“Hostile Takeover” – aired 12/14/2015 – ***** stars!
Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Caitlin Parrish
Directed by Karen Gaviola
*Spoilers are contained within.
The mid-season finale of CBS’ Supergirl aired this past week. “Hostile Takeover” brought the Kara vs. Astra conflict back to the center of attention, along with giving fans one of the most wildly shot and choreographed of action scenes on television. The Karen Gaviola directed episode successfully brought the first part of CBS’ DC Comics based series to a place that should only go up and up and up. “Hostile Takeover”, the eighth episode of Supergirl, is just further proof that if you are a true Superman fan and enthusiast of that part of the DC Universe, then this is a series you really should be following.
Picking up immediately after “Human for a Day”, “Hostile Takeover” begins with Astra (Laura Benanti) confronting Kara (Melissa Benoist) with two other rogue Kryptonians, Gor and Mur. “Did you really think this was over?” Astra asks and, for fans of 2013’s controversial Man of Steel, we know immediately where this conflict is headed. While certain aspects of the Astra/Kara conflict felt very reminiscent of Zod/Kal from Man of Steel, writers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Caitlin Parrish do coyly address their thoughts on the film without being too heavy handed about it. It’s well known that many were upset by Superman killing Zod, something I have no qualms with and will argue its merits any day, but it didn’t sit right and many still feel they need to readdress that Superman does not kill in comics and various other mediums. After it’s reported that “an unknown woman is hovering over CatCo Plaza”, a big-scale Man of Steel lite fight takes place through the skies of National City. Supergirl and Astra throw punches, knock each other through a building, and almost immediately after Supergirl goes through the building, she flies in immediately to catch debris. Mike Cecchini of Den of Geek writes “the episode went out of its way to throw side-eye at that notoriously violent and dark interpretation of the Superman legend (“Superman doesn’t kill,” Kara says at one point, and also goes out of her way to stop debris from falling on people).” He’s right in every way. While the “side-eye” being thrown at the David Goyer and Christopher Nolan written Man of Steel is very obvious, it’s not particularly groan inducing as it presents more of what we can expect from Supergirl’s heroics. Even more of what we may possibly get from Superman in March 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Almost three years after Man of Steel, people are still discussing the ending of the film. Say what you will about writer David Goyer (and Christopher Nolan), but name another modern superhero film that is still being spoken of three years after.
Kara defeats Astra and brings her to the DEO. She actually drags her body which was great seeing. Melissa Benoist has easily become the definitive Supergirl and is easily placed among the greats such as Christopher Reeve. She is reason enough to root for CBS’ series to succeed. The CW’s Smallville lasted for ten seasons, Lois & Clark went four. Could Supergirl find a place between the two?
Before it’s ultimately revealed that Astra intended on being captured and brought to the DEO, a bit more is revealed of her backstory, particularly her motivations. Playing again a bit like Man of Steel, we learn that Krypton’s core had become unstable and that due to the Kryptonians arrogance, they refused to acknowledge that their planet was on the verge of an ecological disaster. Something Astra warns the DEO that planet Earth is on the verge of. We also are meant to believe that Kara’s mother, Allura, used her as a child to trap Aunt Astra. Kara reacts furiously when learning of this and it’s another exceptional scene that Melissa Benoist plays so well.
“Hostile Takeover” concludes with the DEO trying to stop an alien attack on Lord Technologies by Lt. Non (Chris Vance). We see that Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) has developed some sort of gun with the ability to stop the alien army, but he’s soon overpowered by their numbers and strength. The DEO, led by Hank Henshaw, whom we and Alex (Chyler Leigh) know as J’onn J’onnz (see here) is able to fend off a few of the Lt. Non led aliens, but the real scene stealing moment is the Rocky III/The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ending of Supergirl and Non charging at one another.
CBS’ Supergirl has grown more steady with each episode and more assured in its approach to not only the DC Universe, but of its place on television. FOX’s Gotham, despite being such a fun show to watch, did have an unevenness to its first season. The second season has been a considerable improvement and make sure to check out Joe’s “Five Things We’ll Miss” while Gotham is on hiatus.
Supergirl returns January 14th and while we wait for our new favorite Kryptonian to return, make sure to check out some of the latest news regarding DC’s latest television venture here on What’cha Reading. Also, make sure your calendars are marked for March 19th and 20th as Melissa Benoist and Chyler Leigh are going to appear at C232 2016 in Chicago. To find out more, click here.
Supergirl returns 8 PM ET, Monday on January 4, 2016 on CBS. Check your local listings.