written by Dayna Abel
SPOILER WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT
There is very little in this world that could convince me that Lena Luthor is 100% heterosexual; I’m just saying.
Andrea Rojas shows up at Lena’s place to beg her for help saving Russell from the DEO. She appeals to Lena’s friendship, but Lena isn’t having it. “We’re not friends,” she says coldly. Cue the flashbacks to when they were!
Years ago at boarding school (complete with uniforms that remind me of Linda Lee’s in the ’84 Supergirl movie), Andrea chose to befriend “the new kid” Lena, quickly becoming a close confidante and so help me god they were absolutely girlfriends and you can’t change my mind. Andrea and Lena share their life goals, inspiring confidence in one another to go after their dreams. I love every second of it. More women inspiring each other to live their lives to the fullest, please!
The flashback plot revolves around finding a talisman that Lena wants to use to protect others from her increasingly villainous brother, but Andrea finds it first. It’s guarded by a mysterious Leviathan agent, who tells Andrea that if she takes the talisman and agrees to do Leviathan a favor in the future, they will arrange for Obsidian Corp to prosper, which pulls Andrea’s father out of a suicidal depression. Andrea agrees and hides the talisman from Lena for years before she finds out the truth purely by chance. Lena is furious that people died because Andrea withheld the talisman, and Andrea can’t explain herself because of her ties to Leviathan. We feel sympathetic for each of them because of their individual circumstances, but we also understand that both made terrible decisions out of fear.
Especially Lena. Oh, my poor sweet terrible angel Lena. Every single time Lena Luthor has ever trusted someone, she has been rewarded with betrayal. While I don’t count Kara’s hiding her secret as a betrayal, I do think it was a breach of trust, good intentions notwithstanding. It’s no wonder Lena is so bone-weary of people hurting one another, and I think it might be because every harmful action people take against one another is a sharp reminder of her own pain. At this point, she doesn’t trust anyone but an AI of her own creation – a friend who cannot lie to or betray her. Yet doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is still the wrong thing, and Lena’s plan is unequivocally the wrong thing. It’s still unclear what happened to Eve as we know her. Is she hibernating inside her own brain or did Lena straight-up murder her to be a host body for Hope?
I like that both Andrea and Lena are morally complex characters – I don’t quite see them as “villains.” They’re both examples of how good people can do terrible things. Even when someone’s heart is in the right place, it’s the actions and the consequences of those actions that matter. Andrea’s actions most decisively had consequences for her personally, and I suspect we’ll start seeing some of those consequences start hitting for Lena as we get closer to the Crisis on Infinite Earths…and the return of a certain someone who isn’t quite as dead as she thought.
Supergirl airs Sunday nights at 9 Eastern/8 Central on the CW. Dayna can be found on Twitter @queenanthai.