Supergirl's Chyler Leigh on Turning Vigilante and the "Critical" Finale Ending

Supergirl star Chyler Leigh gets her mask in tonight's finale as the team deals with Lena's return to the good side

By Lauren Piester May 17, 2020 6:40 PMTags
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Tonight's Supergirl finale is not going to end where anyone hopes it will, but it's still got a lot to offer. 

Production had to shut down a few episodes earlier than planned due to the pandemic, making tonight's episode an unexpected finale that comes when the fight against Leviathan and Lex is just kicking it into high gear. We won't be seeing the end of that fight tonight, but that doesn't mean there's not plenty that we will get to see, including a sort-of reunion with Lena and debut of vigilante Alex (Chyler Leigh). 

After a close call with danger last week, Kelly suggested to Alex that maybe it was time to start wearing a mask to protect herself, and we're going to get to see this newly masked version of Alex in tonight's episode. She makes her debut as the team is getting used to the return of Lena, who has realized her mistake and is hoping she can now help Supergirl out, but it's not going to be such smooth sailing. 

Leigh told us all about it over the phone from her home in Tennessee, where she's been quarantining with her family. 

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E! News: How's your quarantine? Sounds like you found a good place to hide away. 

Leigh: Yeah, we were in Vancouver when everything was going down and then I just decided, because we knew we were going to have a larger break at this point—my husband and I have a home in Tennessee so we just packed our kids in the car and drove from Vancouver to Tennessee to Nashville, in just over 40 hours straight. And the first few weeks were very bizarre, but we've been able to settle in and been able to just enjoy being home. I would otherwise not have had this much time with my family or just be able to be home in general. So right now we're just enjoying watching the trees bloom and growing a garden and there's all sorts of wildlife in our yard. Obviously we're wishing circumstances were different in the world, but we're able to be grateful in this time to have it spent together. 

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When you realized this episode was going to be the finale, how did you feel about it? 

You know, because it all happened so fast, I was sort of initially going, wait, how is that going to happen? Because I still had some scenes to film for 519. We were leaning into 520, but I still had work that we never got to film. Honestly I don't know how they're gonna put it together, but I have no doubt that they'll do a fantastic job and I think it's actually been a pretty cool opportunity for us in retrospect because there is a lot left that's unknown and there are a lot of questions in the air that will make it a fantastic cliffhanger, which is nice for us because a lot of times, our seasons have kind of a resolution or a button that makes it seem like things are OK, and this one really does not. 

So things are not going to be OK at the end of this episode? 

Things are going to be critical and heightened and definitely a lot will be hanging in the air. It's not that it won't be OK, per se, but it's definitely a lot to go off of and make you really think and go, oh, I can't wait for the next one. So that's good. 

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Alex is getting a mask of some kind, so what does that mean for her? What can you say about it?

Well it's not going to be anything that anybody will expect. That's one thing. Because I wanted to come at it from a different approach. We went through a lot of conversations about how to do it, what to look for, for for me practically for as much as Alex does, and figure out how to make it different, also, because I didn't want to look like everybody else. In the Arrowverse, there are a lot of masks already, so I was like, OK, how do I do something different that's still going to, as Alex enters this vigilante life, conceal her identity. So what's the creative, cool way we can do that? And I know that we came up with something that I'm super excited about, and I think the audience will really love because it's a whole different Alex. 

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What was it like for you to get to put this costume on for the first time? 

It was awesome. Because the conversations along the way about Alex, even from season two to when I got the outfit that was made by Winn in season three, it was a lot of conversations because I kept saying hey, Alex is at the forefront of all these missions and is constantly out and is entirely exposed save for the vest that she wears. I think we need to come up with something that gives Alex different advantages over the rest of the team, because she's, at that time, the head honcho, and also to look cooler. I was like I need to get past the Under Armour long sleeves and cargo khaki pants. I think it's time to evolve.

So when it came to this particular costume and design, I'm very fortunate that we have such wonderful producers and makeup and hair department and our costumer. We spent many hours, many many hours, many days and weeks coming up with it, and lots of artwork being passed to and from all the departments and the props department as well, because they all fit into one. It had to be very cohesive, and again, wanting to be something that's different, so the first time I stepped onto set, between the crew and the cast members, it was definitely an "oh damn" kind of moment. So it was a game changer and I'm really excited about it. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the fans have to say. 

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What can you say about what new Alex and the rest of the team are facing in the finale, especially now with Lena switching sides? 

Well, I mean obviously the stakes are the highest they've been. There's a lot that goes into it. You have the Brainy aspect and you've got everybody trying to work together to fight these big bads but at times it seems impossible. And with Lena coming back into the fold, it's obviously a very questionable line of trust, or lack thereof at times, to see what her intentions really are. But we as the audience know that she really does have a good heart, and she really does have good intentions. Her execution isn't always the best and whatnot, but there has to be that understanding between everybody that hey look, not everybody's been honest the whole time, and it kind of comes to a head. It does come to a collaboration of sorts that I think will be really exciting for everybody to see. 

We saw Lena and Alex work together during the crossover, so how is Alex taking Lena's change of heart now? 

It's approached with trepidation and caution on many fronts, because Lena knows who we all are and obviously Alex is and always will be protective of her sister. But even earlier in the season when Alex had to come to Lena to help with Myriad and all that, she approaches it as humble as she can but also at the same time pointing out to Lena, hey, look, you weren't the most honest in this situation either. So it's almost like we need to come to a reckoning and an understanding that we are all in the same fight. We're all on the same page. We all have something different to offer. But there is an underlying sense of this could go south very quickly, and what are we going to do if it does?  

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But we get a lot of cool science talk between Alex and Lena. I love working with Katie. We have so much, and I love the dynamic between Alex and Lena. I mean, there were episodes upon episodes where I had nothing to do with any of the scenes that she was in and it was a bummer because we all love each other as a cast so much so when there is a break in times where work together, we're just passing in the trailers or when we're waiting in the green room, it's like "have a great scene! maybe I'll see you next episode!" 

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So is there any sense in this episode that the gang's back together?

Where we leave off in 19, there's still a lot hanging in the air, so there's no sense of like, hey team, we're in it together. There's still so many variables that would have been a bit more resolved in 20 if that were to air this go round. But a lot of things are kind of left undone and unsaid, so we won't be able to see some of the resolution until the next one airs. 

Anything else you want to say before people see this finale?

Yeah, I think just enjoy the journey. Give us a little grace because it was definitely a lot of work from the producers and from the editors to put together what I believe will be a really fantastic episode. But just be willing to be on the journey and enjoy the hell out of it, and we'll see what happens next season." 

Supergirl's finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW. 

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