Supergirl boss teases struggle for humanity in season 3
Kara has pushed hers away, but she's not the only one questioning what it means to be human
Kara Danvers no more! In the wake of being forced to effectively banish her boyfriend from Earth in the Supergirl finale, the Girl of Steel (Melissa Benoist) has pushed aside her humanity and dedicated herself to being Supergirl.
The theme of what it means to be human will resonate with everyone, particularly with J’onn (David Harewood) in discovering he’s not the last Green Martian — we’ll meet his father, M’yrnn (Carl Lumbly), this season; with Alex (Chyler Leigh) in finding what she needs to have a full life in her relationship with Maggie (Floriana Lima); and with new villain Reign (Odette Annable), who’s initially clueless as to her origin as a bio-engineered creation of Krypton.
“We’ve never really seen the big bad become the big bad,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says. “The journey that Reign takes this season is watching her realize her heritage and see how it manifests.” Considering she’s a Worldkiller, she probably won’t take it well! Read our full interview with Kreisberg below.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you talk about how Kara has really pushed aside her humanity this season?
ANDREW KREISBERG: The thing that everybody is struggling with on Supergirl this season is, what does it mean to be human? And it’s something that Kara is going through, it’s something that J’onn is going through, it’s something that Alex is going through, and it’s also something that Reign is going through, so it’s a really strong emotional through-line that’s affecting both our heroes and our villain. When we pick Kara up, she’s feeling like being Kara Danvers was a mistake, that pretending that she was human, and having human goals, and trying to have a boyfriend, that those are all human things and all it’s done is break her heart. So the one thing that she’s great at is being Supergirl. She just saved the world in the finale last year, and when we pick her up in the premiere, she is kicking ass and taking names. It’s a little bit of a metaphor for any one of us — when our personal lives are going to hell, we throw ourselves into work. But that’s not the Kara that Alex knows, that Lena knows, that James knows, that J’onn knows. The first episode is a little bit of Kara finding her way back to Kara Danvers, not just Kara Zor-El.
What can you tease of the Mon-El story line? And will that tie in at all to the four-way crossover?
I can tease nothing about the Mon-El story line, because how-when-why Mon-El comes back is one of the big mysteries of the season, so I don’t want to give too much away, other than to say that he will be back.
Can you say anything about his particular mindset when we see him again?
I really can’t.
Let’s move on to Reign. What can you tell us about her trajectory this season?
I’m not only competing with myself on Supergirl, but I’m competing with myself on all the other shows that I’ve done, and by that, I mean I don’t want to repeat what I’ve done on Supergirl, nor do I want to repeat what I’ve done on Arrow and Flash, so when we were figuring out Reign, one thing we’ve never really seen on any of these shows is we’ve never seen the big bad become the big bad. Usually on these shows, you either meet the big bad at the end of episode 1 or you meet them at episode 7 or 9, and you realize that they’ve been pulling the strings the whole time and were out there working with their multi-year plan to take down the heroes or destroy the city. When we meet Reign, she’s just a woman. Her name is Samantha Arias and she’s a single mom, and she has no idea that she is Reign. She has no idea that she was the baby in the pod at the end of last season, so the journey that she takes this season is watching her realize her heritage and see how it manifests.
What can you tell us about the Maggie and Alex story line for this season? What’s your goal in expanding or pushing forward this relationship?
Yeah, with Sanvers.
Well, unfortunately, Floriana decided to move on, which left us with, how do we write her out as a regular while still honoring these two women who were deeply in love with each other? Taking a page out of some of our own personal dating history, we’ve come up with a story that we really feel like honors what’s come before them, and honors how much they love each other, and how much they mean to each other, and how much they’ve changed each other’s lives. It’s some of the most emotional stuff we’ve ever done, and Floriana has been so good in these first five episodes. Episode 3 is all about Maggie and her dad, played by Carlos Bernard, and it’s some of the most heartbreaking stuff I’ve ever done on anything I’ve ever done. Maggie does not die. I’m sure a lot of people are afraid of that. Maggie will continue to exist in the world and if the opportunity presents itself for her, she’ll come back.
What does Morgan Edge bring to the table that’s different from Maxwell Lord?
Adrian Pasdar is so good. He is so good. We loved Peter [Facinelli] and he’s such a good guy. With Peter, what we were going for was, you’re not quite sure if he’s good and you’re not quite sure if he’s bad. Morgan Edge is just bad, and Adrian is crushing it. Based on episode 1, we’re actually having him for more episodes because we’re so in love with him and his performance. A lot of his scenes are with Katie McGrath and just watching the two of them go toe to toe as titans of industry is really exciting.
How will Lena come more into the fold of the core Supergirl team this season as, presumably, we inch toward her finding out the truth?
Well, again, I don’t want to give too much of this away, because some of this is the surprise, but Lena and Kara’s friendship will continue to grow. There’s a lot of Lena-Kara adventures early on in this season. The most interesting thing about Lena is that she is so good, and so moral, and believes in second chances, but she comes from this family of truly evil people. As people are going to realize over the course of this season, it doesn’t take much to make you bad. That’s what’s always interesting about Lena and any scenes she’s in, or any of the adventures that she and Kara go on: People don’t just turn evil; they do one small bad thing and then that leads to another, and then to another, and so any time you’re watching Lena, you’re always wondering, is this the moment when she does the one small thing?
Anything you can tease on the four-way crossover? Will we get to see more of the Supergirl characters involved?
Yeah, well, it is a true four-way crossover. One of the things that we worked out is a four-hour story, and Kara and Alex are at the center of it through all four hours. One of the things we’ve been doing a lot this season is getting back a little bit to season 1 and really making it Danvers sisters-centric, so a lot of what’s going on this season is Kara and Alex doing things in tandem, and the crossover won’t be any different.
You mentioned each of the characters dealing with their humanity this season. Can you expand on that for J’onn?
Carl Lumbly will be joining as J’onn’s father. First of all, he’s so amazing. J’onn has always felt like an alien. He spent 300 years on Earth and he’s always felt different, and other, and felt people were afraid of him, and has always had to hide who he really was. The irony is he becomes reconnected with his father and his father thinks, “Oh my God, you’ve gone so Earth-man.” So for J’onn, it’s this realization that he’s not quite the alien that he thought he was, and what that means to him, and if we’re reconnecting with his Martian heritage, how important is that to him?
What about for Alex?
For Alex, it’s tied part and parcel with her story with Maggie about what she’s looking for in life, and what she needs, and what she needs to have a full life.
For James or Winn?
For James and Winn, the overall theme isn’t as much going on with them. The four people really dealing with that theme are Kara, Alex, J’onn, and Sam.
Is there anything you can say for James and Winn though for this season?
I am as proud of Supergirl season 1 as anything I have ever done. What we were able to achieve, and the fun, and the scope and spectacle, I am blown away by, but there were some things that we felt got lost along the way. One of the things we really wanted to do was to get back a little bit to the Super Friends — the James, Winn, Kara investigative trifecta. There’s a lot more of Kara, James, and Winn teaming up as Kara, James, and Winn. James delivers a monologue about how he met Superman in episode 4 that’s one of the favorite things I’ve ever read on this show.
Supergirl returns Monday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.