SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Stranger Beside Me," the latest episode of Supergirl.
Lena Luthor has some grand plans for humanity. In "Stranger Beside Me," the latest episode of Supergirl, she unveiled her goal: to make humans better. She hopes to achieve this through "reprogramming" people to rid them of their desire to hurt each other, and she has already started testing her hypothesis on an unwitting guinea pig: Eve Teschmacher.
At the start of the episode, Lena had an epiphany, which she shared with her new artificial intelligence Hope. "Hope, could you hurt someone?" she asked.
"I am incapable of causing pain. It is against my prime directive," Hope replied.
"Exactly! Because you were built in the very image of perfection. You have no selfish inclinations. Your base code is morality, empathy and logic," Lena said. "Humans and aliens, however, are flawed and they are driven by their emotions. They lie, cheat and hurt each other to protect themselves, but it's not their fault. It's just how they're programmed. I'm going to make them better with Project Non Nocere."
"Do no harm," Hope supplied as a translation.
"I'm going to rid humanity of its instincts to hurt each other," Lena reaffirmed.
"But you cannot reprogram organic creatures," Hope pointed out.
"The VR lenses create a link between what we want and what we see, constructing a blank slate in the brain on which a new world can be projected. If I can find the source of that link, I can redirect the blank slate to have one single rule," Lena explained.
"Non nocere. Do no harm," Hope filled in.
Later, Lena tested this project out with Eve, who betrayed her for Lex last season. She kidnapped Eve in the Season 5 premiere, then worked with her throughout this latest episode to earn her loyalty. By the end of the episode, Lena released Eve, for a nefarious purpose.
"I must admit I had my doubts, but now I know that there are aspects of your brain that I need. And now that I know that I can trust you, I trust you and I are going to do great things together," Lena said. "Eve, meet Hope. You two are going to be working closely together."
"How so?" Eve asked.
"Well, first, Eve, we need to evolve you," Lena explained. "You, yourself, said you wanted to be better. I promise you, you will not feel a thing."
"You've been mapping my mind," Eve realized with horror.
"I needed to locate and highlight the centers of your brain that trigger honesty and loyalty, so Hope knows where to go," Lena revealed. At that, Hope's nanites swarmed Eve, penetrating her brain. This transformed Eve into a flesh-and-blood version of Hope; the woman now appears to be a mere vessel for the AI.
In the episode's stinger, Hope approached Lena, wearing an all-white, loose-fitting outfit. "Hope?" Lena inquired, to which Hope responded with her usual greeting: "Good morning, Ms. Luthor."
"Since Andrea Rojas took my lenses, we need a new plan," Lena told Hope. "Luckily, she confirmed my hypothesis about the interworking of her technology."
"This pleases you," Hope observed.
"We don't need Andrea's tech. With your help, I can build my own, and together we can rebuild humanity," Lena concluded. At that, Hope offered a warm smile and nodded her affirmation.
Of course, Lena has good intentions with her latest project. She felt betrayed by both Eve and Kara, and so wants to erase the action behind that hurt to prevent others from feeling that way. However, her methods are downright evil. She transformed Eve without explicit consent, and it seems she plans to do the same to the rest of humanity. As such, this could start Lena down a villainous path, even though her intentions are pure.
Worse, since Lena is working with AI, this project could spin out of her control. If Hope were to somehow learn from humanity, it could turn on Lena or change her directives. Since technology is the main threat in Season 5, there's a chance Hope could even become the big bad.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers, David Harewood as Martian Manhunter, Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen and Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers.