Since moving to The CW for its sophomore season, Supergirl has adopted some of the stylistic choices of the network's other superhero series to create a uniform feel across the Berlanti-verse. For instance, the series now relies more heavily on post-episode stingers as a means of setting up future conflicts. Monday's episode, "Crossfire," featured yet another major reveal in the episode's closing moments.
No, we're not talking about Alex's (Chyler Leigh) late episode confession to Maggie (Floriana Lima) that she's struggled romantically her entire life and has only recently realized in the wake of their meeting that she is gay. We knew that development was coming. We're talking about the reveal that the dangerous and alien-hating leader of Cadmus (Brenda Strong) is none other than Lena Luthor's (Katie McGrath) mother.
Sure, maybe we should have seen it coming as well given the fact Lex Luthor, Superman's archenemy who's not been seen but was mentioned in the Season 2 premiere when Lena was first introduced, is well known around these parts for his anti-alien sentiment. There was also the way Strong's character proudly announced to one of Cadmus' Totally Expendable Henchmen (R.I.P., dude) that she had a son and a daughter and was attempting to end the alien influence on Earth and save the world from the so-called "alien apocalypse."
But we still didn't necessarily put two and two together. In our defense, there was a lot going on this week. For instance, Mon-El (Chris Wood) wore a bow tie as he attempted to fit into the life Kara (Melissa Benoist) molded for him at CatCo, and it was almost as distracting as the chemistry building between said aliens. Another reason we maybe didn't see the Luthor family connection coming is that we were really focused on the bromance finally brewing between James (Mehcad Brooks) and Winn (Jeremy Jordan ) now that the former's camera was destroyed and he's decided that he is feeling unfulfilled professionally and wants to become a bat-wielding vigilante. Winn has decided to be the sidekick's sidekick, which should turn out to be comedy gold.
But the Cadmus connection is big news for Supergirl as it calls into question whether or not Lena, who this week staged an elaborate gala just to stop Cadmus' Totally Expendable Henchman, is going to be able to separate herself from the rest of the Luthor family. There's a certain negative connotation that accompanies the name Luthor, and we've seen that through rebranding and new technology Lena is attempting to shed that. But will she end up betraying Kara because of her family loyalties or will she prove not all Luthors are created equally? If it's the former, it will be a shame that the newfound friendship between Lena and Kara or even Lena and Supergirl will go up in flames because of a close-minded pursuit to keep out those who are different. Make good choices, Supergirl. Please.
Although Supergirl has spent a few weeks heavily focused — almost to a fault — on the heavy-handed metaphor surrounding the rights of aliens in the name of equality, "Crossfire" was the first episode to really push these storylines forward in any real way. The hour did a lot of heavy lifting as it started to build the foundation for the Luthor/Cadmus reveal as well as the friendship between Kara and Mon-El, but those storylines in addition to Alex's sexual awakening and James' new role meant a lot was happening at once. Though the episode didn't necessarily feel off balance or stuffed, it'll be nice when all of these parallel threads are fully up and moving and start to come together.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.
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