'Supergirl' recap: 'Hostile Takeover'
In an episode full of exciting action sequences, the strongest parts of tonight’s installment of Supergirl were the intimate moments that were focused on the emotional parts of the story and allowed for some great character work. This is especially true of Cat and Kara, whose relationship takes an interesting, thrilling and well-earned turn at the end “Hostile Takeover.”
We pick up right where last week’s episode left off. Kara tries to fight off Astra’s goons, but Astra pulls out a Kryptonite knife, which weakens her. Astra, however, is unaffected because she found a way to shield herself from the radiation. This raises the question, if the DEO has known about Kryptonite for so long and Hank is actually an ally, why didn’t they find a way to block the radiation? Anyway, Kara throws herself off the roof to escape.
She immediately runs back to the DEO to update Alex and Hank. She’s surprised to see how chummy Alex and Hank have become but takes Alex’s word that Hank didn’t have anything to with her father’s death. On Alex and Hank’s orders, Kara returns home to rest and promises to come back tomorrow for some training before she goes out to find her aunt.
The next morning, news breaks that CatCo was hacked and all of Cat Grant’s emails have been leaked. Naturally, the Daily Planet is all over the embarrassing parts of the email, including the fact that Cat asked Idris Elba out over email, but he turned her down. Cat wants to sue every publication that publishes the emails, but her lawyers tell her to take a chill pill. Once the suits leave, Cat instructs Kara, James, and Winn, a.k.a “the Hobbit with more cardigans than Kara,” to sift through her email and find the bad ones before they get out.
While those three learn more about their boss than they ever wanted, Astra has to deal with her annoying and equally fanatical husband, Non, who is upset that Kara hasn’t been converted to their cause and/or isn’t dead. Oh yeah, he also happens to her lieutenant — being married to a boss definitely won’t muck up the chain of command. Non promises Astra that if she dies, Kara will die, too.
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Kara shows up for training at the DEO the next day, and it’s clear she’s been practicing; she’s even developed her own take the Black Widow’s patented legs-around-the-neck-aerial-takedown thing. Eventually, she gets the upper hand but hesitates, which Alex uses a teaching moment to point out that Kara needs to be ready to kill Astra because Astra is ready kill her and this is war. I like that Supergirl planted seeds for this conversation way back in episode 2 when Alex killed the Hellgrammite without even flinching. Naturally, Kara is not about that killing life because that’s the Super-way and because part of her still cares for her aunt.
A quick journey to the past via flashback reveals how close little Kara was to Aunt Astra back on Krypton. In a secret meeting, Astra tells Kara that Krypton is dying because they have harnessed power improperly, i.e. Krypton is experiencing its own global warming-like crisis, and Astra is determined to stop it by any means necessary. Alura interrupts aunt and niece time and, after sending Kara away, arrests Astra because she and Non are basically eco-terrorists.
Back to the present day, in a meeting with the CatCo board, Dirk Armstrong, the board’s chairman who Cat has aptly nicknamed “the walking personification of white male privilege,” suspiciously stands behind Cat, urging the board not to make her resign. As the meeting ends, Kara overhears Armstrong talking to someone about how he was behind the hack because what else would you expect from the walking personification of male privilege? (ASIDE: I desperately want Cat Grant to give me a nickname.)
NEXT: Family Feud
While James and Winn consult with Lucy about how to legally take down Armstrong, Kara flies off confront her dear aunt, who is hovering over National City to draw her out. There’s a moment in the ensuing fight when Astra and Supergirl go flying through a building and you’re immediately worried Supergirl is about to go last act of Man of Steel on us — you know, wanton city destruction. But, it doesn’t! Supergirl breaks away from the fight to stop the tumbling building rubble from hitting civilians and then uses the same rubble to hit Astra because she’s not one to waste. Eventually, Kara gets the upper hand and is unable to deal with the final blow. Instead, she drags Astra back to the DEO, and her aunt is placed in a cell.
When Astra eventually wakes up, she says she’ll only talk to Kara, so Kara is forced to return to the DEO for some family-bonding time. Astra begs Kara to help her stop Earth from dying from global warming and tells her that Alura ignored Astra’s warnings and used Kara to arrest her all those years ago. Kara can’t fathom that her mother would use her like that and storms into her Chamber of Solitude to yell at her mother’s hologram. It’s a heartbreaking scene because all Kara wants to do is talk to her mother but can’t.
Kara returns to work to find Winn still going through the material he found on Armstrong’s computer after James placed a hacking device on it (not important). However, James finds something interesting in Cat’s emails: monthly wire transfers to someone named Adam Foster. James and Winn assume it’s male escort because they’re idiots. Kara confronts Cat about it, and it’s revealed that Adam is her eldest son, who she gave to her ex after forfeiting a custody battle. At the time, she was building CatCo and thought they could still remain in each other’s lives, but there came a point when she reasoned he might be better off without her because she was so consumed with CatCo. This scene, like most of the ones that occur between Cat and Kara mid-episode, is great and gives me all the feels.
Cat schedules a press conference to announce her resignation but doesn’t go through with it because Winn, James, and Lucy come through with evidence from Armstrong’s computer. Kara lets slip she overheard Armstrong talking about the hack after the meeting when Cat asks what led her to investigate him. Cat takes the email and turns Armstrong in. It turns out Armstrong was an idiot and used his CatCo computer and email to facilitate the hack, which makes it legal for Cat to read it. Yes, victory!
In slightly awkward territory, James notices how much Winn likes Kara and tells him to tell her how she feels.
Back at the DEO, Alex and Hank re-watch footage of Astra and Kara’s fight and realize that she was captured on purpose. UGH! “Villain getting caught on purpose” is one of the stupidest and lamest superhero tropes. Astra allowed herself to be caught to distract the DEO from her goons, led by Non, staging an attack on Lord Technologies.
However, Supergirl is a truly magical show because one of its stupidest moves is immediately followed up with its smartest decisions to date. When Kara pays Cat a visit at the end of the day, Cat reveals that she’s figured out Kara is Supergirl. Thankfully the writers didn’t try to force us to believe someone as sharp and intelligent as Cat couldn’t figure out Kara’s secret identity. Cat thanks Kara/Supergirl for all her help, but then Kara is called off to Lord Technologies.
When Supergirl arrives on the scene, the DEO is already mid-battle with Non and the Fort Rozz escapees. Alex and Hank are holding their own, but the same can’t be said of some of the other agents. Supergirl confronts Non, and the episode ends with the two of them flying toward each other.
Wall of Weird:
- “Congratulations, you got the looks,” Cat Grant says when she meets Lois Lane’s little sister, Lucy.
- “You don’t build a company like CatCo by being a wallflower and not having an opinion and a strong point of view.”
- Funny information found in Cat’s email: She flew the corporate jet to Burning Man. She invested in Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical. Anderson Cooper dared her to submit an audition tape for Undercover Boss, and she did.
Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.