Supergirl: Blood Memory

Director Danvers: "And that kind of vulnerability, it makes you angry. And when you feel powerless enough, you will do anything it takes to feel strong."

Kara joins Nia on a trip to Nia's hometown to visit her family during the town's annual Harvest Festival. While home, Nia's mother encourages her daughter to embrace her destiny. Meanwhile, Alex deals with a street drug that is turning people violent and giving them temporary superpowers.

Let’s deal with the plot first, which serves well for the emotions of the episode. Siberian Supergirl – still being trained by the Russians – gets a nosebleed and the treatment of her sends some sort of shock around the world. Oddly enough, this shock ends up hitting an RV with dealers selling party pills (no other effects? none mentioned, anyway). Those pills now glow and make the humans who take them hulk out and go start fights. At first, Alex can't understand why anyone would actually want these pills (but she figures it out). Alex is tasked with finding the drug dealers and stopping them.

Alex's mission is made more difficult because, after last week's mind-wipe, Alex no longer recalls that her beloved sister Kara is also Supergirl. Alex is still a sister to Kara, but she is cold to Supergirl, telling her to address her as Director Danvers. Nevertheless, Alex feels wrong, and this is not surprising, as the Kara-Supergirl duality was such an important part of her life.

Nia wants to go to Parthas – a place where aliens and humans live in harmony – for the Harvest Fest, but because of her narcolepsy, it’s not safe for her to drive. Kara, who needs to get away from her situation with Alex for a bit, offers to drive Nia. Nia has a dream en route, and realizes her mother is in danger.

The Children of Liberty learn about the rage pills, and acquire some from the dealers and go to beat up the people of Parthas, simply because they are a human-alien community that lives in harmony. This feels very real, and is a perfect use for the Children of Liberty.

So much for the plot. The emotional core of the episode is the fact that two pairs of sisters are in trouble with their relationships with each other. We get the follow-through from last episode, when Alex had her brain wiped so that she wouldn’t reveal Supergirl’s identity. This is sad and lonely for Kara (and even Alex knows that something’s wrong with her brain). I felt crushed when Alex told Supergirl to address her as “Director Danvers,” and Alex claims Supergirl cannot have any idea what it is like to be vulnerable. (Apparently J’onn wiped Alex’s memories of Supergirl getting zapped by kryptonite.) Alex loves Kara but resents Supergirl, which is so tough for dear Kara! How long will Alex’s ignorance last? It’s a great plot device.

Nia’s situation is similar. One female in every generation in her family gets the dream powers, and Maeve, Nia’s sister, always assumed that she would inherit the ability. After all, Nia is trans, but apparently that has nothing to do with how things work for those from Naltor. Apparently being half-human has no impact, either, as they have a human father. Anyway, Maeve takes the discovery that her sister got the power that she expected very badly.

As Kara and Nia are driving home and Nia is feeling sorry for herself, Kara tells Nia that she is Supergirl. I can understand why she did it. Her situation is similar to Nia’s, and it’s been frustrating to hear from everyone (well, Alex and Nia) that she can’t understand things when she knows that she can. Kara’s also lonely, having had to sever part of her relationship with Alex and she is looking for a substitute. But I think it’s unwise for Kara to tell anyone, especially a narcoleptic who is also a reporter.

The cracks in the sister relationships are there, and I want to give credit to the writers for finding a great way to explore this. Kara's relationship with Alex has always been her most important, and it hurts to see this in jeopardy. Will Alex (Director Danvers) ever do anything to Supergirl that crosses a line that even Kara can't forgive? Are these now Alex's true feelings? I don't know, but I hope they go down that way.

Title musings: "Blood Memory" is the title of the episode and refers mostly to two of the characters. The first is Alex, who knows there is something wrong with her thinking ability, ever since her encounter with the Truth-Seeker. As J’onn says, Supergirl was so close to her. “Blood Memory” also refers to Nia, as her mother in her dream, tells her that the dreaming ability is in her blood. I can’t see any other applications of the title to the episode, although it implies that nature may be important than nurture.

Bits and pieces

Some of the best bits, as always, go to Brainy. I loved how he managed to get the information out of the frat brats.

The game nights were adorable, as was Lena’s competitiveness.

So, James has quashed a story in order not to expose Lena. That can’t be good. And I hope this means that we’ll finally get to see that CatCo has a truly dedicated reporter. Good luck, Mackenzie!

Nice use of the Children of Liberty. They are thugs!

So, Nia’s dream element is the element of fire; I wonder how that will come up. And if this is a big part of the comics, my apologies for my ignorance.

Liked the teenagers, especially the young woman, Bobbi Miller. Hope we’ll see her again.

Kara’s favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.

Quotes

Frat brat: Why does Spencer look like Hagrid on steroids?

Brainy: I do not understand this. These are not kittens, nor do they explode.

Kara: First commandment of road trips: thou shalt defer to the driver’s choice of music.

Maeve: When you have something good, there are always people who are going to want to tear it down.

Mom: The chosen one doesn’t have a choice. It’s in her blood.

Overall Rating

A quiet, but solid episode, and even though much of it was off in Parthas, and I never felt any grief for the death of Nia’s mother, it managed to weave the arcs together. Three out of four rage pills.

Victoria Grossack loves math, Greek mythology, Jane Austen and great storytelling in many forms.

No comments: