Kara Goes it Alone in SUPERGIRL’S “Myriad”
This week’s episode begins in the aftermath of last week’s Zombie Jimmy cliffhanger, as we find that Non’s mind-control device, Myriad, has taken over the entire human population of National City (it’s quickly established that the effect of the device is not felt worldwide). Even the DEO is under Non’s control, as we see Lucy Lane and Agent Vasquez letting all of the alien baddies out of their cells—including a bombastic space queen named Maxima, who is told by Non (through Lucy) that if they give him their allegiance, they will rule a conquered Earth.
But before Maxima can leave the DEO, she’s tackled by our hero, Kara Zor-El, also an alien, but one with distinctly different opinions on how to use her powers. This opening fight is exciting, and well-choreographed, something that’s not always true of the fight sequences in this show. The fight is broken up by Lucy, who shoots Kara with a Kryptonite bullet (the first of many Kryptonite-based weapons in this episode). Supergirl manages to stop her, but, seeing that she’s outmatched by the Myriad, flies off to the Fortress of Solitude seeking the assistance of her cousin, Kal-El, aka Superman, also an alien (this will become important later).
But when she gets to the Fortress of Solitude, Kal is nowhere to be found, as his robot butler tells Kara that he is off-world. Luckily, Supes also has a version of Kara’s mother saved as a holographic projection, like the DEO has. Ghost Mommy tells Kara that Myriad was a technology designed by Astra to control minds—Kara knew that. But Ghost Mommy also reveals (a little too late, hologram!) that Astra’s intentions with Myriad were (relatively) noble: she designed it to help save planets who were on the verge of ecological collapse due to the inaction and bickering of its leaders. By controlling the minds of politicians and citizens, Astra can force them to take care of their home in the way that she feels they should, and perhaps if she’d led with this idea, she could have come to some sort of agreement with her niece and not been pierced by a Kryptonite sword.
Kara goes to Catco next, where she finds all of its employees (including Winn and Jimmy) at their workstations, typing away at Kryptonian computer code. However, she soon finds out that Cat Grant is not under the effects of the Myriad signal (she enters to a cute moment in which she orders “Kira” to tell Harrison Ford that she does not date older men. The in-joke here is that in real life Calista Flockhart is, in fact, married to everyone’s favorite space pirate). This is thanks to a pair of earrings given to her by Maxwell Lord, who (surprise, surprise) isn’t affected by Myriad, either. Max figured out Non’s plan some time ago, and rather than find a way to stop Non’s ability to use his satellites to send the signal, he focused on creating a personal signal blocker so that he could remain free. Of course you did, Max.
Soon, Kara gets a Super-Text from her cousin saying that he is on the way to save the day after all. But, as Kara and Cat look on in horror and confusion, Superman arrives with a triumphant flourish … and is immediately taken over by the Myriad signal and forced into service along with the rest of National City (conveniently just before we can see his face). Now, show, what are you doing here? Superman may have been raised on Earth, but so was Kara. He’s still an alien, and though we will later see that even J’onn can feel the strength of the signal, there’s no reason—other than the fact that DC is reluctant to use Superman on television—for this to happen. (Pssst, hey, DC, nobody likes your dumb movies, so just give us a full cameo, would you?). I bet they had a great laugh when they thought up this moment in the writer’s room. It should have stayed there.
Non shows up at Catco to confront Kara (politely walking in, rather than flying, it should be noted), and says that with Earth’s populace “more interested in reality stars and political circuses than solving the world’s problems” the only way to save the world is to enslave the population and make them “one people working with one purpose”. (Look, Non, subscribe me to your newsletter, but let these people go, would you?) Then Non starts speaking through Winn and Jimmy, which is very creepy and cool. Realizing that these are Kara’s friends, Non says “I have lived with loss, allow me to return the favor”, and makes them both jump off of the building at the same time—along with a woman named Kelly, who we’ve just met five minutes ago. Guess which one splats to the pavement below before Kara can save them.
Meanwhile, in a subplot that might as well have the words etcetera, etcetera, etcetera running across the screen at all times, Alex and J’onn are still on the run. Alex hides out by donning a blonde wig, and J’onn—far more effectively—shape-shifts to a blonde boy to pose as her son. Alex takes J’onn back to her mother’s house, leading to some cutesy scenes with Eliza Danvers geeking out over meeting a real, live Martian (and I mean actually geeking out, grilling J’onn about the biological function of his shape-shifting abilities).
Back in National City, Kara can’t figure out any way to stop Myriad, but Maxwell Lord has a plan that involves setting off a Kryptonite bomb over the city center. Sure, it will irradiate the area, keeping all Kryptonians away for over 50 years, and sure, it will kill over 300,000 people, but it’s the best we’ve got. Right, Kara?
Well, good heavens, Kara, no. This is not the best idea that you can come up with, and the audience knows it. However, it’s another twenty minutes before Cat Grant can talk Kara out of going along with Lord’s plan. It’s hard to believe that Kara would ever go along with this idea, and that drags down much of the episode. But when Cat tells Kara that she has taught her that “hope is stronger than fear”, they go to Cat’s very first television studio to broadcast an inspirational message, a sight so undeniably good that it will knock the good people of National City from Non’s control.
Through all of this, Non is being helped, and worshipped, to hear her tell it, by Indigo (again, good on you, Laura Vandervoort for being one of the few actors to really commit to the material). Non has a plan to take over the Earth city by city, but she derides him for his lack of ambition, pointing out that there’s no reason to stop at Earth when he could clearly take over the universe with this device. The lady has a point, but is this what Non wants? Or, at this point, does Non just want Indigo herself?
Alex and J’onn return to National City, despite being warned away by Kara, after Alex convinces J’onn that he can keep her safe from the Myriad device with the power of telepathy. That works for all of five seconds before Indigo beats the crap out of them—possibly even killing J’onn (though I’m going to guess that he’ll be in action again next week).
All of this messy plot and setup leads to Alex, under Non’s control, wearing a big old mecha-suit infused with Kryptonite, and brandishing the same Kryptonite sword that Alex used to kill Astra, facing off against her sister. Kara pleads with Alex to fight against the Myriad’s control, but she can’t, and so the sisters leap into battle as the Supergirl shield (which, we should remember, means “hope” in Kryptonian symbolism) flies toward us, catapulting us to next week’s season (and hopefully, not series) finale.
Supergirl, Season One, Episode 19, “Myriad”: C+