Review: Supergirl 5×17-“Deus Lex Machina“
[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Melissa Benoist
Writers: Katie Rose Rogers, Brooke Pohl & Lindsay Sturman
Starring: Melissa Benoist, Chyler Leigh, Katie McGrath, Jesse Rath, Azie Tesfai, Andrea Brooks, Julie Gonzalo, Staz Nair & David Harewood
Reviewed by: Sean Blumenshine
Lex proceeds to lay an intricate plan to bring Lena closer to him, defeat Leviathan’s latest attack, and pit Supergirl against Leviathan; how Lex came into power after Crisis is revealed.
It’s great that Melissa Benoist got to direct an episode and especially such a major one. I think she did really well. The main advantage of having a cast member direct is that the other actors are already very comfortable. It allows the show to let the cast shine.
I love Jon Cryer as Lex, so I welcome an episode centered on him and his machinations. Like last season, I love how everything comes together. This is a well plotted season. A lot of the questions I had are answered in this in a way that is fun and exciting.
The best aspect of Lex’s plan is Jeremiah Danvers. I, along with most viewers, just saw Jeremiah’s death as an easy way to write Dean Cain out of the show since fans kept bringing it up. What’s revealed in this episode is a much better pay off and I actually said, “Oh my God,” out loud when it happened.
While I love everything with Lex, the show did a very similar episode last season. It does feel like the writers are using the same trick because it worked so well last time. It’s executed well and works but it is repetitive.
What is most disappointing about that is that Lex ultimately becomes the big bad two years in a row leaving Leviathan to be a secondary element. I think a lot of fans, myself included, were excited to see a new kind of villain. And Leviathan has been kind of a let down. I’m curious if the writers got bored with Leviathan and decided to have some fun with Lex again or if this was always the plan.
I do think the heroes are kind of dumb in this episode. Lex’s manipulations were more believable last season. Here, I think everyone is too easily manipulated. For example, Lena goes to the fortress to confront Kara and immediately a white martian unlocks the sun eater. Kara doesn’t put those dots together? The white martian clearly came with Lena.
The scenes between Kara and Lena are weird. Lena starts to be a little nicer because of Jeremiah’s death. But Lena gets almost irrationally angry when Supergirl uses Myriad even though she has a good reason. I feel like this season’s version of Lena would get furious at Kara for walking too close to her. Kara is also weird; she has a good reason to use Myriad but when Lena says there are other ways, Kara could ask what those ways are. So much of this conflict arises from these two refusing to talk rationally with the other.
I really enjoyed the episode a lot. Cryer is terrific as always and I liked seeing his machinations all come together. However, I don’t think it’s as tightly plotted as the similar episode from last season and I don’t like that the writers are repeating themselves a little bit.