While last night’s episode of “Supergirl” posed many questions, one that may take a while to answer is whether or not Cat Grant really knows that Kara is Supergirl. When executive producer Andrew Kreisberg spoke with CBR and other reporters recently, he didn’t really clear that mystery up, but he did mention that the writing staff has deliberately played things coy when it comes to how much Cat knows about Kara.
“I’m always tempted to [reveal] that,” he said. “Calista [Flockhart] and I have discussed it. There is a moment [in the previous episode] when she says, ‘I see the hero in you’, and looks into the sky.” He admitted that she may know, but has decided to play along for Kara’s sake, allowing them to maintain their relationship.
In an earlier draft of the Season 2 premiere, a joke called for Cat to say she knows Clark Kent is Superman because she would “be able to tell if someone was a superhero right in front of me” while still being oblivious to Kara. The writers decided that the gag was just a little “too meta” and decisive for the way the writers and Flockhart play Cat’s knowledge about Kara.
“I love how Calista plays it, where you’re never quite sure,” Kreisberg said. The flexibility allows them the option to definitively answer the question one day and still track with what came before. “You could look back at those moments and go, ‘She did know all the time.’ That would be very Cat,” he said, adding that the character really does believe in heroes and believes Kara should have their relationship outside of Supergirl.
Of course, Kreisberg reserves the right to go in the opposition direction as well. “Cat does move at a million miles an hour and doesn’t really see people,” he explained, offering a reason for the character to miss Supergirl’s identity as her assistant.
And though Cat has moved on to her next great challenge, Kreisberg said he hopes she and Flockhart will return for “as many [episodes] as we can get.”
Another mystery the staff plans to keep alive for the time being is Jeremiah Danvers’ current condition. “He’s been under Cadmus’ control for the last twelve years, and the Jeremiah we’ve seen may not be the one we’ll expect,” the producer said. The storyline will get complicated for both Kara and Alex once he reappears. “It’s too good to spoil,” he teased.
One thing Kreisberg was more specific about is Mon-El and Kara’s conflict as the season progresses. In the series, Krypton and Daxam will be presented as sister planets with a rocky relationship. “There’s a lot of innate hostility Mon-El and Kara have for each other because of their backgrounds,” he explained. “How he and Kara come together by the end will hopefully be clever and original.”
The next episode sees Mon-El becoming the prime suspect in an assassination plot against the president and as Kreisberg explained, the situation will give the character more to deal with on top of both the culture shock and suddenly finding himself with superpowers. Meanwhile, Kara will not be her best self around the Daxamite. “She’s at her most interesting when she’s flawed and has to grow,” Kreisberg explained.
One question the episode answered with finality was the romantic relationship between Kara and James. Kreisberg said that the decision to back away from that relationship was a change to their plans for the show, adding that they felt they pursued it because “we felt we had to” in the debut season.
“[Melissa Benoist and Mehcad Brooks] are both tremendously talented actors and lovely people, and they both love working with each other,” he explained. Despite the talent on screen, however, the writing of the relationship never clicked. “We brought in new writers in the middle of [last season], and they were coming at it fresh — and we still weren’t sure how to make [the romance] happen,” Kreisberg said. “The best scenes were the sweet scenes where they were being friends.”
Whether the show had stayed at CBS or moved to The CW, Kara and James’ relationship shift was one of the key changes planned for the second season, and Kreisberg knew the thread had to be addressed as quickly as possible. “We didn’t feel we could just drop it,” he said, “or open the episode with, ‘Oh, we had our summer romance, and it didn’t work out.’ We felt there was a way for them to have this realization be part of the story.” As in true in life, some possible romantic relationships evolve back to friendships. “It felt like a real story we could be telling.”
The episode also introduced Snapper Carr as Kara’s new boss. Played by Ian Gomez, he differs from Cat in a critical way: he doesn’t care about Kara.
“Cat is devoted to mentoring people. She challenges people, and challenges them hard. I think does that with idea that she is forging them and they’re going to come out the other side as better stronger people,” Kreisberg explained. “Snapper doesn’t give a crap. He believes in the written word. He believes in facts and he believes in whether or not you’re good at your job. And if you’re not, he doesn’t have time for you.”
Kara, meanwhile, will have to learn to be a good reporter while lacking the convivial conversations which marked her time with Cat. “Watching her win Snapper over will be satisfied.” He also praised Gomez for his performance as the gruff, Lou Grant-esque editor. “It’s not a relationship that will have hugs anytime soon.”
Starring Melissa Benoist as the Girl of Steel, “Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars David Harewood as Martian Manhunter, Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott and features appearances by Calista Flockhart’s Cat Grant as well as Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman.
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