In the very first Supergirl scene featuring Jon Cryer's Lex Luthor, the villain dropped what is pretty unmistakably a reference to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With Lena tied to a chair and at his mercy (during a flashback sequence), Lex explains his plan to kill Superman. "When he dies, they will finally see him for what he was, a false god," Lex adds. Fans of the Zack Snyder-directed superhero mashup will remember that "False god" was spray-painted on a statue of Superman, erected after he saved Metropolis from General Zod's invasion in Man of Steel. In case there was any doubt that the reference was intentional, Lex said moments later, "I want to see if the Kryptonian pretender can bleed."
That, of course, is a reference to one of the most notorious scenes in Batman v Superman, in which Batman asks Superman, "do you bleed?" during one of the two's earliest interactions. In the context of the film, the graffiti was placed on the statue by an angry, anti-alien activist...something that certainly has popped up in this season of Supergirl. While Lex did not place the writing on the statue, he was tied to nearly every anti-Superman piece of "activism" in the film, often pulling strings in such a way that people did not even realize they were being used.
What's ironic is that Cryer himself has a history with Superman on the big screen -- but not in the Zack Snyder movies. Instead, Cryer played Lenny Luthor in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.
"I had a certain amount of familiarity," Cryer joked with reporters this week. "I was very excited about working with Katie McGrath, and I loved the whole story that they've set up for this season. I felt like Lenny was a branch on the family tree that fell off pretty early and was rotting on the ground for a long while. So I feel like this was my chance to sort of reclaim it and do it a little more justice — or injustice, as it were."
Supergirl airs on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, before episodes of Charmed on The CW.