Back From the Future -- Part Two
Credit: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW
S5 E14
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Hey, who wants to check out the Obsidian Platinum pop-up store with me? Before you answer, be aware that there’s a slight chance of pink electricity and, well, death.

That’s right, with less than 12 hours to go before Andrea’s shiny new VR launch, she’s attacked by someone wielding pink lightning. Luckily, Supergirl’s on hand to save her, but the delivery of an anti-Obsidian manifesto indicates the threat is ongoing.

When Andrea refuses to postpone the Platinum launch, Lex spots an angle he can work. See, Brainy’s inverting Toyman’s immortality code to make the Leviathan vulnerable, but he needs access to their base of operations to inject them with it.

So to get closer to Gemma, Lex offers up Supergirl for protection, indicating that “Gemma’s people” might prefer to take a pass on bodyguarding Andrea during this high-profile event. Gemma agrees but warns him that she doesn’t do second chances if he screws up.

Lex also arranges for Lena to move Non Nocere from successful animal trials to human trials courtesy of the private prison he owns. There, we see a familiar face: Steve Lomeli, the DOD secret-stealer and prison newsletter editor who’s no fan of Supergirl but a big Kara Danvers reader.

When Lena administers Non Nocere to the volunteer prisoners, everything seems great at first. But while the previously aggressive prisoners all become docile and friendly, Lomeli explodes into violence because his fear has been replaced by a hunger for revenge.

Lena is still angry that Kara thought she was going to use Myriad for mind control (well gee, why would Kara think that?) and insists that she doesn’t want to puppet-master anyone. Lex points out that he was twisted by his desire to beat Superman and warns Lena not to let her obsession with Supergirl have the same result.

With his help, Lena adjusts Non Nocere to account for, not just humanity’s violent tendencies, but its drive to address injustice. It removes the negative emotions from Lomeli’s brain, and he gratefully tells Lena that he feels safe for the first time ever. Success, I guess?

Okay, back to Supergirl. At first, Kara resists her bodyguarding assignment, but she gets on board when Lex reminds her of all the leverage he has on her. Charming.

Not only is Supergirl shadowing Andrea, but so is William, there for the launch day story. It’s his first official introduction to Supergirl, who confesses that she agrees with the parts of the manifesto warning about the dangers of disconnecting from the real world. William concurs and talks at length about his feelings for his coworker Kara, who showed him that the real world was preferable to a virtual one.

Still not sure how I feel about Kara/William, but I do love a dual-identity storyline where the besotted person confesses their feelings to the object of their affection in disguise. How can Supergirl/Kara not be a little charmed that William’s telling a literal superhero about his crush on a human (who happens to be said superhero)? Anyway, their moment ends when the pink energy villain shows up to launch another attack. Still, Andrea’s not willing to back down, not after the sacrifices she and her father made.

Alex, meanwhile, is at loose ends with no boss or mission or weapons at her disposal after quitting the DEO, so when Kara arrives at the tower with news of her new assignment, Alex and J’onn leap at the chance to track down the source of the pink energy.

It’s likely a Chlorophyllian (yep, they absorb energy through their skin), and they get a lead on a suspect from a patron of the alien bar whom Alex had arrested in the past. However, when they call Brainy for help locating the Chlorophyllian’s farmhouse, Brainy lies and says he can’t find it in the DEO system to keep them from interfering with Lex’s plans.

Brainy’s feeling guiltier every week about working against his friends, and he pulls up one of the alt-Earth Brainys from the Coluan collective for a pep talk. That Brainy says he needs to stick with Lex, even though there’s a 93.2 percent chance that nobody’s going to invite our Brainy to Thanksgiving once he does what needs to be done. Poor guy!

Even without Brainy’s help, Alex and J’onn find the farmhouse belonging to Chlorophyllian Todd Sapphire, who killed himself a year ago after being fired from Obsidian for stealing the VR prototype he was addicted to.

This makes the new suspect his widow, Amy, who’s been using black-market military parts to build gauntlets that allow her to harness other energy sources, including alien ones. Her plan is to stop Obsidian from launching its VR so it won’t addict other people and ruin other lives.

When Amy finds J’onn and Alex snooping on her property, she absorbs J’onn’s powers while Alex watches helplessly, then heads to CatCo to destroy the processor powering Obsidian.

In rapid succession, Supergirl whisks Andrea to the DEO, where Brainy puts her in a cell to keep her out of harm’s way. Then Supergirl protects William when he stands up to Amy and gets her own powers turned against her by Amy’s gauntlets. Thankfully, Dreamer’s there with the assist, while elsewhere, Alex keeps Kelly safe during the attack and J’onn rescues an elevator of people.

At the DEO, Brainy realizes that the Obsidian Platinum failsafe protocols are going to drain the city power grid during Amy’s attack, which will cause blackouts and transformer explosions, leading to fire, chaos, and civilian casualties. While he works to avert it, Andrea surprises herself by transporting out of her cell with her Acrata shadow-walking powers, which she apparently wasn’t aware of post-Crisis.

With less than three minutes to go before the launch, Supergirl proves yet again that she doesn’t need speed or strength or freeze breath to be a hero. Instead, she talks Amy out of her plans for destruction by reminding her of the importance of being part of the real world. “Is this what Todd would have really wanted?”

At the last possible second, Amy powers down, and Obsidian Platinum launches. However, when Supergirl suggests that Andrea learn from this lesson, Andrea points out that her employees were able to use the VR to cope with the trauma from the attack. Just like Lena, she insists she’s only interested in helping people.

Now that Alex has a taste of her life after the DEO, J’onn gifts her Martian tech called the hand of the soldier, which transforms into any weapon that she can picture. That’ll be a fun little deus ex machina moving forward!

Kara, who drew a parallel to the “live in the real world” lesson of the week, admits that she does want to have dinner with William. So she shows up in the CatCo newsroom, where he’s the only one working late amid the Amy-attack wreckage. He apologizes for coming on too strong after she turned him down for a date, but she surprises him by saying that she would, in fact, love to go out with him.

Brainy, meanwhile, confronts Lex after discovering that he wasn’t able to take the Luthor PowerCore offline during Amy’s attack, which endangered 67 percent of National City’s population. But Lex is more concerned about making inroads with Gemma.

“I’m the chocolate to your peanut butter,” he tells her (um, ew) as he offers to put Obsidian lenses into every household by serving as the company’s global ambassador. In exchange, he just wants to meet her friends. Gemma agrees to his terms, but let’s not forget: this is an immortal woman who fancies herself several steps ahead of Lex. Can’t wait to see who comes out on top in this power struggle…

Snaps of the cape

  • Okay, how soon before we can live out our own Game of Thrones-ish VR fantasies like the woman in the opening scene?
  • Kelly brought Alex a lunch box of comfort foods — Hot Pockets, mac and cheese, dumplings — for her first day. Girlfriend goals!
  • Very cool to see Willie Garson’s character again. I’ll be curious if we check in on his Non Nocere process in future episodes.
  • Lena Luthor: puppet master, or nah? Discuss!

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