A Closer Look: Supergirl – “Blood Bonds”

Supergirl Blood Bonds 2

Supergirl returned this week after a very short Winter Hiatus, which actually worked quite well considering how the MidSeason Finale literally left off ‘in media res’. Though the most important thing about this week’s MidSeason Premier is how it represents the line of NEW Supergirl episodes that were created beyond the initial Pilot run. From here on out, we’ll see what the Supergirl learned from their initial run and how they incorporate it into the remainder of their 1st Season – some episodes of which are still filming.

Either way, last night’s episode “Blood Bonds” was an interesting start. Whereas the action flowed perfectly, some of the feelings and subtleties between episodes felt off. Lack of continuity or just the pitfalls associated with extending a series into a full Season format? Honestly, I’m going with Option #2 as what changes Supergirl did give us were either refreshing or offered genuine intent/ gravitas to the situations at hand.

So let’s begin our Closer Look at Supergirl “Blood Bonds” and see what else this episode held for viewers.

Setting Up The Rest Of Season 1 – New Allies, Threats & The Bonds of Family:

As I started to mention above, even though the MidSeason Premier picked up almost instantaneously after the MidSeason Finale there were some things that seemed forgotten. For starters, whereas last time’s Cat Grant realization came off as a wonderful new ally and genuine thanks, this time around it appeared as a risk/exclusive story angle. What happened to the warm feelings of last time? I can let this slide as it is a minor point and is a needed change since Supergirl IS indeed continuing. Another change up between Finale & Premier was how originally it seemed like Non’s forces succeeded in stealing something from Maxwell Lord’s company; but here it seems more like they ‘tried’ – and failed – to steal something considering more emphasis is placed on what was not stolen than what might have been. Again, a minor grievance and could totally be something I overlooked; but in the end these misalignments don’t dull what this episode gave us: an exciting fresh start with a backstory already set up.

Supergirl Blood Bonds

In certain ways you can see the first half of Season 1 as a prequel because in terms of action and revelations, the true story begins now! At first we didn’t know what to make of Astra’s, Kara’s and Kara’s Mom’s relationship; but here we see that there is an underlying one of eternal love and hope. The rest of this season will continue to assess whether Astra is truly beyond saving or if she will stand against her radical husband Non. This episode did a great job in making us feel for Astra (the torture scene, dialogues with Kara’s mom) as well as how she still values family (calling off the execution) and it’ll be interesting to see how this continues to play out.

On a similar note, we now know that we can trust Henshaw beyond a reason of a doubt. We know his secret and why it must be kept secret; but again the best is yet to come. As we saw this episode, we will not only see the extent of his powers (strength, mind control, strong will, shapeshifting) but also how he uses those abilities in secret to help Kara and Alex. He promised their father he’d look after them and we’ll see him become very much of a father figure to them both. Although between all the anti-alien sentiment and super-powered threats, keeping that secret has never been more imperative and more difficult.

Who Is “Jane Doe” & What Is Lord’s Plan?

It’s rather appropriate how the writers are setting up the anti-alien team. General Lane operates like a wrecking ball when it comes to aliens because he can’t get past a “movie” he saw when he was a child. Meanwhile Maxwell Lord hates aliens because he feels humanity can and should rise to be better than them. Both stances are born out of fear and aim to “save” humanity; but what they don’t see is that by trying to persecute those that seek to help them, all they’ll truly accomplish in the end is creating an even bigger monster, which we get our first signs of in this week’s ending scene.

All we are given is that Lord has been amassing advanced tech and potentially alien resources in an attempt to give someone god-like powers. His test subject referred to simply as “Jane Doe” is revealed to be someone without a family and who died due to “brain trauma”. It’s unknown what’s being injected into this body or why her eyes are pitch black – or how a dead body apparently awakens -; but even more curious is how she looks eerily similar to Kara. Is this Evil Supergirl? Power Girl?

Bizarro_Supergirl

It might be too soon to try to guess this character’s identity – seeing as this could stretch on for the rest of the season – but my best bet is that this is a new go at BizarroGirl. Yes, like Superman there is also a bizarre version of Supergirl. Bizarro has had some different origins over the years and this could be an interesting adaptation of the clone idea. What if Lord is trying to make his own Supergirl by fusing various tech and biologics into some kind of Frankenstein  monster. The ‘brain trauma’ note could be something he was actively looking for as he would want to make a God-like being that was completely subservient to him and would respond to commands. The problem of course comes if the “brain trauma” referenced was in fact too damaging.

What happens if this new being doesn’t “not think” but rather thinks reverse. You can’t predict the effect brain damage would have, so giving a patient like that super-powers is a very bad idea. Maybe she stops taking his commands because of faulty thinking. Maybe she starts to wonder WHAT she is – rather than the “CLONE of Superman” angle a “reanimated dead body made to look like Supergirl” angle. This case is certainly ripe with many bizarre aspects, but is it BIZARRO enough? I guess we’ll find out. But one way or another, hopefully when this blows up in Lord’s face – and it will – he’ll take a different stance to aliens and fulfil his famous role of (re)forming the Justice League.

Up, Up & Away – Easter Eggs, References & Other Notables:

  • It was a nice touch making the second half of Supergirl’s first Season kick off with Kara and Non’s super-powered fight almost knocking a plane out of the sky – considering the first half of Supergirl’s first Season kicked off with Kara first using her super powers to save a plane.
  • The show has teased with the idea actually showing this universe’s Superman before; but the web chat at the end of this episode – and the insistence that she WILL call him when she needs – gives us a pretty clear confirmation that sooner or later the man in blue WILL make a sustained appearance. #SuperCousinTeamUp
  • In the final moments, we see a scan of Red Tornado’s severed arm. Is Lord adapting technology from it OR is he trying to make a Red Tornado 2.0? If he does, hopefully this one can go onto his usual hero duties and not blow up after gaining sentience.
  • Red Tornado’s arm wasn’t the only Easter Egg to be found in this episode’s final moments as the room itself was labeled 52. AGAIN again – in case you’re new at this – the Arrow/The Flash/Supergirl writers love the New 52 series of comics and make a reference to it in almost every episode.
  • If you were wondering why Cat’s threat to fire Kara if she’s Supergirl was such a big moment – and why Kara fought so hard to keep her job – is actually the main theme of Superman/Supergirl. Yes, they’re aliens but they’re also human. Keeping a job is how they hold onto their humanity and don’t just become an overlord who 24/7 patrols. The 2nd option might sound safer, but it’s a lot less realistic – or at least harder to identify with. Superman and Supergirl walk the line of “other” and “just like us”. Okay, maybe they hover over the line, but there’s still that line.

All in all I was very happy with how this episode turned out and am excited to see what will come next.

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One thought on “A Closer Look: Supergirl – “Blood Bonds”

  1. I noticed the ‘S’ was backwards when Supergirl was speaking to Astra in the cell. I thought I was seeing things at first, but it’s definitely backwards. Maybe to foreshadow what’s to come?

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