Supergirl cast dish on why Reign is the biggest bad yet

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Dec 4, 2017, 4:30 PM EST

This story might sound familiar. As the planet Krypton's destruction loomed closer, a small infant was placed in an escape pod and sent to Earth. The baby was supposed to grow into a being of immense power. Except, this is the tale of Samantha Arias, the Kryptonian world killer known as Reign on the CW's Supergirl.

Discovered and raised by her adoptive mother, Patricia, Samantha's heritage was kept a secret from her. At 18 years old, she became pregnant and eventually gave birth to her daughter, Ruby. Childbearing apparently suppressed Samantha's true destructive nature, but, lately it's been creeping out.

Her powers have slowly emerged. After somehow creating her own Fortress of Sanctuary out in the desert, Samantha's humanity was stripped away as the Reign persona took over. In tonight's midseason finale, Supergirl finally clashes with Reign, and quickly learns she's unlike any threat that Kara has ever faced before.

"She's a big bad," Chyler Leigh said to a contingent of journalists visiting the Supergirl set last month. "And, she's a BIG bad. It's really everyone trying to figure out what they can do with their skill set, or what they have, to try to take her down as quickly as possible. That is not boding well for anybody other than Reign."


Reign's darker costume mirrors Supergirl's own suit in many ways. Even leading lady Melissa Benoist admitted that "she is pretty spectacular to behold."

"She will give Supergirl the fight of her life," Benoist said. "What sets Reign aside from the villains that we've seen, the big bads that we've seen up to this point on the show, is she has a really surprising backstory that's quite grounded, that gets you really invested in who she is fundamentally.

"As always, Kara will choose to fight to change someone's mind, or to make someone see the good in the world, or that they should fight for something different, or maybe that they are misguided and shouldn't be hurting people," she continued. "I don't know if sympathy is the word, but Kara's compassion always trumps whether she needs to defeat someone. That's always the first choice."

From the sound of it, Reign needs more than a pep talk. Supergirl must call in for extra muscle, which means the Martian Manhunter will join the fray. However, David Harewood noted that while J'onn J'onzz often serves as the father figure, this time he is forced to take a leadership role as well.

"You're gonna get to see some real J'onn J'onzz magic coming up in one of the fights," Harewood reported. "Reign is very strong. I was very surprised at how well she can look after herself. But, yeah, she's full of surprises and I think audiences are going to be ... I'll put it this way... I walked on set the other day and was shocked at what I saw. It's a pretty arresting sight. Reign doesn't exactly treat people with kid gloves."