After disappearing since the winter finale, Lena Luthor and her mother, Lillian, are back on the Supergirl scene. Maybe it’s Lena’s long absence that inspired the repetitiveness of this story, but “Luthors” feels like a rerun, even though it is brand-new episode. Once again on Supergirl, Kara believes that Lena is innocent when all the other evidence suggests that she is super-duper guilty. Not even a great performance by Katie McGrath as Lena and the delight of seeing Brenda Strong go full supervillain with Lillian can save this episode from total boredom.
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Opening Old Wounds
Lillian is finally on trial for her many crimes. Lena testifies against her mother in court, and she is ready to put the Luthor name behind her. Yet Lillian calls Lena to prison, and this is precisely the moment — about 10 minutes into the episode — where things go completely off the rails. Lillian tells Lena that she is actually biologically a Luthor. She is the product of Lionel Luthor’s affair with another woman, and she was adopted after her biological mother died. This, according to Lillian, is why she was so distant from Lena growing up because Lionel didn’t want his wife around his love child.
While this would be a perfect time for Lillian to be manipulating her daughter with lies, this really does seem to be the truth. Lena is actually a Luthor. It’s just everything that Lillian does after this reveal that is pure 100% manipulation. Lillian manages to slip some kryptonite to John Corbin, aka Metallo, in prison. Metallo then uses his kryptonite to break Lillian out of her imprisonment in the middle of the trial. Lillian then pins all of these actions onto Lena, leading to Lena’s arrest. (Thanks to Cyborg Superman, she is very busy behind bars.) Despite Lena pleading that she is innocent, no one but Kara believes her. Lena just joined the show in season 2, and this feels like a story that has been told a dozen times.
Kara Against the World
It would be somewhat interesting, even though this has also been done, if Supergirl left us in doubt about Lena’s motivations. We could not know if Lena is being framed or not. Yet Supergirl lets us know from the start that Lena is innocent and there is nothing that she can do to stop her mother from framing. After Lena is arrested, Lillian sends Metallo to save her, but really, he just abducts her. While Katie McGrath does a wonderful job of playing the fear in Lena, “Luthors” does make Lillian much more terrifying than ever before. It’s not enough. The episode is really just Kara arguing with her friends that she believes in Lena, rehashing an episodes-old argument.
The most ardent of Kara’s naysayers is James. James tells Kara that he saw Clark go through the same thing with Lex Luthor. Clark believed Lex was his best friend, but really, Lex had him fooled. James believes that Lena is just as crafty as her brother. It’s an interesting idea, but there’s nothing in the episode to really support it. It could be an interesting example of proving how James and Kara explore the idea of guilt. Sadly, since we know that Lena is innocent of breaking her mother out of jail, James just kind of looks like a jerk. By the episode’s end, James and Kara reconcile, which is nice. As much as James was wrong romantically for Kara, season 2 is missing their friendship.
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Death and Decay
Eventually, Supergirl replaces the “Kara trying to preach Lena’s innocence” story with something slightly more interesting. Lillian takes Lena to a secret facility that Lex used to store all his Superman-killing devices. Any Superman nerd has to be just a little bit interested in all the Easter eggs and tech on display, especially after Lillian gets her hands on a few of them.
While Lillian and Lena are at this secret facility, Winn is able to prove Lena’s innocence (finally). Winn learns that Metallo is breaking down, and the episodes switches gears super quick. It’s all about Metallo now. The kryptonite that Metallo was given was synthetic, and it is corrupting his body, meaning eventually he is going to explode. Luckily, this corruption allows Winn to track Metallo, and that leads Kara right to Lena and Lillian.
Kara tries to warn them all about Metallo, but the running theme in the episode, though, is that no one believes Kara, so a fight breaks out. This would be a cool idea for a fight because the more Metallo uses his powers, the closer he gets to exploding. So Kara should be trying to fight Metallo without actually having him attack. Metallo is just a big dumb idiot, though, so it is just your standard fight scene. Yet another disappointment racked up for the episode.
Thanks to a last-minute assist by J’onn, Kara is able to save Lena, but Lillian escapes to live another day. The fact that we are getting more Brenda Strong as Lillian is about the only exciting thing that has happened so far.
The conclusion does nothing save the episode. Kara goes to Lena’s office afterwards, and Lena thanks her because she believes Kara is responsible for sending Supergirl. As soon as Kara leaves the office, though, Lena starts ominously playing with a chess piece and even more ominous music plays in the background. The implication is clear. Lena might be playing an even longer con than her mother is. Supergirl is right back at square one, in which Lena may or may not being evil. I think I speak for everyone when I say, who cares?
The only forward movement of the episode is that Kara learns that Mon-El’s date with Miss Tessmacher did not work out. This allows Kara to tell Mon-El her true feelings for him. This is a little rushed, but their entire relationship has been that way. The two are about to kiss and officially start a romance when they are interrupted by the random arrival of a magical man. The stranger announces himself as Mr. Mxyzptlk, and he proclaims his own love for Kara. Thus ends “Luthors,” a disappointing episode (from a great season) that should have been much, much better.
What do you think? Were you interested in Kara’s plight to prove Lena innocent? What do you think is really going on with Lena? Is she Lex 2.0 or was that all misdirection? Are you happy to know that Lillian Luthor survived to terrorize once again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Supergirl season 2 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)