Supergirl returned Tuesday night for its sixth and final season and while the episode Supergirl/Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and the Superfriends face-off with Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) and Leviathan to wrap up the storylines cut short in Season 5 due to the pandemic-related production shutdown, the episode also launched the hero's final journey with a shocking twist. "Rebirth" saw Supergirl put in a situation that she never wanted to be in and now, series showrunners Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner are teasing just how that impacts Kara going forward.
Warning: Spoilers for the Season 6 premiere of Supergirl, "Rebirth", below.
In the episode, while Kara and her allies are able to stop Lex from carrying out his nefarious plans for not just National City but the larger universe as well as prevent him from killing her, he still manages to land a devastating blow when he uses the Phantom Zone projector to send Kara into the Phantom Zone. For Kara, the Phantom Zone is both her worst nightmare and her biggest fear as she spent so much time trapped there as a child on her way to Earth and according to Rovner, the Phantom Zone Kara finds this time is very different than what she experienced as a child.
"Well, I mean it impacts her in a very profound way," Rovner said. "You know, I think that the Phantom Zone she faces this time around is much more unkind than last time, last time she was protected in her pod and this time she's there and being impacted by the Phantoms that roam the Phantom Zone and give the Phantom Zone its name and they deplete people of their hope."
He continued, "So, she doesn't have powers there and so she's much more vulnerable than we've ever seen her and really, her journey and the Phantom Zone is how does she keep hope alive when she doesn't know if she's going to get out of it or not? And it seems very possible that she will never get out. And for our heroes left in National City, you know, they're faced with that same reality that they might never get Supergirl back. And so the stakes are higher than they've ever been, and the emotions are higher than they've ever been."
Queller also noted that Kara being in the Phantom Zone in a sense reflects on what audiences themselves have dealt with during pandemic-related quarantine.
"One of the other aspects that accidentally affected our storytelling, as you know from having seen the first episode, Supergirl is stuck in the Phantom Zone and is very affected by quarantine, not knowing when she'll ever see her family again or when, or if, she'll get out of there and so we're hoping that those feeling that Kara is grappling with will resonate with all of us who've lived through something similar."