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Recap / Supergirl (2015) S1E8 "Hostile Takeover"

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"When I went on the run, I took this with me. I would hold it in my hand to remind myself of why I was turning my back on my family, and betraying the high council. It would all be worth it if you survived."

General Astra returns, attempting to convince Kara to join her side by appealing to their shared history and familial relationship. Meanwhile, CatCo has been hacked; the press and the Internet begin combing through Cat Grant's emails for damaging personal information. Cat assigns Kara and James to read through her emails, while Winn backtraces the source of the hack.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Are These Wires Important?: J'onn disables the kryptonite shield on one of the Kryptonians by grabbing the glowing part and giving it a good yank.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Kara delivers one to Non at the end of the episode:
      Non: To think that you are the last daughter of the once great House of El.
      Kara: You're going to wish I'd died with the rest of them.
    • Lord gets a downplayed one of his own when Non asks if he is a champion of Earth. With slight smugness, he replies "I have my moments." It helps that he just one-shotted a Kryptonian in mid Heat-Vision blast with some hi-tech gun of his design.
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  • Blind Without 'Em: Kara tries to insist she'd be blind without her glasses so that she doesn't have to take them off, but Cat doesn't believe it.
  • Breath Weapon: The female non-Kryptonian that takes part in the raid is able to breathe a deadly gas.
  • Broken Masquerade: In this episode, Kara finds out that a pair of glasses, sloppy hairstyles, and an affected doormat personality are insufficient to fool someone (Cat) who is also a experienced investigative journalist that's used to drawing conclusions from small bits of evidence. The fact that Cat sees Kara every single day and has also spent a significant amount of time with Supergirl probably also helped a lot.
  • Broken Pedestal: Alura to Kara after the latter discovers she was used by her mother to draw out her aunt.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Astra still has the krytonite knife Henshaw stabbed her with. She uses it to weaken Kara during their confrontation at the start of the episode.
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  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Kara and Non about to throw down.
  • Computer = Monitor: Kara and Winn send James to plant a device in Dirk's computer to allow Winn to hack it. He puts it in the monitor.
  • Continuity Nod: Cat deduces that whenever Kara is missing, Supergirl shows up two seconds later, and vice versa. Cat pieces it all together from the time when Livewire showed up to when Supergirl was nowhere to be found during the earthquake in the previous episode.
  • Designated Girl Fight: When the DEO arrives at Lord Technologies to fight off Non's raid, Alex quickly ends up fighting the one female alien present.
  • Dramatic Irony: Near the beginning of the episode, Cat asks Kara what planet she's from. She gets the answer before the episode is over.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite her actions against Supergirl in past episodes, Astra is revealed to truly love her niece and is very reluctant to kill her. It's even revealed that Alura exploited Astra's love for Kara in the past by using Kara as bait to draw Astra out in order to arrest her.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Alex explains to J'onn exactly how she knows Astra threw her fight with Supergirl… and then she realizes what that means.
  • Foreshadowing: During their fight (testing whether Kara has recovered from her Human for a Day), Alex asks why she's holding back.
    Kara: Plus, you're my sister.
    Alex: What if I wasn't?
  • Head-in-the-Sand Management: Astra accuses the Kryptonian High Council of this because they knew about the impending destruction of the planet for over a year before it happened, but they apparently did nothing about it.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Astra says "we did what we had to do" when explaining why she and Non were justified in killing people to save Krypton.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: A variant. Reviewing the footage of Astra's and Kara's fight, Alex realizes that the former made mistakes a veteran combatant should never have made (straddling the fallen Supergirl); she intended to get caught.
  • I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Lucy suggests to Cat that she really shouldn't inquire too closely how the evidence against Dirk was obtained. Cat is later able to justify how she was legally able to have it.
  • Internal Reveal: Cat pieces together that her secretary is actually Supergirl.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Astra's forces have developed a device which blocks kryptonite radiation.
  • Magic Skirt: Kara's briefly fails three times in this episode; twice while training with Alex (when she hits a huaracanrana, and then when she throws a spin kick), and then a third time later when Astra backhands her. note 
  • Me's a Crowd: The male non-Kryptonian that takes part in the raid is able to split into two copies of himself and return to one as necessary.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The first mention is made on the show of Rao, the Kryptonian supreme god from the comics.
    • The explanation given for Krypton's destruction (instabilities caused by the Kryptonians tapping the planet's core as a power source) is the same as in Man of Steel.
    • Elements of Supergirl and Astra's fight is quite similar to the climactic fight between Superman and Zod in Man of Steel, with a near-identical shot of the superhero repeatedly punching the villain while flying. The only difference is that Astra does not wish murder the humans en masse and so the fight is not very destructive.
    • In the Christopher Reeve Superman films, Non is the hulking, mute and mentally dim member of the Power Trio with General Zod and Ursa. Here, he's far more intelligent as Astra's husband and Number Two. This might be intentional as in later DC Comics, it was shown that Non was a genius scientist in his own right and a teacher to Jor-El. However, when he began to speak his theories of Krypton's coming demise, the High Council lobotomized him to keep him quiet, a move that fueled Zod's rebellion.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Dirk tries to argue that since Cat has possession of emails that must have been hacked from his computer, she won't be able to use them against him. Cat smugly informs him that the files and emails were on a company-purchased computer, sent over the company network and mail servers, and thus legally she has every right to see and possess them.
  • Not So Different: The episode spends a good amount of time showing that Astra and Kara are not complete opposites. Especially when it's shown that neither one is actually willing to kill the other.
  • Parental Abandonment: Cat had a son out of wedlock (before Carter) with her then-boyfriend. A custody suit followed, and rather than pursue it, Cat gave up on the suit.
  • Reality Ensues: Turns out, keeping a Secret Identity isn't as easy as putting on a pair of glasses, especially not when you're trying to keep it from someone who sees you every day at work. That boss you think doesn't notice you might actually be paying some attention when you disappear without a trace, especially when the Part-Time Hero consistently shows up soon after.
  • Saying Too Much: Kara mentions that she overheard Dirk Armstrong saying something after the board meeting. While she corrects herself, Cat still realizes that there's no way she could have heard anything without super hearing.
  • Secret Keeper: In the previous episode, J'onn told Alex that only one other living person knew his secret. In this episode he reveals who it is.
    J'onn: Kryptonians are impervious to my telepathy, which Superman finds hilarious.
  • Spotting the Thread:
    • Alex realizes Astra threw the fight when Alex sees that she took up a vulnerable position, just begging to be attacked, which no experienced warrior and combatant would do.
    • Cat figures out pretty quickly that Dirk isn't really on her side. She also is able to piece together that Kara is Supergirl just by noticing a slip of the tongue and remembering that the presence of Kara and Supergirl seem to be mutually exclusive.
  • Super Power Beatdown: For the first time in the series, we get a full-on (if brief) example when Kara and Astra fight.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Discussed as Alex thinks Kara should be willing to when needed, but Kara doesn't and mentions that Superman never kills.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Astra. She planned to get taken out of the equation so that the DEO would focus on her instead of the attack her allies are planning.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: How Astra sees herself.
    Astra: I'm trying to get people to stop and see what they're doing, and in doing so, I've had to do some difficult things.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Kara is extremely upset that her mother used her as a pawn to get to Astra.
  • Villain Has a Point: The fact that only two children survived the destruction of Krypton lends validity to Astra's claims that the High Council was severely mismanaging the crisis the planet faced.
  • You Are Too Late: Astra says it nearly word for word when Alex tries to question her.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Astra's henchmen grab Supergirl's leg when she intends to fly.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: How Astra sees herself, trying to save another doomed planet.


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