2016 is here and it's time for more superhero antics. Supergirl is back, with The Flash and Arrow well on the way; also, let's not forget the eagerly anticipated Legends of Tomorrow! Oh yes, it's going to be a hell of a year!
Directed by CW veteran Steve Shill, the most recent episode of Supergirl, entitled 'Blood Bonds', was the first of 2016. Like many Supergirl episodes 'Blood Bonds' has its flaws and compelling moments: the relationship between Winn and Olsen was surprisingly compelling, whereas the 2 dimensional contribution of General Lance was pretty weak.
The episode wasn't a huge one, but it was littered with interesting moments, as well as DC and cultural references. There were plenty, but I've narrowed down the list to a few of the more interesting aspects of 'Blood Bonds'.
1. Cat Grant references
To start us off let's look to Cat Grant, who can always been relied upon to throw in a well timed cultural reference. In 'Blood Bonds' Cat made references to Lance Armstrong, implying that she was the bold journalist who initiated his doping scandal.
"How do you think I caught Lance Armstrong?"
This is the latest in a series of windows in the Supergirl universe, which has led to revelations such as them having a female President.
2. Maxwell Lord, Bond Villain
This is yet another small reference, but Maxwell Lord compared himself to a villain from James Bond, stating:
"You think insulting my ego is going to make me spill like some Bond villain?"
The Internet has been awash with discussions regarding what type of character Lord will become, so it's rather ironic that he'd compare himself to one of the more stereotypical brand of fictional villains -- those of the Bond franchise.
In Supergirl, Lord is often depicted as a Lex Luthor type figure: powerful, wealthy, driven and antagonistic. Whereas in the comic books he was a dick, but also a member of the Justice League, despite his antagonistic relationship with Superman. As it stands it looks as though Lord is due to become Lex Luthor 2.0, but we'll have to wait and see.
3. Authority figures
I'll offer you a two-for-one on authority figures here: Clark Kent and Cat Grant; quite a deal, right?
Superman: In 'Blood Bonds' we were offered another chance to watch Superman and Supergirl commune through the wonder that is modern technology. In recent episodes the Big Blue serves as more of means of rounding-off the occasional episode and less of an overshadowing protector. But also -- "Blood bonds"... Superman named tonights episode, what a treat for him.
Cat Grant: It's not quite a reference, but it's worth noting that Cat temporarily dropped her dominant control over Kara, only for it to come flooding back when she "realized" that Kara couldn't possibly be Supergirl. I thought that felt a little cheap: I loved J'onn J'onzz's role in the ruse, but I feel that Cat knowing Kara's secret is a natural progression.
4. Shape-shifting J'onn J'onzz
While we're on the topic of J'onn J'onzz... I mean Hank Henshaw, or... Martian Manhunter? Well, whatever we're calling the badass dude with the glowing red eyes... his role in the episode, however small, was fantastic.
As ever, David Harewood played his role well, and his conversing with Kara regarding his secret felt very natural. Supergirl has an unfortunate melodrama which it often can't shake, but the ease with which Kara, Hank and Alex conversed was brilliant.
CBS might have backtracked on Cat's awareness of Kara's secret, but at least Supergirl is now aware of J'onn J'onzz, which should lead to some seriously badass fight scenes as we sink further into Season 1.
5. Bizarro Supergirl
Hidden inside Maxwell Lord's laboratory 52, a number favored by DC shows, is a strange young woman who just might be Bizarro Supergirl.
Although we can't be entirely sure that the young blonde is Bizarro-girl, with her dark eyes combined with the fact that she looks a little like Kara, it's very probable that the show has just introduced Bizarro. It's worth pointing out that this isn't really speculation, but rather expectation, as Heroichollywood recently reported that Andrew Kreisberg mentioned Bizarro on the Kevin Smiths 'Fatman on Batman' podcast, stating:
"We've got the Toyman coming up, we got Bizarro."
Pretty damn conclusive. Although he didn't state which Bizarro, we can safely assume that he means Bizarro-girl.
Like many DC characters, Bizarro and Bizarro-girl have many, many different origin stories, including those that involve cloning and genetic manipulation. One version of Bizarro was an attempt by Lex Luthor to create a clone of Superman; we don't have Lex, but we do have Lord.
Lord is very much the Lex Luthor of the Supergirl series, and it seems that his people "found" the girl, after which they presumably experimented on her. So perhaps the young lass could soon serve as Lord's weapon against the Kryptonians; or more likely that's his intention... but let's face it, she'll turn on him eventually.