Supergirl and her merry band are trying to adapt to all the changes in the world since Crisis reset reality. Despite history being rewritten and various resurrections, the biggest complication might well be the return of Lex Luthor, who the whole world now thinks is a hero. Complications from his latest scheme, as he obsesses about Leviathan, cause all sorts of ripples as an old friend returns in “Back From the Future, Part One.”
The show opens with a jail break, staged by a familiar face with a sort of Rube Goldberg improvised weapon, who then brings a doppleganger of someone we know with him after quoting a classic sci fi line. At Kara’s place, there’s a girls’ night of sympathy for Nia in the wake of her recent breakup with Brainiac 5. Desperate to change the subject, Nia asks about the “new” DEO, which does have some aspects that sound like an improvement. Or a bribe.
From the sympathy of friends to the scheming of enemies, Lex meets with the Winn Schott of another Earth, and winds him up to commit various forms of mayhem. It’s a weird conversation, wherein we learn this Winn’s world didn’t have a Lex, and our Lex is up to something far-reaching. Next on Lex’s visiting list is Lena, who is having problems with a few alterations to reality. Lex makes some grandiose promises and mentions another ego-stroking event for him tomorrow.
At a convention that fits our newest villain, Lex grouses about figure availability, then runs into Kara Danvers and William Day. William apparently lost his subtlety when the world changed, and launches a lot of questions about Lex. Not pleased, the mad genius pulls Kara aside for a few quiet threats, which rattle her enough that Kara’s control slips a bit. I expect that’s going to come out of her work budget. He does coin the word “Lexpose” which I kinda loved. Things get more chaotic when Alex reports a sniper at the convention (I’m not sure why Alex is there. Luthor protection?), and someone makes a dramatic entrance to foil the attack, but the bad guy gets away. Our new mystery hero proves to be Winn, living up to the episode title, with all sorts of new gadgets. Why he’s back alone with none of the Legionnaires helping him is never mentioned.
The aftermath of the shooting attempt leaves several people frazzled and/or rattled, but there’s some catching up among long-parted friends. Winn fills our heroes in about his new life in the future, while Brainy looks increasingly worried about recent events. Brainy is still doing some behind the scenes facilitating for Luthor, but gets foiled by Alex in his latest endeavor. Completing her assignment from Lex, Lena pays a call on Andrea, but learns about more changes in the timeline. Lena updates her brother and tries to figure out what to do next.
The heroes pay a call on J’Onn, getting a tour of his newest project, and Alex displays what seems to be a heretofore unknown fear of elevators. J’Onn explains his thinking, and he’s got some great points. The new location is dubbed the Tower, likely a nod to the Justice League’s Watchtower. The truth of the Crisis apparently never made it to the future, and Winn gets a crash-course in what’s changed, which he handles poorly. Brainy does some more covert work for Lex, and has a discussion with the man himself. The new villain posts a video and takes full advantage of the Internet age and the power of anonymity, making some demands and threats which disgust Alex and Supergirl, and prompt Winn to share some hopeful news from the future. While Brainy spreads some lies, Kara and William run into some complications at work. Andrea really is a menace.
Our bad guy monologues to himself (I guess he needs henchmen?) about his plans and makes a few ominous statements. Kara brings Nia to the new secret headquarters, which thrills her until she sees Brainy. As with some other visitors from the future, Winn is thrilled to meet Nia, and namedrops her descendant, Nura Nal, Dream Girl of the Legion of Super Heroes. Nia tries to use her powers to find the bad guy, who is apparently computer-trace proof, but has a very odd dream filled with imagery that seems to be more about her emotional state than the missing villain. Winn gives her a pep talk with some advice from the future, and shows off some of his cool toys. She goes back to try again, and Kara chats with Winn about his future family. She also gets some news that flusters her a bit about future naming trends. The team rushes off to try and find the bad guy, but they’re a few steps behind. They do find a lead or two.
Using information from Brainiac 5, Lex does some breaking and entering and hacking, finding a hint about what he’s so desperately searching for. Andrea does a big public pitch about her Obsidian tech that I find frankly a bit disturbing, but fortunately she gets interrupted by a villain attack. I wonder it that’s a sub-set of insurance in that world? There’s a lot of chaos, a showdown, and some high-speed saves from the Girl of Steel, which ends with the villain seemingly vanquished.
In the aftermath, Supergirl worries about a co-worker, while Brainy and Winn have a talk. Brainy makes a confession which Winn really should share but doesn’t seem inclined to do. Kara goes on a different kind of rescue mission, so we can get most of the good guys assembled for game night at her place. Lex visits his sister and actually lives up to his earlier promise, delighting her. In the bowels of the DEO evidence vault, we get a big hint that all is not well and what part two of this episode is going to be about.
What I liked: It was nice to see Winn again. While I’m sure it was painful for him, I’m glad Brainy has realized he can’t control Lex’s machinations. J’Onn’s new secret is a great idea, and I’m glad he did it. I don’t like Lex at all, but I have to admit he’s damn good at what he does, and Jon Cryer continues to do a great job performing the character.
What I didn’t: Alex apparently unnerved by an elevator was just weird and out of character. The bad guy shouldn’t be this formidable against this collection of heroes. I don’t get why Winn is alone, or why he’s keeping Brainy’s secret.
It was a mostly good episode, and the writers are certainly running with the new possibilities from the post-Crisis world. I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5, and I’m wondering how part two will go.