Lena Luthor Is Smarter Than You’ll Ever Be

Hello, friends and fellow Lenasexuals. It’s been a while. But I’m here now, and isn’t that all that matters?

I have a lot of thoughts on Lena from this season, from her suits to her boxes, but I’m just going to do a quick Lenacap of last week’s episode, 4×15, “O Brother Where Art Thou,” AKA the episode in which we met Lena’s dad father elder uncle grandpa extremely older brother, Lex. Man, it’s like Supergirl said, “Wow, we haven’t had a condescending white guy be a prick in a while, so what could we do?” Well done on that account, I guess, but to no one’s surprise, a lady is the one who bears the brunt of his assholery.

You can probably see where this is going, but let’s go there anyway, shall we?

We open on the four-years-ago Luthor siblings as Lex gloats about — you know what? Who cares. Lex is being a dick by somehow introducing the world to a red sun and killing random people, and Lena just wants him to fucking chill out, because Lena Luthor Is A Good Person. Step aside, straight white guy. No one cares. Especially Lena. At least she looks good.

Screenshot (3057).png

You can tell it’s a flashback because her eye makeup isn’t as sharp.

Just have you and Superman pull them out and measure, Lex. Isn’t that what this is really about?

So now Lex is being eaten alive by kryptonite cancer or something and was granted a mercy furlough to see his sister. That…seems unlikely, but whatever. What we do find out is that Lena has been talking to him for at least six weeks, and Lex apparently pulled some strings to get her in with the DEO. Whatever, dude. She could have done it herself. Anyway, he wants her Harun-El, but Lena isn’t ready to save him yet. Plus, it isn’t ready and could maybe kill him. I mean, we all have to take risks. That’s just one of them.

Screenshot (3062).png

Me when I’m expected to believe Jon Cryer

is an appropriate age to play Lex Luthor in this universe.

We get a condescending interaction with Lex and Eve, designed just to throw us off the fact that she’s been in his skull cap for years, and Eve tells Lena James has been shot. So of course Lena rushes to the hospital and gratefully embraces…Kara, who she was so worried about.

Screenshot (3073).png

Um, why are we all here again? Oh, right. James.

Lena starts to spiral as she starts a “don’t they know who I am” huff, and Brainy reminds her of her boxes. Er, so to speak.

Alex finds Lena waiting outside of James’ hospital room and encourages her to summon a scientific breakthrough through “sheer force of will,” which of course she does. But let’s focus on the important things about this scene.

 

Gay.

Alex believes in Lena. Period. Full stop. The woman who used to spend holidays alone, working, has the director of the DEO telling her that she is extraordinary.

Alex encourages Lena to try and find “another resource,” and for some reason, we’re supposed to believe that Lex is the key to her figuring out the Harun-El. Okay, sure. Whatever. I’ll give you a pass on this one because Lena is about to put on The Suit and I just want to get there. Lena tells Lex she doesn’t trust him, but she needs him, and I managed not to throw up in my mouth, so let’s cut our losses and move on, shall we?

Ever since they were kids, Lex has told Lena she was an idiot, and that has driven her to be a better person, so that’s what he’s doing here. Oh, Lena. Lena, Lena, Lena. You are so much better than this. You’ve never stood behind a man, so why are you letting one pull your strings and lead you where he wants you to go? The show is really showing us one of Lena’s few weaknesses as a human. She knows she’s the smartest person in the room, and she’s right every single time. But she has a blind spot when it comes to her biological family in that she’s always seeking their approval while simultaneously feeling like she never deserves it, all the while feeling like she can never be truly good because she’s a Luthor.

Screenshot (3090).png

Seriously, did prison age you like 40 years?

And Lex is smart enough to capitalize on it, then takes credit for all of her successes, like most mediocre men. I’m getting angry. Let’s see her again, shall we?

Screenshot (3092).png

lasdjfl;asdf;lsDFLdf’lsd

Oh, and then he compliments her and says he’s proud of her, which is just another attempt to manipulate her, really. Kara’s Kryptonite may be, well, Kryptonite, but Lena’s is her never-ending search for familial approval…and the lack of realization that she doesn’t need it.

Screenshot (3094).png

Big Harun-El Energy.

Oh, and then we have another misleading scene where Eve tries to “convince” Lena that it’s a bad idea to work with Lex. Eve, you are communism, and this is a red herring.

Lena, with Lex’s help, figures out the Harun-El, and I have no problem believing that Lena can bioengineer a cure for everything out of mysterious alien black rock. What I have an issue with is that she needed Lex to do it.

Lena’s sad because James is in surgery and she can’t help him, and then Lex tells her some story about a douchily named dog named Ignatious how he met her mother once and she was nice, and while all of the Luthors are a trash fire, Lena comes from a good person. And because apparently Lena has turned into a human who can’t do anything without her brother’s influence, she races off to the hospital to be with her ex, an ex who she says she broke up with because she didn’t want him to find out she’d been working with Lex, but in my mind, she just realized she could do better. Potato, pot-tah-to.

Screenshot (3116).png

If I go to the hospital, does that mean I have to see James again,

or can I just hang out with the Danvers sisters?

Sweet lesbian Jesus, look at that eye makeup.

At Lex’s prompting (barf), Lena busts into James’ operating room, ignoring all scientific and medical protocols, tells everyone to leave or they’re fired, and injects James with the Harun-El as Alex and Kelly (Ally? Kelex? AgentOlson?) look on. I mean, I guess she’s saving him anyway with her magic serum, but could she have stopped for 30 seconds and washed her hands and put on a mask?

Anyway, whatever. She saves him. I just hope that one of the side effects of Harun-El is that you don’t attempt to date people who are better than you.

And then we find out that Lex has been playing his sister like a fiddle all along. He had James shot so she would finish the serum AND test it out on him, all so Lex could have it injected into himself and he could escape his creepy mansion compound. Oh, and Secret Double Agent Eve Tessmacher has been working with him all along, which I guess includes when she worked for Cat Grant at Catco? Uh, okay. I guess that’s one way to play the long game. Maybe Lex is the one who told Lena to buy Catco in the first place? Except LENA LUTHOR HAS NEVER STOOD BEHIND A MAN.

Screenshot (3122)

Me at their attempts to make Lena appear weak.

So Lex Luthor, who hates at least Kryptonians, if not all aliens, with every fiber of his being, is relying on alien tech to keep him alive? Alien tech that’s been morphed into a serum that only his sister could figure out? You’re not the man of tomorrow, Lex. You’re the boy of yesterday. Sit down.

So this show has taken the “healthiest” familial relationship that Lena has, which is with her sociopathic brother who has tried to kill her multiple times, and made it so he not only double-crossed her but he took one of her friends/most trusted coworkers with him. And this is after introducing us to this human piece of garbage and then gifting him a lighthearted romp at the end of the episode where he gleefully uses his supervillain toys to kill a bunch of people…all while Lena lay unconscious, chained to a wheelchair, with Eve standing guard. Careful, Supergirl. You’re walking a fine line (again) in a show that’s supposed to support women, not beat them down and use their misfortune to further the storyline of a guy.

Random Thoughts of Randomness:

  • Whose strings is Lex pulling? The president’s?
  • I am amused that Lena doesn’t go for “he’s my ex” and instead chooses “I own this hospital” as the reason she should be able to see James. But I guess that tracks. Also, is there a business in town Lena Luthor doesn’t fucking own? I suspect she came up with the recipe for the sticky buns at Noonan’s and probably also owns the gym she and Kara were spinning in. And I’ve also heard she owns the National City Lakehawks.
  • Lena totally knows Kara is Supergirl, what with her “Supergirl is the one who saved you; you should be thanking her.” I see you, Lena. I see you.
  • The Eve reveal was equal parts completely expected and so fucking shocking that I clutched my gay pearls. It had been in my mind all along that she could be evil, but honestly, Andrea Brooks’ portrayal was so honest and sincere and lovely, I just decided I was being paranoid. How could Eve be anything but good, like Lena?

The Danvers Sisters, Kelly Olson, and Nia Nall Corner:

  • What if Alex “finds out” that Kara is Supergirl because Kelly tells her? You know, because James is Kara’s “best friend.”
  • Also, James is not Kara’s best friend. It’s Lena. Get it together, Alex.
  • Kara not being at the hospital probably just feels like the last thing in a long line of her not being there for her sister. Because Alex doesn’t remember Kara rushing out on mashing the potatoes in her Supergirl uniform; she just knows she wasn’t there. This storyline has been really interesting and heartbreaking and shows us all just how important these sisters are to the fabric of this show, and I’m ready to Tara Maclay it all and skip to the end now and have them be happy.
  • I’m so happy to meet an Olson that I don’t automatically hate.
  • Is it weird that I expected Kelly to call James “Jimmy”?
  • The second best thing about this episode was the Nikazie Instagram live after it ended.

And, because I love you all, have some Bonus Suit.

Lena Luthor Would Never Write This Storyline

Because Lena Luthor is a smart, intelligent, thoughtful woman who probably wouldn’t underestimate the audience of a show about a female superhero.

And I’m not mad, Supergirl. I’m just disappointed, because I know you can do better. And this isn’t some delusional “Kara Danvers was her best in season one” rant. It’s “hey, remember two episodes ago when my girls traipsed around in the Reignforest and saved the day? Me too.” Let’s do that again.  Continue reading

#DragonCon Panels — Smashing the Patriarchy One Panel at a Time

So, I originally intended to include these “comments’ in our initial DragonCon post, but they…kind of took on a life of their own. So if you were interested in two of the panels Michelle and I attended about Person of Interest and Supergirl, well, look no further.

On Sunday morning, we decided to hit up a couple of non-Wynonna Earp panels. First up was Person of Interest, and let me tell you, the two guys running this panel had no idea what was about to hit them. It was sparsely attended — maybe 10-15 people — and most of the audience was female, with two male moderators. Little did they know that in our group of five, three of us had very strong opinions about the show, two were obsessed with it while it was on, and one even had a POI tattoo.

First of all, it took 13 minutes for Root to even be mentioned, and though I realize that she wasn’t an original character, that seems…a bit long for what some say is the most pivotal character in the entire series. Then, one of them referred to award-winning actress Camryn Mannheim as “that heavy woman with the ponytail,” and I. Fucking. Lost it. I get not being able to remember someone’s name, but that’s an unacceptable, patriarchal way to describe somebody. Control was an amazing character, and Camryn Mannheim is the shit. Fuck you and your brain that that’s how you describe her, by reducing an amazing actress to your perception of her body type. And let me tell you, moderator-on-the-right, to quote my mother, you’re no Raquel Welch. (Yes, that is a direct quote from Maggie Lesbiyinzer, about one of my exes. Stay classy and current, Mom.)

After Michelle spoke the first time, a moderator cut her off — well, he tried to. When he interrupted her, we both shouted back — some combo of “Let me/her finish!” And they did. They didn’t want to call on her again after that, and when a dude behind her left, he pointed at her, like, “Let the lady speak.” After she finished speaking, I will say that the women in the room mobilized and all began talking, and no one was interrupted again. But I’ve said too much — I’ll turn things over to her and let her shout about her favorite show.

[ Michelle’s opus begins ]

It’s no secret that Person of Interest is my all-time favorite show. When I saw that there was a Person of Interest fan panel at DragonCon, I kind of lost my shit. I love Wynonna Earp and I attended DragonCon for it, but holy shitballs, I was unhealthily excited to discuss POI.

When we arrived at the room and saw who the panel consisted of, I had a bad feeling about what the next hour would entail…and, damn, was I right. The two white guys who were “the panel” didn’t understand Person of Interest on a fundamental level, and it hurt to listen to them talk about a show that means so much to me in such shitty terms. It’s a small miracle I didn’t Lucado all over the room (which I think my friends were expecting, based on their constant worried glances). [ Editor’s note — we were. ] I’ll admit that much of the panel is a blur because the thirty minutes I gave the panelists to prove themselves was thirty minutes I spent trying to control myself and not jump up shouting. Eventually, they said the one thing I couldn’t keep quiet about and thus started my evisceration of the two panelists, who were nowhere near prepared for me.

I’m going to break down every point they made that is false, but I’ll start with the thing that had me forgetting my fear of talking to any crowd bigger than five and raising my hand. They claimed that Carter and Root dying was good for the development of Harold (and his fucking glasses) and John. 

While I agree that both Carter and Root’s storylines had to end in their death (but Root is totally alive), them both dying as a plot device to further John/Harold’s story is a fucking abomination. In my opinion, those two deaths being portrayed as they were ended up being two of the biggest missteps the show made. The Carter and John romance was the brain child of Jim Caviezel (I don’t care enough to look up spelling) [ Editor’s note — I did, and it’s right. ] and the show laid zero groundwork for it. Yes, they used the sudden romance well in furthering John’s development, BUT a woman of color had to die for John to grow? Hello, damaging trope! Carter’s storyline needed to end in her death because that was the natural conclusion to her going rogue to take down HQ. Making her death about John did a massive disservice to Carter and everything Taraji P. Henson brought to the character.

Now let’s talk about Root. These guys running the panel liked that Root died to give Harold the push he needed to give The Machine freedom to destroy Samaritan, but here’s the thing — I STRONGLY DISAGREE. First off, 2016 was a flaming trash heap of a year for female queer characters on TV and having Root die to further the development of a straight white dude was NOT OKAY. As much as it pains me to say, Root dying was an inevitability of the show. She grew from the young girl who lost her best friend to the patriarchy, Samantha Groves, to a hacker assassin who believed that humanity was a lost cause, that we were all “bad code”. Through her work with The Machine and Team Machine, Root learned that while humans are flawed, every life matters. Her sacrificing herself for The Machine makes perfect sense because of course she’d sacrifice herself for her god who was out to save humanity from the oppression Samaritan represented. But was it necessary for her to die to save Harold? No. The show introduced the idea of simulations in “If-Then-Else,” which is quite possibly the best episode of the series. We see The Machine run hundreds of thousands of simulations in a matter of seconds to determine the best strategy to optimize success while minimizing losses. In “The Day the World Went Away,” Root takes a bullet meant for Harold while fleeing from Samaritan. I find it hard to believe that in the time we saw the sniper preparing to when he fired that The Machine wouldn’t have found a way to save both its Primary Asset and Harold. It doesn’t make sense and demonstrates that the show killed Root to further Harold’s development. Had Harold gotten over his PTSD from the 400+ iterations of The Machine he created that failed, listened to everyone telling him to set The Machine free to save humanity, and stopped being a self-righteous idiot, Root wouldn’t have had to die that way. Yes, she would have had to die in service of her god, but not for anyone other than herself.

ALSO, these guys tried to rebuff my statement by explaining that Root had to decide to save the people she cared about because Shaw and Harold were in the car. FALSE! Anyone who loves the show knows that Shaw forced Root to leave her behind again to save Harold from his own stupidity. Root told Shaw she was a shape tracing a line through the infinite, then she fled with Harold because he decided to go back to a coffee shop he frequented with Grace.

I made quite a few other comments that led the panelists to try and pretend I don’t exist but I don’t remember them, so I’m just going to break down everything they got wrong.

  1. POI was a story about horrible people doing horrible things

This is the most nonsensical idea about POI one could have. Yes, POI is a story about people doing “horrible” things. And yes you could classify them as horrible people. BUT “horrible” is a completely subjective term. Yes, Team Machine did some horrible things in the name of The Machine BUT are they horrible? Each and every person in POI was fighting for what they deemed was right; yes, each of them did something that could be classified as “horrible” but when in the name of what they believed was the right thing how horrible can it be? As Harold once said, “I suppose that everyone feels that he is the hero of his story. But there are no heroes; no villains. Just people doing the best they can.” Every single individual on POI was a person doing everything in their power for what they believed was right.

  1. The Machine represented and “old” style of thought while Samaritan represented a “new” style.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! If you don’t get that they represent the extreme sides of surveillance culture, I don’t know that to tell you.

  1. John’s romances

After the masterful job the show did in portraying John and Jessica’s relationship early in the series, I have no idea why they felt the need to try and shove John into other relationships. His no-strings-attached relationship with Zoe was everything we needed for his character. The ridiculous relationship with his therapist was the writers not understanding the story they were telling.

  1. The shows that POI is in syndication with.

WHO THE FUCK CARES?!?!?!

  1. John & Harold being the most important characters.

*chokes on bullshit*
I’m sorry, if you believe the show hit its stride before Root and Shaw were introduced, you must have irreparable brain damage. I could rant for thousands of words on why this is fact, but will refrain until asked. (Ask me, I dare you.)

[Thus endeth Michelle’s portion]

Thank you for that, Michelle. Does anyone else think she feels pretty strongly about that subject?

Buoyed with a dislike for the patriarchy and a passion for seeing our favorite female characters represented accurately, we headed over to the Supergirl panel, where none other than the amazing Bridget Liszewski was a panelist. We sat ourselves near the front, where a group of similarly minded panel attendees had brought a loaf of white bread. Anytime they said “Mon-el,” we were to all take a bite of the bland, bland square of “nourishment.”

It was so hard, guys. Much like it is impossible to stomach that bland piece of crap who’s been forced down our throats under the guise of “loving Kara,” with each bite, I had to force my jaws to chew the tasteless cube, trying to push it down my throat with an increasing nausea.

Unfortunately, the panel was similar. Bridget started things off with the right tone. When asked what her favorite relationship on the show was, she answered, “Kara and Lena.” One of her co-panelists said that their relationship never even struck him as romantic and that it was much like Lex and Clark on Smallville. Counterpoints to that argument:

  1. Lip bite, or lack thereof, between Clark and Lex.
  2. Lex never filled Clark’s apartment with flowers.
  3. I love both Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling’s performances as Lex and Clark, and they had good “frenemy” chemistry. You know what they didn’t have? Romantic chemisty. You know who does? Lena and Kara.
  4. Lex and Clark didn’t have more chemistry together than Lois and Clark OR Lana and Clark. Lena and Kara have more chemistry together than Jimmy and Kara, Mon-el and Kara, and Adam and Kara COMBINED.

Some people in the audience (men, I believe) had all kind of Bread-splaining ready to go about why Mon-el wasn’t the actual worst, and let me tell you, I (and many others) were having none of it. At one point, I got so incensed (I think it was to the “point” that Mon-el had no good examples of how to be a good partner and he was acting that way because he cared about Kara) that I did the unthinkable. I RAISED MY HAND TO COMMENT.

Oh, I get nervous just thinking about it now, days later.

Of course, the panelist calling on people channeled Michelle’s BFF from the POI panel and tried to move on to a different topic (I guess he was tired of being shouted at?), but my pal Nic was like, “WE HAVE ANOTHER ONE OVER HERE,” pointing at me. Problem is, I get really nervous talking in front of people, so my face instantly turned red as I spoke (and was maybe still red for our 12:20 photo op), but I persisted. I pointed out that Mon-el doesn’t treat Kara like he cares about her; rather, he treats her as someone he wants to control. But, hey, what do I know?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, maybe, to be honest), we only could stick around for half of that panel because of said photo op, but I did get one takeaway from what we saw. Bridget Liszewski is a true ally of the LGBTQ community and is willing to call out queer-baiting when she sees it. Bridget is one of the good ones, and we’re lucky to have her.


#Liszewbian

Persisting

The season finale of Supergirl  was last night, and to no one’s surprise, I have a lot of feelings about it. Also to no one’s surprise, I do not have a lot of time. So I’m just going to touch on two sets of women very, very briefly. 

Obviously, spoilers are ahead

Alex & Maggie

I have loved this relationship since the beginning. I know some people feel their story was rushed, but I am not one of them. Please keep in mind, though, that I technically moved in with my now-wife after our fifth date. There was a year of long-distance dating and ten years of friendship before that, but still. Date five was a cross-country road trip moving her back to the Burgh.

A lot of people feel that the marriage proposal feels rushed, and if it felt like an actual proposal to me, I’d agree. But it wasn’t. Everyone almost died, Kara lost the man she loved (barf, but whatever), and it had been an intense, action-packed couple of…days? Weeks? Hours? Seasons? Whatever. Shit was crazy. And baby gay Alex looks at her girlfriend and is filled with this euphoria of finally being happy and this terror of almost losing the person who helped her realize said happiness. So she, in true queer-lady fashion, jumps ahead 17 steps and says “marry me.” But. ..it’s one of those things you blurt out in the moment, like when my first girlfriend did the same thing…a fact which my wife had no idea about and led to a great morning conversation. 

Anyway, it didn’t feel real to me. I think Maggie will set her “straight,” so to speak, maybe they’ll move in together, we will see a fight or breakup towards the end of next season, and then this topic will get revisited. So, yes, it would have been too soon if it had been “real.” But I don’t see season 3 opening with Winn at Kleinfelds helping our girls say yes to some dresses. 

Also, eternally hopeful Monica refuses to believe the writers would build up this love story and them have a proposal less romantic than gay prom Valentine’s Day. 

Cat & Lena

Oh, Cat Grant. How I’ve missed you. You stepped in where Eliza couldn’t and mothered the ever-loving fuck out of sweet Kira. Most touching may have been where you admitted you had read all of her articles from your yurt (with or without Rob Lowe) and that her prose was…decent. And then you gave a speech that I want to tattoo on my body so I can reference it at all times. Not as “so say we all” as the previous episode’s, but more “you spoke directly to my heart and I love you.”

 It just feels like this pain isn’t gonna go away. 

Ah, well, that’s what I said about childbirth. But it did. And it will. Now , see, the thing that makes women strong, is that we have the guts to be vulnerable. We have the ability to feel the depths of our emotion, and we know that we will walk through it to the other side. And by the way, you have accomplished great things this year…

But you, my dear, are on a hero’s journey. Like Joseph Campbell would say. And yes, you have hit a bit of an obstacle, but you will soar right over it. Just like I would. Except, of course, you won’t be wearing Louboutins.

Cat telling Kara exactly what she needed to hear, giving her the strength to fight another day — That’s what strong women so. We build each other up. 

What we don’t do is take credit for saving the world when it was actually our genius scientist/CEO daughter who did it. And it’s because of things like that that Lena looks towards evil old-school Lois Lane — ahem, I mean Rhea — for validation. 

Kara is a strong, amazeballs woman because of the women who helped shape her; Lena, in spite of them.

I’m looking forward to what the writers have in store for us next season. Be a Cat, guys. Not a Lillian. Build us up, not make us sad.