A Closer Look: Supergirl – “Myriad”

Not missing a beat from the epic Flash/Supergirl Crossover, this week’s Supergirl kept the action and peril up even further as it kicks off its SUPER two-part Season Finale – but that’s not all. Whereas most shows just kick everything up several notches and power through, these final two episodes of Supergirl are making a point of not only doing that, but also reminding the viewers of everything that has come before. The series has come a long way from its initial run and leaked Pilot episode; and this two-part Season Finale seeks to remind us of just why we fell in love in the first place as it ties a season worth of themes, struggles and Easter Eggs together.

Can this show pull it off? How can we tell all this after seeing just Part 1 of this 2 Parter? To answer these questions and more, it’s time to take a Closer Look at Supergirl’s penultimate episode “Myriad”.

Supergirl Myriad Closer Look

Making Choices – From Fear, Hope Or Manipulation:

The major theme of this episode was making choices and the “myriad” of ways they can go about making these choices; but when it comes right down to it most decisions are made through either Fear or Hope – OR Manipulation. On the side of fear, we have Non, Maxwell Lord and surprisingly Alex. I’ll explore Alex’s and Maxwell’s similarities more in a later section, but for right now it’s important to point out each was operating out of fear. Max feels responsible for his parents’ death because they didn’t listen to him, so now – for fear of repeating that – he will act decisively so there’s no chance to be ignored and loose more lives, even if it will cost hundreds of thousands of lives. Similarly, Alex follows J’Onn because she remembers her father walking out and her never seeing him again. She doesn’t want to lose more family so she goes with him, even though it only adds additional risks and no reward.

Even the big bad Non operates from fear as he was afraid of losing his home planet and that is why he and Astra acted as they did. If controlling people’s awful tendencies and making them work toward a common good could save everyone, then why is that bad? Sadly, he’s so fearful of what he’s trying to prevent, he doesn’t stop to see what he’s taking away. This is the same motivation that drives him with Earth initially – but I’ll expand on that in a moment. First and foremost, he is worried he won’t be able to save another planet, which doesn’t make him too different from his niece as Kara wonders if she will make the same ‘wrong choice’ as her mother and fail to save her home. Thankfully thanks to Cat, Kara and eventually Max have a change of reasoning.

Cat, Kara and now Max see that there’s much more to be gained from operating out of hope rather than fear. This is also the same driving force that led to J’Onn heading back to National City. He can withstand the Myriad device and thus can bring the most amount of hope to helping the situation. Although Fear and Hope aren’t the only two motivators out there this episode as James, Winn, Lucy and countless others don’t operate according to either; but rather manipulation. Now you might think this is a simple write off and they aren’t aware of their actions; but manipulation is just as powerful a motivator as any other – actively and passively… let me explain.

Remember that as the episode ends, we see Alex and Kara forced into a battle that will leave both damaged. Kara is forced into battling her kryptonite clad sister and must figure out a way to stop this and snap Alex out of it. Alex on the other hand might be a pawn; but if she wins she’ll know she killed her sister. Whether she knows it despite her actions or Non severs the hold on her long enough for her to see her actions, she’ll crumble under what she herself did under manipulation. She might not be making the choices; but they still lead to huge repercussions. This is Myriad as a whole; but to truly drive this point home, we have to acknowledge that there is also some non-Myriad manipulation happening in this episode. Non’s actions might be coming from a good – but deluded – place, but it’s not hard to see that Indigo is manipulating him to further means. He wants to save a planet, but Indigo wants him to enslave an entire universe. So if you thought Supergirl was introducing a subservient female character, guess again. Indigo has her own plans and motivations, and she’s controlling Non just as much as Non is controlling National City.

Supergirl-Myriad-Kara-Cat-Lord

We’re Not So Different – Supergirl, Max, Non & Alex:

As I started to explain in the last section, many of our heroes – and villains – this episode reveal themselves to be not that different after all. Maxwell might have originally claimed he and Supergirl aren’t that different; but as things progress we see that it is Alex and Max who have more in common. Both are driven into a dangerous path that stems from them losing a parent. Maxwell thankfully stops; but for Alex it’s already too late as her actions have compromised J’Onn and led to her capture/use by Non. Meanwhile, both Non and Supergirl are trying to make sure the calamity of Krypton doesn’t befall Earth; but are unsure of how to achieve it. Non feels his inaction doomed the planet, as Kara feels hers might doom Earth as her mother’s doomed Krpyton.

Though again it’s also important to point out how both Kryptonians are manipulated at opposite points and towards differing ends. Supergirl is at first talked into the ‘fear’ method by Max, but eventually helps him see the light and turn this once enemy good. Non on the other hand starts with good intentions and tries his best to spare Supergirl, until someone he considers an ally (Indigo) is actually manipulating him down a darker path – one he might not even survive. In the end, I suppose Maxwell was right: maybe there’s not much different between him and Supergirl after all; but instead of her being more like him, maybe he will in fact become more like her. Will Season 2 finally give us the Maxwell / Supergirl teamwork we’ve been waiting for? Hopefully!

Tying It All Together (Part 1) – Supergirl, Superman, Maxwell Lord, Alex, General Lane, Etc:

As I mentioned, this episode reminded us of so many things that we haven’t heard about in a while. In many ways this Season Finale is going above and beyond the call of duty to remind us of each twist and turn this series taken. Below are some of the most striking.

  • Superman is effected by Myriad but not Supergirl, reminding us of what we learned in episode 1 – that unlike Clark she came to Earth already partly grown. Her upbringing is more Kryptonian than human and her memories of home make her unique.
  • Superman was coming to help her but then got ensnared. This reminds us that Supergirl is not Superman’s 2nd best, but her own hero who handles things on her own. This also calls back to the time when Superman saved Kara while battling Reactron. Supergirl is now the one who needs to save Superman and this is her battle alone. Saying Superman was just ‘not around’ would have diminished what Kara is about to do; but now she is the one who gets to save the day and prove herself on a world stage.
  • Way back when we met General Lane in ‘Seeing Red’, he didn’t trust Supergirl and now he does… even after she went Rogue. Full circle.
  • From the interplay between Max and Cat we are reminded that they did indeed once have a relationship, and – as I’ve discussed at length already – this episode as a whole serves to explain WHY he is the way he is and moves to make him closer to a team playing hero.
  • Cat tells Supergirl how she’s changed her and brought her closer with her son(s) and opened up more to Kara – which we have seen all season long as Cat even started giving Kara dating advice last time with the Flash/Supergirl crossover.
  • The sister relationship has been central to this series so ending the season with the two forced to battle is a wonderfully tragic foil. Additionally, this fight perfectly mirrors the Astra situation as Alex is equipped with the same sword that did her in and what appears to be DEO issued Kryptonite Armor.
  • UPCOMING: From next week’s preview, we see what appears to be Kara using a Solar Flare attack against Non, similarly to how she defeated Red Tornado episodes ago in “Seeing Red” and then lost her powers temporarily.

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Up, Up & Away – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:

  • I mentioned it months ago, but I’ll bring it up again. “Myriad” was a DC character who could use mind control and shapeshifting. So naming a mind control device Myriad makes perfect sense ‘Easter Egg’ wise. And as far as story/episode title goes, the device is called “Myriad” because it a “myriad” (aka a countless number) under your control. Like if it needed a backup name, ‘Legion’ would have worked too.
  • Again, I’m not sure if this is a Superman: The Animated Series reference or that show referenced existing Superman-lore perfectly; but regardless we met Maxima Queen of Almerac, a hot-tempered warrior queen who on many occasions has tried to force the Man of Steel to be her husband. Chances are if you see a red-headed woman in a Superman-series – and she’s not on fire (Volcana) – it’s Maxima.
  • Wonder why Non was so adamant about not unleashing the White Martian. Are they just know as scary creatures or do Martians actually hold an advantage over him and his plans?
  • “If knowledge of Myriad got out it could disturb the galaxy”. Besides Indigo’s plans for Non, this could be nice foreshadowing for Season 2 as Myriad’s use draws other aliens to Earth to seek its powers.
  • “Kill Kara today or fight her tomorrow” … aka Kill Kara this episode or fight her in the Finale haha
  • Once again Supergirl hits uncomfortably close to home as Non accuses the human race of being “more interested in reality television and political circuses”. This is then followed up by making note of the primary divides of humanity being Racial or Republican/Democrat… again #SadButTrue
  • Kara missing one victim and letting someone die on her watch may come back to haunt her

Next week we will undoubtedly continue many of the themes we started this week and touched upon here. This series has had a wonderful first Season and I personally hope we get a Season 2. A month or so ago we heard it would be, but then heard that it wasn’t mentioned along with other renewed shows. Whatever is going on, I hope CBS realizes how great of a show this is. And if not, move it to CW and make Crossovers that much easier.

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