After a couple of so-so episodes, ‘Supergirl’ gains altitude once again with an entertaining entry that focuses on everyone’s favorite villainous family, the Luthors.
Things get underway with a flashback scene that takes place 20 years ago. Lillian Luthor (Brenda Strong) is playing chess with young Lex when Lionel Luthor returns home with Lena in tow. Lionel and Lillian have a contentious conversation about accepting Lena into the family. Those unclear about what’s actually going on here will have things confirmed shortly.
All of our main characters get together at the bar where Mon-El works so that Alex can introduce them to her significant other. Of course, everyone except J’onn (who’s psychic, after all) expects her to show up with a boyfriend, but they all happily accept Maggie into the gang.
Meanwhile, Lena Luthor – who has just testified against her mother during her criminal trial – goes to visit Lillian in prison. There, Lillian reveals that Lena (who knows she was adopted as a child but doesn’t know why they chose her) is a true Luthor by blood, not a random orphan. Lionel had an affair with another woman. When Lena’s real mother died, he made Lena part of his family.
Despite that revelation and the fact that her adoptive mother says she wants to make amends for not being there for her, Lena still isn’t interested in helping Lillian in any way, shape or form. As this is going on, John Corben (a.k.a. Metallo) is in his own prison cell where a guard drops off an envelope for him. Inside is a glowing chunk of kryptonite that will allow him to become a supervillain once again. (So much for the prison workers checking mail for contraband, heh?)
The next day while testifying in court, Corben does exactly that – zapping (with the kryptonite beam that shoots out of his chest) the prosecuting attorney and then making a break for it with Lillian. Supergirl tries to stop them both outside the courthouse, but Metallo zaps a nearby construction crane and the Girl of Steel has to let the two of them escape so she can save a group of bystanders instead.
Lillian’s escape has a negative impact on Lena when a video is discovered that appears to show her removing the kryptonite from the L-Corp building. Kara insists that the video must be doctored, but she’s the only one who has any faith in Lena. Everyone else around her insists that Lena must be just as evil as the rest of her family. Lena is arrested and locked behind bars herself, but that doesn’t last long. Metallo arrives to break her out. Guardian shows up trying to stop him, but gets knocked out.
Reunited with her daughter, Lillian and Metallo drive Lena to a secret warehouse where Lex stored all kinds of high-tech weaponry he was developing. However, only someone with Luthor blood can unlock the biometric vault. That’s why Lillian needed to get Lena out of prison. Lena refuses to help, but Cyborg Superman (who really should be called Cyborg Martian Manhunter, since he looks like J’onn) forces her to open the vault. Inside, Lillian finds a number of projects Lex was working on, including a small metal cube that looks like it could hold something the size of a baseball or softball. I’m sure we’ll find out more about that in a future episode.
Thankfully, Kara gets Winn to take a closer look at the video and prove that it was doctored. It was actually Cyborg Superman who took the kryptonite. Thanks to the emissions given off by the kryptonite in Metallo’s chest, Winn is able to pinpoint the Luthors’ location. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the kryptonite is actually synthetic and is dangerously unstable. It’s about to explode and could kill Supergirl in the process. That doesn’t stop her from flying off to rescue Lena, of course. When she gets there, she has to take on both Metallo and Cyborg Superman. Just when it looks like the bad guys have the upper hand, Martian Manhunter shows up to help, and our two heroes are able to fly away with Lena just seconds before the kryptonite (and Metallo as well) detonates in a nuclear-like explosion.
A helicopter was also spotted flying away from the explosion, and Lillian and Cyborg Superman’s whereabouts remain unknown. Lena meets with Kara the next day to thank her for being a friend through all the recent events. However, after Kara leaves, a flashback sequence shows a young Lena beating a young Lex at a game of chess. Back in the present, Lena studies the pieces on her own chess board. Does this mean that she’s playing a long con with Kara and she’s not her friend after all? Time will tell.
The episode wraps up with Mon-El coming over to Kara’s place to talk about their relationship (or lack of it). Kara finally admits that she has feelings for him and moves in for a kiss… but before that can happen, a bright light swirls around them and a mysterious man appears in the apartment. He introduces himself as Mr. Mxyzptlk and claims that he is in love with Kara.
While this week’s entry is far from my favorite episode of the series, it’s a step in the right direction and the best episode the show has had since returning from its Christmas break. Next week’s episode seems like it will be a lot of fun – although it looks like it was actually scheduled to air the week of Valentine’s Day instead of the week after. Regardless, it appears we’ll get a more humorous and lighthearted romp next time out.