Supergirl: Hostile Takeover

"You don't fight like a human." "Because I'm not."

Catco gets hacked, releasing toxic secrets about Cat Grant into the National City Media; Supergirl has to protect Cat while dealing with the fallout from Astra and Non ramping up their plan.

The two storylines tonight have some parallels so there's a nice structure: on the one hand Cat Grant has just had her emails broken into, so her wacky secrets are being released into The Internets. On the other hand it's Kara having her life hacked, realizing not only that it's her mother who imprisoned her aunt–problematic enough in itself–but that her mother used the relationship between Kara and Astra in order to do so. This is really triggering for Kara, just as being hacked is a terrifying and violating for Cat, and in the end Cat also winds up uncovering a huge family secret. In both cases, though, it's an open question how much of the hacking is truth and how much is violation.

For Cat, the motivation behind the hacking turns out to be something extremely concrete; one of the board members, Armstrong, wants to unseat her and take the reins of the media giant's corporation. She's able to consolidate her power and oust him, so the biggest reveal here, besides the fact that Cat once auditioned to be an Undercover Boss, is the existence of Adam Foster and Cat's troubled relationship, or lack of it, with her eldest son. Cat came across as genuinely disturbed by what happened, and to me this development really humanized her. We've all had to make difficult decisions about life, and Cat's already demonstrated a very hardboiled attitude about what it means to be a business leader as a woman. She's also got this penetrating insight as a character which really drives what she is and what she can do: Cat penetrates Supergirl's disguise, putting together dozens of clues, and although Kara doesn't exactly admit it, I'm like "Kara, can't you hear yourself talking loudly about Supergirl-related activities in the office with the boys?"

In Kara's case, she's already struggling with the idea of being an isolated Kryptonian without a Kryptonian family, and the distance Clark keeps from her doesn't seem to help. Any mention of him or contact with him and you see how the character lights up. Likewise, she can't keep herself from trying to connect with Astra and even Alex comments on how Kara doesn't seem ready to fight Astra with the necessary strength. Sure, maybe Supergirl has the physical strength to knock Astra out and imprison her in a kryptonite-laced cell. It's Kara Danvers Zor-El who's struggling with a loneliness so fierce that when she confronts the digitized version of Alura she can't keep herself from screaming at it and trying to, however illogically, destroy it with heat vision. I'm thinking, after seeing Astra in the cell begging Kara for help, that the need perhaps cuts both ways, and Astra needs family as much as Kara does.

We're slowly finding out more about Astra's plan, and to me this and the Kryptonians like Non are the weakest part of this episode and this season so far. Astra being a Kryptonian environmental activist isn't too terrible, but Non and the rest don't seem to have any investment in her goals, only in power and domination; as a result, they come across as far more cardboard, and many of Astra's scenes with them seem to reduce her to cardboard as well. Astra's relationship with Non seems to be more about anger and control than about love.

The episode's ending cliffhanger is dual: Supergirl vs. Non, but also Cat vs. Kara. Not only does Kara have to fight equally powered Kryptonians, she's got to deal with the owner of a media conglomerate having sorted out Supergirl's identity. I don't really go for cliffhangers that often, but I loved the visuals of this one just as I loved the suddenness at the end of the last one - Supergirl is really pulling off some great wham-bam fight moments!

Bits and Pieces

Can I say I like all the Alex and Kara training scenes? It's kind of cool to see someone like Alex Danvers fill a whole Sargeant role.

There's a moment when Astra says Alura is not Kara's mother which gave me pause, but I'm fairly sure she means it metaphorically. Still: could Astra be Kara's mother? If so, there's an even bigger parallel here about mothers giving away their children.

Alex seems really gung ho about killing in this episode and the need for a final answer. She keeps pushing Supergirl when Supergirl is clearly looking for another kind of solution.

The handsome little hobbit with cardigans is growing on me, even if I think his bitchiness with James is totally ridic.

James and Kara. While I'm ambiguous about this relationship, I actually liked Kara in this episode - the moment when she was like "We are nothing more than friends who hug because you're with Lucy." I think it's more than that, but it's nice she puts it on the table.


James: I mean, I'm compiling a master list but it's always this strange, weird stuff like the fact that Cat invested in Jekyll and Hyde musical.
Cat: (scoffs) I still maintain that it was an excellent score.
James: Has she sent in an audition tape to be on Undercover Boss?
Cat: Years ago, and only because Anderson Cooper dared me to.
James: And there are 317 e-mails referring to Lois Lane as a...
Cat: Oh, please. I call her that to her face and worse.

Cat: And, ahem, about that one email...
Armstrong: The one where you said I was the walking personification of white male privilege?

Kara: You let everyone that I love die! You left me! You left me alone! You sent me away! How could you do that?
Digital Alura: I am not programmed...
Kara screams, and her heat vision lances through the digital version of her own mother, frying nothing, just as powerless as she feels.


This episode has great moments of characterization, but I'm not too hot on the Kryptonian death army. Four out of five internal hackers.

1 comment:

Billie Doux said...

There was a lot of clever and funny in this one ("So much evil in three-hole-punch form"), at least at the beginning. I also really liked the way, when Cat unmasked her, Kara sort of quietly slunk away without confirming or denying anything.

But my favorite bit was Cat keeping M&Ms in an ice bucket for emotional emergencies. I don't know why, but that just made me roar.