Interview: Supergirl Bosses Preview The 100th Episode
Kara gets a look at a different world
Supergirl has faced monsters from outer space, human villains and everything in-between, but how will she cope when she faces one of the scariest things anyone can confront: her own past. That’s the question the Girl of Steel will answer as she flies into her milestone 100th episode tonight on the CW.
Mr. Mxyzptlk (Thomas Lennon) gives Kara a chance to see what her life would have been like if she’d told Lena her identity at different times, and showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller talked with The Mary Sue about that journey. reaching the 100 episode milestone, and much more.
The Mary Sue: So how does it feel to get to 100 episodes?
Robert Rovner: Momentous!
Jessica Queller: Miraculous!
RR: It’s wonderful. We love the show and we love making the show…few hows get to this number so we’re very proud of the fact that we’ve survived two networks and have been able to tell stories that we feel are empowering and heartfelt and full of spectacle for as long as we have, and to send Supergirl’s message of hope, help, and compassion for all. It’s great!
TMS: How did you go about breaking this story? Did you look at the 100th episodes of The Flash or Arrow, which also had devices for bringing back a lot of the past and looking back?
RR: Yes, we looked at them, kind of as a template on what other shows had done…We wanted to make this episode special and kind of be a look back at the best…some of the moments that we’ve done, but also to be able to kind of bring Kara forward in her journey this season. At one point it was kind of a love letter to our fan and to the stories that we’ve told, but also to propel her forward. So we want to be able to do both things.
How did you decide to bring back Mr. Mxyzptlk – now played by a different actor – for this special episode?
JQ: We knew we were going to do it for quite a long time, and we were excited about it. And then we were doubly excited about it when we had to good fortune of casting Mr. Tom Lennon, who just is magic himself.
TMS: He was wonderful!
JQ: He’s so delightful, he’s so charming. and he’s so funny and the script was beautifully written and very funny on the page and then he just brought it to another level.
TMS: But he’s not our only exciting guest star on this episode. We have a lot of old faces back like Chris Wood as Mon-El, Odette Annabelle as Reign and Sam Witwer as Ben Lockwood. Ws there anyone you were particularly excited to have back?
RR: You know I think we were excited to bring them all back, and the cast was excited to have their old friends back. It’s such a wonderful show to work and we’re big fans of all these actors.
JQ: It was like a family reunion, everyone was so excited to be back together.
TMS: This episode is hugely about Kara and Lena’s relationship and it’s a major acting showcase Melissa Benoist and Katie McGrath, who has lots of challenges here as well. Did you talk about what was coming with them before getting into the episode?
JQ: Katie is one of the most talented and gifted actors that I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have to talk her about her acting prowess or chops, she just never misses a moment. We didn’t even have those kinds of conversations with her because we had no doubt that she would go to those depths.
RR: Same with Melissa; We’re blessed with such a deep bench of talent with our cast. Melissa is an extraordinary actor and they all elevate everything we write.
JQ: And they’re so wonderful together, Melissa and Katie, and their scenes together are so rich.
TMS: At this point, even though she joined in season two, I can’t imagine Supergirl without Lena Luthor.
JQ: Yeah, she’s such a huge part of our ensemble.
RR: And such an interesting character to write for.
TMS: Someone else who’s newer to the super friends who has had such a great turn this season is Brainy as played by Jesse Rath. He’s not huge in this episode but he’s been doing so much since Crisis. What inspired you to take this character to a deeper place this season?
JQ: Well first, I mean, talking about talked actors, Jesse Rath is extraordinary and as we’ve been working with him his talent and what he can do has become so apparent and dazzling. and I guess we’ve just organically been writing towards that. because we were so excited to see him do his thing. We had an idea early on in the season that we referred to as the “Brainy Orphan Black” episode where Jesse could play all those different versions of Brainiac and we knew it would be thrilling and it was.
RR: And as we were thinking of what we wanted to do post-Crisis and shake up the world, we knew we needed to have different relationship dynamics moving forward and we thought it would be interesting to show brainy in this struggle for how to save his friends while having to keep them at arm’s length. We thought that would be a very interesting story to tell.
TMS: One of the most fun aspects of that Brainy Orphan Black episode – “The Bottle Episode” – was to see Jesse’s sister Meagan Rath as the female Brainy.
JQ: That was so special that she was able to do it and we were all incredibly excited by it.
TMS: So how have you been approached things “Post-Crisis” as a way to recalibrate things and bring back old villains or reset the world?
RR: I think it’s been exciting for us to have this new landscape and to shake things up. It was very exciting for us to have Lex back as a major player in the second half of the season and to kind of have fun with the way the world has been reshaped. It creates a lot of excitement for the second half of the season we think.
TMS: How does this 100th episode fit into the larger season theme of how technology is one of the biggest monsters we’re facing in our own world and Supergirl’s world?
RR: The emphasis on this one is not about technology, but our kind of underlying theme about technology is about engagement and about how people use technology so they don’t have to engage, and on that front, this episode ties in thematically…and the technology becomes a much bigger story point in the next episode. And we really show how people are engaging and what Obsidian North is doing in a much bigger way.
TMS: It was also interesting to see how you integrated social media into the previous two episodes with Jeremy Jordan back as Winn. And I was so happy to see him back for the 100th as well.
JQ: That was special.
RR: We were excited about that, we love him.
TMS: Is there anything in the 100th episode that you are most excited for fans to see or that they’ve been waiting for?
RR: Hopefully the fans will like all of it. I think it will be exciting for them to see the one reality where Kara and Lena are partners and then the consequences of that. It’s something that…
JQ: That they’ve been craving, seeing the Luthor and the Super, the Kryptonian working together as a team, that’s a very kind of, wish-fulfillment thing
RR: [For Kara and Lena the 100th] puts their relationship on a new footing moving forward and drives the last third of the season, so I think we’re excited about that….One of the things we were happy that we were able to do was to show that there are consequences for people knowing who Kara is.
Supergirl‘s 100th episode airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. on The CW and will be available to stream for free the next day on the CW app.
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