Supergirl season 4, episode 15 review: O Brother, Where Art Thou?


Lex Luthor finally made his long-awaited debut in the latest episode of Supergirl, and it definitely left an impression.

Sunday night’s episode of Supergirl, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” marked the first episode of the series in quite a while that had the entire world buzzing. What made it so special? The first appearance of Jon Cryer’s Lex Luthor.

While the backlash that this casting decision met was fairly extreme, Cryer’s pure performance of the character was quite astounding, and it seems as though everyone’s first impression may have been entirely wrong. Hopefully the issue of Cryer only being five years younger than Brenda Strong (who plays Lena Luthor, Lex’s supposed mother) can be explained eventually, as that is the sole reason anyone may take issue with his casting.

We didn’t just get to see Lex for the first time though, the entire episode was a pivotal point in the season. The feud between Manchester Black and J’onn came to a climatic head, James got shot and put in the hospital by an unknown assailant, we got to meet Kelly Olsen for the first time, and most importantly, Lena and Lex worked together to try to save James’ life.

However, this episode also consisted of a string of setbacks for our protagonists. Alex and Kara were at odds due to Alex’s memory being wiped, Lena discovered that Lex and her don’t share the same mother, Brainy continued to be frustrated over his stolen ring, and everyone is negatively affected by James’ gunshot wound. There are a lot of elements to unpack from tonight, so let’s jump right in!

Supergirl — “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” — Image Number: SPG415a_0297b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl and Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Alex’s Memory

Alex has only had her memory wiped for a few episodes, but it has already posed a huge problem for our characters. We had finally gotten to a point where Kara didn’t really have to hide her identity from anyone close to her, but then her own sister had to have her memory erased in order to protect her from the prying eyes of Colonel Haley, and immediately this created a giant rift between the two characters.

In tonight’s episode, this led to Alex going off on Kara and making her feel guilty for not being in the hospital with James, not knowing that she has to help stop Manchester Black as Supergirl. While it was a refreshing method of interaction between the two closely knit characters, it has grown somewhat tiresome, and I hope that it will be phased out sooner rather than later.

Lex’s Last Laugh

Throughout the entire episode, Lex was sick and dying, trying to make peace with Lena during his final moments. However, that wasn’t the whole story. Not only did Lex’s cancer get cured, but his good pal Otis managed to spring him out of DOJ custody, and he came face to face with Supergirl for the first time in the final seconds of the episode.

Oh, and you know how Kara and J’onn hunted down Manchester because he shot James? Turns out Lex had that done too, and even killed the power at the hospital so that Lena would have to test her drug on him. It looks like we may have a new villain for the second half of the season, and I would dare to say that Lex is the most menacing antagonist of the series so far.

Supergirl — “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” — Image Number: SPG415a_0591b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): David Ajala as Manchester Black and David Harewood as Hank Henshaw/JÕonn JÕonzz — Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/The CW — © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Manchester No More

While Manchester Black was a wonderful villain during his time in season four, it seems as though that time has come to an end. Manchester agonized J’onzz until he abandoned his newfound peaceful demeanor, and ultimately killed his mortal foe. Black’s death was all but imminent, but it seems as though he was phased out just to focus on Lex Luthor and Ben Lockwood. However, the power of the staff Manchester was using is unknown, so perhaps there is a way for him to come back? Only time will tell.

Questions to keep in mind for the future:

  • Will Lena’s drug give James and Lex unintentional powers/consequences?
  • Will Brainy change his mind about a romance with Nia?
  • Is Manchester Black really dead?
  • Are we going to see a Lex Luthor and Agent Liberty team-up?
  • How will killing Manchester affect J’onn going forward?

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Supergirl will return for another episode on Sunday, March 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.