Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Monday’s episode of Supergirl. Read at your own risk!
After making it through nearly an entire season being unaware of her double life, Sam finally discovered the heartbreaking truth that she’s the ruthless Worldkiller otherwise known as Reign during Monday’s episode of Supergirl.
When Sam (Odette Annable) didn’t believe that she could possibly be the bio-engineered weapon that’s been terrorizing National City, Lena (Katie McGrath) was forced to push Sam to the emotional brink in order to bring out Reign, later providing video evidence to her horrified friend.
“For Sam, it’s really the fight to want to hold onto herself and to figure this out so she can be a mother to her daughter,” executive producer Robert Rovner says. “It’s that struggle that she’s facing.”
But Sam learning the truth is only the first step in solving her problem as Lena attempts to separate Sam from Reign in the coming episodes. “A lot of the rest of the season deals with the Worldkillers and Reign,” Rovner says. “What we saw in one of the previous episodes is, how do you save the world when saving the world means [hurting] your friend, because Sam and Reign are inextricably linked, so they’re working hard to keep everybody safe and find a solution to that, which will take them in very exciting different directions.”
As we saw during Monday’s episode, Lena is keeping Sam’s secret for now, even from James (Mehcad Brooks). “What we’re exploring is trust as opposed to secrets,” Rovner says. “With the James and Lena relationship, it’s really about the growing trust and respect for one another, and getting them to a closer place. She’s keeping secrets from a lot of people, and if I’m going to tease anything, those secrets from the other people she’s keeping will become a bigger issue.”
For instance, those secrets include how Lena is keeping this from Kara — oh, and also Supergirl, since she thinks they’re two different people. “One of the things we really wanted to explore is that dichotomy,” Rovner says. “Lena has a different relationship with Kara than she has with Supergirl, so the secrets will impact those relationships differently. It’s something that Kara will struggle with.”
But containing Reign will be no easy feat, as Lena may come to learn the hard way. “It becomes an issue between them that they do struggle with,” Rovner says. “What I think is remarkable about the characters is that even when there is conflict between them, it’s their ability to work through that. They’re always supporting one another even when they’re in conflict. They’ll go through a complex journey together.”
Sam’s reveal paralleled the hour’s other emotional story, as J’onn’s (David Harewood) ailing father M’yrnn (Carl Lumbly) inadvertently caused an aggressive breakout at the DEO while trying to shift his memories to healthier parts of her dementia-addled brain. “This episode was about denial and acceptance and facing something you don’t want to face about yourself,” Rovner points out. “You see it manifested in similar ways in the anger that came out in M’rynn that he was suppressing.”
Rovner continues: “For Sam, it was really being angry at Lena because she didn’t want to face what was happening. It took her seeing herself and seeing that other side of her, holding up that mirror, to make her finally understand. For M’rynn, finally seeing what’s happening and being cognizant of that, that he needs to accept the help of his son, was his epiphany.”
M’rynn’s journey will prove especially difficult for J’onn, who only just recently reunited with his father. “A lot of us in the writers’ room had dealt with dementia in our home lives, and we wanted to make this story very relatable, so M’yrnn will be facing a lot of circumstances that a lot of children and their parents go through in this journey together,” Rovner says. “One of the things that I think is beautiful in the story of J’onn and M’yrnn is through the process of the rest of the season, M’rynn and the way he copes with this will have a profound effect on J’onn. Even though their time together will be shorter than they had hoped it would be, it will forever change both of their lives and their perspectives on things.”
Elsewhere in the hour, Kara also dealt with denial, lashing out at Mon-El when M’rynn accidentally unleashed his emotions on the DEO. “It parallels what Kara was going through where she also was in denial about her relationship with Mon-El, and it was something that she had to face in this episode as well, that their love story wasn’t as perfect as she had romanticized it to be,” Rovner says. “We all felt it was important for Kara to really get everything off her chest to move forward with a new friendship with a clean slate.”
But Kara has larger problems to deal with as the third Worldkiller, Pestilence, made her presence known in the closing moments of the hour — birds quite literally dropped dead from the sky as Mon-El and Kara flew through National City. “They’re looking for each other,” Rovner says of the Worldkillers, coy to tease what havoc their combined powers may cause. “The only thing that I can say to that is that they’ll find strength with one another that will make them stronger together than they are separately.”
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.