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Supergirl Recap: “Blood Bonds”

So baby now we got bad blood ... you know it used to be mad love ...

Most. Awkward. Family Reunion. Ever.

Most. Awkward. Family. Reunion. Ever.

Happy New Year, Supergirl fans! Our favorite Kryptonian is BACK after her holiday hiatus with Episode 9 of the season, “Blood Bonds.” If you recall, at the end of Episode 8, s*** was getting real between our Kara and Non. So let’s just get right to it, shall we?

**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**

"Between me, Astra, and the Fort Rozz prisoners, thank Rao we don't have any OTHER aliens to deal with, right Alex? Alex...?"

“Between me, Astra, and the Fort Rozz prisoners, thank Rao we don’t have any OTHER aliens to deal with, right Alex? Alex … ?”

S1, Episode 9 – The Basics

  • The episode opens with that epic mid-air collision between Non and Supergirl that ended Episode 8. They take their fight to the skies where, despite Supergirl’s best efforts, Non quickly bests her. The Kryptonians end up taking Hank. As Alex and the remaining DEO agents attempt to secure the building, Maxwell Lord orders them all off the premises, claiming that he and his useless anti-alien weapon will do the protecting around here. UM, MAYBE YOU MISSED THE PART WHERE YOUR STUPID WEAPON WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH TO DEFEAT ALL THOSE KRYPTONIANS, MAX! Sheesh. Now, he’s just being difficult to be difficult.
  • At the DEO, Alex is now acting director with Hank gone. Kara confronts Astra, asking her to tell her where Hank might have been taken, but Astra’s not talking. Astra tries to play the family angle, asking Kara why she’s on the side of the humans when they are “bonded by blood.” Kara responds: “All life is bonded by blood!” TRUTH.
  • FLASHBACK: We watch Alura put Astra and Non into Fort Rozz back on Krypton after they killed a bunch of people to prove a point about the environment or something.
  • At CatCo, Team Supergirl watches as Lord downplays the attack on his facility on the news. Meanwhile, after Cat coming to the conclusion that Kara is Supergirl (she’s totally right, obvi), Kara is trying really, really hard to convince Cat that she’s not FOR REASONS I DON’T UNDERSTAND.

Hear ye, hear ye! Today’s meeting of the White Male Privilege Brigade has now come to order!

  • In addition to being a superhero and an assistant to a media mogul, Kara proves to be an expert at food delivery, bringing Alex food from her favorite food truck … in Chicago. But Alex’s nom-noms are interrupted by Non contacting them demanding a trade of prisoners – Hank for Astra. Before Alex can decide what to do, General Douchebag Sam Lane shows up. The President gave him authority over the DEO since there’s a bit of a conflict of interest where Alex is concerned. Still, Lane’s a douchebag. Whatever. So he’s actually in charge or whatever.
  • James has gone to try to ask Lord why he was dishonest about the attack on the news. Lord scoffs at him in his usual smug way. He starts to make a decent case about how unethical the press can be, but then he has the NERVE to look James in the face and say, “You’ve never been their victim. It changes your perspective.” Um, WHAT?! James Olsen, a black man, doesn’t know what it’s like to be victimized by the press? REALLY? When every black criminal is referred to as a “thug” while white ones are referred to as “troubled?” Get your head out of your ass, Lord.
  • Back at CatCo, Cat tests Kara by plying her with questions about her background to investigate her humanity. She answers all the questions flawlessly. Too flawlessly. Cat remains convinced that Kara is Supergirl.
  • At the Super-Secret Kryptonian Lair, Non interrogates Hank by using a really gross-looking species with a million eyes on its head that really really skeeved me out to try and read Hank’s mind. The alien is puzzled that he can’t read Hank’s mind. Non kills him for failing, and Hank delivers a great, deadpan line: “Now I see how much more advanced you are than us savages.”
  • Over at the DEO, General Lane gains Astra’s respect by displaying a bit of vulnerability before totally letting his Douche Flag fly and torturing her by injecting her with Kryptonite. Kara and Alex enter and try to get him to stop, but they can’t.
"Can we revisit that threesome discussion? I'm...really sad right now, and that would really make me feel better..."

“Can we revisit that threesome discussion? I’m … really sad right now, and that would really make me feel better … “

  • Team Supergirl are gathered in their Secret HQ as Kara tells Winn and James about what happened to Astra. When she leaves, James confides in Winn that he learned that Lord is planning to strike against the Kryptonians. They agree to help each other break into Lord Technologies to uncover Lord’s plan. They don’t tell Kara.
  • Cat has HAD IT UP TO HERE with Kara not just telling her that she’s Supergirl! Cat tells her that she’s been watching Supergirl’s exploits on the news in the evenings, marveling at all the people she saves, only to see that when Kara is at work, more crime happens. She can’t deal with Supergirl wasting time behind a desk on her account when there are people that need saving, so she gives Kara an ultimatum. Either Kara proves once and for all that she’s not Supergirl, or Supergirl is fired.
  • James, with Winn’s help back at HQ, breaks into Lord Technologies, bypassing many of their security systems. He arrives at a door with a biometric lock, which is unlike all the other keypad locks in the building. Something Important must be in there! As Winn tries to figure out what to do, James is knocked out cold by one of Lord’s security guards with Lord himself looming behind.
  • Astra gave up information after being tortured, and so the Douchebag-led DEO springs into action along with Supergirl. They arrive where they think Hank is being held, but when Supergirl opens a lead-lined container where she thinks she’s found Hank, it turns out to be a hologram. Instead, the container has a bomb. But, like, instead of flying Alex and the other soldier (who entered the container with her) away from the blast, Supergirl just kinda … walks them out and covers Alex with her cape. I mean, I know her cape is indestructible, but did she forget she’s strong and can fly real fast? Anyway, the Kryptonians were ready for them. Astra totally played them.
  • Off in another creepy location, Lord has James tied up and is punching him in the face and breaking his camera trying to be all intimidating. It’s kinda working. Especially when he has a huge wrench at James’ throat.

“OK, this ‘I’m Supergirl’ nonsense has gone far enough! Would Supergirl hold her arms like this? No! Her thumbs face UP not down!”

  • At CatCo, Kara talks to Cat, trying to tell her once and for all that she’s not Supergirl. Cat still doesn’t believe her. Kara then launches into a touching speech about what Cat and CatCo mean to her. She is grateful to Cat for always seeming to know when she’s down and needs a pep talk, and while she knows she’s not going to be Cat’s assistant forever, she knows that she’ll be prepared for whatever comes next because of of everything Cat has taught her. Cat seems touched, but she also thinks that Kara needs to ‘fess up or leave. So, Kara quits. P.S. WHY IS CAT BEING SO WEIRD ABOUT THIS?! WHY IS EVERYONE IN THIS EPISODE BEING SO WEIRD AND STUBBORN?
  • Back at Team Supergirl HQ, Kara is angry—at Cat, and at her own helplessness, despite her powers. And when she sees what Maxwell Lord did to James’ lip, she becomes furious at Lord for doing it, and at Winn and James for keeping it from her. She is about to go, fuming, to Lord to settle things with him, but Winn and James stop her, reminding her that she of all people can’t fly off the handle and go see someone when she’s furious, because who knows what she’d be capable of then. Though she’s feeling powerless, James reminds her that “Heroes find a way.”
  • Kara goes back to Astra to try a new tack. She’s honest with Astra about how powerless and angry she’s feeling, relating it to how Astra must have felt knowing that Krypton was going to be destroyed. Kara is ready to listen to Astra this time, whereas she was afraid to before.
  • FLASHBACK: Despite sending her to Fort Rozz for killing people, Alura totally believed her about the danger Krypton was in and promised her she’d keep up Astra’s fight by using compassion and reason.
  • Astra is amazed that, despite everything, Alura never stopped believing in her. She says, “You are so much like her, Kara.” Despite Astra feeling like she doesn’t deserve Kara’s faith, Kara agrees to help make the trade for Hank.
This is, like, the opening credits for every primetime soap about twenty-somethings ever.

OK, I’m gonna say it. That white streak in Astra’s hair straight-up LOOKS like a clip-in extension.

  • General Lane tries to stop Kara and Alex from taking Astra, but the soldier whose life Supergirl saved earlier puts down his weapon saying, “She saved my life, Sir.” The others follow suit, and they let the ladies leave. Suck it, General Lane!
  • The prisoner exchange goes off without a hitch at first. Hank is traded for Astra, and everything seems fine—until a crapton of Kryptonians show up to attack Supergirl and the DEO agents. However, just as it looks like it’s about to go down, Astra calls them off, putting a stop to it and putting faith in Kara, the way Kara has placed it in her. The DEO crew return to headquarters and tell General Lane to GTFO. Oh, and by the way—when stuff looked like it was gonna go down earlier, Alex whispered to Hank “You should transform.” COMPLETELY forgetting that Kara has super-hearing. So, at the DEO, they tell her that Hank is really Martian Manhunter, and she is totally jazzed about it, even though she kind of resents the fact that they didn’t tell her at first, because she “can’t keep a secret.” Because she totally can, you guys! Sort of.
  • And then, in THE BEST USE OF MARTIAN MANHUNTER EVER, Kara convinces Cat Grant once and for all that she is not Supergirl by having J’onn shapeshift into Supergirl and appear at CatCo, so that “she” and Kara can be seen in the same room at the same time. Cat seems embarrassed to have been “wrong,” but she takes it in stride, and even manages to make a passive-aggressive remark about Kara’s looks in relation to Supergirl. Kara gets her job back.
  • Before J’onn/Hank leaves, he chats with Kara, expressing hope that she’d come work for him at the DEO full-time. Kara declines, saying that CatCo is “not just a secret identity to me.” It’s the place that helps her be human.
  • Now, Kara is a woman on a mission: TAKE DOWN MAXWELL LORD.
  • But Maxwell Lord is all “Oh, you think so? Why don’t you have a look at my creepy alien lady that I’m hiding??” Holy crap, IS THAT BIZZARO GIRL?! WHAAAAAT?
Supergirl S1 Ep 9 - 9

“Has anyone ever told you you remind them of that secret service guy from 24?”

The Review Bit, Wherein I Express OPINIONS:

This episode was a great one to come back on story-wise. They went right into resolving the cliffhanger, and connected everything that was going on to Kara’s emotional journey beautifully. The writers have gotten really good at exploring Kara’s inner-life, and I love that they aren’t shying away from her darker feelings.

That said, a lot of the character motivations in this episode seemed utterly ridiculous. It’s as though people are only disagreeing with Kara and standing in her way, because The Script Said So. What is up with Maxwell Lord? When he was first introduced, he seemed to have a legitimate suspicion of Supergirl, the DEO and the abuse of power both represent to him. But now, his resistance seems cartoonish. The way he insists that he’s the best equipped to take care of himself … after repeatedly being proven wrong; the way he talks to Jimmy as if black people have never had trouble with media representation. For some reason, in this episode, he was made too foolishly stubborn for my taste. And the whole taking him to a secret location to punch him thing, rather than simply having James arrested for breaking and entering? I just … *sigh* Why would a rich guy do that? For someone who’s supposed to be genius-level smart, he was made an idiot in this episode.

Also infuriating was Cat, who was determined to have Kara confess her identity. But WHY? If she knows it, why does she need it confirmed? Why freak Kara out like that? I mean, Cat is usually very single-minded, but this time it seemed to be at the expense of Kara and Supergirl, both of whom she claims to care about. It seemed off to me.

However, I love how things were resolved with Kara and Astra (for now), and I love that Winn and James have come to tolerate each other more and help each other out. But best of all in this episode was Martian Manhunter pretending to be Supergirl. The second I saw Supergirl fly in as Kara was talking to Cat, I BUSTED  OUT LAUGHING, because of course that’s the first thing Kara would do upon learning that the Director of the DEO is a shape-shifting alien! Get him to help her trick her boss. Priceless.

Can’t wait to see if the woman Lord has hidden away is in fact Bizzaro Girl. If so, I wonder how they’re going to handle the Bizzaro World on this show. I’m really excited, because I love Bizzaro Girl in the comics, and I hope they do her justice!

I’d love to hear what you thought of “Blood Bonds” in the comments below!

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. For more Supergirl fun, check out The House of Elnow MONTHLY on the last Thursday of the month—and subscribe to my podcast, Supergirl Radio!

(Images via Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment)

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