Supergirl "S1E19 Myriad" - Review: Zombie nation.... well city at least
From The Day the Earth Stood Still to The World’s End, it’s not an uncommon theme among science fiction films to paint human nature as the an underlying enemy. Despite good intentions, we are our own worst enemies with a civilization hell-bent on destroying the planet and destroying each other. So when aliens or monsters swing by, it’s not always to destroy but to protect us from ourselves. It’s a sympathetic idea with the usual downfall being overly extreme methods. That’s where Supergirl finds herself this week as Myriad, the grand plan of Non and the late Astra, comes into motion with the potential to save the people of National City but at the price of their complete enslavement.
Myriad – With Non controlling the entire population of National City, Supergirl is alone and at his mercy until some surprising allies come forth. Even with their help, she struggles to find a plan to defeat Non that doesn’t involve mass civilian casualties. Can she save the city with hope alone?
So as the last episode closed with everyone filing out of their buildings like zombies, some Doctor across the pond may be shouting, “Its blood control!.. I haven’t seen blood control in ages!” It was a great dramatic setup for the final episodes. It’s a classic scenario of the war being over before the losing side even knows it’s started and creates excellent feelings of isolation and abandonment around Kara as her every point of civilian, military and DEO help is stripped away from her. It’s also a scenario that easily manipulates her into state of powerlessness as Non demonstrates by holding an impromptu base jumping class at CatCo. It creates reasonable grounds for Kara to give up only to be rallied by her immune aides of Cat Grant and Maxwell Lord. Although Lord’s remarks about the similarities between he and Kara are good, the real payoff comes from Cat’s speech of inspiring change that really sums up their developing friendship across the season. The episode also does well to answer the most obvious question of such a large scale disaster, namely why doesn’t a certain other blue and red clad flying hero help Kara out.
In keeping with the ideals of Non and Astra’s plans to save the human race via the heavy cost of subjugation, the question of how to defeat them also becomes a morality debate over the price of defeating Non. Maxwell Lord quickly delivers a viable plan but with civilian casualties in 6 figures. Now, despite that plan setting into motion, it is of course painfully obvious that Kara will think of a plan B in the end but the plans becomes much less obvious to its credit. The use of Maxwell Lord’s character is the most enjoyable and in fact, he’s really become the most well-utilized recurring figure of the season, seemingly always playing either side for his own agenda, capable of being ally or enemy when required.
Despite being setup-heavy, the episode does produce some good action. Maxima makes for a great Supergirl opponent and casting her as former WWE Diva Eve Torres really makes her feel physically formidable, dwarfing the smaller Kara. In fact, it’s a real shame that her appearance is confined to the opening 5 minutes. Hopefully, we’ll see her again in a future episode. Maxima isn’t the only lady bringing the fight this week as the returning Indigo makes for a great confrontation with Alex and J’onn. The show continues to produce some good visual effects showcasing her powers. The T-1000 knife arm is particularly a fun touch. Indigo herself becomes a nice rogue element of the story as she tries to tease and twist Non from Astra’s conservative use of Myriad to a more aggressive, Universe-sized expansion. Her notions of turning the Human race into an all conquering galactic army conjure images of The Master’s plans from Doctor Who’s 3rd modern season.
The subplot of Alex and J’onn’s mission to investigate Project Cadmus and hopefully discover a not dead daddy Danvers gets sidelined a bit too quickly. After teasing some answers, it now looks like that won’t get picked up again until season 2. However, the brief meeting of J’onn J’onzz and Eliza Danvers is a surprising little gem in the episode. It’s always a pleasure to see Helen Slater on the show but the comedy of her immediate science geeking out over how J’onn’s powers work is her best moment on the show to date.
So for an episode that is forced to be almost entirely build up and setup for the final hour, Myriad does find plenty of enjoyment if not quite as much as we would like. It does deliver good rewards on the season long Non/Astra story and gets some serious bonus points for its Batman Vs Superman end cliff-hanger as we leave with a day Vs night girl fight on our hands. Next week’s finale still has plenty of work to do but this episode succeeds in getting eth ball rolling.