[Spoiler alert: The following article discusses plot points from last night’s second season episode of Supergirl, “Crossfire”]
Last night’s episode of Supergirl was super-packed. In addition to setting up a poignant self-discovery of Chyler Leigh’s character Alex Danvers, viewers witnessed early stage of James Olsen’s transformation into Guardian, and got to spend a lot of time with dude-bro from Daxam, Mon-El/Mike Matthews. Also, the old maxim of “never trust a Luthor” was reinforced as actress Brenda Strong was revealed to be Mama Luthor, and leader of the anti-alien group, Cadmus.
So what do all these reveals mean? I was on the Vancouver set of Supergirl last week and had the chance to ask actors Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, David Harewood and Chris Wood about the episode.
Kara and Mon-El worked through some stuff on Monday’s episode, but where does their relationship go after she realizes she can’t make her a spitting image of her?
Like her personal Ken doll? I think that was a big lesson to learn, and she didn’t realize she was living vicariously through him to fulfill that promise she made to her parents to protect Kal-El. I think, from that point forward, it’s Kara learning patience and trying to just get to know and be tolerant of Mon-El, and how different he is from her. So, in that sense, it gives them a much broader platform to grow from as friends, and as allies – even though they came from warring planets.
Alex has always been there for Kara, and now she has a journey of her own to go on. So how will Kara be there for her sister?
Well, I think Season 1 really served the purpose to get Kara on solid ground herself. Now that Alex is going off on her own path, and learning something about herself, I think Kara will be there with an open mind, and open heart. The two are inseparable, and their bond is unbreakable. Whatever happens, Kara is going to be there no matter what.
How does Kara react when she encounters Guardian?
I don’t know how much I can say about that. You’ll definitely see how she reacts to him coming onto the scene, and you might be surprised by how she does.
At the end of the episode, we see a connection between the Luthors and Cadmus, so what can you preview about where that’s going?
I mean, should anyone ever trust a Luthor? So I think that’s going to be the looming question overall. Lena and Kara have such an awesome relationship. I love the scenes with Katie McGrath; she’s awesome, and perfect for that part. But it’s inevitable. I don’t think Kara is ever going to truly know if she’s being honest, or it’s something she shouldn’t be suspicious of. But there is a true friendship there, and a mutual respect.
After this week’s episode, what does this mean for James to take on becoming a vigilante?
The world needs more heroes. I really believe that. We are in a state of violence. It is really cool to be part of that world as an actor. It is a big process for James, and for me. It makes my job so much more fun. I’m really athletic, and took martial arts as a kid, and later, and I’m finally being able to use all my talents.
What challenges is he facing taking on the role of Guardian?
Personally, they fitted the suit to me, which is amazing. It is really futuristic, and cool. It is skin tight. You feel powerful. The first time I put that suit on, I felt like I could really fight crime. If you have super powers, there’s a way you can approach fighting crime. You can never get hurt, you can stop a bullet, you’ll fly over stuff, but if you don’t have any powers, and you’re just some guy, there has to be something off about him. I am kind of bringing that to the role. He has had so much in his life that he’s seen that’s so bad, he has to react.
We have seen Winn as James’ confidant, so what’s that relationship moving forward?
I think James and Winn are already really good friends. There is a definite bromance going on there. We find each other in a time in our lives where we need each other. I am helping him accomplish something in his life, where he feels his hands are tied in a certain way – you’ll find out in Episode 6. And he is helping me accomplish something that is in my heart and mind. That relationship does become something that’s an odd couple.
James had some interaction with Mike/Mon-El, so how does he feel about the new guy?
He’s a guy who was in a pod, and came from the Phantom Zone, and here we go again. He’s a little trepidatious about it. I don’t know how much I can say, but there is a lot of interactions between Mon-El, and Kara, and James.
As much as he’s in Kara’s world, he is Superman’s best pal, so will he be seeking approval from Superman about pursuing this whole Guardian thing?
You know, I thought about that myself. I think I should text that question to the writers. It is a great question, and I’d like to see us delve into that. But his proximity at the moment is to Kara, and Supergirl, but I think Clark would be into it. You know how boys are: “Hey man, let’s go skydiving.”
Will you talk about the fun montage we saw last night with Kara and Mon-El?
Oh, the clothing, and shopping? That was fun. It was sort of a silly … I read the script and wondered what we’re going to do for it, then of course they brought out the massive oversize shirt. That episode was very fun to shoot. All the CatCo business was funny, and a lot of trying not to break.
Does it establish style for your character?
I think so. The first episode, once I wake up in three, is this scared, fight to stay alive version of this character, which is not really him. It is this contentious, ready to fight side. By five, he has sort of relaxed enough, and going to work. Things are exciting, like Twizzlers, and he’s sort of riding high.
At the end of the episode, Kara decides to let him be himself. What will we see from him as he explores who Mike/Mon-El is?
I think Mon-El’s first sort of thing he wants to do is find a job that makes him excited. I don’t know if he has it in him to pursue something that involves working very hard. He likes fun, and partying. He has to find something that fits, and Kara also has to approve. There is a bit of an exploration for him … it’s fun going forward watching his evolution away [from the bowtie and sweater] and finding which parts stick, and who Kara wants him to be in the world, and which things he drops. That’s definitely a plot point.
What other dynamics will he have beyond with Kara?
We saw him get wasted with Winn, which was very silly. But he’s still an outsider. All these guys know each other. They work together, they’re related by family, and all sort of have this history together, and he’s still on the outside. That sits with him in a difficult place; it takes him a while to adjust to that, and find his role in this group – other than Kara, who he can talk to … whatever their differences are fade away. They find their similarities to cling to, and do become friends. But she is still someone he looks to. She has it all figured out.
Supergirl kept referring to one day when he fights crime, but does he want that?
The focus in that episode was more, “Let’s get you out in the world, and get the normal you first.” Once we’ve got Mike figured out, we can come back and see what part fits in the D.E.O. puzzle. He has never had to think about that before. With time, you’ll see him finding which part of Kara does inspires him, and try to hold onto that as a common force to, hopefully, join up with her.
(J’onn J’onzz/Hank Henshaw)
How does Hank feel about all these aliens like Mon-El getting out there since he can’t contain them all in the DEO?
I do think he’s right that there are bad aliens out there, but I think he’s becoming more comfortable with there being more visitors. Walking into the alien bar, it’s nice to play with the notion that he is becoming more comfortable with his alien self. I play with the idea he has been suppressing the alien part so long, he has almost forgotten that alien part of himself. This season, Hank is coming to terms with, not just his own alien self, but the fact that there are aliens out there – some good, who are just trying to live a peaceful life.
How might Hank react to Winn and James’ collaboration?
I don’t think Hank is too comfortable with vigilantes. But I think he might be quite impressed, particularly with Winn.