In the Supergirl episode Luthors (S02E12), it is revealed that Lena is a Luthor by blood.

Lillian brings Lena to Lex's vault which requires Luthor DNA to unlock.

Lena discerns that Lillian needs her to open the vault, and Lillian acknowledges the truth.

Lena: You did it because I'm the only one who can open this vault for you.
Lillian: While it's true I need your DNA, one doesn't negate the other.

If Lex's vault is DNA coded to all Luthors, why can't she open it herself?

  • 1
    because the writers don't get genetics?
    – KutuluMike
    Feb 15, 2017 at 22:13
  • Because writers do get genetics. The episode revealed that Lena was Lionel's daughter, and so was Lex's half-sister. It's easy enough to assume that the vault checked for a specific DNA sequence that Lex inherited from Lionel, and which Lena also inherited. Lillian wouldn't have the same sequence. When you marry someone you might pick up their name: you don't get their genes along with it. Feb 20, 2017 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


The fact that she did require Lena speaks for itself to a degree: Clearly, for whatever reason, Lex made it so the genetic markers the lock scans for are ones that are passed to people BORN into the Luthor family line, rather than anyone who happens to be a Luthor through marriage, like their mother. Probably not through one single gene (which might not get passed on to both children), but through a comparison of several, like anyone who matches 25% or better of Lionel Luthor (which would allow even a hypothetical child of Lex and also siblings), or key signatures (like perhaps ones Lex identified as coding for his intelligence, which might well have also gone into Lena).

It may also be that Lillian was speaking somewhat loosely or was distancing herself from the implications, that Lex specifically coded it for himself or Lena only, and that a distant cousin would not be able to access it, even if through the Luthor family line.

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