Supergirl Recap: “Myriad”

"We're way past 'Villains of the Week' and kittens stuck in trees." -Maxwell Lord

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It’s Non and Indigo’s world. We all just live in it. In Supergirl Season 1, Episode 19, the plan that Non and Astra have been talking about all season has finally been put into effect, and we see the unnerving results. Welcome to “Myriad.”

**THIS IS A RECAP – SPOILERS ARE PART OF THE TERRITORY.**

Supergirl Ep 19 - 1

S1, Episode 19 – The Recap, 

The episode opens with everyone in National City in thrall to Non thanks to Myriad, whatever the hell that is. Lucy and her fellow DEO agents march into the DEO having followed Non’s orders to lock it down. They begin his next instructions—to release all the Fort Rozz prisoners—but Supergirl comes to stop them. As she’s dealing with Lucy and the other DEO agents (who happen to be armed with kryptonite bullets!), Alex and J’onn are on the run, disguised on a bus as a blond woman and her little boy, on their way to try and get to Jeremiah at Project Cadmus.

After she stops most of the Fort Rozz prisoners from being released and fights Maxima of Almerac, Supergirl goes to the Fortress of Solitude for answers about Myriad, but AI Alura is absolutely useless and has zero information except that “once Myriad has begun, nothing can stop it.” Gee, thanks AI Mom! Supergirl goes to CatCo only to find all her friends (including some random woman at a desk she keeps calling by name, Kelly, even though we’ve never really seen her before, but now we’re supposed to think they were such totes good friends) also in Non’s thrall and typing Kryptonian into computers.

Then Cat breezes in completely unaffected. And so does Maxwell Lord who, as it turns out, is able to block the Myriad signal from his brain using ion blockers. He’d sent Cat earrings made of the same stuff randomly the day before because clearly they want/need to get it on because they’re simultaneously attracted to/disgusted by each other. Get a room, you two. Only, wait until after the Kryptonian Apocalypse, thanks.

Meanwhile, Alex and J’onn have stopped off at the Danvers home to get more supplies before they continue on their way to Cadmus. Eliza welcomes them and, after being frightened at first, because she thought J’onn was the Hank Henshaw responsible for “killing” her husband, she listens as Alex explains who he is, and becomes immediately fascinated by him. She starts geeking out about him being from Mars—who wouldn’t, right?

Back at CatCo, Lord reveals that he has a plan, and it only involves killing a couple thousand people. He has a kryptonite dust bomb that Supergirl can set off (without injuring herself or her cousin) that would kill all the Kryptonians in National City. Aaaaaaand the thousands of people closest to the blast. But then they’d win, right? Yaaaaay … Supergirl is not happy about this plan, but there don’t seem to be very many options. (Except … what about the ion blockers? Isn’t there a way to, like, make a really BIG one or something??)

Over at the Evil Kryptonian Lair, Indigo and Non—the World’s Creepiest Couple—disagree about the scope of Myriad. Non is happy to be putting Astra’s plan into effect, and is content to be the Master of Earth “in its best interest.” Indigo, however, is totally Lady Macbeth-ing it all over the place, being all You should totally enslave the Universe! Don’t be a pansy! She wants Non to kill Kara.

Supergirl Ep 19 - 4

Non shows up at CatCo to demonstrate his power to Supergirl. James and Winn begin to speak in the voice of the Collective like the freaking Borg, and it is here that the purpose of Myriad is revealed. It basically connects everyone under its thrall and gets them to work together to solve the world’s problems. Great in theory, except for that whole “Free Will” thing. Pffft. Non asks Kara to join him, and when she refuses compels James, Winn, and her new-bestie-for-this-episode Kelly to get up on the balcony and throw themselves off the building, forcing Supergirl to race to save them. She, of course, manages to save James and Winn, but Kelly goes splat. Goodbye, Kelly. We hardly knew ye. So basically Non is all Stay out of my way, or I kill your friends. Copy that.

Eliza tells Alex about what’s going on in National City, and Alex calls Kara, who orders her to stay out of National City for her own safety. But, of course, Alex never listens, because she can be a stubborn dumbass a lot of the time! She insists that she go back with J’onn (even though it makes sense for him to go alone since he’s not human and won’t be under Myriad’s thrall) and that he block her mind from the Myriad signal. I love how you’re willing to volunteer J’onn’s powers to help yourself, Alex, when you have no business going in the first place, and now he has to worry about you, as well as about stopping Non and Indigo. Good job.

And what happens? J’onn is weaker because he has to protect Alex, Indigo beats him in a fight and takes Alex prisoner. Again, GOOD JOB, ALEX. Now, you’re under Myriad’s spell, too. Dumbass.

Meanwhile, Cat has convinced Supergirl not to go along with Lord’s kryptonite dust bomb plan. She encourages Supergirl to use hope instead, which gives Supergirl an idea for an alternative to the bomb.

At the Evil Kryptonian Lair, Non confronts Alex, knowing that she’s the one who killed Astra. He says he has a plan to make both Alex and Kara suffer. Sheesh, you kill a dude’s wife one time 

Cat, Lord, and Supergirl go to a defunct TV station at which Cat used to work. It’s old enough that it’s broadcast, not digital, which is perfect for Supergirl’s plan. They will use the broadcast signal on a similar frequency as the Myriad signal to piggyback on Myriad with a message of hope to wake everyone up. Oh, and Cat and Lord continue to flirt.

Before Supergirl has a chance to vomit over that potential coupling, she goes outside only to find Alex in full-on kryptonite-lined armor and the kryptonite blade that killed Astra. Under Non’s control, Alex challenges Supergirl to a fight. Supergirl refuses, but Non insists. She must either kill Alex, or be willing to die herself. Either way, she loses.

The episode ends with the sisters charging at each other. EEEEEEEEEEEK!

Supergirl Ep 19 - 7

S1, Episode 19 – The Review

I was so sucked into the episode by the end that I lost track of how far into the episode I was, and when it ended on Supergirl and Alex charging at each other, I was legitimately upset that it was over! WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN?! “Myriad” was a solid episode. It was no “Worlds Finest,” but then again, what is? Still, it was engaging, and as Maxwell Lord put it, “We’re way past ‘Villains of the Week’ and kittens stuck in trees.” The episode allowed for some wonderful character moments.

Kara has really come into her own as Supergirl, and even though she was dealing with having to work with Lord, her sister being on the run, and her friends and city in danger, she had a maturity and a calm about her in this episode that she’s been building up over the entire season and that was great to see. Even as she calls her cousin and her sister for help, she realizes that she needs to handle this herself, and she feels ready to do that. I loved the moment between Supergirl and Cat, where Cat explains how much she’s inspired by Supergirl. It solidified something that Kara has been coming to realize about herself. She’s finally ready to be Supergirl.

I was intrigued by Non in this episode, too. For all that he’s the “villain,” we see here that he actually understood Astra more than we might have thought before. He seems almost reluctant to “take over” the Earth and seems to be going through the motions. Or perhaps to save face in front of Indigo. But the bottom line is, he hasn’t killed Kara, even though he was encouraging Astra to do it when she was alive. He can’t bring himself to for some reason, and whether it’s because of Astra, or because he’s come to feel a connection to Kara, or both, he’s trying really hard to look like a villain when his actions prove otherwise.

The same goes for Maxwell Lord, and this is the first time I actually liked him (or at least wanted to understand him). He, like Non, seems to lose his bluster the more time he spends with Supergirl. I understand his motivations more clearly now, and I also see that it’s very possible for him to change his methods with some gentle nudging.

I was glad we finally checked in with Alex and J’onn, too. Their traveling as a mother and son was adorable, and I love how their work dynamic has evolved. Though Alex seems to have developed Lois Lane’s bad habit of stubbornly “helping” only to get herself captured, when everyone likely would’ve been better off had she stayed put. *sigh*

Supergirl Ep 19 - 3

So, there was some great character stuff, and I love that Kara and Alex basically have to face off. It’s good stuff. However, “Myriad” wasn’t a perfect episode. As you may have been able to tell from my remarks about it in the recap portion, I wasn’t thrilled about introducing a “friend” of Kara’s only to have someone for Supergirl not to save. She mentioned “Kelly” by name, and I immediately thought, “Who the fuck is Kelly? Kara has literally never spoken to this person before.” And then I was like, “She’s probably going to die, and I’m supposed to be emotionally affected by it or something.” And sure enough … *sigh*

I’m not thrilled with how they’re using Indigo, either. They seem to be going the Lady Macbeth route with her, except that the only reason why Lady Macbeth was Lady Macbeth was because in the world of that play, women had no power and she needed to manipulate her husband in order to get it. Indigo, however, is pretty much all-powerful. Why the hell does she need Non? If he won’t take over the Universe the way she wants, why doesn’t she just do it herself. The sex can’t be that good, can it?

Lastly, I can’t believe that, if Maxwell Lord is smart enough to develop ion blockers for himself and Cat, that he can’t figure out a way to do that on a bigger scale—to defend the people of National City, rather than attack the Kryptonians. He says “Do you think I want to do this?” when Supergirl confronts him about using the bomb, and I think a part of him really does. That’s the only explanation. However, this makes for a great journey for Lord, and I hope he stays on this trajectory, as he’s finally not annoying. Yay!

As for the entire idea of Myriad basically being a human think-tank … this is kind of a complaint about all stories in which aliens and humans interact. No one ever thinks to just … ask if someone would be interested in something like this. Something like Myriad, done by choice and with certain precautions in place, could actually be a really good thing! The problems arise when it’s forced on people without ever giving them the option of choosing it. It’s always assumed that humans or aliens will resist whatever the idea is. Honestly, I would’ve loved to see the idea of Myriad presented to humans who try to implement it only to not be able to handle it, and so the Kryptonians step in to handle it for them.

So, a couple of nit-picks, but overall I enjoyed “Myriad.” Mostly, I think this episode is a great lead-in to the final episode of the season next week! What will happen between Kara and Alex? Will Non have a change of heart? Will J’onn survive? Will Indigo take over? We’re almost at the end of the season, kids! Let’s chat about what we hope for the end of Supergirl Season 1 in the comments below!

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8PM ET/PT on CBS. For more Supergirl fun, check out The House of El—March’s video is up now, and April’s video (the last House of El of the season!) will go up on Thursday the 21st, the Thursday after the season finale!

(images via Cliff Lipson/CBS)

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Author
Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.