While Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) finally finds out who Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) really is in the latest Supergirl, the once-breaking revelation that the Department of Extranormal Operations director is actually the Martian Manhunter is old news to viewers. Instead, the newest revelation in “Blood Bonds” concerns not who Supergirl’s allies are, but who her true enemies will soon become.
Since the pilot, Kara and her friends at the DEO have been battling the machinations of her aunt, Astra (Laura Benanti), and her fellow Kryptonian ex-cons. Along with a few other alien ex-prisoners, Astra has been preparing her forces for a large-scale move against the planet. In “Blood Bonds,” however, she spends most of her time in a Kryptonite-laced prison cell, tortured by General Sam Lane (Glenn Morshower) and his troops for information regarding the whereabouts of Henshaw, whom her husband, Non (Chris Vance) took hostage.
There’s plenty of action, no doubt, but the standoff between the two sides makes for some interesting conversations between the major players. Whenever Lane isn’t torturing her, Astra manages to expose more of her true, non-threatening self to Kara in several pointed discussions of blood, family and enemies.
ASTRA: Blood bonds us all.
KARA: Those are empty words coming from you.
ASTRA: If they were, you would not be alive.
KARA: If blood bonds us all, then why don’t you just tell me where Henshaw is?
ASTRA: Because blood does not bond us to him.
Sure, her posing about her husband “sparing” Supergirl’s life seems threatening, but Astra acknowledges her familial — if not sentimental — attachment to Kara Zor-El. Blood is a strong bond between the two, so much so that the only reason Kara doesn’t stop Lane from torturing her aunt is because the cell’s Kryptonite weakens her. As a result, her adopted sister, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), is able to pull her out of the room.
The second conversation between a hostage and hostage-taker goes much differently. That’s because, as Astra pointed out, there are no blood bonds whatsoever between Henshaw and Non, who still thinks the DEO Director is just another human being. A multi-eyed alien ex-con with mind-reading abilities cannot break through Henshaw’s mental block, however, prompting Non to snap his neck in order to taunt the prisoner.