Supergirl: Blood Bonds

Astra: "Do not mistake my compassion for weakness. This is not a truce."

Is blood what bonds a family? Do the bonds we forge in our lives matter more to us than the ones we were born into? Parents, siblings, friends. It's a hard question to ask, where do our loyalties truly lie?

Kara's blood connection to her Kryptonian family is the main part of the ongoing arc involving Astra. While I haven't been super thrilled with Astra as a villain, I really do like the moral dilemma Supergirl finds herself in when it comes to her aunt. At the very least Astra finally admitted she was being dishonest about her sister. Giving Kara her mother back was the first real bridge built between them since Astra revealed herself to be alive.

The actual plot of the episode dealt with the fallout of Non kidnapping Hank. There was some fun stuff here, with Alex being promoted and General Lane showing up to cause conflict. Probably the most powerful scene in the episode involved General Lane torturing Astra with Kryptonite, with Kara being dragged away screaming at them to stop.

While Kara's struggles with Astra took up the emotional side of the episode, there were two more issues Kara had to deal with, both neatly solved in the space of a few minutes. The first was with Cat and her insistence that Kara was Supergirl. This has been going on for a couple of episodes now, and it finally reached a point where Cat gave Kara an ultimatum, quit or reveal herself.

Thankfully the other dangling plot thread about Hank resolved itself at the same time. Alex keeping that big a secret from her sister never felt right, and it didn't entirely make sense. So it's not surprising that she slipped up in front of Kara so overtly, forcing them to bring Kara into the secret about Hank. While this felt a little fast and a touch tacked on to the end of the episode, Kara's reactions were kind of priceless. Plus we got Hank/J'onn to solve the issue with Cat by having him transform into Supergirl so that Cat could see them side by side.

I'm not so sure the James and Winn plot worked quite as well as the rest of it. Although none of the spy antics were badly done and the way James and Winn played off each other was delightfully snippy, I didn't buy James breaking into Max Lords research center alone like that. At least there were some repercussions, with Max discovering James lurking near his secret door and beating him up in a sketchy dark room with oddly high-end furniture. While James did learn that Max has a secret room, the audience got to see what was inside, some kind of experiment with a woman with black eyes. Seems pretty ominous.

Bits:

Injecting Kryptonite directly into the bloodstream, even diluted, feels like it would have longer lasting side effects than it did.

It occurred to me in the previous episode, but Jeremiah Danvers really never had a chance to act as Kara's adoptive father since it appears he was killed just a year after she arrived, and most of that time he was working for the DEO around the world.

Cat got a chance to see Kara and Supergirl side by side, and displayed the classic avoidance the comics books utilized for decades when it came to Clark and Superman looking so much alike. It was almost as if Cat was looking for an excuse to believe Kara wasn't Supergirl, no matter how much she convinced herself that she was. I bet a part of her deep down still believes it was some kind of ruse, and Kara actually is Supergirl.

Quotes:

Kara: "Ms. Grant, I'm sorry. Think what you think, but it's not true. I'm not Supergirl."
Cat: "One time at a party Paul McCartney swore to me that he and Yoko were the closest of friends. He was more convincing."

Hank: "When I get out of here, I'll remind you about our policy against negotiating with terrorists. Until then, I'll just say thanks."

Kara: "I stopped by that food truck you like."
Alex: "The one in Chicago? You are my favorite person."

Winn: "If you go after Maxwell Lord like this, then you know what, you're just proving him right. That you are no different from Astra or Non."
Kara: "What if I'm not so different?"
Winn: "You have to be, Kara. Because if you aren't, then we lose."

Hank: "You know, I wouldn't have minded you coming to work for the DEO full-time."
Kara: "I can't leave this place. It's not just a secret identity to me. I almost did something today that I would have regretted the rest of my life."
Kara: "What stopped you?"
Hank: "My friends. The DEO keeps you human. They do that for me."

I liked this one, it had several strong elements of plot and character and the action kept things moving fast enough that none of it got boring.

3 out of 4 Strained relationships

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

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