Myriad! That thing that was mentioned before that didn’t get an explanation! It’s finally getting one!
So, the last episode ended with Kara confessing her feelings to James and kissing him passionately, only for him to react in the absolute worst way. That is to say, he didn’t react at all. He just walked out of her apartment without a word and his face expressionless because he, like every other human citizen of National City, is being mind controlled by Non. Man, worst first kiss story ever, amirite?
Unfortunately the DEO has been affected as well, and Non orders Lucy to release all of the prisoners except the White Martian. Supergirl manages to stop at least one of the prisoners from escaping, but has to flee the scene when Lucy and the other DEO agents turn on her.
Supergirl heads to Catco, because I guess there’s nowhere else for her to go. Everyone is there, still brainwashed, and appear to be writing in Kryptonian on their computers. Cat Grant walks in and, to Supergirl’s surprise, seems completely unaffected. Supergirl points out that everyone in National City has been brainwashed, something that Cat apparently didn’t notice.
Why wasn’t Cat affected? Maxwell Lord. Of fucking course. He strolls in, also unaffected, wearing a headset that protects his mind from whatever is controlling everyone else. Cat is wearing a pair of earrings that Maxwell gave her, and they have been fitted with a similar device. Lucky that she chose to wear those earrings today.
So, now it’s up to Supergirl, Cat, and Maxwell Lord to come up with a solution. This is a really big problem to solve though, if there was ever a time that Supergirl needed help from another superhero, it would be now. Which is why Superman decides to show up! Sort of. We see a tiny blue speck flying toward National City, and then the blue speck drops to the ground and joins the enslaved humans. What gives??
Maxwell Lord: Nature versus nurture. He may be an alien, but your cousin grew up on Earth. Seems like environmental factors, being raised by ordinary people, made his brain more human. The Man of Steel brought to his knees all because he went to kindergarten and watched Sesame Street.
That’s bullshit and you know it, show. You just knew that with a problem this big, you couldn’t believably keep Superman away from it, but you also couldn’t have stealing Supergirl’s thunder. It’s her show, her story, and ultimately her job to save the day. Honestly though, I don’t have any better suggestions for how they could have kept Superman out of the picture, so silly as it is I can’t pick this apart too much. Superman is out, Supergirl is on her own (more or less), and that’s all that matters.
Now it really is down to Supergirl, Cat and Max. Of course, Supergirl and Max are not really seeing eye to eye on how to handle this.
Kara: Killing is never the solution.
Max: Except we’re way past villains-of-the-week and kittens stuck in trees. We’re at war. And the only way to win a war is to kill the enemy before they kill us. So, time to grow up and put on the big girl cape.
I hate to side with Max over Kara, but he does have a point.
Non shows up and explains exactly what Myriad is, and how it works. Essentially, Non is going to keep all of the humans brainwashed because it’s the easiest way to solve all of the earth’s ecological problems. Max actually has a great line here: “So, mind control is the answer to global warming?”
Kara points out that in her final moments, Astra came to regret Myriad and would probably be unhappy to see it come to fruition. Non doesn’t care, and he also makes James, Winn, and another employee named Kelly jump off the balcony. Supergirl manages to save Winn and James, but she unfortunately can’t save Kelly. So that sends a clear message. If Supergirl stands against Non, he’ll have no problem killing off people she loves.
Speaking of people she loves, what’s been going on with Alex and J’onn? They’re still on the run, and we see them paying Alex and Kara’s mother, Eliza, a visit. After calming her down and assuring her that J’onn isn’t really Hank, Eliza informs them that National City is currently under quarantine. Alex wants to head over there right away, insisting that she’ll be fine because J’onn can use his telepathy to shield her mind from the effects of Myriad.
Indigo, who has been revived and is now following Non’s plan, is waiting for them. J’onn fights her and it at first seems like he has the upper hand, but Indigo manages to turn things around. She orders a weakened J’onn to stand down or she’ll kill Alex. J’onn collapses and Indigo takes Alex back to Non.
Meanwhile, Max has come up with a plan to stop Myriad. He’s going to drop a Kryptonite bomb on National City. Remember when I said I thought Max had a point? I take that right the fuck back. I understand the idea of necessary sacrifice, but this is on a different level. It’s said that the bomb will only harm about 8% of National City’s population. 8% of the population is still 300,000 people. 300,000 innocent people will be sacrificed, and, this is the important bit, they don’t even know it. They don’t get the chance to decide whether they’re willing to be sacrificed.
This is basically the epitome of what makes Max so vile to me. He truly believes he’s doing the right thing, and a lot of the time his logic actually does make sense. The problem is that Max seems to think that he has the right to decide whose lives are worth saving. He has the power to go through with his plans, and he doesn’t think he needs to consider anyone else. He sees the 8% as a low cost for safety, he doesn’t think about how 8% means 300,000 people. He sees the braindead girls in the hospital and thinks that who they were no longer matters, so he can turn them into Bizarro. He assigns value to people as he sees fit, and considers the rest necessary casualties. He thinks it’s up to him to draw the line between right and wrong and to decide who is worth saving, and it’s his refusal to understand that it’s not up to him that makes him so dangerous.
Supergirl at first goes along with the idea because she sees no other option. Cat opposes it, and she manages to convince Supergirl to oppose it too.
Cat: I know you’re scared. I am too. But so is Max. And so is Non, for that matter. All of you are letting your fear guide you, but somebody has to find the courage to stand up even though they’re afraid. You know, the worst decisions that I’ve ever made in my life were based on fear. But you showed me that there was another way to be strong, by having faith in people. By believing that goodness would prevail. And because of you, I started letting people in. I even opened up myself up to my assistant, Ker-rah, who helped me have a relationship with my son again. Now, I can’t tell you what to do, Supergirl. But if you’ve taught me anything, you have taught me that hope is stronger than fear. And that is what I think of every time I look at that. You’ve changed me. And I am not easy to change. And I believe that you can change everyone out there. Not with violence, not with fear. Just be Supergirl. That’s all anyone’s ever needed from you.
Cat gives the best speeches. But I’ll save my comments on this scene for later.
Supergirl and Cat convince Max that there has to be a better way of saving National City, and he agrees not to go through with the bomb plan.
As for Alex, she’s now in the hands of Non and Indigo. Non is eager to get revenge on Alex for killing Astra, and Indigo comes up with a way to hurt both Alex and Kara. Two birds with one stone.
At an undisclosed location, Supergirl, Cat, and Max are setting up a counter signal to Myriad from a defunct TV station. A mind-controlled Alex arrives in Kryptonite battle armor to challenge Kara in a fight to the death.
That’s where we end things, and I have to say that on its own, this is a pretty weak episode. The reason for that is because it’s really just a lot of buildup and exposition for the next episode, which is also the season finale. Even so, they could have made this episode more interesting on its own.
There are too many info dumps in this episode, not enough plot movement and action. There are some good character moments, but it’s not much in comparison to other episodes. There’s not a lot to say about this episode as a standalone one, because it’s not a standalone one. It’s not one that I would think to rewatch unless I was planning on rewatching the finale immediately after, and even then I may just skip this episode and watch the finale on its own instead.
This is a necessary episode, in the sense that it provides exposition and setup. Unfortunately, it’s just not a very entertaining episode.