- "I'm just a woman trying to make a name for herself outside of her family. Can you understand that?"
- —Lena Luthor[src]
Lena Kieran Luthor (born 1993) is the billionaire CEO of L-Corp and the owner of CatCo Worldwide Media; after buying it to ensure that it would remain a fair and unbiased company. Lena is also the daughter of the late Lionel Luthor and a late unnamed woman, the step-daughter of Lillian Luthor, the younger half-sister of Lex Luthor, the ex-girlfriend of the late Jack Spheer, the girlfriend of James Olsen, and the best friend/ally of Kara Danvers and Samantha Arias. She is currently unaware that Kara is Supergirl, but has figured out that Sam is Reign.
Lena was born in 1993 in Metropolis to the billionaire Lionel Luthor and an unnamed woman with whom he was having an affair. After the death of her biological mother, when she was four, the already-precocious Lena was adopted by the Luthor family. However, despite being loved deeply by her half-brother Lex, who made her feel especially welcomed in the new family, and her father Lionel, who considered her his favorite, Lena had a difficult upbringing with her adoptive mother Lillian, who never considered her a "real Luthor" and always favored Lex over her. Also, the truth about her parentage was left unknown to her and she was convinced that she was simply adopted.
In the fifth grade, Lena’s boyfriend was lured away from her by her classmate, Cindy Ryan and Lena planned retaliation for months. She stole Cindy's personal diary and exposed it to the entire school, publicly humiliating the latter and ruining her life. While Lena would grow to regret this cruel, impulsive act, Lillian was proud of it, seeing it as proof that her adoptive daughter embodied the Luthor traits. Lena later went to boarding school with Veronica Sinclair, but she never really got along with her.
In their youth, Lena and her half-brother Lex were very close but in adulthood, Lex grew cold, power-mad and delusional. When he started targeting Superman, Lena grew concerned for his well-being and tried to help him, but he ignored her and proceeded with his plans to destroy the superhero, resulting in the deaths of many people. Lex's actions and the subsequent backlash worsened Lena’s self-perceived existence as a pariah; she already had to endure much from her connection to the very affluent but controversial Luthor family, from which her supposed adoptive and infamous older brother also hailed. Thus, Lena strongly desired to be seen as a separate individual and a good person by the general masses.
Lena graduated from MIT. During this period in 2012 at the age of 19, she met and befriended Jack Spheer and the two began a start-up in a garage, working to try and find a cure for cancer and other diseases using nanotechnology. After three years, Lena and Jack fell in love and started a romantic relationship. Two years later, after Lex was sentenced to 32 life terms in prison, Lena ceased contact with her mother, took over as the CEO of LuthorCorp, moved to National City to helm the company and immediately set about atoning for her brother's crimes, thus ending her relationship with Jack. Jack tried to get Lena to stay with him in Metropolis, but she would not be dissuaded and they did not part on amiable terms.
Presumably around the time she was working with Jack, Lena also served as an advocate for LuthorCorp when her family’s business acquired the rights to the company that Samantha Arias worked for. When Lena came to spearhead LuthorCorp’s takeover, she found Samantha all alone, working overtime at 3:00 am at her company desk. Impressed by Samantha’s diligence and impeccable concentration to her job, Lena personally opted to work with the other woman by her side — leading to Samantha rising considerably higher up the company hierarchy by the time Lena renamed it into L-Corp. The two of them maintained an initially professional, moderate correspondence.
Transforming LuthorCorp into L-Corp
Lena was given the opportunity to travel on the suborbital spacecraft Venture but had to back out at the last minute due to an important business meeting regarding the renaming of her company. After the spacecraft exploded and was rescued, Clark Kent and Kara Danvers — in their civilian guises — ventured to LuthorCorp to investigate her after receiving a tip from the D.E.O. that the company owner may have had a hand in the space-craft’s maiden flight disaster, scanning her entire personal office via x-ray vision while Lena wasn’t looking as she went on explaining her intents and goals with her family’s company, in addition to her timely exclusion from the Venture’s inaugural flight and it being subsequently saved by both Superman and Supergirl from fully crashing. Lena even suggested that the Daily Planet reporter suspects her of foul play regarding the Venture’s averted tragedy, and that its unexpected mechanical failure was no accident, on account of her affiliation by name to the Luthor family as that, she assumed, was the core reason for his visit with Kara (whom Lena initially thought was an advocate for CatCo, same as Clark for the Daily Planet, with similar a cause for coming) in tow. With his cousin standing somewhat nervously next to himself, Clark only politely did not deny this, amusing Lena with his reply. However, she urged that she had nothing to do with the Venture incident, simply wanting to start anew outside of her family, of which Lena has a lot of arduous work ahead of her given the depths of how far the Luthor name sank on account of her brother, and giving the two a flash drive with information on the Venture's destroyed oscillator that a subsidiary of her company had manufactured; she didn’t knew it then, but the words that Lena imparted to the Kryptonian cousins, prior to handing them the stored digital data, will have a lasting effect on Kara herself and influencing the other woman into making a huge decision. Thus developing a high opinion for Lena from then and later onwards. Later that day she boarded a helicopter. However, before the helicopter could get very far, two drones appeared, controlled by mercenary John Corben, and targeted Lena. Supergirl and Superman intervened, preventing Lena from being shot whilst airborne. The latter went looking for more drones, while the former (with some difficulty) took out the two angling Lena's chopper, helping it land safely while informing Lena that someone was trying to kill her.
The following day, at a presentation unveiling Lena's intention to re-brand LuthorCorp to L-Corp, Kara — as herself — walks alongside of her, trying to convince Lena from carrying on with the re-naming ceremony; but Lena would not be deterred, explicitly stating that she does not wish her family’s company to be remembered as her brother’s mere implement that he used as a front in his madness to destroy Superman. While Lena continued her speech at the podium a number of explosions occur, causing her to run to safety. She encountered who she initially thought was a police officer, but was revealed to be John Corben, a mercenary hired by Lex Luthor to kill his adopted sister. Alex Danvers helped to hold him off, but she was overpowered. Before he could escape with Alex as hostage to hold Supergirl at bay, Lena near-fatally shot him from behind. The day after, Clark and Kara visited Lena's office and she offered her thanks for a pleasing article about L-Corp published in the Daily Planet, but wonders as to why Kara’s name wasn’t printed on the byline along with Clark’s. Receiving a modest answer from Kara, Lena notes that she sensed the former to bear the presence of a competent journalist, from the moment of their first encounter, and hopes to see more of Kara in the future. And Kara concedes, leading to her returning later into CatCo and stating to Cat Grant of her desire to take up journalism at the latter’s editorial outlet.
When the US President came to National City to sign a decree on the Alien Amnesty Act, Kara came to Lena as she needed a comment from "the sister of the (world’s) most famous alien-hater", that company CEO was quick to discern. She produces a handheld, thumbprint scanner-like tool from a small vault in her office and proudly tells the reporter that L-Corp is developing a new and high-tech commodity capable of identifying aliens, though emphasizes that they were still in the prototype stage in regards of that, but will soon be perfected and ready to be mass-produced for the market in time following the Act’s official ratification. Lena then uses it on herself as demonstration before offering Danvers the device to test it. Cautious of the contraption outing her then and there for her true Kryptonian nature right in front of the Luthor, Kara attempts to dance around the subject, mildly debating with Lena that singling out aliens who would then be living in the general population like this would defeat the unspoken purpose, for racial and inter-planetary acceptance, behind the President’s official Act due to be signed and ratified. The lucrative profitability to be certainly yielded from such a device aside, Lena genuinely believes that people on Earth have the right to know who is an alien and who is not in light of what is to come since extra-terrestrials, both benevolent and otherwise, will soon indiscriminately have legal rights on par with the planet’s human denizens in the wake of the Act’s signing. But unlike Lex, Lena intends to launch the tech to the public for everyone’s safety and benefit, mutually going along with L-Corp’s profitability as a business enterprise; therefore, she plans to put the device in all the country stores, in spite of Kara expressing her insubstantial disagreement at Lena’s intended undertaking. When Lena turned, Kara used her laser vision to sabotage the device and then agrees to test it, so it gives a negative result much to Kara’s relief.
Later Kara came back to Lena, who warmly praised her for her wonderful article, but admits she initially thought that Kara would "mix it with mud" because of their differing views on alien-on-Earth lifestyle, which was clear as day for Lena when she showed Kara her piece of alien-detection technology during the reporter’s earlier visit. Kara confesses that she would have written so, had her editor not disapproved of her initial draft, but was now glad that Snapper did since recent developments made her better appreciate Lena’s intent in providing people with a way of rooting out the sapient and (literally) otherworldly non-humans among the populace, since they can’t all be expected as decent. Bringing up her past with Lex, Lena then notes that some people are inherently evil, even if their ill intents are not obvious at first, and that those closest to them are also sadly the ones hurt most once the former show their true colors; protecting oneself from them is all that can be hoped for.
A few days later, Kara came to Lena to ask her if she knew where Veronica Sinclair would be hosting her next alien fight club, practically barging in to Lena’s office and, seeing the reporter’s desperation, Lena instructs her flustered assistant that an unfettered access channel for Kara Danvers, towards the company CEO’s office, was to be optionally provided for Danvers whenever the reporter was spotted straight from the lobby — leaving both Kara and the assistant flabbergasted. After the assistant left to arrange that, Kara (somewhat callously) went ahead and informed Lena of her current predicament: a “friend” of hers was taken by people operating outside of the law and, given Lena’s widespread family connections, she was Kara’s best chance of finding those people in order to mount a rescue. Lena guesses at once that the people in question are none other Veronica Sinclaire’s, acting out at the latter’s beck-and-call; and as a Luthor, Lena was invited, although, she presumably wasn't aware that Sinclair has expanded her enterprise to include alien competitors, both willing and coerced, taking into account the recent signing of the Alien Amnesty Act that was now allowing aliens residing on Earth to walk freely in National City, albeit still trying and some even struggling to find their proper places within the now-welcoming domain that, up to that point, would have otherwise shunned them away no matter where these various off-worlders turned to. However, Lena stated that she was never interested in Roulette's kind of "entertainment" from the start and that her family was only one of many supposed, publicly unscrupulous circles that Sinclaire reach out to for profit. Lena wrote down and gave the address to Kara, who thanked her and said that she owed her a great debt, to which Lena replied that she did not, as she knows that she would help her when the time came.
Later, Lena comes to CatCo and invites Kara to a charity event to raise funds for a children's hospital (that was partly damaged from earlier in a bank robbery that Supergirl failed to thwart) as she was practically the only bonafide friend Lena had in National City; and in extending the invite, which Danvers graciously accepted, Lena acquaints herself with Kara’s new co-worker “Mike Matthews”, who suggests that he comes along with Kara for the event as well. The next day, Lena — who presumably deduced a close correspondence between her friend and the city's alien protector after noticing the connection between Supergirl's taking down of Sinclair's fight club operations not long after she herself handed the coordinates to Kara — came to Kara's apartment (where she catches Alex talking with Kara and learning the fact that they are adoptive sisters) and asked her to arrange a meeting with Supergirl, so, in the evening, Kara arrives at Lena's L-Corp office in the guise of Supergirl. Lena invites her to the same party in the case of gang attacks. Supergirl expressed her disapproval for the proceedings of the event, as it was a liable target for Chet Miner and his gang of extra-terrestrially-armed gang of robbers; apparently, even the Kryptonian was having her doubts if it was within her ability to foil them should it come to that. Noticing Lena's determination to carry on, a curious Supergirl inquires of the businesswoman's motives and Lena points out in response that National City's extra-terrestrial superheroine actively goes out of her way to aid the city's residents and beyond, with little to no personal gain for herself, and so Lena asks if it was a burden that only Supergirl was allowed to bear in responsibility because of who she is and what her abilities allow her to be. She challenges if, given Superman's history with her brother Lex, Supergirl was among those who believes that there was no such thing as a "good Luthor". Receiving a commendable answer from the disguised Kara, Lena was elated when the former promises to be there at her gala, and watches as she left, flying off from her balcony — and not hearing the alien silently cursing herself for agreeing into something that could compromise the secrecy of both her civilian and heroic identities, that the Luthor now expects to attend the fundraiser that L-Corp shall be hosting.
The next evening, Kara and Winn (who brought along a device to warn them ahead of time should Miner’s gang show up) arrive at the charity event, where Kara supports two conversations at once with Lena, both as Supergirl and in her civilian identity, by using her super-speed to rapidly change her clothes so Lena doesn’t catch sight of both personas at once, but did not appear to think much of it outside of both Kara and Supergirl, like Lena, not glimpsing upon each other at the same time. Soon enough, Miner’s gang of criminals crashes the party starting a struggle with Supergirl, after Chet himself got into Lena’s face and pulls off the valuable necklace that the Luthor was wearing around her neck. And in the midst of heat-vision blasts and alien weapons’ fire, Winn hides under gala’s dais where he meets Lena, who was busily trying to establish a black burst generator that she prepared beforehand, which should cut down their weapons and leave the robbers vulnerable. With him probably working to conceive a contraption of similar purpose while back at the D.E.O., Winn immediately realizes that Lena arranged the gala as a trap to lure the criminal gang out into the open and the latter admits so; but her ploy would ultimately go south if the device she brought fails her that night. All that was left to do was for Supergirl to dispatch them and that may only happen once Lena disables their weaponry with her black burst generator, though she was having trouble with it, as Winn noticed. Together they were able to complete the device, emitting a pulse and destroying the criminals' weapons so that the gang would be captured; and just in time since they, up to that point, have Supergirl and Olsen at their implements’ crosshairs and mercy. She and Winn would then finally emerge from beneath the raised platform they have taken refuge in and everyone there notices them straightening themselves, with an awkward Winn making a half-baked explanation that he and Lena weren’t doing anything inappropriate while they were obscured by the stage cloth — much to the amusement of Kara and James. In the evening Kara, in the guise of Supergirl, flew back to Lena thanking her for her help; at this point, Lillian Luthor enters her daughter's office and Kara leaves. Lillian apologizes for having missed her daughter Lena's party, but her absence does not faze Lena, who responds somewhat coldly.
Her name would later be brought up by a captive Supergirl in her conversation with Lillian Luthor. Bested by the real Hank Henshaw (revealed to be alive and now cybernetically-enhanced) and then thrown, close to Mon-El, into adjacent enclosures that even the two of them cannot break out of, the Daxamite and Kryptonian were later visited in their captivity by the Head of Cadmus herself. Recalling her passing encounter of the older woman once in Lena’s office, Kara inquires why she saw her with the CEO of L-Corp that night and Lillian repressively reciprocates the question, not the least bit thrilled with the idea that her daughter was receiving nightly visits from the cousin of the man who sent Lena’s brother in prison.
Realizing that the person before her was Lena’s foster mother, Lillian, but apparently not thinking even remotely worst of Lena herself, Supergirl indignantly demands to know if Lena knew what Lillian was doing at the helm of Project Cadmus — showing an underlying foundation that Kara wholeheartedly trusts Lena enough to not believe (or at least jump to the immediate conclusion) that the latter could secretly be part of Lillian’s organization. Lillian would only allude that she and Lena do not normally see eye-to-eye, but vehemently demanded in turn as to who Supergirl was in regards to her daughter, scoffing at Kara’s blatant claims of being Lena’s friend having heard a similar line from Superman in regards to Lex and then stressing where that very friendship between her son and Kara’s cousin brought the two of them in the end — with Lex vilified and in prison while Clark (as Superman) was exalted as Earth’s greatest hero and at the former’s expense. Kara did not seem the least moved or shaken by Lillian’s monologue, who appeared to justify her endeavor of not seeing Lena suffer at Supergirl’s hands what Lex did at Superman’s, by doing her part at dealing away with the aliens in her own way.
Right after Thanksgiving (featuring a space-time breach that momentarily tore open over the dining table at Kara’s place), Kara, Alex and their friends went back to the D.E.O. where they discussed what to do with Cadmus, now aware of Lillian’s role in its higher chain of command and wonders how much her daughter possibly knows concerning that. Though she personally finds it unlikely that Lena would be able to provide any knowledge on Lillian beyond familial matters, Kara eagerly volunteered to investigate L-Corp herself on behalf of the agency, insisting that her civilian guise as a reporter — and her so-called “sneakiness” — was enough to gather intel from Lena, and thus asks her agency colleagues, who showed obvious doubt on Kara’s claimed attribute, to stave off their usual cloak-and-dagger methods of discreetly gathering information (i.e. bugging phones, hacking company records, etc.). Unbeknownst to Kara, Alex has Winn prepare such underhanded methods anyway, telling him to have them at the ready soon after Kara left.
When Kara comes to L-Corp asking Lena about her mother, the latter says they did not have a very good relationship and often disagreed. However, Lena soon notices at once that Kara was trying to glean information on Lillian through her, and after Kara's departure, Lena calls her mother and says they need to talk. As Lillian comes, the two of them exchanged some snide comments before Lena tells her that a reporter is investigating about her, and asks if she's hiding something. Of course, Lillian knows at once that the reporter in question was none other than her former Kryptonian captive but instead says that she has no idea; Lena realizes that her mother is lying, however, as she certainly gotten used to Lillian’s subterfuge for it definitely was not the first time this happened.
Later Cyborg Superman comes to L-Corp, in an attempt to steal a rare synthetic substance that Cadmus needed to spread the Medusa Virus, but Supergirl arrives and a fight between the two ensued. Lena comes to the site of their fight and, noticing her, the cyborg throws her the detached ‘L’ of the company’s scaled-up three-dimensional logo. Kara manages to cover her and asks her to leave. After a while Kara returns to Lena's office in the guise of Supergirl and Lena graciously thanks her for saving her life, then Supergirl reveals to her that her mother runs Cadmus. Hurt, Lena refuses to believe it, accusing the superheroine to be no different than anyone who readily condemns the Luthors' disposition and morality because of their family name, coldly wondering before how long until she sees Lena herself in a similar disparaging light, and asks Supergirl to leave. But before she does, Kara imparted a few inspiring words to the CEO, that she honestly believes Lena to be a better person than anyone else in the Luthor family. The sole flickering light of morality to their prevalent darkness, and so Lena must shine through as her own hero if she were to ever get out of Lex and Lillian’s villainous shadow — and that got Lena into thinking.
Later, Lena organizes another meeting with her mother at L-Corp and confesses she knows Lillian runs Cadmus, to which the latter made no effort in refuting the allegation and wonders if her adopted daughter summoned her just so she could lecture Lillian the way Lena did with Lex. Then, she was told that if she wanted her help, all Lillian had to do was ask for it shall be given by Lena; and she gives Lillian a case containing Isotope 454, the substance exclusively manufactured by L-Corp, that Cadmus needed to initiate the Medusa Virus into a city-wide outbreak effect. Lillian was surprised at Lena’s sudden and out-of-the-blue willingness, and the latter tells her that perhaps it was time for Lillian to get to know her daughter better.
After that, they left for the National City port, where they intend to release the virus with a rocket launcher. Lillian, as a means to test her daughter's loyalty to Cadmus, gives Lena the key to activate it. Just as she is about to do it, Martian Manhunter and Supergirl arrive to stop her, having been alerted by their agency’s sensors of the Isotope 454 portion, provided by Lena to her mother, being moved from L-Corp to where the Luthor women now are. Supergirl attempts to talk Lena out of releasing the virus but the latter seemingly conforms to her tainted family legacy, remarking that she is "a Luthor", and launches the rocket. Supergirl flies after it while Martian Manhunter confronts both Lillian and Lena, and forcibly battles Cyborg Superman who interfered to prevent the Luthors from being apprehended. Lillian makes the rocket explode before Supergirl could act, spreading the virus across the sky. However, none of the aliens in the city were affected. Lillian realizes that Lena substituted the isotope for one that would instead render the virus inert. Lena condescendingly confesses to that and reveals that she also called the police, who were incoming (in their service vehicles, sirens and all) to arrest Lillian. After that, Lena presumably provided the D.E.O with an unaltered sample of Medusa, which was crucial in curing J’onn from his transitioning condition of gradually becoming a White Martian after a blood transfusion from one.
When Lena testified, in court, against her mother for her actions as the leader of Cadmus, the media was divided between calling her testimony the rant of a scorned child, or the bravery of a hero — though some also deridingly called her a bitch. Kara (with some snacks in tow) visits Lena to learn that Lillian is desperate to see her daughter that she had the message passed on through her lawyers who relayed it to her daughter, but Lena does not want to go and seeks Kara's counsel. Kara puts her own biological family’s present status into perspective (omitting that they were aliens who met their ends on Krypton, of course) and suggests that Lena visits the prison, despite their estranged relationship, as Lillian was still her mother and that Lena was fortunate to still have hers in her life.
Taking her friend’s advice, Lena goes to the prison to see her mother where an initially-overweening Lillian reveals that Lena is Lionel Luthor's illegitimate daughter. Her mother was a woman Lionel was having an affair with and then paid off to disappear with the intention to start anew with Lillian. However, four years later, his mistress died and Lionel decided to adopt his four-year-old daughter. Neither Lionel nor Lillian revealed to Lena or Lex that she was an actual Luthor growing up, shocking Lionel’s daughter of this revelation, which Lillian further uses to guilt a distraught Lena into supporting her mother. She tells her to have her back, as the only two Luthors left (outside of Stryker Island’s imprisonment where Lex presently was); they hold hands over the table separating them. The next day, Metallo uses synthetic Kryptonite to break him and Lillian out during their impeached trial, and soon after the moment it happens, fingers point to Lena when it was learned that she visited the very prison where Lillian and Metallo were imprisoned in last night — the only brief time interval wherein Corben could have acquired his empowering substance.
Hearing of that from back at the D.E.O., Kara attempts to warn Lena in the latter’s office about these rising allegations, and the latter starts to go all defensive, when the NCPD, led by Detective Maggie Sawyer, arrives to arrest Lena with video footage revealing that she had recovered Kryptonite the day prior to the escape, in spite of a protesting but ignored Kara taking Lena’s side as the latter was cuffed and read rights to by Sawyer, with Lena herself futilely denying her involvement with what was shown from the footage, shooting furtive glances at Kara as she did in hopes that the reporter takes Lena’s side. Stripped of her privileges and sent into incarceration, Lena's arrest makes the headlines, and the stigma of being a Luthor is heightened with the people, like the correctional officers at the penitentiary that Lena was being kept at, commenting on how she is just like her brother (or physically will be) as they passed her cell. The only one exempt from this belief is Kara, who confronts her friends and sister about their lack of faith in a woman who has done nothing but help them, blatantly disregarding what any presented evidence may state on the contrary. As the one most insistent on Lena’s transgression, James Olsen (who even points out to Kara that if Lena can stab Lillian in the back, then Lena’s pretty much capable of anything — including doing the same, or worse, to her own best-friend, Kara) leaves to find proof that Lena is guilty, anticipating and discovering that Metallo returned to the prison that evening to break Lena out. Metallo succeeds, having battled and defeated James, in the guise of Guardian, and went over to tear the bars off from Lena’s cell. Lena, who went close to her cell’s threshold in response of the ruckus between Metallo and Guardian, could only look on fearfully at the arrival of the Kryptonite-fueled cyborg that she herself had once shot from behind, and left in a critical state, from back when he was still a normal person. Metallo, however, merely apologizes for the delay.
At the D.E.O., James was being treated by Alex in her lab for his fresh injuries from his skirmish with Metallo. Jimmy tries to humor it off, despite of the Danverses, who were both there with him along with Winn and J’onn, being none too happy knowing that Olsen, without their knowledge, staked out an incarcerated Lena and then got into a scuffle with Metallo in the process when the Cadmus-modified cyborg seemingly came to liberate the Luthor. Kara, still unwavering in her belief of Lena’s innocence under the impression that Metallo kidnapped her from prison, and was now probably holding Lena against her will, implores her allies that they must now focus efforts into finding where her best friend is being kept so they could rescue her — drawing an indignant reaction from Jimmy, distraught that, even now, the Kryptonian still remains loyal to her friend in spite of the evidences, so far, pointing towards the condemning direction implying that, this whole time, Kara’s trust and staunch faith for Lena’s character has been misplaced.
Kara loudly insists otherwise; but sadly, James has the support of everyone else in that room. Even Alex seemed (uncertainly) convinced when Olsen insinuates Lena’s gunning Corben from behind, to save her when John had Alex at his mercy, was a Machiavellian ploy that Lena orchestrated with Cadmus as a preset to turn him into Metallo. Kara beseeches Winn to review the video showing the Luthor’s apparent procuring of the Kryptonite that Metallo is now using, as there might be something there that they have all missed and thereby could prove Lena as innocent, dismissing Winn’s stressing that he’s thoroughly done that already, as he was perhaps just as quick as nearly anyone else in judging Lena’s character to comb deeper into the footage. J’onn maintains his prudent and pragmatic stance, stating that until evidence to the contrary comes about, they must be wary concerning Lena; and everything happening thus far, starting from Lillian’s interrupted hearing and escape — together with and effected upon by Metallo — has yet to indicate that Lena’s hands were clean.
Seeing that the odds stacked against her, Kara takes her leave but not before expressing to everyone there with her that Lena still remains as her friend, and that the latter has Kara’s trust — no matter what others have to say. James follows her outside, bringing up to Kara how he has trouble comprehending and finds it unfair that Lena has the Kryptonian’s steadfast faith while he doesn’t, when Olsen was also Kara’s friend much like Lena who, unlike James, was unaware of her journalist friend’s extra-terrestrial identity. He then recounts to her how Superman and Lex Luthor used to be like from long before their enmity of epic proportions — about how it started quite amiably, with the two of them seeing the each other as necessary allies both true and open to each other as they worked together for the greater good, until the latter began showing his more sinister side and conduct, forcing Clark to convince himself and see Lex in anything but a disparaging light, despite of practically everyone else considering and even saying differently of the latter that Superman had to defend Lex from such, time and again. But ultimately, even he was turned upon by Lex, setting in motion their antagonism. Olsen goes to say, that it wasn’t until a step too late did Superman finally acknowledged how Lex truly was. And now perhaps history was repeating itself between Kara and Lena, in Jimmy’s opinion.
Kara deflects that, strongly insisting that Lena is not Lex and in turn, James responds that while they may not be the same person, both said Luthors were brought up together in the one household — so inevitable similarities in character and tendencies between the two of them are bound to express themselves sooner or later. Marginally upset, he goes on complaining to Kara over the fact that Lena seems to be firmly in the Kryptonian’s good graces, with Kara herself being adamant about it, while having none for Jimmy, along with his worth and conduct, as Guardian, when he’s known Kara for longer than Lena has.
Taken back by her friend’s apparent protest, Kara points out that her seeming lack of faith in Olsen as Guardian is one born out of concern and worry for his well-being, trying to protect him from the very dangers of his vigilante activities — by not giving James her wholehearted support of that — and thereby has nothing to do whatsoever with any intrinsic difference in trust that Kara holds for both and between him and Lena. But Jimmy resignedly tells her that, as a masked vigilante, it’s not protection he requires from Supergirl. If anything, he requires her trust. Now she already has Jimmy’s; so it just plainly frustrates him as to why he does not have Kara’s? Not the way Lena does — especially considering what Kara knows of the Luthor family is but a mere fraction of what Olsen does concerning them. And with that, the two of them tensely parted ways.
Kara was later seen venting out her own frustrations by furiously smashing apart and crushing concrete, while still garbed in her civilian attire, in the D.E.O.’s training room and Mon-El visits her. Noticing her inner conflict, the Daxamite tries to lighten Kara’s mood; but she thinks that, like everyone else, Mon-El believes that Lena is now on the opposite side of the law and that he came in hopes of making Kara shift her views and see from that perspective. However, Mon-El amcably clarifies that Kara’s capacity for unconditionally extending her trust towards those who may or may not deserve it has always been one of her more admirable traits as a person; and that if she, a Kryptonian, could find it within herself to give a Daxamite like him the benefit of a doubt and be proven worthy of it, then maybe a Luthor can also.
That endears Kara; and after a few further awkward exchanges between herself and Mon-El — straying somewhat from the latter’s dubious love-life — she decides to get back to business, announcing to the Daxamite that she needs to go and see if the others have determine where Lena is, before taking her leave from the training room.
Metallo reunites Lena with Lillian, who tells Lena that no one would believe her now that she, too, “escaped” police custody. She tries to use this as a means to goad Lena into joining Cadmus, saying the public would never offer redemption to a Luthor and that her efforts in attempting to prove otherwise were pointless. Lillian divulges that this is the only way for them to be a family again, as fugitives on the run — the thought of which Lena understandably did not find too promising at all. Lillian takes Lena to a secure location, where a customized weapons’ vault created by Lex, which has to be opened with someone from the Luthor bloodline (evident by the biometric lock that Lena instantly recognized), was located. Lena (somewhat disgustedly) thinks that meant Lillian also obsessively kept and brought along a sample of Lex’s genetic material, with which his mother intends to use in accessing her son’s vault, but Lillian clarifies that the means of access does not have to come exclusively from Lex, given how he designed the biometric security around it as anyone having or sharing Lex’s genetic markers would be able to bypass the said security if they only know how; her daughter puts together and denotes that this entire plan was never to tie loose ends between the two, but to bring her to Lex's vault so that Lillian could gain access to whatever’s inside, since it was much easier to get to her than it would be with the incarcerated Lex, the only other living person of Luthor blood still in existence, under maximum security. Lillian admits so but also insists, in concern of Lena and her biometrics, that neither necessarily invalidates the other in continuing from where Lex left off after his imprisonment, and so she is making ends meet as her mother. Lena refuses and backs away, wanting to take her chances with a possible life sentence instead of assisting her mother and Cadmus in their war against non-humanity, but is forced to open the vault by the real Hank Henshaw, revealing that it was indeed filled with highly advanced anti-alien weapons, organic and otherwise; a majority of which Lillian was already intimately familiar with, marveling at her son’s brilliance and cunning for having amassed such an impressive collection of weaponry to use against the likes of Superman. Her daughter remarks that she was worse than Lex, but Lillian assures Lena, who was browsing the accrued items there herself, that she will be remembered righteously in history — as will Lena for joining her, in the end. And of the many secured articles found inside that vault, that Henshaw and Corben were prepping, one-by-one, to be then brought elsewhere, Lillian’s attention was ultimately caught by a small, handheld box; walking over to it and partly lifting off its lid, Lillian displays both awe and reverence at the sight of the content(s) inside, much like an appraising curator beholding a prized masterpiece about to enter and be added into the private collection, remarking how Lex finally perfected “it”. Lena could only look on, slightly disturbed, at how her mother was behaving.
Supergirl comes to the rescue — much to Lena’s expressed shock that the former, of all people, would come to save her from Lillian — bursting down through the ceiling and announces that Kara Danvers asked her to help as she still believes in her. Lillian activates one of the weapons she took from Lex’s vault, a handheld canister-like device, and threw it at Supergirl, who catches it. An unwise move, for she quickly realizes that it was a sonic-emitting device that overwhelms her Kryptonian acute auditory perception, immediately bringing Supergirl to her knees. With her incapacitated and rendered defenseless by the modified high-pitched noise, a pleased Lillian instructs her cyborg henchmen to entrap the helpless Supergirl into the vault as well. Lena tries to intervene, desperately begging her adoptive mother to leave the alien be, only to be promptly ignored by the latter and mockingly apologizing to her daughter that Supergirl must pay for what her cousin did to Lex; Henshaw grabs her then throws her down, knocking Lena out. But even whilst being dragged to her doom, Kara would not be deterred and informs them that the synthetic Kryptonite in Metallo's chest is volatile and would shortly explode, killing them all. Kara heat-visions the sonic-emitter, but still had a hard time fighting Metallo, who repeatedly strikes her with streams of weaponized radiation from his said equipped Kryptonite, weakening Supergirl enough for Metallo to overpower her in melee, getting her on her knees again and pinning her arms behind her. With J’onn’s unexpected aid, she escapes in time with Lena, who fills Kara's office with thank-you flowers the following day after she learns that Kara not only sent Supergirl to rescue her, but she also managed to prove that the incriminating footage was falsified. Lena thanks Kara when she visits later, commenting that she wasn't just her friend, but her hero, too.
After Kara left, Lena picks up a chess-piece, the white knight, from the chessboard at the table and recalls of the first time she’s ever beaten Lex at that game; setting the piece back down on the board, Lena starts to ponder and contemplate of her past with her supposed adoptive family in relation to how she is now in the present.
One day, Kara bumps into Lena at CatCo having forgotten that the two were scheduled for a public outing. Kara expresses her frustration in trying to get a warning out that Cadmus was abducting aliens after the terrorist organization stole the National Alien Registry. Snapper Carr wouldn't publish the article without a second viable source apart from Supergirl who, in turn, cannot reveal the existence of the D.E.O. for security reasons. Seeing that Danvers was in a sticky wicket, Lena suggests she write a blog to get the news abroad. She also volunteered to check into her company's history as her mother had been on the board when Lex was the CEO and might have left a trail. Lena discovers a LuthorCorp facility that was supposed to be defunct yet her company was billed for its utilities. She asks her assistant for the records, who is a Cadmus mole unbeknownst to Lena. The assistant calls Lillian who tasked two goons to capture Lena, who was communicating with Kara via phone, in her own office but they fail thanks to Supergirl’s arrival, passing off her timely rescue as being there together with Kara when she was conversing with Lena through the phone; Lena then informs Supergirl where the abducted aliens are most likely being held.
Biomax and working with Queen Rhea
Weeks later, Lena receives a personal invite from Spheerical Industries' CEO, Jack Spheer, for her to attend his press conference about a new technology. She visits Kara at her apartment to ask if she could attend the presentation with her as support, revealing that she and Jack were romantically involved for two of their five years together, just before she moved to National City. She reminisces about the good times she spent with Jack as they journeyed to find a cure for cancer in a garage, but found the prospect of having to attend the press conference alone challenging as they ended on a bad note. Kara agrees to go along making it bearable for Lena to face, and could only wordlessly reply when Lena earnestly asks her what her “Kryptonite” (slang for one’s known vulnerability, usually emotionally, as a person) was, humorously not realizing the conundrum (of sorts) embedded in that very question due to unwittingly asking it to an otherwise unstoppable being — who was practically and exclusively vulnerable only to the physical exposure of the said actual substance — in disguise as the two women exited the loft. At the presentation, Jack awes his attending audience as he showcases his newly-designed nanobot technology that is able to cure any medical ailment, such as injuries or diseases, revealing that he perfected his and Lena's project, Biomax, which Lena is insanely proud of. Afterwards, Jack goes in search of Lena whom he finds outside together with Kara, leaving the presentation with the other flocking audiences who came for the event. Lena introduces the former CatCo reporter to Spheer (who recognizes her as among those who extended questions to him after he demonstrated the capabilities of Biomax during its presentation) and gave flattering comments about her before Jack, flustering Kara — who then takes her leave realizing that she pretty much fulfilled her purpose, of lending Lena some emotional backbone and confidence, when she came to the presentation together with the L-Corp CEO in the first place; she reasons that she has to start working on her latest online article, based on what she just witnessed at Jack’s launching presentation, and parts away from the two exes. Jack wishes to catch up with Lena, asking her to dinner after the press conference but the company's CFO, Beth Breen, tears him away before she can answer. He then appears at Lena's office at L-Corp to ask her again, which she declines. Jack thinks she may be mad at him for having cracked Biomax on his own, to which she says she wishes the best for him. He then asks her about her life in National City before delving into the good memories of their relationship and then asks to go to dinner again after confessing that he missed her. Lena agrees on the account that the occasion is non-romantic, just for the sole purpose of catching up with each other.
She later tries to call Kara to ask her to talk her out of the dinner but left a message with Mon-El as she was not there (she was following up Snapper on a lead regarding Biomax — and narrowly rescued her former boss from a swarm of such that, unfortunately, managed to instantly consume the whistleblower Snapper was talking to concerning Spheerical’s breakthrough). However, when Kara, who barely saved Snapper from the same nanobot swarm that killed the second Biomax lead who tried whistleblowing Jack’s company, like it did with the first, learns about Lena and Jack’s dinner from Mon-El upon returning to her loft, she abruptly brings herself and Mon-El to the restaurant Jack and Lena were eating at. It's clear as day to Lena that Kara is investigating Spheer about Biomax, which leads her to ask how he perfected the project. His story denotes that his breakthrough only came after he realized that he should have gone with Lena to National City, endearing Lena at knowing that some good did came from the breakup. Kara attempts to press on with her investigation but Lena kindly asks Kara and Mon-El to leave them alone so that they may speak. They leave for L-Corp where Jack apologizes for making Lena's decision to move more difficult, that he wishes he had rather said that he could make space for her and his work.
Lena understands, confiding in him how she wonders whether her life and legacy may have turned out different had she stayed with Jack; and carving a different path for herself separate from her family’s questionable own, on account of Lex, was ironically the reason why Lena left Jack in the first place. They kiss but then Jack seems to zone out and tells her that he needs to go and then leaves her abruptly. The following morning, Lena was combing fondly at images of her together with Jack, through her personal office computer, when Kara comes in and informs Lena that the Biomax human trials were faked and that Jack was covering it up, that he had used it on himself and was using the nano-robotic swarm to eliminate possible leaks; and seeing Lena getting defensive and having doubts to the allegations, as proof, she even showed Lena the video solidifying her word against Jack. Danvers wanted her to know but makes her promise she won't confront him. Lena defies that, however, and meets Jack in his research lab at Spheerical informing him that she knows about the falsified trials and that he's killed two people with Biomax to eliminate any further leads to the subterfuge. Distraught, she demands to know how could he sink so low by still proceeding with the public release of Biomax, regardless of knowing the nanobots’ underlying detrimental side-effects of compromising the recipient’s free will along with potentially altering the host’s entire physiological constitution. Side-effects that Lena should have recalled from years back when she and Jack conducted test trial experiments with rodent subjects for Biomax to be used on, all of which were never the same again after the experimentation, and yet Lena’s excitement and appreciation at Jack’s supposed success with their collaborated work made her turn a blind eye, overlooking — until Kara’s revealed discovery to Lena from earlier that day — the known dangers that the Biomax nanobots posed. But Jack has no idea what she's talking about, ultimately making Lena realize Jack’s honesty on the spot. He suddenly became emotionlessly unresponsive and unmoving from where he stood, and Beth Breen appears behind him wearing a technological single earphone and simultaneously addressing Lena, revealing that she has been using the Biomax, administered by its maker into himself, in order to control Jack. Apparently, Jack intended to shut down Spheerical Industries after realizing the underlying risks in using Biomax; but with so much finance at stake, Breen had abscond some of the company’s technology and then used it to control Jack against his will, hence allowing Biomax’s launching to the open public unimpeded. After some cutting remarks on sexism (and how Lena was basically constrained with having to correct the otherwise irredeemable transgressions of her brother, Lex, and “cleaning up” after his faults), she reveals to Lena her aim to spread Biomax availability not just for civilian usage, but also extending to medical and military factions and entities alike who will be invested in its applications — ignoring Lena’s repressed protests. Lena thinks Breen was about to have the controlled Jack kill her, as that was the only reason Beth could be non-chalantly divulging to Lena her “evil plan” in true Bond villain-style knowing that Lena will not be alive to tell anyone about it after this. But Beth stresses that as not her intent; not when she could profit further with Biomax by planning to use it on Lena to control her and L-Corp, as she had with both Jack and Spheerical, thereby merging Beth's company with Lena's. She then orders Jack to take and use a Biomax-filled injector gun on Lena to bind her with the nanobots, terrifying his lover, who backs away from the advancing Jack.
Supergirl unexpectedly comes into the mix of things, rescuing Lena and forcing Beth to release the Biomax swarm from Spheer’s body to combat Lena and Supergirl. Kara thinks Lena should run, leaving her with the swarm without having to worry about Lena as well; but Lena insists on staying, coming up with a plan of her own and asking Supergirl to preoccupy the nanobots while Lena herself goes after the root of the problem — Breen. Supergirl did as told and flew around trying to outmaneuver and fight the Biomax, only to be eventually caught and pinned to some lab equipment by the said swarm, helpless and gradually being engulfed by the nanobots, suffocating her, while Lena brawls with Breen, who thinks she can take Lena down with ease in unarmed single combat but was quickly proven otherwise, with Lena reminding her adversary that Beth was going up against a Luthor while knocking the other woman down, disarming her of the earpiece that controls Jack and destroying it. With Jack suffering agonizing pain from the now out-of-control nanobots still within him, and Supergirl slowly dying too, Lena attempts to override the Biomax mainframe through the computer system in Spheerical’s lab. However, Breen tells her that the nanobots have merged with Jack's body and that overriding the mainframe destroys the nanobots and kills Jack, earning Breen an elbow to the face from the Luthor. Begged by Jack to end his misery, Lena apologizes and reluctantly chooses to override the mainframe, saving Supergirl at the expense of Jack; descending down from where the swarm of Biomax had her pinned against only mere seconds ago, Kara can only sympathetically gander at whom and what the bereaved Lena had to sacrifice to save her friend from the said nanoswarm. Kara visits Lena the next day, bringing flowers to the latter’s office and wishing she could do more to ease Lena’s pain but was told by the grieving CEO that her presence was enough. Lena explains that she feels cold and calm like her mother after Lex's incarceration, with the only consolation being the thought of Breen dying in her cell — which startles Kara. She says her friend is in shock at being directly responsible in the death a loved one as the cost of saving someone else who was just as important. But Lena continues, saying that loss does strange things to her family and she personally lost a lot in her life even before she was recognized as a Luthor, thinking that whatever may happen within the span of her mourning could mold her thereafter into something she will one day fear, as that was what happened to Lillian after losing Lex. Kara hugs and assures her that she will never let anything happen to her, that she is there to protect her forever and always. As she is watching the city from her office that night, she is visited by Rhea who tells her that she has come with a proposal.
Rhea had given Lena the design schematics for a transmatter portal. Lena was excited at the possibilities and benefits that such a device could have on the world, though she knew that it was currently just a theory. Rhea told her that it was possible and then revealed that she didn't tell Lena all of her secrets towards the design as she wanted to gauge her interest before trusting her with them. Lena told her that she was very interested and Rhea agreed to share them. They went off to have dinner together where Rhea gave her a thumb drive with the remaining pieces of the schematics for the device. Rhea then said that her mother must be quite proud of her but Lena told her that she and her mother don't speak to one another anymore especially after her attempts to frame her. Rhea told her that she was surprised as she believed that a mother-daughter relationship was a strong one. She told Lena about her son and that she loved him deeply but then he had fallen for a woman that went on to take him from Rhea and after which her husband, Lar Gand, was killed.
Lena was then visited by Rhea at office again as she was going over all the new data for the portal. Lena told Rhea she was arranging for security to let her have access to her office but she just needed her thumbprint. She then moved her alien detection device for Rhea to use, under the guise that it would register her thumbprint, and saw the device indicate that the latter was an alien. When Rhea asked why the device acted the way it did, Lena dismissed it before she told Rhea that she had reviewed her design and realized that it would need an element that didn't exist on Earth. She then revealed that she knew that Rhea was an alien — a fact she first suspected when Rhea openly gave praise “to the gods” during her dinner at the restaurant with Lena, since polytheistic practices have long since died out by the time of Earth’s Modern Era, and then just confirmed with the extra-terrestrial discernment device that Rhea just gave her thumbprint to. Lena angrily told her that she wouldn't build anything for her and that she wanted her out of the building. Rhea then left without another word. Later on in the evening, Lena was visited by Rhea who told her that the reason she lied about being an alien was because she had been aware of her mother's reputation and couldn't be sure that she wasn't the same way. Lena spitefully told her that many people automatically assume that she was a certain way because she was a Luthor, hurt that Rhea turned out to be one of them. Rhea then told her that her proposal was genuine and she did want to work with her, hoping that Lena would reconsider since they could achieve greatness together; she then teleported out of her office to leave Lena to her thoughts. Lena tried to call Kara for her opinion, but the Danvers told her that it wasn't a good time as she was in the middle of a crisis of her own.
Later, Kara was called by Lena and she asked if she was okay. Kara told her that everything had turned out fine and Kara then asked what Lena wanted to talk about earlier. Lena told her that she had actually settled that on her own. Hanging up, Lena then looked over at Rhea, whom she had decided to work with on the portal after all. Lena then asked if they were ready to change the world which Rhea told her that she was.
Lena later has lunch with Kara, who asks what has kept her so busy. Lena tells her that she is working with a new partner, whom she thinks the reporter will get along fine with — prompting Danvers to inquire for more details on the L-Corp project that her best friend was apparently overseeing together with this new associate; in response, Lena could only give away a couple of technically-related phrases (that go way beyond the present scope of Kara’s vocabulary understanding) and, seeing that Kara could hardly keep up with the nomenclature, instead promises that once the undertaking was complete, it will be worth the wait — before leaving to do their first test on the portal. Later, Lena and Rhea are at dinner discussing the failed first test of the portal. Lena is disappointed but Lillian reassures Lena that she believes in her. Once again, at the project’s testing site, their tests fail and Lena halfheartedly suggests they go get Lex from imprisonment and maybe even attempt a bargain with him to offer his services in helping find a solution for the portal’s performance inconsistencies; because then, he would be able to fix it in a way that his sister obviously could not. Lena continues to be frustrated at the lack of progress being made and says she wanted to get it working to prove to everyone, and herself that she was just as good as Lex. Rhea reassures Lena that she is smart and assures her that she can do it and gives her advice on how to get it to work, emphasizing that Lena was trying to solve the technical problem in a way that Lex would when the younger Luthor should be charting out her own course for a solution, and one separate from her brother’s usual methods. Taking Rhea’s advice to heart, Lena and everyone there watched with glee as the portal’s matter-transferral effect finally stabilizes.
When Rhea is next seen, she tauntingly dismisses a call from Kara who was trying to contact Lena upon realizing the possible connection between Lena’s latest business project, which regards to the massive unleashing of polyatomic anions into the open atmosphere, and how — for twice in a row now — have some Phorians in National City begun to spontaneously and inconsistently exhibit uncharacteristic bursts of supremely destructive behavior uncommon for their race, and telekinetically ravaging their surrounding vicinity as they did, as a result of “going high” with the heavily anion-laced ambience within the city; and when Lena asks her about it, Rhea lies, claiming that it was a telemarketer who just called. Lena later runs up to her and on this third scheduled test run to happen, the portal is being activated. Lena suddenly comes to realize that success means that Rhea will be leaving and is disappointed, having seen her as a mentor figure. Rhea tells her that no matter what, she cherished the time they spent together. Seconds after, Rhea powers the portal again, flummoxing Lena who demands what the former did and her son, J’onn and Supergirl crashed into the facility to stop her; Lena realizes that Rhea used her to get the now self-sustaining portal working and it is discovered that she was using the portal to bring something to earth. While Supergirl is fighting Rhea, Lena is knocked unconscious and later transported with Rhea and Mon-El to one of the Daxamite ships.
Lena wakes up, in a different attire, to see Rhea sitting by her side. Rhea tries to convince her that Supergirl almost killed her but Lena knows that she was trying to stop Rhea and says that she should have been one to stop her. Lena is hurt that Rhea used and betrayed her while Rhea tries to convince her that everything she said was true. Rhea calls Lena the best of her race amongst humanity’s wasted potential. Rhea calls Lena and Mon-El into the throne room and announces they are to be married and they are to produce an heir which Lena flat out refused though Mon-El informed her that only their genetic material is needed. Despite that, the two of them still refuse to be married which Rhea answers by threatening to kill thousands of people in hospitals, including the Luthor Family Children's Hospital. Blackmailed, both Lena and Mon-El reluctantly agree to Rhea's demands after that to avoid innocents suffering.
As the wedding preparations came into progress, back on Earth, the D.E.O. and Cadmus came into an uneasy alliance as proposed by the latter’s leader, Lillian Luthor, in which Supergirl must allow her and the real Hank Henshaw access to the Phantom Zone projector kept inside the Fortress of Solitude and have them re-purpose the projector, which was formerly employed to instantly teleport the convicted prisoners of Krypton to Fort Rozz, into teleporting them aboard Rhea’s ship instead. Coming into a concession, Kara brings them to the Fortress where their way to rescue Lena and Mon-El awaits; and as Henshaw worked on the projector, Kara offhandedly asks Lillian, who was obviously aware of her dual identity as both Kara Danvers and Supergirl, as to why she never revealed Kara’s secret to Lena and Lillian imperiously admits that she doesn’t have to. For as presently unaware as her daughter might be of Kara’s alien identity, and one who happens to be National City’s recognized heroine at that, Lillian expresses confidence that Lena would ultimately see through her best friend’s duplicity and consider it — with Kara not deeming the youngest Luthor trustworthy enough to know of who the former truly was — as a breach of the supposed mutual trust existing between the two women and one destined to destroy their friendship altogether, as Lillian foresees. Hence why Lillian would rather let her vision come to pass, and simply watch her adopted daughter realize Kara’s shameless deception, at Lena’s own terms, over Lillian exposing it to her straight since the former’s course of unaided discovery bears greater impact to the said friendship than any other possibility. With Lillian obviously relishing the idea of Lena despising her best friend on account of the Kryptonian’s own doing, Supergirl could only snidely remark on the consistency of the Luthor she was standing next to which barely affected Lillian herself, for their shared desire to rescue Lena (and, of course on Kara’s side, Mon-El from Rhea’s clutches) was all that is uniting them as allies at the moment and once their business aboard Rhea’s vessel is over, they go straight to their ongoing enmity against each other. And with the lives of her best friend and boyfriend at stake, Supergirl swallows her personal pride and reciprocates Lillian’s attitude with confidence, telling her that she looks forward into being enemies again with her afterwards.
While the ceremony commences, with both Lena and Mon-El in appropriate attires, it is interrupted by Cat Grant, warning Rhea that she messed with the wrong people and encouraging the people of National City to defend themselves and not let the invaders win. Lena and Mon-El are then ordered back to their holdings while Rhea tries to see to the refreshed resistance that is occurring in the city. Mon-El orders the guard to stand down as the Prince of Daxam, he struggles to take him out until Lena shoots him with his dropped gun and walks off with the prince.When they come across a locked door, Lena orders Mon-El to break the glass and cleverly uses the tiara she is wearing to get it to open, where Mon-El tells Lena he realizes why Kara loves her and she responds with likewise. Getting through the door, they run into Supergirl, Lillian and Cyborg Hank Henshaw, through a platoon of felled Daxamite guards. Lena is shocked to see her mother having come to get her along with Supergirl and Lillian told her that she would do anything to save her. They then moved to leave through the portal and emerged in the Fortress of Solitude, however, she saw that only she, her mother and Henshaw had come while Supergirl and Mon-El weren't. Lillian then told her that she had rigged the portal to only allow humans to come back and not the aliens before she sent the call for Rhea's ship to be destroyed. Upon seeing that her mother betrayed and had left Supergirl and Mon-El on the ship to die, she realized that her mother hadn't changed. However, Supergirl and Winn had foreseen this move and had rigged an override in Hank Henshaw that made him re-start the portal and keep Lillian from interfering. When the portal was reactivated, Mon-El stepped through and told Lena that Supergirl chose to stay to confront his mother.
Lena found her way back to L-Corp where, whilst drinking away her guilt and sorrows, she moved to make a mess of the Luthor Family chess set in her office. Lillian then came in and asked her why she would let herself be duped by Rhea and Lena told her that it was because Rhea believed in her and had inspired her. She felt that with Rhea she gave her the encouragement that Lillian never gave her. Lillian relented that she wasn't the best mother, but now was the time that they needed to work together to stop Rhea and her army. She then revealed the device that Lena had seen her take from Lex's vault, with her daughter instantly recognizing the box that it was held in. Lillian revealed that it was intended to be used on Kryptonians but, with Lena's help, it could be altered to be used against the Daxamites instead, seeing how Lena was able to convert what was originally L-Corp’s large-scale generator ring into a working transmatter portal (that brought Earth’s present state of overwhelming crisis from the invading Daxamites) with her brilliance. Lena then contacted the D.E.O. and told them that she and her mother had a weapon to turn the tide, but presumably requests that they first send the Kryptonians over at L-Corp to offer some outside opinion. She was then visited by Supergirl and Superman, and the Luthors revealed to the aliens that the device they had was built by Lex to dispense Kryptonite into the atmosphere in order to make the planet uninhabitable to Kryptonians. However, Lena took time to examine it and was working to make it dispense lead instead so that it would force the Daxamites to leave. But, Lena knew that it would work on all Daxamites, including Mon-El. She then piercingly asked if Supergirl knew that Mon-El had been dating Kara Danvers, missing the look passing between her and Lillian. Rather than answering the question, Lena was instead ordered by Supergirl to begin working with the device to set their back-up plan (with the “Plan A” being that Kara just challenged Rhea into a Dakkam Ur trial by combat, to which both of them are now preparing for) into motion. Later, Winn Schott (who was sent by J'onn to assist Lena in her office) and Lena are working on the device while Lillian lofts about, giving waspish comments as the alien invasion outside worsens. Upon completion, Lillian grabs the device and activates it but, when it doesn't work, is told by Lena that she secretly gave Supergirl the remote, so that only the Kryptonian could activate it when she needs it, and then instructs Schott to inform the D.E.O. of their achievement. Thus, the three of them vigilantly stayed inside Lena’s office, and standing guard over the finished contraption, until it was finally triggered by Kara. After everything is over with the Daxamites’ forced retreat, it is discovered that Lillian took all the credit despite Lena and Winn being the ones to finalize the device.
Re-building National City
Following the months after the expunged Daxamite invasion, it was revealed that Lena has allocated her resources to have her company assist in any way it can for the rebuilding of all the damage left by the invaders, donating billions of dollars for the renovation and rebuilding of damage left in the Daxamites' wake. In that daunting venture, she reached out to Morgan Edge for aid, as the land and real estate developer's impeccable portfolio deemed Edge's development plans as her (and everyone else's) best shot in the restoration efforts for the ravaged National City. And true enough, within barely half a year, the collaborated reconstruction efforts (together with Supergirl’s aid and the mayor's permission) permitted the city infrastructure and economy to emerge stable and operational once more. However, overtime, Lena became aware of Morgan's egotistical sexism, about how he thinks little of other people's thoughts and opinions, especially if from the fairer sex; but Lena kept silent about hers concerning Edge, not wanting any friction to expand between the two of them since they are both, at the time, controversial pillars of the city’s damaged and recovering community. She however, like some of National City's one percenters, vocally disapproved when Edge furthers his notions of renewing National City by remaking its waterfront to his liking (and profitability). During these past six months of mass-scale structural renewals in municipality, Lena also attempted contact with Kara, who was suffering emotionally from the loss of Mon-El, setting up schedules and plans, but was turned down every time due to Kara dedicating her time and focus as Supergirl (drastically reducing crime despite the vulnerable and shattered state their city was in, along with assisting in its property renovations) which Lena wasn't aware of as she was still unaware of Kara’s actual alien nature and heroic alternate persona.
She was seen, along with other business representatives and negotiates, seated at a table conference in Morgan's office wherein he was basically over-praising himself and those who enabled him to conduct his projects for reviving the city back to its former glory. But Lena, along with James Olsen who was also seated there, was rather quick to point out that Supergirl had a hand in the restoration as well. Morgan then shifted the subject as to why his business proposition to renovate the waterfront as well has yet to be given clearance from the city officials; and again, both James and Lena responded with simultaneous controversy as such an undertaking would deprive the less-than-privileged of their homes for the benefit of the wealthy.
Morgan then proceeded to verbally target Lena, bringing up the fact that she was trying to absolve not only her family of their transgressions but also her own, since it was because of her that the Daxamites were able to descend upon National City in the first place. He stresses to her that guilt is not a particularly effective business strategem, with Lena coldly replying that neither was exploitation. Sensing that he may have gone too far and that it was almost lunch time, Morgan suggested everyone present there that they all adjourn to the office room next door, where his catering staff prepared a glorious buffet for Edge's business associates and guests. As the group rose up, Lena calls out to Morgan, telling him that he's not as influential or powerful as he'd like to believe himself as. Morgan arrogantly brushes this off, pointing out to her that powerful people, herself included, were in his office.
Lena was later visited by Kara in her office at L-Corp, bringing up Morgan Edge's intent to buy CatCo Worldwide Media, which was now up for sale as a result of Edge cunningly and subtly buying a series of its company shares, rallying up the editorial's shareholders behind him as support up to that point, and with Snapper Carr off to a Sabbatical and Cat Grant not being there (Cat now serves as the president's press secretary and had to put CatCo on a blind trust) to rebuke his impending takeover. Kara rather thinks Morgan's bid was intended to stop James from further using his editorial influence to downplaying Edge's future land development plans and about how he and Lena stood up against Morgan in his office from earlier; Lena did not put this past Morgan, whom she believes wasn't above spending that much money on a petty grudge. She nevertheless agrees with Kara that Morgan also taking control of CatCo would mean bad for those below the higher societal class since the real estate mogul would then be able to sway public opinions and supports to his favor, leaving his developmental projects unopposed in National City. Lena was then asked by her friend to try convincing Morgan Edge to lay off his purchasing CatCo.
Assuring Kara that she would try, Lena then tells the then-leaving reporter she misses her. The two apparently have had very little contact with each other after the city's alien invasion. Lena thinks Kara was cold-shouldering her for her part in driving away the Daxamites with that lead dispersion device she modified from Lex's original design that also resulted in Mon-El having to be sent away from Earth to keep the planet's lead-infused atmosphere from killing the Daxamite prince. She tells Kara that she was there for her, as Kara was for her when Lena lost Jack, and wanted to apologize for her conduct. Kara replies that Lena did what she had to do; and that in the end, it was Supergirl's decision to activate the device and so Mon-El's fate was not on Lena's, but was then distracted by a crime in progress being reported from a tablet on Lena's desk. Excusing herself out the door, Lena suggests brunch later with the departing reporter, to which Danvers wordlessly nods as she left, leaving Lena doubtful about to Kara's claim of not blaming her for the Daxamite's forced banishment.
She later visits Morgan Edge in his office. Morgan, who was playing office golf, took note of this and coyly expresses what people might say when they hear of Lena's recurring presence in his domain and she snidely tells him that his charms equate to a film starring Michael Douglas from the concluding decade of last century. Morgan found that flattering, but finds it unlikely that the Luthor would come all this way just for that and Lena extends his proposition of investing more capital to Edge's campaigns. Morgan immediately suspects that in return for the commission, Lena would want him to cease his bid in buying CatCo Magazine. Lena doesn't deny that and emphasizes that Morgan should just stick to what he's good at: overseeing the rebirth of National City, as there were still sectors that require renovating, and managing a media conglomerate at the same time could eat away at his time table. Morgan ignores this and mocks Lena by stating that no matter what she does, no matter how benevolent, people will still see her as one who bears a name that brought prominence and infamy to her known family, a Luthor; a belief that he intends to reinforce and then use to his personal advantage in turning the community against Lena via CatCo's editorial resources. Lena then realizes the twofold reason behind Morgan's attempt-in-progress to purchase CatCo: negating the biased reports that the people have been receiving about him and also using that same media outlet to deface his enemies in business, starting with Lena. Edge would only affirm this, attributing it as "good business". Disgusted, Lena saw herself out, missing Robert Dubois, who was hiding behind one of the pillars in Morgan's personal office.
Standing later behind the podium at the unveiling of the Girl of Steel Statue by the waterfront, Lena gave a few witty and amiable words to the people who came there for the event in deference for their savior. But everyone's elation quickly turned to horror when a large tremor erupted somewhere by the waterfront, causing Lena and so many others to duck for cover. She soon witnessed as Supergirl arrived and stopped Dubois' attack and flew his submarine out of the water.
Kara later visits Lena again in the latter's office. After two of them pushing aside the absolved matter concerning the underwater assault at the waterfront, Lena tells Kara how she bought CatCo Magazine from under Morgan Edge, meaning she is now the official proprietor of both Cat Grant's company and L-Corp, sparing the former from Edge's reach much to Kara's delight. However, Lena became distraught when Kara tells her of her resignation from CatCo; she urges Kara to return there for work, knowing very little about journalism in which Kara knows plenty. Lena adds that it's rare to work together with someone close to you, and Kara seems to consider this. And that was when Morgan Edge, evidently peeved for having been out-bought by L-Corp in his CatCo takeover, unceremoniously came by insulting Lena' sanity, forcing Danvers to get in between the two capitalists. Edge continues to vocally threaten Lena, who tells him that he warrants getting himself tossed, by her security detail, out of her office with that attitude. This prompts Kara to take her leave. That left Morgan and Lena alone, with the former menacingly going on with his verbal harassment. Lena retorts by saying she couldn't care less. Supergirl unexpectedly descends on the balcony, greeting Lena and then asking if she was done with Edge. Lena confirms that she was and moves away from her business rival.
Later inside her loft, after Kara looked on at photos of herself and Mon-El, she sent Lena a reply via her phone accepting the latter’s behest — for Kara to return working at CatCo again — and hang out together the next day, addressing her as boss. Lena sends back a heart-shaped emoji to Kara.
Heading CatCo and having friends
On her first day at CatCo Magazine, Lena arrives on her first day there at the office with seemingly nervous excitement through and then out of Cat Grant’s private elevator, which she was apparently unaware as to whom it was specifically reserved for. Upon arriving and surveying the work environment, she seemed uncertain of what to do next, having delved into a wholly new business enterprise of which is entirely foreign to her. She was warmly greeted by Eve Teschmacher, who seemed thrilled to meet her up-close and offers to get her anything on her Lena’s first day as her and Lena suggests that Tess utilizes the private elevator as it would be faster to traverse up and down the establishment that way. Eve shies away from the suggestion and explained that particular elevator was reserved for only for Miss Grant’s usage, or for whomsoever’s at the top of CatCo’s hierarchy — meaning that the Luthor definitely qualifies.
Lena refutes this, saying that anyone could now use the elevator at their discretion and not just her, much to Eve’s delight and Lena soon stumbles upon James Olsen who wanted to chaperone Lena around the office and amenities that day. But knowing that she also had a company to run in L-Corp, James advises her to segregate her now-divided time between both companies wisely; and Lena informs Olsen that it won’t be necessary, as she had already arranged and settled affairs at L-Corp in her stead, so she could roam free in CatCo, taking in all of its intricacies, without any hindrances from the former, much to Olsen’s surprise. They both get into his office (formerly Cat Grant’s) and Kara comes into the office room, welcoming Lena there as her new boss after the latter’s generous purchase and handing, in personal appreciation, the new company Head a customized planner on her first day. James tells her that the top management there has yet to adapt to recent changes in leadership as the result of Lena’s abrupt purchase; they have even yet to secure a personal office room for her. James subtly hints on Lena taking his, but Lena tells him he could keep it viewing such as irrelevant, since her experience in L-Corp has somewhat made her antsy in having a whole office room all to herself (she had no idea how Cat or James does it, cooped up in theirs with all those flat television screen monitors in broadcast, lining the wall behind them), and that she’d rather have an active running of the establishment by roaming about and supervising its branches, unconfined by desk space. Turning to Kara, Lena brings up that she has a lead at Morgan Edge’s accounting that she wants Kara to cover it, but an emergency call from the D.E.O. forced the newly-returned reporter to decline from the assignment.
She would later approach both Kara and James again, moving side-by-side from the elevator, after a conference meeting with some of CatCo’s top-brass staff that she informs them of and having apparently summoned for the former to confer there as well (and only to arrive late), though James was apparently unaware of the meeting until last minute and, quite frankly, was beginning to feel that she was trying to leach the office off of him much to his displeasure. Lena then starts telling Kara of what happened there in the meeting and how she would have wanted her there, but yet another D.E.O. urgent call caused the office subordinate to take her leave. Curious, Lena inquires James as to where Kara was headed and James responded somewhat curtly, asking in turn as to why he wasn’t part of the meeting, nor was he informed on it, as it took place in a work environment that he ran in Cat Grant's stead for over a year. Noticing that her ability to make independent decisions was being challenged by her senior, but one whom Lena knew she must not make an enemy of from the beginning of her starting days at CatCo, Lena and James tensely stared down at each other, giving waspish remarks before going on their way.
Seemingly grown weary of Kara’s constantly weaseling away from her, Lena goes to visit the former at her desk, mildly confronting Kara of her scuttling behavior but states that she understands why so. Kara thinks and worries that Lena finally worked out her secret as Supergirl, afraid that what Lillian predicted — of Lena hating her best friend for lying to her — has finally come true, but learns that Lena believes Kara hasn’t truly gotten over Mon-El’s necessary departure, which was causing her work performance to suffer, and ignorant to the fact that Kara recently had her hands full as Supergirl battling against a formidable meta-human, Psi, who recently arrived in National City, robbing its banks in a continuous spree and easily defeating Supergirl at every turn of confrontation by using the Kryptonian’s worst fears against her, incapacitating the city’s heroine twice in a row now while the poetically-gloating super-powered criminal gets away clean with her stolen prize at both times.
Relieved that her apprehensions weren’t the case, Kara tries to let Lena down easy, standing up to her and saying that she intends to settle the matter with Mon-El in her own way, overlapping with work if she must, despite Lena stating that she was free to take a break from duty if that was what Kara needed. Noting the change in Kara’s tone, Lena then shifts to stern pragmatism and talked to Kara not as a friend, but as her employer declaring that she did not spend large sums to overtake Morgan’s attempt in owning CatCo on a whim; that she was a businesswoman at her core. One with expectations, not just in remuneration, from her fresh purchase and that, as CatCo’s newest owner, she cannot slack off of her duties there much less tolerate such conduct from the employees under her and not even from Kara, as that would be favoritism, tightening tension between the two close friends. Cornered, Kara promises to get Lena’s delegated task done. And with that, she thanked and left Kara to her thoughts, looking over her shoulder just enough to watch the CatCo reporter leave. Presumably Lena would be later communicating, from off-screen, with her L-Corp CFO through the phone and being told by the latter that her child has had some problems at school, but assured by the person at the other end that it was already handled in lieu with all the other business expectations and arrangements as designated by Lena’s company — all ready for the next day and should go smoothly with no problem. This other person then thanked Lena for being so understanding and, before hanging up, promised to meet up with Lena later in the evening.
Lena’s name is later mentioned by Kara in her apartment where she was confronted by Alex, who was now aware of the true nature behind the panic attacks that her adopted younger sister was experiencing during her skirmishes with Psi, after Winn spilled the beans to Alex while back at the D.E.O., that the meta-human was making Kara relive the terrific and paralyzing vision of Krypton’s destruction as latter herself was forcibly evacuated from that via a space-worthy pod. Losing her confidence, Kara laments that things have not gone right for her since her first encounter with Psi, and Lena’s gradually emerging habit of making inquiries about Kara’s “side-jobs” — to Kara and those she works with at CatCo — is not making things any easier for the Kryptonian.
But Lena’s suppositions on Kara’s inner conflict would later prove to be (partially) correct after all, when Supergirl’s third confrontation with Psi revealed her deepest and darkest fear: having sent Mon-El from Earth’s lead-infused atmosphere in a pod, she has no idea what became of her beloved after his exile and that, having been sent off in a similar fashion by her own mother, Kara knows the feeling of being sent away by someone dear (a parent, and from a planet that was once home, no less, but was literally rejecting Kara to the point of actual planetary self-destruction in her final moments there, only moments before the Kryptonian’s expedited and unceremonious leaving) all too well, worrying that she may very well have sent the Daxamite to his death — never to be heard from again. Alex’s words of encouragement, of how Mon-El was safe wherever he is now just as Kara was when Alura loaded her into the pod that brought her to Earth and the premise that the two literally star-crossed lovers will eventually reunite because of that, finally enabled Supergirl to get over her own crippling fears and she bested Psi with her newfound courage.
Upon her return to CatCo, Kara searches for Lena, whom she finds overseeing the work progress of one the office workers there. She tentatively approaches the Luthor to affirm that the latter’s assigned task to Kara beforehand was now met, and then admitting to what Lena surmised from earlier was true but just didn’t want up that point to admit it in herself, apologizing in regards of her own job performance thus far as a reporter; that it was crass of Kara not giving Lena her due respect. Not merely as her new employer, but also her well-intended friend who sympathizes with another’s loss. But Lena understands Kara’s plight, having gone through the same with Jack. Lena jokes that the concept of friendship was also foreign territory for her since the Luthor family have minions in the place of legitimate friends, hence why she’s not particularly good at it. They laughed together and Lena suggests that she and Kara make amends with a hug though was hesitant at the same time, maintaining her stance against favoritism but gives in due to Kara’s good-natured and ushering invitation, and the two women wrapped each other together in their arms.
It was then that they were approached by the newly-promoted Samantha Arias, Lena’s new mouthpiece and privy in L-Corp, governing its activities and operations in Lena’s place (and confirming that Sam was the one whom Lena was talking to from earlier right before the former received her pizza delivery at the Arias residence), causing Lena and Kara to break off from their warm hug. Smiling, Lena introduces her to Kara and vice-versa, and her two acquaintances before her amicably shook hands with each other. A fateful encounter, this triumvirate of powerful women (with some of them perhaps more powerful than even they themselves presently realize) are only blissfully aware of what now awaits them some time in the future from that point onwards.
Later that night, Lena was seen leaving the office with Eve. They came across James, who appeared to have gotten over his hard-shelled demeanor for and impression of Lena; the two higher-ups of CatCo briefly greeted and departed for the night.
Lena, with Kara in tow, visited her old office in L-Corp to leave her signature on some documents there and Sam Arias conveys with them after her daughter's soccer game, followed by a trip to the ice cream parlor with Ruby’s team. With Lena congratulating Sam on her first success endeavor as L-Corp's CFO, Danvers suggests they celebrate at her place that night. Sam showed her reservations, but Lena and Kara were insistent she joins them.
Later, in Kara's apartment, Lena, Kara, Sam, Alex and Maggie were all gathered, telling stories of their personal lives and their plans for the future, when Kara had to scoot when she heard the sound of fire-truck sirens, passing it off as the need to get some more ice cubes, that only Alex and Maggie were aware of the pretense.
Lena would later find Sam in the office again, with the latter tearfully lamenting that she was failing Ruby as a mother due to her obligations at L-Corp. Lena offers a few words of encouragement, saying that the love Sam gives to Ruby was more than enough to make up for the times when Sam fails to be at her daughter's side, or when she's not giving Ruby her fullest and undivided attention.
Lena, Kara and Alex would later arrive at Ruby's performance recital. Sam was surprised that her employer and the Danvers sisters came, and Lena reminded her that Ruby was going to have a lot of cool Aunts.
A couple of days later, she and James discussed CatCo's statistics when Kara walked into the room and told them to watch what Morgan Edge was broadcasting. Lena did and learned that several children were rushed to Luthor Family Hospital, as they were all suffering from lead poisoning. She and Kara rushed to the hospital, where they found Samantha already there, having brought one of Ruby’s lead-ailed classmates in. Lena angrily confronted Edge who stood by what he televised, and accused Lena of not minding the consequences to her own actions when she altered the lead bomb to drive away Rhea, along with her entire faction and species.
Upon being accused of inadvertently poisoning children via the lead bomb deployed during the Daxamite invasion, Lena temporarily stepped down from both L-Corp and CatCo Worldwide Media, despite Kara and Sam’s insistence that Lena’s re-designing of the bomb was what saved the city and that stepping down now could be taken as an act of admitting guilt, in order for the latter company to provide unbiased reporting during the investigation, in addition to maintaining L-Corp's integrity, lest both enterprises under Lena’s ownership be branded for profiteering — a notion that Jimmy did not disagree to. She later held a press conference outside to, in apologetic tone, let the public know of her plans, despite of herself being unsure if the contraption she modified was indeed to blame, only to be shot upon by an aggrieved mother of one of the affected children, though James (and Sam, as it would later be revealed) valiantly took a non-lethal hit for her. He was later seen contemplating together with Kara and Winn, whilst his sustained injury being tended to at the D.E.O., in light of recent developments and how they escalated that way due to Lena’s somewhat reckless actions during around the time of the Daxamite’s invasion and with Edge provoking the general masses against her as of late, coming into a quick argument with Kara who confronts Jimmy for seemingly blaming the Luthor as the one behind the mounting tragedy. Olsen would only defend himself saying that while Lena may not have knowingly lead-poisoned the children with apparent intent, it does not make them falling ill any less her fault due to Lena altering her brother’s device of its original purpose and then offering its usage — and nothing good has ever truly came from the hand of one Lex Luthor, leaving Kara speechless in Lena’s defense. Seeing where this debate was headed, with neither side obviously willing to let go of their conviction in relation to Lena’s actions that time when the Daxamites both arrived and left, Schott attempts a diplomatic approach and suggests to his friends that they run verifying trial upon the device’s re-purposed function themselves to confirm if it was indeed the source of the severe poisonings. Kara agrees and Winn leads her (as Olsen couldn’t go due to his wound) to the quarantined and monitored testing room with the atmosphere bomb at the center of the flooring just below them. Winn notes that while he was working with Lena to alter the said bomb, they made numerical computations to ensure that the device would only target Daxamites once triggered — determining only a fraction of a percentage to indicate that should it also affects humans, caught in the released lead cloud or exposed to its atmospheric residue, will be irrelevant at best; and assuming that they get the same percentage from the testing procedure, then it shall be confirmed that the lead outbreak was, in fact, incited by causes other than the device about to be tested by Schott.
Activating the device and watching it spread its lead-based cloud within the room’s confinement and waiting for the sensors there to measure to particulate content, a perturbed Winn can only show the results to Kara — showing that there may have been a slight error to the computations that he and Lena made when they pooled their efforts together in re-purposing the atmosphere-affecting device, since they were in such a rush at that time (with the invading Daxamites and all) putting it together that they did not even consider how pre-adult or even pre-adolescent humans, whose immune systems are understandably weaker than those of their adult counterparts, would somatically react to the mass-dispersed lead. And because of their collaborated error, the afflicted juveniles are now paying the price — meaning that Winn too may have had a hand at their grisly ordeal. Kara leaves him with the results being shown from the tablet at his hands, defeated.
Forced to take refuge herself in Sam's household, Lena was gratified that her acting CEO was allowing her to stay there but unsure if it was a wise choice, as she was basically a marked woman with all the angry parents practically out for her blood. Sam assures Lena that it was okay and letting her in her home was the least she could do when the latter came in her time of need with her daughter. She confidently tells Lena to ease up and adds that this was what friends do for each other. Lena then piercingly asks if Sam would still be so if Ruby (who just walked past them with arms laden with sheets and pillows) was one of the children that got sick from lead; Sam could only look back without a reply, before looking down and Lena sadly does likewise — Samantha’s wordless response was all it took for Lena to sadly understand how things could have come to between the two of them had the scenario she suggested indeed been the case.
Kara later visits the Arias residence, finding Lena by the kitchen counter and in an uncharacteristic state of despair, apparently drinking herself non-stop in liquor and carelessly breaking a wine glass or two in this stupor. Sweeping away the glass shards off the counter and dropping the broken pieces to the trash bin, the Kryptonian tries to get her friend to pull herself together, in spite now knowing from the recent experimentation, conducted by Winn at the D.E.O., that Lena’s lead dispersion bomb was liable for the afflicted juveniles’ deteriorating condition by around 10%. Kara chose not to tell Lena this, only for the latter to morosely and amusedly claim that her friend was "terrible at hiding things" from her boss; of course, given her superheroine persona that Lena has not even vaguely begun to suspect, the former mutters she wasn't so sure of Lena's claim, which barely registered to the heavily inebriated Lena.
The reporter assures that she won't rest until Lena's name was cleared from the accusations, mirroring her adamant tenacity from back when Lena was accosted for providing Metallo with a second Kryptonite heart and the subsequent escape of Lillian Luthor; but at this point, the despondent Luthor tells her, not as her employer but as her friend, to cease having truly believed that she was indeed at fault for what the children were going through right now by the workings of the device that Lena modified. She commends Kara for her insistent belief that there's inherent good in everyone, even for someone bearing the Luthor name, as that was what Lena loves most about the reporter, but goes on to say that in the real world, there was good as well as bad and that either can happen even without deliberate intent. Lena laments at having led her life as a pariah — first due to her access into her family’s immense wealth and then, of course, because of Lex’s activities against Superman which was what motivated her to be positively seen by others as her own person, in addition to restoring the Luthor family’s honor. But in the end, regardless of what she commits herself into, Lena will always amount to what the general masses perceive her as: the (half-)sibling of a megalomaniacal mass murderer and criminal mastermind. Except that Lex never went as far as to endanger the well-being of innocent human children for what he perceived was the greater good, even by accident, meaning she just sank the Luthor name down to a new definition of low — perhaps deeper than either Lex or Lillian before her ever had — as far as morality was concerned. Kara could only listen with growing sadness as the person before her, whom she came to know as one of the strongest women in her life, devolve into how Kara herself basically was in following the days and months when she lost Mon-El — coincidentally to the same doomsday contraption that was the source of Lena's complete loss of hope and juveniles suffering. Lena then tries to have Kara spare her efforts in proving her best friend's innocence, saying that "she was not worth it". She later lapses to sleep that night.
However, Kara stayed up all night for Samantha to arrive as well and the two researched and worked together while Lena slept silently nearby on Sam’s living room couch. Sam tells Kara how she has never seen Lena this vulnerable before, despite having known her employer for a long time and Kara agrees that Lena was secretly “mush” inside in spite of the tough image she typically upholds herself as.
Lena's phone woke her up, a bit startled, but she answered. Kara's informed her that she and Sam went off to conduct an impromptu investigation of their own to prove that Lena was not to blame for the sick kids, and an exasperated Lena reminded Kara how she told her to just let things be. Kara quickly stated how the children were poisoned due to a chemical reaction in the pool rather than actual exposure to dispersed lead. Lena reacted when Kara mentioned the name Acre Lee, and Kara asked if she knew the name, to which Lena said she didn't. She then visited Morgan Edge in his office, confronted him about the fact that she was now aware of his ploy to discredit her by blaming the poisoned children on her re-designed device, when he was the one who orchestrated the whole incident having integrated Acre Lee Chemicals into his enterprise and thus rendering the chemical company’s resources available for Edge’s disposal. His plan all along was to smear Lena's good name while bringing himself up in the public eye.
Morgan was unfazed of her allegations and Lena was coldly furious of the fact that her business rival would mindlessly endanger innocent kids in his vendetta against her over the vendetta itself, pulls out a gun. She stated that she knew the woman who shot at her at the press conference was right and that it was high time she lives up to her Luthor name. However, she was hit over the head by one of Morgan Edge's men. When she awoke, Lena found herself in a cargo plane loaded with the same chemical substance from Acre Lee. The plane was being controlled by Edge, and she realized his plan was to dump barrels of the substance into the water to infect more people in National City, and then direct the public’s blame to her device once more. She tried to radio-contact the air-base for help, but Edge cuts off the transmission. Fortunately, the D.E.O. detected the aircraft’s presence and caught wind of Lena’s interrupted transmission — with Kara being there to discern that it was Lena at the other end. The plane’s cargo door suddenly opened and, thinking quickly, Lena tried to prevent the cargo from being dropped into the water. She pinned the platform where the barrels were on to the plane’s inner cabin, which forced Morgan to have the pilot crash the plane.
Supergirl flew in and closed the cargo hatch all the way. She and Lena began to feel some turbulence, forcing Supergirl to attempt holding the aircraft up from the inside. She also shouted to Lena to strap in, but Lena was thrown loose when one of the wing engines of the plane blew. The plane, unable to withstand Supergirl's pressure, broke in half; with the chemical barrels in one end and Lena falling to the bottom of the other. Supergirl told Lena that she couldn't hold both sides, reflecting the time when Lena herself was forced to choose between Kara and Jack, and had to make the painfully heart-breaking choice of sacrificing the latter. With their time running out and nary a thought to the contrary, Lena insisted the alien heroine to save to chemicals over her, but Kara (who would have none of it) refused, despite the strained efforts that she was already exerting in literally holding the aircraft’s pieces together, and urged the former to climb up, making Lena realize what was at stake and the risks that the Kryptonian was willing to take in saving everyone in National City — Lena included. Thus, her life matters just as everyone else there. Regaining her confidence, Lena nodded and began climbing, before jumping to grab Supergirl's outstretched hand, sparing both Lena and the barrels.
She visited CatCo to check on James Olsen who was slowly but surely recuperating from his shoulder wound, and the two shared a moment alone together. Lena told James that anyone who took a bullet for her could call her by her first name, and James agreed to do so. He then told her that his friends called him "James" or "Jimmy". Lena nodded and told him goodnight, and called him Jimmy.
She was later seen at Sam’s house again, on the couch, and thanked both Sam and Kara for their collaborated efforts in acquitting her name (despite of Edge coming off clean at the end) and not giving up on their boss when Lena practically did; she was particularly grateful towards Kara for staying true to her employer and friend when Lena’s personal morale was at its lowest point, and apologizes in the way she dismissed Kara’s unwavering support and loyalty from earlier. Lena informed them that she never had anyone willing to love her no matter what, and Kara told her that it was because she never had a sister. Sam chimed in that Lena had two sisters now, and they both come together and hugged either side of Lena. After the truth was revealed, it is believed that Lena returned to her companies after L-Corp succeeded in synthesizing a cure for the lead-poisoned children.
A Grim Yule
Lena was seen, by the kitchen counter, in Kara’s apartment together with the latter’s inner circle of friends who gathered there in celebration for the Christmas holiday; she was drinking in friendly conversation together with James while everyone else around them readied for the season’s coming event. Sam and Ruby later arrived and Lena took note that the former seemed slightly pale and tired. Sam assures her that it was no issue and then proceeded to tease Lena on recent developments with her relationship with Olsen beyond work, to which Lena attempts to dance around the subject.
Overhearing them, Kara soon comes along and also noted her personal opinions on Jimmy and Lena’s burgeoning feelings for each other. Again, Lena tries to evade the topic and Kara expresses her gratification at celebrating that Christmas in her place together with Lena and Samantha — the two best gifts she attained that year — endearing both the latter two. Kara continues, saying that she has always appreciated being close to her sister Alex but never quite, outside of the Danvers family, had intimate best friends before either Sam or Lena came into her life and Kara in theirs. And it was because of their presence and relationship with her that the Kryptonian was able to pull through the approaching end of that year, in spite the layers upon layers of hardships and difficulties that she’s faced (and still facing), earning her an affectionate and comforting side-hug from Sam while Lena appreciatively looks on.
Lena was later seen discussing the matter of mysterious sigils appearing all across National City with James at CatCo; suspecting that this was yet another elaborate plot being instigated by Morgan Edge — due to the first and then now several of the sigils were left unceremoniously marking property owned under L-Corp — against Lena and her company, she and Olsen (who insisted to come along) decided to confront Edge in his office. Morgan, in his predisposed condescending and flippant demeanor, plainly claims that he had nothing to do about it and that his methods would be more direct, if that. Lena and James would later visit a site where they were to rendezvous with a contact of hers who could provide some information on Edge’s more discreet activities, in hopes of finding a lead that can connect Edge with those Kryptonian marks, with Jimmy himself expressing his doubts and worry as they could easily be ambushed while out in the open like this.
James’ apprehensions are later proven on the mark when he and Lena, while surveying a freshly-found and made Kryptonian mark, were fired upon from behind and afar by someone armed with a hi-tech armament, causing Olsen to usher Lena to safety as the gunman chased after them. And in that chase, Lena fell to the ground and was told to stay down until its safe, allowing Olsen to produce his Guardian Shield to deflect an ordnance fire without Lena seeing and proceeded to overpower their assailant, in time to retract his shield once again by the time Lena stood back up on her feet. She was none too flustered and jokes to him that it was merely the quarterly assassination attempt on her life as the year was about to end; James, on the other hand, wonders who their attacker was.
Returning to CatCo, James and Lena were ruminating over the assailant they delivered to the authorities. Apparently, the man refused to answer questions and was shielded from further interrogation under legal protection. Samantha came, having heard of what happened, and was worried for Lena. Her boss then showed some gathered intelligence on the assailant for Sam, affirming that the man had past connections with Edge and also had access to advanced weaponry and similar articles, such as the implement used when he went earlier after Olsen and Luthor. However, this only establishes a circumstantial link between the weapon and Edge himself. And in a silently ominous and seething tone while browsing at the collected data, Sam notes that Edge should be dead; this dark and subtle change in behavior did not go unnoticed by Lena, who frowns slightly from Sam’s perceived reaction. James then drew Lena’s attention to the televised reports on the murders of the One-Seven Gang that happened elsewhere on the same night the two of them were attacked, and neither noticing Arias wordlessly leaving the office.
They are later seen watching Morgan Edge, who narrowly survived an encounter with an unknown and murderous Kryptonian that went after him, in his own office, at his company’s Christmas party. Turning her back on the screen, Lena retreated into her office at CatCo with James at her heels, noting to him that he’s saved her life twice now and is grateful. She offers him a drink and Jimmy accepts. Then, giving in to desire, they began to kiss.
The two of them later rushed out to the open streets, where the brutal battle between Reign and Supergirl had finally reached. Lena and James watched the breathtaking sight of the two powerful Kryptonians fight in shock (with Lena, of course, oblivious to the said pair of combating aliens actually being none other than her best friends, Sam and Kara, in disguise), and James then ushered the nearby civilians and bystanders away from the battling aliens with Lena following suit. Then, James and Lena looked increasingly aghast in overwhelming disbelief at the sight of National City’s heroine weakening before the might of her masked adversary, culminating to a severely battered Kara falling into the middle of a crater, defeated at last by Reign.
With James Olsen
Garbed in somewhat revealing business attire, two days later following Supergirl and Reign’s epic battle, Lena watches the televised news with Jimmy at her side at CatCo, showing how much the city’s criminal element sky-rocketed in the wake of Supergirl’s defeat; she expresses her concern, but James assures Lena that everything will be fine. Lena then brings up the matter concerning Kara — whom she acknowledges as the only journalist in the city with the knack for finding the alien heroine out of the blue — who has yet to turn up for work since Christmas and much less spotted in the wake of the Kryptonians’ skirmish that night.
And again, Jimmy tries to cover, albeit with a slight stammer as he couldn’t afford to let anything slip concerning Kara’s secret nor the fact that she was presently being medically-observed and treated from her loss, as Supergirl, at Reign’s hands. His gorgeous boss then turns the somewhat awkward subject of what was now going on between her and Olsen, and how Kara may regard that once she catches wind of Lena and James’ new and burgeoning relationship — aware of the short-lived one that was once between Jimmy and Kara, and that Lena was uncomfortable with the thought of withholding that knowledge from her best friend since keeping secrets from each other like this was one of the root causes why the Luthors have such an unscrupulous reputation, and not to mention the shattered state of the family from within. James could only agree but that was when CatCo received an unexpected visit from Reign herself, with a captured criminal, having flown all the way into the building, through a glass window, with the deviant literally at hand and throwing the unfortunate man down at everyone’s feet there, much to their shock.
With the entire office flocking cautiously, at a safe distance, around the infamous Kryptonian responsible for felling Supergirl not a fortnight ago, Lena demands Reign why she came and the alien (who was also secretly Lena’s L-Corp employee, Sam, unbeknownst to her employer and close friend) simply states her intent to send out a message through CatCo, much to Lena’s immediate protest. Amused, the disguised Sam would only reply, with a chilling smile at Lena’s defiance, that the latter’s people there will do so regardless. True enough, Reign addresses one of the cameramen there to use his camera in broadcasting her statement and proceeded to extend her message throughout National City — which was to expunge criminality in all of its forms present there, leaving only the righteous and with little regard to people’s humanitarian rights.
Lena was next seen striding back into her office with Jimmy, talking about how things quieted down since Reign left CatCo; though everyone and everything else from beyond there were still in repressed panic due to the dark-clad Kryptonian’s ongoing reign of terror. Olsen reassures her that not all are bound by fear and, even in this moment of rising crisis, those who have that courage will rectify it. Lena then brings up that she now knows why he was acting weird earlier — back when they were talking about Kara right before Reign’s arrival. She believes James finds it awkward that he locked lips with her, who was not only his employer but also that to as well as the best friend of Kara, his ex’s, and thereby discomforting him. Again, James assures her that it wasn’t why he acted such back then but fumblingly continues, with an obvious stammer, as he attempted to fabricate a (sort of) viable explanation on the spot. He blisteringly comes up with telling Lena that Kara was sick, hence explaining her continued absence from work which was also the cause of his worry and defensiveness around Lena. Olsen then proceeded to exaggerate the situation, prompting Lena to go over to Kara’s place. But with Kara not actually there to entertain Lena on her visit, and realizing that it was too late to take back his claims, Jimmy recommends her for bring some warm soup to Kara, as he was sure Kara would most appreciate that. Lena agrees and left for Kara’s loft; Jimmy quickly contacted Winn after that.
She was then greeted and allowed entrance by “Kara” (actually J’onn shape-shifted into Kara’s form and wrapped around in a robe, much to his chagrin) into the loft after knocking at the door. Not feeling or even sensing anything remotely suspicious of the “Kara” who allowed her in and exchanged with her some very out-of-character opening comments in the process, Lena passes her the soup that she brought and immediately filled “Kara” in with the recent developments between herself and James — specifically the kiss she shared with him on Christmas. Though momentarily taken back (and growing uncomfortable with where this conversation was going that, at any rate, should just be between Lena and the real Kara), “Kara” congratulates Lena on how far she’s gone with Olsen; but Lena expresses her concerns of Jimmy shying away from her due to herself as a Luthor, for he had not been on the best of terms with anyone else who also carried that surname, bringing up Jimmy’s strong rapport with Superman — who, in turn, was formerly but now far from such in relation to Lena’s brother, Lex — as emphasis.
“Kara” assures Lena that Jimmy’s faint distancing away from her has nothing to do with her Luthor name, as it would be anything but faint, if that was the case. Somehow instantly convinced by that statement, Lena thanks “Kara” before leaving for work again, recommending the latter to stay and get better. She later sees James again at their CatCo workplace, amending the insecurities of their fledgling relationship and making out in the room with him.
Lena was next seen in Sam’s office at L-Corp, giving some last-minute coaching for the latter in preparation for a business trip that Sam was about to undertake. Sam assures her employer that she has this and Lena brings up that it must not be easy for her to prioritize her work over her own daughter like this, but Sam states her confidence that Ruby was in safe hands. She bade Sam farewell and left. Later, Lena would leave several missed calls and messages for Sam due to her employee apparently failing to attend her assigned trip and back, much to Sam’s distress and confusion when she finally sees them via her smartphone.
She and Olsen later strolled through a neighborhood street in National City towards a restaurant found there, Vironique’s, for breakfast. Basically a morning date between the newly-formed couple, Lena could barely contain her eagerness to have Jimmy sample the restaurant’s fabulous egg benedict as the two of them discussed the tasks set ahead of and waiting for them at CatCo; and sensing Jimmy’s reservations in letting her join him in the staff meeting due later at their workplace, Lena concedes that she meets up with him thereafter. And it was then that they stumbled upon Morgan Edge, who just finished his morning meal at Vironique’s and was now leaving the establishment. Spotting James and Lena, Edge started to mock them, leading to the former two to respond in kind. Morgan then went on to take his leave, getting into his car (but not before leaving a final parting remark in his insulting exchange with Lena) and driving off, right after rather rudely telling the valet occupying the driver’s seat to scoot.
Later at CatCo, and just as she promised Olsen at the restaurant, Lena approaches him at the nearing conclusion of the editorial meeting that he was overseeing, where the members, Kara included, had just finished pooling all the information they acquired in preparation for their next issue which covers Reign’s recent assault on Albatross Bay Correctional Facility. Lena then throws in what she knows of the concurrent stirrings concerning charitable organizations and individuals to the group, bringing up the approaching gala that Parks Conservancy was arranging in which the said representatives and patrons of charity will doubtless attend within the week.
Then without warning, a visibly ruffled Morgan Edge forced his way into the building and made his presence known by forcefully throwing the keys of his car, which was destroyed very recently and from where Morgan barely survived, at Lena and would have hit her right in the head had Kara not caught it in time. He begins to badmouth Lena in front of her appalled staff accusing her as the one behind the recent attempt on his life and forcing both Olsen and Kara get defensive as Lena deflects Edge’s accusations, insisting that she would not go as far as arrange assassinations over grudges — petty or otherwise. Edge recalls and mockingly notes that she has a fair point since, to him, Lena made it very clear once that she’d personally settle things, without anyone else’s assistance or involvement, if she were to set out and do something drastic, locking eyes with Lena and silently reminding her of the time when she once tried to kill him in his own office, which does not sit well with Lena. Morgan dares her to “man up and finish the job”, prompting James into dismissing Morgan, or else he will manhandle the other man to the exit himself. Edge would only finalize his vocal threat against Lena before taking his departure.
Lena, Jimmy and Kara are next seen in the CEO’s office discussing Morgan’s unexpected outburst at CatCo, which basically could be taken as a declaration of war against the Luthor, who was the one most frazzled; from the start of her dealings with and knowing Edge, this was the first time that Lena has seen him that aggravated. Fully aware that Edge will make good on his threat, and just a matter of when and how, Lena worries that someone kicked the proverbial beehive for her when they targeted Morgan to rile him up and left her to be implicated with the attempted murder as it was unlikely that Edge would orchestrate the attempt, on himself, as a mere ploy to frame Lena, the way he did with all the lead-poisoned children to which he still stands unsatisfactorily linked. Kara and James both point out that Edge has made many an enemy in the city since he’s set up shop there, but very few are audacious enough to actually put out a hit on him at any rate and Lena certainly is not one of them, despite the many reasons she would have in retaliation to the number of times, thus far, that Morgan pulled the strings to have Lena land in hot water. That discomfortingly quieted Lena, since her two friends in the room still remained unaware of the time when she approached Edge with a loaded gun in a bid to kill him in person. Jimmy also points out that Edge was too meticulous to leave anything even a hint damning that could be used against him in court, postulating that he must have taken the latest attempt on his life very personal to lash out at CatCo the way he did, agreeing with Kara that they should look into the evidence (i.e. the remains of Edge’s supposedly hacked car). Lena expressed her apprehensions, saying that unending violence such as this brings down people from grace as what exactly happened to both her mother and brother, but her friends assured her that Lena will not go down that same path. For it is what friends do: they come to and support each other in times of need.
Later, Lena receives a cup of coffee from Eve in her office while Kara and James thought up of angles and theories concerning Morgan’s claims on someone targeting him. According to Kara, NCPD’s technical forensics couldn’t find anything that could be traced as foul play — meaning that either there wasn’t any to begin with or that sophisticated technology was used. The kind that is easily beyond the local law enforcement’s ability to analyze, and that seemed to have got Lena into silent thinking; she is, in fact, well aware of a faction who would have access to such advanced technological resources and vocations. But more importantly, those people — or rather, the person they answer to — would have motive to hunt down Edge if they knew he’s coming into direct and violent opposition against Lena. Walking over to the office balcony with her friends following her, Lena took a gulp of the coffee and then frowns at the taste, looking down on the cup before collapsing and writhing on the floor, frothing from her mouth. Realizing that their friend’s beverage was poisoned, Kara urges Jimmy to find the source while Kara herself lifts Lena and speed-flights her to the D.E.O. From there, Alex, whom Kara called and was standing ready with an emergency medical staff and equipment proceeded to Lena’s treatment culminating in the older Danvers sister determining the type of poisoning, cyanide, after partly removing Lena’s worn medical breathing mask and sniffing her breath, leading to Alex having Kara use her icy breath on their poisoned friend so that the resulting hypothermia would stabilize Lena’s condition. It works as intended, allowing for detoxification and thereby saving Lena’s life; but because she cannot awaken inside of a secret government establishment, J’onn had Kara bring Lena back to CatCo in time for her civilian identity’s employer to regain consciousness, with Kara and Olsen watching over her in the office.
Coming to and seeing them, Lena asks as to what happened and two of them inform of her coffee poisoning; luckily, Kara reacted quickly enough to summon the paramedics in time — though Lena seems to faintly remember soaring at high speeds while being carried in Kara’s arms, much to the reporter’s amused denial. After confirming to Lena their collective suspicions of Edge being behind the poisoning, but with no links to him, on account of the poisoner, whom Jimmy caught up to and physically accosted right outside of CatCo only to be killed, by a mysterious shooter using a special type of untraceable ammunition, before James could get anything out of the man. Hence, once again with no solid leads; this sowed Lena with a growing belief that Reign’s message of brutal vigilante justice and unfettered conviction was perhaps the only way that people like Edge could ever get their deserving comeuppance, as they would otherwise just keep on bending and twisting facts and evidence to their favor, and that Lena needs to stoop down to both Reign and Morgan’s level to finally end her feud with the latter, lest Morgan gets away clean again. Kara vocally disapproves that, pointing out the Lena is no murderer like the masked Kryptonian and Lena refutes that statement, telling Kara that maybe she doesn’t know her friend that well. The mention of the dissolving bullet that practically vanished upon hitting its target seems to have made Lena remember something, and Kara solemnly vows to her that Edge will not get away with his recent conducts this time around, reassuring her boss. Later, with a flashlight in hand, Lena sneaks back into her L-Corp office at the dead of night to access some of the corporation’s more classified documents from the office’s filing vaults. Rifling through the documents, she finally came across information and records on a now-defunct subsidiary of the company, Thundercorp Labs, that was concerned with the perfection of specialized ammo for stealth and military applications — the Evanesce Project; reviewing the file, this document revealed that though said subsidiary was no longer in operation, its main production facility and utilities have yet to reach foreclosure in National City, making it an ideal hideout and base of operations there.
Walking the thin lines
Taking her car and heading off there to see the facility herself, but deep down already knowing what (or whom) was waiting for her there, she unsurprisingly finds her mother Lillian with a handful of her Cadmus support staff freshly bringing in their implements and other related equipment into the establishment, repurposing some sections here and there, for their most recent return and arrival to National City. Seeing her adopted daughter come in, Lillian greets and congratulates Lena for successfully discerning the location of her most recent lair using only the limited clues she left for her daughter to follow a trail on; and perhaps faster by a slight margin than Lex would have had he been in Lena’s position. She then asks the jaded Lena for an affectionate hug, only for the later to stand firm from where she was. Dismissing the unsaid awkwardness and pretense between them and eager to get to the point, Lena demands Lillian of her purpose for returning to National City, since she hasn’t caught noise of her since the Daxamites left. Lillian would only answer that it was attributable to motherly instinct as upon learning that Morgan Edge was at odds with Lena, Lillian set out to what any loving mother would do: kill the apparent threat to her child.
In true Lena-distrusting-Lillian fashion, Lena did not believe that for a second and repeats the question. “Hurt” that Lena didn’t take her word for it, Lillian stresses that very few mothers would go to the same murderous lengths that the latter would for their child’s sake — to which a cynical Lena sarcastically replies it was probably in everyone’s best interest that such mothers were indeed rarely found living within the general population, considering such measures of motherhood action as a moral low point and hardly something that anyone ought to commend, which makes Lillian’s conduct even more damaging for Lena’s own set of morals due to the older woman shamelessly claiming willingness for all of that in her daughter’s name. They then bantered on how to deal with Edge, with an amused Lillian reminding and humoring her daughter of the time when the latter utterly humiliated a fifth grade acquaintance for stealing Lena’s boyfriend — a conduct that Lena has long since grown out and not particularly proud of; but apparently the same cannot be said of Lillian, who saw it as an achievement worth acknowledging on Lena’s part. Her mother lightly reprimands her daughter for selling herself short when Lena blamed her own immaturity for that accumulative act of revenge. Lillian further notes that Lena and Lex were equal parts both cunning and expedient, but perhaps the older Luthor sibling lacked his sister’s sense of finesse and subtlety leading to him coming into direct conflict with the Man of Steel when all of his nefarious plans got exposed. She then advises Lena to learn from her brother’s mistakes and failures, encouraging her to be ruthless in that endeavor, believing that doing so will truly unlock Lena’s potential.
Lena coldly brushes this off, making it clear that she has already owned the greatness of her said potential and was now yielding its benefits, regardless of what the likes of Edge might think, earning a dismissive scoff from Lillian, aware of Lena’s taking over CatCo which she sees as Lena again limiting herself by modeling her own image after Cat Grant’s when, as Lena Luthor, the scope of her corporate capability was already much wider and farther-reaching from back when Lena was focused solely on L-Corp. She then tries to tempt Lena, telling her that she has as much desire to end Morgan as Lena does and, not bringing up her failed assassination attempt she once tried to execute on Edge (that Lillian appeared surprisingly unaware of), Lena lies saying she’d never set herself to act upon it knowing that she’ll be tied into the murder investigation.
Lillian would only use that statement to her advantage saying that this was precisely why Lena needs her guidance, claiming that her mother can make it happen, that very night, without leaving anything to implicate Lena and she will. She only asks in turn for Lena’s blessing so that, by night’s end, both mother and daughter will have finally settled their differences and work together in synergy. Lena half-heartedly agrees, to her mother’s pleasure. Lillian then turned her attention from Lena and began tending to the advanced technology brought along with her entourage, giving Lena the opportunity to spy on some of the articles there — including an array of modified unmanned aerial drones (with some being forklifted here and there) and a set of press pass ID tags that Lillian was loading into a container, giving Lena a fair idea on how Lillian will set her assassination plot in motion tonight. Lena then returns to CatCo.
And deep in thought as she came out of the elevator, Lena was approached by Kara who senses her friend and employer’s conflicting inner musings. Asked about it, the former decides to finally let the journalist in through the noise; she was about to tell Kara of her recent run-in with Lillian when they were, in turn, approached by Kara’s sister Alex and Lena’s L-Corp CFO, and also her acting CEO there, Samantha Arias. The four women headed to and were later seen seated on the couches in Lena’s CatCo office, with both Kara and Lena finally been told of the recent troubles that Sam has been having at work and at home. Apparently, she was advised into doing so by Alex who, from earlier had Arias subjected into medical tests at L-Corp to discern the cause of her problems — only to reap inconclusive results as none of the tests revealed what could be causing the mental blackouts and memory losses that she was experiencing. The Danverses and Luthor were all nothing but supportive and sympathetic as they listened on to Sam’s plight, worried of what could happen to herself and to her daughter should anything happen to Ruby’s mother, thus leaving Ruby alone in the world. The three other women in the room emphasizes to Sam that, in their collective, no one stands alone and neither is Ruby who is just as dear to them as Sam herself. And together they promised to find a way in absolving Samantha of her inexplicable ails.
Later, after Alex and Sam left, Kara approaches Lena again, who was standing by the balcony and deep in thought. Turning around to face her, Lena confesses of her failed attempt to kill Edge in retaliation for the time he framed her for poisoning the lead-afflicted children, but got outsmarted and then placed into a remote-controlled aircraft for her efforts. This shocks Kara (showing that she may not have gotten the full story from after when, as Supergirl, she saved Lena from that said aircraft, along with the city’s denizens from the toxic substances also being carried in that same vessel that Lena was in), but discounts Lena’s intent at the time saying she was fortunate that it didn’t bear into fruition in the end, for there was no coming back from cold-blooded murder. Lena then divulges her recent rendezvous with Lillian, about how her mother plans to kill Edge that night, and how the encounter made Lena realize there belies a cold-blooded streak of savvy ruthlessness deep within her after all, in lieu with her formidable erudite qualities, and that there was virtually no limit to what she was capable of if only she chooses combining the two — but does not, since Lena has always thought that at least either or both are needed to be kept in check no matter what (a wise choice, for both Lillian and Lex failed in that department, and look where that got the widowed mother and her biological son in the long run); Kara could only stress that, as smart as Lena is, her not giving in to her darker impulses is not something shameful, and nor should anyone belittle her for, as a restricting limitation to what her boss can otherwise achieve, strengthening Lena’s resolve. Her last meeting and conversation with Lillian brought Lena into an epiphany: she could take advantage of her prodigious intelligence, in dealing with white-collared miscreants like Morgan, without compromising her chosen principles. Lena got Kara on the tips of her toes when the former revealed she has a pretty good idea on how her mother will enact Morgan’s assassination. Of course, the devil’s in the details. And if she was to save Edge from Lillian tonight, Lena would have to use her wits along with some assistance from Kara, who was more than willing to oblige.
Just then, the both noticed Morgan’s televised interview, at the Parks Conservancy gala, displaying itself from one of the office TV screens. Looking over to it and turning on the volume, Lena and Kara see Edge smarmily talk about his latest donation to charity right before getting handed an ID press pass to the gala — one identical to those that she just saw Lillian handling in her newest hideout. Taking that as confirmation, the younger Luthor states “Bingo”.
Dressed in evening attires (with Lena’s arguably more sensual), she and Kara headed to the gala where they immediately spotted Edge attempting to pick up an attractive female at one of the tables there. However, a burly bodyguard stood close by and Kara tells her boss that she’ll handle the guard, leaving Lena with a clear shot at Morgan. Coming into proximity, she hears him trying to impress the woman he was talking to with his personal resident property; and soon after reaching them, Lena insinuates a scathing comment causing Morgan to dismiss the woman for later. Turning his attention to Lena, he demands as to how she was able to bypass his security detail and she gave a snarky reply that it was just about as easy as sending poison to an enemy, as cowardly as that was.
She then pulls out a voice recorder and Edge looks at it, intrigued. He wonders if Lena came to murder him in a place as public as a gala where a good percentage of the city’s most connected and influential have gathered and Lena clarifies that her purpose for coming, as out of character as it may sound, was actually the exact opposite to killing Edge and informs the affluent real estate mogul that his latest movements against Lena have earned him her mother’s enmity, along with the latter woman’s crosshairs, that Lillian intends to take him out that very night after failing to do so with that car stunt from earlier. This worries Morgan, fully aware of Lillian Luthor’s reputation and the means at her disposal to make any threats she issue credible for people she directs them to — humans and aliens alike; he tries to maintain his composure, telling Lena that her foster mother is a wanted criminal and a known alien-opposing terrorist who was supposed to be in hiding. So why then would Lillian risk getting caught, “witch-hunting” out in a city from where she has already committed a number of atrocities and therefore warily high-strung of her mere presence, by targeting him as Lena claimed? And taking a page from Lillian’s book, Lena could only blame it on whatever version of “motherly drives”, however twisted, that Lillian fosters for her children, adopted or otherwise — flushing away what remained of Morgan’s self-assured confidence.
And just then, a vast squadron of remote-controlled drones shot up high into the sky to form lit-up and graceful patterns while airborne. Guests of the gala were awed with the display with Lena telling Edge that now was the time for the moment of truth and he doesn’t have too long for that before her mother sets her plan in motion, and so she advises him to use his “window of opportunity” wisely — granted, a forced confession to his crimes will send him behind bars for life, but that’s a better alternative compared to dying painfully there and then at Lillian’s hands. She then readies the recorder as one of the drones broke out of formation and descended to where the gala was. Noticing that, Lena confidently warns Edge that this particular drone was programmed and armed by Cadmus to kill him, disturbing and rendering Morgan in denial of that knowledge but quickly learns that his business rival wasn’t bluffing when the said drone began firing at the gala, raising panic and havoc.
Amidst all of the mayhem, Lena, with the recorder still held at hand, follows a fleeing Edge while the killer drone closes in on the latter. Cornering him, the former recommends that he now gives what Lena wants to hear as confession, since it was the only way he could survive this, and Edge finally concedes. After admitting to his crimes, he then orders Lena to deal with the heavily-armed contraption targeting him. Satisfied that she got what she wanted, Lena reached and pulls off Morgan’s press pass, throwing it into the air where it was instantly shot at by the weaponized drone, showing that the pass was indeed chipped with sophisticated circuitry to which the drone was programmed to target and, in the process, kill Edge — the person whom Lillian arranged for this cleverly-disguised bull’s eye to be given to, as Lena correctly suspected.
As Lena was distracted in dealing away with her mother’s attack drone, Morgan took advantage of that to get a knife from the ruined buffet table and used it to threaten Lena into handing him his just-recorded confession. Lena tenses up, seemingly caught off-guard and did not anticipate this turn of events. Just then Lillian Luthor shows up behind Lena, asking her daughter why she stands in the way of her killing Edge and the latter replies that justice can still be met on Edge without killing him. Lillian thinks otherwise and says that she plots a step ahead of Lena — who, from earlier, her mother stated can scheme ahead of most people — having learned from the time when Lena deviated from the former’s Medusa Virus plot, after making it at first appear that she shared Lillian’s ideals, that her adopted daughter might once again have cold feet in her mother’s intent to kill Morgan after outwardly agreeing to let Lillian have a crack at him. Putting her statement into emphasis, a customized drone hovered close and descended behind Lillian, disassembling then wrapping and reintegrating itself around her body to form a sleeker and feminized version of her son’s Lexosuit. And there she stands, fully-armored and ready to finish what she started.
Supergirl flew down right next to Lena, and snidely comments on the armored Lillian for putting on such a hi-tech array of equippable armaments can only mean that she intends to end Morgan in person — which was so unlike Lillian’s personal style of villainy since she rarely endeavors to get anything done personally — and wonders if she was trying to emulate her son Lex, who famously implemented such protective armoring during his battles against Superman, knowing there was a good chance that Lillian might find herself facing off with Supergirl upon the former’s return to National City. And as Lena wisely back-steps away from both her alien friend and foster mother, knowing of the skirmish that was about to transpire between the two, the latter would only mockingly reply that the former’s choice of including a cape into her suit was just as redundant if not more so.
Despite Lillian producing a retractable long wrist-blade of pure green Kryptonite from her armor’s right gauntlet, Kara flew right in to try to engage her, only to be easily swatted back by the combination of the Lexosuit augmenting Lillian’s strength in addition to the buffered-sharp Kryptonite it has equipped. Their fight caused Lena to drop the voice recorder that she was holding, allowing Edge to retrieve it and run off with the evidence that Lena planned to use against him. Chasing him across the gala, Lena later finds him intercepted by Guardian, who knocks Edge down and enabling Lena to get back her evidence, kicking the corrupt businessman unconscious for good measure. Both Supergirl and Mon-El (who arrived just in time to aid former against Lillian) then literally dropped by to check up on Lena, who was surprised to see the Daxamite whom she almost got married to unaffected by the still lead-infused atmosphere as he stood side-by-side of the disguised Kara. Lena nonetheless reciprocates it when Mon-El expresses his relief to see her safe and sound, and Supergirl congratulates Lena when it seems that the human capitalist’s plan to expose Edge played out more or less as they plotted, with the added bonus of also detaining Lillian — implying that, once again, Lena contacted the alien superheroine “through” Kara, to have as back-up at the gala, should anything go wrong.
Lena was later seen looking over a cuffed Morgan Edge as he was dragged away by the authorities, with him swearing that he’ll be out in no time and promising to destroy her on his return. Merely brushing his feeble threats off and saying that he knows where to find her when it comes to that, Lena went over to Kara whom she thanks for providing her the voice recorder for Edge’s admission of guilt, revealing that it was lent to her by the reporter; though as now bearing incriminating evidence that needed to be handed to the authorities, Lena may have to get another one for her journalist best friend. Kara reminds her that as CatCo’s owner, anything and everything there was at Lena’s disposal to begin with. Lena then shares with the reporter that the reason she didn’t go along with Lillian’s plot was because of friends like Kara and her sister, James and Sam — friends who would not want Lena to veer away from what is right for the sake of what needs to be done at any and all costs, trusting Lena to choose the former every time, and so Lena would continually uphold that trust in the name of that friendship, lending to those people her untainted support as knowing that they would do the same for her in Lena’s time of need. The two of them got to the topic about Mon-El, whom Lena says she just saw with Supergirl, but Kara was already aware of the Daxamite’s unexpected return, even though she still cannot be together with her former love; Kara promises to tell Lena of her current state of affairs with Mon-El later.
They were then approached by Olsen, freshly out of his Guardian attire and now formally-dressed, whom Lena had a few words with before Lena moving to where her mother (being treated by the paramedics after being felled from the fierce aerial battle between herself and the aliens she was fighting against when Supergirl and Mon-El’s combined efforts, together with Winn’s ingenious hacking, destroyed the Lexosuit that Lillian was wearing, sending her crashing) was. On a stretcher, Lillian tells Lena that she honestly hoped that this time she’d be able to find undisputable unity with her daughter. Lena would only reply that maybe things turned out for the best the way they did, as for the first time it allowed her to embrace her Luthor side without discarding the principles she chose in distancing herself from whichever parts of that she was trying to avoid; she goes on to say that she will need to own the merits from both sides, and none of their downsides, for what is to come. And tonight has certainly taught Lena that, however difficult that may prove, it is far from impossible. As physically hurt as she was and about to be incarcerated once again, Lillian finds it gratifying that her return to the city to see Lena again was, at the very least, not all for naught and the latter says that if she herself can separate her Luthor’s cunning from their family’s more malevolent proclivities, then surely her foster mother could also.
Later, she was seen in Kara’s loft, together with the Danvers siblings and Sam, whom Lena and Kara sat with, at either side, on the same couch that all of them were seated upon while Alex paces about talking to someone on her phone. Hanging up, she tells the other three women in the room with her that Sam’s blood work and physical test results came back with nothing to plainly suggest that she sustained anything serious to both her bodily and mental health. But at the same time, that also still leaves no discernible explanation to the series of memory loss and episodes of blacking out increasingly plaguing Sam time and again. And so, Sam still remained apprehensive, despite of her friends finding relief in the news; they advise her to live out her life wholly in the meantime. Not just for herself but also for her daughter, Ruby. Sam expresses her thanks, placing her hands on Kara and Lena’s knees, with the latter two each placing reassuring a hand on both of Samantha’s in turn, before leaving for home. As she parted, Alex promises to find some answers and thereby a solution to Sam’s elusive predicament; Lena exaltedly declares that they all will, for their friend
Not long after the gathering at Kara’s place, Lena was seen present, and looking at the statistical and company reports from her tablet computer atop of the desk, in her L-Corp office as she prepared to greet her day in her old workplace. Sam enters, whilst talking through her phone to someone, and is surprised to see her employer there. Greeting each other, Lena says she has been away from her old work domain for a while now and that it was high time for her to relive all of it again, presumably having took the liberty in arranging for Jimmy to handle affairs for her at CatCo before she came to L-Corp. Sam thinks her employer briefly taking the leadership reins from her was due to Lena’s concern for the former’s inexplicable mental complications, which was apparently affecting her work performance by a slight margin, and begins to get defensive as it bluntly seemed to her that her boss and friend was starting to doubt her ability to run L-Corp.
Lena has the two of them sit down before the desk as she proceeds to remind Sam of their first meeting. Of how, from that moment, the former had the instinct to recruit Sam for her dedicated work ethics and how because of those ethics that everyone whom Samantha ever worked with came to acknowledged her worth — not just by Lena — and it is not like she has to win “Employee of the Month” every time in order to cement that. And so, the company CEO of both CatCo and L-Corp recommends her employee to take the day off in leisurely time to deal away with the stressful complications that Sam was harboring lately. She finally asserts herself when Sam continued to insist on staying, ordering the latter to go be with her daughter, Ruby, for the day; and a grateful Sam finally complies.
Later, at the ice rink, from where Sam took Ruby to have fun ice skating together but with the former suddenly disappearing and leaving her daughter unattended, Lena came rushing into find a distressed Ruby sulking on one of the establishment’s interior bench seats, by the edge of the rink, after receiving the latter’s call at L-Corp thinking that her mother made an abrupt rush back to work — to which Lena replied that it wasn’t the case, hence prompting her into going to the jilted girl’s location. Coming over to and taking a seat at a table opposite of the young girl, her “niece”, Lena tries to comfort Ruby saying that, despite whatever issues her Sam may have been having recently, everything will be fine.
But Ruby believes otherwise, telling her “(nerdy) aunt” that, prior to Sam unexpectedly vanishing on the rink and leaving her own daughter literally over the ice, her mother was really looking forward to spending the entire day with Ruby, making her sudden disappearance very out-of-character. Ruby then brings up the time from when Sam went away months’ back on a trip promising her child that she’ll be bringing back “something wonderful” upon the latter’s return; only for the Sam to return with no apparent recollection of the venture, much to Lena’s own confusion and Ruby goes on to say she thinks something must have happened to her dear mother during that trip — since from that point on marked the times when Samantha would sporadically act like someone other than Ruby’s beloved raison d'être responsible for raising and loving her daughter. Someone entirely different, in fact, who would randomly vanish from her daughter’s side and that erratic behavior worries Ruby.
Sensing the depth of Ruby’s dilemma, Lena tries to lend the girl some courage telling her that in every predicament, there is always an answer that only awaits to be unearthed by discovery; she goes on to assure Ruby saying that her “Aunt Lena” excels at finding the latter regardless of whatever the challenges and nature of the former. This earns a somewhat unsure nod from the teary-eyed Ruby, and Lena smiles at the pre-teenager’s reaction.
And later on, once again, Lena was in her office looking at some data on her portable computer when Samantha fervently enters, concernedly asking of her daughter. Apparently, she received her employer’s text saying that she took over and brought Ruby to her apartment where the girl now sleeps. But this did nothing to ease Sam’s mind, who worries what far worse could have happened had she blacked out while in the middle of doing something more precarious (i.e. car driving) than merely abandoning, without a word, own daughter whilst they were on the ice rink. Harboring a clear mental picture of how Sam may react to what she was about to be told and asked of by her boss, Lena proceeded to assure her (near-frantic) friend and employee of Ruby’s safety when Sam went MIA — to which, again, Arias could not recall a single shred of detail and Lena reveals that Ruby filled her in on the other times this had happened along with from when exactly did they start, and how Ruby now thinks that there must be a connection somehow. This surprises Sam, shocked to know that her own child noticed what was happening to her mother even long before the parent did, and Lena points out that it wasn’t that fleeting nor infrequent for even a nearing teenager to miss. However, her shock quickly turned to anger when she realizes that, for Lena to know what her Ruby knows, the implication naturally meant that her employer must have shared some sensitive information to her daughter, in turn, concerning her mother’s mysterious illness — information that Sam hoped was confidential and therefore just between her and Lena (along with the Danverses).
With no purpose in denying it, Lena could only soften the blow telling Sam, whose agitation was gradually rising, that she had to somehow placate Ruby with something in light of the former’s latest disappearing act; but Samantha saw it as Lena overstepping her boundaries as her employer and only Sam gets to decide matters like that for her own family. However, as it turns out, Lena did more than just listened to and took in all that Ruby disclosed to her about her mother’s periodic disappearances. She presumably worked out how Sam’s blacked-out disappearances, and then coming to with completely no memory of what happened up to that point, closely coincides — roughly in both timing and length — with just about every time the villainous Kryptonian, Reign, made her presence known to exact her barbaric brand of justice upon humanity, with the first black-out happening to the former being coincidentally close to the timeframe when the black-clad alien vigilante first came upon National City, leaving her mark (or marks) there, then coming into conflict with its criminal element and, of course, with Supergirl whom Reign bested shortly after arriving. Furthermore, Reign and Sam are both never actively seen by anyone, while out in the open, at the same time (though how could someone as keenly observant and astutely deductive as Lena keep on overlooking the semblance, and similar pattern of appearances and absences, regarding between Kara Danvers and Supergirl is anyone’s guess). Dreading the only possible conclusion to what that blatantly implies, with apprehension, Lena tells Samantha, who was walking around of the former in the room they were in before stopping and facing away from her boss, that she has some questions which she now needs the latter to answer — only to be quieted when Arias loudly tells her to be silent in a booming tone. Turning around to face Lena and somewhat in a detached trance, Sam menacingly advances towards her employer who cautiously edges back from the other woman approaching her when Sam’s eyes momentarily flickered red, displacing her suddenly cold and gripping demeanor, and allowing Sam herself to return, albeit unable to recall what just happened. Lena saw her eyes flashed and wonders if Samantha just had a mental black out and a now seated-down Sam affirms, remembering nothing from during out of her own lucidity.
With her suspicions confirmed, Lena got down on her knees before the unsettled Sam, telling her that she now knows what is happening to the latter, and — in accordance with what she told Ruby from back at the ice rink — promises to find a solution.
Following the revelation at L-Corp, Lena would later be repeatedly absent at work and dodging multiple calls from James for days now, having practically disappeared from the public eye and seemingly into seclusion away from CatCo, with Olsen only hearing Lena’s recorded response message at most times he tried to contact Lena via the latter’s phone. Eventually, Lena herself actually responded back to Jimmy in that manner and apologizing to him for being so evasive as of late; she lies that she, together with Samantha Arias, were working overtime at L-Corp — when in reality, Lena has placed Sam under heavy sedation and surveillance in a secret lab in her company establishment— but tried to pass it off as no big deal as she goes over to where Arias was, which appeared to be a specialized and medically-equipped containment unit wherein Lena’s employee is kept secured and sedated unconscious. Hanging up on James, Lena glances down at Sam atop of the hospital bed that the latter was lying down upon, looking concerned at her torpid employee.
Next, she was seen at that lab putting study entry into vocal record, by clinical protocol, her observational and progress reports on Samantha’s condition. Noting of how the preliminary tests indeed confirming that something was beyond normal concerning Sam’s being, Lena records that she will now move on to the next phase of testing in her search of a solution for her employee’s predicament, which requires Arias to awaken, and proceeded to end the report as she halts the running IV drip of medical sedatives keeping Sam in her torpid state. Worried for her friend as the sedation wanes, she looks over to the framed photo of Sam together with her daughter, Ruby, at the table just across from where Arias slept and beseeches hope that by the time Sam comes to, she will be the Samantha Arias whom Lena came to know as her friend and vice-versa.
Arias soon returns to consciousness and, seeing Lena at a solid distance away outside of the structure she was in, sits up to inquire her boss things as of how long she has been out and about Ruby. The Luthor assures Sam that her daughter is fine and taken after by the nanny. Samantha then asks of her employer’s prognosis to her condition and, with evident hesitation, Lena tries to soften the blow by explaining to Sam that the cutting-edge tests and blood work she personally conducted on Samantha, while Arias was comatose, revealed something that Alex clearly overlooked: trace evidence of bodily mutation comparable to certain types of fauna, namely insects, that seems to take hold of Sam whenever she blacks out and that she was undergoing that as a cycle, back and forth, into a state of cellular metamorphosis, before regressing back to normal, during periods in which she could not remember her own actions or where she went — times when she becomes Reign.
Quickly in denial at Lena’s seemingly outrageous theory of her being the nigh-unstoppable extra-terrestrial vigilante responsible for outright defeating Supergirl only last year, when Sam — as a mere mortal, and thus not exempt from the monumental limitations(such as injury or diseases) of one — surely would not have been able to throw a punch at the said Kryptonian without seriously injuring herself, Samantha snipes out known facts of herself to refute against Lena’s postulations that Sam could be anything but an ordinary human being. She then announces her decision to leave the Luthor’s observation, having been kept away from Ruby’s side long enough, prompting Lena to show further proof to her suspicions via the large flat screen monitor built into the interior of Sam’s containment. Apparently, she took the liberty of also collecting information on Reign’s appearances and activities, shown on the news, and assembled them into presentable format for Arias to understand the seriousness of the matter at hand; she proceeded to show them to Sam, one at a time, through the monitor and all the while explaining that these images were taken during times in lieu with the duration of Sam blacking out, which is why she never directly saw Reign first-hand with her naked eyes. Still unconvinced and noting that it was a mistake to consult Lena with her problems, Sam gets off the bed and tries to leave — only to realize that the technological unit she was in is equipped with an energy field that keeps her trapped within. She turns back to face Lena, looking shocked that the latter was basically holding her against her will, and orders that she be released. Unfortunately for her, Lena, who is obviously taking no pleasure of what she was currently doing to her employee, replies that she cannot let her go. Samantha asked for her help and so this is what the Luthor is now doing for her dear friend.
Later emerging from an elevator down at the level of the secret lab where she was keeping Arias, Lena goes over to her captive friend, asking Sam if she believes her now and Samantha, beginning to regret ever trusting the Luthor, brings up that she could barely muster the courage to squash household pests, let alone people. Lena meekly accedes, agreeing that she — and that is Sam as purely herself — was too moral to go out of her way in hunting and killing people, regardless whether or not they actually deserved to be put down. Sam reads between the lines, expressing that her boss was delicately suggesting she has a dissociative identity disorder, or alternative personality, being held within herself and a tremendously super-powered one at that. The Luthor admits so, explaining that while Sam and Reign are separate entities sharing the same physiological vessel, shifting from one to the other not only excludes either of the other’s active cognizant functions and self-awareness, hence Samantha’s continual series of memory losses, but also somehow dramatically alters the shared body’s shared constitution to facilitate and host, one at a time, two polar extremes: one with the frailties of a human person, which Samantha embodies, and the other in command of empowered physiological parameters and abilities (exceeding even those known of the mighty Kryptonians), as personified by Reign — in turn explaining why Sam is incapable of exhibiting Reign’s full range of otherworldly abilities while the latter, in contrast, carries none of the former’s mortal vulnerabilities and limits of being. Lena emphasizes that she would not be bringing this revelation before Sam if she was not absolutely certain about it and had not ruled out any other possibility.
That was the final straw for Sam. She coldly laments how things lead to her imprisonment this way after asking for her employer’s help on her mysterious affliction. Lena notes her tone, inquiring what she meant by that and Arias venomously remarks that had she instead gone to anyone else qualified for the treatment of her condition, they would likely have attributed it, at the very least, with disease and treat her with the proper medical solutions; but having gone to someone hailing from a family that generally assume (like it was second nature to them) the worst of others and sporadically deeming other people as immensely villainous threats, to the point of even questioning the humanity of such individuals, Samantha curses herself for thinking that Lena was any different than Lex or Lillian — accusing the Luthor before her, standing at the other side of the containment, of only seeing Sam as being the person behind Reign because suspecting super-villain identity or likewise activity, regardless how well-intended or mild the target of their suspicions may be, is plainly the first instinct of any Luthor does to anyone whom they perceive as challenging them in any way. And now Sam herself has the misfortune of being the subject to Lena’s hidden paranoia and jealousy, helped levied by circumstantial and precarious facts and evidence, on account that the former was effectively running L-Corp in the latter’s stead.
Hurt by Samantha’s accusations and unable to deflect, Lena’s phone started ringing. Answering it, she was informed by the caller that someone was apparently waiting for him somewhere outside of the lab; Lena replies that she’ll arrange to contact that person later on only to be informed, by her caller, of that person in question’s present whereabouts — leading to Lena taking her leave from Sam’s containment. She later walks into her L-Corp office to find James Olsen by Lena’s desk and waiting for her there. She quickly tries to apologize to him for being so elusive and hard to reach as of late, saying that what she was preoccupied in was an urgent matter. James then apologizes in turn and asks how things are going at Lena’s end, thus far.
Carefully choosing her words, Lena tells Jimmy of an employee of hers approached her for help and now that the Luthor has plot out a course of action, the employee wants no part of it any longer. Seeing the fickle that Lena was in, Jimmy leans on the desk next to Lena and recounts about an unruly roommate he once had during college. That acquaintance apparently indulged in something (which Olsen himself wasn’t quite sure what) and so would come to his and James’ dormitory late at night to go berserk at their room, trashing the place. James tried to reason with and point out this inappropriate behavior to his roommate, only for the latter to rebuke him every time, forcing Jimmy to clean up after his roommate’s messes. Lena inquires if James’ roommate, at some point, ever took responsibility for his own faults and Olsen solemnly answers that if you truly want another’s character to improve, they have to realize it for themselves the prerogative and driving need to do and be better than they currently are, especially when everything that person does up to that point only makes things go from bad to worse — otherwise it is a lost cause to even try intervening. Lena heeded and wordlessly contemplated on Jimmy’s advice.
Heading back to the confined Sam and knowing that the only way to move forward was for Sam to rid herself of all pretense and denial regarding what she has been doing, or who she was becoming, for the extent of her blackouts, Lena decided to implement the “nuclear option” — refusing to heed Samantha’s pleas to be released and then be allowed to return home. She then forced Arias to confront her suppressed memories, bringing up images of her past assaults, as Reign, on Morgan Edge, Supergirl and the worldkiller’s other slain victims, with Lena speaking with rising cruelty as she did. A distraught and frazzled Sam demands why her boss was doing this, when all she just wants to go back home where Ruby awaits. Lena tauntingly responds to that and further chides Sam, as though the latter was actually Reign herself, living under the same roof as Ruby and could kill Sam’s daughter at any point in time had the alien vigilante felt like it; the capitalist then threatens to take Ruby away from Sam indefinitely, causing Reign to finally emerge and violently lash out at Lena, who backs away, as Reign furiously thrashes everything inside of the containment unit, unable to leave its boundaries due to the functionally powerful security measures built into the customized containment unit. Unbeknownst to both Reign and Arias, however, Lena intentionally weaved this entire scenario just to gather proof for Sam to see for herself that her employer’s allegations are no exaggeration — with the unit’s installed surveillance system that was recording footage of Sam’s body exhibiting, in transition, superhuman capabilities (i.e. heat vision and super-speed) as Reign attempted to escape their shared confinement. Presumably, Lena would soon neutralize the raging worldkiller by triggering the concentrated flow of synthetic green Kryptonite, from a remote-controlled drug-pump device attached close to Samantha’s sternum, into Reign’s bloodstream, incapacitating the latter and staving off the damage that she was incurring from within the confinement.
Samantha — as herself — would later wake up, with a patient (but understandably unnerved) Lena still watching over her from the safe side of the unit’s sealing barrier, as the final vestiges of injected Kryptonite was purged away from her body by itself. Seeing her awaken, Lena began to play the footage of her as Reign, whilst inside the unit, via the still-intact monitor, allowing Sam to finally see what she becomes when she blackouts. Distraught at realizing the truth behind what her boss was trying to convince her of all along, Arias suffered a breakdown at knowing that she had a hand in all of the murders that Reign committed. And seeing Sam in despair, Lena disengaged the barrier and goes over to her, kneeling next to and trying to placate the whimpering Sam — reasoning with her that she is not accountable for any of alien persona’s brutal actions and now that she holds a sample of Reign’s genetic material, which she acquired when the worldkiller briefly took over Sam, ridding Arias of her empowered malevolent side is now an open possibility, for “knowledge is power”.
Lena permits Sam to extend a call towards Ruby at the Arias household and listens on as Samantha omits the more disturbing details, claiming to her daughter that she was at the hospital for close medical observation, and that Lena shall be checking up on Ruby from time and again until the medical staff discharges her mother. Hanging up, she hears Lena assure her friend of her child; but Sam stops her before her employer could detail Ruby’s present whereabouts. Until she is rid of her worldkiller side, Sam cannot afford to be anywhere near her daughter and Lena silently agrees.
Inside of the containment and sitting right next to her patient on the latter’s bed there, Lena later shares to Arias her recent findings concerning Sam’s condition telling her that her body’s genome rewrites itself whenever Reign emerges, which explains why Samantha herself does not have full access of Reign fearsome otherworldly capabilities and why Sam could qualify so convincingly as a human, even to herself, whenever her worldkiller side lies dormant from within. Lena continues to elaborate that the transition from Samantha to Reign, and then back, has a somatic basis aligning with the two alternating personalities taking inconsistent duration turns in claiming dominion over their shared body; and so Arias learns that if they can unravel the workings of that phenomena, they just might be able to neutralize Reign indefinitely. However, the catch was that Lena must conduct her experimental study while the worldkiller was active and in control of Sam’s body — and the methods which the Luthor must employ to deliberately incur Reign’s manifestation would be torturous for Sam. Confirming the agony that her friend will soon feel, Lena apologizes for what must be done for time was not on their side. Knowing what was at stake, Arias agrees with the experiment and Lena attached electroshock nodes to Samantha’s temples before releasing the voltage through them to simulate enough pain to bring Reign out. The agony wreaked by the running current somehow sends Sam into a part of her own subconscious (inexplicably tied to an alternate realm) where she meets Reign herself, frightening the worldkiller’s human host.
With Sam returning to consciousness, Lena tries to console her and Sam divulges the encounter she just had with Reign inside of their duality-shared psyche, which she says expressed itself as “a dark valley” wherein only she and the worldkiller were the apparent occupants; Lena surmises that this must be the parallel domain, accessible within Sam and Reign’s combined subconscious, where either remains trapped in while the other takes control of the physical body — hence why the former can never recall the latter’s actions at times when the worldkiller is liberated at the cost of Arias being the one who was trapped in this grisly form of mental imprisonment within her own psyche. Lena and Sam theorizes that Reign being there together with Samantha at the same time must mean that the worldkiller was becoming more cautious, aware that the two L-Corp associates, who knows her secret, are trying to separate and expunge altogether her existence from her human vessel. Thus, she is now keeping herself from physically manifesting lest she unwittingly provides the two women, opposing her this way, with the means to actually bring their intent of ending Reign’s specific existence into fruition.
Sam adds that while she was mentally synched with her worldkiller side, Reign ominously told her that “they were coming”; worrying Lena despite Sam herself not quite certain about whom it was that Reign was referring to. They both agreed in continuing with the procedure in order to delve deeper into the matter.
Lena tries to comfort Arias again after another rough session of shock-induced therapy brought the latter into a more concise conversation with Reign in the subconscious. Apparently, Reign attempted to lure Sam to her side by tempting her human host with controlling power and the freedom it gives — the two things that Samantha never had much of ever since Ruby came into her life, compelling her to commit herself as a self-sustaining and loving mother of her child to compensate for the luxuries that she had been missing for the longest time of her existence, rattling Sam that Reign knows that much of her own repressed dissatisfaction concerning her human life. Awakening again and bristling, Sam desperately begs her boss not to put her back in Reign’s company that way again. But as painful a decision as it is, the Luthor insists otherwise; she reasons that if they don’t deal away with Reign from as early as possible, then at some point, the transitioning between her and Samantha shall be permanently irreversible — leaving one freed and in unfettered control of the physical vessel, while the other will be left imprisoned forever within the same body. Lena stresses it as an absolute imperative that Arias be the one to emerge victorious. Not just for Sam’s own sake but for everyone else who will easily fall prey to Reign’s ruthlessness should Sam and Lena’s combined efforts fail.
While analyzing the progress thus far on Sam’s test results, Lena receives a call from Jimmy telling her that Winn and Alex fell victim to the mysterious plague taking hold of select citizens in National City. Olsen implores the L-Corp Chief Executive for help, as her company has access to pharmaceutical resources that is unparalleled all across America and naturally has the best chance of finding a cure. Aware of the growing epidemic herself, despite already having her hands full with Sam at their company’s basement levels, Lena considers turning her conclusions so far on Samantha’s blood tests into an asset so as to assist medical authorities in securing a cure for the city’s newly-emerging pestilence (and punned or not, the terminology’s timely and fitting); she just has to find a way in presenting it without raising questions like how she acquired the data, and the literally unearthly genetic samples to which the information accordingly entails to, in the first place — lest they all be linked to Reign and, by extension, Sam whom Lena has sequestered away from the outside world for her own protection as well as everybody else’s.
And so, once again, Lena dances around the truth, telling James that she was already working on the outbreak (which, in a way, was the truth). At his end of the call, Olsen shows surprise at knowing Lena was already making steps to counter the present crisis, practically before anyone else, and then asks if she already talked to Supergirl as well. Lena replies that she hasn’t and requests that Jimmy doesn’t either because she herself is yet to be absolutely sure, throwing an uncertain at Sam in her confinement, even though her progress appeared promising, but that certainly does not make the knowledge being assembled, at this point, any less sensitive or fragile — not wanting to get anyone’s hope up too much. Jimmy then languidly pines at seeing Schott in the state he’s currently in and not able to do anything about it, but the Luthor assures him that by being there for Winn — he is doing something for his friend. And with that, she and Olsen bade each other before ending the call.
Back at Sam’s place of observation and containment, she again was in a panicked state after emerging from another mental rendezvous with Reign inside of their one mind, forcing Lena to try appeasing her friend’s terror. Samantha tells her that Reign just threatened to kill Ruby, for openly defying and attempting to get rid of her worldkiller side, by taking Lena’s assistance in expunging Reign from Sam’s existentiality. Beginning to think that her collaboration with Lena in their bid to eliminate Reign was going nowhere, Arias informs Lena that they need to get some outside help, suggesting maybe it was time for Alex or even Supergirl — the former of which Samantha already once reached out to and the latter whom she knows is personally acquainted with her boss and so Lena would have the means of contacting — to be informed of and brought into their predicament. The Luthor disagrees, however, saying that Reign is high on Earth’s most wanted list of alien criminals. And if they were to go to the Supergirl or the authorities (to which Supergirl is selectively in liaison with, via the D.E.O.) for assistance before Lena can secure a method for Sam to keep the side of her that is the worldkiller infallibly in check, other people are liable to see Arias as Reign herself — leading to them taking reins in neutralizing and maybe even experimenting upon Samantha’s body in unspeakable ways to end Reign’s threat. Sam, despondent and now on her final wits, desperately argues that what she would suffer at their hands shall be no different, or worse, to what she was already enduring right now in part of Lena’s procedures or Reign’s temptations. But still worried for Sam and her friend’s intent, the Luthor emphasizes that she is the only one who could do this with the least amount of personal expense from Sam; Lena presses her forehead against Sam’s to calm her and promising to the latter that should things get out of hand, she would be there to keep Ruby safe — protecting her from Reign, if need be.
Ultimately, Lena and Sam’s secret would be exposed at a critical time when her efforts appeared to have finally shone a glimmer of assuring hope; she tries to show her findings to Samantha, who has become uncharacteristically motionless whilst sitting with her legs crossed on her bed, inside of the containment unit, and saying “They’re coming” to particularly no one in a nearly trance-like manner. Just then, J'onn J'onzz (in Hank Henshaw’s form) Martian-phased himself along with Supergirl, Imra Ardeen and Mon-El down through the ceiling of the establishment’s underground level that Lena and Arias were in, much to the company head’s surprise and confusion. Having caught in their radar that the other worldkillers — Pestilence and Purity — are coming to L-Corp, the four benevolent aliens got ahead of them first (being more familiar with National City’s domain) and came to warn the Luthor of their not-so-benevolent counterparts’ approach towards Lena’s company, with the disguised Kara herself coming up close to Lena, who gets all apprehensively tight-lipped before this unexpected visit, warning her of their enemies’ impending arrival. And that was when she finally notices the confined and unmoving Sam Arias, within her enclosure, while the Kryptonian heroine was in the process of urging Lena into arranging the evacuation of her company and everybody there. Unsure with what to make of what she was seeing, as are the three other new arrivals who came with her, Supergirl walks up closer to state-of-the-art enclosure, tentatively extending forth a hand to its threshold and causing its near-impenetrable defenses to act up, rejecting and keeping the appendage from entering; looking around the apparent protective barrier, a baffled Kara inquires of what is happening down there at that level.
Caught in the most inconvenient of timing (oh, she has no idea…) and with no hope of coming up with a plausible excuse on the spot, a guilty Lena reluctantly confesses to the disguised Kara that she was going to tell her about this at some point. Still not catching the gist of the situation that she, J'onn and the Legionnaires have stumbled upon down at Lena’s secret L-Corp lab, the said Kryptonian turns her attention back to the Luthor, incensed and demanding (with a hint of suspicion) on what was Lena apparently withholding, from the alien heroine, there beneath L-Corp with Samantha Arias seemingly in Lena’s custody. At that instance, Reign, who has now taken over Sam, due to “resonating” with the approaching Pestilence and Purity compelling Reign to emerge in response to her worldkiller siblings’ inevitable arrival, coldly answers her archenemy’s question for Lena, expediently alluding to Supergirl that she was kept hidden there by the Luthor this whole time, moving off of the bed as she did and began walking towards the unit’s entrance, ignoring Supergirl when she uncertainly addressed Reign in the identity of Sam, her human vessel.
Realizing who was now in control of Sam’s body, Lena immediately taps some commands onto the tablet that she was holding, leading to the Kryptonite-pumping mechanism on Reign’s person instantly subjugating the awakened worldkiller with trace amounts of concentrated green Kryptonite now being pumped throughout her body, halting the latter’s menacing advance and sending Reign down on her knees, weakening her, much to the worldkiller’s anger at Lena and the astonishment of Supergirl (who recognizes at once the symptoms that Samantha was displaying — that of a Kryptonian under agonizing Kryptonite exposure from within) and the other three aliens in the room at the other side of Reign’s enclosure. By then, the other two worldkillers arrived bursting through the elevator doors and sending them crashing against the containment unit — disabling its energy shielding, propelling away and knocking Lena, along with Mon-El and Imra, down at once with the unit’s sudden burst of disturbed power output; but with Reign still incapacitated by Lena’s Kryptonite, Purity and Pestilence, both now garbed in Juru custom-made attire, proceeded to rescue their detained sister and leader, freeing Reign at last. And together, growing stronger within each other’s proximity, they made quick work of the alien heroes before joining together, side-by-side, and suffusing themselves in bright bluish-white light that somehow instantly garbs Reign in her recognizable worldkiller attire. Everyone else there could only stare awestruck and in utter terror as the redoubtable trinity of worldkillers levitated over them, finally united and looking down below, with Reign quoting the House of El’s famous Kryptonian motto, before all three of them speeding away in flight, leaving Lena and the four other aliens, on the side of humanity, by themselves at the very place that once held Reign imprisoned but now had just been liberated from. Kara then glances down at Lena, who was sprawled on the ground and, in turn, silently looked back up at the Kryptonian.
Much later, after salvaging what still can be from the ravaged lab, Lena was brought to the D.E.O. and into its discussion room wherein, at the head seat at one end of the table, Lena was seated in jaded disquietude as Mon-El, Brainiac 5 (in his human guise) and Imra sat by the row adjacent to her right while Supergirl, J'onn and Alex sat on the other side opposite of the Legionnaires — all of whom appeared just as perturbed as the Luthor before them, as not only had an independently-operating woman like Lena succeeded, where they have all collaboratively failed, at identifying Reign’s alter-ego and subsequently even housing into containment the worldkiller’s human persona for a time afterwards, but now they are left with the freshly-missed opportunity to put one of the three otherwise nearly-unstoppable Juru worldkillers out of the equation altogether. An inopportunity that could have easily been amended had Lena chose to approach and be straight-up honest with them, from long before now, for taking and literally placing their known enemy under her owned property’s sheltering and protection.
Stating her full name after the agency’s director requests her to formally identify herself, Lena acidly asks from where, on her part, shall this interrogation for her shall begin. Supergirl, with her arms crossed over her chest, visibly displeased and sitting adjacently to Lena’s left, was the first to speak. She confronts the Luthor with how long has she been keeping Sam after Lena learned disturbing facts concerning her employee — to which the L-Corp CEO dryly answers that it was for around three weeks now, prior to Reign’s recent escape from Lena’s company, explaining why nobody, up to that point, has seen or even heard of the said worldkiller wreaking her usual havoc the entire time and thus the only “silver lining” to this amounting debacle after all things considered. The disguised Kara drills further, impatiently asking as to what exactly had the Luthor been doing with Samantha that whole time and Lena admits to having employed her scientific expertise in discreetly diagnosing Sam’s mysterious ailment, kicking her analysis extent of Arias up a notch when Lena realizes that what plagues Samantha was no mere illness and that led to the patient being brought by the Luthor down to L-Corp’s more restricted basement levels for off-the-books observation and specialized data-gathering, as well as abstrusive processing procedures and restraining protocols, in hopes of finding a solution while also denying Sam of unconstrained contact with the outside world — all of which Arias agreed to be done upon herself by her employer.
Alex speaks up, saying that when she examined and had Sam through the former’s own set of clinical tests and physicals, she did not spot anything that would imply something out of the ordinary about Arias, let alone as having anything to tie Samantha with the fearsome worldkiller who nearly killed the operative on two separate occasions now. Lena blandly and humbly replies that, be despite of so as it may, Alex simply had not assume or account anything extraordinary regarding Samantha to begin with — and that was what chiefly caused the D.E.O. agent to overlook what the Luthor obviously did not. The older Danvers sister seemed to have somewhat taken Lena’s given statement like a brushing insult, demanding at once on how the latter was able to discern the now very apparent Sam-Reign connection, and what confirmed it, when no one in the alien-countering government agency, Alex herself included, before now could connect the dots. Lena responds by calmly explaining that she did not limit herself in monitoring Sam under a microscope, to determine anything unusual about her biology, all the way to the cellular level; rather, she also mapped out a timeline that details the times when Samantha lost consciousness, all the way to when she gets it back and comes to, then cross-referencing it with any aligning resource that Lena could find matching those periods when Arias was supposedly unconscious, combing for some kind of pertinently possible connection under the conceived impression that Sam’s fainting episodes may be of extrinsic causes. And that was when the pattern between Sam’s unanticipated disappearing closely matches in timing and duration with Reign’s emerging to conduct her attacks — not to mention the latter, in turn, being the one disappearing from the public eye whenever the former was, in reverse, as the one who was up and actively about — turned evident for Lena, prompting her to look deeper into the microscopic level using unconventional forensic methods and uncommonly thorough techniques in biological analysis afforded to her by the tech company she owns. Hence, verifying her formed theory of the two entities, Samantha Arias and Reign, trapped within the same existence of one body, Jekyll and Hyde-style. Alex fell very quiet and uneasy as the capitalist under interrogation concluded her summary, realizing in dismay just how much she, along with her sister Kara (who looks away from the Luthor, subdued), have underestimated both Lena and Sam by a long way without even knowing it until too late — and now it is only starting to dawn on the Danvers sisters the consequences of that, currently pressing them with each passing moment.
Next was Director J'onzz turn to speak; he implores Lena as to why she’d keep a secret of this magnitude horded only to herself when she should have went straight away to the D.E.O. to quickly notify them of the situation, pointing out that with the way Lena allowed the events to play out, before Reign’s retrieval from L-Corp’s confinement enacted by her fellow Kryptonian worldkillers, the Luthor essentially abetted a mass murderer when she harbored Sam (even as herself, and not as Reign) under her care and observation for weeks now. Lena retorts that all she did was extended her aid to a friend in need, whom she still sees Samantha as, in spite of the circumstances and recent developments. The Martian grits, arguing that regardless of Lena’s motives, what she unearthed was not something that anyone must keep beyond the D.E.O.’s awareness, and that Lena should have went to them, first and foremost, after discovering what she did of Sam — given that they were better-experienced and equipped in coping with predicaments such as this, and that Lena could have found a lead on them for contact reach had she set her mind to it.
Again, Lena adamantly defends her decisions — stressing that a private citizen like herself is under no obligation to indiscreetly share everything, or anything she does not want shared, to indiscriminately anyone; least of all to a clandestine organization that predominantly operates behind the shadows and to which she has no official affiliation with whatsoever, especially seeing how the said organization generally refuses to share all about their aggregation with an outsider like her in turn. And so, reciprocation (of sorts) should not only be unsurprising but it is also rightly in order. Those of the agency in that room with her look disconcertedly and exasperatedly away from Lena and at each other, as not only was the D.E.O.’s own sense of maintained secrecy partly to blame for the L-Corp and CatCo proprietor withholding from them the disturbing facts she uncovered about the first worldkiller to emerge, but also knowing full well that they cannot argue against the Luthor’s fronted logic since they couldn’t name a single person in their lives to whom they have, without fail, completely been transparent to with absolutely no pretense (i.e. Alex kept the fact that she was an alien-combating operative from both Eliza and Kara, J'onn assuming Hank Henshaw’s likeness and authority over the D.E.O. for a decade and a half with none in the organization any wiser and, of course, Kara in her dual identity as both Kara Danvers and Supergirl — both of whom Lena somehow bizarrely still believes to be two different people) as that would be hypocritical on their part. Lena continues, insisting that everything she has done to absolve Sam, upon learning of her conditional alien nature, was done within the domains of L-Corp and utilized its respective resources. Thus, for as long as it does not count as technically illegal, Lena should not have to answer to the people before her in regards of whatever she does with her own company, its assets and the people working for her there.
Supergirl then presses Lena on what the latter had discovered during her time with Sam/Reign and, in a defeated tone, the Luthor divulges that she did all that to isolate whatever factor within Samantha that turns her into her Reign persona — with the aim of using that knowledge to suppress and end the latter subliminal existence for good; only that Lena did not get to finish in that endeavor due to Reign’s liberation from close monitoring, taking Sam’s body along with her. A clearly vexed Supergirl cynically comments on the multi-layered irony of realizing now that not only does she and Reign both having civilian identities that were under the employ of the same person, but how that said employer — whom they were both equally close to and would want to keep her two employees, Kara and Sam, from coming into open conflict with each other anyway — had been keeping Supergirl’s mortal enemy in a short leash for three weeks now, and to think that Kara herself was anxious the whole time for her next confrontation with the worldkiller, who came close to murdering her last year, when Lena had inadvertently been keeping the two immensely formidable aliens from each other for just as long with her secret activities together with Arias in the L-Corp secret lab.
Kara then shifts the subject by asking Lena if she has a way to track down the worldkillers, to which the latter replies that she does not and neither do the Legionnaires sitting down with them at that table. Supergirl then wonders as to how Lena could have kept Sam contained when the sheer strength and power of the latter’s worldkiller side could have easily broke through any conventional restraints that can be designed to hold her at bay, leading to another confession from Lena who admits that she employed Kryptonite — supposedly kept inside of a vault at L-Corp wherein Lex, prior to his imprisonment, maintained his gathered stocks of the substance in repelling Superman with — to keep Reign in check. Kara could only blink her eyes in surprised resignation of hearing yet another shocking revelation from Lena.
Later, Lena walks by one of the D.E.O. establishment’s balconies with a phone in hand, calling James Olsen (who was delegating tasks to his subordinates at CatCo in gathering information, for due report to the public, in response to the now-waning lethal plague incited by the Worldkiller, Pestilence, upon the city mayor and several others of National City’s prominent individuals); answering her, Lena quickly apologizes for keeping secrets from him and keeping distance as she did. But now comes the time for the truth, which she was now ready to divulge to Jimmy — piquing his interest. Lena then informs him of what has really been going on between herself, Samantha Arias and Reign. About how Reign sharing the same bodily vessel with Sam and that Lena was aware of the fact and had been keeping that a secret from anyone else for a while now, surprising James with the revelation. He then recounts the time when Lena spoke of an employee of hers who could not accept her own bitter circumstances under the Luthor’s care, wholly realizing now all that entailed from what Lena was telling him: that his girlfriend worked out and determined the unusual relationship between Reign and Sam all on her own and, rather than to bring it to the proper authorities, choose to withhold that knowledge by confining Sam inside of L-Corp and locking her away from the rest of the world.
She confirms it, saying that she was laboring together with Sam to rid herself of her powerful malevolent side that is Reign. This confuses Jimmy as to how a mere human like Lena was able to keep Reign, who once brutally injured Supergirl, under control and Lena (somewhat) confesses yet another troubling detail — the allegedly last portion of Kryptonite gathered and confidentially stored by Lex within L-Corp, which his younger sister had all now inherited and subsequently depleted in her (stymied) bid to cure Sam. James asks why Lena was telling him this now and the latter discourses how she gambled a great deal — her personal reputation, Supergirl’s trust in her and Lena’s amicable relationship with James — in her intent to cure Sam to which she just failed in a major way; so now she just wants a measure of comfort hearing the sound of his voice over the phone, since she couldn’t stand him looking at her like the very image of a Luthor that she constantly tries to expunge herself of as she had enough of that when her secret concerning Sam was exposed to Supergirl and her allies.
Supergirl herself would approach Lena at the balcony, trying to get the latter’s attention. Hanging up on James, Lena turns to face the Kryptonian, who made no effort hiding her obvious disappointment to her human friend; Kara verbally accosts Lena, saying that while everyone else have always assumed incriminatingly of the latter, time and again, because of her family name, Supergirl has always stood by her side, defending Lena from such suppositions and accusations, seeing Lena as her own person separate of the general perception of how most people would often regard someone bearing the name Luthor. But now, in that one time when she could have — and should have — went impeccably and without delay to Supergirl for help concerning Sam and her worldkiller problem, Lena, under the belief that only she could sympathize with Sam, chose to assume the worst of the superheroine and everyone else that could have helped, and instead opted to solve Samantha’s dilemma all on her own, with only Sam’s voluntary cooperation, when she and Lena both have friends that would just as likely have aided the two women and made a difference. Granted, from Lena’s perspective, the fact of Reign’s violently purging the city of criminality, and even severely injured Supergirl in one instance for that endeavor, can also mean that the disguised Kara may not be as open-minded in defeating Reign, by way of ridding Arias free from her worldkiller side as Lena intends, even if she has learned of Sam’s secret sooner from their boss; not to mention the open question of whether or not Lena may have divulged to Supergirl that knowledge had she known that the latter and Kara, whom the Luthor trusts (and knows would have as much interest in saving Samantha as Lena does), were one and the same. Lena timidly brings up that Arias came to her in such a volatile and precarious state, with such high stakes that nobody — not even Sam herself — knew just how great until Lena took Samantha into hiding. Hence, she couldn’t risk exposing Sam to the dangers of being seen as the very threat that her alien persona imposes by anyone who may or may not lack both Lena’s sympathy and reservations.
Pushing that aside, Supergirl crosses her arms over herself, looked the other woman before her right in the eye and pleads Lena to be downright honest with her for what she will next be asking of the latter concerning Lex Luthor’s alleged stash of Kryptonite that his younger sister supposedly acquired through the renamed L-Corp: does Lena have any more of the said substance remaining? And abashedly, the Luthor admits that she does not — having used the entire supply to weaken and medically subdue Reign, rendering the worldkiller “docile” while Lena kept her imprisoned by securing Samantha into the secret L-Corp lab. As Lena spoke, the gleaming Sun behind her outside slowly but surely being (literally) eclipsed and Kara notices, before falling into unconsciousness and collapsing down on the floor as the yellow rays were dimmed by the Moon’s progress in blocking them, going between the Earth and the Sun it revolved around of, as did the empowerment that the Kryptonian biologically derives from thereof.
She would later come to, with both Lena and Alex standing over her and looking concerned. Getting up, she tells them that she saw Sam and Julia in a vision of a dark wooded valley that Kara saw the two worldkiller hosts running through. Kara, Alex and Lena would later climb down the stairs as they headed to the D.E.O.’s mission control center, with the Luthor stating that the eclipse happening was, all hands down, an entirely unprecedented phenomena that should not scientifically — and let alone technologically — be possible. The disguised Kara intercedes, saying that science or technology has nothing to do with the eclipse, but something far older than both and apparently at their enemies’ disposal.
That drew an incredulous reaction from Lena, in spite of the circumstances, pleading the Kryptonian to please not mention and include “magic” into the debate. But Supergirl clarifies so, in its most malevolent aspect, dark magic, as indeed the culprit. She then denotes to Alex and Lena of old parables, from her destroyed planet origin, involving Kryptonian witches forming a trinity and joining hands to induce a global darkness like what Earth was experiencing at the moment. They conclude that the three worldkillers, Reign, Purity and Pestilence — now joined together into such a fearsome triumvirate — must be enacting just that as part of a ritual to “rebirth” Earth itself as envisioned by their Juru creators. Reckoning that the accruing planetary darkness was only the first step to the worldkillers’ intent, predestined into them by the Juru, slowly growing into fruition, Kara, Lena and Alex all agreed that the opposition needs to be stopped before worldkiller trinity could succeed further in their bid.
Going over to mission control where J‘onn, Winn and handful others of D.E.O. commanding staff were already at, trying to coordinate against and mitigate the amassing confusion incited by the sudden eclipse worldwide; the three women informed that they all have a little less than two hours before the amounting planetary darkness reaches completion and the clock is ticking. Consequences to living in a world without light would soon come later (i.e. global temperature dropping, compromised growth of worldly flora, Kryptonians on Earth rendered powerless, etc.). Gathering around the central table, the eclectic group of humans and aliens began to pool down all attained knowledge they gathered in coming up with a brainstorm to counter the worldkillers’ eclipse.
Bringing the discussion to the mysterious valley that Kara apparently just saw both Julia and Samantha ran and disappeared into, the group together surmises that what she experienced was not a dream at all and Lena confirms it, recognizing so from Supergirl’s description as the same alternate dimension that Sam only recently spoke up to her during their “treatment sessions”, and thereby allowing Kara to identify it as Juru, the Kryptonian valley for which the worldkillers’ eponymous makers were named after. Together, the group surmises that Supergirl’s unexpected visualization of the said dimension, whilst unconscious, must mean that her Kryptonian heritage must be somehow allowing her to catch glimpse of Juru Valley, aligning with the worldkillers finally achieving their completed trinity and that the scope of their collective’s combined power was bending the known laws logic and reason in more ways than one.
Lena then suggests a bold plan; one wherein that they must first contact Sam through that esoterically-accessible valley and convince her to take hold of her body again so she could hopefully send out a signal that will help reveal the worldkillers’ present location and allow the possibility of stopping them in their eclipse-inducing activities And as viable as this strategy may sound for those at the D.E.O. table, the fact still remains that they have no means of deliberately harnessing that phenomenon to their advantage, given that Supergirl has only randomly tapped into Juru, from time to time, purely by chance and without intent every time it happened thus far. For a moment, the group balks — until the disguised Kara offers an earnest suggestion of her own: taking not-so-fictionalized mysticism head-on with realistic and practical 31st Century science at their side.
Lena, Alex and Supergirl are next seen at the D.E.O.’s forensics lab with Brainiac 5, where the said Coluan, still in human likeness but nonetheless displaying his usual meticulously insufferable self, was detailing Kara’s suggested intent of using the Legion’s mind-intrusive technology to enable her access to the valley of Juru straight from where they are, even though such tech was not originally meant for that purpose but rather to permit one person’s psyche entrance into another’s. Thus, Kara wishes for the extraordinarily brilliant Coluan (even for his race) to repurpose that technology — using herself as the catalyst factor — for just that notion, and she wants for Brainy to do all of that before the eclipse finalizes. Kara confirms. And exhibiting a jaw-dropping amount of reservation and composure, in spite of the dire circumstances and demanding expectations that have just been pushed into his hands, Brainy nonchalantly assures the three women that he will set work on the task at hand as though it was merely a challenging obstacle of menial proportions; he then made way towards the Legion’s cruiser with Supergirl following him.
However, Lena insists on coming along and the Danverses bluntly refused, still not having gotten over Lena’s apparent subterfuge in helping conceal from them Sam’s hidden alien nature, even though Brainiac 5 offhandedly states that it was perfectly possible to bring others with Supergirl to Juru when the Kyrptonian tries to set foot on that realm. Lena stays true to her conviction, saying that she can get to Sam through Reign, having known the worldkiller’s human host for a long time and even practically spent the last month understanding the workings between both separate existences subliminal within the same body. And that while everyone around there with Lena may not fully trust her right now in light of Lena’s recently-revealed secrecy, she was their best chance of defeating the worldkiller trinity via Samantha. The Danverses resisted but eventually gave in, with Alex also suggesting that she goes along with both Supergirl and Lena to Juru, as precaution given Kara’s weakening state caused by the eclipse. Unbeknownst to Lena however, after she left, the disguised Kara tells Alex, who already has her doubts of including Lena into the mission, that she only conceded in taking Lena along because she has a point, having studied both Sam and Reign in the same containement unit for weeks now, along with the fact that the Luthor would be preoccupied whilst in Juru. That way someone from their side can confirm Lena’s story out in the real world.
And that someone would be none other than the vigilante, Guardian. So as Brainy readies the tech for the three women to use, Supergirl took her time flying back to visit CatCo and meet up with James, who shows worry on why would Kara squeeze passing time in visiting him knowing her yellow sun-originating powers must be gradually weakening into irrelevance due to the looming eclipse. Kara abruptly brings him up on Lena’s possession of Kryptonite; but Olsen already knows having been told of that and of what was going on between Sam and Reign from moments earlier by Lena herself and Kara, though unsurprised (as she may have overheard the conversation), was chastised. Jimmy goes on in Lena’s defense to say that the said substance was originally obtained by Lex before it was discovered and procured, from L-Corp, by his sister to use against Reign and that — at this point — Lena has already depleted what remained of the inherited Kryptonite that was still in her possession while containing Sam and keeping her worldkiller side neutralized with the Kryptonian-weakening substance as the catalyst factor; hence, that stash no longer poses a potential threat for Supergirl. Kara, however, was unyielding of her newfound distrust towards Lena — stressing to Jimmy that Lex was incarcerated for a while now, leaving his company assets to his sister, whom, out of her friendship with a Kryptonian, should have gotten rid of the Kryptonite cache from the moment she learned of its existence. And if Lena’s relationship with Supergirl was indeed genuine, by both ways, why would the latter need to keep a supply, of one of the very few things that could bypass the standard invulnerability of Kryptonians to the point of actually able to kill them, in her possession?
James tries to appease the costumed Kara, downplaying the situation with Lena that the Kryptonian was in. And in an ironic reversal of roles, Jimmy defends the Luthor by making it a point to his alien friend that Lena is not her brother — echoing the time when he heard those very same words (Lena is not Lex) from Kara herself — and how it may have took Olsen a while to consider that, but it was Kara who helped him acknowledge it in the first place.
However, Supergirl remained firm in her conviction; stressing that Lena had been nothing but an undisputable ally until in light of the recent discoveries to her secret conducts with Samantha. With Lena’s capacity for duplicity even to her known allies now shown, Kara, who consequently could not unconditionally take the Luthor’s word for it, felt it was imperative that she determine what else her friend could be hiding and moreover, if it could prove a threat to Kryptonians — and not just Supergirl — in the future. Stepping up, Jimmy asks what she needed from him and Supergirl states that it was not James Olsen he needs, per se, but Guardian. Concisely, she needs him to break into L-Corp and see for himself this vault that Lena spoke of, and see if the Kryptonite stash that the Luthor used was indeed depleted from within.
Plunged into dissension, a hesitant Olsen tells Kara that she was basically asking him to go behind the back of someone whom he has grown quite close to. But Supergirl claims that both have grown close to Lena, and her with them, since coming into acquaintance. As of the moment, the Luthor’s concealment of Sam’s true nature has considerably shaken Kara’s trust of her human ally; and regarding Earth’s present state of crisis and the three worldkillers she will inevitably fight against at some point, the sooner Kara could put her personal apprehensions about Lena to rest, the better. And so, Olsen agrees.
Later, in Legion's cruiser, Lena was seen garbed in a full-body and tight-fitting tracksuit, leaning against some of the equipment there when she was tentatively approached by an anxious Alex, intent on asking the former a question. Lena instantly and correctly guesses that the agent was about to inquire as to why her friend did not bother to inform Alex, whom Samantha first shared knowledge to and consulted with after noticing her cryptic condition, of what she learned concerning Sam’s so-called “illness”. Alex affirms this, stating that it was unfair for her to be kept out of the loop from what Lena and Sam learned, seeing that she was the one who initially brought Arias to medical testing before she was inducted likewise by Lena, who only got her turn following that after Alex ushered Sam to come clean to her other friends, Kara and Lena, about her enigmatic problems and that the Luthor certainly could not have gotten to where she was on her surreptitious worldkiller research without Alex pushing down that first domino that led to it.
Lena blithely replies that she has her reasons for not sharing what she knows of Arias, much like how Alex has hers that she makes it a point not sharing facts like she is a D.E.O. operative to just anyone. The said operative was only mildly surprised that the capitalist turned out to be aware of her affiliation to the off-the-books organization at this point - given the very obvious implications since Lena was brought there with Alex close at hand. With her own mother high on the D.E.O.'s wanted list, Lena, of course, has a respectable amount of knowledge about those from the organization leading the charge and serve as vanguards to their cause, with Alex Danvers understandably ranking high in the agency's roster of field agents; but wisely adds to Alex that her allegiance to the D.E.O. was her own secret to divulge at her choosing, and in that vein, Sam's recent discovery to her own identity, of being alternatively the person behind Reign’s mask, was also strictly hers to reveal. Lena only wanted to make sure that other people can remain lenient and still be reasoned with - by substantially keeping the worldkiller in Sam, Reign, contained and harmless, for Arias herself to be given the benefit of the doubt - when she and Sam finally opted to let other people in on the secret that the women uncovered. So until then, it wasn't in Lena’s place to say anything.
Despite being raised by Lillian; following Lionel's death, Lena is the opposite of her half-brother and step-mother; whereas they are delusional, egotistical, immoral and murderous, Lena is kind, caring, dutiful, selfless, responsible, loyal, moral and honorable (in short, she is everything a typical person would not expect from a Luthor). While proud of her family name, Lena is ashamed of their deviated conducts, committed under the Luthor name, that ravaged the known world and is determined to return her company to its former good status and grace by using it to help people — and in so doing, absolve the Luthors of the schism incited by Lex. However, she is not above withholding crucial information from known allies if it meant the smooth proceeding of any plans she instigates but has, thus far, done in good conscience. In addition, she is quite intelligent, going along with the aforementioned determination and, in the imposing disposition of her Luthor name (not to mention the extensive contacts and replete resources at their disposal), these qualities make Lena an invaluable ally for those who has her solid allegiance and, at the same time, a very dangerous individual to anyone who would dare count her as an enemy, or underestimate what she is capable of, with little care of the consequences (and Chet Miner along with his associates, overconfident with the alien technology provided by Lillian Luthor, made the colossal mistake of doing both in spite of warnings received from Lillian herself — ultimately to their agonizing regret and Queen Rhea would later follow suit); though her high moral standards generally meant that Lena would never bring such retribution upon anyone who did not deserve it and nor will she go overboard in exacting so (though she remorsefully admits to have done such with one Cindy Ryan), as she feigned allegiance to Lillian Luthor in order to destroy the Medusa virus and ends the betrayal by turning Lillian over to the cops, successfully deduced at least twice where Project Cadmus was holed up in (although the second time, Lillian deliberately allowed it so), practically sensed and figured at once (over a restaurant dinner) Rhea’s true alien nature, briefly voiding the Daxamite queen’s business proposal, and asking her to leave L-Corp’s premises, upon confirmation and at age four, beat her older half-brother in chess upon being brought home by her father. Lena mentioned she is not fond of flying, even though it is statistically the safest way to travel, and later states to hate flyers and leaflets, claiming they waste both precious time and fine lumber.
A resourceful, honest and practical (but not overly consummate) entrepreneur and capitalist, Lena seems to admire those with strong resolve. This was shown when she accused Clark Kent of suspecting her based on her last name, as he did not back off and she responded by showing respect for his steel resolve. Nevertheless, Lena's strong moral compass prevents her from exhibiting that same level of appreciation towards those of less than honorable intent, as seen when she explicitly stated her repulsion to both Beth Breen and Morgan Edge after learning that they were unethically using their respective company resources for anything but noble ends which makes it safe to assume that she also discontinued or even terminated L-Corp's military contracts and channels, along with R&D on warfare technologies, that supplied eclectic clients with advanced armaments and ordnances, for that same notion as she no longer wanted her family’s company in any way associated with murder and world domination through pretentious businesses and unscrupulous contract deals, like war profiteering, from back during its LuthorCorp days when it was still under her brother's control, but apparently did not discarded all archived knowledge of that which was how she was still able to access information on the Evanesce Project; likewise, her firm morality was what irreparably broke Lena's otherwise strong bond with Rhea despite of finding in the latter the sort of maternal affection — denied of such by her foster-mother, Lillian, from the point of childhood — that Lena craved for a significant portion of her life. She is also perceptive enough to know that Kara was actually trying to milk from her intel concerning Lilian and then later on Biomax when she and "Mike" unexpectedly inserted themselves into Lena and Jack's date. But interestingly, she has a monumental blind-spot towards people close to her life that inhibits Lena’s ability to discern deeper into such individuals beyond the realms of simple acquaintance out of respect to their personal privacy, seemingly until it’s too late — such as the lines of what both her adoptive mother and half-brother are willing to cross for their murderous self-interests, followed later by Rhea’s and, of course, her long-termed ignorance that now not just one but two of her dearest friends and “sisters” (i.e. Kara and Samantha) are, in fact, super-powered aliens.
During times of distress, or anything detrimental and either in or out of capitalism, Lena often exhibits, for as long as it isn't personal, the ability to remain oddly calm and perhaps even coldly calculating, allowing her to commit necessary acts with evident conviction and pragmatism, as seen when she shot Corben from behind while the latter was restraining Alex; she later repeated the act by shooting a Daxamite guard whom Mon-El was fighting against with the guard's very weapon, which Lena quite reservedly retrieved from where it fell to use on their captor. She did, however, showed some internal conflict when she set out to thwart Lillian's Medusa virus plot, followed by reluctance to answer calls from Lillian whilst the latter was on trial (only deciding to respond and visit her in prison after Kara advised her so) and when it was revealed that her mother broke her out of incarceration (since Lena was in prison herself then) so she could use Lena to bypass the genetic lock securing Lex's weapons vault, had to condemn Jack to death in order to save Kara (as Supergirl) from the Biomax swarm and later distrusted Rhea (despite developing a mother-daughter like bond) when she realized the Daxamite queen used her orchestrate the invasion of Planet Earth by her scattered species.
As a side note, in alignment to her role as the CEO of a major tech corporation (and later also over an editorial conglomerate), Lena herself has shown some propensity towards technological advancement that this “geeky” aspect of herself can sometimes be perceived as contrasting to the usual image of serene and dignified professionalism she is known for that Lena appears to have no problem at all in identifying herself as a “nerd” — easily fascinated with advanced pieces of science and technology, and how they can be adapted into beneficial practicality as seen with how she regarded Jack’s Spheer’s seeming perfection of his and Lena’s Biomax nano-robotics, and later her eagerness to harness the power of Transmat portal tech after Rhea showed her the blueprints to such a portal, for purposes like infallible medical applications and unconstrained transportation, respectively, meaning that advanced alien technology draws her interest just as much as its state-of-the-art Earth counterpart. However, the said fascination is only there for as long as the tech in question was implemented scrupulously and with good intent, since Lena went out of her way to enact a plan in quelling the threat of a criminal gang in possession of advanced alien weaponry, and then later with Beth Breen’s bid to have Biomax pretentiously available to the open public; both of those threats neutralized with more or less of Kara’s help as Supergirl. And ultimately, it is by those scrupled principles that Lena worked double-time to re-purpose her brother’s anti-Kryptonian atmosphere bomb to save National City, as well as the rest of the world, from the Daxamites who came through the large-scale Transmatter gateway that Rhea tricked her into building for people’s arrival to Earth, despite knowing that the bomb was originally designed as a determinant failsafe against Kryptonians residing on Earth — one of which happens to be a staunch ally of Lena and vice-versa. This only shows that Lena practices an open-minded and pragmatic view on the issue of technology and how it is exploited, seeing it inherently as neither truly good nor evil until used in the hands of such individuals; and even then, she is not above weaponizing such tech herself if it meant serving the greater good. And together with her genius, said technology being crafted or altered in her hands have often led to very decisive outcomes.
Lena is disgusted by the horrible acts committed by her half-brother and step-mother respectively, as she makes no attempt to defend her half-brother, Lex Luthor for his crimes, and doesn't blame Superman for his imprisonment, as she knows full well that the latter brought it on himself, but did attempt to reach out to Lex and reprimanded him; she was even disgusted by her step-mother, Lillian for her attempt to wipe out all alien life on Earth, as Lena had no qualms about turning her step-mother over to the authorities for her crimes. The reason why she never had a good relationship with Lillian, partly due to her step-mother always favored Lex over her and mainly because Lillian has always been cold to Lena, because she is a living reminder of Lionel's affair. But in spite of her presented family’s somewhat more questionable conducts, Lena's experience from childhood to early adulthood under their care and nurturing led to her becoming proud to be their ward, harboring a rare degree of respect for the family name uncommon to those outside of, or even remotely close, to the said family. In fact, this reverence to her foster name as a Luthor serves as one of Lena’s primary and staunch motivations in committing herself to absolving the Luthor name after Lex besmirched it considerably in his campaign against Superman, such that she once reacted defensively when Supergirl revealed to her that Lillian was the head of Cadmus, despite the Girl of Steel having just saved Lena from Henshaw's assault (though given how Lena thwarted Lillian’s release of Medusa later on, it was unknown if it had all been an act from the moment Kara, as Supergirl, informed Lena of Lillian's directives in leading Cadmus) and then again with Rhea when Lena realized that the Daxamite Queen withheld some details concerning her alien identity, out of caution because of Lena's adoptive family.
Despite her estranged relationships with her half-brother and step-mother, Lena at least had a good relationship with her father, Lionel Luthor (prior to his death) as he was always loving towards her and treated her warmly, Lena held her father in high esteem, so much that she became angry when her step-mother spoke ill of him, although she did not know Lionel was her biological father until she was an adult and years after her father passed away, after finding out that Lionel was her biological father, Lena showed no signs of anger or bitterness that he never told her the truth about their relationship. She initially also adored Lex, saying that her older step-brother (later confirmed to be Lena’s paternal half-brother) made her feel most accepted into the Luthor household, and proud to bear their family's name, from the time when she was but a total stranger brought in by Lionel into his home after Lena's mother died. This amicable relationship between the siblings turned sour as they reached maturity, with Lex gradually becoming power-mad and obsessed with destroying Superman; Lena repeatedly tried and failed in getting her brother to see reason, but to no avail.
The first-born Luthor's madness and irrationality progressed to the point that, as of adulthood and after being convicted with around three dozen consecutive sentences, Lex would orchestrate Lena's assassination from inside his containment in maximum security, using his global connections to hire John Corben for the deed, after hearing of his sister's declaration to rename LuthorCorp into L-Corp as the first step in purifying it from her brother's legacy and also to stand out on her own. At that point, upon realizing that Lex was willing to put a hit on her in order to preserve the “proper” Luthor Family legacy and his place in it, any sibling love between him and Lena became a thing in the past when the latter learned how far Lex would go to make ends meet. With the assassination attempt on her life thwarted thanks to the intervention of Supergirl and the D.E.O. Lena hopes that her brother will not be able to repeat another such attempt, borderline confident that no other hitman would accept from Lex the job of targeting her, seeing that she was the one who personally shot the last assassin Lex sent after her, and relishes at the thought of Lex being mocked behind bars, by the prison guards and the inmates he was incarcerated together with, for his failure; and the fragile cordiality aside, Lena's worst but long-standing and (sadly) still active relationship within her family was no doubt with Lillian, who claims to have loved Lena, as much as Lex, in Lillian's own subtle way but also acknowledges that her son was her favorite (as Lena was Lionel’s) and kindly stating to Lena that no parent loves their children equally as a whole. In spite of that, Lillian has been known to visit Lena at L-Corp from time to time, trying to establish some even ground between herself and her adopted daughter. When Lillian learned that Lena unexpectedly became friends with Supergirl, catching the latter two together once in Lena's office, her (twisted) protective motherly instincts kicked in; she saw the surprising friendship developing between Lena and Kara's alter-ego as no different to what was once between her son Lex and Superman — wherein one will eventually be reneged on and doomed by the other. Having already lost one child due to the Kryptonians, Lillian sets out to further enact Cadmus’ future plans in her perceived attempt to "save" Lena. Kidnapping Kara after Mon-El, Lillian made it very clear to the former that she did not want her anywhere near Lena, proceeding to threaten and put the two captive aliens under duress, culminating in Cadmus gaining access to the Medusa virus. Luckily, Lena did not share her foster mother's anti-alien sentiments and enacted her own plan to save the aliens of National City from the Krypton-based pathogen, soon after Supergirl informed Lena of Lillian's plot, and called the authorities on Lillian at the end.
The fact that Lena could just shamelessly insert herself into Lillian's organization and then ultimately backstab her whilst within shows how little mother-daughter affection exists between the two of them (which will later contribute in Lena becoming very accepting towards Rhea over her better judgement); though it did not prevent the former from feeling some guilt at betraying Lillian the way she did, despite knowing that she did the right thing, such that it took some friendly advice from Kara before Lena visited Lillian in prison. Shortly after Metallo and Lillian's escape, the latter has Cyborg Superman successfully frame Lena for providing Metallo with the synthetic Kryptonite that energized him for the escape, getting Lena arrested by the NCPD and then later had her broken out by the empowered Corben. Sitting together in their getaway vehicle, Lillian tried to explain to her daughter that everything happening thus far was her way of showing a mother's love to Lena; and that getting through the biometric lock, accessible only by a Luthor such as Lena by means of her handprint, to Lex's weapons vault was an added bonus.
Ironically, this did not stop Lillian from leaving Lena at Lex's hideout just when Corben's Kryptonite heart was about to go critical (though she may not have been aware, choosing instead to disbelieve Supergirl's warnings). But on the other hand, it appears that Lillian knows better than to antagonize Lena directly, knowing full well how unwise it would be to underestimate her adopted daughter, whose own intellect is on par with her older brother’s. Unfortunately for Lillian, Lena has not made it easy for the former due to Lena having chosen to take Kara and the D.E.O.’s side and aiding them against Cadmus whenever she can, even coaching the (then-)reporter into posting, without full authorization from CatCo once, an online article against Project Cadmus, coming into an egregious conflict of interest time and again with her foster mother’s machinations. Later when Cadmus agents set out to abduct every alien whose identities were on the D.E.O.'s alien registry, Lillian sent some henchman to forcibly stop Lena's investigation on the ties between Lillian and LuthorCorp, as such connections could lead to where the Cadmus-abducted aliens were being kept and thereby derail what the organization has in mind for them. However, while Lillian had in mind to halt Lena's progress, she showed restraint by specifically instructing her subordinates to not harm their target.
Lena would later be shocked at seeing Lillian working together with Supergirl and the D.E.O. to rescue both her and Mon-El from within Rhea's flagship; only to be disappointed when Lillian had Henshaw lock down the portal after the three of them went through, trapping the Daxamite prince and his Kryptonian girlfriend aboard the said vessel. Though grateful at being saved from the force marriage, Lena was furious at her mother for arranging to have the former’s alien allies left behind, realizing that this was what Lillian planned all along. Lillian defends her actions, insisting that Supergirl and Mon-El were still aliens, and the eradication of non-human sapient species from Earth was her organization's priority goal. Lillian would later admit that her hatred for extra-terrestrials overshadows her own love for Lena, and then offers to renew their relationship by first driving away the Daxamites using a contraption that Lillian retrieved from Lex's arsenal.
Mellowing down, she states to Lena that with the Daxamites invading, Lex had the right mind to lead first into the offensive when he targeted Superman, but perhaps Lillian has supported the wrong child with Cadmus behind her and then offers to Lena the possibility of correcting her mistake of bringing the Daxamites to Earth by also becoming the one to cause them to flee from the planet; the device she brought to Lena was originally designed to force Kryptonians into leaving Earth. But given how Lena could get a large-scale transmatter portal working for the use of an entire invading alien armada, Lillian believes that Lena could alter the device so it would target the Daxamites instead. Though succeeding in that venture, Lillian would take credit with no mention of Lena to the public until later. It should be noted that though Lillian had unshakeable faith in Lena's success, it was possible that she was just using her daughter (yet again) for something that Lillian could not achieve even with Cadmus at her side as she was quick to deploy the anti-Daxamite weapon after Winn and Lena completed it, only to be smugly told by her daughter that it was assembled and arranged so only Supergirl would have the means to activate it when the need arises, since the Kryptonian was engaged in a trial of combat with Rhea to determine the fate of Earth and humanity at that time.
Lena has proved to be very different from her family, however other individuals, such as Winn Schott, Eliza Danvers, Clark Kent, James Olsen and Snapper Carr (incorrectly) believe that she is secretly like any other Luthor, effectively making Kara one of the standing precious few with reserved judgement (though she, along with her cousin Clark, initially suspected that Lena was following along the path of her brother, when Alex informs them of Lena possibly committing terrorism, that they both discreetly scanned her office without her knowledge) and impartial enough to steadfastly give her friend the benefit of a doubt; which only solidified after she got to know the Luthor on a personal level that Kara has been known, time and again, to stand up in Lena’s defense over any allegation that her inner circle of family, friends and even other people might have or impose against Lena’s character reminiscent to how Clark himself defended Lex from long prior to their near-legendary enmity, as likened by Jimmy. In fact, one could go so far to say that — with Cat Grant leaving National City — upon their first encounter, Lena has since became the “new Cat” in Kara’s life who occasionally gives out sagely advice based on her own life’s experiences, much like Cat did, that gradually molds and helps Kara in balancing her own life as both Kara Danvers and as Supergirl (and that was even before she bought CatCo, making her Kara’s boss there, with convenient irony, following Jimmy’s transferred leadership in the wake of Grant’s departure). But even so, Lena herself does worry, especially after learning of her true biological relation to Lex, that she may become like him and Lillian one day. And on the part of her adoptive mother, Lillian, in spite of the emotional distance between the two of them, rather thinks that Lena shows promise to make her proud as Lionel's true-blooded daughter, when Lena finally joins Cadmus in Lex and Lillian's bid to purge their world of Kryptonians and all manner of extra-terrestrial life staying therein, believing that Lena does hold that kind of darkness within her but has yet to give in; it is for that reason why Lillian determinedly refuses to let her adopted daughter know of the fact that Supergirl and Kara Danvers were the same person — invested in the belief that, factoring Lena's intelligence, she would discern Kara's secret eventually and will despise the Kryptonian for the in-plain-sight deception, trusting that the resulting fallout between Kara and Lena would be the right catalyst in turning the latter to Lillian's cause for good. Ironically enough, with some coaching temptation and unintentional influence from her estranged foster mother, Lena later acknowledges that she need not to fully accept her inner malevolence that naturally goes hand-in-hand with her vast erudition, both genetically afforded to her by her Luthor blood inheritance, in order to gain advantage from the latter, for there exists a sliver of balance in-between from where Lena can exploit the positives of both sides without losing herself to the malignant ruthlessness also found therein, in the process. Lena showed her sympathetic and compassionate side when Sam was reduced to tears, thinking that her new role as Lena's acting CEO, in addition as L-Corp's CFO, was gradually causing her to miss out on her responsibilities as Ruby's mother; Lena kindly took note of this with a heart-to-heart and puts Sam's predicament into perspective by bringing up that she knows something about "worst mothers" and that Sam was nothing like Lena's own, who barely extended to Lena what was passable as "motherly love", because even though Sam couldn't be around her own daughter all the time, her affection for Ruby during their times together more than compensates for it. Lena would later extend the same sentiments to Sam’s pre-adolescent daughter, Ruby, at a time when it seemed as though Sam was failing Ruby not just because of the former being a single working parent in Lena’s company, which finally prompts Lena to look deep into the Arias family matter — leading to the disturbing discovery of Lena discerning Sam’s hidden alien nature as a worldkiller, practically before anyone else close to them has.
However, Lena is also sometimes emotionally vulnerable (or "mush", as Sam calls it) that, though affable and open to others in her own way, Lena's imposing family background and exploited channels of widespread connections has led her to become somewhat reticent and guarded to outsiders - which may even extend to those whose respect that Lena earned and them in reciprocation with hers, such as her business employees and associates, who likes her in turn if not for the professionalism of it. She even claims herself, before moving on to National City in taking over the family company and later Cat Grant's, as entirely stranger to the concept of friendship because of the Luthors' high standards when it comes to socializing outside of the family (which normally involves hiring a private investigator to profile and provide intensive and extensive information concerning said outsiders) and coming to National City was the turning point that turned Lena's underlying, segregated lifestyle for the better. But unlike the rest of her family, she seems veritably able to give strangers the benefit of a doubt to permit them into personally getting to know Lena and vice-versa, and that was what led to both Samantha and Kara (both non-humans, without Lena knowing better, and also both of a handful from whom Lena would probably and plainly listen to in regards to outside perspective and advisory capacity) into Lena's inner circle of close relationships, whom Lena would ultimately admit as the reason how and why she can keep her darker impulses tethered and grounded within herself to prevent her from committing the morally-questionable; not to mention Jack Spheer, whom she fell in love with before moving on from where he was at Metropolis (and to whom Lena nursed an aching spot ever since they're breakup that she'd repeatedly sought Kara’s side-by-side support or friendly advise not long after Lena heard that Jack arrived in National City to showcase his latest medical breakthrough, with the possibility of reconciliation with Lena once all was said and done), and now James Olsen who, because of his past brushes with Lex, started out very defensive (and some would say even distrustful) in her presence and disposition even before Lena bought CatCo — officially making her everyone's superior there, Olsen included.
This trait of sometimes being unsure of or lacking confidence in herself, despite of Lena's achieved accomplishments, proved itself a weakness that Rhea exploited in order to get the portal constructed and completed. She becomes a mentor and almost a mother-figure to Lena by giving her pep talks, reassuring her that she is intelligent, that she can repair the portal, and that she believes in her. It is clear that Lena craves a mother-like relationship that she did not get from her step-mother Lillian. Lena has also shown being able to accept due guilt should there even be a slightest hint of her own hand in its making and will try to alleviate those affected in any way she can, such as donating sizeable sums to effect repairs on National City and when she meekly attempted several times to hang out with and provide solace to Kara in the time following the countered Daxamite invasion, rightly believing that the reporter was devastated by Mon-El's exile (so much that the Kryptonian immersed herself in serving the city as her heroic alter-ego to suppress her emotional pain), brought about by the piece of anti-alien tech that Lena herself deviated and entrusted to Supergirl and the D.E.O’s disposal, and when Morgan Edge succeeded in vilifying Lena for accidentally poisoning a good percentage of National City’s juveniles with lead from the anti-Daxamite bomb she rigged, Lena practically made no attempt to defend her actions in setting up the device, nor to re-direct the blame elsewhere (i.e. Supergirl, who ultimately made the decision to trigger the device against the Daxamites after Lena readied it for usage), and instead publicly announced her decision to step down from both CatCo and L-Corp so to uphold both companies’ dignity for the community. She would later be seen moping in a hopeless state, with none of the usual air of reserved self-confidence that Lena generally maintains, instead drunk and close to breaking down in tears after erroneously coming to the conclusion that all those children becoming afflicted were indeed on her account.
After Kara and Sam brought up to Lena that this wasn't the case, Lena went after Edge in his own office, armed with a gun and showing a truly reckless side of herself that was willing to ignore the typical constraints of morality and ethics if pushed to her moral limits for at that point, Lena was on her last straw such that she found justifiable what she intended to do upon Morgan under the premise of finally embracing the darker aspects of her foster family’s name. It took an airborne rescue from Supergirl and the two of them working together to stop another wave of lead-based outbreak upon National City — wherein Lena exhibited unquestionable altruism by imploring the disguised Kara into saving the entire city over Lena herself — to get Lena’s confidence and composure back on track.
- Genius-level intellect/Great business acumen/Expert tactician/Leader: Lena is highly intelligent, a recognized hallmark of the Luthor clan, able to often beat her prodigious older half-brother in chess in her toddler years. Later as an adult, her intelligence - which enabled her to impressively master several disciplines, academic and otherwise, to her own credit - was proven enough to CEO of L-Corp, overseeing it's daily activities and seeing to its successful rebirth as a legitimately legal multibillion-dollar corporation, ensuring that it would stay operational up to at least four centuries later on, as well as re-branding it as a force of good, and Rhea, the matriarch of an incredibly advanced alien civilization, would ultimately address Lena as an outstanding example of the human race not long after meeting her that she’d want to have her own son Mon-El father a child through Lena (and not necessarily through coital procreation). She devised a wily trap for Chet Miner's criminal gang with Supergirl close at hand, for the "clean-up", should anything go wrong, clever enough to deceive Lillian Luthor feigning an allegiance to her in order to destroy their plot with the Medusa virus, astutely deduced where all the kidnapped National City-registered extra-terrestrials were being held, quickly thought up on the spot an effective strategy wherein she and Supergirl, side-by-side, took on both Beth Breen and the Biomax nanoswarm that Beth controls, later succeeding with a ploy in getting a confession from Morgan Edge to have him finally face legal justice (and using to her advantage her mother’s bid to kill Edge into instead intimidating him to admit, no less) and eventually determining the unusual connections existing between her employee, Sam Arias, with the terrifying alien vigilante, Reign, whom Samantha erratically becomes against her will to even going as far as secluding and conducting (somewhat) humane experimentation on a confined Sam with the aim of discerning a way to literally humanize the genetically-modified extra-terrestrial.  By the time of her late teens, Lena was already well-versed in nanotechnology and nano-robotics, working with Jack Spheer for the pre-cursor of Biomax. During her and Mon-El's escape from their guards aboard the Daxamite flagship, Lena was able to impress the alien prince by bypassing a technologically-advanced alien security system's lock using a simple (but priceless) tiara, given to her for the forced wedding, as a makeshift lock-pick, practically deducing with a glance how the mechanism works. And not long after purchasing CatCo, Lena would assign Samantha Arias as her acting CEO at L-Corp with the latter certainly proving herself capable of taking on the company challenges and satisfying Lena's expectations of her whilst working there at her stead, showing considerable aptitude in organizing, and handpicking from her present employees those most suited for the tasks delegated to them, on the part of Lena with Lena herself proving easily adaptable towards her new obligations at her overseeing of CatCo.
- Expert biologist: Upon realizing the irrefutable connection between Sam’s blackouts and the similarly-periodic times that align whenever the worldkiller Reign appears to commit her vigilante activities, Lena then took Arias into a secluded lab equipped with everything (i.e. containment systems and observation utilities, emergency medicals, etc.) needed to further diagnose Samantha’s condition in hopes of finding a cure, or at least a means of suppression, for the side of her that is Reign. And it was from there where the Luthor was able to thoroughly perceive her employee’s true extra-terrestrial nature, which was something that even the highly capable and medically proficient Alex Danvers - with all the means, contacts and resources at the D.E.O. agent’s disposal - failed to take notice of when Sam agreed to undergo the medical tests ran by Alex in her bid to discern what is wrong with her friend and the memory losses in lieu with the mental blackouts that Sam was having. This all implies a refined and more proficient aptitude in the field of genetics and bioengineering on the side of Lena herself.
- Expert deceiver: Despite having a moral nature, Lena can be very deceptive, effectively convincing Lillian that was on her side; regarding her crusade to wipe out all alien life on the planet earth, only to reveal that she was setting up Lillian to get her arrested by the authorities. She even pretended to be oblivious to the existence of the D.E.O..
- Expert engineer: Lena was able to construct a portable black body field generator that effectively disabled the Cadmus-supplied alien weaponry that Miner's gang used; though she needed finalizing assistance from Winn to render the device functional, since Lena was not certain if the pulse to be generated by the device would be properly sufficient to counter the extra-terrestrial armaments without seeing the weapons in person herself, hence the trap she sprang to lure Chet Miner's gang to her charity gala, indicating that her technological aptitude is far from absolute. Still, she was nonetheless praised by Winn for her ingenuity; the D.E.O. had thought up of a similar approach, as Alex stated earlier to Maggie, but was enacted ahead by Lena showing that her technical expertise was not limited to mere state-of-the-art human technology. And yet even Lena herself admits that, in the progressive wake of her taking over her brother’s company and renaming it into L-Corp, Lex still outshines her in some aspects of brilliance. She would later head the successful large-scale construction of a Transmatter portal on Earth (though she was unaware that it was also drastically affecting Phorians on Earth, briefly causing the typically benign psychic species to react violently and lash out with their telekinetic powers), with a few helpful tips from Rhea, that allowed the Daxamites to invade the planet. Perhaps her greatest engineering feat yet was when she re-purposed (once again, with Winn's help) the device originally made by her brother to imbue Earth's atmosphere with Kryptonite - strictly against Kryptonians - into dispersing lead instead, complete with a remote controller that she entrusted to Supergirl, which drove away the Daxamite invaders. Much later, upon learning of Reign’s existence within Sam and in the bid to expunge the former from the latter’s self, Lena would devise effective contingency measures in keeping the powerful worldkiller contained using resources from her company by constructing a specially-designed and technologically-loaded enclosure that has proven resilient enough to even barricade against the likes of Reign or Supergirl, for a definite amount of time. And in the wake of her clandestine research into Sam’s alien nature, Lena progressed in the artificial production of synthetic Kryptonite - which was something that not even Maxwell Lord or Cadmus were able to accomplish in their own respective attempts, since the synthetically produced substance, by Lena’s own design, was undeniably flawless by comparison and proved itself indispensible in helping keep Samantha’s worldkiller persona neutralized, whenever Reign threatens to emerge, through forced administration and incapacitation. Arguably, this recently acquired knowledge may well make Lena Luthor as the literally greatest human threat to all Kryptonians in general.
- Expert pilot: Despite considering herself as not strictly a fan of aerial transportation, and typically preferring to have someone hired to pilot for her when travelling in this manner, Lena seems familiar with the ins and outs of such a mode in transport. Not just in the actual piloting, but also in other utilities that can be found featured by such a craft, such as a moving airborne communication. Later, she instinctively demonstrates the ability to effectively and seamlessly pilot a highly advanced 31st alien vessel from the future, for the very first time, after taking over the ship’s controls - impressing Brainy with her level of intuition and conceiving grasp to pilot even non-human and expansive interstellar vehicles, like the Legion’s, with little to no assisting aid.
- Expert programmer: Lena was able to override the Biomax nanobot swarm, after accessing Spheerical Industries mainframe from Jack's lab, in time to save Kara from being consumed by the said swarm. This hints great aptitude in the field of computer programming, possibly on par with Winn's and Earth One's Felicity Smoak's, having spent years with Jack trying to perfect the nanobots' operational programs to guide their functions and coming pretty close to solving it together had the two of them not broke up and parted ways.
- Skilled combatant: Though mostly "unpolished", Lena has shown some aptitude in unarmed fighting when she traded blows with Beth Breen, a self-proclaimed black belt, and was resilient enough to take one of Beth's kicks, to the gut before retaliating herself and knocking Beth down twice.
- Skilled markswoman: Lena is quite proficient in the use of firearms, human-made or otherwise, as she proves by gunning down John Corben and later a Daxamite with the latter's own weapon.
- This version of Lena Luthor is (initially) legally Lex's adoptive sister, instead of his biological sister. This is the second instance the two siblings appear to share only one parent, with the first one being the TV show, Smallville, though on which Lena (Tess Mercer) is never adopted by the Luthors (although in an alternate reality Tess was kept by Lionel Luthor but he was extremely abusive to her).
- At the start of Season 2, Lena is 23 years old and thus three years younger than Kara on the physical level.
- She takes her coffee black.
- She hates salmon.
- Lena is fond of scotch, but dislikes tequila.
- Lena and Maxwell Lord are so far the only humans known to be able to create Kryptonite.
- Although he is only able to create Red Kryptonite, and Lena is only able to create Green Kryptonite.
Behind the scenes
- Lena Luthor first appeared in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #23 (February 1961) and was created by Jerry Siegel and Kurt Schaffenberger. She usually appears as Lex Luthor's younger, and in some versions estranged or foster, sister.
- Not to be confused with the character of the same name, who is Lex's daughter with his eighth or ninth wife and is named after her aunt, the original Lena.
- Supergirl marks Lena's third live action television appearance; previously appearing in Superboy, and most notably, Smallville (although in Smallville the character was initially introduced under the name Tess Mercer in the show's eighth season, with her true identity not being revealed until the tenth season as Lutessa Lena Luthor).
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