Supergirl “Blood Bonds” Review (Season 1 Episode 9)

After a surprisingly short winter hiatus, Supergirl returned with a brand-new episode. What followed was an episode that got a bit heavy-handed with its handling of terrorism, but that still managed to offer several great scenes and balance the various characters better than ever before. “Blood Bonds” was, ultimately, further proof that the show is coming into its own, even as there are still certain areas in need of improvement.

As far as the superhero shows on TV go, Supergirl definitely skews the youngest. That’s not a slight against the show, as it fills an accessible, family-hour niche that shows like Arrow don’t. However, the result is a show that shies away from shades of grey in its moralizing, which often leads to rather simplistic answers to complex questions.

In this case, that meant a rather lazy take on torturing terrorists that didn’t quite say anything new. Basically, it boiled down to the fact that torture leads to bad intel, but the show was fairly blunt in its message. And really, it’s a good message for the younger crowd, but that lack of complexity makes for a fairly standard plot progression for those of us who’ve been around the block a few times.

Fortunately, the show is doing a little better in terms of its actual characterization. Astra and Kara were able to bond a bit more this week, which goes a long way towards building up the ongoing conflict of the season. The importance of family is one of the major themes of the season, and I’m interested to see how things develop given the events of the episode. That said, Non betraying Astra is starting like an inevitability.

Meanwhile, Winn and James finally got a chance to serve as more than Kara’s support team and potential love interests, with the duo teaming up to infiltrate Maxwell Lord’s operation. It was a good opportunity for the two to actually bond a little. On the other hand, Lord continues to delve more and more into cartoonish supervillain territory, though the mystery of what exactly happened to make him hate Superman so much is an intriguing one.

Lastly, I am a bit bummed that they pulled back on actually letting Cat in on Kara’s secret. Nothing so far has suggested to me that Cat would instantly betray Kara’s trust; if anything, she seems like she would only want to help Kara be the best version of Supergirl she can be. I don’t know, it just feels like a step back, especially on a show that’s been so quick to do away with the idea of keeping Kara’s identity a secret.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!