By Natalie Abrams
December 14, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST
Monty Brinton/CBS
  • TV Show

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of Supergirl. Read at your own risk!

Looks like the Cat is out of the bag on Supergirl.

During Monday’s fall finale, Kara (Melissa Benoist) faced off against her evil Aunt Astra (Laura Benanti). In the process, she discovered that her own mother, Alura, used her years ago in order to entrap Astra, who was basically trying to save Krypton in all the wrong ways. This time around, Kara is able to catch Astra on her own, though now she must face the wrath of Non (Chris Vance) — the outcome of which we won’t know until the show returns in January.

Kara also tangled with Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), whose hacked emails revealed the identity of her secret second child: Adam Foster (Blake Jenner). Kara, Winn, and James (Mehcad Brooks) were able to keep that news under wraps, but not Kara’s identity: Cat finally pieced together that her assistant is the Girl of Steel just in time for the show’s cliff-hanger. What’s in store for the show’s return?​ EW got executive producer Andrew Kreisberg to tease what’s next:​

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Will we get an immediate pickup in the midseason return to Non and Kara’s battle?

ANDREW KREISBERG: The episode ends with one of my favorite lines I’ve written, which is Non saying, “To think you’re the last woman to survive the House of El,” and Kara says, “You’re going to wish I died with the rest of them.” Them flying at each other is the cliff-hanger. When we come back, we have one of our coolest fights that we’ve done to kick off the episode. Then, both in this episode and the next episode, we have flashbacks to Krypton. In episode 9, the flashbacks to Krypton are Astra and Non’s trial, which is kind of fun to see, especially seeing Laura Benanti act against herself.

What kind of danger is Kara in now that Astra is in custody?

That’s what happens in the following episode. Now that the DEO has her, what are they going to do with her? And what is Non going to do in retaliation? When we come back, the declaration of war between the DEO and Astra and Non’s forces is in full effect. Also, at the end of episode 8, Cat figures out that Kara is Supergirl, so they’re dealing with both the comedy of the emotion and the drama of that story in episode 9.

Astra really wanted to save Krypton, but was going about it the wrong way. Is there even a part of Kara that might see where Astra’s coming from in wanting to save the world?

Yeah, I think there’s a little bit of doubt in episode 8, when Astra brings to light something that Kara had never really thought about, which is that Alura used Kara to catch Astra. Having used her like that, and used her daughter to trick her, begins to make Kara start to doubt whether her mother was on the side of the angels, and is there any validity to what Astra has to say?

How much is Astra genuinely wanting to save the world and how much is this Non influencing her?

It’s actually the other way around. If Non had his way, he would be launching war. It’s Astra who says that there’s a better way to save a planet and save a people from themselves. That’s what they’re dealing with.

Do you think there was always a part of Cat that knew Kara was Supergirl?

No, but what’s interesting is Cat does have a little bit of a Keyser Söze moment in episode 8, where Kara does something a little bit beyond the ability of a human being, and then it makes Cat start to think about, “Well, in episode 5, Livewire attacked us, I sent you for help, and then Supergirl showed up. You’re never sick. You were the one who was so upset about me calling Supergirl.” She’s starting to piece it all together. That’s how it comes out. How the two of them deal with it in episode 9 is both hilarious and heartbreaking and emotional. It’s very cool.

What can you tease about Cat’s son?

We didn’t introduce the idea of Cat’s other son without a plan to introduce him. We’ll be meeting him in the very near future.

James encouraged Winn to tell Kara how he feels. Will he actually consider doing that when the show returns?

Yeah. You’re going to get more of Winn and Kara in episode 10, which features the Toyman (Henry Czerny). There’s some stuff that comes up in that episode that’s going to change their dynamic forever.

What will Winn be dealing with when his father, the Toyman, pops up?

We’ve never really had this in any of our shows. I guess a little bit now, retroactively, with Thea on Arrow, but Winn’s father is evil. Winn’s dad is a supervillain. Somebody who is dealing with that shame, humiliation, regret, and emotion — Winn’s been presented as a pretty happy-go-lucky, nice and sweet guy, but he came from a very dark place. It’s Jeremy’s best episode. He does such amazing work in it. It’s always interesting when we find points of synchronicity in the characters. Winn says in that episode to Kara, “It’s easy to talk about this with you, because you also have a homicidal maniac in your family.”

Did James encourage Winn to open up about his feelings as a way to put some distance between himself and Kara?

Yeah. I think James and Kara do everything they do to try and fight what’s happening between them. Obviously, there are a couple of people, like Lucy [Jenna Dewan Tatum] and Winn, who are caught in the middle. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of that stuff comes to a boil when we come back.

Turning to Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli), where do his allegiances really lie?

For us, the best villains are the ones who aren’t mustache-twirling, “I want to kill everybody.” Max really believes he’s out to protect the human race. He says in an upcoming episode, “When Gods walk the Earth, it’s mortals that get the short end of the stick.” He doesn’t see the difference between Supergirl and the rest of them, just in the same way that General Lane doesn’t. If you ask Supergirl, Astra, Max — they’re all saying the same thing, which is, “I want to protect the Earth,” they’re just all going about it in very different ways. Max has done what we can all consider to be despicable things. He would say it’s all in service of the greater good. For him, moving forward, the machinations that he sets in motion and where his character goes, we’ve presented Astra and Non as pretty bad big bads, so is Max going to heed his better angels or is he going to slip fully into the dark? It’s what makes him a very interesting character.

Now that Kara has discovered her mother’s role in what happened to Krypton, how is she dealing with that emotionally moving forward?

She’s really lost. As always with these shows, no matter how fantastical they get, we try to have fun, real-world analog. For all of us, especially once we’re out of college and we’re in our twenties and growing up, you start to realize that your parents weren’t perfect. As you start to live your life, you realize that your parents didn’t always have the answers. It’s a further step in Kara’s own journey as a hero and everyone’s maturation as we become adults and become our parents.

What can you tease of Kara’s reaction to finding out that Hank (David Harewood) is J’onn J’onzz?

Metaphorically speaking, Kara was in the closet when the pilot began. She’s come out as Supergirl. Conversely, J’onn is still in the closet. He says later on to Alex, when Alex encourages him to be who he is, “Your sister and I are both aliens, but she looks like a cheerleader, and I look like a monster.” It’s sad and heartbreaking, but part of the journey of this season of J’onn is learning to embrace who he is just as much as Kara has. Ironically, although he’s obviously older and a father figure, and is able to be a teacher and guide to Kara, as far as being a superhero is concerned, it’s Kara who is able to teach him that even if you’re from Mars, that doesn’t mean you can’t be human. That’s their emotional journey for the season.

Does Alex trust J’onn at this point?

She starts to trust him pretty fast. It becomes clear that they’re partners in all this. Even though she’s keeping the secret, it’s going to come out. You’re going to see some of the amazing sacrifices that J’onn is willing to make for Kara and Alex, and what they’re willing to do in return.

Is there a chance that we could actually see the real Hank Henshaw again?

There’s a chance you could see anything.

What are some of the themes that you’re going to be exploring in the back half of the season?

The biggest theme is what we’ve been doing since the beginning: Astra believes that fear is the only thing that can control people, and Kara believes that hope is the only thing that can save people — winning hearts and minds, which is the amazing thing that Kara can do, is ultimately going to save the day. It’s happening both in her personal life and also in the world. As she’s slowly changing Cat, and possibly changing Max, changing J’onn, changing Winn and making all the people around her better and stronger, and working together, that’s really the theme. She’s the most public superhero we’ve ever done, in the sense that it’s the superhero with the biggest public image. It’s been interesting to play with that and show just what that “S” means to the people of National City. It means so much to everyone in our world. It is one of the most recognizable symbols. The idea that it represents unity, hope, and faith not just for Kara and her friends, but for everyone, that’s really the ultimate weapon against whatever bad guy comes down the pipe.

Supergirl returns Monday, Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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