Supergirl has been having a rough season, and it’s not getting much better in “Blood Memory.” The episode starts off with her Kasnian counterpart going through training and keeling over with a severe nosebleed and steadily worsening symptoms. Her military handler tries to save her life, and his use of a defibulator on her causes some weird energy effect to travel around the world to National City. For reasons that are never really clear, the strange energy centers on a camper and makes a substantial change to a pair of slacker/drug dealers’ stash. When some college kids come to buy the pills, the kids undergo a radical transformation, becoming huge and superstrong and dangerous.
The main cast gathers for game night, but all is not well. While Brainiac is confused by the entire concept, and Nia loves it, we see some aftereffects from J’Onn’s editing of Alex’s memories. For example, she can’t remember Kara’s favorite movie, which prompts some worried glances among the ones who know what’s going on. James and Lena find they’re not quite perfectly in synch, and Nia talks about the idyllic town she grew up in. Alex gets called in to deal with the rogue college kids, ending game night early. The DEO best the monsters easily enough, but there’s some very palpable tension between Supergirl and Alex, which surprises the Girl of Steel.
Kara meets with James in his office the next morning, worried about the changes in Alex. He suggests she find a way to take her mind off things. McKenzie, the young reporter who seems to be a randomly shifting plot point, comes in and pitches a story to James about some secret projects at L-Corp. James gives her tentative permission to pursue the story, while Kara meets up with Nia in the restroom. Nia is on the phone with her sister, making excuses for not coming home for HarvestFest this year. Nia is worried both about taking the time off work and her power-driven narcolepsy making the drive problematic. Kara offers to drive her home and bounce an excuse of a story off James to make up for Kara being out of the office for yet another few days.
Alex is feeling a bit off after her session with the Truth Seeker, Haley’s latest tool in the crusade to learn Supergirl’s secret identity. Brainiac reassures her that it’s not harmful, and then surprises her by showing the Director that last night’s captures have gone from monsters to frat boys. Nia dozes off and has another odd vision, waking up just in time for them to arrive at her family home. Nia also worked in some family history about her mother leaving her homeworld of Naltor, and her hometown’s strong inclusion ethos.
Alex has a very unsatisfying go around with the two frat boys about where they got the pills. It’s some amusing comic relief, but leaves her doubting herself. Brainiac offers some theories about the drugs being changed, while the dealers have a talk with their product. No, really. There’s also a young woman with them, Bobbie, who seems to spend all her time studying with earbuds jammed in.
At the Nal home, Nia introduces Kara to her family and we get a lot of background on dynamic, especially about Nia’s sister Maeve, who is convinced she’s to be the heir of mom’s powers. There’s some teasing of Nia for leaving the small town for the city, and some unsettling news about how the powers actually work. Nia’s not going to have a smooth visit.
Brainiac briefs Alex on several more rage/monster drug incidents. Alex is worried that something’s wrong with her mind, and turns to J’Onn for help (if she only knew…). Nia talks to Kara some more about Maeve’s obsession with inheriting the powers, and asks Kara to play along and buy her time to talk to her mother. Kara reluctantly agrees, but advises Nia to tell Maeve the truth. J’Onn has an uncomfortable scene with Alex about her worries, and Alex decides to take a new approach to the interrogation of the frat boys.
Kara talks to Maeve about the town, the overall acceptance, and her family history. Maeve is still convinced she’s supposed to inherit the powers. As if that wasn’t enough to make Kara uneasy, there are a few Children of Liberty wandering around with one of their alien-sniffing dogs. Brainy gets a hilarious undercover scene, impressing Alex and getting them a clue about the dealers.
Mom and Nia have a chat, and Nia learns nothing she wants to hear. Mom then gets bitten by a spider, but doesn’t get neat powers from it. Instead, there’s a vision that involves mother and daughter, a talk about the powers manifesting, and Mom’s unfortunate passing. That must have been one hell of a bug bite. Nia has another dream, which Maeve wakes her up from to tell her that the town is now using HarvestFest as a memorial to their mother. Maeve babbles on that if only she had the precog powers, she’d have known to save their mother, making Nia feel worse and worse.
James goes to see Lena, worried about McKenzie’s story. He gets sidetracked by Lena’s plan to train for game night, since she hates losing, and James decides not to share his concerns. Didn’t he get really mad at her not that long ago for holding information back? The slacker dealers get an offer that’s too good to be true, and it is. Their next clients prove to be Children of Liberty, who attack the dealers and decide to use the rage drug on HarvestFest. Bobbie finally comes out her earbuds long enough to notice what’s going on.
J’Onn pays a visit to Brainy, checking on Alex. He and Brainy get an amusing scene together before they track down the dealers. One odd bit that kept bugging me: Brainy kept calling their vehicle a van, but it’s a big RV/camper. Alex gets a team to go after them, and invites J’Onn along. Nia and Kara prepare for Mom’s memorial, and Kara finally convinces Nia to tell Maeve the truth about the powers, which Nia will do after the gathering. The DEO find the beaten dealers, who tell them where the Children were going, and that Bobbie’s gone after them.
Dad pulls Nia aside to tell her about his own dream and give her a box. Maeve proves to be a powerful speaker, but, of course, the raged-out Children show up and start trashing everything. Nia saves her sister, but does so with a flash of precog, and Maeve figures out what’s going on. She’s not happy, and they have a later conversation that gets ugly. There ends up being a big brawl between the Children, Supergirl, and the DEO. There’s a misunderstanding between Alex and Supergirl, and it deepens the gulf between them. Later, Nia bewails her bad luck, and Kara reveals her secret to her. Odd timing, considering the lengths they’re going to in order to keep it secret.
The episode wraps with a few scenes that all seem designed to sow future plot points. Nia looks at the box from her dad. Alex meets up with J’Onn and Kara and goes on about Supergirl. James kills Mackenzie’s story. And the Kasnian military makes a decision that I’m sure is going to bring more complication.
What I liked: I’m enjoying Brainiac more and more as they give him better scenes. He’s becoming a big asset to the DEO, not just tech support/comic relief, although he does those well, too. I felt bad for J’Onn’s being torn between protecting Kara/Supergirl and helping Alex.
What I didn’t: I’m really not liking the Alex forgetting storyline. It seems to be creating needless drama. I didn’t much care for Maeve, either, for the same reasons. James is starting down a dark path that’s going to come back to bite him. He’s not cut out for the deep dark secret thing.
I didn’t really care for this episode much. I’ll give it a low 3 out of 5.