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TV Review: SUPERGIRL S4 E16 "House of L"

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  • TV Review: SUPERGIRL S4 E16 "House of L"

    When I was first getting into writing comics, I met James Hudnall at a convention in Pomona, CA. He gave me a few pieces of advice, but the one that stuck out the most to me was that the audience loves to watch a character lie if they’re in on it. That is what made last nights episode of Supergirl so good. My favorite version of Lex Luthor has been Michael Rosenbaum’s portrayal of young Lex on Smallville. What made it work was watching him go from good to evil. From Clark’s friend to enemy. And all the while we knew the end result. Jon Cryer is quickly becoming my second favorite Lex and this episode was why. He doesn’t portray Lex as evil. There’s no mustache twirling. There is just a brilliant mind at work, like an amazing game of chess.

    The episode gave us everything we could want from a Lex Luthor focused story including a play on the House of El title. We start with Supergirl confronting Lex, we see his battlesuit in action (Yes, it’s green and purple) and we see he has super powers thanks to the black kryptonite. Then we jump back three years to just before the series began and watch Lex get convicted and kill the judge, jury and prosecutors. We see him make friend with Miss Teschmacher (Andrea Brooks) and him slowly take control of the prison. We also see that Otis (Robert Baker) is already working for him.

    From there we see how Lex got involved with the Supergirl clone (Melissa Benoist) and how he manipulated her training to make her work for him. The clever use of the name Alex played a factor here. Lex has been pulling strings for years, getting Teschmacher in at CatCo and then eventually have her working for Lena (Katie McGrath). He orchestrated the rise of Ben Lockwood (Sam Witwer) and even gave himself cancer to make his plan work. If this has been in the works since Teschmacher was introduced in the first episode of season two, then it’s some brilliant writing.

    The episode put most of the main cast aside, focusing on Lex and the clone. You can really see what the writers had in mind for the character and why Cryer jumped at the role. This is how Lex is supposed to be written, as the manipulative narcissist that’s always ten steps ahead. Not as the comical megalomaniac who is focused on real estate scams. They’ve taken the villain team from the Superman movie and made them formidable. And they even gave Otis a heart as he decided to save the young boy instead of allowing him to die in the missile attack. That could be important later.

    While I haven’t been the biggest fan of this season so far, the last two episodes are quickly turning me around on it.
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