The CW's Supergirl has dropped nods to major superheroes of DC Comics history many times over its first two seasons so far, and it surpassed itself in a Season 2 episode that featured legendary actress Lynda Carter as President Olivia Marsdin. The episode managed to sneak in an unforgettable reference to Carter's role as Diana Prince on Wonder Woman. I spoke with veteran TV director Rachel Talalay about her work directing Lynda Carter and star Melissa Benoist on Supergirl, and she told me this about what went into the Wonder Woman callbacks in the "Welcome to Earth" episode of Season 2:
They were written in the script, and they were absolutely embraced. We were allowed to push them, but they were definitely in the script. That was great because that gave us permission to just say 'We know we're doing Wonder Woman homages.' So there was an absolutely magical moment when it was scripted that Melissa was to do the Wonder Woman twirl to put herself out when she was on fire. Lynda came and said, 'I'll show you how to do it.' I have on my phone a video of Lynda Carter showing Melissa Benoist how.
The appearance of Lynda Carter on Supergirl meant that viewers everywhere were expecting at least some small recognition of the fact that the woman who made Wonder Woman famous in the 1970s was onscreen with the current Supergirl. Few of us probably could have guessed that the Supergirl team would find a way to fit the iconic Wonder Woman twirl into "Welcome to Earth," but apparently lighting Kara on fire was the way to go. Rachel Talalay's reveal to CinemaBlend that Lynda Carter herself gave Melissa Benoist pointers on how to perfect the twirl goes a long way to explain why Benoist's spin move was so on point. Take a look!
The twirl wasn't actually the only reference to Lynda Carter's days as Wonder Woman in "Welcome to Earth." When Kara was excitedly chatting about Air Force One, the president made a sly comment about her "other jet" in what could only be a nod to Diana's invisible jet from DC Comics. Given the fact that we already know that the jet won't be present in the new Wonder Woman movie, the Supergirl nod may be the closest that Wonder Woman fans get to a live action mention of the invisible plane.
Of course, Lynda Carter was not on Supergirl as Wonder Woman, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that the invisible jet could play a part on the show at some point. Surely if Supergirl can establish that Batman exists on Earth-38 with his gadgets and demons, the invisible jet could be tucked away somewhere. Who knows? Maybe Olivia Marsdin happens to be pals with a Themysciran heroine who could get her access to the invisible jet. Stranger things have happened on Supergirl. We got a Wonder Woman twirl in an episode featuring Lynda Carter; maybe we could get even more in a subsequent appearance.
Unfortunately, we can't say at this point if or when Lynda Carter might return to Supergirl. "Welcome to Earth" ended on the twist reveal that Olivia Marsdin is actually an alien using her position as President of the United States to promote an Alien Amnesty Act that would give rights to aliens currently living on the down low in the U.S., and the show never definitively settled what would happen next for the President. Hopefully Supergirl will bring Lynda Carter back to expand on the Alien Amnesty Act and go into just how an alien managed to get herself elected into the top job in the United States.
Check out new episodes of Supergirl on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, and Rachel Talalay's latest feature is the drama On the Farm, based on a true story about a pig farmer who is accused and jailed for murdering six women, even though the whole truth may tell a different tale. As well, be sure to take a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule to see when The CW's other superhero series hit the airwaves.