Picking right up where last week’s episode left off, we find Kara is in a symbiotic comatose state thanks to a weird alien spider lily. That’s certainly not the reward she was hoping to come home to after defeating and saving her Bizarro counterpart. The episode lifts its plot from the famous Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons Superman storyline “For The Man Who Has Everything.” In both variants, the creature-like plant (the Black Mercy) has hypnotic effects that force the victims into hallucinogenic dream worlds while it sucks the life literally out of them.
When both Winn and James become suspicious of Kara’s absence from work and lack of communication, they and Alex go to Kara’s apartment to dig around. When they arrive they find Kara with the Black Mercy attached to her chest, so Alex calls in a D.E.O. medical evac. Less time of the episode is spent in Kara’s Black Mercy-induced dreamworld than is spent on the attempts by Kara’s squad to save her from the symbiote. Even so, the episode feels very cohesive and linear, despite the various location-jumping and reality distortion taking place for the titular heroine. Alex brings both James and Winn along with her when she arrives at D.E.O. headquarters with Supergirl’s unconscious body.
Before enlisting his help to help Supergirl overcome it, Alex accuses Maxwell Lord of creating or commissioning the deadly ivy. When it’s discovered that Non and Astra are responsible for the unwelcome foliage, J’onn realizes that the current worldwide communication breakdown caused by solar flares might just be the perfect distraction for a larger unknown plot. Winn does some digging into Satellite communication relays and realizes that there are signals still operating intensely on the C-Band. Wouldn’t you know it, they’re being broadcast with help from Maxwell Lord’s servers. Turns out, that break-in at Lord Technologies in the mid-season finale has a payoff. We already knew that Non and his crew didn’t steal anything from Lord. Now we know they broke in with the intent to leave something behind: a piggyback virus.
This long game that General Astra and Non have been playing involves something called Myriad, which they tap into worldwide satellite relays. In DC comics, Myriad is the alter ego of person named Sasha Green. Supergirl’s Myriad, however, is likely to be no such thing. Already we’ve seen a rather large departure in the way the show has used the character of Hank Henshaw, so it’s looking like Myriad is some sort of technological algorithm that Non plans to use to “cure” the Earth of the humans. The whole tapping-into-worldwide-technology bit reminds me a bit of Doctor Who and “Atmos,” but Myriad looks to be a lot less gassy.
Astra does have a redeeming moment in what seems to be her last episode (alive, and not as a flashback appearance) when she gives Alex the idea to save Kara from the Black Mercy. Though Astra’s conflicted about Non’s methods, she ultimately still feels inclined toward saving the planet in spite of its inhabitants, and thus ends up meeting Alex once again at the end of the episode. When she fights both Danvers and J’onn—eventually threatening J’onzz’s life at knifepoint—Alex makes a heat-of-the-battle decision and slays Astra with the D.E.O.’s kryptonite sword.
When J’onn takes the blame for the death, Kara manages to say her goodbyes in Astra’s final moments, but her reaction seems to suggest that she had less hope for Astra to convert to the “good side” than ever before. I suppose there really was no conceivable fairy-tale ending wherein Kara and Astra would’ve been able to work together in the future, but losing Laura Benanti as an occasional guest star sure doesn’t feel super. It’s clear that killing Astra will weigh heavily on Alex’s conscious in episodes to come, though, and it may just be the thing that divides Kara and Alex past the breaking point.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you excited to see more of Krypton, even in such hallucinogenic ways? Are you ready for the eventual ultimate Non v. Kara showdown? Sound off below!
“Whole milk has not passed my lips since I rode a bike with streamers on the handles.” – Cat Grant
“That woman makes me miss my alien prison.” – J’onn J’onzz
“Kara saved me from a death without honor. As a fellow soldier, I expect you understand the meaning of that.” – General Astra
“I may have been born on Krypton, but I choose Earth, and I will protect it until my dying breath.” – Kara
“Let It Go” by James Bay
Blink and you’ll miss it:
For the first time, Cat Grant gets even her own version of Kara’s name wrong, replacing “Kira” with “Karla” during J’onn J’onzz’s decoy operation.