With the Arrowverse taking place in worlds populated by metahumans, aliens, and superheroes it's easy to forget that they have many of the same pop culture references that we do, but tonight's Supergirl revealed that Earth-38 is just like ours -- Harry Potter references and all.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Supergirl, "Call to Action," below.
Tonight's episode saw Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) show up just in time to help Manchester Black (David Ajala) stop a Children of Liberty attack on an alien couple. However, while the Girl of Steel saved the day, she drew the ire of Colonel Haley (April Parker Jones). Haley has overseeing the DEO -- and specifically Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) -- after Alex disobeyed President Baker's direct orders. It briefly appeared that Alex would be able to work with Haley, but last week Haley revealed herself to be anti-alien, something Alex absolutely disagrees with.
Haley tells Alex that the DEO will not investigate the Children of Liberty and that Supergirl is not to patrol anywhere or presumably do any heroics without being directly ordered to do so. As they walk away, Alex tells Supergirl that Haley has dug her heels in and has all of the power at the DEO and then drops two very specific Harry Potter references. She declares Haley to be very much like Dolores Umbridge and that, should it get worse, she will go "full Weasley twin."
In the Harry Potter universe, Dolores Umbridge the main antagonist in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and an all over nasty character who is cruel, sadistic, and pro-Pure Blood. She ends up replacing Dumbledore as Headmistress of Hogwarts where she is especially cruel and controlling. However, she also ends up the target of numerous pranks from students attempting to make her tenure challenging and difficult. Twins Fred and George Weasley in particular led the resistance effort, orchestrating most of the pranks making Umbridge's life a nightmare. She does catch them, but the twins flew away on their brooms before she could have them whipped.
The reference is a fitting one. Haley does come across as needlessly stern and cruel and she has certainly hijacked power from someone more suited to run things at the DEO than she is. The idea of Alex going full Weasley twin on Haley is something that isn't hard to imagine either given the fierce determination she's shown multiple times over the life of the series. In addition to those things, though, the reference helps anchor Supergirl's world a little more in our own, something that serves to make the anti-alien/anti-other issues of the season seem a little more real as well.
"The writers' room is being really great this year," Benoist said in an interview earlier this year. "Last season, it was a lot of fire and brimstone and a lot of homages to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was great because I was such a big fan of that show. This season they really want to thematically tackle more topical stories that maybe mirror what's going on with the state of the world and our country. There's a lot of anti-alien sentiment at the beginning of Season 4 that Supergirl is going to have to grapple with. I think their main premise is that fear itself is a villain, and can hope conquer it? Supergirl stands for hope, so we'll see. I think fear is her biggest opponent yet because it's more of a wildfire-type emotion."
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.