It’s the time of year where Supergirl takes us down memory lane for a character or two, this time focused on Lena and Andrea, and their friendship that spawned through and outside of boarding school.
Supergirl season 5, episode 6 is quite the episode, isn’t it? It’s not at all what I was expecting to see — especially as the trailer and photos showed very little of Lena and Andrea — but it really worked incredibly well at giving viewers a glimpse at Lena’s life before National City… which, honestly, changes so much.
A few of my opinions have changed now, and I have a much deeper appreciation for both Lena and Katie McGrath, who really gave this episode her all. However, as incredibly important and necessary as this episode proved to be for Lena and Andrea, it did have a few enormous flaws, which took away from the quality because of messy, unorganized writing.
‘Supergirl’ season 5, episode 6 review
Supergirl season 5, episode 6 is very interesting because it actually changed my perspective on both Lena and Andrea, which I’m both grateful and upset over because, well, it’s quite complicated to know who to be rooting for this season. Though the episode ended on a darker note for Lena than we’ve seen so far this season, I have more hope in her redemption now, and Andrea’s growing on me as well.
The episodes where we deep dive into a character’s life prove to be some of the best episodes of the show. Though nothing can live up in comparison to Supergirl season 3, episode 6, “Midvale,” this episode would probably be second… if it weren’t for the many, many plot holes that the writers have now created. Personally, the only thing worse in this episode than the plot holes were the wigs.
A canyon of plot holes
First of all, and maybe the biggest plot hole of all, is Lena’s age. When she was arrested during Supergirl season 2, her arrest record stated that she was born in 1993. Despite Katie McGrath being about a decade older at the time, it was canon that Lena was only 24, meaning she had graduated high school and college at an advanced pace.
However, Lena would have been about 11 or 12 in these flashbacks with Andrea at boarding school, if the writers were sticking to canon, and there’s no way she was that age and drinking with a fake ID. Alas, she was written to be roughly 16, so now everything is all jumbled. How old is Lena? How old is Lex?
Second, Lena and Kara became fast friends during Supergirl season 2, to my recollection. Certainly they were best friends well before the end of the season. So the announcement that Cat Grant was joining President Marsdin’s campaign as the Press Secretary while Lena and Kara were still supposedly in the process of becoming friends doesn’t make sense.
Cat told Kara, when she returned for the final two episodes of the second season, that she was still finding out what her place in the world was. It was in the off-season between seasons 2 and 3 that Cat became the Press Secretary, and there’s absolutely no doubt that Kara and Lena were the closest of friends then as much of Sam’s introduction to National City had to do with her joining their friend group.
These were the two biggest plot holes I picked up on during Supergirl season 5, episode 6, though I highly doubt they are the only two. The writers changed a lot of Lena’s past during this episode, and it would be interesting to know why there are so many problems when it comes to the Arrow-verse and flashbacks. Absolutely none of these shows can handle going back in time without screwing up what was previously considered canon.
Andrea Rojas surprised me on Supergirl season 5, episode 6. It seems clear that Andrea is not the villain anyone in National City should be worried about, though this could change now that she’s (seemingly) lost her love. Who knows the impact this death could have on her, though I question the permanence.
With “Crisis on Infinite Earths” nearing, it’s impossible to take too much of what happens seriously, as everyone working on these Arrow-verse shows has said multiple times, it changes everything. Who’s to say it won’t change Andrea or reverse Russell’s death?
It’s, again, hard to know if we’re supposed to root for Andrea or not. Aside from killing one man, she hasn’t done anything too terrible that she couldn’t potentially return from. From the very start of unlocking her powers, Andrea has been manipulated by Leviathan; hell, Leviathan probably led Andrea to that cave in the first place, knowing she was destined to be their hitwoman.
I mean, the reason Andrea even took on the curse of being Acrata in the first place was the save her father. It wasn’t about their business; that just came as part of the deal because it was what Andrea’s father cared most about. The most concerning part of that entire story is how Leviathan was so aware and knowledgable of her family’s life and history, and how they could appear and disappear in a moment’s notice, and it seemed like they were always watching.
Andrea’s certainly no anti-hero at this point in time, like her comic book counterpart, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Once she can break free from Leviathan’s hold, I see Andrea continuing on her dark path, but using her increased intelligence to take out only those with villainous intent.
I wouldn’t mind if she stuck around National City to be a thorn in Supergirl’s side, as someone who is willing to cross the line to get shit done, though if Obsidian Tech doesn’t survive the fall of Leviathan, I guess we’ll be saying goodbye to another one hit (season) wonder.
Delving into Lena’s past
You know, it’s about time we got a look into Lena’s life, other than a few glimpses here and there. It’s no surprise that Lex was an absolutely maniacal dick to her (though it was a pleasantly unpleasant surprise to see him return), but these flashbacks showcased that Lena’s heartbreak, trust issues, and sensitivity toward certain things stem from so much more than her family. As I have stated before, Lena is one of the most complex characters on television, and Supergirl season 5, episode 6 only cemented that.
The flashbacks tackle a few different sides to Lena and the relationships that support those. From Andrea to Kara, the two best friends she’s had in her life, to Lex and Jack, the two men she’s been closest to, Lena’s experienced heartbreak from every angle, and some of it was even of her own making.
Andrea and Lena
Lena’s best friend issues are much deeper than they originally appeared to be. Not only did Kara betray her by keeping her identity as Supergirl from her, Andrea did something possibly far worse. The betrayal Lena experienced by Andrea’s hand would have been infinitely more crushing than Kara’s lies because of the story of Acrata, and the hope of finding the ancient symbol — the last thing Lena had of her mother.
Andrea was Lena’s best friend for a decade. Imagine the connection those two shared through boarding school and college, which Andrea threw away, proving to Lena that, once again, she wasn’t good enough. There was nobody on the planet more privy to Lena’s feelings than Andrea and nobody had heard the story more. The fact that Andrea was even on that trip with Lena was because she knew how much finding that symbol would have meant to Lena.
It’s so much deeper than Andrea taking something that Lena wanted. Andrea took away Lena’s hope to stop Lex and see a better tomorrow, and was yet another person to shit on her late mother’s memory and the feelings about her that Lena was forced to keep repressed in the presence of Lex and Lillian.
Lena’s love for her mother has always been her greatest strength, but it’s also her greatest weakness. Given everything she endured in her life before that moment, just to have her best friend follow the same emotionally destructive path as her family, that would have been enough to break Lena. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Kara and Lena
Damn, the moments with Kara and Lena on Supergirl season 5, episode 6 were a lot to process, especially after Lena decided to team up with Andrea and help her infiltrate the DEO. Before the season started, I wrote about how the writers needed to truly delve into Kara and Lena’s relationship for the first time, as much of their growth happened off-screen during season 2 and their becoming best friends wasn’t included in the story to the fullest extent due to Kara’s other relationship at the time.
While a lot of the timeline didn’t add up, it’s interesting to see the new take on the first stages of their relationship, where Kara pursued Lena’s friendship. It seemed like the two grew close so easily during Supergirl season 2, but now we’re being told something different. Similarly, Lena expressed before that she hadn’t had a best friend before Kara… but now Andrea exists and fills that role.
As much as I love Lena, she’s a character the writers hardly try to explore. And, as we saw on this episode, when they do explore her past and/or motivations, they screw everything up and make past statements from Lena not make sense. Her relationship with Kara has been the most noticeable instance of this. If it weren’t for the fans’ insistence, I’m not sure they ever would have brought Lena in on the big secret.
Back to Kara and Lena, it’s intriguing how the writers deciding to show their relationship beginning with Kara trying to get close to Lena. It kind of puts even more fault on Kara for keeping such a big secret from Lena for so many years. Lena moved to National City to help people, not to get a best friend, but Kara broke down her walls, and Lena let her in despite everything in her body screaming for her not to.
Kara grew close with Lena knowing the impact her secret would inevitably have, and now it’s no surprise (even more so) that Lena reacted how she did after learning Kara is Supergirl. Lena had been hurt and traumatized by so many people, and Kara’s betrayal (while arguably less hurtful than the others) was her breaking point, and Lena decided she wanted to prevent anyone else from feeling how she had her entire life. Thus, her project was born.
Jack, Lex, and Lena
From how the episode handled these brief flashbacks, Jack was Lena’s chance at true happiness, which she turned away. She found someone who she could have made a real life and family with, but due to the choices Lex and Lillian made which cast a shadow over her, she opted to go a different path.
Lex’s influence on Lena is, as shown on Supergirl season 5, episode 6, undeniable. Despite being a Luthor, she would not be the person she was today if she hadn’t grown up with Lex so involved in her life… and in such a terrible way. Lex is responsible for some of the first heartbreak and betrayal Lena ever experienced, and he used her lightness and love against her for (as we’re now told) decades.
No matter what Lex did, Lena tried to save him. She tried to save her brother from becoming the person he did, even though she knew it was hopeless. I’m not sure exactly what she planned to do with the Acrata symbol to stop Lex, but Andrea took away her chance at saving her brother too. All Lena has ever wanted to do is save and help people; she tried numerous times with Lex, she’s saved National City many times, and now she’s trying to save all of humanity. How can she be a villain?
Another poor choice
While the episode ended with Lena making another poor, could-be-considered-evil choice, Supergirl season 5, episode 6 has me more convinced than ever that Lena can be redeemed and guided back to the right path. Each episode this season has instilled in the fans one thing: Lena is going down this path because she wants to help people. Lena wants to prevent others from being harmed, be it physical harm or emotional trauma (of the sort that has been inflicted on her again, and again, and again over the course of her life).
That’s why she’s made every decision she has, even if she clearly knows it’s not the “right” decision. Following through on her plan, in her eyes, is the right way to go, even if she has to hurt a few people (not physically) on the way there. It’s the classic Luthor mindset, unfortunately. Once she’s set her eyes on something, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get there, except instead of hurting people and not caring about any casualties, she attempts to find the easiest, least disastrous way to get there.
That’s exactly why Lena created the technology to use Malefic’s mind control ability. With this capability, she can get others to do what she wants/needs without hurting anyone. Lena’s been insistent on the fact that she absolutely doesn’t want to kill anyone since the Supergirl season 5 premiere and nothing’s changed.
She’s not, at all, a villain; just a misguided woman on the path to becoming an anti-hero that lives in a morally grey zone (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). As long as Lena doesn’t become a fully-fledged villain, there’s hope that Kara can bring her back. As Kara said to Rip Roar in the episode, there’s nothing you can’t come back from, or at least try to come back from. Those are clearly words that will be used when Kara learns the truth about what Lena’s done and attempts to fight for her soul.
‘Supergirl’ season 5, episode 6 final thoughts
It’s interesting how each villain this season, aside from Midnight, has had multiple episodes focusing on it. How many times have we seen that spider parasite now? I’ve enjoyed seeing Lena and Malefic’s separate stories come together, as the parallels were undeniable, and to see this story fully fleshed out. It’s almost time for Kara to learn the truth about Lena, which should cause an upsetting rift between Lena and the super friends.
To be honest, the minimal focus this episode had on Rip Roar was kind of boring. He was clearly just a plot device used to further William and Andrea’s stories, and now that he’s dead, the impact that will have on both of them could potentially change them both for the worst.
Despite Alex being a major player in the trailer for the episode, she was hardly on Supergirl season 5, episode 6. During the season so far, it feels like the writers are stepping it up with every character, except for Alex. Alex is the only one not getting the proper focus and story she deserves, and she’s coming across more as Kelly’s love interest than the second leading character of the show.
In conclusion, this episode was not at all what I expected, though I’m pleasantly surprised. If you can enter a state of disbelief and ignore what we’ve been told so far, the flashbacks are quite a fascinating look into Lena and everything that has made her into the person she is today. With Andrea, it gives motive to her actions, which ties everything together. Leviathan is clearly the threat of the season, and it’s worrisome that the organization was already revealed to our characters, especially because of the threat they pose.
Supergirl continues Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW!