Supergirl’s nineteenth episode (“Myriad”) did an excellent job of focusing on the human issues behind Non’s mind-control weapon. It throws together an unlikely team: Supergirl, Cat, and Maxwell. On the surface, it seems like an odd mix, but they work together surprisingly well.
When Myriad starts, Kara fights Maxima (who is bitter about Kal-El) and stops the mind-controlled DEO from releasing all the prisoners (interestingly, even Non doesn’t like the White Martian). From there, she heads to the Fortress of Solitude, out-logics a robot, and then talks to Allura’s hologram. I’m always happy to see Laura Benanti, even if her character’s presence surprised me.
Side-note: While Superman flew in to help, I love that he didn’t rescue Kara or swoop into to save her or fix the situation. I adore that he wanted to help, because he’s family. But I love that the show took the Girl Power route and let Kara (and Cat) handle the situation. I think that’s a powerful message, and it was kiiiiiind of hilarious that he dropped out of the sky, his humanity making him weak, but it’s Kara’s humanity that makes her strong.
But, in this episode, it’s Cat who stole the show for me. She walks into CatCo unaware of that everyone’s gone all Dawn of the Dead, ranting about Harrison Ford: “Kiera, call Harrison Ford and tell him that I’m flattered, but once and for all, I do not date older men—especially when they’re married.” I adore the fact that Calista Flockhart poked fun at herself and her relationship. It was really charming.
You know who else was charming? Maxwell Lord. He sauntered into CatCo wearing Myriad-blocking tech—much like the earrings he sent Cat to protect her. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, y’all. I mean, next to coffee. And alcohol. And…I’m sorry, where was I? Right—this episode does an excellent job of humanizing Lord in a surprising way.
His solution to Myriad—General Lane has effectively quarantined the city and is useful for once—is to use a special Kryptonite dust bomb to kill all the Kryptonians. Unfortunately, the blast will also kill 8% of the population. Cat does the math in her head and blanches. But Maxwell’s reasoning isn’t frantic or malicious. He clearly takes no pleasure in it. He is looking at the threat as if it’s a math problem. He’s practical, perhaps to an alarming degree. But he’s trying to protect as many people as he can, which gives us another piece of his backstory.
Remember his parents died because of faulty suits? (Okay, good, because I didn’t remember that either. Oops.) Well, it turns out he tried to warn them that they wouldn’t hold up. And he’s carrying around this guilt-boulder. His conversation with Supergirl about why the bomb is the right decision is surprisingly effecting. His reasoning was solid, but that doesn’t make it right.
Which brings us to Non. He’s teamed up with Indigo, who spends the entire episode Lady Macbeth-ing him. She’s over-the-top evil, and I’m not going to lie: I hope someone kills her soon. Her nagging him to be ruler of the universe—instead of just Earth—was less compelling than I would’ve liked.
Anyway, Non walks into CatCo and explains why Myriad is an awesome idea. He’s put everyone on the same side. Everyone can work together to save the planet. Granted, he’s made a cult of zombies. And I laughed out loud when Maxwell quipped, “So mind control is the answer to global warming.” The scene culminates in Non mind-controlling three people—Winn, Jimmy, and Andrea (who? I don’t know)—to jump off the building. Kara can only catch Winn and Jimmy. It’s a sad moment.
Elsewhere, Hank and Alex are on the run. Their disguises are awesome, but it is totally lovely when they pop by the Danvers house for supplies. They fill Eliza in on Hank and his relationship to Jeremiah. She peppers him with a lot of scientific questions, and it’s awesome to see another smart woman on the show. Unfortunately, the visit is short-lived, because of the chaos at National City. Hank, all Martian’d out, returns to help—reluctantly bringing Alex along. Sure, he’s protecting her from Myriad with his telepathy in what is the WORST PLAN EVER.
Indigo shows up, kicks ass, and takes a Myriad-controlled Alex back to Non. In a blindingly odd move, they “wake” her up, which gives her a chance to try and reason with Non. Alex brings up how Astra changed her mind, how she wouldn’t want this. Smurf Face does her best Lady Macbeth again and poor Alex becomes a weapon. More on that in a second.
Another heartfelt balcony chat between Cat and Supergirl is the pivot point of the episode. Kara is wracked with guilt that she might make the wrong decision, like her mom did: “Everything was just wiped from the stars.” But Cat gets vulnerable and talks about Supergirl’s influence on her, the importance of hope, and of Supergirl staying true to who she is: “Hope is stronger than fear.”
That is a good lesson—on the show and for the world at large. Hope is stronger than fear, and there’s always another way. Even Maxwell sees the reason in this and changes his mind, after Cat and Supergirl appeal to his humanity. Supergirl urges: “Make another choice that honors your parents—and mine.”
And he does. I have to say, I’m really warming up to Lord. He’s never going to be all kittens and sunshine. But he’s layered and multidimensional. He well-written and his methods are questionable, but his motives aren’t terrible. Peter Facinelli is quite charming, and I am intrigued by his past relationship to Cat. In fact, she asks him how he knew she’d wear the earrings, and while he simply said he hoped she would, that says a lot about the depth of their relationship.
It’s unclear what the team’s plan is, but it involves Cat’s old TV station, broadcast vs. digital, and an unnamed symbol of hope (probably going to be Kara, y’all). The episode ended with me howling in rage, because it was a cliffhanger in which Kara was forced to fight a Myriad Zombie Alex, who was wearing a Kryptonite suit. Oh, she was also wielding the sword that killed Astra.
Because of COURSE.