Jon Cryer makes his debut as the iconic Lex Luthor! James’ sister Kelly arrives. J’onn makes a life changing decision and james’ fate is revealed!
This episode was a highly anticipated one for me. I was skeptical of Jon Cryer’s casting as Lex Luthor at first. This interesting casting choice made me look forward to this episode more. I must say that Cryer exceeded my expectations in every way. In my opinion, he nailed the ego, the brilliance, and the simply diabolical nature of the iconic superman villain. His chemistry with Katie Mcgrath (Lena Luthor) was fantastic! The two made me believe that they really were estranged siblings.
The episode opens with a flashback to four years ago in metropolis. We see Lena strapped down to a chair. Lex forces her to watch as buildings are being leveled do him unleashing a red sun. He tells her that he is wants to prove to the world that superman can bleed. He says that the Kryptonian is a false god and that the people are misguided in their praise for him. Lena defends superman saying that “at least he’s good man.” Lex snaps back saying: “i was the man of tomorrow! Not him! Not him!” He angrily blows up a helicopter with his smartwatch and then the police arrive. Lex allows himself to be arrested and bids his sister farewell saying he will be back.
In present day, Luthor is brought to his mansion via helicopter on a mercy furlough. Lena is waiting for him there. Lex is dying from cancer as a result of kryptonite poisoning in his attempt to kill superman. Lena asks why he is really here. The older Luthor desires the drug that his sister has been developing believing it to be his ticket to life. He urges her to complete the harunel cure, but she shuts him down. She does not want to risk any lives in testing it. Lex is disappointed, but understands. Eve interrupts them with news about james.
Meanwhile, james is lying in his office bleeding out. His shooter reaches and activates the Supergirl beacon on James’ watch. Supergirl arrives and gets him to the hospital. Kara, brainy, Nia, Alex and J’onn all wait to hear from the doctors about Olsen’s condition. Using her status as owner of the hospital, Lena storms in demanding answers. The superfriends great her and try to comfort her. In one of the sweeter moments of the episode, brainy reminds her of their conversation about emotions saying “little boxes, comrade.” Alex tries to convince Lena to complete her cure, but once again Lena is not having it. Alex reminds her that she is brilliant and can pull off the impossible.
With this encouragement, Luthor returns to the mansion with the intention of completing her work. She needs Lex’s help though to separate the healing factor from the superhuman abilities in the harun-el. He begrudgingly agrees as he does not exactly want to help save superman’s best friend. As they work together, their toxic relationship is revealed. Lex belittles her which in turn makes her work that much harder to prove him wrong. He then tries to take credit for all of her success. He does tell her that he’s proud of her though. He praises her creation of kryptonite which even he couldn’t recreate.
Meanwhile, J’onn is convinced that Manchester black is behind the attack on James. He utilizes his psychic link to locate him. Kara accompanies him in order to help hold him back. She lies to Alex saying she is needed at Catco. They both travel to M’rynn’s burial place where the elder martian merged with the earth to save it from the Kryptonian witches in last season’s finale. Manchester is there waiting for them wielding the great staff of H’ronmeer. Black taunts the martian with his people’s beliefs using the harsher sides of it to goad him into killing.
Back at the hospital, james’ sister Kelly shows up as his next of kin. Kelly and Alex are at odds at first over the decision making in regards to James’ care. It is revealed that his spine is damaged and he has internal bleeding. Kelly opts to send him to another dangerous surgery over Lena’s potential cure which Alex suggests.
Back at the Luthor mansion, Lena and Lex are successful in perfecting the cure. However, it is too late as James was taken to surgery as they completed it. Lex tries to comfort her and tells her a story about his beloved dog Ignatius. He recalls that, when he was seven, his dog got sick and had to be put down. Lena snaps at him for comparing james to a dog, but Lex recovers. He goes on to say that Lillian forced him to go on a business trip with their father in order to prevent him from becoming too sentimental. On the trip, Lionel brought a woman with them. Lex wanted to hate her for stepping in, but eventually came to wish that she was his mother. The day that his dog died, the woman hugged him and sang him a beautiful Irish song. This woman was in fact Lena’s mother. He reassures her that while he came from darkness and poison, she came from pure love.
Elsewhere, Manchester continues to attack J’onn psychically. This time he projects an undead Kara and Alex who berate him for not saving them. They mock him for standing idly by and praying. Kara comes in to the room to find J’onn in great distress. He breaks down in her arms. Kara tells him that she and Alex are stronger because he stands with them even in peace.
*****i must say that David Harewood has once again been incredible this season as J’onn. This scene in particular along with a later one as well were incredibly moving.****
At the hospital, Alex and Kelly begin to bond as they both apologize to each other for their earlier encounter. Kara arrives and joins her friends to wait for news. Alex greets her coldly as she is upset that she went off with J’onn. Kara explains that she didn’t like feeling helpless. Meanwhile, brainy is not handling the situation well at all. He breaks down following a struggle with a vending machine. He has a full on meltdown over his exile from his time, his evil relatives, Supergirl almost dying, and Mon-el’s dismissive treatment of him. He feels like he could have prevented this and blames himself for it. Thus all of his “little boxes” open up. Nia kisses him in order to calm him down. As this happens, the lights flicker and the power goes out.
Manchester is at the dam that powers the city and calls out to J’onn once again. Supergirl & the martian arrive to stop him. A laser vision deflection damages the structure causing Supergirl to repair it. J’onn goes after Manchester, who uses the martian’s dead family against him. He shows him his daughters being attacked by the white martians which enrages J’onn. He then attacks black with the staff and seemingly kills him. He retrieves Brainy’s legion ring and give it to Kara. He tells her that he is lost, but knows one thing: that he no man of peace. Meanwhile, Lena and eve arrive with the cure and inject it into James. It is successful and James wakes up.
Brainy awkwardly tells Nia that they can’t be together and says that relationship built on the sort of circumstance never last. He walks away, but Nia says to herself: whatever you say.
Back at the Luthor mansion, Lena returns to confront Lex having realized that he was behind the power outage not Manchester. He used the attack on the dam as a distraction to cut the power to get Lena to use the cure. He does not deny it and goes one step further saying he was the one who had james shot. He brushes it off saying that he is dying after all. She defiantly tells him that he will never receive the cure. To her dismay however, Lex stands up and announces that he received in ten minutes ago. In a series of reveals, we discover that the guard, who earlier treated Luthor terribly, was actually a very much alive Otis graves using an image inducer. In what was a major nostalgic moment, came the biggest reveal of the episode. Lex yells: “Miss Tessmacher!!!!” In walks eve in all black brandishing a gun. Lena, in shock, asks how long has she worked for her brother. Eve replies: for ages. She shoots a guard and says that it not personal. Otis knocks Lena out. Lex orders eve to stay behind and take care of Lena. Lex and Otis leave the mansion in grand villain fashion wiping out all of the guards using Luthor’s tech. They take the helicopter and as they take off, Supergirl arrives. Lex is happy to finally meet her.
Honestly, this is without question, one of my favourite episode of this season and maybe even the series as a whole. Jon Cryer’s performance as Lex Luthor was incredible as i stated earlier. I also enjoyed Azie Tesfai as Kelly Olsen. With the recent announcement that she will be a series regular next season, I expect some major things ahead for her character namely a possible relationship with Alex. Also, David Harewood and Jesse Rath give really moving, emotional performances that impressed me greatly.
Next week’s episode looks just as exciting! We get more Lex and finally get more of the Russian Kara.
Stay tuned for more reviews here on earth 9 and come back next week for another Supergirl recap & review!