Last episode featured the return of Winn Schott (twice), more scheming by Lex and Lena, and a set up for this second part of the story. Everyone is still settling in to the new world and their place in it, and there are various hiccups to deal with. I don’t think the writers have quite settled on what to do with all their revised characters, judging by how they are being used, or not used. There’s a lot of chaos to deal with in “Back From The Future, Part Two.”
Winn was very worried about his family and damage to his era last episode. So now that the threat is apparently dealt with, he goes out to a bar with some friends. It’s an interesting choice for the concerned family man. We learn that his Legion call-sign is “Computer Lad,” which is absolutely a terrible name, and he mentions fellow Legionnaires Chemical King and Lightning Lass, which was at least nice to hear. There is drinking, flirting, karaoke, and concern about both Lex’s scheming and Alex’s position as Director of the DEO.
Speaking of said scheming, Lex is on the phone with Brainiac 5 in full villain mode. To be clear, while I think Jon Cryer is doing an astounding job as Lex Luthor, I’m getting very sick of the character apparently holding all the cards and being ahead of everyone. They talk about Gemma Cooper, Alex Danvers, and upcoming technical glitches. As if on cue, Brainy gets strafed by a wave of attack drones just as the conversation ends. Brainy does a series of spectacular dodges (they seem to have replaced his force field belt with a remarkable acrobatics skill) and calls for help, leaving William and Kara alone at the bar for some awkwardness after their duet. Winn comes up with a really bad cover story to get Kara out of there so Supergirl can help.
The heroes go to help the beleaguered DEO, who are helpless without their named characters to save the day. Brainy isn’t doing much more than cowering, which is annoying to see since they’ve let him fight really well in the past. The new threat is revealed, there’s villain gloating, and another fight involving a rousing game of “Save the Agent” while Brainy hacks computers. The immediate threat countered, Alex directs some agents to do some fairly obvious things, while the others try and come up with a way to handle the larger situation. They finally come up with the beginnings of a plan when Lex calls in to snark at them. In an aside, Winn and Brainy have a hurried conversation about some secrets. After this, Lex and Brainiac bicker about Lex’s goals.
Things are not going smoothly at Obsidian Tech, where Andrea finds a flaw in their virtual reality. Kelly, in her one scene this episode, explains some techno-babble about the program having some flaws. The two off things here are Kelly speaking like a tech-geek when she’s a psychiatrist, not a technician, and the idea that eating in virtual reality can provide nutrients. If your actual body isn’t consuming something, it’s not being nourished. Later, Lena meets with Andrea and offers some help, but Andrea declines, remembering some of their rocky history. At the DEO, the heroes split up to deal with Toyman 2.5, with Winn and Supergirl going after him physically, Alex handling some technical complications, and Brainy looking troubled as some of Alex’s offhand comments hit home for his current situation.
Lex pays a call on Lena and they talk about developments at Obsidian. He’s unusually friendly and helpful, and she’s understandably suspicious. They come to another uneasy agreement, at least uneasy on Lena’s part. She does get a great look at a cup of coffee at the end of this scene. While they are hunting the enemy, Supergirl and Winn take time for some teasing about a new love interest and some unrevealed history behind what’s going on at the moment. Supergirl is haunted by what happened with her and Lena, and it’s coloring her current attempts at relationships. A lot. They get a surprise as they approach one of the monitors, while Alex has some new problems up in the command center.
Down in the maintenance tunnels of the DEO, Winn argues with the digital ghost of his father while Supergirl fights flying monkeys. How’s that for an odd sentence? Lex joins Gemma Cooper for some uninvited banter, business offers, and veiled statements. Supergirl gives another hope-based talk to Winn about people changing, while Alex makes a disturbing discovery and confronts a trusted ally. That results in a very tense conversation and some half-truths. Andrea tries to puzzle out why her new toy isn’t working right, and gets a visit from her mentor, Gemma Cooper. Cooper gives some not so subtle instructions to Andrea about what to do next. So, the formerly very strong character that was Lena is now taking orders from both Lex and Gemma. This is not character development, it’s regression.
Winn’s plan hits a snag when Toyman 2.5 proves to be more powerful than they thought. Using some Legion tech, Winn comes up with a desperate plan Supergirl doesn’t like. When some of the Lex-O-Suits (I do like that name) become active and attack the command center, the Girl of Steel races off to help. It was a nice touch that Alex didn’t know those suits were there. That’s definitely something Lex would do. While Winn fights with himself in cyberspace, Supergirl battles the suits and finds out they have a nasty kick. Brainy gets another interesting idea, I won’t quite call it a plan, and once again demonstrates agility on par with Spider-Man, which is not at all what he’s supposed to be good at.
The battle rages on with two fronts, as a lot of the heroes clash with possessed gadgets on the command deck, and Winn has a really rough family reunion inside the servers of the DEO. To no great surprise, eventually the heroes prevail, in part due to hope and optimism working out, which is kind of Supergirl’s thing. Lex demonstrates what a pain in the neck he is as he touches base with Lena, and she, in turn, shows how much further along the path to villainy she is. Elsewhere, at a lunch meeting, we see some of the bad guys plotting against other bad guys, which should get interesting down the road.
At J’Onn’s Tower (where was he during this big fight?), Winn gets ready to go home, gives some good advice to the Girl of Steel, and gets a lot of hugs before taking off. This scene makes me wonder- Brainy made such a big deal about Flight Rings a while back, Winn’s in the Legion, but he doesn’t have one? Why not? Alex makes an important decision which is going to alter the status quo a bit. Kara and William have an awkward scene at CatCo, and she utterly ignores Winn’s earlier advice. Our wrap up scenes are another tense meeting between Lex and Brainy, and an interesting ending to set up for next episode.
What I liked: It was nice seeing Winn being effective, instead of the geek/comic relief he used to be. I’m glad Brainy is at least conflicted about his double agent status, but I’m hoping this doesn’t drag on too long. Jon Cryer continues to be an excellent Lex Luthor, making me want to smack him most of the time he’s talking. I’m glad they mentioned a few more obscure Legionnaires.
What I didn’t: A lot of the Obsidian Tech stuff isn’t making sense to me. Why doesn’t Winn have a Flight Ring? Are we really supposed to believe Winn came back to the past and even made time for game night and a bar run, but not visiting his best friend? Kelly’s time is getting minimized, and Nia and Eve/Tess were both not here at all. Supergirl’s drama about lying is getting a little old. It’s called a secret identity. Most heroes manage it without this level of doubt and “O, Woe Is Me!” William should be careful; none of Kara’s past love interests are still on the show. I really don’t like the weakening of Lena.
This was an episode they could have done more with. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. Next time out should be interesting.