Supergirl Episode 8 Recap: Family Matters

Photo: Courtesy of CBS.
So Aunt Astra was just trying to save Krypton from climate change and is maybe a totally sympathetic character? Hold on, let's back up a bit: We've got a lot to cover this episode.

We find Astra and Kara where we last saw them. Astra whips out the Kryptonite knife on Kara. She’s figured a way to protect herself from its powers and wears a resistant suit. She doesn't intend to hurt Kara with the substance, though. She wants to recruit her niece. “It’s time for us to be a family again,” Astra says. Kara isn't having that. Kara escapes and heads to the DEO. Alex is back to siding with Hank now that she knows the truth about his identity, and the two of them want Kara to take a breather before going after Astra again.

Luckily, she has work to keep her busy. Cat's been hacked, and The Daily Planet is publishing her somewhat embarrassing emails. (Does this storyline sound familiar?) Embarrassing how? Well, Cat once asked Idris Elba out on a date and he said no. "His loss," she says. (This is why we love Cat.) Cat orders Kara to go through all of her emails to look for anything else potentially damning. Kara can only get help from a trusted few: James and “that handsome little hobbit who has more cardigans than you do,” a.k.a. Winn. (Good on the show for finally acknowledging that Winn is actually attractive.) Winn, meanwhile, is still slightly peeved about the James-Kara hug in last week's episode. When he leaves the room, Kara and James establish that they are just friends who hug, rather than something more. Or at least they say that.

Meanwhile, Astra seems to be having doubts of some sort. She meets with a man who challenges her for not killing Kara even though he's below her in stature. Why is he so upfront? Well, he's her husband.

Yeah, Kara's going to have a lot to deal with, so it's good that she gets some sparring practice in opposite Alex. Supergirl's getting better at this whole fighting thing. Alex thinks the DEO should deal with Astra without Supergirl, because Kara may still have some familial feelings toward her. “What are you holding onto?” Alex asks.
A flashback will tell us: Kara and Astra were actually quite close. We see how Kara sent Astra a message via spy beacon, and Astra came to her despite being on the lam. Astra explained that Kryptonians were destroying their planet by harnessing its core for power, and she had been trying to save it through methods that weren't exactly above board. Astra loved Kara as her own child, and they were embracing when Alura interrupted them.

Though Cat's emails haven't been especially scandalous, the board of CatCo still isn't happy. The one person that comes to her defense? Dirk Armstrong, who Cat once called the “walking personification of white male privilege.” But she should be wary of him and she is, telling Kara he's "two-faced." That's when Kara uses her super hearing to catch wind of Dirk's post-meeting banter. "We have opened the floodgates and the press will do the rest" he says. "I think she'll be out by the end of the week." Kara goes to Winn and James with her info, and suggests enlisting Lucy for legal advice on how to catch him.

While they are talking with Lucy, Astra hovers above the CatCo office, luring Supergirl. This time Astra comes with no weapons that give her the upper hand, but Kara doesn’t want to chit-chat. Supergirl ignites an airborne battle, and the two duke it out, crashing into buildings. Astra calls Kara’s mother a “murderer.” Kara snaps back: “her only weakness was letting you live,” and starts to punch her aunt. When she raises her fist to deliver a massive blow, she stops. Kara drags Astra in to the DEO. She doesn't want to deal with her, and has another, less emotional, battle to fight.

Winn devises as a plan to get into Dirk's computer, though they'll have to break into his office. Winn calls in a distraction. Kara keeps a lookout with x-ray vision, and James goes in and plants the bug. Unfortunately, they don’t move fast enough and James is caught by Dirk, but he’s smooth enough to schmooze his way out of any trouble.

At the DEO, Astra wakes up and only wants to talk to Kara. She tells Kara that Alura lured her using Kara as bait. She asks whether it was Kara's idea to message her or her mother's that day. In another flashback we see how Alura attempted to make a deal with Astra. Astra refused. Astra tells Kara that she's now trying to help save Earth from Krypton's fate. She pleads with Kara to help and tells her she loves her.

Kara goes to the Alura hologram and demands to know the truth. The AI tells her that she did use Kara. Kara demands to know whether Astra was correct, but the AI can't tell her. "You let everyone that I loved die. You left me. You left me alone," Kara yells and breaks down.

Kara returns to CatCo. That's when James finally comes across an eyebrow-raising email of Cat's. Apparently she'd been sending regular payments to a 24-year-old named Adam Foster. Kara approaches her with the information. Adam Foster is her son. Her ex (who isn't Carter's father) was bitter that she was spending so much time with her work, and took Adam away. She fought for custody, but eventually gave up. “You have no idea what that moment is like when you have to say to yourself maybe my child would be better off without me,” Cat says. Only Kara sort of does. Kara says she knows what it feels like "to wonder about a mother’s choices." Cat decides to step down from CatCo rather than let her son be caught up in a media scandal. (We'll meet Adam Foster later and he'll played by Blake Jenner, Melissa Benoist's husband.)

Cat promises Kara that she'll give her a job in the future, but that's when Lucy, James, and Winn come to the rescue. They have proof that Dirk ordered the hack. Kara starts to say that they looked into Dirk after she overheard his chatter after the meeting, but then goes in a different direction with her explanation after realizing how the truth would expose her. Dirk made the big mistake of sending his plans for corporate takeover on a CatCo computer, so Cat easily demolishes him.

As Kara helps escort Dirk out, James says he didn't realize how much Winn liked Kara. Winn freaks a bit, but James encourages him to tell her how he feels.

But what of Astra? Alex realizes that something doesn't add up. During Astra's earlier fight with Kara she had the upper hand, but let Kara win. Astra wanted the DEO to catch her, so her husband could walk their army of aliens into Lord Technologies.

Before Supergirl is called to deal with that, she has another little issue. Cat has put together all of the clues. “Do me a favor and take off your glasses," she tells Kara. Kara tries to protest, but Cat says she'll just take a refusal as a confirmation, so Kara relents. “Well, let me begin by saying thank you for all the help that you’ve given me, Supergirl," Cat says. Just then Alex calls.

Maxwell is prepared to battle Astra's army, but not prepared enough. The aliens show off an array of powers, which they use against DEO forces. Kara flies in and comes face to face with her evil uncle, Non. "You're going to wish I died with the rest of them," she tell him. And then, just like that, we have to be content with another giant cliffhanger.

Some other moments of note:

- You can tell the writers had a ton of fun thinking up the potentially embarrassing information that could be hidden in Cat's emails. She invested in the musical Jekyll and Hyde! She sent in audition tapes to Undercover Boss! She used the corporate jet to go to Burning Man!

- Cat also doled out this great line: “If I wanted to have sex with a Beach Boy I’d still be sleeping with John Stamos.”

- After this episode, Supergirl takes a couple of weeks off. We've come to a pleasing place in the series. Some of the big questions, like Hank's identity, have been answered. Astra's character has been nicely complicated, giving the show an emotional weight. I'm also glad we're done pretending that Cat couldn't have figured out Supergirl's identity by now. Until next time!

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