Dean Buscher/The CW
Natalie Abrams
October 23, 2017 AT 10:00 AM EDT

Supergirl will dive much more into Maggie’s history during Monday’s episode, which is shaping up to be a very emotional hour that features the introduction of Maggie’s father.

When Eliza Danvers (Helen Slater) throws a wedding shower for brides-to-be Alex (Chyler Leigh) and Maggie (Floriana Lima), the latter reaches out to her estranged father, who viewers know kicked a young Maggie out of the house when she was outed on Valentine’s Day. Suffice it to say, Oscar’s arrival will affect Maggie as old feelings of hurt and betrayal are brought to the surface.

“It’s very difficult for Maggie,” Lima tells EW. “This is a [part] Maggie’s story line that… is so complicated, deep, and painful, and something that so many people can relate to. After he kicked her out, she built herself up, she was very brave and she evolved into this very proud, strong, gay woman. She’s at this point where she’s very terrified that seeing him again, she’ll feel his rejection again. She isn’t sure that she can hold onto her strong self when they reunite.”

Though the story line proved emotionally exhausting, the actress praises Bernard for what he brought to the role in Monday’s upcoming hour. “First of all, I love Carlos,” Lima says. “I was ecstatic when they told me they cast him. Working with Carlos, I was so lucky. He’s such a committed guy and actor. You’re going to see that he’s really great in this role. He gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. It was very fun to play as an actor.”

“What I really liked about it is we show that Maggie’s dad comes from a different culture, and it’s very hard for him to accept his daughter’s homosexuality,” Lima continues. “We show a little bit of that and your heart goes out to him, because he’s transcending prejudices of his own culture and it’s hard to get past that. What we see is it’s hard for a culture to change and grow. We’re almost even experiencing this in America right now, so we need to focus on compassion and reason.”

Oscar’s arrival will also make Maggie confront some of the unspoken issues between Maggie and Alex. The first domino to fall in that regard was a brief, albeit vital, mention in this past episode that Maggie does not want to have kids. “Without giving anything away, we can see it is a catalyst to what has been a slow, inevitable discovery that two very similar people want different things,” Lima says. “I would say you’re picking up on the right thing, that is something that we’ll explore more.”

Reiterating that Monday’s hour is very emotional for various reasons, Lima continues, “For the Sanvers reason, we arrive at this really emotional impasse. These are two women who are in such a loving and respectful relationship and they happen to be engaged to be married, but they realize that they might want different things. What I like about this is that this is something that happens in so many relationships and it’s super heartbreaking and not great to go through, but when it’s handled with care and compassion, it can be for the best. Supergirl really shows that in the next coming episodes.”

As revealed shortly after the season 2 finale, Lima is only set to return for a handful of episodes in season 3, with producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti both previously citing the actress’ want to pursue other projects. “In the beginning, Maggie wasn’t really supposed to be a big, huge part of the show,” Lima says. “It was supposed to be season 2, but then because of the amazing fans of Sanvers caught on and really loved the story line, we went on to do multiple episodes to continue the story as much as we could. We went back and forth on how long it would take to wrap up the story, and what would they need from me. I said, ‘Absolutely, this is what I would do for the story line.'”

However, the Supergirl bosses are leaving the door open for her to return in the future — something Lima says she’s interested in doing. “Yes, definitely,” Lima says. “I love this story, I love the cast and the show. Chyler and I have a really strong bond. I’m so glad that she was the person in the role, because her and I connected really well, we understood what we wanted to accomplish as people for the role, and we felt very responsible for this story, so I love that Chyler was just as game as I was in trying to make this a meaningful, progressive and hopefully in the smallest way possible — or the grandest way possible — somewhat change the world a little bit.”

Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

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