Will Lena Luthor finally learn the truth about the Girl of Steel during Supergirl‘s season finale?
Throughout the second season, Kara (Melissa Benoist) somehow did the impossible by befriending someone with the last name Luthor. But unlike with nefarious brother Lex, the fight for Lena Luthor’s (Katie McGrath) soul is still very much in play.
While Lena earlier turned against her mother Lillian (Brenda Strong), the leader of anti-alien group Cadmus, recent events — like having to kill her first love Jack Spheer in order to save Supergirl, or inadvertently teaming with Rhea (Teri Hatcher) to cause an alien invasion — may have chipped away at her soul. Will Lena be forced to make a choice on which side she falls by season’s end? EW turned to McGrath to find out.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Lena has come dangerously close to learning the truth about Supergirl’s identity. Will that come to fruition during the finale?
KATIE MCGRATH: I kind of hope you don’t. Part of the fun is the fact that she’s one of the only people who doesn’t know, and that gives their relationship something different than she has with anybody else. With Lena, Kara can just be Kara; she can be Kara Danvers, not the superhero. She doesn’t have this weight and this responsibility on her. All she has to do when she’s with Lena is be a good friend. So I hope you, in a way, never see it, because what you have between the two is a very equal relationship. Lena doesn’t have to be this powerful corporate leader, she can just be a flawed human being, and so can Kara. The longer that you don’t ever see that, to me, the better.
On the one hand, you could look at this season as the Lena Luthor origin story. But because her last name is Luthor, is it fair to question whether this could’ve been a long con? Could Lena have known all along about Supergirl and been manipulating her?
But isn’t that what’s great about her as a character? In a way, you do have a preconceived notion about her, that you think because she’s a Luthor, all of these things could be true. But wouldn’t it be great to know that you are constantly surprised that she’s not? You’ve got this thing of who she is versus what she is versus who you think she is. It’s all of these things working together to make her a very interesting character that you’re constantly waiting and expecting her to become the Luthor you think she is, but what if she doesn’t? We haven’t seen a Lena before; we’ve really only seen very much a Lex and a Lionel. You know what they are. Like you said, this is a Lena origin story, in a way, and nobody really knows who she is or who she’s going to be. We get a chance to create that together. The writers and the execs and the fans, to a certain extent, everybody is part of that. That’s what makes her, for me, such an amazing character to play, is that you have expectations, but at the same time, you have none and both are exciting.
How do you think Lena would react if she learned Kara was actually Supergirl?
There’s a couple of things that go through my head when I think about this. You realize that, at some point, she’s going to have to know. Long may she not, in my opinion, but part of me goes, well, from all that you’ve seen from Lena so far, she’s very accepting to aliens and people that are different, so why would she be any different with Kara? Absolutely she’d feel, in a way, betrayed and hurt that her friend hadn’t trusted her, but at the same time, I think she’s a very levelheaded person, so she understands that it would be difficult for Kara to ultimately trust a Luthor with that secret. Then, I also think that Lena tries so hard to be so different from the rest of her family that that would carry over into that relationship, that she wouldn’t want to be Lex, she wouldn’t want to be Lionel, she would want to be who she has been so hard striving to be up until this point. I’d like to think she’d be very accepting of her best friend and the fact that her best friend is different.
Will we see Lena forced to make a big decision on whether she’s good or bad in the finale?
I couldn’t possibly tell you that. [Laughs]
Had to try!
I know you did, and bless your heart for trying. I respect that, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I gave it away, now would I?
Has Lena softened toward her mother in the wake of Lillian coming to save her?
I think what has made Lena soften toward Lillian is the fact that Rhea has betrayed her as well. The hurt from Rhea was so unexpected and so raw. With Lillian, she’s almost used to it. She isn’t surprised when Lillian betrays her or turns her back on her. It’s an old wound. But with Rhea, it’s so new and so fresh, in a way, it hurts more. Ultimately, what we’ve seen in the relationship with Lena and Lillian in episode 22, that’s what colors that. She’s hurting so much from Rhea, I think she’s more trusting of Lillian because of that.
Are Mon-El and Lena technically married? Will that be addressed?
I don’t remember saying, “I do;” I think that’s a very important part of the ceremony. So I’m going to go with: I have no idea. Wouldn’t it be fun, though?
Rhea basically said all she needed was DNA to make a Mon-El/Lena child. Should we be worried about that?
I am not going to lie to you, we had these conversations on set. [Laughs] What’s great and what’s difficult about a show like this is that as a cast, you are as much kept in the dark about details as you’re going along, which makes it exciting to read a script, and frustrating when you don’t already know. Things like that come up and the writers are very clever at giving tiny little seeds, tiny little hints that at the time you’re like, “Hmm, that’s not important,” and then becomes a major plot point. As a result, all of us in it, we question everything. We’re like, “Is this important?! Is this going to become a person in the next season?!” We don’t know! I’m thinking, “Are we going to see this, ultimately amazing, child?” Can you imagine? We don’t know, but wouldn’t it be interesting? It would be interesting to the relationship between Kara and Lena, for Mon-El and Kara, for everyone involved if we saw that. But I don’t know. You’d have to ask Andrew [Kreisberg], and if he told you and not me, I would be really pissed. [Laughs]
Anything you can tease for what role Lena plays in this final showdown in the finale?
You would be mistaken to underestimate Lena and the role that she has to play coming up in the last episode. She is a strong, confident, intelligent woman, and to think that she wouldn’t have a part to play in the ultimate resolution of this whole season, I think would be a mistake. Just wait and see, I guess is what my point is.
Will Lena and Kara have a real heart-to-heart during the finale?
I don’t know where she’d find the time. Jesus, have you seen all the stuff she has to do? She has to save National City, she has to find her boyfriend. Where does a girl find the time? What’s next as well is that coming back as a character, you get to build on all of those moments that you’ve created over a season, and because obviously you haven’t seen the last of Lena, I don’t think you’ve seen the last of Lena and Kara’s story either, so things will be dealt with, I’m sure, next season.
Supergirl‘s season finale airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.