The end of Supergirl is, unfortunately, nigh. And with the end of a long-running series like the CW’s high-flying superhero drama comes a lot of expectations — both from fans who have been around since its early days on CBS and the actors who brought these characters to life for six years. But all Katie McGrath wanted by the time the sixth and final season ends is for her character Lena Luthor to learn a little self-love. Talk about relatable!
“I really would like to see Lena come into full acceptance of who she is, that she’s fully accepted who she is, what she’s done, and who she is now,” McGrath tells EW. “She’s not hung up about the bad parts of her, and she’s fully accepted the woman that she is, warts and all, and she believes that she is a good person. For me, that would be such a lovely wrapping up for Lena because she struggled so much with who she is. To finally just take a deep breath and go, ‘I’m enough, Lena is enough,’ and be happy for it, I know it sounds so simple, it’s not like these grand plans that everybody else probably wants for their characters, but it’s so simple for Lena. I just want her to finally be okay with who she is.”
And while McGrath is playing coy about whether her dream for Lena will come true, she does tease that Lena’s ending will be complete by the time Supergirl soars for the last time. “It’s very rare in this business that you get to tell a story from start to finish completely; a lot of times, shows are canceled before they get there,” she says. “So when the show does finish, we have the privilege of being able to tell the ending. Our showrunners are amazing, and our writers are brilliant, and the idea that they’ve come up with, you will get an ending.”
Below, McGrath reveals what fans can expect from the rest of the final season and more.
From the first few episodes of this season, it finally feels like Lena has become the best version of herself.
KATIE MCGRATH: When you’ve played a character for so long, and you love them so much, you feel a responsibility not only to the people who love the character but to the character herself, and you want to make sure that it feels right. I’ll say this about Lena: no matter what she’s gone through, she’s not a woman who gives up. You push her down, and she gets back up. No matter how hard it is, she will always keep trying to move forward. It’s one of the things I like best about her, throw anything at her [and] she really keeps going, bless her heart. Everyone tries to kill her, her brother tries to murder children, but you know what, let’s keep going!
What has it been like playing such an emotionally well-rounded version of Lena, especially after she tries so hard to run from all emotion last season?
It’s a really nice evolution. It makes sense. When we were finishing up last season, you sort of do a debrief with your showrunners, and they talk to you about what’s coming up and what they think, and the one thing I said to them was I’d really like to see Lena be okay with herself and okay with who she is. She’s spent so long fighting, fighting being a Luthor, fighting her past, fighting her mother. The journey that I’d love to see for her is to fully accept who she is. What’s so nice is that they listened to that, and I think that’s what you’re seeing, her coming to terms with everything she’s done but learning to forgive herself and go, “You know what, I can still be the person I want to be, even though I’ve done so much bad stuff in the past.”
What kind of growth are we going to see from her throughout the rest of the final season? Where does she go from here?
What you see now is that she officially joins the Super Friends, which is coming in this week’s episode. The important part of that for Lena is Lena wouldn’t be able to forgive herself until she sees that other people have forgiven her. And there’s a lovely couple of scenes with Lena and Alex [Chyler Leigh], and hearing Alex talk to her, coming from somebody who she never thought she would hear those words, is a real moment for Lena to say, “Okay, I can sort of move along from this.” Being with the Super Friends and helping and working with them goes a long way to doing that.
Lena and Kara’s (Melissa Benoist) friendship has gone through so many highs and lows throughout the series. With Kara trapped in the Phantom Zone for now, how are we going to see their relationship evolve this season?
Right now, for Lena, Kara is this unknown quantity because, as far as Lena is concerned, it’s her fault that Kara is in the Phantom Zone. While the Super Friends may have forgiven her, she doesn’t know how Kara is feeling. And until she sees her and is able to talk to her, it’s this unknown for her. How they left it and how responsible Lena feels for everything she’s done until she gets to talk to Kara and knows that Kara forgives her, I don’t think Lena can fully move forward. This is her best friend, and she’s gone. So until Kara gets back, you’re not seeing a total and full Lena.
How does the mission to save Supergirl continue to unfold in this week’s episode?
This is the first time that you will see Lena working directly with the Super Friends. She’s always helped them, but now she’s part of the team. Part of it is her feeling inadequate and not good enough, and then realizing by the end of the episode that everybody is valuable, you don’t have to be a super to be a superhero. She’s learning that she has value even though she can’t lift a bus or fire lasers. It’s all part of her understanding that she is enough and she doesn’t have to be more than she is in order to make a difference.
It’s like she’s been a consultant this whole time to the team and now she’s getting promoted to full-time.
Absolutely! [Laughs] That’s a very good way of putting it. They have outsourced to Lena all this time when they needed it. She was like a substitute teacher and just came in on the days off. She was this high-level consultancy firm. Having been the consultant, they could see her work, they liked it, they approved, and they thought, “Let’s call you up to the big leagues, leave the minors.”
What are you most excited for fans to see from the rest of the final season?
People are going to lose their minds when they watch all of it. The moment when Kara comes back is going to be very important, and it was for us too because we got Mel back, so it was great. But every episode up until we finish will have something that’s going to shock and surprise and impress.
Supergirl airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.