When Lex is released on a medical furlough from prison, he asks Lena for help to cure his cancer, brought on by his repetitive work with kryptonite in his quest to stop Clark Kent’s Superman.
On Supergirl Season 4 Episode 15, Lex and Lena’s relationship is (finally) explored, though it wouldn’t be Lex Luthor without a few tricks up his sleeve and an apt ability to manipulate everyone around him. Meanwhile, James struggles to recover from his gunshot wound, which threatens to leave him paralyzed, and Kara and J’onn hunt down Manchester Black.
Lex and Lena
For a while there, it seemed like Lex and Lena were finally on a healing path, but that’s quickly been shot down. Over the last two and a half seasons, Lena has fought so hard to separate herself from her family, Lex especially. She’s faced public scrutiny over her choices and has to face the consequences others often avoid when she makes even the smallest mistake. Lena’s new research, using the black kryptonite to enhance the abilities of normal humans and make them “super,” was supposed to be a vital step for the future of mankind, but that’s now tarnished, too.
Even after all of these years, Lena is too soft and too forgiving. This episode began with a flashback to Lex holding Lena captive as he unleashed his red sun on the Earth (which, if this was four years ago, why was there no mention of how this affected Kara?) as his final plot to destroy, in his words, the Kryptonian Pretender. But, when Lex reaches out to Lena, she immediately is willing to communicate with her brother and try to help him. Knowing that Lena has been in communication with Lex for six weeks makes it even more difficult to understand how Lena didn’t pick up on his plans or take extra precautions to ensure that Lex didn’t practice any tomfoolery in her home.
In many ways, Lena is equal to Lex. In just as many ways, she is superior. So why is Lena falling victim to his manipulation and lies once again? We know she’s been through this all too many times before with her brother. Perhaps what completely saved this story from falling apart on the writers was the revelation that Eve Teschmacher is working with Lex (and seemingly has been since the beginning).
After scoring a job at CatCo as Cat Grant’s new assistant, and then James’ assistant, and then Lena’s assistant, Eve has worked with several of the major players in National City, but it never really did make sense why she was using her intelligence and background to be an assistant. While working with Lena on her research, Eve has proven herself to be quite useful and intelligent, but unfortunately she’s using it for the wrong side. Lena clearly trusted Eve to help her develop the serum and try to save lives, which is probably why she could have never planned for Lex’s escape (at least, not like that).
I hope that this episode finally created an end to Lena’s good v. evil battle. Supergirl has relied far too heavily on Lena’s battle with morality to lead her character’s stories, and now that Lex has acknowledged that while he is the product of poison, Lena is the product of love. Lena’s mother is what saved her from going down the same path as Lex, and now it seems that Lena will not have to keep fighting that “urge” of hers as the series continues.
(Also, why has Kara not lost her mind over Lena’s research yet? There’s no way that she has no idea what the serum is that saved James’ life and Lena keeping the black kryptonite a secret from Kara and friends at the end of Supergirl Season 3 was one of their final cliffhangers. Shouldn’t this situation have a lot more drama attached?)
For being the cliffhanger of the previous episode, James’ bullet wound and battle for his life didn’t really hold much of the episode together, did it? Ultimately, this was the plot device used for Lena to finish perfecting her serum to enhance the abilities of mere mortals, which Lex planned all along to use to cure his cancer and become as equal as possible to the Man of Steel as he could.
Lex’s powers won’t be much of an issue for Kara, other than in the next episode as she attempts to stop him in much less time than it took her cousin, but the writers quickly glossed over what taking this serum means for James.
James, too, has enhanced abilities as a human, which is something he’s obviously wanted since discovering his best friend at the Daily Planet was the famous Superman. From his roles as Clark’s sidekick to National City’s Guardian, James has always put himself in harm’s way to protect his fellow citizens. With his new powers, Guardian may be getting a complete upgrade.
After the writers suddenly dropped Kara and James’ romantic tryst, James’ role on the show became all but non-existent. His relationship with Lena throughout much of Supergirl Season 3 and Season 4 sums up his character’s stories over the last two years, but there’s a chance for the writers to use this new development to bring James further into the fold and actually give him something to do.
While I’d much rather see Nia’s newfound powers as she begins her journey as Dreamer, Kara can use all of the “super friends” she can get in this war against the Children of Liberty and Ben Lockwood, so having another friend with similar strength and stamina to herself will open up many doors.
Alex Danvers: Leader of the Hospital Support Group?
So, Alex definitely had a change of pace this week after she became the voice in everyone’s ears at the hospital where James fought for his life. Without Alex’s encouragement, James may very well be dead. Because of Alex, Lena realized that she needed Lex to help prepare the serum for human testing. Likewise, Alex’s conversations with James’ sister, Kelly, (her possible new love interest) helped convince her to allow Lena to use this experimental serum on James after the power surge interrupted James’ surgery and his life was ending before their eyes.
More importantly, the interactions in this episode between Kara and Alex were… surprising. With Alex not knowing the truth about Kara, her suspicion around Kara’s absence from the hospital seems to be leading to Alex realizing Kara is Supergirl, which will hopefully restore her missing memories and bring back the real Alex Danvers. I’m excited to see exactly how Alex finds out again, but I expect it will happen very soon. Alex was far too curious and suspicious about Kara and J’onn working together to find Manchester, especially while James lay in the hospital.
Bring back the working relationship between Alex and Kara, but keep her away from the DEO for good. That’s all I have to say on that matter.
What did you think of Supergirl Season 4 Episode 15? Did Eve’s betrayal surprise you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!