Should Lena Become the Next 'Supergirl' Villain?

Should Lena Become the Next 'Supergirl' Villain?

The story of Lena Luthor has been a complicated one on Supergirl. The sister of Superman's greatest enemy, Lex, Lena has become Kara's greatest friend. (Although Lena is completely unaware that Kara and Superman's cousin, Supergirl, are one in the same.) Since her introduction,  Supergirl has played with Lena's dark side and teased that she might be become as villainous as her brother and mother, Lillian.

In the episode "For Good" those hints hit an overload when Lena mentioned that the thing that's keeping her honest is her friends, all of whom are hiding their real identities from her. The question doesn't seem to be if Lena will turn evil on Supergirl, but when? 


And it wouldn't be so terrible (for Supergirl) if an evil Lena did happen. 

The Benefit of an Evil Lena 

Admittedly, Lena going down a villainous path is the expected path for Supergirl. The series, and Lena herself, has been battling the impression that she'll go dark since her first appearance. The whole hook of Lena's story (thus far) is how she balances the methods taught to her by the Luthor family with her own morality. The interesting thing about Lena isn't about her inner darkness but how she fights against it. However, if there's one thing that Supergirl season 3 has proved it's the importance of a villain with an intimate connection to Kara. 

Supergirl has used Reign as a villain to her full potential. There's such an extra level of tension to every Supergirl and Reign showdown because of the knowledge (the audience has) that Reign is really one of Kara's best friends, Sam. By fighting Reign, Kara is really facing off against someone she considers a sister. Although there is a slight level of separation in the fact that Reign is an entity that takes over Sam's body, not Sam herself, it still works. With Lena, there would be no separation. 

The personal and emotional turmoil that would exist between Kara and Lena being at odds in a Supergirl season 4 (or beyond) would be extraordinary. Supergirl made the audience care about Sam in just a few short episodes. There's been two seasons and counting of Lena's development. There's such a strong basis already for the character and it would be such a compelling conundrum for the show and Kara to deal with Lena using that experience, knowledge and deep relationship against Supergirl. 

Even more than just being an emotional battle, there's a real chance for Supergirl to do what it does best -- finding the optimism in an impossible situation -- with Lena as a villain. Since, as a Kryptonian, Kara is almost insanely overpowered, the real interest in Supergirlis how the villain challenges her emotionally. If Lena were to break bad, obviously Kara's focus would in getting her friend back. That's a more challenging and dramatically rich scenario than any potential alien invasion. Lena as a villain would be dense emotional material but it could also lead the way to some of Supergirl's most hopeful and life-affirming messaging, that no one is beyond hope of redemption. 

Waiting for the End 

Even if the idea of an evil Lena is more horrifying than exciting for some fans, Supergirl still needs to do something with all the hints they've dropped about the character. The show has dragged out Kara's identity as Supergirl being revealed to Lena for so long that something must come of it when it, inevitably, is revealed. Lena can't just shrug and say she knew all along. Even if that's the most logical explanation because Kara's "disguise" is ridiculous. 

Lena has proven, multiple times, to be vindictive and scary when scorned. When Lena finds out that Kara has been lying to her for their entire friendship, she's more than justified in feeling hurt and that pain could easily turn to anger. Lena hasn't been shown to be a Luthor for nothing. 

Lena's battle with her morality has been the longest ongoing Supergirl storyline. Nearly every other long-form story the show has introduced has been concluded in the same season in which it first appeared. Lena's story continues to play out and for it to all end back in the same place, Lena aligned with Kara and happy to just be the occassional sidekick, with no real drastic change, would just be disappointing. 

Lena going from Kara's greatest ally to her worst enemy wouldn't be the most original story. However, Supergirl has spent so much time teasing it, and the dramatic potential is so great, that it would be an utter waste for Supergirl to never have Lena (even temporarily) fall to the dark side. 

But do you agree? Would you want to see a season with Lena as the villain? Do you really think that's where the show is going? Can you think of a better Supergirl villain than Lena Luthor?

Supergirl season 3 airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.


Tags: Supergirl

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