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Supergirl, Astra and Alex
Photo: CBS

Supergirl Recap: “Blood Bonds”

Picking up where Episode 8, “Hostile Takeover” left off, this episode is action-packed, like every good superhero show should be in my mind. The episode also addresses the questions of mercy, faith, and family. With conflict following Kara everywhere this week (at work, with her Kryptonian relatives, with the government, and with technology guru Maxwell Lord), Supergirl has her hands full this episode. Can she keep faith in herself and the people she cares about?

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Astra and Supergirl
Photo: CBS

Last episode, Kara and the DEO captured General Astra, leader of the Fort Rozz prisoners and Kara’s aunt. Of course, this was also a fake-out, as Astra wanted to distract Kara and the DEO while her soldiers attacked Lord Technologies. This episode begins with a fight. It’s Kara versus Non, Astra’s husband, and Kara’s uncle. During the fight, although she is outmatched by the older and stronger Kryptonian, Non does not kill her. It could be because he knows it would hurt his wife, because he was using her as bait to catch Hank Henshaw, or because she is family and they are bonded by blood.

Three big things happen in this episode, the Maxwell Lord story, the DEO/Astra story, and the Cat/Kara story, so I’ve broken things up by those stories. First up, Maxwell Lord.

GOOD (MAXWELL) LORD, WHAT ARE THEY UP TOO?

Despite their previously good working relationship, Maxwell Lord is not willing to work with the DEO after the attack and later claims it was industrial espionage. This makes me suspicious of that character. Other suspicious behaviors of Maxwell Lord include the way he is always speaking out against aliens, how he covers up the attack by Non, and why Non attacked in the first place. Plus, what is up with that room on the second floor of his building that requires a bio-diagnostic to enter?

Deciding to help Kara out, Winn and Jimmy investigate Maxwell Lord and his technology company. First, Jimmy goes to photograph the destruction made by Kara and Non’s fight, after which Maxwell Lord comes out to talk to him.

Knowing that Jimmy knows he is lying about what caused the crater, Maxwell is quite frank in his dislike for the press and aliens like Supergirl. When he says he has a plan to fix things, Jimmy is concerned. He tells Kara there is no threat, but while Kara believes him, Winn knows he’s lying.

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Maxwell Lord and Jimmy Olsen. The face of a technology guru up to no good.
Photo: CBS

Since they believe that Maxwell is planning an attack on all the former residents of Krypton, however, Jimmy and Winn decide to do their own investigating. At first, it seems to go off without a hitch. Sadly, Jimmy is captured, though he doesn’t reveal that Winn was involved. Maxwell beats him up and smashes his camera, giving him a warning to stay away.

The news that Jimmy and Winn went behind her back to investigate Maxwell after she told them he was dangerous, incenses Kara. The fact that Maxwell hurt her friends (Winn was just lucky he was only there remotely), the stress of not being able to save Hank, reach her aunt, or convince Cat that she’s not Supergirl (we’re getting to those, don’t worry) all makes Kara feel helpless and angry.

Kara is also still reeling from what Astra told her about her mother last week, and, feeling like she’s lost everything, she decides to go after Maxwell. Since she is determined to do whatever she has to do to stop him, Winn and Jimmy stop her. Winn tells her that if she does that, she’s just proving Maxwell right about her people and reminds her that she is better than that while Jimmy reminds her that when things seem the bleakest, heroes can find a way.

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Kara, Winn, and Jimmy
Photo: CBS

The comfort and support of her friends give Kara the strength to try again in talking with her aunt. Having people have faith in her enables her to have faith in herself, and to confront her fears about her powers and her past. She is able then to have faith in her aunt, someone who she always loved and admired as a little girl.

A HOSTILE SITUATION

While Jimmy and Winn are investigating Maxwell Lord, the DEO is going through serious issues of its own.  Hank Henshaw has named Alex Danvers as emergency director of the DEO. She sets to work hunting the aliens to save him while Kara suggests that she talk to Astra, who is still a DEO captive.

When Kara talks to her aunt, Astra reminds her that they share a blood bond, citing that as the reason that Non didn’t kill her earlier. As they talk, Kara still struggles over what Astra told her in the previous episode about her mother. This makes her not want to listen to what her aunt has to say. At this point, we get a flashback to the trial of Astra and Non.

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Supergirl and Alex Danvers
Photo: CBS

Things hit a snag when it is discovered that General Lane has been given control of the DEO by the President. The idea, of course, is that someone who has worked with the hostage will be more likely to rule by emotions (no matter their good intentions).

Non and his army try to get into Hank’s mind, but they can’t. Hank is, actually, remarkably calm for someone who has been captured. Meanwhile, the General meets with Astra and, in an attempt to learn where Hank is being held, tortures her with kryptonite injections. When Kara sees what is happening, she is shocked and tries to save her aunt (with no luck).

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Astra
Photo: CBS

Astra does not give them the correct information, and they instead find a bomb. Members of Lane’s team are killed, and everything seems hopeless. With the help of Winn and Jimmy, however, Kara finally realizes that she has to have faith in her aunt. By listening to Astra’s story, we get to see the final interactions between Alura and Astra and Supergirl realizes that a hostage trade is the only way to save Hank.

She also realizes that she has to trust that Non and Astra will honor their agreement, and have faith. Supergirl is assisted by the members of the military who have faith in her, as well as by her adopted sister. After the exchange, Non’s army appears and it is clear that a fight is coming.

However, Astra steps in and stops the fight before it begins, rewarding Kara’s faith in her by saving her life. Although Astra is clear that it is not a truce, I got the sense that something had changed in Kara and Astra’s relationship, a change that started when Kara showed faith in her aunt and said that she thought there was still good in her. We’ll see what happens next week with this fighting family.

A CAT IN GLOVES CATCHES NO MICE

While that was all happening, Cat Grant believed that she had discovered the identity of Supergirl. She becomes convinced that Kara is Supergirl, a secret that Kara is determined to protect. Despite Kara’s protests to the contrary, Cat is convinced that she is correct. Being a ruthless and determined business woman and feeling like she is hot on the trail of a good story, Cat proceeds to try to trip Kara up. Basically, it’s been a tough week for Kara.

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Cat Grant
Photo: CBS

The interactions between Kara and Cat are some of the funniest in the episode, though. Cat is constantly saying things to Kara like “I’m sure there’s a phone to answer or a plane to catch,” in an attempt to catch Kara in a lie.

Cat is so determined to catch Kara being Supergirl that she brings Kara into her office and proceeds to pepper her with trick questions about her childhood. When Kara answers all the questions correctly, Cat smugly informs her that that proves that she is Supergirl. Otherwise, why would she know all that? She’s clearly remembering her cover. It is faulty logic (I remember my first-grade teacher’s name), but again, the Cat and Kara interactions are fabulous.

The third time that Cat tries to crack Kara into admitting she’s Supergirl is toward the middle of the episode. Cat delivers an ultimatum. Either Kara proves that she is not Supergirl, or she needs to leave CatCo. Cat’s reasoning is actually quite nice, the idea being that if Supergirl was being her assistant, she wasn’t saving people, saying, “Every minute that you waste in here is a minute that someone out there is not getting saved.” It’s a nice moment between the two characters and one that further ruins Kara’s week.

Since Kara can’t do either, she is forced to resign. Before she goes, however, she tells Cat how much she has loved working at CatCo and how much she has learned from Cat. Feeling crushed that she was unable to remain at the job that she loves, Kara quits. It’s an emotional scene, and one that, to me, showed that Kara is nearing her breaking point.

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Cat is proven wrong (though we know that she’s actually right).
Photo: CBS

Luckily for Kara, by the end of the episode, she has helped save the life of a shape-shifting alien. J’onn J’onzz, or Martian Manhunter, pretends to be Supergirl, who then interacts with Kara Danvers in front of Cat. This way, Cat is convinced that Kara is not Supergirl, Kara gets to keep her job, and things go back to normal, sort of.  I’m excited to see what happens next week between these two characters, though.

NEW FACES

This episode was really fun as we met new heroes in the DC Universe. I mean, we already have Supergirl herself, and Clark Kent has made an appearance too, but we have some new-ish faces. Back in the mid-season finale, we learned that Hank Henshaw is actually Martian Manhunter or J’onn J’onzz. He revealed his identity to Alex when she accused him of being involved in her father’s death.

The real Hank Henshaw died when Alex’s father did, on a mission to kill J’onn J’onzz. Realizing it was a mistake, Jeremiah Danvers died to protect the alien he had been hunting. Before his death, J’onn J’onzz promised he would look out for Alex, and assumed his role as Hank Henshaw to make changes in the DEO from the inside.

I loved this twist because it made sense to me that an alien in disguise would want to work in a department that monitored extra-terrestrial behavior. He or she could find threats to their adopted planet, network with the friendly aliens, and keep the peace.

Also, there is something up with the Jane Doe in Maxwell Lord’s secret research chamber. She seems like she’ll be important later, and I’m excited to see where that storyline goes. With Maxwell Lord making comments about punishing the Kryptonians, she’s probably a dangerous and critical part of that plan.

FINAL THOUGHTS?

Overall, I really enjoyed this episode. The three stories tie together well, and it teases the rest of the season without giving too much away. Additionally, it reminded me of why I like this show. Supergirl wrestles with her purpose. She is an alien with phenomenal powers on a planet of people who fear those powers. She sometimes feels helpless and angry and doesn’t know what she can do to fix things. She struggles with fear and a lack of faith, but she is able to rise above that because of the people she cares about. Plus, Supergirl’s plan to take down Maxwell Lord is also something that I am looking forward to seeing unfold. Supergirl, Winn, and Jimmy, with the support of the DEO? I wouldn’t want to go against them!

CAT GRANT-ISMS OF THE WEEK

In many shows, there is one character who always says the funniest things. For Supergirl, I think that Cat Grant is that character. So, here are my favorite things that Cat said during the episode.

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Cat Grant
Photo: CBS

“There are many topics that I find appropriate for humor. English cuisine, black lipstick, but I will never make a joke about a good story.”

“I never realized how absurd you look in that ridiculous outfit. Blue, red, and yellow; it’s like a color wheel threw up.”

Did you like the episode? Who do you think Jane Doe will be/is, or am I reading too much into this?

Is a truce possible between Astra and Kara? Sound off in the comments! 

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