I don’t like opening recaps with the flashback sequences but since this ties directly into tonight’s plot, I’ve decided to make an exception.
Anyway, in what appears to be a few months before Krypton’s destruction, Kara is visited by Aunt Astra, who has been on the run from Kryptonian law enforcement, including Alura. Astra tells Kara that the planet in dying and in order to try to get the people to listen she’s had to commit some unsavory acts. The family reunion is abruptly cut short though when Alura shows up and has Astra arrested.
Things pick up exactly where they left off last week with Kara being confronted by Astra and a couple other Kryptonians. Since it’s three against one, it’s not much of a fight and it isn’t long before Astra has Henshaw’s kryptonite knife against her throat. Astra then casually reveals to Kara that the Fort Rozz prisoners have engineered some special suits that render them immune to the effects of kryptonite. Astra tries to persuade Kara to join her cause and of course Kara says no right before making her escape.
Kara goes to the DEO to bring Alex and Henshaw up to speed about what happened, prompting Henshaw to suspect that whatever Astra’s planning will probably happen soon. Kara immediately wants to spring into action to figure out what it is but both Alex and Henshaw advise her to instead get some rest and let the DEO handle things for the time being.
At Astra’s lair her husband and presumed second-in-command Lieutenant Non (Chris Vance) chastises her for not killing Kara when she had the chance. However, Astra insists that Kara can still be reasoned with and that Non needs to remember his place since she is still his general (yeah I get the feeling Non will be staging some kind of coup against Astra before the season is out).
The next day, Kara and Alex have another sparring session, presumably to show how much Kara has improved as a fighter since episode 2, despite the fact that Kara’s default fighting mode has continued to be to run up and punch the enemy really hard. Nevertheless, Kara’s fighting against Alex has greatly improved from the last time, though Alex fears that Kara won’t be able kill Astra if she has the chance because deep down Kara still cares about her.
Not long afterward, Astra is seen flying around National City and all but calling Kara out. Kara goes to confront Astra and Kara almost immediately opens with a heat vision blast. The two then have an intense (and not very well CGIed) mid-air fight throughout National City. Kara eventually comes out on top but stops just short of killing Astra and instead takes her into DEO custody.
The DEO try questioning Astra but she says she’ll only talk to Kara, which she reluctantly agrees to. Astra insists to Kara that if anybody had been the villain back on Krypton it was Alura since she did nothing to prevent Krypton’s destruction. She also claims that Alura had used Kara to lure her out of hiding so she would be arrested. Kara refuses to believe this at first but when she asks the AI Alura about it, she admits that it’s indeed true much to Kara’s anger.
Both Alex and Henshaw think there’s something off about Astra’s capture. Henshaw notes that none of the aliens have even been looking for her and Alex says that something doesn’t add up about Kara and Astra’s fight. Alex eventually realizes that Astra lost the fight on purpose and let herself get captured (following the plan of basically every supervillain ever) to distract the DEO from her real plan. Alex and Henshaw try to get Astra to reveal her real plan but she tells them it’s already too late. Just then Lord Technologies comes under attack from Non and an army of Fort Rozz prisoners.
Lord Technologies ends up becoming a intense battleground between the DEO and the Fort Rozz inmates that brings about many casualties from the DEO. Non is about to kill Alex but then Kara flies in to save her. Kara and Non then stare each other down and both fly towards each other head on as the screen cuts to black.
While all of this has been happening, CatCo endures a PR nightmare. Cat’s personal e-mails have been hacked which of course leads to a great deal of embarrassment for Cat and by extension CatCo. She has Kara, James and Winn (whom she hilariously refers to as “that handsome little Hobbit) go through her e-mails to see if there’s something the hacker can use against her and to see if they can figure out the culprit behind the hack.
Initially, the e-mails seem to reveal only mildly embarrassing stuff like her spending habits, investing in the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde musical and some multiple instances of her insulting Lois Lane (though Cat notes she’s called her worse to her face). Unfortunately, this does little to ease the concerns of the CatCo board members and they suggest that it might be better if she “distances herself” from the company. After the meeting, Kara overhears the CatCo board chairman Dirk Armstrong brag that it’s only going to be a matter of time before Cat steps down from running the company, indicating to Kara that Dirk is the one behind the attack.
Kara decides it’s best to get some legal advice about the situation and decides to ask Lucy. Kara asks if they can get a warrant to search Dirk’s office and Lucy tells her the best way to do that is to find a paper trail that shows him conspiring against Cat and that if they can do that they can get him fired and arrested. She warns Kara though if they go against Dirk without hard evidence it will do Cat more harm than good.
Winn comes up with the idea to put a bug on Dirk’s computer so he can access his emails but he needs James’ help in planting it. While James is able to plant the bug inside the computer without anyone noticing he is caught by Dirk in his office. Luckily, James is able to play it off by pretending to offer his services against Cat and Dirk is none the wiser.
While Winn is busy hacking into Dirk’s accounts, James finds an unusual email from a bank. They find out that Cat has been making monthly deposits to the personal accounts of someone named Adam Foster. When Kara asks Cat about it, she admits that Adam is her son from a previous relationship that she had while she was still struggling to make a name for herself. Eventually, her ex-boyfriend left with Adam saying she cared more about her career than her family which she admits might have been true. She fought for custody at first but eventually decided that Adam was better off with his father. Cat realizes that Adam’s name will dragged into the mud thanks to the media scandal and decides that it’s best for her to step down from CatCo.
Cat gets ready to announce her resignation until James, Lucy and Winn come to Cat with an email incriminating Dirk. Cat is naturally curious about why they investigated Dirk and at first Kara lets slip about overhearing him after the board meeting but then tries claiming it was a gut feeling.
Cat brings Dirk to her office and shows him the incriminating email which seems to all but spell out his conspiracy against her (even using bullet points). At first he threatens to sue for hacking him but she counters that since he was stupid enough to do all of this on a CatCo computer and on a CatCo email account that legally the email belongs to her and the cops are already in the process of seizing his electronic equipment.
James talks to Winn afterwards saying that he knows that he’s in love with Kara (was that supposed to be a secret?). He’s sympathetic to Winn’s hesitations but encourages him to take a risk and express his feelings. At first I didn’t think there was anything on this show I could care less about than the Kara-James-Lucy love triangle, but the Kara-James-Winn triangle is actually far dumber.
Cat thinks Kara for her help against Dirk and oddly refers to her as her secret weapon and guardian angel. She then tells Kara that her slip up about overhearing Dirk even though she knew for a fact that Dirk was well out of earshot got her thinking about some things. She then remembers that Kara had a cold and a broken arm the exact same time Supergirl was MIA and Supergirl’s suspiciously excellent timing in saving her from Livewire. She then has Kara take off her glasses and when she does her suspicions are confirmed and she says “Well let me begin by saying thank you for all the help you’ve given me, Supergirl.” Well, kudos to Cat, it usually takes Lois Lane years to connect the dots like that.
Honestly, while certainly not horrible, apart from the last thirty seconds, this felt really underwhelming for a winter finale (I’ve seen enough of Gotham to know the difference) . This was clearly supposed to bring Kara’s conflicting feelings about Astra to a head but since the show has made staggering little effort in establishing these character’s relationship, I can’t find it in me to care. From episode 3 to episode 7, Astra has appeared in a grand total of one scene which was only used as a stinger to set up this episode. This might not have been so bad except in those five episodes, her plans for world domination have been completely irrelevant to the plot and have barely even warranted mentioning. It’s like the writers just decided to put Astra’s story on pause for a few weeks.
Thanks to Astra’s lack of screen time so far this season, the writer’s instead try cram in half a season’s worth of character development into this episode but since half of it is spent on the CatCo plot, they don’t even do that well. Granted, Melissa Benoist does a great job of selling her conflicting feelings towards Astra and her feelings of betrayal towards Alura but since we’ve had no chance really to get to know either of these characters, it’s impossible to emphasize with her.
It’s a little sad that the most entertaining part of the episode was the CatCo espionage plot. Seeing her regrets on being absent from her son’s life is well handled and her piecing together Supergirl’s identity is easily my favorite scene of the episode. As much as I’m loving what they’re doing with Cat so far, would it kill the writers to give the same kind of effort developing Supergirl’s villains?
Supergirl will be returning to CBS in January with ‘Blood Bonds.’