Sunday, March 24, 2019

REVIEW: 'Supergirl' - Lex Luthor Trains the Red Daughter to Advance His Own Vision for the Future in 'The House of L'

The CW's Supergirl - Episode 4.16 "The House of L"

In the wake of Lex Luthor's return, the show flashes back to what he's been doing for the last two years and how his secret machinations and plans have affected Supergirl and Lena.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Supergirl.

"The House of L" was written by Dana Horgan & Eric Carrasco and directed by Carl Seaton

This episode really highlights the origin story of Lex Luthor's friendship and manipulation of the Red Daughter in Kasnia. The inclusion of a Supergirl clone raised on the other side of the world was always this dangling threat that seemed a little distant from everything else going on this season. And now, this hour suggests that it was all a master plan concocted by Lex. Of course, that would be very miraculous of him if he managed to pull the strings on everyone to create this specific outcome. It's clear that he does improvise along the way. He doesn't flinch even when things don't go his way. Of course, the Red Daughter still has the same natural impulses as Supergirl. She may not have any memories of her prior life except the importance of the name "Alex." That is significant because it proves the bond between the Danvers sisters can withstand just about anything. And yet, Lex takes advantage of that by positioning himself as the Alex this version of Supergirl needs in her life. The Kasnian army just wanted to train her as a soldier for their cause. Lex is the one who comes in with a vision to train her as someone who can replace Supergirl on the global stage. This entire story proves just how powerful Lex has always been even though he has been in jail. He has been granted the freedom to come and go as he pleases. That's terrifying and shows just how easily he can manipulate any situation to his benefit. He is able to prey on the Red Daughter's emotions by labeling the Americans as greedy and extravagant with no consideration for the human rights abuses they are carrying out around the world. That has a through-line that should absolutely land with the audience as well. Awareness of one's standing in the world is important. However, Lex is trying to give the Red Daughter a tragic backstory to ensure that she sees the Americans as the enemy. When she sees Kara's life for the first time, it's actually quaint and idealistic. She may see a woman who has no formal training and allows her emotions to dictate her actions. She doesn't want to be like that in her service. However, she also aspires to have a life like her sister clearly does. She sees a connection to her Kryptonian past as well as a way in which Lex is potentially manipulating her to get to Lena. Lex is prone to violent outbursts as well. When the Red Daughter has an extreme reaction to the death of a local boy she saved (which was orchestrated by Lex), she sinks a Navy vessel off the coast which fired the missile. Lex can still manipulate it to his advantage. He just lashes out because it could expose everything that he has worked so hard to achieve. In the end though, people are still desperate for his approval. He created the phenomenon that led to the rise of Ben Lockwood because he understood that the people of Earth needed more reason to be afraid of aliens. Ben has provoked that conversation in significant ways. That's his contribution to this master plan. Sure, Lex still sees him as a pawn. That's a fascinating way for the show to now treat the antagonist who has been so prominent throughout the first two thirds of the season. Lex's manipulations apparently trump everything else that has happened in order to pit two Kryptonians against each other. He wanted Lena's help to both give himself powers and save the life of the Red Daughter. So even though Kara and the DEO are now aware that Lex is a free man once more, they still don't fully know the whole story and just how much he has done to change the conversation around the world which could lead to the end of aliens and superheroes on this planet. In doing so, he could return to the spotlight as the leader of the future for humanity.