare, as that's what caused Superman to lose his powers the first time. Jimmy tells Kara to lay low and enjoy herself which Kara agrees to and says "the world can survive one day without Supergirl". Then immediately after she says that, an earthquake happens which causes both Kara and James to fall to the ground. They get up only for Kara to see a car coming toward her, but James pushes her out of the way, though this breaks Kara’s arm and causes her pain. She gets up, James gives her a cast and they walk back to CatCo. Kara sees all of the destruction of the city she could've stopped if she had her powers.

With Cat informing necessary personnel to stay while Winn gets everything back online just in time to see Maxwell slam Supergirl for not coming to the rescue, prompting Kara and James to stop him from going any further. When the two visit Maxwell, he is unfazed, claiming that Supergirl no longer has her powers due to her recent fight with Red Tornado and may never get them back.

The earthquake also causes damage at the Department of Extranormal Operations, causing a power outage and an opportunity for Jemm to escape his cell. Hank and Alex seek out Alura for advice and gather a team to go after Jemm with psychic disruptor helmets. Believing he can trust Alex, Hank asks her to stay behind. When Hank does meet up with Jemm, he has already taken out his security guards, before Hank vanishes altogether. He returns and tells Alex that Jemm is using his power to control the security and fellow guards, and plans to stop him with a neural inhibitor. He wants Alex to remain at her post as well, but Alex decides that it’s time to find out what Hank is trying to do behind her back.

Back on the streets, Maxwell attempts to save a woman's father in front of Kara and James, but in the absence of an X-ray machine to find a venous thrombosis, he fails. Without her power of X-ray vision, Kara is unable to save the man as well, making her feel helpless. Suddenly, just as James is ready to help her overcome the loss of her powers, Kara hears a robbery happening nearby. She shows up as Supergirl, barely keeping the pain of her broken arm under control, and talks the robber out of it, resulting in the criminal turning the gun over to her and James snapping a photo of the event. Back at the DEO, Jemm uses his powers on Alex's partner and kills him just as Alex is tackled into a room by Hank, only to discover that Jemm plans to free the prisoners. Alex makes Hank handcuff himself to a wall, revealing she knows about his connection to her father's death and wants Jemm to come to the control room.

Back at CatCo, James shows Kara the picture he took of her and the two share a moment, resulting in Kara thanking him for his encouragement with a hug just as Winn shows up with information that will restore Kara's powers - which is an adrenaline rush. Upset over seeing the two hug, Winn bitterly reminds Kara that James has a girlfriend and when her powers return she won't ever be able to have a normal life or relationship. When reports of a gas explosion hits the building, the three attempt to help the people trapped on the floor above them, with James climbing the ladder to open the doors and rescue everyone. However, he loses his grip on the ladder and begins to fall down the elevator shaft. James grabs onto one of the wires but he's unable to grab the ladder. Kara then clenches both her arms and gives a cross face. After that James falls but when Winn turns around and sees that Kara is gone with only her cast on the ground. She is now in her Supergirl outfit and she grabs James and brings him up and goes to save the day.

Meanwhile, Jemm comes looking for Alex, who is ready with a gun and attacks him, destroying the beam on his head. However, he gains the upper hand and prepares to finish her off when he is suddenly attacked by Hank. After a short and brutal fight, Hank snaps Jemm's neck. Hank then turns on the lights and tells Alex that he’s not the enemy. Alex still demands answers and he tells her that he's is not actually Hank Henshaw, explaining that Henshaw died alongside her father when they were tracking a lost alien in Peru who was seeking refuge. Henshaw had wanted to kill the alien, but Jeremiah objected to such a cruel plan and died stopping him. He tells her that Danvers died as a hero and Alex realizes that Henshaw is the alien that her father saved and he reveals himself as a shape shifter who copied Henshaw's appearance in order to reform the DEO. He then reveals himself as J'onn J'onzz, who is the last surviving member of the Martian race. He also tells Alex that he promised her father that he would look after her, hence her recruitment into the organization.

Later on, Kara invites Winn home, but he declines, saying he’s never disappointed in Supergirl but disappointed in her. He leaves as Kara and James see each other from across the hall and share a gaze before James leaves as well. Supergirl speaks with Cat, and on her way home, is suddenly attacked by three Kryptonians, led by her Aunt Astra.



The episode attracted 856,000 viewers for its British premiere, making it the 3rd most watched programme on Sky One for the week.[1]

Critical responseEdit

Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly noted: "'Human for a Day' tackles one of the biggest tropes of the superhero genre: a powerless superhero. The point of stories like this is to show that being a superhero doesn't just mean having powers, and the show's exploration of this theme is quite effective. A powerless Kara also allows for characters like James, Cat, and Alex to shine."[2]

Cliff Wheatley of IGN gave the episode an 8.6, saying "Human for a Day" achieves its goal in showing us why Kara is a hero with or without superpowers, while also delivering big on the hype of introducing a new DC superhero to the fold. Jemm is a definite weak link and Winn is still struggling to stay relevant, but Supergirl's latest is a definite winner.[3]

Stacy Glanzman of TV Fanatic gave the episode a 4.3 out of 5 stars.[4]


  1. ^ "Weekly top 10 programmes". Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Agard, Chancellor (December 8, 2015). "Supergirl recap: 'Human for a Day'". Entertainment Weekly.
  3. ^ Wheatley, Cliff (December 7, 2015). "Supergirl: "Human for a Day" Review". IGN. Retrieved December 7, 2015.
  4. ^ Glanzman, Stacy (December 7, 2015). "Supergirl Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Human For a Day". TV Fanatic.

External linksEdit