Tonight was a big night on Supergirl, but not just for the Girl of Steel. Instead, tonight's episode focused on Nia Nal, presenting fans with the origin story of American television's first transgender superhero and Nia her Dreamer super suit as well.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Supergirl, "Blood Memory", below.
The episode saw Nia (Nicole Maines) and Kara (Melissa Benoist) head to Nia's hometown of Parthas to visit her family. Parthas, it turns out, is something of an alien oasis with the small town a welcoming, liberal, open-minded place where aliens and humans coexist in peace and equality is a local cultural value that extends not only to aliens but to all types of "otherness". Nia explains to Kara that as a transgender woman, she always felt loved and supported in Parthas, by her neighbors and her family.
However, despite the love and acceptance back home, Nia's very conflicted during her visit. It soon becomes apparent that while it is Nia who has actually developed the precognitive dreaming powers it's her sister Maeve (Hannah James) -- a cisgender female -- who is expected to have developed them. For Maeve, the legacy of those powers is something she's very much built her whole life on and Nia feels terribly guilty for being the one to actually get them.
Nia ultimately opens up to her mother, hoping that she can simply give the powers to Maeve instead. While that is not possible, Nia's mother is very accepting and encouraging of Nia's powers, acknowledging that she had been shortsighted in thinking it would be Maeve. She even tells Nia that she is more than equipped to be the family hero since all of her challenges growing up trans have made her stronger.
Before Nia can lean on her mother for strength in revealing her gifts to Maeve, though, her mother dies as a result of a lethal spider bite. But death cannot stop Isabel (Kate Burton) from encouraging Nia. Just before the memorial service, Nia's father gives her a box. It turns out that Isabel came to him in a dream and told him he needed to give it to Nia.
Nia ultimately reveals her powers at the memorial, foreseeing an attack by the Children of Liberty in just the nick of time. It saves Maeve's life but also breaks her heart, discovering her sister inherited the gift, not her. Things don't particularly improve before Nia heads back to National City, either, with Maeve hurtfully declaring that Nia isn't really a woman. Back home in National City, a still-hurting Nia reluctantly opens the box. Inside is a purple and silver super suit, complete with matching domino-style mask.
While we don't see Nia suit up tonight -- that will happen in the upcoming episode "Menagerie" set to air February 17 -- The CW has previously released a promotional shot of Maines' Nia suited up as Dreamer while Maines has been open about how exciting it is to her to get to wear it.
"I'm so excited. I'm trying to conduct myself on set in a professional manner and be like 'I'm not completely obsessed with the super-suit,' but it's all I think about," Maines said during a visit to the Supergirl set. "Every morning I wake up, 'I'm getting a super suit!' I'm going to sleep, 'I'm getting a super-suit!' I'm really, really excited. It's gonna be gorgeous! I have the best super-suit. I do."
What do you think about Dreamer's origin story on tonight's Supergirl? Let us know in the comments below.
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.