Supergirl season 4 episode 15 review: Jon Cryer’s Lex Luthor debut a winner


Tonight, Supergirl season 4 episode 15 delivered the long-awaited first appearance from Jon Cryer as Lex Luthor — a character so iconic to the entire DC Comics world. The show could’ve easily just made this whole episode a series of Superman Easter eggs, but instead, they really gave us a story of two siblings.

From the very opening, we learned who this version of Lex is — a narcissistic sociopath, one who is intent on destroying Superman in part out of jealousy. He was supposed to the lead the way for the future, and he can’t stand what has transpired. We know that there were a lot of concerns that his comedy pedigree would keep him from embodying the darkness of this character but we gotta say, he killed it tonight! While Lex was intense, he also was charismatic and manipulative and calculating.

For the first part of the episode, Lex worked tirelessly in order to win her over — he was sentimental with her as he told her stories about her past and how she had done something with Kryptonite that she never had. Maybe he meant some of it, but we couldn’t stop ourselves from thinking that this was all a gambit, a way to cure his sickness and to get back to doing what he does best — being evil and doing evil things.

Lena spent some of the episode trying to figure out how to use her experimental serum to heal Lex, but also to heal James Olsen — he was shot at the end of last week’s episode and throughout this one, his condition spiraled. It got so bad that James’ sister Kelly (his next of kin) arrived for the first time. She and Alex clashed at first, mostly due to the fact that Alex worked with Lena (James’ ex) and she didn’t know any of these people. Yet, the two got a larger sense of understanding by the end — we’re going to seeing a lot of this character coming up (she’s a series regular for season 5), so we expect the getting-to-know-you part of it to be somewhat of a slow burn.

J’onn tracks down Manchester Black

This was one of the other key storylines tonight, as his desperation to take out Manchester slowly grew. Manchester may not have the Elite anymore, but he’s shown himself to be very powerful and more and more confident in what he can do. That included creating a crisis at the dam at the end of the episode, which is what set the stage for the night’s pivotal showdown.

With this crisis unfolding and the power out in most of the city, what Lena did was spring into action with Lex — she had to break the law in order to do it (hence, why she sent most important people who matter away), but she was able to use the serum on James. It wasn’t necessarily tested in full, but there was no more time.

Meanwhile, Kara did whatever she could in order to help J’onn while Manchester used some of his own painful memories against him — including his family’s own terrible genocide. This is when J’onn found it within him to strike back, as he did the one thing that he effectively could: Vanquish him. J’onn did his job, but in doing so, he had to break his vow of peace and engage in battle in the most brutal way.

The aftermath of what happened

J’onn is clearly going to be reeling from what happened with Manchester for a while; meanwhile, Nia and Brainy had some conversations over a romantic moment, and then we put the focus back on Lex and Kara.

As it turns out, Lex was behind the incident at the dam more than Manchester, and he set up everything from start to finish — the incident at the dam, shooting James, and even looping in Eve to working with Lena in the first place. He had the cure administered before Lena got back to the compound, he escaped, and then he rubbed it in her face — like we said earlier, all that nudging and encouragement was all about Lex. Everything is always all about Lex.

CarterMatt Verdict

While this episode of Supergirl was action-packed and intense from start to finish, it’s Cryer’s performance — scary, witty, and complicated — that’s going to be remembered. This sets the stage for all sorts of exciting stuff as we push through to the end of the season.

What’s next on Supergirl season 4?

You can check out a preview for what’s next now over here — rest assured, the story of Lex Luthor is far from over.

What did you think about Supergirl season 4 episode 15? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: The CW.)

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