SUPERGIRL S1 E9 "BLOOD BONDS" REVIEW!
By Jarrett Kruse
The end of "Hostile Takeover" really got me thinking because frankly, Kara Danvers/Zor-El has an awful lot of balls in the air for a 24 year old. When last we left our fearless yet adorable hero, she was dealing with her boss figuring out that she is indeed Supergirl as well as dealing with a family crisis of Kryptonian proportions. See I am not talking about her adopted family but rather the remnants from her home planet that include her Aunt Astra and Uncle Non. Not exactly the Keaton's from Family Ties. At the end of "Hostile Takeover," Supergirl was about to go head to head with her Uncle Non and that is exactly where we start "Blood Bonds."
I was impressed with the fight that ensued and it definitely had some MAN OF STEEL panache to it for a TV action show but I think that Zack Snyder would be proud of these special effects. When the skies clear, Non kidnaps Hank Henshaw having no clue that he just nabbed the Martian Manhunter himself. I am seriously loving that Henshaw's true identity was finally revealed because it adds a whole new aspect to the narrative. Watching one of Non's flunkies try to read Henshaw's mind was hysterical because A) its impossible and B) Non snaps the aliens neck for not doing his job. While Alex and the rest of the DEO are trying to analyze the Maxwell Lord headquarters as an active crime scene, the cocky Lord with whom Alex thought she had a budding professional relationship with, wants them off his property stat.
While back at the DEO, it is confirmed that Alex is now the acting director of the top secret organization in Henshaw's absence. Still having Astra as a prisoner, Supergirl tries to appeal to her senses and tell them where they are holding Henshaw. However, Kara's aunt is an extremely wily one and begins to add doubt to her niece's mind reiterating that Non did not kill her when he had the chance. Hmmm. Something is rotten in the state of National City and I really do not trust these Kryptonian's as far as I can throw them. Which is nowhere because I am completely out of shape and they are also ridiculously strong because of Earth's yellow sun while I just get a good tan from the sun. Astra reveals to her niece in another flashback scene that the show has been using a lot of as of late as a solid plot device. Normally I am not too fond of the trick but with Supergirl, it actually works well.
Astra implores her niece regaling the story of how one year before Krypton's demise, Astra & Non stood trial against Alura. Knowing that their planet was destined for destruction, Astra & Non had a plan to give Kryptonians the power to save themselves. Alura, seeing these actions as reckless and delusional, sentenced Non to Fort Rozz with Astra's sentence hopefully being commuted. Still, we know what the final result was and now Kara is left with a choice to make. Despite having all the power in the world, she is confused and ironically feeling very powerless.
Back at Catco, Calista Flockhart continues to vamp it up as Cat Grant but even more so now that she is certain that her klutzy and adorkable assistant is the Girl of Steel. She even pointed out all of the "coincidences" that Kara and Cat have experience during their tenure together since the "coming out" of Supergirl in National City. Kara decides to trust James & Winn with the bombshell information that Cat thinks she is Supergirl. Her confidantes seem to be flipping out about this but Kara remains calm like a girl with a plan. Cat even says something to the effect, like, "I'm sure you have a lot to do. Like having a building to leap in a single bound." The professional fighter is almost toying with Kara the way an undefeated heavyweight toys with a no name fighter for publicity. This is what Cat lives for! Breaking the story--and this; this is the ultimate story. The identity of Supergirl who has been under her nose this whole time? That will sell a whole lot of papers.
Alex' tenure as acting director at the DEO is short lived because the jerky jerkenstein General Lane has returned. The by the book General is certain to let the de-facto sisters know who is in charge and man this guy pisses me off. Actor Glenn Morshower is terrific at being a good guy (see his work on 24) but is a real downer as a textbook bad guy. As Lane takes charge of interrogation, he decides to take a much harsher method than Alex and despite admitting his fears, a sign of strength on Krypton, he says, "That's why I take no please in what happens next." Astra is then being held down by Lane's troops and injected with presumably even more Kryptonite. Kara & Alex walk in on it and Astra makes her feel even more guilty and their clearly is a bond there as Kara is very upset as the torture begins. But Lane makes a good point that their method of "just talking" did not bear any fruit.
Despite it all, Kara does divulge to James & Winn that Astra is, after all, still family. It was cool to see Winn & Olsen throw their differences aside in this episode as James goes snooping at Lord's headquarters before getting scared off by his thugs. However, the duo decide that breaking into Lord's HQ is a good idea which leads to Olsen getting roughed up Lord himself in the typical cliched fashion where its a room with one spotlight and a bevy of Lord's goons surrounding him. Although it did not go well, it was nice to see the competitors for Kara's heart team up for this episode and throw their feelings aside. One thing James did learn is that Lord is planning a counter strike against the Kryptonians. It didn't work but it was cool to see. Besides, James has super-hot Lucy Lane to come home to so he is really out of the picture, Winn just needs to man up already.
Ever the invasive reporter, Cat goes as far as watching Supergirl footage all night to confirm her hunch that her mild mannered assistant is indeed Supergirl. Cat tells Kara that she will no longer be a part of this ruse and that unless she can prove 100% that she is not Supergirl, then she can clean out her desk. I pondered this for a little over 90 seconds and then it hit me like a knock over the head with Mjolnir. (Take a minute and you'll figure it out) Meanwhile, Astra has given up Non's location but it cannot be the real deal and I immediately senses something was off and it will be a trap.
Guess what? It was a trap that even Admiral Ackbar would be proud of but Supergirl manages to save Lane's elite troops by getting them out of harm's way after the lead lined containers have a hologram of Henshaw that is really a bomb. When Kara returns to Catco, she has the gumption and flat out balls to quit and let that decision with Cat sit. When she finds out that Lord's thugs beat up James, she is ready to go out full throttle, guns blazing but Winn & Olsen have the right idea in stopping her. Kara decides to visit her Aunt Astra to hear her out and admits that she just wanted to hurt someone but really hits home that they have to better than humans when it comes to using their enhanced powers. She even tells Astra that she still has faith in her and wants to know the truth of what happened on Krypton. In yet another flashback, it is Astra & Alura arguing over their very different ways to save Krypton. Astra admits that Alura never stopped believing in here and that Kara, is just like her.
When Kara asks where Non is keeping Henshaw, Astra says that the humans will not for it to which Kara says, "good thing I'm not human." Alex and Kara accompany Astra out of the DEO before being stopped by General Lane and his men who are ready to open fire on the General's command. However one by one, like turning their football jersey's in in the football classic Rudy, each soldier lowers their weapon considering Supergirl saved all of their lives when the bomb went off earlier. The prisoner exchange is set, Astra for Henshaw in an even swap. It goes off without a hitch but Astra makes sure to tell her niece not to mistake her compassion for weakness. It was funny because I thought it was just me that caught it but there was a moment where Alex whispers to Henshaw to "transform" making Kara raise her eyebrows. After the fire, Henshaw and Alex let Kara know that he is indeed J'onn J'onzz, last son of Mars. And come to think of it, Martian Manhunter could really help Kara keep her job as Cat Grant's intrepid assistant.
Flying through Cat's window is Supergirl just about the same time that Kara is finishing her "last day" at Catco. The two Kara's/Supergirl's shake hands and exchange pleasantries in front of Cat whose jaw is on the floor. Having a shape-shifter on your side sure could help us all out of a lot of jams. Get working on that U.S. Government! After a very long day, Kara has a sweet Instant Message exchange with her cousin Kal and it was really a nice touch on an excellent episode. Maxwell Lord needs to be taken down is the consensus, especially the final shot is of some black eyed woman that Lord is keeping in his lab who I am betting is going to be an integral character.
It really is just very difficult for me not to like or repeat watch any episodes of Supergirl. The show is pretty damn charming and their are no real throwaway characters that I could do without. Plus now that we know Henshaw is not just a good guy, but an awesome good guy, it is making things that much more fun.