This week's episode of Supergirl ("Back From the Future Part One") is a big one: Winn Schott (Jeremy Jordan) returns, making his post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" debut and sporting a snazzy Legion fo Super-Heroes costume to boot. The episode is directed by series veteran David Harewood, who plays J'Onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter. In addition to directing, Harewood had to continue to build on the changes made to the former Earth-38 following the events of the Crisis while his characer helps Supergirl and Winn chase down a Toyman copycat (the original Toyman, played by Henry Czerny, was Winn's father Winslow Schott).
Harewood, who has a great deal of reverence for J'Onn, is excited to see his changing and expanding role in the Arrowverse following the events of the Crisis. In addition to helping the other heroes of Earth-Prime found the Justice League, J'Onn will be spending his time trying to live up to his legacy as a paragon of honor.
"I think J'Onn has always been a very courageous and honorable character. That's sort of how I try to play him. I don't think that's a big change for J'Onn, and I think it's kind of business as usual," Harewood told ComicBook.com. "But I do think, post-Crisis, working together with all the other supers. You'll see this very much on Sunday -- working together with all the other supers has inspired J'onn to create a space himself outside of the DEO. We have a brand-new location that we'll be introducing on Sunday, a new space called the Tower, which really is sort of an extension of J'onn working with the Justice League and working with the other supers."
If that place -- "the Tower" -- sounds anything like the Justice League Watchtower to you, it probably is not a coincidence. The idea of giving the heroes of Supergirl (and the forthcoming Superman and Lois) a place to gather and discuss strategy that is not overseen directly by Lex Luthor makes a lot of sense, and giving the folks who monitor aliens and space something that more closely resembles the Satellite-era base would be perfect (even if, realistically, it won't actually BE in space).
In some ways, then, it seems as though J'Onn is stepping up to be the anti-Lex Luthor. In the post-"Crisis" timeline, Lex is widely admired, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and somehow managed to privatize the DEO so that he can take it over, making him Supergirl and Alex's de facto boss.
"I think it's important for us to keep him in check," Harewood said. "At the same time, we don't necessarily just want to stop him; first of all, we have to find out what he's doing, and I think that becomes clear through 5.11, is that we start to understand exactly what Lex Luthor's dastardly plan is."
Supergirl airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT, following episodes of Batwoman on The CW.