Synopsis: Supergirl fights against her aunt and learns some heartbreaking news about her mom, while Catco is dealing with a hacker.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

As a midseason finale goes, I would say this particular episode of Supergirl came in a little bit weak on the action side of things. Just in terms of the sequence of events, none of the developments raised the stakes in any unexpected way.

Having said that, this episode did a lot of narrative flipping on the motivations and convictions of it’s main characters. It happened a lot, and in a short period of time, but it still felt seamless. Far and away, these smaller, character-driven shifts were much more compelling than the action.

Especially where these two are concerned. [CBS]
Especially where these two are concerned. [CBS]
Picking up right where we left off, Kara, Astra, and the goons continue to brawl. Kara tries to diffuse the situation – having no desire to hurt a member of her family, but Astra just comes at her with Hank’s Kryptonite knife  – revealing in the process that she’s developed an immunity to it by way of her fancy battle armor. Whoops. With no other recourse, a vaguely wounded Kara literally throws herself off a building to escape the confrontation. She visits the DEO, where they agree to regroup and go after Astra later on.

Back at Catco, the you-know-what has hit the fan. It seems someone has hacked Cat’s personal accounts, with the intention of exposing her secrets to the world, and running her out of the media industry.

Silly wabbits. Cat is somewhat concerned about protecting her family, but is more curious about the hack than anything, and nonchalantly insists that her lawyers sue literally everyone, to make a point. But to be safe, she asks that Kara, James, and Winn comb through everything in her social media and email to identify anything damaging the hackers might target. Highlights from this sequence include: Cat referring to Winn as “the handsome hobbit with more cardigans than Kara” and the reveal that Idris Elba turned down a date with Cat.

Back at the DEO, Alex chides Kara for hesitating and pulling her punches during training. Kara insists that she doesn’t want to kill anyone – especially family. She reminds Alex that Superman doesn’t kill people. Alex understands but points out that Astra will not extend her the same courtesy, and she needs to be ready to do what’s necessary. It’s interesting to see Alex as the advocate for drastic measures and Kara as the stalwart moralist, when generally Kara’s passion and unbridled rage take focus while Alex reigns her in. This scene belies Kara’s much-needed optimism, and Alex’s unshakable trepidation where aliens are concerned.

A flashback shows us that Kara and Astra were once very close. Astra loved her like a daughter and trusted her implicitly. Apparently, Astra came back to see Kara even after Kara’s mother had branded her a terrorist. Astra tells young Kara that Krypton is dying because of an overload of improperly harnessed energy, and she’s part of a ragtag rebel force trying to stop the fallout. To the upper crust of Krypton, though, they’re terrorists and anarchists trying to expose a corrupt system and bring down the whole house of cards.

During this flashback, while Kara and Astra meet in secret, Kara’s mother arrives to arrest Astra – it seems she used Kara to draw her out, knowing Astra loved her enough to come to her no matter the risk. When present-day Kara realizes this, she storms into the holographic reimagining of her mother  and screams at her – demanding to know how her mother could have used her as bait, and turned in her own sister. She yells that her mother ended both of their lives  – abandoning them and sending them away. It’s an emotional turning point where Kara realizes she and Astra are not so different.

As if on cue, Astra proceeds to make a spectacle of herself on the news in order to draw Kara out. They fight epically, incurring millions of dollars in property damage, and Kara finally captures her.

At Catco, everyone is still in hacker-hunting mode. After a meeting where the Catco board discusses how to handle the situation, Kara overhears one of the board members (who Cat refers to as a “walking personification of white male privilege”) telling another one that he was behind the hack, and he’s been trying to force Cat out so he can take over the company. At a loss for how to act on information they shouldn’t have (Super Hearing would look a little suspicious on a search warrant), Kara, James, and Winn turn to the highly skeptical Lucy Lane for legal counsel.

After some fancy jargon, she essentially tells them that if they find anything incriminating in the guy’s office or on his work computer, it’s technically Catco property, and is admissible in court, no matter how they got it. This way, they find all the dirt they need, just in time to stop Cat from stepping down as CEO in order to protect her son. To everyone’s surprise, Lucy gets into it. She wants to help Cat, even though they’ve never met, and she seems on board with the whole Supergirl thing, in a way she never was before. Not to mention, with Lucy here to stay, things appear to be sparking between Kara and Winn. Which has not gone unnoticed by James.

At the DEO, Hank and Alex are reviewing the footage of Kara’s capture of Astra, and determine there is no way Kara should have gotten the upper hand in that fight – Astra let herself get caught on purpose. Turns out this was a distraction to let her minions bust up Lord Technologies, where Maxwell himself was suspiciously ready for them – complete with giant guns – exposing himself as indisputably Up To Something. It’s unclear exactly what their big plan is, but the first half of the season ended with Kara and Astra’s husband Non, flying towards each other at full speed.

Also, Cat totally knows that Kara is Supergirl.

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