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Welcome to the Maid of Steel podcast! We are a podcast dedicated to the CBS Television series Supergirl and in this installment of the podcast we are covering season 1 episode 9, “Blood Bonds”, which originally aired on January 4, 2016.
As much as I like to joke that this is the first episode back from the winter hiatus—because what is more fun than getting the Scarlet Cougar’s blood boiling?—this really was the most manageable hiatus for a television show in my memory. The cliffhanger from episode 8, in which we see the allusion to Supergirl going up against Non, left us wondering what kind of a disastrous fallout would ensue when the show came back in the new year.
Unfortunately, both Karen and I found it rather anticlimactic. While containing interesting components, the episode seemed like clumps of dried Play-Doh being mashed together. Even so, we had fun talking about the various storylines occurring in this episode, the most obvious of which was the parallels between Kara and her mother dealing with Astra, and the truths revealed inside of the events that occurred both on Earth and on Krypton.
Blood Binds Baleful Blondes
The title of the episode is Blood Bonds, which Karen briefly tells us actually originates from the comics, but to a non-comic person it is equally as relatable. This is one thing I’ve been very impressed with during the course of this show’s run; they’ve been able to pay homage to many characters and concepts while not losing folks like me in the dust. So even though blood bonds signifies this unbreakable tendon between relatives, it occurred to me that a blood bond can be extremely binding.
Bond, as a noun, can have a positive or negative connotation. It can be a physical restraint used to hold prisoners, a deed or policy that promises one entity will repay another entity, or, such as in chemistry, it can indicate a strong force of attraction which holds atoms together within a molecule, which actually results from the atoms sharing electrons. But in all of these situations, there is a binding contract in which one entity holds more authority than the other, one that dictates the inherent relationship.
Since Astra came back into her life, Kara has been fearful of what this means for the memory of her mother. The more she learns about what really happened back on Krypton, the more upset Kara becomes. With pressure mounting from the side excursions Winn and James are indulging in to the hovering suspicion of Cat Grant, Kara feels like a failure. But that perceived failure is wrapped up in an identity she’s forged from a blood bond she considers binding.
My mom used to always tell me siblings are forever, friends are temporary, by which she meant that I needed to be nice to my younger siblings because they’d be around a lot longer than any of my friends. And as a kid this can be disheartening, especially if you don’t get along with your siblings. As the oldest child, it wasn’t cool to spend time with my siblings until I was in college, which is when I was first able to determine that a bond wasn’t binding, but liberating! Feeling and being responsible for another person, or people, is no easy task, but when we increase that burden by feeling obligated to behave a certain way or fulfill certain duties, we aren’t taking advantage of the the inherent qualities of a bond.
The show may go in a completely different direction, but I sincerely hope that the efforts they’re taking to align the goals (or, at least, sentiments) of Kara and Astra are not in vain. We got a taste of both women releasing the sense of “in a bind” in this episode, by Kara taking matters into her own hands and then Astra telling Kara the truth about her mother. So even though they repeat the Kryptonian mantra blood bonds us all, it seems as though they’re starting to actually understand what that means to them personally.
Supergirl will not return until January 18, with episode 10 “Childish Things”.
Cougar’s Comic Corner
Karen directs our attention this week to Superman, The Man of Steel, Volume 1. There are six issues in this volume. Issue 5 deals with Lex Luthor’s creation of Bizarro and his interactions with Superman, so at the very least read that one! But Karen warns us that this is a heart wrenching read!
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