BWW Recap: Lex's Diabolical Plan Unfolds in SUPERGIRL's Flashback Episode, 'The House of L'
Supergirl heads to METROPOLIS as this week's Supergirl episode opens on Lex Luthor and SUPERGIRL fighting on top of the Daily Planet. Our greatest fears are confirmed when Lex displays his powers as he throws the Daily Planet globe at Supergirl.
We cut to three years later, filling the void of what Lex has been scheming since he set his diabolical plan into motion. We see James and Lena testifying against him, explaining why his plan for vengeance revolved so heavily around them. Among Lex's final words before he's dragged away? "Superman made me do it." What a shocker. Ending his rebuttal with a thinly veiled threat, it's not surprising the jury convicted him to 31 consecutive life sentences.
As the judge lays down his conviction, the entire room begins convulsing, succumbing to the poison Lex had obviously doused them with. As he's handcuffed, he quips, "better make that 32." The small screen has certainly missed Lex Luthor's flair for the dramatic.
As Tess shines down a sea of praise on Lex while she visits him in prison, he outwardly mocks her for being a "Manson girl." A dig no DOUBT referencing the slew of women obsessed with criminals and serial killers. Look at any of the comment sections on articles and videos of Ted Bundy and you'll find a whole lot of yikes.
Lex isn't subtle when it comes to using people like pawns. He's always the first to belittle someone while he warps them for his own gain. As Tess defends herself by listing her credentials, he brushes her off with "I don't need your resume."
Lex's prison cell is bigger than my entire apartment while he gets phone service and furniture that costs more than my rent. Who would have ever thought that giving a criminal mastermind phone service would end badly?
The mystery of the Kasnian SUPERGIRL clone (Supergirl 2) finally clicks into place when Lex gets a call from Kasnia, alerting him to the existence of a memory-less clone. He threatens the warden's mother to get permission to fly to Kasnia.
We were led to believe that the SUPERGIRL copy was evil, but as she flies to help a child in need, it's clear that she's been brainwashed and conditioned by Lex over time. Tess and Lex find the clone cowering with the child she saved in a house full of dead bodies, as she struggles to get a handle on her abilities.
She confuses Lex with Alex, "the only name she remembers." He makes up a story of their friendship to gain her trust. Tess explains that black Kryptonite is the cause of the clone, alerting him to the fact that Lena has more - the idea of an army of brainwashed Supergirls at his disposal no DOUBT crossing his mind.
"Prison is the best alibi the world has ever seen, and I'm about to need a lot of alibis." A comforting assurance from Lex as he reads a file on Ben Lockwood and devises a plan to become America's hero by "stopping a Kasnian attack."
Lex poisons SUPERGIRL 2's mind with a story that SUPERGIRL is her sister - who took over the power that was rightfully hers, stopping her from creating world peace. He paints the picture of SUPERGIRL being a rich girl preying on others to keep her lifestyle. The biggest kicker? Lex knows her identity and reveals it to SUPERGIRL 2. "She is like a princess in a tower," she notes.
Supergirl 2 spends her stint in America reading Kara's journal and deciding that her "sister" is just trying to help the world. Lex devises a plan to have the Kasnian boy she saved killed by a Navy missile Tess launches, poisoning her view of the Americans and falling into Lex's trap. His plan hits a snag while in a vengeful rage, SUPERGIRL 2 kills the Navy ship.
It turns out Otis' morally grey line doesn't extend to murdering kids as he tells the boy to stay out of Lex's eyesight after faking his death.
We cut to just three months ago as Lex gets the call that SUPERGIRL 2 is suffering from an unknown illness. In case you weren't convinced that Lex is completely consumed with his own evil hero complex, he plops himself into a radioactive device to give himself cancer. My brother and I haven't chatted in quite a while either, but I'm good on the whole giving myself cancer thing so he'll talk to me...
We finally get to present the present timeline as Lex injects SUPERGIRL 2 with the black Kryptonite in an attempt to cure her. She wakes to the sentiment that "Supergirl acts on her emotions - it's selfish and ugly. I will not be her. I will be me. I will be disciplined. I will follow you and I will destroy her."
The episode ends with our SUPERGIRL flying to James' bedside to let Alex and James know that Lex is free while SUPERGIRL 2 hovers over National City in the supersuit Lex gave her. Instead of the House of El symbol closing out the episode, we get a flash of SUPERGIRL 2's emblem... Dun, dun, dun.
While I generally love anything that has Lex Luthor in it, the episode felt incredibly fillery and tied everything together way too neatly. Good TV should play out naturally, allowing the audience to piece together the questions and reveals as the show progresses instead of a major plot twist and a flashback episode explaining every question of the season so far as it ties in with that plot twist. I loved the twist and I loved the last episode, but I think the reveals that played out one after another in this flashback episode could have been revealed naturally through the rest of the season in the present tense.
It reminds me of a high school essay that sets itself up with an opener like "And now I will tell you why xyx." As viewers, we don't want to be told xyz, we want to uncover it ourselves. Hopefully, going forward, we'll see more twists and turns play out organically as the two parts of the season (Lex Luthor and Agent Liberty) meet in the middle.
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW