As Arrow stacks the deck for its season finale, its CW superhero counterpart Supergirl is looking to do the same. The announcement that Tyler Hoechlin‘s Superman will be returning to National City for Supergirl’s Season 2 finale is a nice bookend for the season, since he also showed up in the premiere. Supergirl has changed quite a bit in its transition from CBS to the CW, and mostly for the better (yes we miss Cat Grant, but Kara’s humor and plucky spirit have gotten more play). One of the best and briefest additions, though, has been Superman, which might be the best portrayal since Christopher Reeve.
E! broke the story, though noted that no specific details are available yet for what the Man of Steel’s role might be in the finale. In the premiere he helped his cousin out with a malfunction LexCorps spacecraft, then left to go back to Metropolis since Kara has been more than capable of handling National City’s crises on her own (even if she — and we — hoped for some more cousins-saving-the-world team-ups). But even though some were worried that he might steal her thunder, the balance was perfect.
While Superman’s return to Supergirl may again be a happy occasion, it could also turn dark. Dave Trumbore postulated back in October that the series could be setting up a Death of Superman storyline, which would plunge Supergirl‘s third season into some dark places. But given the pattern of her DC compatriots on the network, that fits — Season 3 is also typically the darkest (also, in regards to The Flash and Arrow, the weakest). Though it would be a bold move, it doesn’t feel true to Supergirl’s optimistic spirit, and when I spoke to producer Andrew Kreisberg at the TCA press tour in January in he said:
“It’s not that we’ve been told we couldn’t do that, but it feels like it’s territory that’s being trod on […] I don’t know what the future holds for DC movies, only what’s happened, but we try to avoid things that are already out there. We have such an amazing cast on Supergirl they can handle just about anything, but the darker tones sometimes work a lot better once you’ve got a few years under your belt, and you really do care about these people. So when things do take more of a darker twist it feels a little more earned, it’s not just about torturing your characters. So I think the tone of Supergirl will stay consistent throughout this season, and we’ll see what happens in the future.”
Of course, Kreisberg did leave the door open for that storyline, so anything is possible. For now though, I’m focusing on the positive and imagining some great scenes between Superman and Mon-El (Chris Wood). I feel like they’ll get along and be bowling buddies or something …
Supergirl returns Monday, April 24th on The CW.