The Flash: Nicole Maines on That Major Dreamer Reveal in "Wildest Dreams" (Exclusive)

Dreamer came to Central City Wednesday night on The Flash with "Wildest Dreams" setting Nia Nal and Iris West-Allen off on their very own high stakes adventure. But while fans of The Flash were excited to see Nicole Maines guest star, fans of Supergirl also got a bit of a coda to that Arrowverse series' story with a bit of follow up on Nia's journey — including a revelation in the episode that lives up to its title, at least in terms of Nia's future and in a conversation with, Maines breaks down that reveal — and just how important it is.

Warning for this week's episode of The Flash, "Wildest Dreams", beyond this point.

In the episode, Nia comes to National City after having a disturbing dream in which a hooded figure appears to kill Iris West-Allen who, before dying, tells Nia that the answer is control. When Nia gets to Central City, the two women end up trapped in the dream space with both of them having to deal with things that have been holding them back — Iris her fears that she's not in control of her own future, and Nia, taking the next big step despite the possibility it will be scary.  Iris conquers her fears and then encourages Nia to do the same and when she does, there's a big reveal. Nia had been trying to dig into her powers more and her Naltorian heritage so that she could take things to the next level, but that next level had eluded her until she finally moved forward even in the face of fear. It's then that the mysterious hooded figure is revealed to be the original Dreamer — the very first Naltorian woman to get the dream powers that she then passed down to the women in her line all the way through to Nia. It's a powerful reveal for what it means for Nia but it's also powerful because the original Dreamer is revealed to be a Black woman. For Maines, whose Dreamer is the first transgender superhero on television, the whole episode is a powerful journey.

"Dreamer is trying to learn more about her heritage and learn more about the nature of her powers," Maines said. "It's sort of like that moment in Frozen 2 where Elsa, she's in the ice castle, and they're like 'Oh, don't go too far. You'll be drowned.' She's going father and father into the dream realm and exploring the full depths and breadths of her power. And now she'll hit a point where she has encountered something ominous and foreboding and now it's coupled with this vision of killing Iris and she does not know what that means."

She continued, "For Nia, this is sort of a return to square one where she doesn't know what anything means, and she has no control. I think her big arc on the show is trying to come to understand these powers that she did not prepare for, and she was not ready for. So, by the end of Supergirl and the year since the series finale, she has been learning every day to control these powers more, more what they mean, more about the interpretation of her vision. And now with Iris, she's thrust back into this position of 'I don't know what anything means. And I have no control here. It feels like I'm back at square one. I feel like I just did all this. What is happening?'"

By episode's end, Nia knows what is happening and indeed knows herself and her powers far better —and gains a mentor with the original Dreamer. But with the original Dreamer being revealed to be a Black woman, it's a major moment that shows just how diverse superheroes can be — something she says is timelier now than ever.

"It just is reflective of the time period we're in. I think showcasing the power in diversity, the beauty in diversity, power and beauty in inclusion. I think that for so long, heroes and these kinds of stories have been dominated by one type of person and it was, 'Okay, you have access to these stories if you look one certain type of way.' And now we're getting to see these stories are only made better when we expand the lens," Maines said. "When we expand the circle to include more people, it just offers us the opportunity to tell more stories, to tell more interesting stories, to open the floor to new experiences. It just gives us more stories to tell. And I think now, particularly when we're in a time when human rights are being brought into question and individual powers are being taken away at rates that I have never seen before, I think it's all the more important that we are showcasing marginalized people as powerful and legendary because we need that."

Maines also said that the importance of showcasing a diverse range of people as powerful and legendary is part of why Dreamer means so much to her as well — and that she hopes these stories bring hope.

"It brings hope back to me when I find myself in times of hopelessness and powerlessness," she said. "And that's what these characters do., and that's what superheroes are meant to do. They're meant to be beacons of hope and power to people who have none."

The Flash airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.