Supergirl – S5 Ep17 – Deus Lex Machina Review

Lex has plans within plans, within plans in this revealing return episode for Supergirl!

Supergirl is finally back after quite a lengthy hiatus due to the global COVID-19 crisis. Melissa Benoist makes her directorial debut with this Lex-centric episode that takes us inside Lex’s mind once again. “Deus Lex Machina” reveals that Lex has once again been orchestrating recent events all for his own goals. While some could argue that this is too similar to last season’s Lex arc, Jon Cryer plays it so well that I’m willing to forgive this.

This crazy episode opens in the present day (aka ninety days after post-Crisis On Infinite Earths). Margot (guest star Patti Allan), Leviathan middle management agent, is dead on the floor of a complex where the comatose Obsidian Platinum users are being held. Lex is found at the scene by Supergirl and J’onn, who immediately questions his involvement. Luthor and others claim that he saved them all from Margot and a gun went off in the process. Lex also tells them that Margot was working with Amy Sapphire, who previously tried to destroy Obsidian Tech out of revenge for her husband’s death. To everyone, it seems that Lex was a hero in the situation! However, we all know better.

Next, after seeing some exciting Crisis moments, we are transported back to the day after the Multiversal reboot. Lex wakes up and is in shock that not only is he alive, he finds himself in a new world in which he had a hand in creating. Before accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, he visits his mother (guest star Brenda Strong) to inform her of this new reality. Lillian tells him that he must remain calm and cool-headed if he is to succeed in this new world. He must not make the same mistakes. This time he must make Lena his ally by setting his Super-vendetta aside for now.

Next, we return to several key points over the course of this season. First, we flashback to Lex’s first meeting with Lex post-Crisis. He delivers his allies speech to her and as we see it is successful. She also tells him of Leviathan and Eve’s involvement. Lex decides right there and then that he will eliminate them. From there we return to the Toyman crisis, in the chaos, Lex gains access to the Legion’s ship where he learns more about Leviathan and its leadership. He uses this information to track down Eve, whom he finds in mid-assassination. Eve is shocked to see him. Lex knows her history and uses it to recruit her to his cause. Leviathan killed her father in order to force her to work for them. Luthor offers to protect her mother and do Eve’s dirty work, if she will be his eyes and ears in the organization. After he kills her target, Eve agrees. Lex places ex-Mossad agents outside Teschmacher’s home and arranges for Eve to be part of the Obsidian Platinum project.

This is only the beginning of Lex’s latest master plan. Eve informs him of the glitch in Platinum, which it turns out is his doing. He tells her that she must make sure that it is not fixed. With the glitch in place, Leviathan will come to Lex to cover it up so that people will continue to use the product. Ultimately, once they trust him, he hopes to gain access to their ship. Once there, he will use the reengineered Toyman code to make Leviathan mortal thus easier to kill.

Lex then puts the next part of the plan into motion. He finds and puts pressure on Richard Bates, the man who built the VR torture chamber to torment his wife’s online lover.
Now, forty-three post-Crisis, Lex uses Eve’s infatuation with him to get her to help Amy Sapphire attack Obsidian HQ using special gauntlets he made. Lex also shows her that using Q waves, he can make a mouse disappear. Eve then brings him to the warehouse where Margot is keeping the comatose VR users. As a token of appreciation, Lex gives Eve a vial of poison to use on the man who murdered her father: a Leviathan hitman who is currently posted in the Peruvian Andes. However, Lex gives her a file on Jeremiah Danvers!!

While she goes off to carry out her revenge, Lex sets out on his Obsidian world tour. Meanwhile, we see flashes of the Danvers sisters learning of Jeremiah’s death, Alex’s adventures in VR, and William’s discovery of the ID bracelet.

Lex’s plan hits a snag however when Lena visits Kara expressing her condolences. She also apologizes and offers a book to help with the grief. Lex watches angrily from afar. Lex vents to Lillian while they play chess (two days ago). Frustrated, he hatches another plan. He feeds William the information concerning the medical ID bracelet. Dey brings this to Alex, Kelly, and Kara. Alex and Kelly immediately recognize the name and start putting the pieces together concerning the missing VR users. Meanwhile, Eve records this from afar and gives it to Lex, who then shows it to Gemma (guest star Cara Buono). Gemma reveals that her plan is to gather humanity into VR then kill them all with one flick of her wrist. Lex, however, warns her that Kara will soon expose this and put an end to it all. He asks to fuel public fear as it will distract from the real plan

He lies to Brainy about his involvement with the missing VR users and suggests that Team Supergirl use Myriad to track the Q Waves in the users VR lenses. Kara journeys to the Fortress Of Solitude to use Myriad, which gains the attention of a hurt and angry Lena. She shows up at the Fortress and confronts Kara calling her two-faced. Unbeknownst to her, Lex sent a Leviathan agent a cloaked Morae along with her to cause a disturbance at the Fortress. After Lena leaves, Kara detects the creature, but their struggle accidentally unleashes the Sun Eater from its cage. As a result of the danger, Obsidian sends out a prompt to all users instructing them to go inside VR to get away from the danger.

While the Sun Eater rampages, M’gann (guest star Sharon Leal) suddenly arrives to aid Team Supergirl. The duo along with Kara in a lexosuit stop the creature and thus save the sun.
With the day saved, we return to the events at the top of the episode. Lex maintains his hero status and has everything nicely tied up. However, Gemma is not pleased with Margot’s death. She briefly assumes her true computer tech based form and attacks him with lightning. Lex convinces her that he protected them by pinning the VR stuff on Margot and Amy Sapphire. He also commits to her VR plan, but they must first eliminate Supergirl. This does not worry Gemma as she claims she will not fail.

With all this in place, Lex returns home where he is greeted by an overly excited Eve. He greets her love with callousness as he nonchalantly breaks her heart. He claims that love is a weakness that he can not allow. He casually reveals that the supposed Mossad agents are awaiting the order to kill Eve’s mother if she fails to stay in line. In addition, he also reveals that he never found the man who killed her father and that the man she killed was in fact Supergirl’s father. He further threatens that if she breaks rank, he will send footage of her killing Jeremiah to Supergirl herself. A distraught Eve angrily declares that Lex is worse than Leviathan. He smuggly replies: “Not worse, better.”

With everything in place to wipe out all of his enemies, he travels to the Fortress of Solitude and gleefully looks around.

“Deus Lex Machina” was yet another strong episode of Supergirl. Melissa Benoist does an incredible job directing this Lex-centric episode. It is truly fascinating to watch Lex outwit those around him. Jon Cryer’s stellar portrayal has also made him one of the best Arrowverse villains in my opinion. I once again enjoy the use of the flashback storytelling device as a way to show the events of the season tying together. I also was surprised to see Sharon Leal’s M’gann M’orzz again. While I loved seeing her in action again, I wish she would’ve had more to do in the episode. Hopefully, she will stick around and help the team further. With only two or three more episodes, it will be interesting to see if or how things will wrap up this season.
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