Supergirl Season 1, Episode 9 “Blood Bonds”
Bechdel-Wallace Score: 3+/3
Shukla Score: 1/3
Russo Score: 0/3
This episode had no LGBTQ representation. There are two named, recurring characters that are persons of color, but they never spoke during the episode. The show featured at least three named, recurring characters that are women and generally are discussing each other or another woman (all three of them are strong, independent, and often in a position of authority). It would only take two kittens to pull me away from this episode, since I found the episode somewhat boring and, at a few points, highly annoying.
Low points: Every mention of Superman continues to be a mistake, as it is always a reminder that the man of steel would be involved in these events but for… …well, nothing in the story can explain his absence – hence the namedropping being a mistake. Also, I think Non is more compelling when he is a non-speaking character. Anyway, the real low point of this episode is putting Cat Grant back into the “doesn’t know the secret identity” box. It has always been absurd that Cat doesn’t recognize Kara as Supergirl and so it was great when she figured it out in episode 8. The bizarre way they tried to walk that back this episode is tied for Worst Moment of the Series with Winn slut-shaming Kara for hugging (!) Jimmy Olsen in episode 7. That’s a lot of low points – and I didn’t even get to the tired, “bossy, meddlesome, Dick-Cheney-esque military figure who is messing everything up” storyline. Hence the low kitten rating.
Highlights: It turns out when they aren’t doing the really annoying love triangle thing with Kara, Jimmy and Winn can actually be entertaining and useful to the story. This episode featured a subplot of the guys working together and it was fun (and funny – “oh, you can’t kick lasers, can you?”). It also seems to me that the show has gotten better each episode at portraying the flying and fighting of Kryptonians and that is a good thing. Despite the unfortunate decision to make Cat Grant ignorant of Supergirl’s identity again, the Cat/Kara relationship continues to be the best part of the show. (I’m not the only one who thinks so.)
Dad edits: There is a scene where the afore-mentioned General Lane and his goons are about to torture Astra, Kara’s aunt. The imagery is disturbing and the lead up, with Kara begging them not to do it, is effective at creating drama. So we totally skipped it! I just told him “the General did something mean to Kara’s Aunt Astra, to get information.” That worked fine. There is also a scene where Maxwell Lord has captured Jimmy Olsen and Olsen is a bit beat up, but Lord only smashes a camera (sitting on top of an IKEA kitchen table), so we kept that in.
Supergirl airs on CBS on Mondays at 8/7c