Myriad has been revealed and activated. With the assistance of Indigo, Non has telepathically taken control of the people of National City. With J'onn and Alex missing and the DEO and Superman under Non's control, Kara will have to form an uneasy alliance with Cat Grant and Maxwell Lord to save the world!
The Superman comics of Roger Stern (presence of Maxima), Superman 2 (Non makes reference to the infamous "Kneel before me, son of Jor-El" line), Hamlet (Like Hamlet, Kara is torn between indecision regarding action and inaction), Macbeth (Indigo plays Lady Macbeth to Non's Macbeth, encouraging his ambition and pushing him to greater depravity), the Doctor Who episode School Reunion (aliens using humans linked together through an electronic hive-mind to calculate solutions to major problems) and numerous Superman stories where a telepathic villain uses the masses to limit the hero's ability to act directly.
Given that Myriad is dependent on a global satellite system for operation, why is it limited to affecting National City when it was originally designed to act on a global level - apart from Non/Indigo wanting to make Kara suffer?
For that matter, since Myriad was originally designed to work on Kryptonians, why does it only affect humans now?
Apart from the need for an early action sequence to make up for all the talkie-bits in this episode, why is Maxima released from her cell manually by Lucy and the other DEO Agents two minutes before all of them will be released at once?
So smashing a console in the DEO command center automatically cancels the "release all prisoners" command. Good to know!
Has The Fortress of Solitude had a hologram of Allura all this time?
Kara reaches for her phone before we hear the sound effect that she got a text. She also changes positions between her reaching for her phone and the cut where we see her holding it.
For that matter, where does Kara keep her phone in her Supergirl costume? It doesn't have pockets!
The sacrifice of Kelly really doesn't work too well, since I'm almost certain we've never seen the redhead office employee before this episode (Actually, a check if IMDB confirms we've seen the actress as "Editor", "Woman" and "Employee #1", so we may have seen her in the background even if she was never named.) Even so, her death is nowhere near as traumatic as Winn or James dying would have been.
It's been a major part of Maxwell Lord's character that he doesn't trust the government. So why doe she contact General Lane to get permission to try and use his Kryptonite bomb? This is particularly vexing since Max says, not two minutes later, that he does what he does the way he does so that he can help people without having to ask permission!
Former WWE Diva Eve Torres has a brief role as Maxima but she brings the character from the comics to life effectively. A shame the DCTVU version seems to be an outright villain rather than a misguided but noble warrior. What we see here offers hope that Torres might play the character well as an ally of Supergirl, akin to the relationship between the two in the New 52 Supergirl series.
Helen Slater and David Harewood have a touching scene together, as Eliza Danvers first tries to learn of her husband's death from the one other person who was there... and then the scientist in her begins asking questions about Martian physiology.
As utterly campy as Laura Vandervoort is as Indigo, it fits the larger-than-life tone this story should have. At the very least, her scenery-chewing is more entertaining than Chris Vance's understated performance as Non.
The same goes for Peter Facinelli, as Maxwell Lord opposite Calista Flochart's cool facade Cat Grant. Facinelli's animated performance distracts away from the fact that most of this episode is people standing around talking yet he still manages some honest pathos when Max talks about tragic past.
The bit in which Cat describes how Supergirl changed her is perhaps the best bit of acting Calista Flockhart has ever done in anything.
The fight scene with Maxima is well-staged.
The name Myriad has been used in connection to the Superman mythos before. Superman Annual #5 introduced a new character called Myriad. The annual was part of the Bloodlines event, which was meant to introduce several new heroes in the DC Comics Universe. It was something of a flop and most of the characters introduced never appeared again. Myriad was no exception to this.
Myriad was a woman named Sasha Green, who had been employed as Lex Luthor's physical trainer. He had her killed after she "showed him up" in public and her body was hidden in a garbage dump. It was found years later by an alien parasite, whose bite brought Green back to life and activated her metagene.
Myriad had the powers of shape-shifting and telepathy, able to read minds, control them and even absorb them into herself. This gave her the ability to become anyone she touched and retain their skills, becoming a "myriad" of people. When she did this, however, it caused great pain which could only be eased by telepathically ordering the person she connected to to kill themselves. She also gained amnesia every time she killed someone in this way.
The only connection between the DC Comics Myriad and the Myriad of the DCTVU seem to be the mind-control aspect. There is no single person known as Myriad.
In the original DC Comics, Maxima was the warrior queen of the planet Almerac. She came to Earth seeking Superman as a consort, needing a worthy male to produce an heir to her throne. She would become both friend and foe to Superman, occasionally turning upon him when he rebuffed her advances but also acting as a noble ally against Brainiac and Doomsday. She even joined The Justice League for a time and sacrificed herself to save Earth during The Imperix Invasion.
In the comics, Maxima was not quite as powerful as Superman though she had a wider variety of super powers. In addition to super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability and flight, she had telepathic and telekinetic abilities that allowed her to control minds and generate force-fields.
The DCTVU version of Maxima apparently never gained the chance at redemption that the comics version did, being a prisoner of the DEO. Unlike the other DEO prisoners we've seen so far, Maxima is not a Fort Rozz escapee and was apparently imprisoned by Superman following her violent attempts to woo him.
The disguised Alex and J'onn are stopped 30 miles outside of Midvale. In the DC Comics Universe, Midvale is a small suburb just outside of Metropolis. In the Silver Age, Midvale was the town Kara Zor-El settled in upon her arrival on Earth, where she lived in the Midvale Orphanage until she was adopted by The Danvers. Most of the Supergirl movie was set in Midvale as well, where Kara Zor-El attended the Midvale Boarding School.
Cat Grant makes reference to getting a call from Harrison Ford, asking Kara to tell him that she doesn't date older men - particularly ones that are married. Calista Flockhart, who plays Cat Grant, has been married to Harrison Ford since 2010 and is somewhat younger than him.
At one point, Max sarcastically mocks the idea of mind control being the solution to global warming. This is a bit of a riff on the comics, where Maxwell Lord did have mind control powers and did attempt to use them to bring about a more organized world.
Non name-drops Metropolis, Opal City and Central City as his next targets. In the comics, these are the homes of Superman, Starman and The Flash respectively. Of course we know there's no Flash on whatever Earth Supergirl is set on.
J'onn is showing phasing through Indigo to attack her from behind. Intangibility is another power Martians have in the comics.
Maxwell Lord is able to protect himself and Cat Grant from Myriad through the use of ion blockers. In Max's case, he installed it into a Bluetooth headset. In Cat's case, Max worked the ion blockers into the diamonds in a set of earrings he sent her as a gift.
Non is using Lord Technologies' LTE interface system and satellites to power Myriad, using the satellites to send neural signals directly into the minds of everyone in National City.
Max theorizes that the reason Myriad works on Superman but not Supergirl comes down to nature versus nurture. Having been raised by humans, Superman thinks more like a human and thus is susceptible to Myriad's influence.
Eliza Danvers asks J'onn if his shape-shifting is due to an enzyme or some other chemical catalyst his body secrets in order to reorganize his DNA. She also asks how he adjusts for the change in body density and how his respiratory system is able to process the increased oxygen and nitrogen present in Earth's atmosphere.
Max devises a Kryptonite dust bomb that will kill every Kryptonian in National City as well as 8% of the 4 million humans living in the city, due to the concussive force needed to scatter the dust. This will also make the city uninhabitable to Superman and Supergirl for fifty years.
Maxwell Lord figures that they cannot stop Myriad's signal but they can piggyback off of it. Using the broadcast technology at an old UHF station Cat Grant owns, they can transmit a signal that calibrates with the frequency of Myriad without leaving any on-line fingerprints since the signal is analog rather than digital. Their signal will ride the wave without leaving anything that can be tracked by Indigo.
(Having just been told by Kelex that he's forbidden to speak of Myriad)
Kara: You were designed to obey the members of the honorable House of El. And to preserve the memory of Krypton wherever it went. If you don't override your orders, Myriad will destroy the House of El! And the memory of Krypton will be lost forever! You will have failed in your prime directive! Please!
(Kelex flies off, his head dipped in apparent sadness.)
Kara: Please! (turning around and shouting to the ceiling) I just need someone to help me!
Voice: Hello, Kara.
(Kara turns around to see a hologram of Alura - her mother.)
(Cat Grant walks into work, seemingly unaffected by Myriad.)
Supergirl: You're not a mindless drone!
Cat: Uh, no. I learned that lesson when Demi Moore and I wore the same dress to the premiere of Ghosts. Never again.
Supergirl: Miss Grant, listen to me. Everyone in the city is affected by this alien signal. They're acting like automatons. Haven't you noticed?!
Cat: (looking up from her phone for the first time since entering the room) Hmm. Well, yes, they ARE a bit more quiet than usual. Maybe my reign of terror has finally reached its peaked effectiveness?
(There is a soft ting noise as Kara reaches for her phone.)
Cat: Ah. You do have a cell phone. Can I get that number, please?
Supergirl: It's Superman!
Cat: Oh? Can I get his number as well?
(Indigo walks in on Non admiring a hologram of National City)
Indigo: When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer. (pauses) Need a tissue?
Non: The human race finally has a chance to live. Or it would suffer the same fate as Krypton. And the same thing is happening on Earth, with a populace more interested in reality stars and political circuses than working together to solve the world problems.
Max: So mind-control is the answer to global warming? (clicking his tongue) Why didn't I think of that?!
Eliza: So... Mars. I have to ask. Underneath it all are you a little green man?
J'onn: (chuckling) I'm a big green man, actually.
General Sam Lane: May God have mercy on our souls.
Max: If there was a god, General, I'm sure she wouldn't have put us in this mess in the first place.
(Max has just told Supergirl about his parent's death and how it inspired him.)
Max: I swore from that moment on that if I could protect people, if I could save them, I wouldn't wait for permission. I would act. Just like you do every time you jump out a window and save the day. We act, you and I. We're more alike than you think.
Supergirl: I hope not.
Non: I am the Lord of Earth.
Indigo: You could be the Lord of the Universe! Don't you realize what you have? You've created a force that could take over the galaxy! A vast army that exists only to do your bidding! You want to take one planet and turn it into your fiefdom, when you have an entire universe crying out to be ruled by you! To worship you as I do.
Supergirl: My mother was faced with this decision on Krypton. To act or do nothing. And she chose wrong. I love her but she didn't save Krypton like she promised. And my planet died. My culture. My home. My parents. Everything was just wiped from the stars. How can I let that happen again?
Cat: I know you're scared. I am too. But so is Max. And so is Non, for that matter. All of you are letting your fear guide you but somebody has to find the courage to stand up even though they're afraid. You know the worst decisions I've ever made in my life were based on fear? But you showed me that there was another way to be strong. By having faith in people. By believing that goodness will prevail. And because of you, I started letting people in. (laughs) I even opened myself up to my assistant Kiera, who helped me to have a relationship with my son again. Now, I can't tell you what to do Supergirl, but if you have taught me anything, you have taught me that hope is stronger than fear. (laughs) And that is what I think of every time I look at that (points to the House of El symbol on Supergirl's chest) You changed me. And I am not easy to change. And I believe that you can change everyone out there. Not with violence. Not with fear. Just be Supergirl. That's all anyone's ever needed from you.
Indigo: There was only a 25.6% chance that you would turn up. Once again defying the odds! Just like that time your people perished and you alone survived. Impressive. But the humans might call that lucky.
(Suddenly, J'onn phases through Indigo and punches her in the back, knocking her to the ground.)
J'onn: It has nothing to do with luck!
(Supergirl and Cat confront Max as he finished up his Kryptonite bomb)
Supergirl You hated me for months because you thought I'd use my power indiscriminately, kill people with no regard for their lives. That is exactly the choice you're making with this bomb.
Cat: Please tell me you've had enough analysis to know that she's right?
Supergirl: You were afraid of me. Then afraid of Non. I understand that fear but we cannot let it drive our actions. Make another choice that honors your parents. And mine.
Max: (sighs) I'm listening.
Cat: I have one question for you, Max.
Cat: The earrings. How did you know that I would wear them?
Max: I didn't. (he pauses and smiles) I guess... I just had hope.
Max: Didn't seem right for the world to lose Cat Grant's mind.
Non: The son of Jor-El has already knelt before me. Soon you will too.
The Khund bank-robber from 116 is seen among the alien prisoners in the DEO base.
The Fortress of Solitude is seen for the first time since 115, as is Indigo.
Myriad was designed by Astra Zor-El in response to the inaction of Kryptonian politicians regarding the imminent destruction of Krypton. It's purpose was to force everyone to her way of thinking through the use of advanced technology.
Astra's attempt to activate it was what resulted in her and Non being sentenced to exile in The Phantom Zone. This was because Myriad, once activated, could not be stopped and The High Council feared what might happen if knowledge of such technology existing were made available to the galaxy at large. This is revealed through a flashback to the flashback showing the conversation between Astra and Allura from 109.
General Sam Lane is seen for the first time since 109.
Maxwell Lord refers to the Kryptonians burglarizing his lab in 108.
Max Lord is an atheist.
Kara refers to Maxwell Lord telling Alex about how his parents died in 105. He further reveals that he tried to warn his parents and the CDC about the faulty HAZMAT suits that killed them but that they didn't believe him. This spurred Maxwell Lord to try and use his fortune to help people independently as well as his distrust of people in general and the government in particular.
J'onn is able to use his telepathy to protect Alex from Myriad.
J'onn is seemingly killed by Indigo.
The episode ends with Alex, decked out in Kryptonite power armor and wielding the same Kryponite sword that killed Astra, fully under Myriad's control and ready to kill Supergirl.
The Fortress of Solitude.
30 miles outside of Midvale.
The Danvers house in Midvale
The Bottom Line
It's cheesy as all get out, the plot makes no logical sense and the overacting and underacting war with each other in a way not seen since Thora Birch acted opposite Jeremy Irons in the Dungeons and Dragons movie. And yet, somehow, this episode works in spite of it all.