Warning: Spoilers for the Season 6 premiere of Supergirl, "Rebirth."
The sixth and final season premiere of Supergirl ended with a shocking, but not surprising, twist. At the height of the battle between the villainous Lex Luthor and Team Supergirl, the villain broke out a device that can transport anyone to the Phantom Zone, and even threatening to reveal Supergirl's identity But before Alex was able to destroy Lex, he activated it, sending Kara right to the Phantom Zone. Now, Supergirl showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller explain the needs and reason for the storyline and why the superhero might be in the Phantom Zone for a while.
As one of many shows that had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Supergirl felt the need to try to connect to viewers on a more emotional level. Jessica Queller told TVLine that the parallels between COVID and the Phantom Zone could resonate with viewers. Queller explained:
As you can imagine, there are very strong parallels to what we’ve all been through with COVID. Being trapped in the Phantom Zone alone, isolated with your own thoughts and fears, having no idea when you’ll ever be able to get out and see your family and loved ones again, we’re hoping it’s something that will resonate with viewers.
The aftermath has already started to take a toll on the remaining team, as Nia is covering for Kara at work, telling Andrea and William Dey that she took an assignment with Cat Grant. But just how long can they manage without Supergirl? Robert Rovner said that everyone, especially Alex, is struggling without her, and it sounds like it's going to be pretty emotional:
I think it’s a very emotional arc for all of them. They really don’t know if they’re going to be able to rescue Kara. They start out hopeful, but really struggle with it, especially Alex with the thought that her sister might not make her way back.
The one relationship and storyline that makes Supergirl so special and sets it apart from the other Arrowverse shows is Kara and Alex’s relationship. Alex has always felt the need to protect her sister because of who she is. With this, Jessica Queller noted that after Kara is transported to the Phantom Zone, Alex isn't going to be in the best place. Queller said:
It’s been her MO her whole life to protect her sister. That’s why she went into the DEO, and that’s why she’s pretty much done everything she’s done in her life. So the feeling of helplessness brings, in the early episodes, a bit of existential despair. The one thing that was her life’s mission to do, if she’s not accomplishing that, then what does it all mean.
Supergirl’s Phantom Zone storyline will be around for a while, but what could this mean for Kara and the rest of the team? We'll just have to wait and see. Supergirl’s final season airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.