The end is almost here for Supergirl and company. The final season nears the finale, and the race for the totems is on. The team wasn’t doing well facing just Nxyly, and now they have a returned Lex Luthor to deal with, which shakes up everyone. They fight for the next totem and Alex shows some interesting priorities as we see that at least someone is saying “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.”
Last episode ended with the unexpected appearance of Lex Luthor. He and Nxyly talk about who he is and why he’s helping her. To say the least, she’s suspicious. We learn where Lex has been and what his very surprising motivation is for the assist. She’s not impressed, and highly doubtful. What he calls his finest work strikes a really bad note with her, and Lex flees. Supergirl shares her career decision from last episode, and while the team is shocked, no one worries about how she’s going to make a living. Then again, that really seems to be something the Arrowverse does its best to ignore as a rule. Supergirl says they need to put everything else on hold to go after Nxyly, and then ignores what she just said as Alex comes in, having gotten a ring to propose to Kelly. Really? Now? Alex goes over her elaborate plan and reasoning, and you just know that’s going to fall apart. And that’s exactly what happens in the next scene.
At the Luthor Mansion, Lex fumes about his current difficulties. About the only person on the show happy to see him is Otis, and Robert Barker does another credible performance as the sadistic oaf. Lex rants about what’s going on, and Otis… actually gives good advice. William shows up at the tower to do more reporting and serve as a plot device so the heroes have someone to explain their newest plan to. They have a new trap set up, and Alex and Kelly get to hang out in a car on Lovers’ Lane. It’s interesting that Alex babbles about how excited she is to have Esme in their lives, and here they both are on a stakeout. So… who’s taking care of Esme? Kids in the Arrowverse largely exist to be cute plot points and then conveniently vanish off screen. Nxyly appears, the trap is sprung, and all seems to be going well… until Lex pops up again and throws a giant monkey wrench in the works. Lex tosses a taunt at Lena and then portals out again, taking Nxyly with him.
Returning to the mansion, Lex is pleased with himself (when isn’t he?) and Nxyly has more questions. Lex points out a few things, but the discussion goes badly. Nxyly snaps a demand, Lex voices a reasonable objection, and she departs. Lena and Supergirl exchange emotional support in the aftermath of the battle, and Lena explains why she shouldn’t do any more magic with Lex running around (if you remember that point for a while, you’ll be doing better than Supergirl). Again, in just about every version of magic I know, there’s a lot of study involved, and Lena seems to be jumping up in the magic leagues ridiculously quickly. William reports in to Andrea, who is appropriately surprised to find out Lex is working with Nxyly. That surprise lasts for all of a few moments before she returns to her baseline obsession with ratings and gives William an impossible deadline. Really, she’s in the running for worst boss on tv.
Back at the Tower, Brainiac is frustrated by not being able to find either Nxyly or Lex. Alex and Supergirl share a hug, and we hear that Nia is off trying to dream up the location of the next totem. Brainy steps up to take the self-blame slot for the episode, berating himself for not figuring out more about where Lex went and why, while the others scheme out ways to use the totems to defeat their foes. Alex and Kelly, arguably the least powered, get sent out to search for the villains, which seems like bad planning. Brainy also explains why he’s reluctant to contact the Legion in his native time to find out more about Lex’s exploits. Brainy’s reasoning is actually sound on this one, and I understand it. J’Onn decides to face the challenge of the Courage Totem, and we see a painful memory from his past. We still don’t know why Supergirl failed her challenge, and I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve forgotten that point.
At the mansion, Lex rants yet again, about how Nxyly doesn’t appreciate him. Otis’ amusement angers Lex, and this scene makes me think Lex’s feelings are real. Lex would do almost anything to further his own schemes, but he’s also immensely prideful. His embarrassing himself in front of Otis serves no purpose, so it makes me think he’s actually going through what he’s talking about. Lex starts a new scheme, and uses the hapless Mitch as his new conduit. This plan wouldn’t have worked if Nxyly wasn’t so utterly indifferent to Mitch’s well-being. At the same time, Nia figures out where the next Totem is and Mitch completes Lex’s scheme.
There’s a big confrontation in Lisbon, Portugal, as the team sets up to clash with Nxyly. Nothing goes as planned, although I give Supergirl credit for preparing for what she was exposed to in the last fight. No one gets what they want, and the teams retreat again. There’s a brief explanation about how emotions affected the scene, and Nxyly makes her first concession to Lex. At the Tower, J’Onn and Supergirl have a Balcony Conversation™ about their feelings and the past. It once again highlights the chosen family aspect of the show. Supergirl comes up with a new plan and decides to utterly ignore what Lena said about magic before. Lena is far from an expert on magic at this point, but she knows more than Supergirl. Everyone goes along with Supergirl’s plan anyway. Alex is moping about her foiled plan, and William once again becomes the voice of sage advice.
Nxyly and Lex get another scene, as he cleanses her of some Totem backlash from the earlier fight. He tells her a bit more about her future, which is his past. Alex, taking William’s advice, charges ahead to fix her plan, and finds out that she was a few steps behind someone else. It’s a cute little scene, interrupted by a series of surprises appearances. The fight rages on, things keep going back and forth, and then Lex does something surprising to end the battle and foil the heroes. Again. There’s a lot of talk about what just happened back at the bar, and Alex bulls ahead, upstaging something actually set in motion by someone else. I guess this episode is the Danvers sisters steamroll over other people’s concerns. There’s an emotional speech, a Die Hard reference, and a group hug with everyone except Brainy.
Lex and Nxyly recover after their retreat, and actually talk instead of hurling threats or declarations at each other. Nxyly has a slight change of heart, which means I guess she does actually have one. Triumphantly returning to the Tower, the team celebrates their sort of victory and the newest development in the personal lives of some of them. Brainy is not in a happy mood and Nia goes to reassure him and tell him he needs to phone home. Lena arrives late and she and Supergirl talk about being free from burdens. William ignores a call from Andrea to take a meeting in an alley, and I admit I was very surprised by who it was with. Andrea decides to take matters into her own hands, suits up for the first time in quite a while, and does some breaking and entering. Lex tells Nxyly something she really wanted to hear that actually happens to be true, and a really odd and incredibly unlikely plot twist is the final scene of the episode.
What I liked: I’m glad J’Onn was able to pass his test and get some closure on one of his biggest tragedies. I do like the Die Hard references, and amused at how part of Alex’s subplot worked out. This was an interesting side of Lex, and, as always, Jon Cryer plays him perfectly. Brainy’s reluctance to reach out for help makes perfect sense given what he reminds us of.
What I didn’t: Does Esme disappear when one of the main characters aren’t actively looking at her? The twist at the end was ridiculous. I don’t get why Supergirl felt like it was a good idea to overrule Lena, or Alex to run over the careful preparations that someone else did.
This was a better episode than many lately, but that’s a low bar. I’ll give this one a low 3 out of 5. We’ll see how the race for the totems and the series wrap up in a few more episodes.