Reign may be the clear and present danger on Supergirl, but tonight's episode will take on another challenging issue in "The Fanatical" -- race.
In the preview for tonight's episode it was hinted that Guardian/James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) will face having his identity exposed and in a new "inside the episode" clip that you can check out above, it's revealed that that exposure may have a larger implication.
"James is targeted when he is accidentally unmasked as Guardian. Police corner him in a way that feels like it was ... racially motivated," co-showrunner Jessica Queller explains in the video. "It touches upon the idea of race and what it means to be a black man in America."
Seeing James face an intense situation with law enforcement because of race won't be the first time The CW has taken on the issue of racially motivated police involvement on the network this season. During the Black Lightning series premiere, Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) was pulled over by police early in the episode apparently simply for being black. The scene was an intense one, inspired by Black Lightning series showrunner Salim Akil's own experience, was something that was never questioned by the network.
"There were discussions, because it was so intense, but it was never discussions where 'we don't want you to do this,'" Akil told ComicBook.com earlier this year. "It was more like 'help us understand why, in the first episode, in the first few minutes...' And I felt it was important to talk about all of the things we were talking about."
On Supergirl, Guardian's experience is set to cause him to wrestle with some hard questions about race and vigilantism in Earth-38's America, though there may not be much time for the hero to deal with the implications. In tonight's episode a defector from the Cult of Rao brings James Thomas Coville's journal -- a volume that may hold clues on how to help Sam (Odette Annable) but may also reveal just how fanatical the Cult of Rao has become and how far they will go to carry out their presumed-dead leader's plans.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. "The Fanatical" airs tonight, May 21.