With a little help from her friends, Lena learns to balance her inner Luthor
For Good
Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
S3 E12

How satisfying is it to watch Lena embrace her Luthorness without sacrificing her humanity? About as satisfying as watching Morgan Edge snivel right up to the end. Let’s recap.

First to L-Corp, where we’re reminded of Alex’s science background as she runs an MRI on Sam, looking for possible culprits for her memory loss. Alex’s bedside manner is soothing yet encouraging as she assures Sam that they’ll figure it out.

The scans yield nothing unusual, so Alex draws blood to send to a specialist. The needle, which I assume is just a run-of-the-mill medical instrument, punctures Sam’s skin just fine. At first this seems like another way Worldkillers are different than Kryptonians, along with not needing Earth’s yellow sun and being immune to Kryptonite. But Sam shrugged off the bullets in the season premiere, so does her impenetrable skin only kick in when she’s Reign or when her body goes into instinctive protective mode? And could Worldkillers be Kryptonian genetic hybrids, as the DEO hypothesizes?

No answers tonight, but Alex does convince Sam to come clean with Lena and Kara, to whom she’s been lying about her missing time. Making herself vulnerable to others is tough for her because she’s been handling her own business since she was 16, but with Alex’s gentle reminder about how important friends are, Sam finally comes clean.

Kara and Lena are warm and supportive, although Sam still frets about what will happen if she’s not around to protect Ruby. (Foreshadowing, perhaps?) Kara assures her that they’re all her family, and Odette Annable reminds all of us that she’s the best dainty crier around. Still, at the end of the episode, Sam’s tests come back clean for tumors and blood disorders, leaving her with no idea of what’s wrong with her.

Now, to the A-plot, where Lena’s chance encounter with Morgan Edge quickly escalates to the usual unpleasantness, with Lena accusing him of being terrified of powerful women and Edge replying that she’s just a wannabe Cat Grant.

After verbally abusing the valet, Edge hops in his car and speeds off, but its brakes cut out and it autopilots itself straight toward the water. He’s able to vault into the backseat and escape through the trunk moments before it crashes through the railing and explodes in a hail of mediocre CGI.

The next thing you know, a distraught Edge bursts into the CatCo newsroom to accuse Lena of attempting to kill him via car hack, then slams out. James calls down to security to chide them for letting Edge in, but why would they wave an obviously distressed, injured business mogul on through in the first place? Truly, I’ve seen tougher security at county fair beer tents.

Anyway, Kara reports that the NCPD found no evidence of tampering, which means it was a sophisticated hack. Lena says that she wants to stop the cycle of threats and attacks before it ruins her life the way it ruined her mother’s and brother’s. Then assistant Eve enters with Lena’s coffee, and the first sip drops her to the ground, frothing at the mouth.

James races to the coffee cart and pursues the poisoner, who inexplicably hung around the scene of the crime long after selling Eve the coffee. But when James catches him, a mystery bullet drops the poisoner before he can answer any questions.

That night, Guardian suits up to dangle Edge from the top of a parking garage and threaten his life if anything happens to Lena. Edge denies trying to poison her, although he’s bummed that she didn’t die. Guardian tosses Edge into the windshield of a nearby car and departs.

Meanwhile, Kara flies an unconscious Lena to the DEO, where Alex jumps into action, detects the scent of almonds, and diagnoses cyanide poisoning. I’m a little foggy about the precise medical details, but Kara’s freeze breath cools Lena down and saves her life.

On the DEO balcony, which is quickly becoming the site of my favorite conversations this season, J’onn congratulates Kara on her quick action to save Lena, even at the risk of her secret identity. But Kara beats herself up over not being proactive in tracking down the other Worldkillers. J’onn assures her that she needs to be there for her friends, and in a world of civilians and lawmakers acting, reacting, and escalating bad behaviors — reminiscent of Mars before the Civil War, he says — Supergirl is a beacon for humanity, the calm in the storm. It may be cheesy, but I’m always here for characters reminding Kara of what Supergirl means to the world.

At J’onn’s suggestion, Kara returns Lena to CatCo so she won’t come to in a super-secret government facility. Lena wakes up and shares the strange dream she had about flying while Kara carried her. “Like Supergirl? I wish!” Kara scoffs. Aww, bless!

James and Kara tell Lena that Edge hired the poisoner, who’s since been killed by an untraceable bullet manufactured with some kind of future tech. But they don’t have any actual evidence of Edge’s involvement, so their assurances feel a wee bit rushed and sloppy. (Next page: Those lady Luthors are lionesses)

The mystery bullet is the clue Lena needs, and at L-Corp, she rifles through a confidential R&D packet on a dissolving bullet prototype made at Thundercorp Labs. When she arrives there, Lillian Luthor’s waiting to congratulate her daughter on following the breadcrumbs. Lillian’s back, y’all!

Lillian’s there because “that man has picked on the wrong family.” Lena tells her that she’ll handle it herself, but Lillian believes Lena’s unwillingness to own her cunning mind is stopping her from greatness. “Why would you want to be Cat Grant when you could be Lena Luthor?” She’s…she’s got a point, honestly.

Lena says she’s actually pretty great already, although she’d never act on her murderous instincts, so Lillian offers to prove her love by killing Edge that night. Lena says okay, but scopes out the equipment her mother has assembled.

Then Lena returns to CatCo to confess to Kara that she did try to kill Edge after the lead poisoning incident, but he outsmarted her. Lillian’s return has encouraged her to stop repressing her strategic mind and, with a little help from Kara, she’ll keep Lillian from killing Edge. Then she sees Edge on TV at the National City Gala being handed an admission badge that matches the ones her mother had at the warehouse

At the gala, Kara uses her “professional craftiness” to allow Lena to sneak in. (“Professional craftiness” in this case means waiting until Lena’s inside before slugging the security guard who was just doing his job, KARA.)

Lena corners Edge and tells him about her mother’s plans. He’s flattered that the world’s most wanted terrorist came out of hiding to kill him, and Lena warns him that the only way he’ll survive the night is if she gets his recorded confession.

She brandishes a mini-recorder as a drone drops out of the sky to draw a bead on the target Lillian slipped into his badge. Edge, ever the Boy Scout, uses one of his security guards as a human shield when the drones start firing, then gets knocked off his feet by Kara’s super breath when he tries to run. Panicked now, he blurts his confession about the poisoning and attempted murder into Lena’s recorder.

And then Lillian dramatically ups the awesome by donning a Lexosuit. (Think Iron Man, but green and cuter.) Suddenly, Supergirl is there, joined by Mon-El and Guardian. Guardian and Lena whale on Edge while the aliens take on Lillian.

Supergirl and Mon-El make a fab team, with Supergirl engaging Lillian while Mon-El, with a big assist from Winn, takes control of a drone, ultimately blasting the Lexosuit off of Lillian.

In the end, Edge is hauled away in cuffs spitting threats at Lena, who coolly says, “You know where to find me. My name’s on the building.” YESSSS, I LOVE SWAGGERING BOSS-LADY LENA! Lena then tells Kara that she’s not a killer because of her friends, breaks the news to Kara that Mon-El is back, and tells James that he missed all the fun. Poor Lena! All of your friends are secret-keepers.

Then she says goodbye to Lillian, who’s strapped to a stretcher and under arrest. Lena announces that she can embrace the Luthor parts of herself without resorting to evil, which is good because her mother’s reappearance has jump-started her dormant ambitions, and she’ll need her strategic mind to accomplish everything she wants to do. As she’s wheeled away, Lillian hints that she’ll be escaping from prison really soon, which I would certainly welcome.

And the episode ends with progress on the Worldkiller front. Winn’s been tracking meteor impact sites following the destruction of Krypton, thinking that the Worldkiller pods may have landed then, too. In cross-referencing the sites with news reports, he discovered four possible candidates who survived catastrophes that should’ve killed them.

Kara’s able to pick one out of the lineup thanks to a dream she had of Reign and two other Worldkillers flying across a burning landscape. Julia Freeman, the woman we saw survive being pinned by a car last week, is their target, and Kara’s plan is simple: “We go get her.”

Snaps of the cape

  • Winn’s pleased that his heat-signature tracking programing allows him to know where Superman is at all times, but, like, where is he?? There’s a rogue Krypton-adjacent villain on the loose who put Supergirl in a coma! Make an excuse for why Superman isn’t lending a hand at the DEO, or at least picking up the phone to say, “Sorry, never heard of any Worldkillers.” Sorry to keep harping on this, but it bothers me!
  • Yes, yes, Superman killed Zod in The Movie That Shall Not Be Named, but does Supergirl really expect us to believe that the nerdy, sunny Tyler Hoechlin version of the Man of Steel did that deed?
  • Apparently, Mon-El and Brainy used a similar attack drone approach in a fight against Computo, who is exactly as goofily delightful as you’d imagine.
  • Did you squeal at the return of Lillian Luthor and her twisted maternal affections this week? And are you all in for watching Lena exercise her newly renewed ambitions? Let me know in the comments!

Episode Recaps


Kara (Melissa Benoist) steps out from her super-cousin’s shadow to become Supergirl and defend National City in the third Arrowverse show.

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