Lena Luthor Is the Hero You’ve Been Holding Out For

Hello, friends, and welcome to this week’s LenaCap! We had such amazing, wonderful, perfect Lena content this week, and I was happy to see that the episode overall wasn’t a giant disappointment! I don’t think Supergirl is where it could be, in terms of strong female characters, maybe just because of the bad taste seasons 2 and 3 left in my mouth. But I believe with my whole Lena-loving heart that it could very well be on its way. And that makes me happy.

We open on Businesswoman!Lena, who is one of my favorite Lenas (spoiler alert — they’re all my favorite), multitasking AF, of course, when Kara brings Big Belly Burger to her BFF.

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Lena’s been working nonstop and skipping meals to work on the image inducer, because sales have skyrocketed ever since the world found out President Wonder Woman was President Wonder Alien. But our biggest takeaway here from the beginning part of this scene is, while Lena may look great in just regular heels, she looks motherfucking amazing in a knee-high boot. “Cathy,” you say, “you aren’t a fashion blogger.” But you see, Lena Luthor makes anything possible.

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Kara tries to engage Lena about the revelation about the president, but Lena’s not having it. She just says she never has had any faith in politicians (I feel you, Lena), and Kara is surprised that she’s so cynical. Um, Kara, you’re her best friend. If I’m not surprised that’s how she feels, why are you?

Lena, always the level-headed thinker with an eye on the bottom line, is happy the president stepped down, because it would have caused chaos. Kara’s worried about the fall of democracy, though, and not the loss of some zeroes in her bank account. She’s sad that everyone is fighting, and Lena gets it, even if she doesn’t feel it.

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(That eye makeup, though. Like her jawline, it could cut glass.)

And now to the second part of the reason Kara is here — she needs info on Mercy Graves, and what Lena shares with us is…not what I was expecting. When she said “Mercy’s complicated,” I was hoping for a bit more of a “naked friends with benefits” reveal, but it’s even sadder than that. With how critical Lillian always was of her, when Lex brought Mercy into their lives, it was like she had someone else on her side; someone to help her navigate life and tell her how to act, how to be. How to live. How to wear a pair of knee-high boots. Someone who was proud of her but also willing to help steer her where she wanted to go. And someone who taught her how to win. And maybe someone who taught her that “loving the taste of scotch” is a valid reason to have a noontime drink.

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Mercy left Lex because he became obsessed with Superman, and she felt that humans should be able to develop powers and abilities, like aliens, and not just develop their intelligence…something that Lena agrees with, much to her alien bestie’s chagrin. But how could anyone be surprised by this? Lena Luthor has always strove to be the best. Just because she wants humans to be as powerful as aliens doesn’t mean she wants to be more powerful. She just wants to be the best. And, you know, she is.

Our gal pals are interrupted by Eve, who tells Lena that her head of programming for the image inducer is dead, his laptop is missing, and they’re being hacked. So Cyber!Lena steps in and blocks the intruder, but not before the image inducers stop working for long enough for aliens to be exposed, albeit briefly. Including Brainy, who almost gets the snot kicked out of him by a bunch of mouth-breathing (presumably straight) white dudes. Too real.

But through it all, Cyber!Lena.

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Lena vows Mercy Graves will never get in L Corp…and then of course the building is put on lockdown because Mercy Graves is there.

And now we see Protective!Lena, who’s determined to make sure her friends don’t get hurt in the attack. And in the next couple of scenes, we see some of the most enjoyable background comedic acting from Melissa Benoist that I’ve ever seen. It legit made me chuckle…and also had me include multiple Kara gifs in a LenaCap. So that’s how you know I mean it.

Lena gives her…something (science!) to help protect against a sonic attack or whatever, so Kara just shoves them in her (apparently 14-inch deep) pocket when Lee isn’t looking.

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Kara tries to leave, or even find a closet to hide in to “lay low,” but Lena refuses, and Kara’s face is perfect.

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After Mercy appears onscreen to taunt Lena a little bit, Kara once again tries to get them to split up, but Lena’s not having it. Safety in numbers!

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And who could forget when Alex called Supergirl on her comm called her sister on the phone?

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Lena sends Eve off to do some magic, but insists that Kara stay with her. You know, for safety.

And all of this, I think, is a calculated move on Lena’s part to finally get Kara to admit she’s Supergirl. She pushes and pushes and pushes, because she knows there’s no real danger when the Girl of Steel is around. So why not press her advantage to nudge Kara out of her Kryptonite closet? She’d never force her to admit something before she’s ready, of course, but there’s no harm in trying to up the timeline, you know?

Lena and Kara track Mercy to the hidden Luthor dungeon where Lena keeps her “experimental prototypes,” and I’m sure Kara would love to nose around there a bit, but now is not the time, Kara! They find Lillian’s Lexosuit, minus one big-gunned arm. Mercy stalks out, trying to be the girl with the big-ass gun, and Lena keeps Kara behind her, trying to Protect. Mercy accuses Lena of only caring about being superior, but Lena disagrees — it’s about doing good in the world. Because Lena Luthor IS A GOOD PERSON…as you’ll see by this amazing-but-completely-unnecessary protection, special-friend style.

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Mercy somehow simultaneously taunts AND compliments Lena at the same time? You know, the way that only a former gal pal quasi-sister can do. Lex used to mock her because he was afraid she would surpass his skills, Mercy reminds Lena. They’re alike, you see — they’re both the best…which Lena disagrees with, because while Lena is top-shelf, Mercy is like middle shelf on a good day.

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Mercy accuses Lena of being motivated by only money, but we all know that isn’t true. And when Kara points out that Lena isn’t a murderer and Mercy says that’s because she hasn’t had the opportunity — well, we know that isn’t true, either.

And then LENA AND MERCY HAVE A LASER-ARM BATTLE. Here’s where Lena finally realizes she’s in trouble and sends Kara out into the hallway “for safety.” Lena’s handling it, sure, but better safe than sorry, I guess, because very shortly after, Supergirl shows up to help save the day.

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I could watch these scene on repeat for a very long time. Not even ashamed.

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Mercy tells Lena she doesn’t deserve the Luthor name, and Supergirl chooses that moment to bust in and correct our supervillain gal pal. It’s the Luthor name who doesn’t deserve Lena. They joke about how Lena could ask how Supergirl got past the lockdown but she won’t because she’s grateful for the assist. It seems like maybe Supergirl and Lena are starting to build up a friendship again, at the same time Kara seems to be losing faith in her bestie because of her stance on aliens.

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Mercy had to be where so much of her confidence came from, because Lena Luthor is nothing if not confident…at least outwardly. God knows it couldn’t have come from Lillian, who never treated Lena as though she were good enough. And then to have to fight one of the people who helped make you, especially one with ties to the brother she loved? Heartbreaking.

The writers this season I think are setting us up for a Lena with more shades of grey than we’re used to seeing, and many of those shades are going to be darker than I want them to be. But — BUT — the difference is, it really feels like the groundwork is being laid for them to make sense, storytelling-wise. We know Lena’s complicated relationship with Lillian and how that completely would fuck you up. Now we get the added info that another maternal (sisternal?) figure, Mercy, who helped shape the person Lena is today, wants Lena to choose a side. I think she’ll always choose science and knowledge with an eye on the greater good, but I imagine this choice won’t look as “good” to everyone in the room.

Oh, but also, maybe I just have my gay goggles on here, but…what’s behind this “almost” in “she was almost like a big sister,” hmm?

The difference between Lena and Mercy? Well, there are a lot of them, and a lot of similarities, too. But the main difference? They may both think that humans should strive for superpowers and strength to rival aliens, but Lena would never strike down aliens to accomplish that. She’ll work to make sure they can hide themselves, if that’s what they want. She’d never out an alien who wasn’t willing to come clean yet. Just maybe a nudge.

I do want to take a moment to say that Nia Nall gave me chills in this episode in the best way possible. She’s rapidly become a reason to watch for me, along with Alex and Lena. I feel like we’re seeing her come into her own and realize that it’s worth it to stand up for what she believes in, and it’s a journey I’m here for. I have a lot of feelings on her character and her journey, but as a cisgender woman, my voice isn’t an important one here. I look forward to reading and hearing the transgender community’s thoughts on this character and her importance, and I hope that Supergirl gives her the storyline she deserves.

The Alex Danvers/Nia Nall/Eve Tessmacher corner of randomness:
  • Brainy ordered and paid for 12 pizzas but only walked out with six. Those men were truly monsters.
  • I like that Eve had her moment of heroism. You know, with the hairpin.
  • Alex, your haircut and general badassery and compassion for Brainy? I love it all. You’re perfect.

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  • Oh, but Alex? I question your choice to put a clearly anti-alien dude in charge of the Graves siblings.
  • I wish I had Kara/Supergirl’s optimism about the state of our country.
  • Alex and Mercy’s scenes together shouldn’t have more chemistry than James and Lena’s.

As always, thanks for joining my flailing, my friends. I’ll see you next time. I Lena you all.

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