TV Review: Supergirl – “Blood Bonds”

Blood Bonds
Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my review of the previous episode of Supergirl here.
If there’s one cornerstone of comic books that should not be carried over into their TV and film adaptations, it’s the tendency to reject change and revert back to the status quo. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to Supergirl in its latest episode, “Blood Bonds”.
The previous episode ended with a great development as the shrewd Cat Grant pieced together Supergirl’s secret identity. It was a promising shakeup to what was already the show’s strongest relationship. Not only did “Blood Bonds” fail to live up to that promise, but it also backtracked completely by having Kara “prove” that she wasn’t Supergirl, changing Cat’s mind. It was frustrating seeing this bond about to hit the gas pedal, only to immediately go into full reverse.
That’s not to say the subplot was entirely without merit, though. We can always count on Melissa Benoist and Calista Flockhart to deliver amusing performances especially thanks to their winning chemistry. So it was at least executed in an amusing manner, for the most part. On the other hand, for example, having Cat deliver lines like “Prove to me that you’re not Supergirl, or you’ll lose your job” was pretty aggravating. Cat’s goal was to prove that Kara is Supergirl, not the other way around. Phrasing the ultimatum like that turned Cat into an exposition machine in a glaring manner.
The Astra storyline that led to last month’s cliffhanger was also resolved in a way that returned things to the way they were before. Of course, Astra couldn’t remain captive for long, and she and Kara gained at least a bit of a mutual understanding (not too much though, or that would have diminished the threat she posed). But it didn’t feel like much storytelling traction was gained from imprisoning her for two episodes. Even the doubts that Kara was having about her mother, one of the stronger elements of this Astra story arc, were ultimately erased.
That’s not to say no forward momentum was made, though. The Max Lord story was bumped forward a little bit in terms of his motivations and plans, even if none of it was particularly surprising. It also gave James and Winn some fun material. Plus, the very last scene hinted at some promising developments.

Rating: 2.5/5 (Subpar)

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