Aug 2, 2021
Supergirl: The Big Non-Finale (S1 E8 RECAP)
Previously on Supergirl: All of the evil Fort Rozz aliens have crash-landed on Earth and they all have superpowers, and one of them just so happens to be Supergirl’s Aunt Astra, the identical twin of her mother Alura. Hank Henshaw revealed that he was secretly J’onn J’onnz, the Martian Manhunter, but the true bombshell happened when Kara and James… shared a tender hug.
Welcome to what the network billed as the “winter finale” of Supergirl! We pick up right where we left off at the end of the previous episode, with Astra confronting Supergirl on the roof of a building. Supergirl fights her and her two bodyguards, until Astra pulls out the Kryptonite knife that Henshaw stabbed her with back in episode two, which weakens Supergirl. What’s more, Astra and crew now have special devices on their bodysuits that make them invulnerable to Kryptonite. Yes, it’s just that easy.
Astra, however, is trying to strike a conciliatory tone, saying it’s time for her and Kara to be a “family” again, and wanting Kara to join her. Kara refuses, mentioning that she knows Astra was locked up in Fort Rozz for “blowing up government buildings” back on Krypton. She then escapes by throwing herself off the roof and crashing to the ground and tunneling under the pavement.
At DEO base camp, Supergirl is telling Alex and Henshaw about Astra and her new Kryptonite-proof suit. Henshaw thinks this could be the beginning of a “city-wide attack.” Supergirl wants to head out and track her down, but Alex wants her to rest and firmly tells her that Henshaw can handle it. It would seem Alex is totally on Hank’s side now due to his confession in the previous episode. She later assures Kara that they were “wrong” about him but refuses to elaborate. Oh, right, it’s because Supergirl can’t know that he’s the Martian Manhunter yet for some dumb reason.
Kara goes to work the next day and learns there’s been a cyber-attack on CatCo and all of Cat Grant’s emails have been leaked, and now her personal info is being reported on by the media. Yep, just like the Sony hack. It’s a plot ripped from the headlines!
CatCo wants to get out ahead of this, so she orders Kara to go through all her emails, looking for damaging information. When Kara balks at the enormity of this task, Cat says she can bring in James Olsen to help out, along with Winn, who she only knows as “that handsome little hobbit who owns more cardigans than you do!” Yeah, that about sums up Winn.
Up in the vacant office that serves as the Supergirl-cave, Kara and James are going through printouts of Cat’s emails, while Winn tries to trace the hack. Winn leaves, and James notes he’s been acting weird ever since he saw them hug. But why would he, because it was just a friendly hug, right? Kara says, “We are friends, who hug. Nothing more,” and they basically repeat that to each other over and over, but no one’s buying it, least of all them.
General Astra is over in her villain lair, a dark, featureless room with a glowing desk in the center. One of her cronies appears, dressed in a Kryptonian bodysuit. He expresses disappointment that she didn’t kill Kara and accuses her of being weak. Astra calls him “lieutenant” and reminds him that she’s his general.
And then things take a strange turn, as it starts to sound like Astra’s plans for world domination are more about actually saving the Earth and she can’t allow “another world to end when I could save it!” Finally, it comes out that the guy’s name in Non, and he’s Alura’s husband. Is this supposed to be the same “Non” who was one of the three Kryptonian villains of Superman II? Because I can totally see it.
Back from break, Supergirl and Alex are sparring again in that room in the DEO with the low-level Kryptonite emitters that take away Supergirl’s powers. I guess Supergirl’s gotten better since the last time, because the fight is evenly matched and there’s even a moment where Supergirl climbs up on Alex’s shoulders and flings her around with her crotch. I even had to make a GIF out of it to prove I’m not exaggerating.
Alex is down for the count, but Supergirl hesitates before dealing the finishing blow. Alex says she can’t pull her punches just because she’s fighting a family member. You see, some part of Supergirl must still feel like Astra is family, but she has to be prepared to kill her if it comes to that. Alex wonders what she remembers about Astra, and that takes us to another flashback featuring L’il Kara on Krypton, with lens-flares aplenty. She’s got a glowing device that summons her Aunt Astra, who has a similar device that she refers to it as a “spy beacon.”
They chit-chat for a while, and then Astra tells Kara that Krypton is doomed because they’ve been harnessing the planet’s core for power, causing it to become unstable. Just then, Alura interrupts them and tells Kara to leave, and the flashback ends there. So, why is it that Astra still looks the same age when Kara has obviously aged about 10-12 years? I guess Kryptonian don’t crack.
Back at CatCo, James is finding embarrassing info about Cat in her emails, which includes how she once auditioned for Undercover Boss—right here on CBS! Cat says she only did it because “Anderson Cooper dared me to!”
Now that we’ve gotten our weekly dose of pop culture references out of the way, Cat meets with the board of CatCo, and they’re all very displeased about the hack. However, there is one supportive voice: the chairman of the board, Dirk Armstrong, played by the same guy who plays the boss on black-ish. So I guess he’s carving out quite the career in playing narcissistic corporate blowhards.
As the board members leave, Cat tells Kara that she sees right through Dirk because he’s as “two-faced as they come.” This inspires Kara to use her super-hearing to eavesdrop on him as he heads down in the elevator, and she learns that Dirk is the one who engineered the hack as a way of pushing Cat Grant out as CEO and taking over the company himself.
Kara immediately shares this news with James and Winn, who for some reason are terribly confused about how she “overheard” him. I guess to reinforce that she used her super-hearing to do it? She says they need more proof and for some reason Lucy Lane can help them out due to her “legal” background… and stuff. Any excuse to bring Jenna Dewan Tatum in for another episode, I guess.
Down at the only restaurant in National City, Lucy provides such helpful tips as telling them they need to find a “paper trail” connecting Dirk Armstrong to the hack. But before they get much farther, they see a TV news report that Astra is hovering in the air near CatCo Plaza and basically calling Kara out.
Kara excuses herself and goes to confront her. But Supergirl is done talking and immediately goes on the offensive. They have a big airborne battle through the skyscrapers of National City, which would be pretty cool if the CGI were any good. They even crash through a skyscraper at one point, and it kinda looks like they just caused the deaths of a few dozen office workers, although nothing is ever made of this.
They come crashing down near a park. Supergirl is pounding on Astra, and naturally, Alex’s foreshadowing comes true when Supergirl can’t bring herself to deliver the death blow. Instead, she drags Astra back to the DEO, and they put her in Kryptonite handcuffs.
At CatCo, Winn has formulated a plan to catch Dirk Armstrong. He needs James to plant a device on Dirk’s computer that will allow them to remotely access all his files. And there’s some silliness where Winn provides a distraction by calling Dirk’s secretary to say his Maserati is on fire, and nothing in this scene has much of a point.
Kara then gets called back to the DEO, because Astra has said she’ll only talk to her. Astra’s in a containment cell, and she shows off that she still has that “spy beacon” from the flashback, just to tug on Kara’s heartstrings. Astra then decides to reveal how she was caught and arrested by Alura.
And now it’s time for Astra’s flashback, which picks up where Kara’s flashback leaves off. Alura confronts Astra about all the criminal stuff she’s been doing, but Astra thinks that it shouldn’t matter because their planet is dying. Alura refuses to listen, and two armed guys show up to arrest Astra.
Back in the present, she insists that Earth, like Krypton, is “on the verge of ecological disaster!” And now, supposedly, after stalking around and acting all mustache-twirling-ly evil in two prior episodes, it seems her entire goal is to save Earth and not conquer it. Yes, she did make some vague comments about “saving” Earth in her previous appearance, but this still feels like an abrupt about-face.
Kara then goes to confront the Alura hologram, now extremely pissed off that she may have been used to lure Astra in so she could be arrested. She also wants to know if Astra was “right,” but the Alura-gram says, “I am not programmed to give you that information.” Supergirl starts getting angrier, thinking Alura allowed everyone on Krypton to die because she didn’t listen to Astra. She eventually gets mad enough to blast the hologram with her heat vision, which is a bit over the top. But Alex is there to shut off the hologram and remind her it’s not really her mom, and she doesn’t know the whole story.
Back at CatCo, James is still going through Cat’s emails, and he’s spotted something odd. It appears Cat’s been making monthly payments to someone named Adam Foster living in “Opal City” (home of DC’s Starman in the comics). Kara confronts Cat with this info, and Cat wonders if they think she’s paying for a “rent-boy,” and wow, did they really work the name of a male escort site into this show?
Cat says if she “wanted to have sex with a beach boy, I’d still be sleeping with John Stamos,” which is funny. As it turns out, Adam is Cat’s son. So this version of Cat Grant has two sons, which makes sense, since she’s supposed to be older than her comic counterpart. And Adam (who has the same name as Cat’s son in the comics) has a different father than Carter, the son that Kara had to babysit a few episodes back.
Cat talks about fighting for custody of Adam for a while, but she eventually gave up and dropped the case. Kara asks, “Did you just… send him off?” Hmm, do you see the parallels with Kara’s own life?
Cat says she simply realized that her child would be better off without her, which of course meshes with Kara questioning why her mother sent her away. And somehow, this information about Adam is such a bombshell that Cat decides she would rather resign from CatCo than let the news get out.
Cat is about to give a press conference where she announces her resignation, but then James and Lucy and Winn show up just in time with proof about Dirk’s involvement in the hack. And then Cat gets introduced to Lucy Lane, who she immediately knows is Lois’ “kid sister.” Cat gives her the usual backhanded compliment when she congratulates Lucy because she’s the one who “got the looks” in the family.
Cat has Dirk come to her office, where she shows him the proof that he planned the whole hack, which he stupidly did using a CatCo computer and a CatCo email account. So why did the IT guy for CatCo have to hack into his computer? She knows he was hoping for a “hostile takeover,” but now CatCo security and/or the National City police are here to arrest him.
He’s led out, and then we get a scene between James and Winn, where James has finally figured out that Winn likes Kara. James says Winn should take a risk and tell Kara that he has feelings for her. And given how that post-Thanksgiving kiss on the cheek went, that’s spectacularly awful advice.
At the DEO, they’re getting suspicious because no other alien has come looking for Astra. Alex and Henshaw watch footage of the fight between Asta and Supergirl and quickly figure out that, yes, Astra allowed herself to be defeated because she wanted to be captured, a plot “twist” that’s surely been beaten into the ground since The Dark Knight (and it didn’t even make sense then).
Unfortunately, Henshaw says he “can’t read Astra’s mind to find out why,” which is Alex’s first indication that he can read minds. Henshaw says Kryptonians are immune to his psychic abilities, and he even implies he knows Superman personally.
They go to confront Astra, but she tells them it’s “too late” to stop what’s happening now. Cut to the headquarters of Maxwell Lord’s company, as Non and several other Fort Rozz prisoners smash their way in.
Meanwhile, Cat’s on her office balcony, wondering how Kara could have possibly overheard Dirk after the board meeting. Then she brings up the earthquake and how Kara got sick and broke her arm around the same time Supergirl was missing, and then she just happened to get better when Supergirl came back. She also mentions how Supergirl just happened to show up when Cat was being attacked by Livewire. And so, she’s finally putting it together and asks Kara to take off her glasses.
Kara realizes the jig is up and takes them off, and Cat realizes she’s Supergirl. So I guess that leaves Lucy Lane as the sole regular/recurring character on this show who doesn’t know Kara’s secret identity. Well, I guess Max doesn’t know, technically, but it’s only a matter of time.
But before they can discuss it any further, Supergirl gets called away. The attack at Lord Technologies is in progress, and Maxwell Lord fights back with some kind of gun that shoots brown gunk on one guy’s face and makes him collapse. Max says, “What do you know? It works!” Naturally, Max spends so long jabbering about his weapon that Non easily disarms him. The DEO cavalry arrives, Non tosses Max aside, and a huge fight breaks out between the DEO and the aliens.
This involves a guy who can split into two people, which means his copy can kill a guy while the original person just sorta stands there, looking cool. And then there’s a blonde woman who has super strength and can also breathe out a yellow cloud of poison. Meanwhile, Non does the Neo thing where he lets a bunch of agents pile on top of him and then he throws them all off.
Henshaw battles an alien who’s surprised at how he stands up to his attack. “You don’t fight like a human!” Henshaw’s eyes turn red as he says he’s not, and then he rips off the guy’s Kryptonite-defeating glow-stick badge and hits him with a Kryptonite gun.
Meanwhile, Alex (tellingly) runs to Max to see if he’s still alive. Non sets his sights on her for some reason and is about to hit her with his heat vision when Supergirl flies in and starts beating on him. In the middle of the fight, she recognizes him as Non, Astra’s husband. And then they charge directly at each other, and that’s where the episode abruptly ends.
So, not too much of a “winter finale.” I was expecting some sort of resolution between Astra and Supergirl, but most of the episode was taken up with dealing with Cat’s silly email hack. And considering all the fascinating events triggered by the real-life Sony hack, it’s a shame that all they did with the idea was give us yet another sinister businessman looking to grab power.
Also, Cat finding out Supergirl’s identity is a strange turn of events. So, does this mean Cat is now going to take full advantage of having a superhero working for her? Won’t Kara basically become a glorified bodyguard now? Part of the drama of this show was seeing Kara try to lead a normal life alongside being a superhero, and now it seems they’re essentially killing that aspect of the show.
Anyhow, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t intended to be a finale when they originally filmed it, because it was a pretty run of the mill episode. But I guess it’ll have to do until the show comes back in two weeks.