TV Review: Supergirl - Season 1 Episode 19 "Myriad"
EPISODE 19: "Myriad"
SYNOPSIS: When Non and Indigo power on the Myriad device, pretty much everyone in National City into a catatonic state, including James, Winn, and Superman (?). Now Kara will stop at nothing to find a way to free her friends and the rest of the population before it's too late.
With only one episode of SUPERGIRL left this season, tonight really brought the drama and teed up what we are in for with next week's season finale. As basically the first part of a two part final episode, "Myriad" ended with a serious cliffhanger, which will bring the biggest fight of Kara's life and leave National City civilians' lives in the balance.
Word on the street is that Kara and co. are on their way to a season 2 renewal. While tonight's episode had some issues, including plot holes and the feeling that the episode can't stand on its own without part 2, for the most part, the positives outweighed the negatives. Based on the quality of the back half of the season, I am confident that CBS is well on its way to extending Kara's journey for another season. Let's just hope next week's finale will seal the deal.
Did anyone else get serious JESSICA JONES meets BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE vibes during tonight's episode? Though not remotely as menacing or are expertly written as Kilgrave, Non's sinister Myriad mind control device was very similar to what we saw in the Netflix series... right down to people jumping off of buildings. Maybe that's why I had a bit of a problem with this episode; the villain felt a bit stale and the stakes not as high after watching the gritty JESSICA JONES. Additionally, that Kryptonite-laden suit that Alex wears at the end of the episode to fight Kara was very reminiscent of a certain suit Batman used to fight Superman in DAWN OF JUSTICE. Though for some reason the Bat from Gotham chose not to wield a Kryptonite lightsaber or have glowing Kryptonite built into his suit. What gives?!
Let's backtrack. Picking up where episode 18 ended, Kara has just professed her love to James Olsen and sealed it with a kiss. But, of course, nothing in Kara's life is easy. As the two pull away, a zombie-like James ignores Kara and walks outside to join the rest of National City as they march in a herd toward the city's center. Kara flies to the DEO to find out what is going on and there she encounters a brainwashed Lucy attempting to release the organization's dangerous prisoners, beginning with Maxima (played by WWE Diva Eve Torres Gracie). Kara is able to fight off Maxima, dodge Lucy's Kryptonite bullets (which should be used against Non), and ensure the other DEO prisoners aren't released.
But Kara still isn't sure what is going on with the Myriad device, so she goes to the Fortress of Solitude to ask Kelex for more information and to figure out where her cousin is (apparently off-world). Kelex uses her mother's hologram to talk about Myriad, which was apparently a creation of Astra and Non. The couple had developed the technology to brainwash Kryptonians into acknowledging there was an ecological problem that was destroying their planet. However, Astra and the other leaders of Krypton saw the dangers in this device, knowing it could be used as a way to enslave populations. So they arrested Non and Astra and put them in Fort Rozz.
Back in National City, the military, led by General Lane, has blocked every exit in order to quarantine the city. Everyone (including those working at CatCo) are zombies engrossed in their computer screens, including Winn and James. Metaphor to today's society? Probably. Even Superman, who comes to National City to try to help, is affected by the device too. Seemingly, his long stint on Earth has affected his mental faculties (nurture over nature... I'll talk about this more below). The only two humans not affected by the brainwashing are Cat and Maxwell Lord, thanks to Lord's neuon-blocking technology. Before realizing that the world is crumbling down around her, the only thing Cat is worried about is avoiding a date with Harrison Ford... very funny, SUPERGIRL.
Apparently Non needs a strong woman around to keep him in check. First there was Astra, now there is Indigo. Although Non doesn't seem too thrilled about killing Kara, Indigo tells him he either kills her today or fights her tomorrow. Now that the Myriad device is working in National City, they will use it to take every major population center on Earth and then, Indigo hopes, will move on to galaxy domination. Non again tries to talk to Kara about the benefits of Myriad, using James and Winn to extol its good qualities - everyone is equal, citizens will think of ways to improve the Earth together (like a think tank), etc. But then Non goes a little overboard and has James, Winn, and Kelly (Kara's other coworker) all jump off of the building. Kara, sadly, only has time to save James and Winn. How very JESSICA JONES. Yes, it was sad Kelly died, but perhaps it would have been good to introduce her a few episodes back so we would actually get to know her and feel a little more upset about the choice Kara had to make... and the fact she died.
After this life or death moment, Lord decides to take matters into his own hands and tells Kara and Cat about a Kryptonite bomb he had started to develop, which would kill all of the Kryptonians (Supergirl and Superman would flee before detonation), but would also kill about 8% of the human population. It's a win-win for Lord as the after effects of the bomb will radiate the city and keep Supergirl and Superman away for at least 50 years; he also has the green light (pun intended) from the President. However, Cat and Kara find the bomb plan to be unacceptable, even if does have the potential to save the rest of Earth from the effects of Myriad. They think there has to be a better way than killing hundreds of thousands of people. After all, isn't this indiscriminate killing what Lord was so concerned Supergirl would end up doing to the people of National City? In another heartfelt/mentor moment between Cat and Supergirl (who I still believe Cat knows is Kara) Cat says, "Hope is stronger than fear...Have faith in people and believe goodness will prevail. Be Supergirl, that's all anyone has ever needed from you".
Although Alex wasn't around last week, tonight we find her in a blonde wig (J'onn is disguised in the form of a young boy) on a bus in the outskirts of Metropolis. Alex goes to her mother's house, where she plans to get supplies for the mission to find her father. But she is surprised to learn of the events happening in National City. At first, J'onn tries to convince Alex to stay with her mom while he goes back to help Kara in National City. But of course, she won't take no for an answer and asks J'onn to use his mind control to protect her from Myriad (bad idea).
No surprise, when Alex and J'onn get back to National City they are immediately confronted by Indigo. Indigo quickly disables Alex and then starts fighting it out with J'onn. But just as J'onn thinks he killed her in a fiery explosion, Indigo emerges from the flames and stabs him, which breaks his mental protection over Alex. Now Alex is controlled by Myriad and is the perfect tool for Non and Indigo to use against Kara.
Instead of the Kryptonite bomb plan, Kara, Lord and Cat go to an old broadcasting station in order to use its signal to send their own message of hope to the people of National City (oookkkkaayyyy?). But at that same moment, Non sends a brainwashed Alex to fight Kara, Kryptonite suit/sword and all. Kara refuses to harm her sister and the episode ends with the two rushing toward each other to fight it out, presumably with Kara trying to find a way to apprehend instead of kill.
Is it just me or did tonight's episode have more plot holes than normal? I try not to focus in on things like this because, after all, it is a TV show... but come on. 1) Why didn't Supergirl fly up and try to take out the satellite that is beaming down the Myriad signal? Lord claimed there was a powerful force field that prevented hacking, but certainly Kara could figure something out. 2) What happened to the DEO after Kara stopped the first attempt at releasing the prisoners? I can't imagine they just gave up. 3) Why doesn't Kara take James and Winn out of the city so they won't be brainwashed/in danger anymore? 4) Full disclosure, I am not an expert on Superman's history, but I don't buy for one second that the Myriad device affected him because he has been on Earth for awhile. Hasn't J'onn J'onzz been on Earth for decades yet he still wasn't affected? This felt like a cheap explanation to me. PLUS, wouldn't it have been a better fight for Non to have Kara vs Clark? And hey, Max, how about you make a neural inhibitor for Superman so he can help Kara? 5) What happened to Maxima... I assume she will come back next week? I could go on...
"Myriad" definitely had more issues than I was expecting for the second to last episode of the season. However, it still made me excited to see what we have in store for the finale. Is J'onn J'onzz really dead? Will Cat finally reveal she knows Kara's secret? Will Jeremiah Danvers come back? To be continued...