“We’re way past villains of the week and kittens stuck in trees,” Maxwell Lord says to Supergirl at one point in tonight’s episode. That line also works as one of the many thesis statement of “Myriad.” From the episode’s first 10 minutes, which are tense and efficiently establish the stakes of the episode, you know Supergirl is done messing around and is ready to get down to business.
In case your forgot, the last episode — the magnificent Supergirl–The Flash crossover — ended with the activation of Myriad. Now, everyone in National City has fallen under Non’s control, the army has quarantined National City Arrow season 2 finale-style, and the only ones left to save the day are Supergirl, Maxwell Lord, and Cat Grant. Yep, the personification of hope is teaming up with two characters who represent different aspects of humanity to stop Non. And, nope, Superman can’t help them because he’s fallen under the spell of Myriad since he’s been on Earth too long.
After stopping Lucy and several other DEO agents from releasing all of the alien prisoners — except for the White Martian, he’s too much for even Non — Kara flies to CatCo and finds her co-workers and friends, including Winn and James, furiously typing on Kryptonese-filled screens. The direction does a great job of making the scene feel very creepy. Eventually, Cat Grant walks in, unaffected by Myriad and completely oblivious to the fact that something’s up in the city.
Well, it turns out Cat isn’t immune to Myriad’s effects because of her natural fierceness. Maxwell Lord, who figured out that the Kryptonians were using his satellites to send neural signals directly into the minds of National City’s populace, created a device to block the signals. He made one for himself and embedded one in a pair of earrings he sent Cat that she happens to be wearing. Max doesn’t show up at CatCo empty handed, and he has a plan to save the day: Kill all of the Kryptonians.
Naturally, Cat and Kara object to this plan even without hearing the details, but their debate is interrupted by Non, who shows up to gloat. He explains that part of Myriad also involves using the combined brainpower of everyone on Earth to solve global warming, something Max finds just a tiny bit intriguing. To hurt Kara, he makes James, Winn, and some no-name co-worker we just met jump off different parts of the balcony, forcing Kara to try to save all three at the same time. Unfortunately, she’s only able to save Winn and James, and the other co-worker dies.
Seeing no other option, Kara reluctantly agrees to go along with Max’s plan, which involves detonating a bomb filled with Kryptonite dust that’ll kill every Kryptonian in the city plus 8 percent of National City’s human population. The bomb would also make National City uninhabitable for Kryptonians for 50 years.
Meanwhile, Alex and Hank, who are still on the run, make their way to Alex’s childhood home. At first, Eliza Danvers (Helen Slater) is shocked to see Alex with Hank since she still thinks he killed Jeremiah, but Alex quickly recaps everything she’s learned since we last saw Mama Danvers. Once that’s all cleared up, Dr. Danvers turns into a giddy scientist and bombards Hank with questions about his shape-shifting powers, which provide this heavy hour with some much needed levity.
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Back at CatCo, Kara wonders out lout how Max could easily rationalize that stopping the Kryptonians is worth the death of 300,000 people. As he retells the story of how his parents died, Max reveals that he warned his parents and the CDC that the hazmat suits would fail but they didn’t listen to the know-it-all kid.
“I swore from that moment on that if I could protect people, if I could save them, I wouldn’t wait for permission,” Max says. “I would act — just like you do every time you jump on the window and save the day. We act, you and I. We’re more alike than you think.”
What ties this episode together is how it explores how almost everyone on this show is motivated by one instance where they felt powerless and had no control. Kara and Non are driven to save the Earth because they watched Krypton die. Alex won’t stay home with her mother while Hank returns to National City because she refuses to feel powerless again like she did when she watched her father walk out the door for the last time and couldn’t do anything to stop him.
However, what separates everyone is their response to that fear of being powerless, which Cat perfectly outlines a few scenes later. Let’s be real: Does it come as a surprise that the Cat and Kara scene in tonight’s episode was my favorite scene? Joining Supergirl on the brooding balcony, Cat delivers a rousing speech in which she implores Supergirl to stop acting out of fear and to start believing that people are good and that goodness will prevail, something she taught Cat to do just by being around.
“I believe you can change everyone out there. Not by violence. Not by fear. Just be Supergirl. That’s all anyone has ever needed from you,” says Cat. This felt like Supergirl‘s version of Toby confronting President Bartlet in The West Wing episode “Let Bartlet Be Bartlet.” I was inspired it. Were you?
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While a newly inspired Supergirl and Cat fly off to convince Max to not bomb National City, Alex and Hank arrive back in National City. Unfortunately, Indigo, whose presence in tonight’s episode has been kind of annoying, is there to meet them and challenges Hank to fight. But Hank loses, and Indigo kidnaps Alex, who succumbs to Myriad once Hank is unable to shield her mind. Indigo takes Alex back to Non, who comes up with a very twisted plan once he finds out she’s Kara’s sister.
After Max has a change of heart, he follows Cat and Kara to Cat’s old broadcasting station because they plan on using the station’s equipment to piggyback off of Myriad’s signal to broadcast a message to National City. What message? I don’t know, but I’m sure it’ll be inspiring. A loud rumble draws Kara outside where she finds her mind-controlled sister sporting this season’s Kryptonite-powered battle suit and wielding the Kryptonite sword used to kill Astra. Non’s plan to hurt Kara is pretty simple: Either she kills her sister, or Alex kills her. Yes, in its penultimate episode, Supergirl comes back to the notion of family because it knows how to ground a story like this in something real.
Wall of Weird:
- At the beginning of the episode, Supergirl has a brief battle with Maxima, Queen of Almerac, who was imprisoned at the DEO but set free by a Myriad-controlled Lucy Lane. At some point in the past, Maxima tried to marry Superman, but he turned her down, and she ended up at the DEO.
- Speaking of Superman, we caught a glimpse of him in the distance tonight. We see him flying toward National City to help Kara, but as soon as he reaches the city, he drops down to the ground and joins the crowd. Maxwell thinks growing up on Earth made his brain more human and thus more susceptible to Myriad. Nature vs. nurture, what are you gonna do?
- Hologram Alura explains that none of the Kryptonian databases could tell Kara about Myriad because the High Council realized it could be used to take over the galaxy and didn’t want word of its existence to spread. It’s clear Indigo definitely wants to use it for more than conquering Earth.
- It turns out Max isn’t completely hopeless. He tells Cat he wasn’t sure she’d wear the earrings he sent, but he hoped she would. The writers continue to tease Max and Cat’s long and complex history together.
- Seeing how much Supergirl cares for James and Winn will make Cat realize Kara is Supergirl — for the second time, ugh — right?
- “Kiera, call Harrison Ford that I’m flattered, but once and for all, I do not date older men, especially when they’re married.,” Cat to Supergirl as she walks into the office unaware of what’s going on or that Supergirl is standing right there. Very meta.
- “Promise me you’ll come home” “I will try very very hard,” Alex to her mom before returning to National City.
- “You have taught me hope is stronger than fear,” Cat to Supergirl.
- “Endangered and now extinct. I do love wiping out a species,” Indigo, after she think she has killed Hank.