Monday, December 14, 2015

Supergirl Episode Guide: Season 1, Episode 8 - Hostile Takeover

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Kara goes toe-to-toe with Astra when her aunt challenges Kara’s beliefs about her mother. Meanwhile, Cat is threatened with being removed as the CEO of CatCo after a hacker exposes her private and damaging emails.


Superman: The Movie (the character of Non), the Man of Steel comic series (the character of Dirk Armstrong) and the New Krypton storyline from the comics (the idea of Kryptonians trying to save the Earth by imposing their will on it).


The fight scenes in this episode are probably the best in the series to date, particularly the second fight between Astra and Kara.

The special effects used to bring this battle to life are also noteworthy and of cinematic quality

Super Trivia

Non - a Lieutenant serving under General Astra, who is also her husband - is named after a character from the original Superman movie.  Non was the non-speaking muscle of General Zod, who was condemned to the Phantom Zone alone with Zod.

Non was introduced into the DC Comics Universe during the New Krypton story-line. There, it was revealed that he had been a scientist and a mentor to Jor-El as well as a member of Krypton's High Council. He was part of a rebel group that attempted to expose the truth of Krypton's impending doom and was lobotomized by the Science Council for his trouble.

The DCTVU version of Non has nothing in common with either of his predecessors, being capable of speech and being a member of Krypton's Military Guild.

In the flashbacks, Astra invokes the name of Rao. Rao is the name of the chief deity of the Kryptonian religion as well as the name of the red star Krypton orbits.

Dirk Armstrong, the CatCo Chairman who plots against Cat, too his name from a character from the same mini-series that introduced Cat Grant in the comics.  In the original DC Comics, Dirk Armstrong was a conservative commentator for The Daily Planet, who saw Superman as a menace and repeatedly butted heads with Clark Kent and Perry White. Despite this, he was portrayed as an honest man who doted on his daughter.

The DCTVU version of Dirk Armstrong is not so honest and about the only thing they have in common is a conservative bend and sexist streak, with Cat describing him as "the poster boy for White Male Privilege."

It is revealed that Cat has a son from her first marriage named Adam Foster. In the comics, Cat had a son from her marriage to Morgan Edge named Adam.

It is said that Cat's eldest son lives in Opal City.  Opal City is a fictional city in the DC Comics Universe. It is located in Turk County, Maryland and was the home town of Ted Knight a.k.a. Starman I as well as Ted's sons David (Starman VI) and Jack (Starman VII).

Cat describes Kara as her Guardian Angel. It is worth noting that, for a time in the comics, Supergirl was a literal guardian angel, created when an shape-shifting artificial lifeform from a parallel dimension called The Matrix merged with a dying girl named Linda Danvers.

The male alien criminal with Non's team in the fight at the end of the episode has the power to split himself into duplicates.  He is not identified in any of the show's release materials, but this power is possessed by a number of DC Comics villains including the Firestorm villain Multiplex (who appeared in the second episode of The Flash TV series), a Superman villain called The Duplicate Man (who appeared in World's Finest #106). Though we only see a second duplicate in the fight, it's possible the alien is a citizen of the planet Cargg, whose people can split into three duplicates, like the Legion of Superheroes member Triplicate Girl.

The female alien criminal with Non's team at the end is a gifted martial artist with platinum blonde hair and strength enough to snap a grown human male's neck.  She also possess some power that allows her to exhale a poison gas that can kill a human instantly. The manner in which she does this resembles The Mist - another DC Comics villain who has also appeared on modern The Flash TV series.


A Kryptonian can protect themselves from the effects of Kryptonite by shielding themselves with the right materials.

Krypton died because its people disrupted the core of the planet harnessing it for power. This caused the oceans and weather to change in a way that sounds reminiscent of man-made climate-change on Earth.

Max Lord developed some kind of gun that can apparently turn a Kryptonian's heat-vision against them by latching a reflective ammunition onto their face.

Dialogue Triumphs

Alex: Kara, this is war. And to win a war, sometimes the enemy has to die. But can you look me in the eye and tell me that you're prepared to kill?
Kara: Superman doesn't kill.
Alex: If that's your answer, then you shouldn't fight her.
Kara: It won't come to that.
Alex: She's shown that she's ready to kill you. You have to be ready to do the same.

Supergirl: (sarcastically) No bodyguards?
Astra: No knife. No armor. No one besides you and me. Will you tall to me now?  You can't say it's not fair.
Supergirl: We're done with fair!

James: Winn, look buddy.You had it wrong before. I'm not in your way. If you have feelings for Kara, you should tell her.
Winn:  Yeah, but she's... She's her, you know?  And I'm me. It's not so easy, you know?  I mean, what if she doesn't- It's just - you and your abs wouldn't understand.
James: I understand that Kara is special. And not just because of the cape. She's the kind of girl worth risking it all for. Hey man, if i were you... I'd risk it.

Cat: Kiera! Another week. Another crisis averted, thanks to you. My secret weapon. My guardian angel.
Kara: It was nothing.
Cat: Oh. no. It was something. It was something extraordinary. You saved me from a potentially very embarrassing situation with Adam.  You know, I was thinking about how you overheard Dirk after the board meeting. I was standing right next to you and there is no way that he was within earshot.
Kara: Um-
Cat: And then I was thinking about the earthquake and how you got sick for the first time since I've known you. And you had a broken arm and Supergirl mysteriously went MIA. And then she came back and your cold was gone.
Kara: That's just a coincidence -
Cat: I was also thinking about Livewire. About how when she attacked us you fled into the stairwell.
Kara: (chuckles) Because you asked me too.
Cat: Yeeees. But not two seconds later, Supergirl shows up.  Another coincidence?  And let's not forget that you took it personally when I named her "Supergirl".
Kara: Sure, for... for political reasons.
Cat: Do me a favor and take off your glasses.
Kara: My glass- I... I can't!  I'd be blind without them.
Cat: I doubt that. If you're not who I think you are, what does it matter?
Kara: Ms. Grant, I -
Cat: Glasses or I take it as a confirmation.
(Kara turns to one side and slowly pulls her glasses off, before turning to face Cat)
Cat: Well... let me begin by saying thank you for all the help that you've given me... Supergirl.

Dialogue Disasters

While there aren't any real groaners, much of the script is made of artificial-sounding purple-prose. What little bits of it work - like the scene between Cat and Kara where Cat deduces that Kara is Supergirl - are due only to the strength of the actors' performances.


The Kryptonian criminals developed a means of ignoring the effects of Kryptonite. It manifests in the form of a blue-glowing electronic device that clips onto their armor, on the left shoulder.

Astra arms herself with Henshaw's green Kryptonite knife from 102.

Kara refers to what the hologram of her mother said about Astra in 102.

Astra is revealed to be married to one of her lieutenants, Non.

The arena with Kryptonite dampeners in the wall is seen for the first time since 102.

Superman, in this reality, does not kill.

On Krypton, Kara had half of a spy beacon that allowed her to send messages to Astra.

Kara was, unwittingly, used by her mother as a means of luring Astra out.

Cat Grant has a son, now 24 years old, from her first marriage named Adam Foster. She has been giving him financial support all his life but made an active decision not to fight for custody.

Martians have telepathic powers.

Kryptonians are immune to Martian telepathy. Superman finds this hilarious.

Apparently Superman knows J'onn J'onzz.  It is not revealed if Superman knows that he is masquerading as Hank Henshaw.

Astra refers to Alex killing the Hellgramite in 102.

Cat refers to the events of 107 and 104 in explaining why she thinks Kara is Supergirl.

The Bottom Line

Surprisingly good, despite a lackluster script. The revelation that the Kryptonian criminals on Earth were political prisoners is barely touched upon as is Kara's anger over the idea of her mother using her as a pawn. The subplot with Cat getting hacked is resolved far too easily and Winn still comes off more like a creepy stalker than a legitimate love-interest for Kara.

Shockingly, the best bits of the episode involve the DEO and the fight scenes. Last week's revelation that Hank Henshaw is really Martian Manhunter has added a whole new, hilarious dynamic to these scenes as we now know that J'onn is hamming it up playing Hank. The final scene with Kara and Cat is wonderful and we finally get to see the true Cat Grant - smart and nice under all the sharp edges. And the cliff-hanger is legitimately exciting.

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