The winter finale of CBS’s Supergirl has come and gone, and the story directly picked up where last week left off. Though it looked as though Supergirl was in for a capture by General Astra and her Kryptonian henchmen, the tête-à-tête between aunt and niece was pretty short-lived as far as opening scenes go. For the most part, the action was saved for the end of the episode.
The dual narratives of “Hostile Takeover” involve General Astra’s attempts to persuade Kara to see her rationale, as well as Cat Grant suffering an email leak that threatens her position as CatCo CEO. The three women make for an electric trifecta of badass womanhood. Both Astra and Cat are being fleshed out by the writers, proving that would-be one-dimensional characters can evolve into compelling entities in their own right. Cat is — forgive me for the awful pun — still catty by nature, but she’s shown multiple instances of humanity toward Kara throughout the season, and we’re only 8 episodes deep. Astra, meanwhile, is moving ever so slightly away from being the scorned sister hellbent on revenge, and toward being a sympathetic character. Maybe, just maybe, Alura wasn’t as righteous as Kara remembers.
Kara spent more time in the episode playing the connective tissue between the parallel storylines of Cat and Astra, as both the Executive and the General found themselves with minor mutinies afoot. The CatCo Board of Directors met to discuss the repercussions of their CEO’s email hack, and she found unexpected support from Dirk — a Board Member whom she had scathingly called the “walking personification of White Male Privilege” in one of the hacked emails — a man she knew was angling for her position. Meanwhile, Astra’s husband Non, her Lieutenant, sounded downright insubordinate when discussing Astra’s potentially weak feelings toward her niece.
After a battle between Astra and Kara, the exiled Kryptonian General’s captured and held at D.E.O. headquarters. Astra tries to convince Kara that she was morally right in her defiance of the High Council of Krypton, and that Kara’s mother Alura was not, as Kara thought, the “best woman who ever lived.” General Astra, it turns out, is the highest-ranking Eco-Activist in the galaxy. After reviewing footage of the fight between niece and aunt, Alex and Hank (J’onn) surmise that Astra lost the fight to Kara on purpose, likely as a distraction from some other unseen plot. The flashback scenes are a treat, however, because doubling Laura Benanti‘s screen time as both Alura and Astra is always a good move.
When Kara enlists the help of Lucy Lane in addition to Winn and Jimmy Olsen, the team finds a smoking gun naming the source of the leak as none other than Chairman of the Board Dirk. By the end of the episode, Astra’s temporary sacrifice in serving as the decoy proved successful as her lieutenant and husband Non leads a band of Fort Rozz criminals on the march into National City. Oddly, Lord Technologies happens to be their target of attack. The D.E.O., Kara, and Maxwell all fight against Non and his gang, with a shot of Kara and Non flying full speed toward each other as the climactic final scene.
Overall, the episode served up a microcosm of the series’ overall strengths and weaknesses. It was strong in character development, but the pacing reminded me a lot of the pilot. Jump cuts were a-plenty with as much side-story as the writers attempted to cram into 43 minutes of airtime. Thanks to the series’ relative success and back-end episode pickup, it’s very likely we’ll see the network and the writers be able to slow the pacing down a bit and, hopefully, offer up an extended episode every once in a while to help the flow. The winter hiatus for Supergirl won’t be too long, however, so expect to see the resolution to Kara and Non’s cliffhanger fight on January 4th!
That wraps up our Supergirl recap for Earth Year 2015. What has been your favorite moment so far? What are you excited to see in 2016? Let us know below!
[To James Olsen] “You and your abs wouldn’t understand that.” – Winn
“Wait. Only people you trust on this one. James, and [referencing Winn] that handsome little Hobbit who has more cardigans than you do.” – Cat Grant
“I will die before I allow another world to end when I could save it.” – General Astra
Blink and you’ll miss it:
Now that we know Hank Henshaw is the adopted identity of Martian Manhunter, we get another glimpse of his red eyes, but this time it’s more pronounced and Martian-looking than we’ve previously seen.