‘Supergirl’s Final Season Premiere Begins The Redemption of Lena Luthor

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The final season of The CW’s Supergirl has a lot of weight on its shoulders. As with any ending, there are massive expectations from fans, both from the character perspective, the plot perspective, and — when it comes to any show on the teen friendly CW — from the shipping perspective. But at least based on this week’s Season 6 premiere, it seems like the series will deliver on at least one aspect: the redemption of Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath).

Spoilers for Supergirl Season 6, Episode 1 “Rebirth” past this point.

Originally meant to be the Season 5 finale before the series was shut down thanks to COVID, “Rebirth” is a fun, exciting hour of TV, one of the best episodes Supergirl has aired in a long time. Part of that is the quick dispatch of the show’s long-running and often convoluted Leviathan storyline, thanks to a fight scene featuring a visual straight out of Superman III slash my nightmares. The rest of the episode is able to pivot to the entirety of Team Supergirl fighting a much more interesting villain: Jon Cryer’s now over-powered Lex Luthor.

And a crucial part of that battle? Lena Luthor, who didn’t exactly turn evil, so much as dip into some seriously dark shades of gray over the past season and change — particularly after she discovered her best friend Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) was also secretly Supergirl. “Rebirth” rights that ship and then some, with Lena going on a heartsick apology tour with nearly every member of the team, and proving herself more than capable of being heroic multiple times.

In fact, I’d argue that Lena gets the best moments in the episode: punching her brother Lex after a particularly annoying villain monologue; wiping her mother and brother’s memory of Supergirl’s identity in order to protect Kara and her friends; and hugging Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), a surprisingly touching moment that was almost entirely unexpected.

But the moments that fans will most likely focus on the most are the ones between Lena and Supergirl. A line earlier in the episode in particular should raise the eyebrows of anyone who ships Supercorp, the (so far) non-canon coupling of Lena and Kara. In the scene, Supergirl authorizes Lena to use Myriad, the mind-changing device that was key to the ethical crumbling of their relationship in the first place. Surprised that Kara would let her use Myriad, she says, “You’d trust me, even after everything…”

Supergirl looks at Lena and firmly says, “You want to help people. Whatever else has happened… I know what’s in your heart.” The two nod, and agree on the plan, and every Supercorp ‘shipper in the world immediately video captures that moment and throws it into their “Supercorp Endgame” edits on YouTube.

A little later in the episode, Supergirl and Lena are preparing for Lex Luthor’s attack in the Fortress of Solitude, and after an awkward moment talking strategy, Supergirl starts to leave. Lena, however, isn’t done talking to her.

“Kara,” she says. “I know it wasn’t easy to trust me again. Especially with Myriad, but–”

“You’re the only person in the galaxy I know would do right by it,” Supergirl says. “Come on.”

The rest of the episode follows Supergirl’s sacrifice to stop Lex, which leaves her stranded in The Phantom Zone with weird, terrifying beings surrounding her, and Lena ends up stopping her family — perhaps for good. It’s a long road towards total redemption for Lena, though, as the Luthor name is, as always, in ruins thanks to the actions of her brother. Though she may be back in the good graces of Supergirl and her team, in the world’s eyes, Luthors are villains. That’s always been Lena’s character arc since she was first introduced, and it’s something that will have to be resolved before the series wraps up later this year. Hopefully she’ll be redeemed, triumphant, and do it all with Supergirl by her side.

Supergirl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

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