by Billy Nilles | Mon., May. 1, 2017 1:03 PM
With just four episodes of Supergirl left in season two, things in National City are about to get intense for our girl Kara.
Kicking things off with tonight's race against time to rescue a kidnapped Alex (Chyler Leigh) from a tank rapidly filling up with water, it won't get any easier for Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) as the vengeful Rhea (guest star Teri Hatcher) puts her master plan into motion—one that will involve the fight for the emotionally wounded Lena Luthor's (Katie McGrath) soul, it seems more and more likely. Luckily for Kara—and us—she'll get a little help when Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) and Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) make their long-awaited returns to National City.
With so much awesomeness coming our way, E! News got on the phone with executive producer Andrew Kreisberg to get all the inside scoop on what's to come. What follows is our Q&A.
E! News: First off, the preview for tonight looks super intense with Alex in that tank. How worried should we be for her?
Kreisberg: Uh, you should we worried. It's pretty bad. [Laughs] It's bad. We really want to tell a very simply, emotional story. It's so often Supergirl has had to face, whether it's monsters or aliens or stopping a ship from going to outer space—they've all been feats of strength. But we really loved the idea of putting her in an emotional quandary and a moral dilemma. Is she willing to be blackmailed and is she willing to commit a crime to save her sister's life? She's put in this position that she can't punch her way out of, that she can't fly her way out of, that she can't use her heat vision on.
The other thing we were really wanting to do was a Kara-Maggie [Floriana Lima] story. The idea of who gets to—it's like, they both love Alex, but who gets to make the decisions about how to save her? The sister or the girlfriend? And then there's also a really interesting friction between Maggie and Kara vis-à-vis the role of the police and the role of the superhero. We're sort of all taken with the Gotham Central book and the cop's eye view of what superheroes do. So, Maggie and Kara are a little bit at odds at the beginning of the episode about when do police end and superheroes begin and how superheroes and cops deal with situations differently. And suddenly the woman that they both love is taken from them and those differing views clash. So, it's a little bit of a departure episode. Visual effects-wise, it's the fewest visual effects we've ever had in an episode because it really is all about these two women and their relationship. Or really three women. And it's great. It's one of my favorite episode we've ever done.
Shifting gears a little bit, after losing Cat and Calista Flockhart early in the season, one of our favorite highlights has been watching Kara's friendship with Lena grow, as it began to fill the void of that missing female relationship. And now we're worried about it after last week. How is being forced to choose Kara's life over Jack's going to affect the relationship for Lena?
What I always think is so interesting, especially on the shows that we do—you know, the hero and the villain kind of usually have the same backstory. They're shaped by loss, they're shaped by tragedy. In Kara's case, having lost her birth parents and having lost her world and lost her adoptive father, those things helped shape her into the hero that she is. When you look at Lena, knowing what happened with her brother, is the damage that her mother has caused her and the loss of her brother and the loss of Jack—are those things that are going to help her become a hero or are those things that are going to help her become a villain. Rhea is obviously up to something sneaky and I think what is really great and what is so beautiful and nuanced about Katie McGrath's performance is that you can completely sympathize with Lena and everything she's going through and the forces that are pulling her in the wrong direction. Is she going to be strong enough to stand up to them? I just think she's such an interesting character because of that because you want the best for her and you want her to be good, but are those things going to pull her away?
How susceptible would you say she is to whatever it is that Rhea has planned at this point?
I think you've got to watch to figure that out. [Laughs] One of the things I love about [this] episode is you see that Lena is nobody's fool, which I think is great, but then you also see that she's a damaged soul. She's had a lot of loss in her life and she has a very cold, unforgiving mother, and along comes Rhea, who is in a way being the mother that Lena has never had and that, having just lost Jack, she so desperately needs right now. And it also is an interesting story for Rhea because Rhea herself is feeling betrayed by her son, so Rhea and Lena form this very interesting sort of formed family. This older woman who is sort of desperate for the affection of a child and a young woman who is desperate for the love and support of a mother. While there is jockeying and lies and deceit, they form a true, emotional bond, which I think is so interesting.
What can you tease about what Rhea's master plan actually is? What is she trying to do here?
I don't want to give too much away, but obviously what's great about it is her plan sort of involves everybody. There's a place for Lena in it, there's a place for Kara in it, there's a place for Mon-El [Chris Wood] in it. Watching how she interacts with all these characters and how she plans to counteract all of these characters—there's a great standoff between Cat Grant and Rhea, as well. And also between Rhea and Lynda Carter. It's amazing to me to be on set when you're watching Teri Hatcher, Calista Flockhart and Lynda Carter all yelling at each other. It's pretty cool. [Laughs] I mean, in the beginning, it was sort of like "What is Supergirl and what does this show stand for?" and having the first female superhero on TV in so many years. And what I love about it is it's not just making your lead a girl and sort of setting her off in the world. In episode 21, you have a scene with Teri Hatcher and Calista Flockhart and Melissa Benoist and Lynda Carter in a script written by Jessica Queller, directed by Millicent Shelton. It really is a woman's world on this show and we're so proud to be able to present that.
Speaking of Cat, we're so excited about both her and Superman returning for the end of the season. What can you tease about the driving forces that bring them back to National City?
I don't mean to be coy—I don't want to give too much away—but when they both show up, they're two of our more jarring, surprising moments. [Laughs] So I don't want to say too much about how they come back, but the show is called Supergirl and every character there is to service Kara's story. They both provide what they've always provided for Kara, which is advice and mentorship and support and love. It's what Kara's going to need in the finale where she's forced to make several very difficult decisions. Obviously, it's always exciting to have her fight aliens and perform miracles and catch spaceships and rescue people, but she's forced to make some of the most difficult decisions she's ever had to make in both episodes 21 and especially 22, and every character, including Superman and Cat, are there to provide her with the emotional support to make some of these decisions.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on the CW.
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