Lex Luthor is waging full-on war against Supergirl; he wants the Red Daughter to turn Supergirl into an enemy of the state rather than America's hero.
But to understand Lex's motives and the creation of the Red Daughter, Supergirl Season 4 Episode 16 had to turn the clocks back three years to the very beginning of the series.
Usually, I'm not a fan of flashback episodes, but seeing rounded Red Daughter origin story from the big bad's viewpoint gave us all the answers we've been seeking throughout Supergirl Season 4.
I'm surprised they were able to cram so much information into one hour, but it undoubtedly allows us to move into the more exciting part of the series freely.
We were able to see how Lex Luthor worked in the background to infect the present-day with his madness.
The first flashback takes us to Lex's infamous trial.
The scene is executed brilliantly from James and Lena testifying to the ease with which Lex murders the judge and jury without lifting a finger to his poetic exit set to Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' as he's charged with murder, ecoterrorism, and crimes against humanity.
We didn't need to get reasons for Lex's lockup, but the scene was effective in showing that Lex is capable of executing his hellish plans even when he's incarcerated.
That paired with how much he genuinely enjoys being evil makes him terrifying.
His 'Superman made me do it' excuse underlines his hatred for the Kryptonian kind and offers a motive to his scheme.
In this scene, we also get a look into Eve Teschmacher's voyage from brilliant Yale grad to Lex Luthor's sidekick.
Supergirl: How are you doing this?
Lex: How do you think I did it? I'm Lex Luthor.
From the get-go, Eve was a Lex Luthor super fan who praised his brilliant and "once in a generation" mind.
Seriously, 'fan girl' doesn't even begin to describe her obsession with him.
Though for now, it seems these two are in a platonic relationship, I'm interested to see if it will evolve in a romantic nature.
Lex even capitalized on Eve's dedication by encouraging her to get a job at CatCo!
This whole time she's been a double-agent, and we never realized.
The timeline then took us to six-months ago, and specifically, the final scene of Supergirl Season 3.
After Kara uses the Harun-El to trap Reign, a Siberian version of "Kara," wrapped in a blanket, walks up to a military base in Siberia.
The doppelganger possesses Supergirl's powers which the Soviet Union immediately wanted to weaponize. But when she became too much to handle, they turned to Lex Luthor's expertise.
The Red Daughter didn't stand a chance when Lex got a hold of her seeing as though he thought she was a 'godsend.'
She kept repeating 'Alex' since it was the only thing she could remember, and I wanted her to remember anything at all about Alex so she wouldn't fall for Lex's control.
But alas, she didn't, and Lex took full advantage of that by claiming he was "Alex."
From then on, he brainwashed Kaznia's version of Supergirl into becoming anti-American to further his master plan.
Lex Luthor: My father was a bad man too.
Mikhail: What did yours do?
Lex Luthor: He stayed.
If she believed that Supergirl was defending the greedy and selfish Americans, she would end up hating her.
But since Supergirl -- and anyone sharing her DNA -- is inherently kind, the Red Daughter had moments where she questioned Lex's motives and saw the good in Supergirl/Kara.
Since the Red Daughter had a few breakthroughs, I'm wondering if meeting Kara in person and seeing that she has a team of friends and family backing her will make her see things differently?
Hopefully, she sees through Lex once again and understands that he's been manipulating her to further his agenda this whole time.
She was perceptive enough to realize his anger over Lena fueled Lex. Maybe she'll sniff out the rest before it's too late?
The Red Daughter's brief affection towards Supergirl didn't sit well with Lex.
We've seen him go to extreme lengths to get what he wants before, and when his protege went off the rails, it wasn't any different.
He staged an attack by the Americans on the only person the Red Daughter cared about in Kaznia, Mikhail, the little boy she saved.
That was my favorite scene simply because Otis chose to save the kid and warned him to 'drop dead' at the sight of the bald man.
Who knew Otis had it in him?
Mikhail cannot be random. One scene mentioned his father was a 'bad man' so there has to be more to his character, especially since Otis let him live.
Jon Cryer is exceeding expectations as Lex Luthor.
Red Daughter: She is like a princess in a tower.
Lex Luthor: And on a reporters salary.
Casting Lex is hard. Nailing him is even harder, but Jon's portrayal has been enjoyable and added a layer of twisted fun this season has been lacking.
After this episode, I'm excited to see the rest of the season unfold, something I didn't think I'd ever say after the whole Ben Lockwood storyline.
I'm even interested to see the first Ben Lockwood and Lex Luthor interaction given he's behind Lockwood's rise to fame.
Lockwood and Luthor share the same ideologies. Can you imagine the moment they have a meeting of the minds?
Lex Luthor inflicts fear even on his own.
Supergirl was downright 'shook' when she saw him in National City.
And she has every right to be.
The ease with which he decided to give himself cancer to see his plan through upped the sheer level of lunacy.
We have to be prepared to expect the unexpected from this guy.
Seeing how he was also able to manipulate the warden, I wouldn't be surprised if he also had the President in his back pocket.
Supergirl acts on her emotions. It's selfish, ugly. I will not be her. I will be me. I will be disciplined. I will follow you and destroy her.Red Daughter
That would explain why President Baker nominated Ben Lockwood to the Director of the Bureau of Alien Affairs position.
There were some moments in the episode that did raise a few questions.
If anyone can clear these up, please, be my guest.
How is it that Lex knows Supergirl's true identity? His sister is best friends with the girl and still hasn't caught onto the truth. It makes me questions Lena's supposed intellect.
Is he planning on outing her to the public considering the President's desire to make her identity public?
Why was he able to break into her house so easily? Shouldn't Supergirl be alerted to this sort of thing?
How was the Red Daughter capable of imitating Kara's mannerisms? She doesn't know Kara well enough to fool Lena and especially, Alex.
And why didn't Alex think twice about seeing Kara without her glasses?
She didn't even comment on how much she looks like Supergirl without them!
Melissa Benoist sold the role of the Red Daughter not only switching seamlessly between the Siberian version and the American hero but also going in-and-out between speaking Russian and English with a heavy accent.
She's incredibly talented and yet, I couldn't come around the accent at all.
- How hilarious did Lex and Red Daughter look in their disguises? Bonus points for the Linda Lee reference, which was the secret identity used by Supergirl until 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- The only thing Lex was right about in this episode: people disappoint. True that, crazy dude.
- I kept wondering why Lex remained in prison when he could replace himself with a hologram but he's right, prison is such a good alibi. I don't want to give him too much, but he's a genius who knows how to work the system.
- I need Red Daughter's super reading powers!
- Lex addressing the ridiculousness that a reporter affords such a lush apartment was long overdue. Seriously, how much does CatCo pay?!
- Two words: Lex battlesuit!
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