“Reign’s pretty much a badass. She brings a lot of mayhem. She has an equal power to fight Supergirl.” That was the first thing we heard about Reign, a.k.a. Samantha Arias (Odette Annable) from Supergirl’s SFX coordinator James Paradis (who has also worked on Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman). One of the most interesting things about this season of Supergirl is the slow-burn for Reign as a villain — she’s not coming in as an established Big Bad whose backstory we have to figure out. Instead, we’re seeing her develop her powers with some fear and uncertainty, while also getting closer to Kara, Lena, and Alex, which will make her eventual turn that much more interesting. In “Wake Up,” we see Reign finding her Fortress of Sanctuary and realizing her true destiny — one she is not prepared for and doesn’t want — becoming “active.”
When we spoke to the Supergirl cast from the set in Vancouver a few weeks ago, they shared some of their thoughts on the rise of Reign from a hard-working single mom to becoming a World Killer. “She’s very strong, I was surprised,” David Harewood told us. “I was on set the other day, and was shocked at what I saw. It’s a pretty arrested sight. Reign doesn’t exactly treat people with kid gloves.”
Melissa Benoist echoed that, saying:
“I think Reign is going to surprise people. She is pretty spectacular to behold and she definitely will give Supergirl the fight of her life. I think what sets her aside from the villains that we’ve seen — the Big Bads that we’ve seen up to this point on the show — she has a really surprising back story that’s quite grounded, that gets you really invested in who she really is fundamentally.”
Chyler Leigh told us that everyone in the DEO will have to step up to help Kara against Reign. “It’s kind of like a collective force coming from Supergirl’s side, she said. “Reign is the Big Bad and she’s a Big Bad, so it’s really everybody trying to figure out what they can do with their skill set, or what they have to be able to take her down as quickly as possibly and that is just not boding well for anybody, other than Reign, really, when it comes down to it.”
As far as whether or not Samantha’s relationship with Kara will make her more lenient on her, Benoist told us that, “As always, I think Kara will always 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 they’re misguided, or maybe they shouldn’t be hurting people. I do think she — I don’t know if sympathy is the world, but Supergirl and Kara’s compassion always trumps whether she needs to defeat — that’s always the first choice.”
But with Reign, it seems like that may not work this time.
Supergirl airs Monday nights on The CW.