Melissa Benoist stepped behind the camera on Sunday’s Supergirl for an episode that literally jumped around time and space to fill in every last blank about Lex Luthor — the man, the myth, the… human?
“We had a similar episode last season with Red Daughter and Lex, where we got a little more of his perspective on things, but this one in particular shows Lex’s — dare I say — vulnerability?” Benoist tells TVLine. “We explored the fact that he’s sort of an addict when it comes to Kryptonians. He has this fascination and obsession with beating them. I really tried to focus on digging deeper into his world.”
One of the uglier secrets unearthed by all that digging was the truth about Jeremiah Danvers’ death. In Lex’s new post-Crisis reality, he apparently enlisted Eve to work as a double agent for him under the agreement that he would give her the name and location of her own father’s killer — but we learned at the end of the hour that he actually tricked her into murdering Jeremiah, who had nothing to do with her own father’s death. The fact that this reveal came right after Lex rejected Eve’s declaration of love only further proved how diabolical this man is at his very core.
“My heart broke for Eve in that scene,” Benoist says, though she’s quick to clarify that she was not entirely surprised by the Jeremiah reveal. “Come on, it’s Lex. I knew that wasn’t going anywhere good.”
And Lex wasn’t the only Luthor who got emotional this week. Lena offered Kara her condolences on Jeremiah’s death, and although it was mostly a pleasant exchange, you could feel the tension and sadness in the air as these former friends basically interacted like mere acquaintances.
“There’s a lot of subtext in that scene,” Benoist explains. “It’s the first time they’ve spoken this way in a while, since Supergirl told Lena that she’s going to treat her like a villain if she acts like one. So things have been said between them. Their tentativeness is concealing a lot, and I don’t even know if they know how they feel. They miss each other, they miss that friendship, and that comes through in the scene, but there’s still anger. What’s also not being said in that scene is that they’re not ready to forgive.”
Lena and Kara’s next scene together was far more combative, with the angry Luthor calling her Kyrptonian frenemy “two-faced.” According to Benoist, this represents a “major component of why their friendship broke the way it did. It wasn’t just because Kara didn’t tell Lena truth for so long, but because [Lena didn’t understand] that it was to keep everyone around her safe.”
Speaking of confrontations, the climax of the episode found Supergirl & Co. thwarting a (baby!) sun-eater from, you know, doing what its name suggests, while being weirdly adorable in the process. “There were a lot of concept meetings about that baby sun eater,” Benoist recalls. “They weren’t sure how they wanted it to look. It looks really different in the comics. There was a really scary version at one point, but it’s a baby, so it should be cute. … Also, why do they keep it in there? Why do Clark and Kara have a baby sun-eater? What are they doing with it?” (For the record, Benoist agrees that this baby sun-eater is totally the new Beebo.)
And here’s a question you might have after watching this episode: Was that really Jason Mewes (aka Jay of Jay and Silent Bob fame)? You bet it was! “When I worked on Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Jason was talking about how much he loves the Arrowverse. He’s such a fan, and I know he’s been on The Flash before. I told him I’d love to put him in an episode of Supergirl, so when I got my script, I was like, ‘Where can we do this?’ So we eventually wrote that part in for him.”
Your thoughts on Benoist’s directorial debut? Grade the episode below, then drop a comment with your full review.