Previously on Supergirl, we got teased with little snippets of a version of Kara that split off when she first encountered the Harun-El and landed in Kasnia and was presumably being turned into a weapon, Lex tricked Lena into having to use her Harun-El serum on James to see if it was safe for humans and then had Eve Tessmacher use it on him since turns out she’s been on his side this whole time. Which apparently would have been obvious to me if I’d ever read a comic featuring Lex Luthor but alas I was SHOCKED.
We pick up where we left off, with Lex finding himself and his escape helicopter face to face with Supergirl. He dons a supersuit of his own and flies off but she catches up easily and throws him onto a rooftop, breaking his suit. They start to fight but he catches her off-guard because he’s strong. Very strong. TOO strong. He lifts up the giant metal Daily Planet globe and lifts it up after the fallen, very surprised Supergirl.
But before we go forward in time, we go back. There have been a lot of questions over the course of this season, a lot of missing puzzle pieces, and this episode works to fill a bunch of them in.
So we start a few years ago, after the Red Sun incident, with Lena testifying against Lex in court, including handing over evidence she recorded on the day he had her tied to a chair.
James testifies against him too, but the whole time Lex is just writing in what I believe is Kryptonian. When asked if he has any final words, he rants about how Superman is the downfall of mankind and he was the only one trying to save it. Classic narcissism stuff. As the judge tells him his sentence, he just smirks and says he thinks it’s about to get longer, and everyone in the room starts choking to death. (Though Lena is escorted quickly to safety. Unclear how James remained unaffected.)
As Lex is removed from the courthouse, he sees Eve Tessmacher in the crowd outside and she has Bug Bunny hearteyes for him. Otis is there too, so they’ve been in cahoots since we ever got to National City, too.
Eventually Eve finagles a meeting with Lex and convinces him to let her help him, starting by getting a job at CatCo so she can keep an eye on the man he still calls Jimmy Olsen.
Now we jump forward a bit to six months before present day. The still-imprisoned Lex gets a call from Kasnia, where they tell him about a feral, memory-less version of Supergirl they found. When they found her, one guy called her “just a girl” and got his fingers broken for it, all while she was wearing a cute little hat.
The only thing she knows is the name “Alex” so they give her children’s books and teach her how to speak and train and use her powers, to varying levels of success. At one point when she gets out of control and they have to taze her into submission, as her faculties fail her, still the only thing she says is, “Alex.”
Kasnian Kara is in her room one night when she hears a kid calling for help and breaks out to save him, which is where Lex finds her, huddled in a room of dead bodies, protecting a little boy. He tells her his name is Lex and when she looks up at him hopefully and says, “Alex?” he says, “Sure.”
Which is maybe the most evil thing Lex Luthor has ever done.
So over the next few months, Lex works with the Kasnians (in exchange for money) to train Kara, to answer her existential questions about why she’s so different, to give her cookies.
Eve has figured out that Kasnian Kara is the result of our Kara being in contact with Harun-El and that Lena is doing research on it. Lex’s plan is to send America into crisis and then swoop in to be there hero, so while he’s in prison he needs a puppet to stir the pot – and this is where Otis and his sister recruiting Ben Lockwood fits into the timeline.
Kasnian Kara gets packages from “Alex” regularly, and consumes every book she is sent. When she meets up with Lex again, he mentions his sister, and she says the word, “Lena” all cute like it’s her new favorite word.
Kasnian Kara liked Great Gatsby the best, which pisses Lex off because she wasn’t supposed to like it, she was supposed to learn from it. The two of them go to visit the boy Kasnian Kara saved and Lex doesn’t seem to like that she gets on so well with him.
When the air was filled with Kryptonite, and Kasnian Kara got sick (which we saw a brief glimpse of when it happened), Lex put her in a special box with screens on it and tells her about Krypton and Supergirl…and also pierces her ears, in case she ever has to impersonate Kara.
It’s kind of a lot to take in, and she wants to learn more about Supergirl, and why she looks like her. Lex says let’s just think of her as her sister. Someone who stole her rightful place. And Kasnian Kara says, “Like your Lena,” to which Lex agrees.
Around the time of the crossover, Lex and Kasnian Kara go to National City in disguise, where Lex has her pose as a server in a fancy club so she could see the rich scum of the earth and how they treat people.
Lex tells Kasnian Kara that this opulence is the reason Kasnia is suffering.
The next stop is our Kara’s loft, which somehow Lex has a key to. I guess maybe Eve stole Lena’s copy to make a copy of for Lex? Unclear. Kasnian Kara looks around the loft and gleans what she can about Kara Danvers. She sees Alex’s picture on the fridge, and her name on the Game Night score sheet, and she can’t help but linger on it. Lex tries to shrug it off as just something they both have in common but something about it tugs at her.
Speaking of Alex, just about then, she shows up to water Kara’s plants, because Kara is supposed to be in Smallville.
But Kasnian Kara has been training for this, so she does her best Kara Danvers impression and convinces Alex she just came back for her journal. Lex leaves through the door and tells Kasnian Kara to fly home but this whole encounter has piqued too much of Kasnian Kara curiosity, so before she goes she wraps herself in one of Kara’s blankets and starts to read her journal. She reads about Lena Luthor, things like “Lena doesn’t know how much potential she has.”
She’s so intrigued by these journal entries and the way Kara writes about Lena, especially in contrast to all the things Lex has told her, that she puts on Kara’s glasses and goes to CatCo to meet her.
Kasnian Kara looks at Lena like she’s in one of those videos of colorblind people using those glasses to see color for the first time.
She uses her memory of the diary entries to make conversation, until Eve interrupts and sends Lena off on a fake emergency so she can scold Kasnian Kara and tell her to go home. But the whole time Eve is in the elevator with her, the whole time Lena walks away and until she’s out of sight, Kasnian Kara cannot take her eyes off Lena Luthor. Kasnian Kara is starting to wonder if Lex was wrong about this country and this city, because she’s only been here for a day and she’s found so many beautiful things and seen three of the most beautiful women. She says this Kara doesn’t seem all that bad either; after spending time in her head, she’s found that Kara has compassion and friends, including Lena, which goes against everything she’s been taught.
Eve calls Lex panicked, and the thing she says is exactly what Lex wasn’t counting on. It’s the thing he hadn’t been counting on, the thing he underestimated: She has a mind of her own. Kasnian Kara might have seemed like really dangerous clay when he found her, something he could mold into whatever he wanted. But he forgets that at the end of the day, she still comes from the same stuff Kara Danvers is made of. He’s the mayor to Kasnian Kara’s Faith; she doesn’t want to be bad, she just wants to do right by someone, and he happens to be the most powerful person asking things of her right now.
So Lex decides to manipulate Kasnian Kara since she’s no longer taking orders blindly. He tells Otis to kill the little boy she once saved, and when Kasnian Kara hears a commotion and goes to the boy’s house, all she finds is pile of rubble and a destroyed soccer ball..
She falls to her knees and wails; this is her first real heartbreak.
Lex shows up and points to a bomb casing with a logo on it and says that Americans did this. Furious and blind with rage and grief, she flies off immediately to sink a random American Navy vessel. Lex is pissed; he was hoping he’d be able to control her after this.
When he gets to the ship and starts yelling at her about having to clean up after her, she starts yelling back. Is she a pet? Or a soldier? What is she?
She asks if this is all about Lena, and he just shakes his head and calls her weak.
Speaking of what Lex would consider weakness, don’t worry, the little boy isn’t actually dead; Otis kept him alive and just tells him to play dead if he ever sees a bald guy again.
Kasnian Kara gets a nosebleed so Lex freaks out because he told her she’d never get sick again. Eve knows Lena’s Harun-El would save her, but the serum isn’t ready yet. And thus is concocted the plan to give himself cancer so Lena is forced to rush the project to save her.
He holograms in to Lena and tells her what’s up, and manages to convince her to help.
The events of the last episode happened two days ago, and after leaving his chloroformed sister with his evil assistant, Lex flies back to Kasnia to give Kasnian Kara a blood transfusion, which wakes her up. He apologizes to her for yelling at her, and she promises not to act on her emotions anymore like the other Kara. She will help Lex destroy her. Lex figured out that any Kara’s base instinct is going to be to help and find justice, so he just had to brainwash her into thinking what he was doing was noble.
Lex calls Kasnian Kara his Red Daughter and gives her a black suit.
After her fight with Lex, Supergirl flies off to find Alex, who tells her to go find J’onn while she warns Lena.
And hopefully she finds her fast, because Lena is tied up in her office, where Eve left her and a note.
The episode ends with Kasnian Kara in her badass black suit, ready to take on our Superfriends. But the thing is, Lex is still underestimating all of the women in his life. He’s underestimating Kasnian Kara’s ability to figure out what’s right and wrong for herself, he’s underestimating our Kara’s intrinsic nature for hope and kindness, which is in Kasnian Kara somewhere. He’s underestimating Kara’s bond with Alex, and how that might affect Kasnian Kara too. And he’s underestimating his sister, as he always has. I believe that Lena Luthor will be the key to saving the day on this one.