Remember last week, when I was riding my high from 3×17, and the joy and excitement was practically bursting out of me? I was so happy and joyous. The writers listened. They took the most powerful part of the show, and they centered an episode around it. We had great things to come.
And then…they aired 3×18.
I am sad, tired, angry, and disappointed, among other things. It’s a sad state of affairs that in an episode with Domestic!GuardianCorp and Mon-el going back to save Kara with his apparently fucking magical cape tricks, the worst part of it was a SuperCorp scene.
We open with Lena sharing a “tender” morning after with James, and I use the quotes because the soundtrack music tells me that it’s supposed to be sweet and romantic, but honestly, she just seems bored. Like, it was an okay night, but it was nothing to write home about. Something to pass the time.
This is the face of someone who’s mentally writing their grocery list. Wait, it’s Lena Luthor. Mentally tweaking her recipe for Kryptonite.
I didn’t absolutely hate this scene, though I don’t buy the chemistry between James and Lena as lovers. They seem more like workplace proximity associates who are bordering on friends, despite the actors’ valiant attempts at levity. And also…we’re supposed to believe that James trusts Lena so much that he’s willing to betray Kara/Supergirl? Like, I always assumed that sex with Lena Luthor was a life-changing experience, but damn.
Lena Luthor has a magical vagina dot org
Oh, except when Lena says “I’m really glad I can tell you my secrets now” and James LOOKS TO THE SIDE. Because he’s still keeping secrets from her. Granted, it’s not his place to out Kara, but that really has to be weighing on him. Kara refusing to tell HER BEST FRIEND about her secret identity is fucking up all of the lives of the people she loves.
And that’s not the Kara we have come to know and love over these three seasons.
But it seems like she’s in short supply these days.
Even when Supergirl asks Lena if she’s okay, they say volumes with just a few little words. Because I think while Supergirl is genuinely concerned for her friend, Lena still feels betrayed. Which is understandable, because that’s not how BFFs treat each other. And the look on Supergirl’s face? That’s of a person who knows they betrayed their best friend. Not of a Super worrying about a Luthor.
No more cuddles?
Literally everyone else on this show gives Lena Luthor more respect than her best friend. J’onn, Alex, James, Brainiac, Winn, probably Crouton-el.
This is not the Supergirl you gave us.
These are not the relationships you made us love.
Alex doesn’t go after Ruby because she doesn’t trust Lena. She goes after Ruby because she doesn’t want her to be scared. And sure, if Alex hadn’t gone after her, Reign wouldn’t have found her, but pssh. Details. And the Alex Danvers we know wouldn’t want Ruby to be scared.
In case you didn’t know, I ship it.
I’ve been pondering this for over 12 hours, and I still can’t figure it out. Why is James there to tell Lena about Patricia Arias? I guess so he can reason with her about the Kryptonite and Supergirl. But…why?
Why do Kara and Lena need a man to moderate their feelings?
Spoiler alert — they don’t.
They’re strong, powerful women — superheroes in their own right. Heroes in their own right. Two women with a history of mutual trust and respect, and it’s ridiculous to expect us to think that Kryptonite is more powerful than their relationship.
Because Supergirl created a world where powerful women are friends. Support each other through the good and the bad. And at its helm, they put a literal superhero. The Girl of Steel would go out of her way to save her friends, her friends’ partners, and their animals. And now you’re telling us she can’t see through the Kryptonite to see her trusted best friend and confidant on the other side.
And Kara? Where the FUCK do you get off telling Lena what she’s going to do with anything? Lena’s right. Kara does have a God complex. You’re not the decider, Supergirl. Lena makes a good, rational point that humans face danger every single fucking day, but they don’t let that stop them from living. How many buildings has Supergirl destroyed, putting hundreds of humans’ lives in danger? Their lives aren’t worth less than yours, Kara.
This is her “I’m not mad; I’m just disappointed face.” I am Lena, and Lena is me, writers.
And I’m sorry, but since when does Kara have to be the only one in charge of anything? Is one of the side effects of Kryptonite that it instantly flips a switch in her from do-gooder to control freak? Guess you better check that lead-lined case for holes, Lena.
Despite all of this negativity from Supergirl (and the woman she knows is Kara Danvers, don’t fight me), Lena stands firm, which is completely in line with who she is. And I’m digging this. Supergirl could literally squash her like a bug, and she’s sassing her right back. She acknowledges they need each other right now, and this is how it’s going to have to be.
Pro tip — good apologies don’t include “you have to understand that…” Just apologize. This is your best fucking friend! Er, adjective. Not verb. You know what I mean.
Lena’s voice shaking when she explains that making the Kryptonite was personal to her, too, shows us again how GOOD she is. She knew what she was risking, but her friendship with Sam was all that mattered. These are not the actions of a villain.
The only danger I see here is Lena’s cheekbones.
This is the look of a woman who was just betrayed by her best friend again, when said best friend brought up Lena helping Supergirl, as if Supergirl isn’t standing two feet away from her. And then Lena…lets loose.
All of that frustration she has that her best friend has been lying to her for months about being Supergirl, the disagreement with the Kryptonite, and maybe even that she’s been pushing her to be with James is just too much. And Lena tells Kara what we’ve all been shouting. Supergirl is being a hypocrite when it comes to Lena, and she’s done with it, going so far as to compare her to Lillian.
Oh, and she says Supergirl had James search her vault, telling Kara two things — one, she assumes Kara knows James is Guardian; two, Lena knows James is Guardian. There’s a lot to unpack in those two statements.
She reasons through a problem with Space Granddad. But Lena? She shouts and accuses her of being evil.
And Mon-el, who has fucked up dozens of times, who has betrayed Kara countless times, and who is just now on the road to being a “good person,” even though that apparently means leaving your wife — Kara looks at him like he’s a hero. And she looks at Lena like she’s a villain.
And that’s unfair. That’s unfair to Lena, to Kara, and even to Mon-el. And it’s unfair to us.
And that is not the Kara Danvers that existed in this universe prior to this.
You can’t create dynamic, unique female characters who we cheer for, we love, we connect to, and who we both want to BE and BE WITH and then suddenly try to insist that they need the men to get through this wacky thing called life. Because it’s unbelievable, it’s out of character, and it’s insulting.
You can’t create a fucking superhero who believes in the inherent good of people, who befriends Lena Luthor because she knows that people shouldn’t be judged on the actions of their families or last names, and then expect us to suddenly believe Kryptonite is enough to ruin this relationship. Because let’s suspend disbelief for one minute and say Lena doesn’t know Kara is Supergirl. Okay, fine. Supergirl knows Lena is Kara Danvers’ best friend. And Kara Danvers knows that Lena Luthor is one of the best people she knows. I don’t buy it.
You created this wonderful relationship and then are seemingly trying to turn it against each other. Lena versus Kara is lazy writing. A Super and a Luthor as enemies? It’s been done. A Super and a Luthor as gal pals, taking on the world and making it a better place? Now, that’s compelling.
And, I mean, I say “you can’t,” but really, you can. It’s not my show. I’m just a fan, and the writers owe me nothing. I know that. Do your thing, writers. But…don’t expect me to follow you blindly. You’re not the Lena to my Kara. You haven’t given me enough reason to trust you.
And I won’t. Trust you, blindly, that is. Because while you don’t owe me anything, I don’t owe you anything either. I’m not saying this as a threat, because I’m self-aware enough to realize that my voice is a tiny one in the deep well of this fandom. But if you ruin a show and the characters I love, I’m not going to watch it. I’m not going to use the hashtag. I’m not going to DVR it or buy it or rewatch it or live-tweet it. I’m not going to support its advertisers, and I’m not going to spend my Tuesday mornings writing about it.
All I’ve ever wanted was for this show to be good. To live up to its potential that I have seen with my own eyes. Give me a reason to trust you, Supergirl. Get your shit together. Be the Lena to my Kara.
Bonus content that didn’t fit anywhere else:
- I genuinely like Mehcad Brooks as an actor. I enjoyed him on Necessary Roughness, and I think he’s handsome, charming, and engaging. But this show doesn’t know what to do with him, and they’re doing him a disservice by shoving him in this unbelievable relationship. He’s better than this.
- James, if you fling your arm like that, does that shield just come out? That must be awkward at meetings.
- “New from Ulta, Kryptonite spray. Let it Reign down on you.”
- If Patricia has never met her granddaughter, why does she have a picture?
- Alex Danvers made me even gayer dot org
- ALEX DANVERS ON A MOTORCYCLE
- Okay, but seriously, Alex Danvers’ arc in this episode is 100% true to her character. So the writers know their own characters. They just choose to ignore them sometimes.
- Also, that Luthor Mansion reveal was super cool.
- Shout-out to Cynthia Stevenson as the mansion caretaker, who starred in Hope and Gloria, a sitcom that aired from 1995-1996 that took place in Pittsburgh.
- James says “Pestilence” oddly.
- Supergirl’s muscles are very distracting in this episode. I blame all of the fanfic I’ve been reading. Why don’t we ever see Kara in short sleeves?
- If Mon-el hadn’t interrupted them, I wonder if Supergirl would have come out to Lena as Kara.
- Two Lillian Luthor references in this episode. Does this mean we’ll see Brenda Strong again soon?
- Consider this an official request for Imra to join the Waverider.
- Lena bought all of that ice cream because she hoped Kara would be there. You can’t convince me otherwise.
I just wanted to say a quick thank-you to Melissa Hernández, whose Lena-only YouTube videos have made these LenaCaps so much easier.
Thanks for reading, friends. I’d say I hope you enjoyed this, but I don’t think it was very enjoyable. It was a frustrating episode to watch and a frustrating episode to write about. I’ll see you here next week, maybe, and until then, stay sexy and don’t betray your characters.