[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Tuesday's episode of Supergirl. Read at your own risk!]
It's not easy being a superhero. Nicole Maines' Supergirlcharacter Nia Nal has powers, of course, but it's not like there's an instruction manual for how to be Dreamer. Nia has had to figure out a lot on her own, but it looks like that's about to change.
On Tuesday night, Nia accepted an offer from Fifth Dimensional dream-interloper Nyxly (Peta Sergeant) to bring her mother back -- for just one day -- in exchange for helping get the imp over to reality. Surely nothing can go wrong, right?
Of course, so much went wrong. And lucky for TV Guide, Maines was available to help interpret Nia's decisions, and offer some hints at the trouble coming the way of the Super Friends when Nyxly is unleashed, and if Nia will be revealing the bargain she made to Brainy (Jesse Rath) when he gets back from dropping Zor-El (Jason Behr) off in Argo City. Plus, we learned a little more about what's ahead for Catco employee Nia, whose under quite a lot of pressure at work from their boss, Andrea Rojas (Julie Gonzalo).
Nia has been longing to spend more time with her mother, and she was willing to strike a bargain with someone she doesn't know anything about, who just happens to be in her dream, which is weird in itself. So, let's start with the basics: What does she hope to get from her mother?
Nicole Maines: Aside from time -- being able to see her again, hold her again, talk to her, hear her – all the superhero stuff aside, I don't know if any of us could really say if someone came and offered us a chance to talk to our dead loved one -- a mom, especially -- that we wouldn't take it. But then, in terms of her super-heroics, we've been seeing for a while now, Nia struggling with not understanding her power's origins, how to interpret her dreams, how to do anything. She hasn't had anyone to teach her. She's had Brainy, but Brainy won't even really tell her that much about the future, about Nura, so she's really been feeling around in the dark by herself for [awhile] now, three seasons. And the only person who could help her -- her mom -- is gone, and now she's having a chance to talk to her again...This is the missing piece; this is what Nia needs. If I can just talk to my mom, then I'll finally be the hero I always wanted to be. I'll finally be able to do something. I won't feel like I'm a liability to the team anymore. I won't feel like I'm putting people in danger by not having a full grasp of my powers and my skill set. So, for Nia, I think it's coming from a place of, at this point, desperation. And we've seen this building up in her. Every time she's making progress, it is halted, or something goes wrong by a misinterpretation, or a dream she can't fully understand yet, or she doesn't understand it until too little too late. And so now she's scared, and she's desperate, and again, she's just a girl who misses her mom.
So, let's talk about Nylxy. I asked Jason Behr, who played Zor-El, to give me some advice about Nylxy to pass on to the Super Friends. And he said, 'Don't trust her. … I smell a rat.' Now, Jason said he has not read the scripts going forward. You have. So, knowing what you know, would that be helpful advice for the Super Friends?
Maines: We know Nylxy is bad news. We, as an audience, know she's bad news. And I think it is always sound advice when a mysterious stranger shows up in your dreams, offering you everything you've ever wanted, it's probably too good to be true. And there's probably a price. And Nia knows that. Nia knows there's a price. The thing is, at this point, she's willing to do whatever it takes. She's not naïve. She's not even just seeing one red flag. She's like, seen the place where they make the red flags.
Can you give us a hint at how much trouble Nia has unleashed, not only for herself but for Earth in general?
Maines: Well, we know Fifth Dimensional imps are not necessarily to be trusted. We've seen what comes out of the Fifth Dimension. So, with unleashing Nylxy, who's got a vendetta, you know it's going to be bad news.
Brainy's going to be back sometime soon from Argo City. How's that reunion going to go?
Maines: Things are getting better and better for Brainiac and Nia every day. We're finally starting to see these two on the same page. And it's just been really nice to kind of have them back together and working together. It's been really nice to do superhero scenes where we're able to look at each other.
I was imagining Nylxy going wild, and then Brainy arrives back and finds out.
Maines: That's the thing with Nia and Brainiac, they've sworn, 'No more secrets.' So, now, this is a pretty big mistake Nia's made. So, we're kind of going to test her promise-keeping skills. Is she going to keep this to herself? Or, is she going to let her partner know what's up?
You've done some touching scenes with Katie McGrath's Lena of late, or at least in this final season. What's that been like for you? It's been really nice to see these two bonding.
Maines: I never got to do scenes with Katie before because we were always just existing in different corners of the show, and now that Lena is a full-fledged Super Friend, it's been very nice to have her around the tower and have her in these scenes and start to see this blossoming friendship between Nia and Lena, which I honestly wish we cashed in on a little sooner because I feel like they would absolutely, totally, like go shopping together. It would be a whole thing.
And also, a deep need to talk about their lost mothers. I know Lena's gone off to do some digging, but can we expect to see Lena and Nia together again at some point, maybe having some more of those intimate conversations?
Maines: As the season progresses we just kind of start to see more and more of Nia and Lena working together, and helping each other, and that's been really cool because, of course, Katie is one of my absolute favorite people on the show, and she's one of my absolute best friends. And so, it was really, really nice to finally get to do these scenes together because I've been asking for three years. I was like, 'Hi! I love this person. Can we do scenes together?'
So lastly, Supergirl/Kara and Nia -- they seem to have the most interaction when it comes to Catco and there's obviously some drama there. They sure are really putting a lot of pressure on these poor young journalists to get scoops and throw themselves on the line.
Maines: Andrea's getting desperate. She really, really, really wants a story and she really wants to be the go-to source for the Super Friends. And so, between Nia, Kara, and William, it's going to be, 'Who is going to get me what I want? And to what lengths are you all willing to go to do this for me?' And I think for some of the characters...we're going to start to see, I think, them crack under the weight a little bit.
We're not here for the competition. They should be allowed to be supportive of each other. That's all I'm saying.
Maines: Right. I mean I stand by what I said -- Kara, William, and Nia are like the Plastics of Catco. I think they sit in the corner, by themselves, and they're like, 'On Wednesdays, we wear pink.'
Supergirl airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.