In the Season 3 premiere of Supergirl, Kara went through some major changes. The episode introduced a colder, standoffish Girl of Steel struggling with the absence of her boyfriend Mon-El, another casualty in a life full of loss. Though her harder edge began to soften before the credits rolled, Kara will continue to grapple with the fallout of the Season 2 finale, and that is going to take her and her team on a journey that moves opposite to Reign’s.
Speaking to CBR, Supergirl executive producer Andrew Kreisberg offered a glimpse of what Kara’s journey will look like in Season 3 and why it will serve as a dark mirror to Reign’s own story. He also teased the ramifications of Lena’s acquisition of CatCo, what Lena and James’ new work relationship will look like, how the writers developed Morgan Edge and more.
CBR: The opening dream sequence of the premiere makes quite the impact on the rest of the episode. How will that inform the next few episodes?
Andrew Kreisberg: Yeah! I mean, the first few minutes of the show kind of sets up the emotional crux of the season for Kara. She’s somebody who’s already lost a tremendous amount. At the end of the day, if you told me I could do a Superman show or a Supergirl show, I’d always pick the Supergirl show, because she remembers Krypton. She remembers being there. She remembers her parents, and she saw them all die. Now, this past season, she finally met some love and she lost him too. It’s sort of a question for her: How much more can she stand to lose? She’s really questioning the wisdom of trying to have a normal life as Kara Danvers, when the one thing she knows she can do is be Supergirl. She’s sort of wrestling with that over the course of the season.
So the dream at the beginning with her mom and with Mon-El and sort of getting a glimpse of Krypton, it’s all sort of tied part and parcel with each other, and then you see her floating above the city alone, and for a while, that’s kind of where she thinks she’s the safest.
How will Alex’s wedding preparation factor into that struggle?
Well, she definitely takes steps back toward being Kara Danvers by the end of this [premiere] episode, and it’s kind of a constant struggle. I mean, she is wrestling with the decision to have a life. That’s sort of the theme of the season. You know, is it better to be an alien or is it better to be human? That’s something that Kara’s dealing with, that’s something that J’onn’s dealing with, as we get to understand his story a little bit better over the course of the year. It’s also something that Reign will be dealing with moving forward. It’s sort of interesting to us. I mean, you have Kara, who has tried to actively reject her humanity, and the more you get to learn about Reign, she’s somebody who’s desperately trying to hold on to hers. So you sort of have your hero and your villain going on opposite journeys.
So we got our first glimpse of Reign and what she can do. Can you tell me a little about how you chose this character specifically and developed her into something unique to the show?
We tend not to do direct adaptations of the comic books. We take a bit of an idea and work it through our imaginations and something new comes out on the other side. The one thing we hadn’t really done on any of these shows was see the villain become the villain. Usually, you either get a glimpse of them at the end of the premiere episode or they were revealed in episode 9 as, “Oh, they were behind everything that was going on all along!” But we hadn’t seen someone become the villain and watch them sort of slowly transform and we thought that was really interesting. So we’ve taken great pains in the first episode to introduce you to Odette [Annable]’s character Samantha and hopefully have you fall in love with her and then watch as she slowly becomes a nemesis for Kara.
Does she have a Kryptonian set of powers, or will we see some surprises down the line?
I mean, you’ll definitely see some surprises. Hopefully, it’s not straight up what people are expecting, as always. We’ve got a couple of really nice twists and turns, but I don’t know. As much as Kara is on a journey, Samantha is on a journey too, and it gets just as much screen time as Kara’s does.
Lena made a power move and bought CatCo from under Morgan Edge. How will Kara adjust to having her best friend as her boss?
Well, there’s going to be some bumps, which we really like. I mean, there’s a great line in episode two, where Kara says, “I’m not used to having my friend be my boss,” and Lena says, “Well, I’m not used to having friends.” It’s going to take a little bit of time for them to settle into those roles, but one of the things that we’re really focusing on this year is to see the relationship between all of these women and this sort of group of friends… Kara and Alex are obviously sisters and best friends, but how Lena fits into that and how Sam fits into that and watching them grow closer and, at times, apart. It’s a primary focus of Season 3.
Will we get to see more interaction between Lena and James?
Well, there’s going to be a lot of friction between them. One of the things we were sitting down and figuring out this season, we realized the two of them actually hadn’t had too many scenes together. In the beginning, it’s going to be a lot of “Mr. Olsen” and “Ms. Luthor” and, you know, a lot of friction. James, in a way, still represents, like, “I remember when your brother built a giant robot and tried to kill me.” [laughs] So he’s still a little bit wary of her, and that creates a conflict for Kara at the office, obviously, because these are two of her closest friends who don’t always get along.
We saw some of James in the premiere, but not Guardian. Will Guardian rise again in Season 3?
I think so! You know, in the beginning, we have James doing a lot of other things, so Guardian has been a little bit off the board, but James is as present as he has ever been, if not more.
Morgan Edge is, of course, from the comics, but were there any other inspirations for your version of the character?
You know, the hardest thing to come up with for some of these shows is a non-superpowered villain. That was really important for us to figure out. We haven’t always had success — not just on Supergirl, but on the other shows — so we wanted somebody who really was a threat to Supergirl, who couldn’t match her physically. As exciting as what we had come up with on the page, Adrian Pasdar took it to a brand new level. Once he was aboard, we started writing to his strengths and his charisma. So it’s been a lot of fun.
At San Diego Comic Con, Jeremy Jordan mentioned that Winn will take on a leadership role at the DEO this season. What can you tease about that?
He’s definitely settled in, which is cool, and I think one of the nicest things that’s sort of come up out of it is he’s actually become very close with J’onn, which is nice, but there really is a nice sort of “big guy, little buddy” relationship going on there. Winn is definitely not a green analyst; he’s a trusted adviser there, and he’s at times making decisions and it’s exciting.
What are you most excited for fans to see this season?
I think the casting on the show this season has just been above and beyond. I mean, between Odette [Annable] and Emma Tremblay as Sam and Ruby and Yael Grobglas from Jane the Virgin and Adrian [Pasdar] and Betty Buckley [as Samantha’s mom Patricia Arias], we’ve just been blessed with these amazingly talented actors. We already have one of the most talented casts on television… It’s always exciting to see people fly and space ships crash and buildings explode, but just watching the dramatic scenes on the show this season are fantastic. And Carlos Bernard as Maggie’s dad delivers this incredibly difficult performance, and he does it beautifully.
Airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist as the Girl of Steel, David Harewood as Martian Manhunter, Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers and Jeremy Jordan as Winn Schott, with appearances by Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant and Tyler Hoechlin as Superman.
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