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Supergirl is surrounded by idiots

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Plot holes emerge as National City faces new attack.

There are a lot of pretty dumb people in National City.

Take Hank Henshaw and Alex Danvers, for example. They've got evil Krypton eco-terrorist Astra locked up in the very heart of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations' underground dungeons. They re-watch footage of Supergirl taking Astra down and they're like, hey, it's almost like this mysteriously powerful, highly motivated woman wanted to be captured and brought to our highly sensitive HQ. Huh.

Maybe, just maybe, the terrorist is up to no good?

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Take also James Olsen, Winn Schott and Kara Danvers who, presented with evidence that boss Cat Grant sends monthly payments to a young man in Opal City, assume he's her boy toy. Later, Grant explains what the rest of the world immediately intuited, that the lad is her estranged son.

Finally, take tech genius Maxwell Lord, who invents a working anti-alien gun which would be really effective against high-speed flying enemies if only it could manage to fire more than one round per minute.

So, yeah, there were some significant plot holes in this episode, in which seemingly intelligent people missed obvious cues in order to keep a couple of lackluster narrative strings from entirely sagging.

At least Cat Grant finally figured out that the superhero who's been on the cover of her newspaper every day for weeks, is the same woman as her PA, except one wears glasses and the other doesn't. This discovery makes her look smug, but I feel like a face-palm is the more appropriate reaction.

Sheesh.

This week, Supergirl was in the midst of foiling her aunt Astra and a likely city-wide attack, but spent most of the episode dealing with an apparently equal problem, that being a boardroom squabble at CatCo Worldwide Media.

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A computer hack threatened to dethrone Grant. The hack had exposed her son's existence. This story's point was to show Grant volunteering to fall on her sword in order to save her son from media embarrassment. Obviously, it doesn't actually come to that. The hack is exposed as a boardroom conspiracy of chinless Entitled White Men.

This story also allowed Kara and Cat to muse on the nature of motherhood and sacrifice. You may recall that, back on Krypton, Kara's mom jammed her little girl into a spaceship, just moments before a planetary apocalypse.

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The real focus this week was about Kara's aunt Astra, and her relationship with Kara's mom Alura. According to Astra, who seeks to employ Supergirl to her mission of saving the world, Alura was an incompetent politician who presided over the destruction of her planet. Astra might have been busy blowing up government offices, but it was all for a good cause.

Alura used Astra's devotion to little girl Kara to capture her sister and end the resistance, with apparently disastrous consequences. Supergirl might not be persuaded to join Astra's happy little band of alien troublemakers, but she's definitely taken off the rose-tinted spectacles where mom is concerned.

So Supergirl is struggling with the idea of a mother who abandons her child, especially when the justifications seem ever-so-slightly self-serving, as with Grant, who didn't want a kid getting in the way of her career aspirations.

The episode ends on a cliffhanger. Astra's hubbie Non is a thoroughly unappealing type with zero empathy. He launches an attack on Maxwell Lord's HQ, which draws Supergirl out for a massive fight.

Fight scenes are not this show's forte. They generally look silly. It doesn't help that both Astra and Non are both in the habit of making declarative speeches as if they are in an Arthurian fable. "I shall kill you ..." etc. And those clothes. We can all get with 1970s sci-fi nostalgia, but the skin-hugging man-tops and flappy party-dresses are completely overboard. Maybe the aliens will have a sartorial rethink before they return in early January.

You can read all Polygon's Supergirl recaps here.