‘Supergirl’ 1×19 Review: ‘Myriad’ (aka Hope Trumps Fear)

When it comes to Supergirl, I continue to be surprised by a show that’s able to so brilliantly capture heroism and humanity within its titular hero, as well as the people that stand beside her and fight the evil that threatens the city. As we gear up for the final hours of Supergirl’s phenomenal freshman season, the real threat of the season has become even more real as Non activated his mind-control program Myriad in this week’s appropriately-titled 19th installment, “Myriad.”

What is the essence of heroism? How far are you willing to go to save the world; to save the lives of those you care about? How many lives are worth the salvation of humankind? How does a hero deal with an impossible choice? How does a hero inspire within the most dire of circumstances?

Those were all questions that Supergirl, Cat Grant, Maxwell Lord, Alex Danvers, and J’Onn J’Onzz all struggled with during an episode that elicited a whirlwind of emotion and fear that made these questions all the harder.

But the answer is simple, as Cat Grant told Supergirl: “Hope is stronger than fear.”

When it comes to heroes and villains both are fighting for something that they believe in. What ultimately divides heroes and villains is what they’re fighting for: heroes are selfless and villains are selfish. But there is a noticeable difference in their ideologies and how they choose to spread their beliefs. While villains work to use fear as a weapon against their opponents, it’s the heroes that counter that fear with hope that inspires those they’re fighting for.

Kara was faced an impossible situation in this penultimate episode of Supergirl’s first season as there was seemingly no way to overrule Non’s mind-control program that had sifted into the millions of people in the city, as well as a couple of Kara’s loved ones.

When Maxwell Lord presented the option of using his Kryptonite bomb that would kill the Kryptonians, as well as result in a loss of eight percent of the population – roughly 300,000 people – Kara was faced with her toughest decision to date. With no other option, what was Kara to do?

Kara referenced her mother being put in this same position back on Krypton – when there was a threat against the planet and when faced with the decision to act or do nothing, she chose to do nothing. And it resulted in the complete destruction of Krypton.

For Kara, there has never been another option other than acting. Kara has never been someone to stand by and watch as destruction befalls her city or the innocents that inhabit it.

But it was Cat Grant who inspired Kara to think past the fear that crippled her with visions of destruction and failure. Fear is a powerful emotion; one of the most powerful emotions because it has the ability to limit you. Stop for a moment and think about a time when fear stopped you from doing something. It’s something that can happen on a grand scale or even a smaller scale. Fear does not discriminate.

Cat told Supergirl that it was her that showed her that “hope is stronger than fear.” That she sees it every time she sees that symbol on her chest; it’s what everyone sees when they see that symbol. Supergirl is a symbol of hope that shines bright even in the darkest of instances because she’s someone who understands what is necessary and what is right when it comes to standing up to the vile that infiltrates her city. “Just be Supergirl,” Cat told her. “It’s all anyone has ever needed from you.”

Cat’s pep talk inspired Kara to look past being backed into a destructive corner by fear and inspired her to use hope as a weapon against the fear brought forth by Non.

Maxwell Lord has long been a controversial character on this show as he first presented himself as an antagonist with the potential to be a villain, but he’s since reigned in his ways and proved to be quite beneficial in this episode. But Maxwell also showed his true colors in the episode as we discovered more about his backstory with his parents and how that shaped him into the person he is today.

Turns out Maxwell’s parents died because they wouldn’t listen to him about wearing those contaminated suits. No one listened to him. So he made it his mission to make sure that never happened again. He’s an act-first kind of person, like Kara he points out, but we can agree that they have different ideologies that distinguish them between hero and antagonist.

But Supergirl and Cat were able to convince Maxwell that destruction by way of Kryptonite bomb wasn’t the only way to counter this Myriad attack. Hope trumps fear. And, surprisingly, Maxwell agreed to give it a go.

The trio of Supergirl, Cat, and Maxwell plan on shining a symbol of hope within the minds of these mind-controlled people to counteract the Myriad effects that control them. Of course with one episode to go we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out – and how fate of National City and the world.

Outside of National City, we found Alex and J’Onn on the run from the DEO, which was a signficiantly smaller problem than the one befalling National City. But once they had been brought up-to-date, there was an instantaneous action.

Seeing as J’Onn is an alien and not affected by the Myriad program, he opted to go it alone and not risk Alex’s life. But we all know Alex; rough and tough, you’re not going to tell me what to do, Alex Danvers. She not only insisted she go along with him but put her damn foot down in the process. Alex was not going to watch another father figure walk out that door and being powerless when it came to what happened next. She refused. So J’Onn agreed to use his telepathy to protect her mind from the Myriad program and the father-daughter duo set off to defend National City.

Heroes don’t always wear capes. Heroes are ones that rise up in the face of adversity and do what is right, even if it’s not always the easiest thing to do. Every single person that was not under the influence of evil or mind control were heroes in this episode.

Other Thoughts

  • J’ONN IS NOT DEAD RIGHT. THERE IS NO WAY HE IS DEAD.
  • “We’re past villains of the week and kittens in trees.” That we are, Maxwell Lord.
  • Why was Superman affected by Myriad? If Kara and Hank were not, what makes Superman more susceptible?
  • Yeah, we’re definitely feeling that sexual tension between Cat Grant and Maxwell Lord. Lord have mercy.
  • Non seriously underestimates Kara that it’s gaping clear that it will be his downfall at this point.
  • Can we stop with the cliffhangers that end mid-fight please? My heart can only take so much.
  • Speaking of cliffhangers, sister vs. sister? Really? Are you trying to cripple my heart?

NEXT TIME ON ‘SUPERGIRL’

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.

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