The Only Way to be Sure

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SUMMARY: Everyone in National City is hypnotized by Non, except for Supergirl, Cat Grant, and Maxwell Lord. Lord proposes they drop a bomb on the city, but Supergirl has her own plan, which she may not be able to implement if she is killed by a mind-controlled Alex.


Syd: Welcome to Episode 19 of Tales from the Krypton, where if you liked this episode, you can enjoy the rest of it next week.

Margaret: But if you didn’t like this episode, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to like the second half.

Syd: Well, in that case, at least the season is almost over. You’re so pessimistic, like one of those people who didn’t think Zack Snyder was going to fix the problems with Man of Steel in his next movie.

Margaret: No, I’m like Maxwell Lord. I have a practical solution for things.

Syd: So you think we should nuke CBS?

Margaret: Not nuke, just set off a bomb that would destroy 8% of CBS. The rest of them would be fine.

Syd: Before the episode itself starts, we are filled in on what happened previously, ending with Non saying, essentially, that today he had conquered National City and tomorrow the world, and that is a big leap. Non doesn’t really understand how many steps there are between a single city and the world and how many things can go wrong. Are they planning to take over one city at a time or is step two of his plan just “Take over the world”?

Margaret: Not to mention that if his plot is against the entire Earth, why doesn’t he just take over the entire Earth right now?

Syd: Why didn’t he take over the entire Earth ten years ago? They really give no indication of why his plan took so long to set up. Obviously, they didn’t plan out what his big master plan was from the beginning of the series and when you try to keep a villain’s plan vague enough that you can make it up as you go along, once the villain’s plan is revealed, it will never quite match up with what we’ve already seen. It’s frustrating here, because so many things could have been hand waved with a line of dialogue, like, “This glowing ball that powers the mind control device took me ten years to build!” and when they don’t even do that, it feels like the writers don’t really care if Non’s plan makes sense.

Margaret: I think what they were trying to say is that the only way they could do this was with Maxwell Lord’s satellites. That’s why they hijacked them, because they needed them to complete Myriad. It makes even less sense if they were trying to link satellites together, because they knew about Indigo. Why didn’t they just use Indigo from the beginning?

Syd: Not only did they know about her, but she was on the prison with them. She was freed along with everyone else and, like the rest of them, did nothing for ten years. Her tech powers could have really helped with setting up a satellite relay.

Margaret: She’s the one who brought them to Earth by reprogramming Kara’s ship and using it to drag Fort Rozz with them. Indigo could have enacted this plan for them at any time.

Syd: Actually, I would have liked if instead of one of the bullshit episodes – and you could pick any bullshit episode to swap out – they had an episode that explored the love triangle between Indigo, Non, and Aunt General Astra. It would explain why Non couldn’t work with Indigo while Astra was still alive and it would set up the quasi-romance between Non and Indigo that was not sufficiently established and doesn’t have any emotional weight in this episode. If you’re going to have any sort of romantic subplot, especially on a Dawson’s Creek-style WB show like this, you really have to spend time examining the relationships between characters, because we sure as fuck aren’t watching this for the action. If this were a competent action series, people should be more willing to accept a sudden romance because they aren’t there for the relationships anyway, but on this show, you really need the setup.

Margaret: I’m always in a show or a movie for character and character interactions. Good plot is integral, but I will forgive a lot if the actions are true to the characters.

Syd: That’s true for both of us.

Margaret: The problem with Supergirl is not only are they inconsistent with plot, they are inconsistent with characters in order to be slaves to a plot that doesn’t make sense. They need to get characters from plot point A to plot point B, so it doesn’t matter if she’s killed people, Supergirl will say, “We can’t use this, because it kills people.” That’s a good thing to say, but maybe you shouldn’t have killed those people two episodes ago, because it makes your anti-killing stance a little hard to swallow now.

Syd: Well, there are shades of grey to morality. Sure, she kills and condones killing specific people, but she doesn’t want to kill just random people, the way you do when, for instance, you punch your aunt through a building.

Margaret: So maybe you should think about your actions a little, Supergirl.

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Syd: Then we get to the actual start of the episode at the DEO, where Non orders all of the Phantom Zone prisoners to be released except for Megan. What the fuck? Is he racist against Martians?

Margaret: Looks like. Apparently, they don’t need “that kind of trouble.”

Syd: I get that she’s essentially a Nazi, but she’s only racist against green Martians and there’s only one of them and he’s one of their enemies.

Margaret: Why wouldn’t he use Megan to take J’onn off the board? You would think that would be a smarter move. Non is not a chess player.

Syd: This is what’s called, “Even Evil has Standards” on TV Tropes. Non, may want to take over the world through mind control, but he won’t support genocide.

Margaret: Nobody likes Nazis, man. It doesn’t matter what planet you’re from.

Syd: So then Lucy freed this woman with long red hair and I was interested for a moment because I thought it was Starfire, but it turned out it was just Maxima. Maxima was introduced after one of DC’s reboots in the 80’s when they were still establishing some of the rules about the latest version of the DC Universe and her deal was that she wanted to mate with Superman and the conflict was that in this continuity she could bear his child while Lois Lane couldn’t. This has nothing to do with the plot of this episode, but she mentions it during her fight with Supergirl for Lord only knows what reason. “We’re like family – I wanted to bone your cousin!” That’s almost as bad a pickup line as it is a mid-fight taunt. “You think you’re tough? Well, someone you know once turned me down for a date! How do you like them apples, sucka?”

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Margaret: Did we see what happened to her? Did she escape?

Syd: She was knocked unconscious and left on the floor. I’m sure she’s fine and will not be a threat when she wakes up.

Margaret: Why was she in Fort Rozz in the first place if her only crime is trying to bear Superman’s child?

Syd: Now that you mention it, we don’t know what crime most of these people were originally arrested for. We see some of them committing violent crimes on Earth to justify Supergirl fighting them, but most of the time, we have no idea why these people were in prison. We have to assume that Maxima was in jail for something.

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Margaret: Maybe she’s not actually evil. Maybe prison made her evil.

Syd: It occurred to me in the episode where Supergirl let that drug dealer go how whenever we find out what crime the criminals have committed, it’s a crime that is familiar and understandable to an Earth audience. It would have been interesting to have an episode that deals with someone who was guilty of a crime that is only a crime on Krypton, that Earth has no law against. Someone might have broken a law that Krypton only has to control a superpowered populace. Having Supergirl deal with someone who would not have been a criminal on Earth could have given them an opportunity to examine whether it’s really just to uphold a Kryptonian court’s rulings.

Margaret: I would love to see an episode that dealt with that and see how Kara deals with it, too.

Syd: I’d like to see an episode like that on a different show. I have no confidence that the people who make this show can handle something like that.

Margaret: I don’t want to just say that it’s a CBS show and you’re not going to get something complex, but it’s a CBS show and you’re not going to get something complex, which makes me sad.

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So, then Lucy busts in and starts spraying Kryptonite bullets like they’re nothing.

Syd: They must have a huge supply of Kryptonite.

Margaret: Where do they get all of this Kryptonite?

Syd: Well, there is enough Kryptonite on Earth for every low-level silver age gangster to have his own supply. I guess in this world the DEO has stockpiled all of it, which is why Lex Luthor had to try to reverse engineer synthetic Kryptonite.

Margaret: And yet, later Alex shows up completely covered in Kryptonite shit and nobody blinks an eye. Plus they have enough to make a blade out of it.

Syd: It’s a pretty badass sword.

Margaret: So, they fight, Kara wins, Lucy is knocked out. Actually, I will say that I liked how she used her ship to create a backdraft of air to knock them all out. I liked the thinking on that, so kudos.

Syd: 10 points for Ravenclaw. They did a clever thing.

Margaret: Lucy is out for the rest of the episode – donezo.

Syd: So Kara flies off to the Fortress of Solitude, where we have some more terrible world building. Kara asks her little robot buddy about Myriad and the robot buddy is unauthorized to discuss Myriad. Kara says that if the robot doesn’t tell her about Myriad, the house of El will be destroyed and the memory of Krypton will be lost forever, but how would the memory of Krypton be lost when Kryptonians are ruling the Earth? I can understand if you’re used to the DC Universe where there aren’t dozens of Kryptonians still alive that you could think that wiping out Kara and Clark would erase Krypton’s legacy, but I would think that the writers on this show would remember the world that they created contains many Kryptonians. By the way, where are the rest of the Kryptonians during this episode?

Margaret: I’m assuming they were lost in transit.

Syd: All of the villains that they are saving for future episodes are still out there.

Margaret: They decided, “Nah, fuck that.”

Syd: On Krypton, vacations last 15 years at a time, so they have a few years left, still.

Margaret: So after Kara gives her speech, little robot man runs away and AI Hologram Mom makes her grand reappearance.

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Syd: We were all champing at the bit, breathless in anticipation of AI Hologram Mother’s triumphant return. The show hasn’t been the same without her. What a treat to see her give her dumb robot exposition. Kara asks why AI Hologram Mom couldn’t tell her about this before, but she doesn’t ask why she’s telling her about it now, which is also a pretty pertinent question. Is its programming not to discuss Myriad unless the user is really upset? Who would program that interface?

Margaret: I’m guessing the little robot man initiated the protocol.

Syd: So the CG robot delegated the Myriad exposition to a holographic underling? That makes even less sense than this series usually does.

Margaret: I think it makes some sense. It’s a little robot man. It seems like he can do things. So it makes AI Mom talk. I don’t know. Or maybe Kara’s speech had the right code words for AI Mom.

Syd: So Myriad is explained as a way of saving the world by hypnotizing the world into thinking the same way, and the problem is that it reminds me of comics that have dealt with the same idea better. The most obvious example is Squadron Supreme, which really delves into the ethics of mind control when used for positive ends, but that wasn’t the final word on the subject. There’s plenty of room for books or movies or TV shows to explore similar ideas, but this show has no interest in exploring ideas. Weighty philosophical issues shouldn’t just be thrown out left lying there when you have the opportunity to create a meaningful and engaging dialogue. If you just need the villain to have an evil plan, why would you go with something that has these really weird and interesting implications that you aren’t even going to bother to discuss? At the very least, there should have been some sort of dialogue about how humans are destroying the world and, if Kryptonians really care about it, how the people with godlike powers can help save the world without mind control. And as we said in that episode, that discussion should have happened the first time Kara met Astra, because it’s fucking insane that they never talked about it.

Margaret: But then you’d actually have to talk about things that people don’t want to hear about and that divides people and then ratings go lower because you’re talking about hippy things and people will disagree with that, so you better steer clear. I think they were trying to go the in-between route, where they wanted something interesting but they didn’t want the ramifications of what that meant, so they half-assed it.

Syd: I just wish that the writers never tried to elevate the level of discourse on this stupid fucking show.

Margaret: Supergirl then runs off to Catco to check on her friends and they’re all hacking.

Syd: Non says he’s using the city as a think tank. By the way, did you know the Matrix is a Warner Brothers property? Because there is some familiar and corporately synergistic code on their screens.

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Margaret: No, that code is Kryptonian. The Matrix is Kryptonian.

Syd: So all of Catco’s employees are sitting at their desks under mind control except for Cat’s assistant Kara, who is conspicuously absent. Cat – who is completely unhypnotized – even mentions Kara when she’s talking to Supergirl and doesn’t even comment on how Kara is missing, despite not having left the city.

Margaret: Throughout the series, Kara is never at her post, so that’s not too weird.

Syd: This is also the scene where Kara talks to her best friend Kelly.

Margaret: Oh, Kelly, whom we have never met before. You’re so doomed. As soon as she started talking to someone we’d never seen before, you wrote her name down and I thought, “This isn’t going to end well.”

Syd: And Kara says to Jimmy, “There was a time when I was so afraid you wouldn’t see me and now I just wish you’d smile.” Of course, that makes no damn sense. There is no contrast between the “There was a time” clause and the “and now” clause. I think we’re supposed to be so taken with how romantic that sounds that we don’t notice that it’s a complete non sequitur.

Margaret: We also find out that Kal-El is conveniently offworld.

Syd: I’ve seen enough Justice League to know that whenever you want to have a big story that focuses on a minor character, there’s always a crisis in space that Superman needs to take care of.

Margaret: It makes sense, but it’s also hilarious, because later on, they bring him back.

Syd: I think they had an extraneous step. They either should have had him arrive immediately or kept him in space. It’s not like he does anything in the episode. Either one of those would have made more sense than having him in space only to come back and become hypnotized.

Margaret: When he shows up, he immediately joins the parade of humans.

Syd: Lex Luthor shows up, unhypnotized due to a signal blocker that he had built to wear on his ear, and explains that Clark is susceptible to Myriads signals because he was raised on Earth. There are so many reasons that’s stupid I don’t know where to begin. Would you like to start?

Margaret: There’s so many things wrong with that! His brain was altered by going to kindergarten with humans? That’s pretty crazy and pretty wrong.

Syd: Also, how does Lex know that Superman was raised on Earth?

Margaret: Does he know Clark Kent is Superman?

Syd: I don’t know, but he does seem pretty cavalier about revealing this information to Cat Grant. You know, in post-Crisis DCU, it was explicitly explained that Lex Luthor didn’t figure out Superman’s secret identity because he didn’t know that Superman had one. It was a really cool idea. I don’t know if they kept it in the New 52 because I haven’t read New 52 Superman because fuck that, but it makes sense. If you look at it from the public’s perspective, they know what his face looks like (he doesn’t wear a mask), they know his real name (Kal-El), they know where he came from (Krypton), they know where he lives (the Fortress of Solitude), they have no reason to think that he has anything to hide or that he’s anyone but Superman. Superman wouldn’t reveal to anyone that he has another identity or that he has adoptive parents on Earth. That would just invite further questions.

Margaret: I was going to say, maybe it’s because he knows Kara’s secret identity, but Kara Danvers and Clark Kent aren’t linked at all, so that makes no sense whatsoever. That just blew my mind, because I didn’t even think about it.

Syd: Considering what characters do and don’t know can make a story more interesting, unless you have writers who assume that because the audience knows something, the characters have to know it, too.

Margaret: That’s not even getting into the fact that Kindergarten doesn’t make your brain less alien. It’s still an alien brain.

Syd: And living on Earth since adolescence means that Kara is still alien enough, but the extra ten years completely change everything. It’s just nonsense.

Margaret: They should have just kept Superman offworld.

Syd: Or they could have said he wasn’t wearing the right earrings, like Cat was.

Margaret: Not the ones that Jimmy gave him.

Syd: Then we rejoin Indigo and Non on Fort Rozz. I know that all of the dialogue is dumb and we can’t discuss every line, but sometimes I’m really just perplexed by what the writers are even thinking. Indigo, quoting Die Hard, says, “When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer,” then asks Non, “Need a tissue?” He’s conquered one city! That’s more than Hans Gruber did, but far less than Alexander.

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Margaret: And not even everybody in the city.

Syd: That’s true. He has conquered most of a city.

Margaret: It’s funny because Indigo is supposed to be a font of all knowledge.

Syd: She has a twelfth-level intellect. I’m shocked that I didn’t make that reference in the last episode she was in. Then J’onn and Alex arrive at Eliza Danvers’ house seeking refuge because they are still on the run from the law.

Margaret: You would think that if the law were looking for Alex Danvers, they would have that place staked out.

Syd: That’s a good point. You would think that would be the first place the police would check. But even that is not as crazy as the fact that J’onn reveals himself as a shapeshifter by turning into Hank Henshaw. Why?

Margaret: Effects budget.

Syd: Obviously, but his purpose was just showing that he’s an alien. Why would he choose a form that Eliza knows and doesn’t trust? Wouldn’t any shape be better than that?

Margaret: I guess because they didn’t want to cast a new actor and the effects budget wasn’t enough to keep him as J’onn J’onzz the entire time. Plus, if he had revealed his true form, then he couldn’t have that conversation with Eliza about being a little green man later, which they actually could have skipped.

Syd: Not if they want to pad this episode out to an hour. We should mention here that they have yet to write an episode that necessitates an hour-long show. That is especially noticeable when they have a two-part episode, because they wrote a half hour’s worth of material that they are stretching into two episodes with fifteen minutes of content each.

Margaret: I really think that them filling out the full order really hurt them.

Syd: Definitely, no question.

Margaret: They might have salvaged this and made something maybe interesting if they had ended this season at the thirteenth episode and then pulled a full order the next season. Maybe they could have course corrected enough instead of panicking when they had a two week break to plan and write half a season and this is what we get – a two-parter that should have been one episode.

Syd: Besides which, this never should have been an hour long show. They were never up to that task. As it is, they are always padding.

Margaret: All character beats take five… minutes… longer… than they need to. They are William Shatnering.

Syd: Then Non shows up at Catco and says, “The son of Jor-El has already knelt before me.” We get it! You’ve seen Superman II! Writers, you’ve already convinced us that you are very fond of that movie! Instead of this two part episode, why don’t you just are that movie in two parts? It would be more entertaining.

Margaret: Then they could use their special effects budget to CG Kara in.

Syd: The references to Superman are relentless.

Margaret: They definitely know Superman.

Syd: At least, they know the first two Superman movies. I don’t think they’ve made reference to Superman III. I often confuse the first two movies, I always remember Superman: The Movie as the one with Lex Luthor in it and Superman II as the one with Zod in it and I forget that they’re both in both movies. I do know that “Kneel before Zod!” is from Superman II and that is their favorite.

Margaret: I understand.

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Syd: Non has some shallow social commentary. I want to give the writers the benefit of the doubt that they’re making fun of how people complain about how shallow our generation is, because Non has this line about how everyone is just concerned with reality stars and blah blah blah, when they should be more concerned with their own planet dying and I’m just like, fuck you. Fuck you television show for telling us we shouldn’t be watching television.

Margaret: Not to mention the fact that he’s so very American centric on his view of the world. He talks about the Republicans and the Democrats bickering.

Syd: Because everything wrong with the world is just America, considering that it’s been established on this show that the American government has jurisdiction not just over this world, but all worlds, because all of our interactions with aliens goes through the American government and the DEO.

Margaret: It makes little sense.

Syd: Then, Supergirl has to tell Non that this isn’t what Aunt General Astra wanted. It’s weird that she’s taking that tack with Non since at the time Astra died, Supergirl had no idea what her plan was.

Margaret: Right, she could have been talking about anything else.

Syd: By the way, once she found out what Myriad was, that doesn’t tell her all of what Astra was planning.

Margaret: Her plan might have been to use Myriad to get everyone together in order to open that puppy shelter.

Syd: I still think puppy shelter was the best explanation. But, what Non says is that what everyone wants is “Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.” And why is he still spending time on Earth learning about our Christmas traditions? Is that a priority for him?

Margaret: I don’t think it’s a priority, but if you’re here for at least one Christmas, you’re definitely going to find out about it.

Syd: That is true. Christmas is fucking ubiquitous. He was in America. Jeez, if I were in his position, I would have destroyed the Earth on my first Christmas.

Margaret: So, he goes through his speech and decides to punish Kara, first by using her friends to speak to her. Then, he decides to take three people in the office and puts them on ledges. One is Winn, One is James, and the other is Kelly. Can we guess who she is going to save and who is going to die?

Syd: When I was watching this, I thought she had the opportunity to save all of them. She only has two arms, but it is possible to catch more than two things in two arms. Especially considering how fast she’s supposed to be.

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Margaret: And how strong she is.

Syd: I was surprised that she let one of them die.

Margaret: I thought the point of this was to show how evil Non is. He is going to throw human life away to prove a point to Kara. Why didn’t he just take the entire floor and have them all jump from the balcony at the same time? At that point, there is no way for her to save everyone.

Syd: They could still have the same dramatic point, with her catching people left and right and still one person dies. Even if it’s just one person, it’s still ‘Holy shit, Non means business and he is ruthless and evil.’ That’s the point they’re trying to make, but watching this I think, “Wait, what?”

Margaret: Instead, having only three people jump from the balcony actually makes him look restrained and loses any tension of who is going to die, as we already knew that she was going to save Winn and James. After being sad for a few minutes about not saving Kelly, she calls Alex, who is at their mother’s house.

Syd: So then, we go back to the Danver’s household, Eliza has a little talk with J’onn and she talks about how he saved Jeremiah’s life. I don’t personally know anyone named Jeremiah, but I think if I did, especially if I was married to them, I wouldn’t always be calling him Jeremiah. Maybe Jerry or some shortened version? The people I know who have four syllable names are usually called by a shorter name, especially one that has a common name that it is shortened to.

Margaret: Maybe they had a very formal marriage.

Syd: And then, she starts asking questions about the details of his shapeshifting, which she starts by asking about a chemical enzyme that reorganizes his DNA. I was just like, Why would she assume his DNA is being reorganized instead of just the outer shape of his body? That wouldn’t require changing his DNA. Then I’m like, oh, look at the show I’m watching. And then J’onn says, “Like mother, like daughter.” And I call bullshit. Alex has never shown any scientific curiosity of any kind.

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Margaret: No! She hasn’t. She hasn’t been interested in the science of aliens or made one scientific question. Her first instinct is to shoot and kill things.

Syd: She’s a terrible scientist. When she finds out about alien life outside of her sister, her first instinct is wanting to know how to control it or kill it. Not, “Where do these people come from? How did they get here? What technology is involved? And these fantastic these abilities they have – how do they work? How can they be utilized to better mankind?” She has never asked a single one of these questions. Granted, no one in the DEO has.

Margaret: But, I’m assuming that’s why they’re working for the DEO. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Syd: They don’t want the curious. Those people will start sympathizing with the aliens and that’s the last thing the world needs. Back to Catco, Cat is talking on the phone to Anderson Cooper and Lexwell says that he has built a Kryptonite bomb for just the occasion the Kryptonians attempt to take over, which, by the way, is a perfectly reasonable reaction.

Margaret: I was about to say! Maxwell Lord makes some sense. I did not think that was a leap for that character.

Syd: Lexwell talks with Kara and they have this interesting back and forth and I know we’re not supposed to side with him because he’s the villain, but at the same time, I’m thinking, not even in terms of being in character, it’s consistent with the world he’s living in. His priority is protecting humanity and it’s clear his government is not doing that. The show tried to paint him as this paranoid nutjob, but the fact is that the DEO can’t be trusted. Him trying to take matters into his own hands makes sense, and it doesn’t seem evil, seeing as he could have deployed whatever kryptonite he was able to fashion into a bomb against Superman or Supergirl and that was not his priority. The fact is that he just had one in reserve in case the Kryptonians invaded, which was something that happened to him before, so it’s reasonable that he was prepared for that eventuality. Everything about it seems so reasonable until he says to Kara, “We’re more alike than you think.” And I’m like, “Ughhh, they still want us to think he’s a supervillain?”

Margaret: No, I don’t think so!

Syd: No, he would not have been given that line. That is not something normal humans say. That is something that supervillains say.

Margaret: We’ve had this conversation before, with Toyman. “We’re the same, you and I.” “We’re more alike than you think.” But, at the same time, this entire episode they’ve been painting Maxwell Lord as not a villain. He comes over to the side of hope, he helps Cat by sending her the earrings before anything happened, they have that romantic tension.

Syd: They may be setting up for him to be a good guy in the next season. They might actually make him into Maxwell Lord. I might have to stop calling him Lex Luthor if they actually make him a good guy and he becomes the Maxwell Lord I know from Giffen and DeMatteis’ Justice League. As it is in this episode, his whole point was that he is willing to kill a large number of people to protect the world as a whole. That, we are supposed to see as an unreasonable compromise to make. We’re supposed to see that as an evil thing. They may be leaving it open so that he could become a good guy in the next episode, which they may or may not do. It’s not like this series is really good at being consistent with characters, so we’ll see. In this episode he is definitely a villain. There is no question about that.

Margaret: Really? I did not think of him at all as a villain. Especially since they show him going through multiple channels of government to show him getting permission to use his bomb. His plan, while not ideal, is not something that everyone thinks of as evil. If they were going to make him actually evil, he would have just convinced Kara of his plan and not gone through the oversight of the military and the President. Instead of a villain, I saw them as presenting his plan as the necessary one, but not the good one. Not evil, but not the best plan.

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Syd: If he weren’t a villain, then they wouldn’t have emphasized the death toll of his plan. Cat wouldn’t have shown such opposition. It would have been just Supergirl saying this is unacceptable. You wouldn’t have a speech from Cat about how he’s acting out of fear.

Margaret: If they were saying he was the villain, she would have had Cat saying not just that he’s acting out of fear, but how he’s a bad person and how Supergirl must defeat him. It would have ended in a fight. Instead, I think they were trying to say that Maxwell is not a villain for suggesting this plan, but it’s not the right way. I just didn’t read him as a villain. They bring in a parallel with his past and Kara’s past. They’re trying give him reasons to be understood.

Syd: I can’t give you a definite answer about how he’s perceived by the end of this storyline. I’m sorry, you’re not going to convince me he’s not a villain in this episode. I think he’s a sympathetic villain in this episode but still a villain.

Margaret: What I’m saying is that I think they’re putting him toward being a good guy. And in this episode I didn’t see him as a villain so much as someone who is doing what he can and working with the good guys to try and save the city.

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Syd: What’s more important to talk about is, what is wrong with Indigo’s hand?

Margaret: She’s Edward Scissorhands.

Syd: Did she always have that hand and I just didn’t notice?

Margaret: She did!

Syd: She says to Non that he could be the Lord of the Universe after he has taken over almost one city. I don’t know, I feel like Indigo is definitely getting ahead of herself and raising questions that this show is not ready to answer. If they have access to the whole universe and he could have enacted this plan on any of the sentient planets that they know of, why on Earth? Why does he care about Earth?

Margaret: Because that’s where we are. Because America.

Syd: Why not go to a planet that doesn’t have any Kryptonians? Then he wouldn’t have anyone opposing him.

Margaret: This show doesn’t really think about the bigger picture.

Syd: So, Alex says that she wants to go back to National City with J’onn to stop Myriad and to justify this she says the day that her father left, the worst part was watching him go. I took that to mean that he has a terrible butt. Just the worst butt.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 7.23.44 PM.png

Margaret: I have not looked at Dean Cain’s butt recently. So, plausible.

Syd: I don’t think it’s Dean Cain’s butt. If they have the character come back, they’ll put a prosthetic butt on him so you can say, “Oooh.”

Margaret: “I would not want to watch that leave, either.” I mean, it makes absolutely no sense to go to a city where you know that they are mind controlling everyone human. By insisting J’onn take her, she is crippling him by making him shield both of their minds from the signal. She puts them both in danger. In fact, she’s immediately mind controlled.

Syd: Right, she’s a liability the entire time she’s there. I know they’re setting her up so she’ll do something heroic next episode, but from what we’ve seen, this was just the dumbest idea. J’onn would have been so much more effective on his own rather than babysitting Alex. Though, it should be noted that J’onn looks so fucking silly. That Martian suit looks so silly. I know I haven’t talked about it because I’m still infuriated that he’s on the show because the twist that brought him in is the dumbest fucking thing in the world and I’m still upset about it. But now we’ve reached the point where we can talk about how stupid looking his stupid costume is.

Margaret: They haven’t really had much luck with costumes other than Supergirl’s.

Syd: That’s true. Supergirl has a great costume.

Margaret: She has a fantastic costume! But, maybe they spent the entire costume budget on it, because as we saw with Silver Banshee and any other hero or villain —

Syd: Livewire looked okay.

Margaret: That’s because she was wearing regular clothes.

Syd: She had a white wig, she was made up a bit.

Margaret: That wig is terrible, but at least they didn’t try to do full supervillain costume on her.

Syd: It looked fine! For this show, it was fine.

Margaret: They just aren’t really that good in the costume department. They keep going to comic accurate costumes that they don’t seem to have the budget for.

Before they leave for National City, though, Alex tries to tell Eliza about how Jeremiah is alive and J’onn J’onzz stops her because he says there is too much going on right now. After they fix National City, they can tell her when they get back. No! Maybe you should tell her now! If you never get back, she should know that her husband is alive. That’s kind of an important thing. Somebody should go after the husband that has been tortured for ten years.

Syd: That is a good point. She could contact other people, at the very least. If they never get back, I don’t know what other superheros are on this planet. I was going to say that they’re the only people on the planet who are able to accomplish anything, but even that isn’t true. Superman has known about Project Cadmus for years and has done nothing about it. They still haven’t addressed that.

Margaret: They will never address it.

Syd: I know they won’t, but it’s still an annoying thing to set up in this world. If they’re going to use Project CADMUS, why would they set up that Superman knows about it? Why would they have a line to say that and not address why he hasn’t done anything about it, or at least told anyone about it?

Margaret: Because it’s not actually Superman in this world. It’s evil Bizarro Superman.

Syd: No, he’s busy in Snyderverse, killing African warlords. This is kind of demi-Superman who only exists when you think about him. He just fades out of existence for long stretches of time.

Then, they have the fight scene where J’onn fights Indigo. Is Indigo super fast now?

Margaret: She can disappear, I guess? Because she’s information.

Syd: It just seems to me that they’re making up super powers for her as they go along.

Margaret: She’s such a nonentity to me that I don’t remember much about her other than nukes and stretchy arms, which she did again this episode.

Syd: I was going to say that it’s just that they make no attempt to establish what her capabilities, but that’s not exactly true. They do establish her capabilities, she has internet powers. She is a stand-in for Brainiac who just had a forcefield and shrink ray when he first showed up (which, I know, was a dozen reboots ago). They didn’t do a great job of explaining her internet powers, but least that’s something that’s established. Now she shows up and has super speed and claw hands. What is her deal?

Margaret: The disappearing thing she used to be able to do because of traveling through the internets. But, there was no phone or computer nearby. Maybe it’s just the general atmosphere of WiFi?

So, then, she supposedly kills J’onn J’onzz.

Syd: She talks about how she loves wiping out a species, despite the fact that she knows there’s another Martian!

Margaret: Well, I guess, to her, those are not real Martians?

Syd: Because she’s racist against White Martians, too. That’s what that thing at the beginning was about. It’s not that they hate White Martians for being Nazis, the Kryptonians are racist against White Martians. This has layers upon layers, man.

Margaret: And then Alex is immediately mind controlled and taken to Fort Rozz, wherever that is. Cat and Kara have a talk about hope and fear, which I liked. I like it when Cat teaches Kara and Supergirl about a thing.

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Syd: I know, but this is probably the worst one, unless you count the Lighthouse method speech.

Margaret: Lighthouse method on is definitely the worst, but this one was cute and had a good message. I’m all about Cat saying that their solution shouldn’t be about violence, it should be about hope because it’s more powerful. I didn’t like that she brought up the Kara impersonating Cat to create a reunion with her son as the shining example of what hope can do for a person, but the message as a whole was nice.

Syd: From that, Cat convinces Supergirl to use hope, then Kara convinces Lex not to use the bomb because she has another plan. I’m hoping that she explained to him what the plan was off camera because to just say, “We are going to use hope.” And have Lex say, “Okay, that sounds good” seems like a bit of a stretch. They didn’t explain it to use the audience so it will be a surprise.

Then, they take Alex to Fort Rozz and she has this kind of astonished line of, “So, this is where you were the whole time?” Where are they?

Margaret: Fort Rozz.

Syd: Physically, where are they? Are they in space? Are they in a desert?

Margaret: They are in a dark room with a large projector. That is all Fort Rozz is now.

Syd: It hasn’t been important up till now, but Fort Rozz has to be somewhere. Even if they don’t have the budget to show a physical location, they could at least have them say it.

Margaret: I don’t think it’s that Alex knows where they are, I think they’re just saying, “In case you didn’t know, this weird dark room we keep showing the Kryptonians in is Fort Rozz, btw.” It doesn’t make sense why they don’t tell us where Fort Rozz is in the actual scheme of things, I guess we’ll find out next episode.

Syd: So, they go to this TV station where their plan is to broadcast a symbol of hope to all the people of National City. This is exactly the same way that Professor X beats the Z’nox – by gathering all of the love from the good people on Earth and thinking it at the aliens, which the aliens can’t handle.UX065-4.jpgZ'nox beaten.png

Margaret: Doctor Who did it, too.

Syd: They also ripped off X-Men?

Margaret: Yeah, sort of. Though, it was the entire world thinking the word Doctor at psychic satellites all at once, which apparently can de-age a Time Lord back into young David Tennant and make him fly for a bit.

Syd: I’m interested to see what they think is a clear, unambiguous symbol of hope that everyone in National City will interpret it the same way.

Margaret: It’s going to be Supergirl.

Syd: It better fucking not be Supergirl.

Margaret: Maybe the S, then. As they’ve talked about “what the S stands for” all season.

Syd: So then, Supergirl is called outside where Alex is waiting for her in fucking Kryptonite battle armor. It is the dumbest looking thing. I know that I just gave Manhunter from Mars shit for having a dumb looking costume, but it is nothing compared to the bullshit they have Alex wearing.

Margaret: Not to mention, they have Kal-El under their mind control. Why don’t they send Superman to defeat her?

Syd: Because they don’t have an actor playing him. Instead, a Kryptonian outfitted someone who hates him with the only weaponry that can kill him, because there’s no way that could possibly backfire. You would think they would send the Kryptonian they have under their mind control, which would still have a huge emotional impact.

Margaret: You would think! And yet.

Syd: And, it would not look as dumb. As much as Superman’s costume looks really dumb without the red trunks, it’s not as dumb as Kryptonite battle armor.

Margaret: I know. So, they wind up to fight and then! Cliffhanger!

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GRADING THE EPISODE:

Margaret: I’m at a D.

Syd: Yeah, I was going to say that, too. D. It’s interesting, because halfway through the episode I was thinking this might be a C until I realized that they weren’t going to resolve anything this episode. Anything I hoped they were going to do, I was going to have to wait another week to see if they actually do it. Fuck that. This episode in itself is a D.

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