Supergirl’s 15th episode (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) was an interestingly structured one, introducing us to a frenetic Lex, hellbent on madness and science. That was the Lex of the past. The present one is more contained, but no less sharp. Jon Cryer had a pinpoint delivery of every line, every look. Having him tell Eve (Andrea Brooks) to fetch him coffee was a great choice; it conveyed a lot. The cadence of his voice was subtle, but effective, illustrating a razor-sharp mind in Lex Luthor. It was no surprise that he and Katie McGrath played so perfectly off each other. Lena was desperate to save Jimmy, but it was an endeavor borne of need, not trust.
Working together to fix the serum isn’t a benevolent cause; it saved Lex’s life. Despite their differences (vast, so fast), he’s still family. The scene where he talks about his childhood dog and the business trip that changed a lot of lives was brilliant. McGrath conveyed vulnerability quite well, while Cryer reached a sincere depth of feeling that surprised me, especially with these lines: “I want you to know with certainty that while I can from poison, you came from love. … You will always fall into the light.” He said what we’ve all seen: that there’s such goodness in Lena, that she’s not bound to her last name. She carries her own light. It’s what drives her to try and save Jimmy. She’s moved by love, and maybe it makes her snap that she owns the hospital, but love also makes us afraid to lose that love, does it not?
Love can also make us better, braver. Kara reminds J’onn, too, of the power of it: “Simply by standing with someone, you can make them feel braver.” This is absolutely true. When things get hard, when everything seems impossible, there’s a power in having someone by your side who believes in you. It makes a world of difference. Granted, for Lex, that person appeared to have been Eve, which…betrayal. That one hurt. It was a brilliant culmination, though, seeing Lex spare his sister, escape with a truly perfect soundtrack (the symphony of destruction was just so, so good), nonchalantly saying hi to Supergirl as he did. When Cryer was initially cast, I admit I was skeptical. I mean, Ducky was hardly menacing. But I enjoyed our introduction to Lex, even though it made me shout at the screen a few times. Robert Baker as Otis was, however, a giant pile of NOPE. Because Otis annoys me.
I also shouted at the screen when Nia kisses Brainy (“Microaggressions are their own form of trauma.” Is TRUE, and it was tremendous seeing him lose his cool) and when he let her down using Keanu Reeves. I was frustrated with Alex not knowing Kara’s real identity, but the hospital situation did give a great depiction of a family in crisis. People snap. Vending machines get punched. Apologies are made. And, unfortunately for Jimmy, moms get called (lovely to see Azie Tesfai as his sister, btw). It resonated quite a bit.
It feels a bit strange having Superman’s greatest villain be behind so many of the machinations we’ve seen throughout this season. Russian Supergirl clone is apparently his doing, judging by the previews. If Superman is still away, it would explain why he doesn’t come to help. But I suppose we’ll see how much Lex is a focus beyond next week.