Is there a legitimate argument to be made for any character other than Lex Luthor qualifying as Superman’s greatest enemy? And no, Batman doesn’t count. The Superman/Luthor dichotomy is one of the hallmarks of the franchise, and it was easily the biggest thing working in Smallville’s favor for ten years straight. It’s tough to say whether the Supergirl crew are hoping Lena Luthor can serve the same purpose her brother does for Supes, but this week’s episode did serve to make her feel like a more vital, unpredictable piece of the Season 2 puzzle.
The midseason hiatus is partly to blame, but it does seem like it’s been a long, long time since we’ve had an episode devoted to Lena, her mother and the general Cadmus conflict. “Luthors” made up for lost time by focusing squarely on the troubled relationship between mother and daughter and the question of whether a Luthor can ever truly be trusted. Along the way, we even got a brief but intriguing glimpse at Lena’s childhood. As much as Arrow loves its flashbacks, it’s a little surprising the rest of these shows don’t take that approach more often. But it was certainly justified here.