Tonight, Supergirl returns from its winter hiatus with the ninth episode of its second season, "Supergirl Lives", which will follow Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) and Mon-El (Chris Wood) as they wind up stuck on another planet where Roulette leads a despicable slave trafficking ring. Aside from just being the first new episode of the series in almost two full months, it will also be the first episode of The CW superhero TV show directed by none other than Kevin Smith.
Of course, this comes after Smith's previous two stints in the Arrowverse; directing an episode in both The Flash's second and third seasons so far. Apparently, it was those two times working with the Scarlet Speedster that helped to give Smith the confidence to take a swing at the Maiden of Might's standalone series as well.
Speaking with IGN, Smith opened up about how not only directing the first episode of The Flash, but specifically the second episode (this season's "Killer Frost") was what really prepared him for the special effects-heavy episode of Supergirl:
"Early on, when they made the move to Vancouver in [Supergirl] Season 2 and I was up there doing my second episode of Flash, I said I’d love to. So it finally came around and I was able to do it, and I was a little intimidated, because when I did my first episode of Flash, it wasn’t a typical episode of Flash, inasmuch as there was a lot of running around. Not a lot of special effects, because Barry was kind of quasi-dead in that episode and inside the Speed Force. There was a lot of talking in that episode to people in the person of the Speed Force, and not a lot of like, 'Okay, we gotta do green screen and do this.' So we moved through it briskly and it was kind of in my sweet spot.
Supergirl is way more complex. The moment she’s in that suit, almost anything she does is a special effect, whether she breathes, whether she looks at something, whether she leaves the room, there’s a special effect involved. It’s a special effects-heavy show, and thank god I did that second episode of The Flash in between the first episode of Flash and the first episode of Supergirl. The second episode of Flash, 'Killer Frost,' was very effects-heavy and much more in keeping with what they do in terms of spectacle in an episode. So it was very good training going into Supergirl."
While the Smith-helmed episode of Supergirl won't air for the first time until tonight, it certainly seems like the writer and director's recent streak within the Arrowverse is going to continue yet again. Smith has already been confirmed to direct another episode of Supergirl's second season later this year, so it seems fair to say that his time with Barry Allen and co. did, in fact, pay off for him when taking on the much more alien, sci-fi-heavy look and tone of Supergirl.
To the credit of Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, and the rest of the creative execs responsible for the continued success of the Arrowverse shows, though, they've all done a fairly spectacular job at creating a cohesive aesthetic and tone throughout all of their series so far, no matter who is directing the episodes. For his part, it seems like Smith is taking on one of the possibly more radical episodes of Supergirl season 2 so far; which not only finds Kara and Mon-El trapped on a foreign planet, but on a foreign planet that also happens to have a red sun, effectively leaving them powerless for a majority of its story. How that changes up the dynamic and overall story of the season, however, will have to wait to be seen.
Supergirl will return to The CW with ‘Supergirl Lives’ tonight at 8 p.m.