Let’s step through history with Lena and Andrea, shall we?
We open with an introducer who moves through the shadows to break into the DEO in search of Russell. Supergirl’s super-breath holds her off, and surprise! It’s Andrea in a mask and catsuit!
Accompanied by a suitably dramatic burst of thunder and lightning, she appears at Lena’s door to ask for help breaking into the DEO and getting past Supergirl. But she doesn’t want to kill their prisoner; she wants to save him. “He’s important to me.” Lena, cold as ice, informs Andrea that they’re no longer friends, but Andrea says wistfully, “We used to be.”
With that, we step back fifteen years to Andrea befriending Lena when she was the new girl at their boarding school. She teaches the wide-eyed Luthor that a little confidence will get them served alcohol at a bar when they’re clearly underage, and they bond over their love of the movie Titanic and the intrepid Rose Dawson, who embodies their shared lust for adventure. Lena’s dream is to find the Medallion of Acrata, which is said to let the owner bend shadow to her will. Her mother was obsessed with the legend before her death, and Lena mourns never having had the opportunity to search for it with her.
Now it’s five years ago, and Lena and Andrea meet to commiserate about their family woes. For Lena, it’s Lex firing her for refusing to help him kill Superman. For Andrea, it’s her family’s company about to be crushed by a tech rival and her father’s increasing thoughts of self-harm.
Since they’re both at loose ends, Lena proposes a trip to Costa Rica. She’s in search of an ancient alien element that may have crash-landed in a spot that, from satellite imagery, looks a lot like the Medallion of Acrata. Spooky coincidence, right? She wants to keep Lex from finding the element himself as it would allow him to vaporize Kryptonite, thereby killing Superman and harming all of humanity.
Off to the jungle Lena and Andrea go in their safari-chic khakis and button downs-over-tank tops. When Andrea accidentally crashes through a hole in the earth and lands in a cave, she finds a carving with the medallion resting in the center. An old man appears and gives her an offer: She takes the medallion and, in exchange for her promise of future service, she and her family will prosper. Freaked out by how much this possible hallucination knows about her, she agrees, if only to keep her suicidal father safe. She shoves the medallion into her pocket just as Lena climbs down into the cave. Lena’s crushed to find the medallion missing, and Andrea works overtime to convince Lena to discontinue her search for it.
Back home, Andrea learns that their competitor’s tech malfunctioned, causing Obsidian’s stock to soar and her father to regain his good spirits.
Now, four years ago, Lena’s boyfriend Jack (welcome back to the show, Rahul Kohli!) tries to cheer her up following Lex’s arrest by taking her to a function in London. There, she bumps into Andrea, who’s wearing the medallion as a necklace. Awkward! Lena’s enraged that the woman she trusted more than anyone in the world would betray her, and she tells Andrea that they’re through. Geez, poor Lena’s always getting betrayed by women who mean more to her than anyone else in the world.
Two months after that, Lena coolly breaks up with Jack to move to National City, where she hopes to rebrand herself as the Luthor working alongside a Kryptonian. At first, she’s super (ha!) resistant to Kara’s overtures of friendship, even tossing the gesture back into Kara’s face when she tells Lena that she kept embarrassing hacked L Corp emails from ending up as a CatCo story. “I didn’t come here to make friends,” Lena sniffs, turning down the game night invitation and proving that she’d crush it as a Survivor contestant.
But when the women bump into each other at a restaurant, Kara’s kind understanding of how hard it is to be the new girl in town softens Lena, and she invites Kara to sit with her and order every appetizer on the menu. Honestly, friendship goals.
Meanwhile, we see Andrea and Russell’s meet-cute: She blew off the meeting they were supposed to have, which is fine because he was going to turn down Obsidian’s job offer anyway. Instead, he asks her to dinner, and they’re still going strong six months later when Leviathan lady shows and calls in Andrea’s marker. Andrea’s horrified to learn that her orders are to kill someone. Leviathan lady (who really needs a name at this point) says if she doesn’t, Obsidian will fold and her father will end his life.
With extreme reluctance, Andrea follows the woman’s orders to tap the medallion three times, at which point the shadows outfit her in her sweet supervillain costume. In her new guise as Acrata, she slips into the office of Governor Harper, breaking his neck and vanishing.
Afterward, we see Russell have the “why so many secrets?” conversation with Andrea that William told Kara about, and then we learn what really happened to him. He found the medallion with blood on it (which is weird because that looked like a clean neck-break), and Leviathan arrives to kill him over Andrea’s carelessness with her secret. She cries and bargains for his life, insisting Leviathan can use his biotech to their advantage, which is how he got turned into the Doc Ock-ish baddie we saw last week. Please note: that surgery sounded terrible, and there was no way they used enough anesthesia on poor Russell.
Twelve weeks ago, we see Lex tell Lena about Kara’s secret, and two weeks after that, Lena watches news stories about Lex, Supergirl, and Andrea in short order. “I never needed them,” she announces to herself. “But that doesn’t mean they can’t be useful.” And her plans start to form. Eight weeks ago, Lena offers Andrea CatCo as an Obsidian advertising platform. UGH FOREVER TO THAT. They celebrate with a drink.
And then we’re back to today, where they have a philosophical debate about who needed the medallion more: Andrea to protect her suicidal father, or Lena to stop her homicidal maniac brother. As Lex went on to kill scores and scores of people, Lena clearly wins, but you can also see why Andrea made the decisions she did. Andrea shows off her shadow abilities, informing Lena that it’s a curse that cost her both the love of her life and her best friend. In the end, they agree to work together to rescue Russel. “You jump, I jump, right?” Lena asks.
Our favorite Luthor has a plan, of course. She summons Supergirl with her watch and claims to have been attacked by the shadow villain, secretly jamming all incoming signals from the DEO. Andrea takes Lena’s newest tech and incepts everyone at the DEO with the thought, “Do no harm.” From there, she moves unhindered to whisk Russell to safety. Alas, J’onn feels the psychic attack and believes it to be Malefic. He alerts Alex, who puts on her psychic inhibitors, although she can’t get through to Supergirl.
As an incepted Brainy slows Alex down, J’onn arrives to help. Acrata’s able to unleash the spider tattoo aliens on a few DEO agents to help her, and in desperation, Alex shouts for Supergirl, who manages to hear it across town. She arrives, but too late to stop Acrata from freeing Russell, leaving Kara to break the bad news to William.
Back at her lab, Lena incepts Russell to cut his own throat if Andrea doesn’t give her the medallion. Ice cold, baby. Andrea hands it over, and Lena’s unmoved when she says that everything she did was for love. After all, Andrea chose love for her father over love for Lena.
After all of that, Andrea’s attempt to hustle Rip Roar out of town fails when the man from the cave arrives and shoots Russel in the chest. Awww, RIP, Russell! You seemed like a good dude who fell in love with the wrong person. When Andrea tells the man that she doesn’t have the medallion anymore, he explains that the powers were inside of her all the time.
Finally, following a bittersweet VR session with her mother and herself as a child, Lena asks Hope-Eve to translate the medallion’s etchings. They spell out “Leviathan,” at which point she requests access to all of Eve Teschmachers’s memories of Leviathan.
Snaps of the cape
On the one hand, “Confidence Women” does a great deal to humanize Andrea and deepen her complex relationship with Lena. On the other hand, I cannot and will not forgive her crimes against journalism.
Any other iZombie fans out there soothed by experiencing the dulcet tones and majestic beard of Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti once more?
If you, like me, are still working on putting together what Leviathan’s end game is with all these assassinations, please note that the murdered governor was a leading climate change denier, according to the news after his death.
I choose to count Andrea responding with “we used to be” to Lena’s “we’re not friends” as a cute little shout-out to Julie Gonzalo’s stint in season 3 of Veronica Mars, which features those lyrics in its still-kicking theme song.
Until next week, super friends, get out there and live your lives the way Rose Dawson would.