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Supergirl Recap: “Hostile Takeover”

"It's time for us to be a family again." -Astra

Supergirl Ep 8 - 7

And this is for that time you borrowed my N’Sync CD without asking!

This week’s Supergirl was SOOOOOO GOOOOOD, and so much big stuff happened, and I just … I can’t even … let’s just get to it! Episode 8, “Hostile Takeover.”


Kryptonian men are totally chill with their wives making more than they do.

Kryptonian men are totally chill with their wives making more than they do.

S1, Episode 7 – The Basics

  • We pick up where last week’s episode left off—with Astra and her two goons confronting Supergirl. She’s all, “we should be a family again.” And Supergirl is all “NOPE. I hate your dumb ass.” They fight a little, and then Astra busts out the kryptonite knife she got off Hank during the Hellgrammite fight which, by the way, she’s now shielded herself against with special blue light things on her suit. Dammit. Supergirl escapes.
  • Supergirl goes to the DEO to give Alex and Hank the low-down on Astra’s return, clarifying that 1) she hates this bitch, and 2) Astra’s idea of “solving problems” is blowing them up. Kara is later shocked to hear that Alex is totally chill with Hank now—but she still doesn’t know why.
  • Meanwhile, CatCo has been hacked! Specifically Cat’s emails, which pretty much only exist to confirm the impression most people have of Cat already. After a chat with her lawyers, and drowning her sorrows in a glass of M&Ms, Cat has Kara and “the handsome little hobbit that has more cardigans than you” (aka, Winn), along with James, go through all of her emails to make sure that there’s nothing with which the press could have a true field day.
  • Team Supergirl is on the case. When Winn brings up that Kara might want to go after Astra, he learns that Kara never told James that Astra is back. Talk about a field day—Winn was over the moon that he knew something James didn’t. Later, when Winn leaves the room, Kara and James talk about their “friendly hug.” Their conversation is about as awkward as the words friendly hug in quotes.
  • Back at her super-secret Kryptonian hidey-lair, Astra confers with her lieutenant, who also happens to be her hubby, Non (Chris Vance). He’s totes down with the power dynamic (I think he might even be into it, ifyouknowhaddimean), but he knows that Astra might have a blind spot where Kara is concerned, and they can’t get down with their super-secret plans if Astra can’t get Kara on their side or kill her. So Non volunteers to take care of Kara for her, but Astra’s all, “I got this.” She wants to save the world.
  • Alex and Kara spar at the DEO, and after a couple of bouts, Alex calls Kara on holding back. She warns her that she needs to be prepared to kill Astra if necessary, but Kara insists it won’t come to that.
I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I can do both. Because I'm Supergirl.

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I can do both. Because I’m Supergirl.

  • FLASHBACK—Astra visits Young Kara in her room before running from the law, and it’s clear that they have a strong connection. Oh, and apparently, it turns out that Astra is a radical environmentalist. Before Astra can leave, Alura arrives.
  • Cat goes to a CatCo Board Meeting to talk about the hacking situation. Most of the board members want Cat to lay low, or go away for a while, but “walking example of male privilege,” Dirk Armstrong (Peter Mackenzie) defends Cat. And she doesn’t buy it for a second. She’s right to be suspicious. Kara hears Armstrong using her super-hearing, and he talks about “taking Cat down.” Kara races to Team Supergirl to figure out what they can do.
  • They go to Lucy for legal advice, and she tells them that they need to have proof that Armstrong is orchestrating this to push Cat out. If they can do that, he could go to prison. On the TV, the news reports that Astra is hovering over National City. Kara races to deal with her.
  • Astra and Supergirl have a badass fight over National City. Once on the ground, Kara defeats Astra without killing her (a little too easily?), and drags her back to the DEO.
  • Later, Winn, Kara and Jimmy come up with a plan to put a special device on Armstrong’s computer that will allow Winn to hack in more easily….and James gets roped into being the one to do it. While Winn “enjoys corporate espionage” a little too much, James successfully gets the device on the computer, and successfully covers his but with a lie when Armstrong discovers him in his office.
No, but seriously though, are you an alien?

No, but seriously though, are you an alien?

  • Back at the DEO, Kara confronts Astra in a cell, because Astra said she wouldn’t speak to anyone except Kara. Astra then tells her that 1) She did what she did to save Krypton, and 2) Alura used an unwitting Kara to contact Astra in order to capture her. In a FLASHBACK, we see Alura and Astra’s conversation in full. Astra tries to warn Alura that Krypton is headed for ecological disaster and is willing to save the planet by any means necessary. Alura can’t let her hurt people, and so she has her sister arrested.
  • Kara, upon hearing this stuff about her mother in the present day, is furious and goes to confront the Alura AI, who confirms that Alura used Kara. Kara is now pissed at her mother, for using her, and for sending both her, and her aunt away.
  • Back at CatCo, Team Supergirl continues to go through Cat’s emails, and they find a suspicious money transfer from Cat’s account to an Adam Foster. They assume that it must be a young man that Cat is keeping as “a bit of stuff on the side.”
  • When Kara asks Cat about Adam, it turns out that Adam is Cat’s oldest son with another man who isn’t Carter’s father. She had him when she was just starting CatCo, and his father accused her of not caring about him as much as she cared about her company. It was kinda true. She’s been supporting her son financially, but thought it was for the best to let him grow up without her, since she was so busy. (Uh-oh. Winn’s father is Toyman and Cat actually does have a son named Adam now? I don’t like where this is going…) Kara sees Cat as a parallel to Alura as Cat tells her that the most painful thing ever is to reach the point where a parent thinks “maybe my child would be better off without me.” Cat doesn’t want this email to surface in the press and risk pulling Adam into unwanted public scrutiny, so to protect him, she is willing to step down as CEO of CatCo if that will appease Armstrong.
  • The next day, as Cat prepares to announce stepping down at a press conference, she tells Kara that no matter what happens, “you always have a job with me if you want it.” (aww!) But before she can get in front of the press, Winn, James, and Lucy race in with the proof they need against Armstrong! Copies of emails they got from his computer proving that he was behind the hack. Cat calls Armstrong into her office and has him arrested after delivering some quality Cat Grant snark.
  • Later, in a Bro Moment, James lets Winn know that he knows that Winn is really interested in Kara, and lets him know that, not only is there nothing going on between him and Kara, but that Winn should take a chance and tell Kara how he feels, because she’s worth the risk. Winn is insecure and afraid of doing that, and tells James “You and your abs wouldn’t even understand.” James insists again that Kara is worth taking a chance for.
OK, so I may not have James' abs, but I have some killer cardigans!

OK, so I may not have James’ abs, but I have some killer cardigans!

  • Alex and Hank confront Astra in her DEO cell after realizing that she was defeated by Kara way too easily, and must have wanted it that way. She confirms that she was just a distraction from the real plan.
  • After Armstrong’s arrest and canceling the press conference, Cat is genuinely grateful to Kara for her work in finding the proof against him. She also starts putting two and two together. She remembers that Kara was way too far from Armstrong to have “overheard” him talking about his plans…unless she had super-hearing. Kara starts to look panicked and fumbles to come up with excuses that hide her powers. However, Cat continues to remember things like Kara’s recent illness coinciding with Supergirl’s disappearance, her offense at Cat naming her “Supergirl”, and her leaving during the events with Livewire only to have Supergirl show up two seconds later… She then asks Kara to take off her glasses, and Kara can’t hide it anymore. CAT HAS FIGURED OUT THAT SHE IS SUPERGIRL! And she seems absolutely giddy about it! Cat does, I mean. Kara is freaking out. But Cat seems overjoyed to realize that Kara’s been helping her this much and thanks her. Before she can freak out too much, Kara gets called away, because…
  • Non and some other Kryptonians (and other Fort Rozz prisoners?) are attacking Lord Technologies at that moment to draw out Supergirl (and possibly purposely targeting them as a company that is being wasteful with Earth’s resources). Maxwell Lord hurts one of them with a fancy weapon he’s designed, but is quickly outmatched, and the aliens begin killing security guards. The DEO shows up and they, too, start getting slaughtered. Hank and Alex survive, but as Non is about to kill Alex, Supergirl swoops in and flies straight into him. They brawl, and the episode ends with them flying at each other in a totally badass fashion before cutting out in a BIG CLIFFHANGER!


So, does being Supergirl mean that I get a raise?

So, does being Supergirl mean that I get a raise?

The Review Bit, Wherein I Express OPINIONS:

Holy CRAP was this episode awesome! Supergirl has totally found its stride, and “Hostile Takeover,” in the writing, the acting, and in the direction, was an amazing hour of television.

I loved the parallel between Cat’s situation with the hack and Kara’s struggle with Astra. In a way, both Kara and Cat had been hacked—had things from their past dug up to either hurt them, or manipulate them into serving another’s interests—and Kara managed to stop that happening to both of them. And yet, as was the case in the previous episode, the stories are no longer ending quite as neatly as they used to. We’re left with something pulling us into the next episode to find out what happens next, and I can only say that it’s about time!

In addition to the resolutions of problems becoming more complex, Kara’s emotions are becoming more complex, and I loved watching her pristine assumptions about her mother be challenged. Now, not only has her planet been destroyed, but the image of the person she loved most in the world has been tarnished, and she may never feel the same way about her again. Benoist’s performance was heartwrenching as we watched Kara’s futile attempt to get answers out of the Alura AI about her real-life motivations.

It feels so much better to be able to trust Hank, too, and I’m relieved that they addressed the change in Alex toward him simply but very definitely in having her simply tell Kara that he wasn’t responsible for her father’s death, and that she now knows that for sure. And, because of their solid relationship, Kara trusts and believes Alex, no questions asked, so there’s no reason for Alex to feel the burden of keeping J’onn J’onzz’s secret.

I was thrilled that they found a legitimate use for Lucy in this episode, and I hope they incorporate her into Team Supergirl in this capacity again. Who knows? Maybe she can even find out about Kara one day soon. And I keep going back and forth on Winn’s creepiness, and in this episode I was on the side of Not Creepy. Jeremy Jordan’s performance was earnest and sweet, and I found myself really feeling for him. Having been quite the piner-from-afar in my day, I understand how painful unrequited love can be, especially when you’re insecure. His comment to James about “his abs not understanding” really sealed it for me. It isn’t that he feels entitled to Kara’s love at all—that’s not where his weird behavior comes from. It’s that he doesn’t feel like he deserves it.

I also loved how genuinely appreciative Cat was of Kara (and Supergirl!) throughout this episode. Despite continuing to call her “Kira,” Cat was kind to her, and acknowledged her good work throughout. And now that she knows that Kara is the Girl of Steel, I don’t think that she would try to take advantage of that (too much—she is a journalist deep down, after all!). Her personal experiences with Supergirl have all been good ones. Knowing that Supergirl and Kara are the same person, and putting the actions of both into context allows Cat’s respect for her to grow immensely. I’m looking forward to seeing them be better partners. And hopefully Kara will get a raise!

In addition to this episode being beautifully written and acted, it was also chock-full of some amazing fight scenes! Not only the awesome aerial ones between Astra and Supergirl, but the more down-to-earth sparring between Kara and Alex. I mean, check out the photo at the top of this post! I love seeing well-choreographed fight scenes between female characters who know how to fight, so shout-out to Supergirl‘s stunt coordinator, John Medlen!

I’d love to hear what you thought of “Hostile Takeover” in the comments below!

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. And for more Supergirl fun, check out The House of El on Thursday, and subscribe to my podcast, Supergirl Radio!

(Images via Monty Brinton and Trae Patton/CBS)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.