Supergirl: Dare to Trust A Luthor?

Bettina Strauss/The CW
Bettina Strauss/The CW

I won’t lie, when I heard this week’s episode of Supergirl was entitled “Luthors,” and going to be all about Lena and Lillian, I got giddy with anticipation. In recent weeks Supergirl has felt a bit overcrowded with all of the new characters that have been introduced throughout Season 2, but Katie McGrath’s Lena and Brenda Strong’s Lillian have been two of my absolute favorite additions. The pair have been absent since the midseason finale, and frankly, them back in full force this week was such a welcome change from having to watch Mon-El and James “play” superhero.

Why has Supergirl not been using Lena Luthor more? After watching her on shows such as Merlin and Slasher, I’ve learned one thing: when one has Katie McGrath on their show, they should be using Katie McGrath to the full extent of her abilities. Outside of McGrath’s talents though, there’s so much story to mine with the character of Lena Luthor. Thankfully, at least for this week, the writers realized that and brought us an episode all about Lena and her mother.

While I’m not sure how much the flashback scenes really added to the story, as it’s been pretty clear all along that Lillian didn’t want Lena, it was nice to get a glimpse into some Luthor family history. I much preferred the scenes of McGrath and Strong squaring off against each other in Lillian’s jail cell after Kara urged her to go see her mother. That’s the thing about parents, sometimes no matter how hard we try or how horrible they are to us, at the end of the day we all still hold out hope that they’ll change and be the parents we want them to be. Unfortunately, just as she’s been all season, Lillian was smart enough to anticipate her daughter’s actions and preyed upon her emotions to get what she wanted.

Bettina Strauss/The CW
Bettina Strauss/The CW

Look, I know that Lillian is a bad guy here, but I have such a hard time truly hating her. Brenda Strong is playing this role with such a wicked combination of brains, malice and glee that I can’t help but enjoy her scenes. While I don’t want Lillian Luthor and Cadmus to succeed, I do hope that this wasn’t the last of her and that we’ll be seeing her back soon. If for nothing else, things between mother and daughter seem unresolved and it’d be fun to see Lena get a chance at some revenge on dear old mom. On the other hand, Lillian has a pretty good point that they are the only Luthors left, so would Lena take the chance on her mother one more time if she was presented with it? Remember, it’s very hard to truly turn our backs on our parents…

Lillian Luthor: “We’re the only two Luthors left. We need to be there for each other.”

Lena being framed and having Kara be the only one to believe her is a story we’ve all seen on many other shows, and it was no mystery as to how it’d turn out. Still, I’m glad that the writers went that route, if for nothing else than to solidify the Kara and Lena friendship. One by one, every member of Kara’s inner circle — even Alex and J’onn — told her that they believed Lena was guilty, and yet, she remained firm in her belief in her friend. It was no surprise that Cadmus was framing Lena, but still nice to see Kara routinely stand by Lena and try to prove her innocence. While she was finally proven right in the end, and we did actually get a James apology, the path there was not an easy one.

The end scene between Kara and Lena left me with quite a few feelings and I’m not entirely sure they were all ones of friendship. I understand that Kara spent a good portion of the episode figuring out whether or not she has romantic feelings for Mon-El, but I also know that I don’t send my friends enough flowers to fill up their entire office. So Supergirl writers, I don’t know what game you’re playing here, but that scene just sent all the Supercorp shipper hearts a flutter for sure.

Lena: “No one has ever stood up for me like that.”

Kara: “Well, now you have someone who will stand up for you always.”

Lena: “Supergirl may have saved me, but Kara Danvers, you are my hero.”

Regardless of whether or not you ‘ship, there’s no denying that this episode brought Kara and Lena closer together. Being aligned with a Luthor proved to be very dangerous for her cousin, but will Supergirl suffer the same fate? I really want to believe that Lena is different, that she’s not evil like her brother and mother, but the show has really left that up in the air — right down to that ominous music playing in that end scene! Can she be trusted?


I want to be like Kara and steadfast in the belief that she is good. But there’s something, maybe it’s just Katie McGrath being all deliciously Katie McGrath-like, that looms over the whole situation and has me scared that she’s going to make Kara regret ever putting her trust in Lena Luthor. There’s also a part of me hoping that Lena is just playing the long game. She’s clearly proven to have the Luthor intelligence and maybe she’s just going to pretend to be evil to get her mother once and for all. If that means a few episodes of Lena pretending to be bad and not playing nice I could totally be down for it. Regardless, the show has built in enough ambiguity, and McGrath plays things just right up to that edge without going over, that I’m completely intrigued and can’t wait to find out more!

I just hope the show realizes the wealth of story possibilities they have here with the Luthor/Cadmus plot and doesn’t backburner Lena once again for the Mon-El and Guardian stories. As Livewire pointed out a few episodes back, enough with these boys running around and playing dress up when we’ve got a woman who is a real life superhero! Let’s let Kara continue to do her thing, and if the boys want to provide back up then OK fine. But enough of them trying to steal the limelight, because if this week proved anything, it’s that the show is best when the ladies, mainly Kara herself, are front and center in the action.


Extra Super thoughts:
  • I really love that Maggie just hangs out now at the DEO and regularly works with the team. It’s great seeing her integrating more with the rest of the gang and being more than just Alex’s love interest.
  • However, it was great to see Alex finally introduce Maggie as her girlfriend to the rest of the gang. Everyone’s reactions were spot on, but the best had to go be J’onn with “Of course I knew, I’m psychic.”
  • I get that the show is not going to let the Mon-El/Kara romance story die out anytime soon, and while I wish the pair would remain more sibling-like, their story just felt a bit out of place with everything else going on this week. I mean didn’t Kara have enough to deal with worrying about Lena in jail and stopping Lillian that she didn’t need to stop time and again to figure out her feelings for Mon-El?
  • James finally apologizing to Kara was definitely a step in the right direction, however, I still can’t be bothered to care about Guardian. Can we just drop that storyline once and for all? There has to be a better storyline we can give him. There just has to be.


What did you think of “Luthors?” Sound off in the comments below!

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Showcase and The CW.