Warning! Spoilers ahead for the Supergirl Season 6 premiere.
Super Girl Season 6 just sent Kara Danvers to the Phantom Zone. The Arrowverse series began its final season with a major cliffhanger that saw the titular character of Melissa Benoist zapped into the Phantom Zone – a Kryptonian space prison that also functions as a parallel universe where time is effectively warped – by the evil Lex Luthor. (Jon Cryer). The end of the Super Girl The Season 6 premiere, titled “Rebirth,” is shocking on several levels. But, while it works to intensify the story the series tells, Kara’s dispatch is included to accommodate Benoist’s actual maternity leave after her pregnancy, which she announced in March 2020.
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Supergirl and her friends may have stopped Lex from brainwashing Obsidian VR users to love her and eradicate the other half of the world. However, the scheming villain had another plan up his sleeve before all was said and done. In the final showdown in the Fortress of Solitude, Lex is outnumbered, but he has just enough time to grab the Phantom Zone projector and zap Supergirl there just before Alex shoots him down. The Season 6 premiere ends with Supergirl inside the Phantom Zone, impossible for the rest of her team to reach because the projector data has been erased and is potentially unrecoverable (at least for now). When Lena offers to find Kara through a transmap portal, similar to the one she used in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, Brainy says that won’t work because they don’t know exactly where Lex sent Supergirl in the Phantom Zone.
Sending Kara to the Phantom Zone works to accommodate Benoist’s maternity leave, which has delayed her return to Super Girl of a few months. The actress announced the arrival of her first child with husband Chris Wood (who played Mon-El in previous seasons of Super Girl) in September 2020. Shooting on Super Girl Season 6 began in October 2020, although Benoist herself didn’t return to filming until January 2021. While Kara is seen inside the Ghost Zone at the end of the Season 6 premiere, unconscious and surrounded by other aliens, her disappearance effectively eliminates Benoist from the show’s main plot for a period of time.
Plus, keeping the actress isolated from the rest of the cast likely made it easier to shoot her scenes for Super Girl when she returned in the New Year, while the remaining cast could continue filming during the months Benoist was on leave. Kara’s absence increases the tension on the show, at least until it’s time to save Kara from Kryptonian prison. We don’t know how often Super Girl will show Kara from inside the Ghost Zone and how her story might relate to everything that happens in National City during her absence. However, sending the superhero to this dark place presents a realistic excuse for his disappearance, with his friends already working overtime to provide viable reasons for Kara’s absence from CatCo (this time is that she is with Cat Grant investigating a story).
Throwing in an extra hurdle that keeps Supergirl’s team from getting her back to Earth so quickly guarantees Benoist a break from her maternity leave and likely eases the transition surrounding the actress’ delayed return to filming. Plus, being separated from the main cast means Benoist won’t have to be re-edited in any of the scenes they’ve already filmed. The exact number of episodes needed to save Kara is unknown. It may also mean that his character may have limited screen time at the start of the game. Super Girl season 6, which is a sad thought considering this is the final season. Either way, the workaround is smart given the circumstances.
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