New listener, Laura, wrote in to share thoughts about the Post-Crisis world we now find our characters living in during the Supergirl season five episode titled, “The Bottle Episode”!
Greetings, Supergirl Radio:
I am a relatively new listener having binged from the start of season 2 to the Crisis cliffhanger during the December hiatus. (I skipped your character focus and other supplemental episodes so I have something to revisit over the summer.)
Having listened to your podcast on episode 510 “The Bottle Episode”, I wanted to share some observations and feedback. First, I understand your frustration with wanting to know details about how life on Earth-Prime works—I think we are supposed to feel that way because it parallels how Kara feels right now.
It seems the people of Earth-Prime fall into three* main categories:
The Paragons-These people remember life before the Crisis from their perspectives, the events of the Crisis, and are aware that life on Earth-Prime is different than it was before. However, their knowledge of how life is now comes from experiencing it or being filled in by someone else (or research).
- The heroes who fought in the Crisis (Alex, Nia, Brainy, Kal-El, Ray) who had their missing past filled in by J’onn with the “magical boop.” They are aware of the history of Earth-Prime and what happened in the Crisis, but for them-they feel as if they have lived all the history of Earth-Prime instead of it starting with the reboot of the universe**.
- Everyone else—the masses—who remember having lived on the planet all their lives and remember a shared planetary history. Presumably, any aliens on Earth-Prime have similar memories of having come to Earth and then share the same ones as the human population. There is ONE exception: Lena Kieran Luthor.
- Lena-Because Lex made a deal with The Monitor trading his help in the Crisis for Lena coming through unscathed with her memories intact—she is more in line with the Paragons than those whose memories J’onn booped. Lena remembers all Pre-Crisis events including all that she had learned about Leviathan from Eve and well as from Brainy before she and Kara went to the Fortress. She remembers the Crisis right up until the last Earth was wiped out. She does not have a memory of having always lived on Earth-Prime as if the Crisis never happened. This is why when Supergirl visits, she is researching what the Luthors have been up to in the Earth-Prime timeline. It probably explains how she knew where to find Lillian.
- There is a question as to whether the members of Leviathan have memory of the Pre-Crisis events. Female Brainiac-5 says they fought Leviathan on her Earth and failed so it is possible Leviathan existed on all Earths pre-Crisis.
The changes we know of so far:
- The DEO is now out in the open and is a subsidiary of LuthorCorp. (Says so on the big seal on the floor of the DEO.) Lex is also marketing their services to the public. The commercial shows various alien threats of the past suggesting the public has a memory of those.
- The heroes of Earth-Prime are unaware of the other Earths we know got rebooted. Brainy says “unless there is a vibrational frequency henceforth unknown to man”, the multiverse is gone. Marc Guggenheim, EP of the crossover, confirmed on Twitter that our heroes don’t know about the other Earths.
- It appears that Andrea might not have been Acrata on this Earth. We know that Gemma had just replaced Rama Khan within Leviathan in 508 when he failed in his efforts. She is all about tech, whereas Rama Khan was about the physical earth and the elements. Certainly looks like Gemma is going to use Obsidian tech and Andrea to accomplish Leviathan goals. Lena and her project Non Nocere may get pulled into the mix and possibly, even the technology of Hope the A.I. Gemma suggests changes to Obsidian that she says would be great for harmed and damaged people. I got the impression on the podcast that you took “damaged” to mean something sinister. I interpreted her comment to refer to people with severe injuries. There is an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine where after losing his leg in the Dominion War, Nog spends an enormous amount on time using the Holosuite. When he is in there, he is unaware that he has an artificial leg. So when Gemma mentioned damaged people, I thought of war veterans like Kelly was hired to help. Using Obsidian tech to escape the confines of a physically damaged body and being able to move like before being injured would be highly desirable. The downside (and where this is probably headed) is that that escape would become highly addictive.
- I think if we see Eve again, she will no longer be joined with Hope. The showrunners for each Arrowverse show were told they could use the Crisis reboot to correct anything they felt like changing in the past. Lex indicates that Lena’s project failed even though using Myriad was a brilliant adaptation of its properties, but we don’t know at what point it failed. We do know that many viewers consider merging Hope with Eve to be crossing a line. If that never happened on this Earth, then one of Lena’s big mistakes is gone.
- If Andrea was never Acrata, then they had to find another way to make William come to CatCo. Changing his friend’s backstory does that.
Finally—how did this Earth end up so different? Two words: Lex Luthor. When Spectre-Ollie did his little cryptic thing about sparks and fanning the flames and the Paragons were reseeding/rebooting the Earth(s) with their assorted virtues, there was one anomaly…Lex. So the Paragons of Hope, Love, Honor, Courage, Destiny, and Humanity are all focusing on their specialties, and what is Lex doing? Lex replaced the Paragon of Truth. Many an actor who plays a villain will quote a saying: “The villain is the hero of his own story.” Lex focused on his Truth and rewrote history to see himself as the hero, the Man of Tomorrow, the good guy that works with Supergirl, who cures rare diseases with his sister and has a mother that runs a charitable foundation. He is still scheming and has been for some time, it would seem, based on the conversation with Lillian at the end of the episode.
We were promised a Black Mirror/evils of technology story and a fight for Lena’s soul. The first eight episodes laid the groundwork for those plots Pre-Crisis and the remainder can flesh them out. Whether the fight for Lena’s soul is because of Lex or Leviathan and Obsidian or both remains to be seen. One huge question: Did Lex have something surgical done to Lena? He mentions a methohexital hangover. That is not a drug you take as a sleeping pill. It is surgical anesthesia. Lena wakes up disoriented on the couch in her own apartment. If they just wanted that to happen, the writers could have given her a hangover from drinking too much. If I were Lena, I’d be examining every inch of my skin for any marks suggestive of a procedure. If she finds something, she’d better swallow her pride and ask her good friend Kara to do a quick X-ray sweep for implants, trackers, or other insidious insurance policies that Lex may have taken against her eventual rebellion.
Here’s another big hypothetical question: If the Paragon of Truth can re-write reality while the world reboots, can he fool a Truthseeker alien?