Supergirl: Season 2 Episode 12 review – Luthors
This review contains spoilers.
Cadmus and its conspirators fell back into focus this week and while Lillian Luthor and co aren’t the most thrilling villains, Lena Luther herself has always been rather interesting. This week delved deep into both where Lena’s true allegiances lay and also into the nature of Kara’s unerring trust in people. It asked that all important question of whether Kara’s trust is misplaced, just like Kal’s trust in a young Lex Luthor was (according to some people’s view), or whether it is deserved and warranted.
Personally, I found James’ accusation of Kara not trusting him to be rather insulting. He used a very unfair line: “You have my [trust]. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for me to get yours.” The face Kara pulls at this line is exactly how I felt. It’s a one hell of a guilt trip and it’s very unfair, given how it wades against the current that is Kara’s ability to place optimistic trust and good will in so many people. This is one of the qualities that makes Kara who she is and which makes her Supergirl. This virtue was best put into words by Mon El, when he stated the wonderful line:
“You believe in a lot of people that others don’t.”
Kara took this line as a slight – asking if he had spoken to James – but Mon El meant it as an observation of her wonderful nature and as a compliment. This line alone is making me warm to Mon El a little more as a potential suitor for Kara and I am beginning to see now why Alex has given him her seal of approval. While he might harbour some secrets about his past on Daxom, Mon El truly sees and adores the best in character, which is her ability to see the best in others; even people who the world are lining up to label as evil, like Lena Luthor.
To touch upon that word – “evil” – interestingly, Kara does use it to describe Lillian Luthor at one point in this episode, which shows that her ability to see the good in people isn’t just her being a foolish ray of sunshine; Kara has a limit and when people cross it too severely, she’s not afraid to label them with terms that indicate they cannot be saved, like “evil”. James saw Lena in such a light and was unerring in his opinion, but ultimately did change his view and apologised to Kara before the episode’s close, to his credit.
Thankfully Lena is also cleared publicly too, as depicted on a news channel, which showed everyone – including James – that Kara’s choice to place her faith in Lena was justified, at least for now. While Lena shows no current signs of erring from a good path, especially now that she knows someone like Kara believes in her, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Lex ultimately turned into a villain, despite Kal’s open trust in him.
For the record – despite what James said – Kal having believed in Lex certainly wasn’t a “mistake”. Just because someone eventually turns down a dark path doesn’t mean you were wrong to have held faith in them prior to that turning or even to continue to hold faith in them post that turning). For now, Lena is holding true and hopefully she stays that way, but the show isn’t opposed to tearing down positive things (which makes for great drama), so I wouldn’t be surprised if this solid friendship is torn down before the close of the season.
This would echo Lex’s downfall, which I can see the writers striving to achieve. It also means they can have their own kind of Luthor big bad without having to (or perhaps being allowed to) cast Lex himself. Lena being the primary antagonist of Season 3 isn’t impossible, in my view, and she’d certainly make a far better villain than Lillian and her underlings (Metallo being back isn’t a positive thing).
The amount of Lex mentions this week was enough to make any DC fan happy. According to these mentions, Lex “went insane”, which means this is probably the state he resides in now, while incarcerated. Or this could merely be his family’s way of rationalising Lex’s evil streak – placing it under the umbrella of “insanity”, when really it is calculated maniacal villainy (which, true, could be called insane by definition).
It’s beginning to become a structural staple now that these episodes end with a heart to heart between Kara and Mon El. This week’s discourse nearly ended in a positive romantic step forward (which would have precisely mirrored Alex and Maggie’s beginnings, in how one of them refused the other, before changing their mind), before the appearance of Mister Mxyzptlk ruined the moment. In the comic Mister Mxyzptlk is an impish trickster who is sometimes a villain and sometimes an anti-hero. He possesses reality-warping powers and enjoys tormenting Superman. He can only be stopped by tricking him into saying or spelling his own name backwards.
In the promo for next week, Mister Mxyzptlk can be seen casually altering things like Kara’s clothing with a simple extension of his fingers and he even appears dressed as Superman towards the end of the promo, to momentarily fool Kara. As shows like Supernatural have proven, tricksters can be superb villains when used well and that aforementioned promo has strong indications that the writers of Supergirl have used Mister Mxyzptlk to excellent effect. It’s an episode that I’m personally very excited for.
Image credits: The CW