Supergirl – Luthors
By: Michelle Lopez
Twenty years ago in the Luthor Manor, Lillian (Brenda Strong) coaches Lex (Aidan Fink) in chess as Lionel Luthor (Ian Butcher) ushers a young, scared Lena (Camille Marty) into the house. Lionel introduces Lillian as Lena’s new mom and Lex as her brother. Lillian looks pissed as Lex offers to teach Lena chess.
Present day in the alien bar, Kara (Melissa Benoist) watches news coverage of Lillian’s trial. Mon-El (Chris Wood) is pleased as punch that she’s in jail and hopes that they bring her out to the town square for public shaming like on Daxam. Kara drags the conversation away from long abandoned punishments and asks about Eve (Andrea Brooks). Mon-El claims things are great and quickly runs off to fetch another round for Kara and her friends who are at the bar to meet with Alex (Chyler Leigh) and her new partner. Winn (Jeremy Jordan) and James (Mehcad Brooks) try to get info out of Kara on Alex’s new man, but all she’ll say is that they’re a cop. Alex walks up with her girl, Maggie (Floriana Lima), and send the humans of the group into a fit of awkward rambling while the aliens wonder what the big deal is. J’onn (David Harewood) already knew because he’s psychic and not blinded by our cultural heteronormativity. Mon-El arrives with drinks and is disappointed to discover the big news is that Alex and Maggie are dating because he also is not blind. He is a bit confused about why two girls dating is a big deal. Me too Mon-El, me too.
James pretends to care about Alex, but is more interested in making sure “the cop” doesn’t know he’s Guardian. On the news, Kara and James see that Lena (Katie McGrath) is testifying against her mother. Kara sympathizes with her friend while James rolls his eyes since Lena is a Luthor and anyone with the name Luthor is a villain regardless of evidence to the contrary. Kara heads to L Corp to comfort Lena, leaving James and his massive ego to sulk.
Kara visits a frustrated Lena. Everyone has got opinion about her and no matter what she does or says she can’t change their minds. Lillian’s lawyers downplayed Lena’s testimony, dismissing it as an estranged daughter lashing out at her mother. Lena is glad she testified because she said her piece and dropped the weight of her family’s legacy that she’d been dragging around her whole life. Lena just shut the door on her Luthor name so of course Lillian has requested a visit from her. Kara doesn’t judge Lena for her feelings on the matter, instead offering an alternative view based on her life experience. Maybe if Lena tells Lillian what she’s had bottled up she’d feel better and be able to fully break away from the Luthor name.
In prison, Lillian sinisterly smirks as Lena enters the room. She snarkily compliments Lena’s evisceration of her in court which almost sends Lena packing, but she apologizes and agrees to play nice. Lillian tells Lena a story about the Luthor family. Lionel had an affair which resulted in Lena. After Lena’s mother passed away, Lionel, against Lillian’s wishes, brought Lena to join their family. Lillian claims she was distant with Lena because Lionel didn’t want them bonding since it reminded him of his cheating, so she stayed away. She asks Lena for a second chance and Lena considers it because who hasn’t dreamt of a parent owning up to their flaws. Elsewhere in the prison, Mr. Corben (Frederick Schmidt) receives a package of Kryptonite in his cell so he can power up and be Metallo again.
In court, Mr. Corben is questioned by the prosecutor about his relationship with Lillian. He claims she saved his life by turning him into Metallo and he happily joined Cadmus. He believes aliens should be wiped from the earth because they all bring violence and disease. They’re different from humans therefore are a threat to our way of life. The judge has had enough of his xenophobic nonsense and tells the prosecutor to get her witness under control. With that Metallo attacks the courtroom and frees Lillian.
At the DEO Kara, Alex and Maggie speculate where Metallo got Kryptonite when Clark got rid of it. Maggie gets a call that confirms Metallo got the Kryptonite the previous night and that the only visitor to the prison was Lena . Ergo, Lena’s suspect number one. Kara rushes over the L Corp to warn Lena, but Maggie’s a few minutes behind her armed with some damning video evidence and pair of handcuffs with Lena’s name on them.
There is complete and utter mayhem at Catco as they rush to get story of Lena’s arrest on next day’s front page. Kara is outraged that Snapper (Ian Gomez) would put someone who hasn’t been confirmed guilty on the cover. People rarely distinguish between innocent and not guilty so even if Lena’s name gets cleared this cover will always follow Lena and taint people’s view of her. Snapper doesn’t care and James sides with Snapper. Kara storms out pissed and ready to go find the evidence she needs to save her friend. James chases after her to try and convince her to agree with him. To James, the fact that Lena turned her own mother despite it being for the greater good is reason enough to not trust her. You can’t trust someone who turns on family, but you also can’t trust someone who stands by as bad things happen. Kara’s baffled by James’s circular argument and biased against anyone named Luthor. So, she leaves and runs into Eve. It turns out she and Mon-El only went on one date, which he spent pining over Kara.
Metallo shows up at the prison to break Lena out, but Guardian’s been camped out all night watching Lena’s cell. Guardian attacks Metallo and with a Kryptonite shot to the shoulder Guardian goes down and Metallo kidnaps a none too pleased Lena. At the DEO, Alex patches up James’s shoulder while Kara brainstorms how to find and rescue Lena. This is too much for James, he can’t understand why Kara will stand by Lena despite all the evidence proving her guilt. Why does Kara have complete faith in Lena, but none in Guardian or his ability to protect her? Kara has faith in Lena because she has never done anything to prove to Kara that she doesn’t deserve her trust. James hid Guardian from her for weeks, has repeatedly gone behind her back and insists that she, the alien with superpowers, needs his protection. Of course, she’s going to side with Lena.
Kara storms off to the training room to blow off some steam by destroying tit. Mon-El wanders in and much like Kara did with Lena earlier he acknowledges Kara’s struggle without trying to fix it for her. She assumes Mon-El is there to try and convince her to turn on Lena, but Mon-El thinks Kara should follow her instincts. She believes in people that nobody else does – like him. Kara apologizes for giving him the cold shoulder. She was mad when she thought he was dating Eve. Mon-El is confused, if Kara doesn’t have feelings for him why does she care who he dates? Kara tries to backtrack, but ends up running away to go find Lena.
Lena is in a van with Lillian and Metallo and she’s pissed. Breaking out of jail makes her look a hundred times more guilty than she did before. Lillian laughs because she understands the system. People don’t care if Lena’s innocent, they want the picture they’ve painted of the Luthor family to hold, much like James has done all episode. Lillian plays some mind games with Lena and tries to convince her that nobody is left on her side, except for Lillian of course. They arrive at one of Lex’s secret facilities full of anti-alien technology. Lillian never cared cared about Lena. She just needs Lena’s Luthor DNA to unlock the vault in the facility and access the weapons inside. Lena refuses and attempts to flee, but Cyborg Superman shows up, restrains her and forces her to open the vault.
At the DEO, Kara impatiently waits while Winn works on analyzing the video footage of Lena taking the Kryptonite. He discovers the signature of Cyborg Superman in the code and manages to isolate the original footage which shows him taking the Kryptonite not Lena. With Lena’s name cleared all that’s left is to trace Metallo’s Kryptonite signature and to go rescue Lena. Winn identifies the location, but the Kryptonite is breaking down at an exponential rate and is going to blow up in a matter of minutes. Alex and Winn try to get Kara to stay because getting caught in the explosion would kill her, but Kara’s going to save her friend even if it does.
At Lex’s facility, Lillian swoons over Lex’s gizmos and gadgets and Lena realizes how deranged her mother truly is. Lena’s shocked when Supergirl crashes in letting her know that Kara Danvers still believes in her, disproving Lillian’s earlier point about being completely alone. Lillian tosses some sonic device at Supergirl, which cripples her and Lena begs them to not hurt her. Lillian is out for revenge and she instructs Metallo to lock Supergirl in the vault. Through her pain Supergirl warns them that the Kryptonite in Metallo is going to explode, but the warning goes unheard. She destroys the device and tries to fight off Metallo as his Kryptonite continues to get more and more unstable. Lillian and Cyborg Superman realize Supergirl wasn’t lying and sneak out the back, leaving an unconscious Lena behind. J’onn shows up just as the Kryptonite reaches critical mass, which gives Supergirl the time she needs to grab Lena and they all fly away beating the explosion.
At Catco Kara is riding high because she was right about Lena. Snapper explains that the news is whatever the current truth is. Yesterday Lena was a villain, today she’s not. He sends Kara out to go write a front page exclusive on Lena. James stops Kara to apologize for his behavior and they agree to stop playing the protection game and go back to being friends.
At L Corp, Lena gushes over Kara’s amazing article and Kara thanks her for the office full of flowers, which is totally something a platonic buddy would do. Lena thanks Kara for being the friend and family she’s never had. Kara’s her hero for believing in her when nobody else would. Supergirl may have saved her, but Kara is the one who believed in her enough to send help. Kara leaves and Lena flashes back to a time she beat Lex at chess. Lillian declares that maybe Lena is a Luthor afterall. Back in Lena’s office the music changes from happy to menacing as Lena studies her chessboard.
Mon-El shows up at Kara’s apartment per her request. Kara’s got some feelings to share. She’s great at protecting everyone, but when it comes to taking care of herself she’s at a bit of a loss. She tried to have it all last season, the guy, the career and being Supergirl yet it backfired and she got hurt. She decided to focus on her career and Supergirl, but as this season has developed everyone close to Kara has been pulled away from her for one reason or another leaving her isolated. The only person who’s been around has been Mon-El and his kindness toward her has slowly been chipping away at her walls and filling the void left behind by the loss of those closest to her. She decides it’s worth a shot with Mon-El and they lean in for a kiss when an alien zips into the room, introduces himself as Mr. Mxyzptlk (Peter Gadiot) and declares his love for Kara.