You would think that I would get tired of reiterating myself week after week. Raving about just how spectacular Supergirl has been this season. How it’s been far and away, in my opinion, the best and most consistent of the DC Comics shows this season. How it started the season off with a bang – with Superman for crying out loud! – and it’s managed to carry that momentum through its 12th episode.
When there are so many spectacular and solid episodes of a show, it’s hard to really pick your favorites. How can you choose one over so many other incredible hours of television? But I feel confident when I say that “Luthors” was probably my favorite episode this season.
“Luthors” had everything I wanted – and things that I didn’t know I needed. This was an episode that lived in the present, but also teased the potential of the future to come.
This episode felt like one hero’s journey and one potential antagonist’s origin story. This episode was so much bigger than itself as it tackled the material that it did with the Luthors. It made me realize that there really is so much more story to be told with the Luthors on Supergirl. That maybe Supergirl isn’t enough. Maybe – no, definitely, Luthors deserves its own spinoff. The brilliance that is Katie McGrath’s Lena Luthor and everything that comes with the Luthor family. It’s too rich to not explore in its entirety.
This episode also brought all of the shipper feels as I, unexpectedly, was buried in a sea of Karamel feels. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much in regards to Kara and Mon-El in this episode. I figured this hour would be too big to focus on anything but the Luthors. But damn was I caught off guard by the evolution of this romantic relationship over the course of this episode.
Right now I kind of want to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming. Because Supergirl continuously delivers knockout after knockout with its beautiful storytelling, its wonderfully complex characters, and the issues that it tackles and how it relates to our present reality. It’s so damn good. I’ll never get over raving about the brilliance Supergirl is and how week after week it continues to define itself as the DC show to aspire to be.
Let’s break this down:
Lena Luthor Vindicated?
Usually when a show introduces new characters it’s hit or miss with an audience (much like Arrow has been a miss for me this season.) But Supergirl has managed to integrate its new, fantastic characters so effortlessly and with purpose. Perhaps my favorite new addition has been Lena Luthor, who came with the name but it was her backstory and portrayal that has made the character one to watch.
Obviously Lena carries the Luthor name with her. Technically she was adopted by the Luthors, but she never felt like she belonged. It was like her mother, Lillian, went out of her way to feel like she didn’t belong. It set the stage for a tense mother-daughter relationship that was tackled head-on in this episode.
The Lena-Lillian dynamic was one that was so intriguing and complex in its nature. We got to see flashbacks to the day Lionel brought Lena home, and we saw the distaste on Lillian’s face. But then when Lena and Lillian met in the present, Lillian elaborated on why she was acted so terribly toward Lena. Well, her side of the story. Turns out Lena isn’t adopted after all. Lionel slept with her mother, got her pregnant, left her, but when she died he took Lena in. Sounds about right when it comes to complex family issues. I believe that part. I mean, we have to after Lena was able to open Lex’s vault.
Lillian approached this as wanting a second chance to be a good mother to Lena. She said that she was told bby Lionel to stay away so as not to get angry at Lena for everything that happened with her mother and Lionel. That’s why she gravitated toward Lex. Now, while I have no idea if that’s the actual truth, it was something that you could see Lena wanted to believe. Everything was screaming at her to not trust this woman and run far, far away. But when Lillian started talking like this, it was so easy to get lost in the fantasy. This is what Lena wanted.
So it wasn’t a shock when we learned that Lillian had been using Lena – breaking her out of prison, where she had been set up – to get something that she wanted. Lena had called her out in the beginning. But Lillian used Lena’s weakness when it comes to emotional vulnerability to her advantage and got exactly what she wanted.
After everything that Lena has experienced – all the pain this family has put her through – you’d think that she’d want to get as far away as possible. In fact, we’ve seen her doing that. She might be working for the family business, but she’s worked hard to rebrand it as a source of good. She wants to rewrite the Luthor name.
But the final scene of the episode where Lena is playing with a chess piece – and we flash back to her playing chess with Lex as a child as her mother says, “Maybe you are a Luthor after all.” – that really caused me to sit up a little straighter. Supergirl has been adamant about Lena being the odd Luthor out – the one Luthor who wanted to do good in the world. But we also felt that way with Lex at one point on Smallville. Things change. Circumstances change. Relationships change. People change. We don’t really know what Lena’s fate will be – whether she’ll embrace the family name or defy it – but that’s what makes it so damn exciting.
Are the Luthors really destined to be evil in this world? Or can Lena be the one Luthor to break free of the mold? Guess we’ll have to keep watching. Kidding, obviously we’ll keep watching.
Foreshadowing with Kara & Lena’s Relationship?
We’re all familiar with Superman and Lex Luthor’s relationship. With Smallville, we got to see the two develop a friendship long before they would become enemies. Now it seems as if we’re headed down a similar road with Kara and Lena.
Luthors have never gotten along with Kryptonians. We saw that even a friendship between Clark and Lex wasn’t enough to prevent their feud. And it felt like Supergirl was foreshadowing the same potential to happen with Kara and Lena in the future. It’s something that James tried to make Kara well aware of. There was a time when Clark trusted Lex. A time when they were friends. But eventually Lex’s obsession to rid the world of aliens ignited a heated rivalry between the two that made their relationships one of the worst well-known in pop culture.
Kara and Lena have developed a nice friendship this season. You can’t help but see the parallel between that relationship and Clark & Lex’s. You just can’t. So as we continue to watch Supergirl and watch as Kara and Lena’s friendship grows, the idea that these two could be enemies in the future very much weighs heavy in the back of our minds. But once again, that’s what makes this so exciting. Lena is the wild card. We really don’t know what direction she’s going to take. But either way it’s going to be game-changing.
Kara Wants to Have it All…With Mon-El
When it comes to superhero shows there is often endless criticism when it comes to romance for the main hero. But when you’re dealing with the complexities of love and shippers, that’s to be expected. But there’s also an even greater focus when your lead hero happens to be a woman.
Now, you and I both know that this shouldn’t exist. But the sad fact of the matter is that it does. Unfortunately, that’s how our present is defined, when it comes to comic boys who brush off women who admire the romance in comics and superhero shows as “crazies” and “not real fans.”
Something that I’ve noticed since Kara’s romance storyline with Mon-El has begun is that there are some people saying that Kara should be single. But I’m sorry I have to ask: Why? Because she isn’t with the person you want her to be? There’s nothing wrong with Kara choosing to date someone she likes just like there’s nothing wrong when Oliver or Barry do on their respective shows. Just because Kara is exploring a romantic relationship with someone doesn’t demean her in any way. In fact, it makes her more relatable. Kara has proven over the past two seasons that she’s as much human as you or me. That’s what makes her so relatable.
With that said, I absolutely loved how Supergirl tackled the Kara/Mon-El romance. While I wasn’t expecting this progression so fast, it was worth it once Supergirl used this as an opportunity for Kara to discover something about herself. As we saw in the premiere, Kara didn’t think that she could have it all. She felt like she had to choose between being Supergirl and being in a relationship. So she chose Supergirl. And there’s nothing wrong with that. She has to do what’s best for her.
But life isn’t something that you can predict. Try as you might, life typically has a surprise up its sleeves. Sometimes it presents you with opportunities you weren’t expecting. Sometimes it presents you with a person that has you second-guessing things and challenging you. And it’s up to you to decide whether or not you take that chance.
Mon-El has made it no secret that he harbors more-than-platonic feelings for Kara. We watched him open himself up to her two weeks ago, and we watched as she shut him down as she felt uncomfortable with opening herself up despite the fact that her face gave her away – that she has feelings for him, too, that she’s not ready to accept.
But it’s funny what seeing someone with someone else will do to you. How it’ll force you to confront feelings you tried to suppress. How it inspires you to own up to it. We saw Kara come as close as she had to confessing her feelings to Mon-El before she saw him going on a date with someone else. In “Luthors,” we got to see Kara’s jealously and how she was mentally wondering if she’d blown it.
The thing you might forget — or not – is how deep Mon-El’s feelings run for Kara. Sure, he was going on a date with someone. But when have you not done the same thing – whether it was to make an ex jealous or to find a rebound. There’s not a science to this stuff. It just happens.
So when Kara confronted him about not dating Eve – but how it made her “mad” – we saw Kara begin to let down her walls. And Mon-El picked up on it. He wondered why she would be “mad” when she told him she didn’t like him. Now, we all know Mon-El isn’t the best when it comes to reading people. So while that went way over his head, it didn’t go over ours.
Kara has had her hesitations when it comes to Mon-El, for reasons mostly unknown to us. Every person is different. Everyone handles emotions differently. But she finally opened up to Mon-El about what has been happening. How she thought she couldn’t have it both ways – be Supergirl and be in a relationship. She’d tried, and she’d failed. But when he showed up, she start to see that maybe it was possible to have it all.
It was a confession of feelings that sent me spiraling. Not to mention her assertiveness when it came to walking up to Mon-El to kiss him. Only they were so rudely interrupted (just as my neighbors were so rudely interrupted when I started cursing at my television.)
While this mystery new guy (alien?) might’ve interrupted Kara and Mon-El’s moment, this episode was proof that their story is only just beginning. And that there will be plenty more moments to come.
- Katie McGrath as Lena Luthor is a damn gift to this show. I find her portrayal so intriguing and so mesmerizing that every episode Lena is in she lights up this world. I love her friendship with Kara. I love the question surrounding her future allegiance – whether it’s to Kara or to the Luthor name. There is so much story to tell here!
- Kara finally admitted that she thought she couldn’t have it all, but now she believes she can…with Mon-El. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this episode to be so integral as far as Kara and Mon-El’s relationship goes. But I’ll be damned if their storyline didn’t have my grinning like an idiot and cursing my television when their almost kiss was interrupted.
- Was that foreshadowing we saw in regards to Kara & Lena’s relationship potentially paralleling Clark & Lex’s? Whether that is indeed the direction they’re headed – or if Lena is going to be the exception to the Luthor name – this is a storyline that I so desperately crave more of. I need to know the answer. And I love the potential for this to go both ways.
- I’ll take any Sanvers scenes I can get. So getting to watch Alex come out to her friends with Maggie by her side – and seeing their acceptance – was a nice moment that might’ve been overshadowed by the Luthor storyline.
- I would give a kidney for a Luthors spinoff. I’m beyond fascinated by this family, and I need so much more than we’ve gotten on this show. This is how spinoffs are born. There’s hype, there’s potential, and there’s damn good story. GIVE IT TO ME.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.