The CW’s Arrowverse crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths” concludes on Tuesday night and with the finale of the epic event are what is likely to be major changes to the world of the network’s DC TV shows as fans know it. Even before we get to those final hours there are some big changes we’ve already seen. Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) died, Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) officially become part of the Arrowverse when he is recruited to help in the fight for the Multiverse. But for the big things we’ve seen, there’s likely to be more coming in how each of the Arrowverse’s shows and heroes deal with their new normal post-“Crisis”. When it comes to Supergirl, one of the things that “Crisis” should change is the relationship between Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) specifically by resetting it in some fashion.
As fans of Supergirl know, much of the tension of Season 5 thus far has centered on the implosion of Kara and Lena’s friendship. At the end of Season 4, Lena discovered that Kara was, in fact, Supergirl and had been lying to her for years to keep her dual identity a secret. Devastated by this, Lena has devoted herself to ensuring that Supergirl hurts as badly as she does while also coming up with a plan to prevent humanity from hurting each other by essentially taking over their minds.
The idea of keeping Lena in the dark about Supergirl had long set the two characters on a collision course in the series, but it’s a conflict that Supergirl doesn’t really need. The way the story is currently being told, the idea of Lena “breaking bad” because of her betrayal by her best friend largely undermines Lena’s efforts to not be like the rest of her family — something that has been part of the character’s development from the moment she was introduced on Supergirl. It also, in a sense, replicates the Clark/Lex dynamic that is part of Superman’s story and while that is in broad strokes not a huge issue, Supergirl has worked hard to establish itself as a series that stands on its own as opposed to simply being a female version of a Superman show. There’s naturally some overlap in stories and themes but go yet again pit an El against a Luthor just feels like too much. It’s just not necessary.
There’s also the idea that Supergirl’s story would be better served by examining female friendship not in the tired trope of making women enemies or rivals when they have a falling out but as something more authentic. Instead of utilizing the opportunity to have the pair work out their friendship and come to an understanding of each other’s viewpoints — especially as Lena does have a solid point about being actively lied to by everyone and not just Kara — the series instead decides to take Lena straight in to well-intentioned villainy, all to create a “battle for Lena’s soul” during the season. It feels a little off-brand and off tone for the series.
With “Crisis” likely reshaping reality within the Arrowverse, Supergirl has a chance to revisit the Lena-Kara relationship and perhaps even undo the idea of Lena breaking bad. They can still have that interpersonal conflict between the women, but with not having to have Supergirl so focused on “saving” Lena, the heroine can focus in on the real established threat of the season: Leviathan. And it’s possible that “Crisis” has already set some form of a reset up when it comes to Lena. Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) agrees to help The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) in the fight against The Anti-Monitor (Garrett) but also indicates that he wants something regarding Lena in exchange. Perhaps Lex asks that his sister be taken out of the picture entirely or even have her made loyal to him entirely. That twist in particular would be an interesting take, especially if Supergirl remembered how things were in reality before “Crisis”.
No matter how “Crisis” changes things up, it would be nice to see things find a more solid footing with how the Lena/Kara friendship is dealt with on Supergirl and fortunately, we won’t have too much longer to wait to see what actually becomes the Arrowverse’s new reality. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” concludes on Tuesday, January 14 on The CW.
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