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Supergirl - Blood Bonds - Review: "The best and the worst of the show"

This week’s Supergirl showcased some of my favorite attributes of the show, but also some of my least favorites: instead of showcasing a rivalry of James and Winn we have them working together and establishing them as Kara’s true friends and support network, we have the Danver’s sisters ongoing chemistry, Hank becomes more likeable and, all in all, the episode presents a tight story about family and overcoming fears. But, it also showcases the ongoing characters problems of Cat Grant, which is all over the place, being both entertaining but also very unlikeable, and we also have very poorly written villains (aside from Lord and Astra); the pacing is struggling and the effects were particularly poor on this episode.

So I have mixed feelings about this episode: for one I like all the developments we have. Maxwell Lord is a compelling villain. I have always liked the Lex Luthor kind of villain, self righteous, evil, a bit psychotic, but calm and smart, I feel they are always fun to play around with and Peter Facinelli does a great job portraying those traits. I love how the actor seems to be having such a great time while restraining James, it showcases his commitment to make Lord a true comic book villain and a well portrayed one to that matter.

I like how Lord is a villain that Supergirl can’t take head on, because he plays on another field, with wits and brains. That is much more interesting to see Kara punching it out with Astra’s husband, who is a pretty bland villain. He doesn’t seem to have much motivation besides just causing troubles to humankind for unknown reasons. And the other villain on the episode, General Sam Lane, is just bothersome; he is just there to antagonize Kara and he is really boring by how bland he is. I don’t blame the actor Glenn Morshow but rather the writing; it is very typical, very clich├ęd and uninteresting, everything the character said made me roll my eyes and honestly I just kept checking the time every time he was on screen, wishing his scenes were over.

The show need to work on its villains: only one is truly working, week to week we are seeing villains that are just lagging the show. The best quality of “Human for a Day” wasn’t the D.E.O fighting a random alien, but rather having Kara take her biggest challenge on inspiring hope without powers by just believing in people. The show can make various themes work, but they work in spite of the villains it has, not because of them.

That being said, I’m happy Kara has an enemy she can’t beat in his uncle, that makes her realize that she still has a way to go to improve. Just like Barry Allen before her, she is realizing that having powers is not the same thing as being powerful, and sometimes true power comes from being able to accept one’s past and face them head on, which is shown when she decides to give Astra in exchange for Hank.

Hank is becoming more and more likeable; after we realized he is the Martian Manhunter from the comics the show has allowed both the character and the actor to be less serious and more fleshed out. In this episode we see him being strong and also having some fun posing as Supergirl for Cat Grant; the more we get to know about him, seeing more of his character traits, the more compelling he becomes. He honestly feels as part of Supergirl’s team, and he is growing on me with each episode.

While Lord is the MVV (most valuable villain) of the episode for me, I do appreciate that Astra’s conflict feels more connected to family roots than just being evil for the sake of being evil (unlike her husband). Laura Benanti sells her performance well and she has very good chemistry with whoever she is acting with.

Now Cat… jesus, can’t the show just allow her to be witty and likeable instead of witty and unlikeable? I don’t know why she has to keep putting troubles for Kara. I understand her point on giving Supergirl more time to save people, but Kara still needs to pay rent, eat and drink, did she really think it was as easy as firing her? Not to mention that she has her support team (James and Winn) at Cat Co. She is particularly tenacious and while I appreciate that the show is playing with her, giving her good punchlines and funny scenes with her attitude, I don’t like that she keeps antagonazing Kara.

And also, why the show shied away from the reveal? I didn’t like that Cat went back to believe Kara and Supergirl are 2 different people, I would have prefered to see Kara fighting to keep her job and start defending herself instead of letting Cat dictate everything she does around Cat Co. The show can’t seem to decide wherever Cat is going to be a funny presence or an antagonist, and that just annoys me.

This week’s episode was equally great and poor. It threw lines as weak as “perhaps I should preemptively snap your neck” while also developing well various characters, but sadly keeping the ongoing problems of some other. Supergirl can be a great light show with deep roots, funny and engaging, but the issues are still there. Once the show figures it out though, I expect greatness.

Grade: B

About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Game of Thrones, Mr. Robot, Jessica Jones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, The 100 and Supergirl
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