As Lena and Hope work to launch Project Non Nocere, Supergirl takes the fight to Leviathan and faces Rama Khan again, as he plots to use Acrata and her powers to trigger a super-volcano. Saving the world may require Alex to make an act of trust depending on Malefic to aid them, but can J'onn's brother be trusted?
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (title) and JLA: The Obsidian Age by Joe Kelly.
It was said in 506 that the Medallion of Acrata has no power unto itself and it only awakens the inner darkness of the person who wears it. Yet this episode acts like the power of Acrata can only either be in the medallion or its host, as Rama Khan has to abduct Andrea Rojas to make use of powers to activate the Staff of the Shadow Realm. (Margot was lying to Andrea when she said that, to keep her from thinking she was free of Leviathan.)
How did Alex recognize Malefic in his human form when that form was chosen by Lena after the last time the DEO fought Malefic?
It's hard to single out a single performer this time around. As in last week's episode, Melissa Beonist and Katie McGrath break your heart with their interactions as Kara and Lena. Chyler Leigh gets some similar moments as Alex, being torn between duty and her desire to believe in Kara's idealism. And brief as they are, Phil LaMarr gets some great moments acting opposite David Harewood.
Gamemnae mentions another member of Leviathan called Tezumak who has been speaking against Rama Khan in secret. In Joe Kelly's Obsidian Age story, which introduced Rama Khan and Gamemnae, Tezumak was a member of the League of Ancients who had been a monk from a Mesoamerican society which pre-dated the Aztecs. He lead the warrior order founded by Gamemane and wears bronze honor which honors the gods that brought science to his people. He would later sacrifice himself to help the Justice League stop Gamemnae's plans.
The password for Lex Luthor's security system is based on his favorite quote from John Milton's Paradise Lost - "Arise or be forever fallen."
This episode ended with a scene involving Nash Wells from The Flash, setting up Crisis on Infinite Earths. This scene is described in detail in the entry for F608.
Lex Luthor's hideouts are lead-lined, and protected by automatic systems with ion cannons that automatically change into Kryptonte cannons after detecting Kryptonian DNA following a first shot.
Brainiac-5 says that he can beam a hologram into Lena Luthor's hideout by harnessing the Kryptonian cache crystals the DEO has.
Lean determines that she can beat the DEO virus shutting down her system by replicating the virus, reverse-engineering it and overriding the shutoff remotely.
Kara suggests that Malefic could counteract Myriad by deploying all his mental energy against it.
Brainiac-5 says that the ancient super-volcano located under National City hasn't erupted since the Cenozoic Era, and was 10,000 times more powerful than the volcano at Pompeii.
Brainiac-5 calculates a 98% chance Myriad will be neutralized and a . 01% chance Lena will surrender, which makes it a virtual certainty Lena will not survive if Claymore 3 is used to attack Lena. He further calculates that if they use Malefic to neutralize Myriad, there is an 86% chance they will stop Myriad and a 0% chance Lena will be harmed.
The psychic inhibitors in the DEO absorb 6% of Malefic's psychic energy output, or 4,000 terawatts.
Lena: We must stay true to our mission. We don't kill people no matter how much they've hurt us.
(Supergirl's hologram appears in Lena's secret lab.)
Lena: (matter-of-factly) Supergirl.
Kara: Please, just hear me out.
Lena: Save your breath. You showed me who you really are, and I believe you.
Kara: You have every right to say that, but don't do this.
Lena: Do what?
Kara: Whatever it is you're planning on doing with Myriad and Malefic's Q-waves.
Lena: Did it ever occur to you that I was gonna do something good for the world?
Kara: With Myriad, people won't understand!
Lena: Of course, you assumed the worst. I'm not the bad guy.
Kara: I know. You spent years trying to be open and trusting, even when everyone expected you to be like your family. Even when everyone in your life let you down. Even when I was weak and lied to you, knowing that all you ever asked for was the truth, you were always better. Lex took advantage of my weakness and he used it to manipulate you. He wanted my mistakes to change you. He wanted you to become him. But you are nothing like him. Nothing. Don't let my mistakes turn you into something you're not.
Lena: I am good. And I always was. Lex didn't change me and you didn't change me either. You just exposed me to the ugliness of humanity. You did me a favor, Kara. I learned what kind of deceitful person you really are, and that's what inspired me to do this.
Lena: Your words mean nothing to me anymore. Spare us both the drama. Leave me alone.
Kara: You know, a part of me always knew that this couldn't be that easy. And I get it. I fully understand why she feels betrayed. It's so hard for her to trust people. But I made her trust me. Over and over again, I made her believe that I was the best friend who would never ever hurt her. And then she finds out in the most horrible way that our entire friendship was based on lies.
Alex: Look, you were damned either way, Kara. Your choice to conceal your identity... it wasn't born out of a place of maliciousness. It was born out of love and compassion. And you were just trying to protect your family. And you were trying to protect Lena from people who could use that information to hurt us. And look, I love Lena, too. I am deeply upset by what is going on. But this... This isn't just two friends that are in a fight. This is someone who has turned a corner.
Kara: No, but this is not her. This is not our Lena.
Alex: Well, who is our Lena? I mean She knew that Lex was out of prison, and she said nothing. She kept Sam Arias locked in a subbasement at L-Corp, knowing that she was Reign, and she said nothing. She knows how to make Kryptonite, and she kept that hidden from us. Lena is leading her own double-life.
Kara: You are making her sound like a Luthor.
Alex: Maybe that's because she is one. We can't put our faith in some distant hope that she's gonna do the right thing when every single action that she has taken up until now points to the contrary. Okay, we have to stop her, Kara. The safety of the world depends on that.
Kara: She is not Lex. I will not treat her like a villain.
Alex: I know you won't. That's why I have to.
Alex: She doesn't understand how hard this is for me. I mean, Lena is my friend, too, and now all of a sudden, I'm supposed to decide whether I should risk everybody's lives just to save hers? And Malefic, he invaded my mind. He threatened Kelly, and now I'm just supposed to trust him? You know what's on the line. You're the one who taught me how to do this job, and you're the one who's had to make really tough decisions so that people don't die.
J'onn: You have every reason to fear my brother. I can't promise you that Malefic has changed for good. People make mistakes and they do terrible things. We have to let them do better, bring them back into the light. Otherwise what's the point in trying to save everyone?
Hope: I can still try a manual override. I can reposition the dishes myself.
Lena: We discussed this. Absolutely not. You could be killed. Both Hope and Eve gone, forever.
Hope: But it would be worth it for both of us because I believe in you. Eve did, too. I have seen the depravity of humans. I have seen the betrayal and the pain. Let me help, so that we can stop them from committing any more of these horrible acts once and for all.
Lena: No. I will not allow it. We will find another way. Your partnership has meant the world to me, Hope. You're the only friend I can count on.
Hope: But, Ms. Luthor, I'm not your friend. I'm something you created to serve a purpose.
(J'onn watches Malefic fly off. Suddenly, he senses a presence behind him and turns around to see a strange man in alien armor.)
The Monitor: Well done, J'onn J'onzz. You passed the test.
J'onn: Test? You released my brother from the Phantom Zone? You brought my brother here?
The Monitor: When I saw you fight in Elseworlds, I could see that you were a great warrior, but one plagued by his past, and that made you vulnerable. You believed it was because you had left Mars, but it was something far, far greater, J'onn. Your brother. But now that you have faced those demons, you have come to learn your vulnerabilities and your strengths. And now you are ready.
J'onn: Ready for what?
The Monitor: A Crisis.
(We see the Monitor's celestial platform from Elseworlds. Lex Luthor is sitting regarding a crystal chessboard. He moves a piece and sighs in boredom.)
Lex Luthor: Checkmate. Again.
(There is a wooshing noise as The Monitor appears and walks over to Lex.)
Lex Luthor: Finally, you've returned. I don't know if anybody's told you this, but the feng shui of this place is a bit stale.
The Monitor: I brought you back because the universe will need a mind like yours.
Lex Luthor: Someone who can checkmate anyone?
The Monitor: The time has come for you to fulfill your destiny, Lex Luthor. You can now become the hero that you have longed to be.
Lex Luthor: I've always been the hero.
(The Monitor regards Lex stoically and without comment.)
Lex Luthor: (chuckle) Happy to help. But first, we have to discuss my sister.
Alex and Brainiac-5 save Kara from the Fortress defenses.
Brainiac-5 tracked Rama Khan's energy to the Fortress.
Kara tells Alex and Brainiac-5 that Lena already knew her secret identity and that Lex Luthor had told her.
Brainiac-5 tracks Lena to Mount Norquay - the site of one of Lex Luthor's old hideouts.
Lena stops the automatic defenses from killing Kara because she is still committed to a non-violent solution.
Leviathan is led by an Elder, whom Gamemnae refers to as a "her."
Tezumak is a member of Leviathan who is even more violent and warlike than Rama Khan, whom Rama Khan fears would burn down the Earth if he were put in charge of running things.
Rama Khan has been running Leviathan for two million years.
Gamemnae speaks of a cosmic alignment that comes once every 2000 years which is almost upon them. During the last such alignment, Rama Khan caused the eruption of the volcano at Pompei.
The Staff of the Shadow World is an artifact that Rama Khan can use to supplement his own powers. Brainiac-5 says the last time it was seen was at Pompei, but there are references to it in the writings of the Ancient Mesopotamians and Herculaneum. However, it requires the power of Acrata to function - either the person wielding the power of shadow or the Medallion of Acrata itself.
Kara tells Alex and Brainiac-5 about how Lena killed Lex and how he told her about how they lied to her with his dying breath.
Kara says she thinks she can still get through to Lena, based on the fact that Lena did save her from Rama Khan and deactivated the Kryptonite weapons at Mount Norquay.
J'onn and Malefic arrive and Malefic tells everyone about Project Non Nocere and Lena's plan to force everyone on Earth to act in what Lena considers to be a socially acceptable manner.
J'onn says Malefic can be trusted following their mind-meld, but Alex refuses to allow the DEO agents to turn off their psychic inhibitors and has armed guards watching Malefic at all times even after he agrees to help them fight Lena.
Rama Khan abducts Andrea Rojas and takes her with him.
Kara fails to reach Lena once her message goes through.
Alex points out that Lena had kept secrets from them just as much as Kara had kept secrets from Lena, specifically mentioning how Lena learned how to synthesize Kryptonite, how she knew Reign's secret identity and how she said nothing about Lex sneaking out of prison.
The DEO secretly used Kara's hologram broadcast to send a virus to shut down the defense systems of Lena's secret base. If that doesn't work before Myriad activates, Alex has positioned the Claymore 3 satellite over Mount Norquay to destroy the mountain outright.
The DEO virus successfully prevents Myriad from activating by locking the satellite arrays in Lena's base. The arrays could be unlocked and aimed manually, but that might risk activating the failsafes Lex Luthor installed that Lena doesn't know how to deactivate.
Hope offers to sacrifice herself to unlock the arrays but Lena refuses to allow her to do it, calling it suicidal. When Hope points out that she is programmed to do whatever it takes to see Project Non Nocere completed, Lena finally says her by saying it would be short-sighted to let her self-terminate now when there is another way to win. In truth, Lena seems to have come to regard Hope as a friend.
Kara suggests that Malefic could counteract Myriad by deploying all his mental energy against it. Malefic is agreeable to trying, though J'onn says the energy required could kill him.
Arcata is able to briefly teleport inside the DEO to warn them what Rama Khan is trying to do. This results in her being entombed with the Staff of the Shadow World in the basement of the National City Tar Pits Study Center while Rama Khan tries to trigger a super volcano under National City.
Rama Khan triggers a 5.4 magnitude earthquake with his opening salvo. This renders Lena unable to do any further work on reverse-engineering the virus.
Alex ultimately decides to let Malefic try to neutralize Myriad telepathically.
J'onn tries to free Acrata from Rama Khan's grip as Kara fights Rama Khan directly.
Alex orders the DEO agents to shut off their inhibitors to grant Malefic more power. This allows him to neutralize Myriad.
Rama Khan is defated and Gamemnae takes over his position as the leader of Leviathan, the Elder having lost confidence in him after he lost to Supergirl twice.
Hope pretends to be Eve Teschmacher and takes the blame for what Lena was doing with Myriad, claiming she was forcing her to act against her will. Neither Kara or Alex believe this for a moment, but there's nothing they can do to prove Lena is pulling a fast one as nobody but Lena knew about Hope's existence or her taking up residence in Eve's body.
Andrea Rojas returns home, satisfied to be free of Leviathan, for now.
Andrea's happy place in her virtual network is revealed to be a montage of her happiest moments with Russell Rogers.
Malefic returns to Mars, in J'onn's spaceship, to join with the White Martian resistance.
The Monitor reveals himself to J'onn and congratulates him on passing his test, saying that he freed Malefic from the Phantom Zone to allow J'onn a chance to reconcile with his brother and rid himself of the guilt that was holding him back. He says that J'onn is now ready to help him fight in the coming Crisis.
It is revealed that Lex Luthor is alive and was resurrected by the Monitor because his mind will be needed to help save the multiverse during the coming Crisis. Lex agrees to help but says they have to discuss his sister first.
Fortress of Solitude.
The Bottom Line
A wonderful episode which would be better without the Leviathan subplot that is seemingly tacked onto it and serves no purpose other than giving us some more intense action scenes than Phil LaMarr staring at a screen and grunting. Presumably the set-up for Gamename will pay off later this season but right now Leviathan is too vaguely defined to be nearly as interesting as Lena going evil and not nearly as threatening.
Blame whoever decided to make the season's big-bad be an ill-defined Brian Michael Bendis concept that has nothing to do with that the Supergirl writers ultimately decided to do with the name. I'll give them this though - turning Joe Kelly's League of Ancients into evil Kryptonians secretly ruling the Earth is way more interesting than what Leviathan turned out to be in the current Superman comics. But that's a whole other rant.