Supergirl is back from its small winter hiatus and “blood bonds us all” is the refrain of the night in the similarly named episode “Blood Bonds.” The action picks up immediately where “Hostile Takeover” left off: Non and Kara fly at top-speed toward each other and wind up soaring above National City. Momentarily parted by a passerby plane, they then pummel each other, crashing downward into the Lord building plaza. After the D.E.O. comes to Supergirl’s aid, Non cuts his battle with his niece short and kidnaps Hank Henshaw. This of course comes as a bit of a shock to everyone on the ground with the exception of Alex, who (like the audience) knows that Hank is actually J’onn Jonzz a.k.a. Martian Manhunter. He is more than capable of handling himself if things get too rough.
Kara’s homesick longing causes her to view Astra with more sympathetic eyes, while Astra also begins to soften toward her niece. The rift between Non and Astra seems to be widening, too. They may be married, but their different approaches to their shared goal might just set them on a path for splitsville.
The next morning following the attack on the Lord Technologies building, James Olsen is found taking pictures of the scene outside by Maxwell Lord himself. Lord is as shifty as ever, trying to conceal exactly what it was in his possession that Astra’s mini-army was after. A few strong-armed threats from Lord later, and Olsen takes off back to CatCo.
After James is attacked by Lord during a covert break-in, Kara almost gives into her irrational anger once again, much like we saw in “Red Faced.” After a brief conversation (and flashback to Krypton) with Astra, Kara begins to calm down again, and Kara decides that in order to retrieve Henshaw, she has to make the prisoner swap: Astra for Hank. She has no idea if Non will stay true to the agreement, but she has to try. National City gets another visit from General Lane due to Hank’s absence, and his torture techniques on Astra only cement Kara’s decision.
During the prisoner swap, Non does in fact stage an ambush and Kara overhears (because, duh, superhearing) Alex implore Hank/J’onn to “transform.” After an intervention from Astra, the army of Kryptonians stand down and the two sides go on their way, living to inevitably fight another day. The number of Kryptonians in the show does seem to be multiplying by the day, making the very idea of Superman seem like an insignificant one to say the least. Astra says that this isn’t a truce, but Kara responds in kind saying it’s at least a start. After confronting Alex and Hank about the nugget of eavesdropped information, J’onn reveals his true identity and then aids Kara in a personal matter at CatCo. Since Cat Grant has worked out that Kara is Supergirl, Kara wants desperately to either prove her wrong or make her back down. Having a flying shape-shifter is just the deus ex machina for the job. When Cat sees both Kara and Supergirl in the same room, she relents and goes back to her smug “I’m-always-right” ways. Had Cat not been so insistent in dealing in ultimatums, it would’ve been nice to see the relationship between her and Kara play out in a more human way.
The episode ends with the reveal of what seems to be Maxwell Lord’s latest project: his anti-Supergirl. She’s a human Jane Doe with “no family, no connections.” She’s likely going to be the Bizarro Supergirl we’ve been hearing rumblings about, but given Lord’s anti-alien sentiments, the source of her eventual powers is a mystery, at least for a few weeks. Supergirl returns in two weeks on January 18th.
“Blood bonds us all.” – Astra, Kara, Alura, and Clark (via instant message.) The Kryptonian motto weaves itself into the episode multiple times in the 43 minutes of airtime, suggesting that Astra is headed toward a redemption arc.
Blink and you’ll miss it:
Maxwell Lord is building his own arsenal of Extra-Normal artifacts, including a holographic model of Red Tornado’s arm and a mystery woman who awakens from a hospital bed with black eyes. She’s listed as a Jane Doe on her medical bracelet, and given that we know a Bizarro-Supergirl is planned to take center stage as Kara’s latest foe, we wonder if the Bizarro-Supergirl will not be a clone gone wrong, like the original Bizarro was, but possibly some sort of genetic human-Kyrptonian splicing result. After all, Maxwell’s disdain for anything alien would suggest that if he’s going to create his own anti-Supergirl, he’d use as much of a human as he could to achieve the result.