Recap: Supergirl 1×08 – Hostile Takeover

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

Welcome to National City! Every week, I’ll be recapping the adventures of everyone’s favorite Maid of Might, Supergirl! This week, the boys get sneaky, and Kara kicks some Astra.

We pick up where we left off, with Kara surrounded by Astra and her minions. Kara tries to fight them off, but Astra whips out the kryptonite knife Henshaw – I MEAN J’ONN – stabbed her with, and explains that it’s not affecting her or her cronies because of the glowing doohickeys strapped to their shoulders. Astra says it’s time for them to be a family again, but Kara, trembling from the kryptonite, spits that they’re not a family, and jumps off the roof. She plummets rather hilariously into the ground beneath them, but when Henchalien #1 X-ray visions the crater, she’s already gone.

"'Knife' to see you again, niece! What, you're too good to laugh at my jokes now?"

“‘Knife’ to see you again, niece! What, you’re too good to laugh at my jokes now?”

DEO. Kara fills Alex and J’onnshaw in on the latest. She’s ready to confront Astra again, but Alex and J’onnshaw tell her to rest. She tells them to stop handling her, which I love, and is also surprised to see them so “chummy.” Alex assures her that J’onnshaw wasn’t involved in Jeremiah’s death, but she can’t say why. Keeping J’onn’s identity secret is pointless and annoying, but I do like that Alex is just flat-out like “I can’t explain, but trust me,” and Kara’s like “Okay.” There’s a difference between honoring a promise and lying, Barry Allen.

"Ix-nay on the Artian-may." "Darn, I wish I'd learned Pig Latin after coming to Earth."

“Ix-nay on the Artian-may.” “Darn, I wish I’d learned Pig Latin after coming to Earth.”

CatCo. CatCo’s been hacked, but the hacker “hasn’t made any demands,” which…does the show think hacking and kidnapping are the same thing? What actually appears to have happened is that Cat’s private emails have been leaked and various media outlets are publishing embarrassing things.

Cat tells Kara to go through all her emails and find anything else damning before the media does so they can get ahead of it. She tells her to only loop in people she trusts: Jimmy and “that handsome little hobbit that has more cardigans than you do.” Hee!

Why does Cat have four identical pairs of glasses in front of her?

Why does Cat have four identical pairs of glasses in front of her?

Supercave. Kara has…printed off all the emails??? HAS ANYONE WHO WORKS ON THIS SHOW EVER USED A COMPUTER? She asks Winn to trace the hack; he snipes at Jimmy a couple of times, then trots off to obey. Jimmy notes the weirdness; Kara says Winn’s imagining things since the hug, which of course meant nothing because they are just friends, ha ha! This is tiresome.

Astra’s lair. Some Kryptonian lieutenant – who also happens to be Astra’s husband – asks why she didn’t kill Kara; Astra’s clearly reluctant and would rather bring Kara on board. However, she’ll die before she lets another planet be destroyed. Uncle Lieutenant says if Astra dies, he will kill Kara.

Okay but for real though: WHAT is in Astra's hair?

Okay but for real though: WHAT is in Astra’s hair?

DEO. Kara and Alex are sparring in the kryptonite room. Kara’s much better than she used to be, but she still hesitates before risking real damage, and Alex says she suspects Kara can’t be as ruthless as she needs to be against any family. She asks if Kara’s prepared to kill Astra if necessary. Kara points out that Superman doesn’t kill (paging Man of Steel to the green courtesy phone!), but Alex doesn’t like that answer. “What do you remember about her?” she asks. “What are you holding back?”

Flashback. Young Kara joyfully greets her aunt, who’s answered her “spy beacon,” a little glowing device Kara’s holding. Astra tells her the planet is dying because they’ve overused its resources, and in her attempts to save it she’s “had to do some difficult things,” which is why she’s been AWOL. She has to leave, she says, and they both start crying – and Alura walks in.

That tiny cape is weird and adorable and I love it.

That tiny cape is weird and adorable and I love it.

CatCo, Supercave. Winn’s made no progress tracing the hack; Jimmy’s found a lot of weird stuff (Cat backed Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical, which made me laugh really hard) but nothing terribly incriminating. Cat’s assures her board of directors that they’ll weather this storm; they’re mostly skeptical except for one bland suit named Dirk Armstrong, despite one of the leaked emails calling him “the walking embodiment of white male privilege.” There’s been no “smoking gun,” he points out – but if one turns up, he’s sure Cat will step back.

Dirk Armstrong, human thumb.

Dirk Armstrong, human thumb.

Cat, no dummy, tells Kara to watch out for Dirk. Kara super-hearings him just in time for him to basically ‘fess up to conspiring with the rest of the board to set up the hack in order to oust Cat. She scurries to tell Winn and Jimmy. They can’t trust the corporate lawyers, she says…but Jimmy knows a lawyer.

Restaurant. Lucy’s understandably eyebrow-raise-y at the “hypothetical” the Scoobies have presented to her. Kara asks if, hypothetically, they could get a warrant to search Dirk’s office. You know, where he keeps his…incriminating hacker pants. Lucy says they need a paper trail; without proof, they’ll just make things worse.

"This could conceivably be more awkward, right?" "I guess if we were all naked." "YES PLEASE."

“This could conceivably be more awkward, right?” “I guess if we were all naked.” “YES PLEASE.”

Breaking news! A strange woman with Supergirl’s powers – Astra, obviously – is hovering over CatCo Plaza. Winn and Jimmy cover for Kara, who slips out as Alex calls to tell her she doesn’t have to rise to Astra’s obvious challenge. “You know I do,” Kara says, and hangs up.

She changes and confronts Astra. And oh man, you guys, this fight is so much better than the last wirework one. Zipping around the buildings! Heat vision! Superspeed! Kara breaking from the fight to save people on the ground from crumbling masonry! It’s awesome.

SUPER-LENS FLARE!

SUPER-LENS FLARE!

Astra gets the upper hand and tells Kara that Alura was a murderer. Enraged, Kara fights her off, but can’t bring herself to deliver the killing blow. Instead, she drags her to the DEO and tells Alex and J’onnshaw that Astra can rot there.

CatCo. Winn’s come up with a plan to plant a bug on Dirk’s computer. But since he’ll have to be monitoring the tech from his own computer and Kara will have to be the X-ray vision lookout, it’s Jimmy who’ll, as Jimmy puts it, be getting arrested if this doesn’t work out.

"Also, I thought we agreed that *I* got to wear navy today?"

“Also, I thought we agreed that *I* got to wear navy today?”

And suddenly, everything turns into a wacky heist show! IT’S GREAT. Winn calls Dirk’s secretary and tells her that Dirk’s Maserati is on fire; Dirk runs out and Jimmy sneaks in as Kara calls the all-clear. He plants the bug (Winn: “Yes! God, I am enjoying corporate espionage, like, a little too much.”) but Dirk’s on his way back (Kara: “Jump out the window and I’ll catch you!” Jimmy: “No!” Me: “YES!”).

Of course, Dirk catches Jimmy, who turns up the smarm as he assures Dirk that whatever happens to Cat, the board has Jimmy’s full support. As Jimmy heist-swaggers out of the office to the delight of the viewing public, Alex calls. Astra’s awake, and she’ll only talk to Kara.

DEO. Astra’s in a kryptonite-charged cell. She shows Kara the spy beacon: “It’s time you knew everything.”

Kara calls Astra and her “fanatic husband” murderers, and Astra says Alura’s the one with blood on her hands. She points out that the spy beacon was how Alura caught Astra. Was it her idea to turn it on, or Kara’s?

"This is what humans do with aliens when separated by glass. I saw a documentary about it!"

“This is what humans do with aliens when separated by glass. I saw a documentary about it!”

Flashback. Allura and Astra are fighting. Astra’s husband – who turns out to be classic Zor-El hanger-on Non – apparently killed a guard. Alura says he’ll have to face justice, but she can still save Astra. Astra doesn’t care; she’s convinced their planet, and Kara along with it, are dying. Alura brings in guards to arrest Astra and sadly walks away.

Present day. Astra says Earth is also dying and she can stop it, but the humans won’t like her methods, so she needs Kara. Kara, horrified, walks out despite Astra’s tears…

…and into the hologram room, Alex at her heels, where she asks Hologram Alura if she used Kara to catch Astra. “Yes,” Hologram Alura says. Kara asks if Astra could have saved them, if she was right about Krypton. “I am not programmed to give you that information,” Hologram Alura says.

“How could you use me?” Kara demands. “You left me!” Hologram Alura just keeps repeating “I am not programmed to give you that information” until Kara heat visions the hologram and bursts into furious tears. Alex turns it off and hugs her. “She lied to me,” Kara sobs, and Benoist is so good I’m crying a little too.

I will never get over how great this effect is.

I will never get over how great this effect is.

Alex points out Astra’s not the most reliable narrator. “I know that Astra and I were both given life sentences by my mother,” Kara says, and storms out.

CatCo, Supercave. The boys are adorably worried but Kara doesn’t want to talk about it. Winn’s still trying to break into Dirk’s system; Jimmy’s discovered that Cat makes regular payments to a 24-year-old Adam Foster in Opal City. Hmmm.

“If I wanted to have sex with a beach boy I’d still be sleeping with John Stamos,” Cat scoffs when Kara asks her about this apparent “rentboy,” to use Cat’s term. Every line out of Cat’s mouth this episode is a candidate for Best One-Liner, by the way.

Kara presses and Cat confesses: Adam is her oldest son, by a different father than Carter’s. She sued for custody back in the day, but eventually dropped the case. “You have no idea what that moment is like when you say to yourself, ‘Maybe my child would be better off without me,’” she says, and oh, there I go, I’m crying again.

Cat says it’s her greatest regret, and she won’t allow Adam to be caught in a media scandal: “I will negotiate a graceful, lucrative exit, and I will step down from CatCo.”

Next day. Cat’s about to announce her resignation when Jimmy, Winn, and Lucy come scrambling in with an incriminating email from Dirk – printed out, of course. Nothing’s harder to falsify than a printout of an email!

Cat summons Dirk to her office and points out that he sent all his incriminating emails from a CatCo email address, using a CatCo computer, on CatCo property, like the true criminal mastermind her is. Oh, and security’s here to eject him. This plotline made no sense but at least there was heist music!

Meanwhile, Jimmy very genuinely tells Winn that if he likes Kara, he should tell her. Winn stammers a bit before saying that she’s out of his league; “You and your abs wouldn’t understand.” Jimmy says Kara’s worth the risk. I’m not interested in Kara/Winn in and of itself, but this episode is making me very interested in Kara/Jimmy/Winn/Lucy.

Also in love with Kara: the hot pink cat statue, probably.

Also in love with Kara: the hot pink cat statue, probably.

DEO. Alex and J’onnshaw are both suspicious of the whole Astra situation, and J’onnshaw admits that he can’t read her mind: “Kryptonians are impervious to my telepathy, which Superman finds hilarious.” I laughed SO HARD at that, and also Alex’s horrified face when she realizes her boss can read her mind. Also, J’onnshaw’s terrible jokes that no one laughs at are so beautifully in character to me as a Martian Manhunter thing that I might cry a third time.

Alex realizes that Astra lost the fight on purpose – she wanted to be captured. She and J’onnshaw confront her to find out why, but Astra says they’re too late to stop her now.

Lord Tech. Non and a bunch of henchaliens attack.

#jumpsuits

#jumpsuits

CatCo. Cat calls Kara her “secret weapon,” a great hat-tip to Supergirl’s earliest days in the comics where she served as exactly that for a particularly dickish Superman – and then starts musing. Isn’t it funny how she’s never seen Kara and Supergirl in the same place at the same time?

“Do me a favorite and take off your glasses,” she says. “I’d be blind without them,” Kara stammers. Cat smiles: “I doubt that.” She points out that if she’s not who Cat thinks she is, it shouldn’t matter. Kara takes the glasses off.

"Never mind, you look nothing like Supergirl."

“Never mind, you look nothing like Supergirl.”

“Well,” says Cat. “Let me begin by saying thank you for all the help that you’ve given me…Supergirl.” AHHHHHHHHH.

Kara’s phone rings. It’s Alex.

Lord Tech. Max and a couple security guards confront the aliens, armed with weapons that I think Kara would be alarmed to see are as effective as they are. Non lifts Max by the throat anyway – and the DEO bursts in. A pretty awesome melee battle ensues; aside from the Kryptonians, there’s an alien who can duplicate himself, and another who can spew poison gas from her mouth.

Non’s about to heat vision Alex when Kara comes flying in. She recognizes him immediately. “To think that you are the last daughter of the once-great House of El,” he says. “You’re gonna wish I’d died with the rest of them,” she replies. They fly at each other and…have a great mid-season hiatus, everyone!

#tenterhooks

#tenterhooks

(Please send me your Kara/Jimmy/Winn/Lucy fan fictions while we wait, thank you.)

Super-Highlights:

Nerdiest Hat Tip: I’m not sure if this is the first time Rao’s been mentioned, but Astra namedrops the Kryptonian sun/sun god.
Best One-Liner: “So far the Daily Planet has published my real age, the fact that I have three personal shoppers at Barney’s, and that I asked out Idris Elba on a date and he said no. His loss.”
Worst Thing: Honestly the hacking plot didn’t make any actual sense. It was still pretty enjoyable, though.
Best Thing: I feel like I go back to this well a lot, but in an overall strong cast, Melissa Benoist and Calista Flockhart are dazzling. What tremendous work from both women, and what tremendous work they do together. This show is a gift.

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