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.
The two most pressing sides in “Blood Bonds” eventually come to a prisoner exchange agreement, if only thanks to the intervention of Supergirl. Against the general’s orders, the Danvers girls take Astra out of her cell at the DEO to a meeting place with Non and the other Kryptonian ex-cons. In turn, Non brings Henshaw and the two sides make the exchange. However, when it seems that Non and Astra’s forces are about to turn on the humans, Kara’s aunt — perhaps remembering her niece’s attempts to save her from torture — calls them off and tells her husband to “honor the agreement.”
What would have been a major, and costly, battle fizzles into nothing. And that’s fine, because a third hostage situation that occurred earlier leads to a major payoff during the episode’s final scene and shot. While the DEO and Astra’s forces were negotiating, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) were busy investigating Lex Luthor stand-in Maxwell Lord’s (Peter Facinelli) secretive work at his company’s headquarters — where the winter finale ended and “Blood Bonds” picked things up. Lord wasn’t too keen on the presence of outsiders after the initial battle, so the pair decided to investigate.
Two things result from this investigation: First, Olsen breaks into Lord’s building and gets himself captured. In the process, he and Schott notice an extremely secure door in the building’s research wing — one that not even their investigative techniques can break into. When Olsen asks Lord about that door and what he’s up to, the elite businessman and researcher loses it.
“Human, alien, super. If you go up against me, you will lose.”
Lord is obviously addressing Olsen here, but his use of “human, alien, super” before the warning suggests it applies to more than just a photojournalist breaking and entering. His Luthor-like dislike of Supergirl has been boiling up throughout the season, and it seems he may have found a bizarre outlet for it. The final shot of “Blood Bonds” features a young, bedridden woman who looks eerily similar to Kara. However, her skin his white and flaky and her eyes are all black. An IV drips runs a blood-like liquid into her system, though it’s dark blue in color and looks nothing like human blood.
The reveal is brief and ambiguous, but considering the “Comatose Woman” (Hope Lauren) appears again in the next episode, “Childish Things,” it’s a sure bet she’s Bizarro Supergirl/Bizarro-Girl. The precise version isn’t known, though considering the changes already made, Supergirl‘s version of the character will hopefully fit its world precisely. In December, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed the character would appear in Supergirl, though whether she’ll oppose Kara and the DEO for several episodes or just a one-shot remains unclear.