- "'Blood bonds us all.' That ancient proverb comes from a time when Krypton was little more than a wasteland for warring tribes. And although blood is indeed a powerful bond that can unite us, it can also blind us from seeing the truth."
- —Alura Zor-El at Astra's trial
"Blood Bonds" is the ninth and midseason premiere episode of the first season of , and the ninth episode overall. It aired on January 4, 2016.
|With Astra in captivity at the D.E.O., her husband, Non, captures Hank, leading to a tense standoff between the two sides. Also, Kara continues to refuse Cat's suspicions that she is Supergirl.|
- Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers/Supergirl and J'onn J'onzz
- Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen
- Chyler Leigh as Dr./Acting Director Alex Danvers
- Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott
- David Harewood as Director "Hank Henshaw"
- Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant
Special guest stars
- Chris Vance as Lieutenant Non
- Glenn Morshower as General Sam Lane
- Robert Gant as Zor-El
- Hope Lauren as Jane Doe
- Ric Sarabia as a psychic Fort Rozz escapee
- Briana Venskus as Agent Vasquez
- Michael Albala as Scientist
- Rey Hernandez as Commander
- Christopher Showerman as Tor
At Lord Technologies, Hank tries to intervene in the fight between Non and Kara but is abducted by Non. Maxwell orders the D.E.O. to leave and refuses to reveal what the Kryptonians might have been looking for; he later makes a public statement blaming the attack on corporate espionage. At D.E.O. headquarters, Hank's secret emergency protocols reveal that Alex is his designated successor. Kara asks Astra where Non took Hank, but she refuses to divulge anything. Astra emphasizes that Kara has chosen sides against her.
Kara tells James and Winn that Cat believes her to be Supergirl, a premise Cat continues to explore through various challenges to Kara's identity. Non contacts the D.E.O. while Kara is present, offering to trade Hank for Astra. Alex agrees, but is countermanded by General Lane, who has been put in charge of the D.E.O. by a presidential order. James tries to investigate at Lord Technologies; his suspicions are raised by his observations of the damage to the facility, but Maxwell orders him off the premises.
At Astra's headquarters, Non kills a mind reading alien who finds Hank impervious to his abilities. At the D.E.O., Sam interrogates Astra by torturing her with a kryptonite injection, to Kara's horror and over her strenuous objections. James tells Kara that he has no leads on what Maxwell was hiding, but Winn later confronts James, who admits that he does have a line of investigation. Winn agrees to help bypass Maxwell's security systems; James successfully infiltrates the building, but is stopped by a biometric lock and then caught by Maxwell and his security force, who beat up James and throw him out. Astra reveals Hank's supposed location, but it's a trap; Kara saves Alex and a soldier from an explosion.
Cat decides that Supergirl's energies are wasted on the pretense of being an errand girl; if Kara can't prove that she isn't Supergirl, Cat will fire her. Later, Kara thanks Cat for the opportunity to work with her and resigns, explaining that Cat's suspicions make it impossible for her to do her job. Kara then discovers James' injuries and declares she will go after Maxwell. Winn notes that she is talking like Astra, and instead needs to let him and James investigate and find another way to expose Maxwell. Kara visits Astra and asks to hear the truth; Astra reveals that Alura believed Astra's claims about the planetary crisis, and sentenced Astra on the basis of her crimes, without losing faith in her. Astra favorably likens Kara to Alura, and tells her that going through with the exchange is the only way to rescue Hank. Kara decides to do so, but General Lane threatens to stop her by force. However, he is unable to follow through when the soldiers follow the lead of their fellow whom Supergirl rescued, who refuses to act against her. The trade is made, but then Non springs an ambush; however, Astra calls off the attack, demanding that a reluctant Non honor the agreement, though it is not a truce.
Back at the D.E.O., Kara asks from Hank, what Alex meant when she said he needed to transform. Alex and Hank then take Kara to another room and Kara is stunned, when they explain that Hank is actually a Martian. Kara Doesn't understand, why they didn't tell her, claiming she could've kept a secret. Hank and Alex counter it by saying she can't.
At CatCo, Hank uses his shapeshifting ability to impersonate Supergirl so that Cat can see her and Kara at the same time. Cat accepts that she must have been wrong, and offers Kara her job back on the condition that she not reveal Cat's embarrassing mistake. Hank offers Kara a full-time job at the D.E.O., but she tells him that her relationships at CatCo are what humanizes her. She has an online chat with Superman, who offers her emotional support, and assistance if she ever needs it. He reiterates a Kryptonian proverb that has been a motif throughout the episode: "Blood bonds us all," referring to all Kryptonians but by extension all sapient life. James, Winn, and Kara commit to stopping Maxwell.
At Room 52 of the secret facility inside Lord Technologies, Maxwell checks on a test subject, a young blonde woman who apparently died from brain trauma. She opens her eyes, revealing them to be entirely black.
- J'onn J'onzz uses his shapeshifting ability to convince Cat that Kara is not Supergirl. In the 1997 Justice League of America pilot, he does the same to prevent Fire's suspicious friend Martin from discovering her superhero identity.
- During the last few minutes of the episode, Maxwell Lord is seen entering a room containing Jane Doe, which is marked "Room 52". This is a reference to the DC comics' New 52 relaunch.
- During an interview with Cat, Kara claims that she transferred to Midvale in the 8th grade. However, it was later established that Kara was in the 7th grade upon arriving in Midvale.
- When Max is talking to James Olsen as they're walking, the camera and camera crane are visible in the building windows' reflection behind them.
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