“Congratulations, Director.” With these two simple words, the future of both Alex Danvers and LGBTQ representation on Supergirl improved significantly. By promoting Kara’s sister to the role of DEO director in the Season 3 finale, J’onn J’onzz enabled her to finally find the time she needs to raise a family of her own, which could very well lead to a gay adoption storyline in Season 4.
It’s been a long road getting to this point. Back in Season 2 of the Arrowverse show, fans shipped hard for Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer, but their relationship came to a bitter end at the beginning of Season 3. After initially planning their own wedding together, things soon crumbled when Danvers realized how much she wanted a child of her own, something which Sawyer had always protested against. The pair eventually went their separate ways, breaking the hearts of shippers worldwide who felt that Danvers deserved better.
Around the same time, a new mother-daughter pair called Sam and Ruby joined Supergirl. Once it had been revealed that Sam would transform into a villainous character called Reign, fans began to wonder whether Danvers would end up adopting Ruby because of her open desire to become a mother. The show flirted with this idea towards the end of Season 3, entrusting Alex with the child’s safety, but instead of creating their own family together, the time that she spent with Ruby convinced her to create her own family, regardless of whether she had a partner or not.
In the episode that aired just one week prior to the finale, Danvers could be seen perusing adoption sites at work while decked out in her full combat attire. While the DEO admittedly seemed like a strange place to start family planning, this was the first time that gay adoption had been explicitly discussed in any of the Arrowverse shows.
By the time the finale rolled around, Danvers and Co. were mostly too busy saving the world to discuss their personal lives in depth, but time was still made for us to hear Alex consider quitting her job in order to start a family. Thankfully, the promotion that followed can finally turn that dream into a reality.
Now that she’s the Director of the DEO, Alex will venture into the field less and therefore has more time to meet someone new who could raise a child alongside her. Still, Danvers is quick to point out that she’s willing to become a single mother too if that’s what it takes, demonstrating an admirable strength in her character. The main thing that held Alex back before was fear that putting herself in danger could have awful repercussions for her child, but this is less of an issue now that she’s been promoted into an arguably safer position.
During an interview with TV Line, executive producers Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller discussed the balancing act that Danvers will face in Season 4, juggling her new role at the DEO while “going back in the dating world and exploring options for motherhood.” Although specific details about that journey are still being kept under wraps for now, the very fact that such themes are being explored on a show like Supergirl is huge.
Ever since Cameron and Mitchell adopted a child on Modern Family, same-sex parents have become more and more visible on screen, appearing on shows like The Fosters and Grey’s Anatomy, as well as movies such as The Kids Are All Right. However, the vast majority of stories that depict these kind of families tend to be adult-oriented. By incorporating same-sex parenthood on a family-friendly show like Supergirl, The CW is sending out a positive message to people of all ages, normalizing the real-life experiences of millions in America.
Whether Danvers tackles motherhood alone or finds love with someone new (Batwoman, anyone?), Queller was right when she told TV Line that this is a “universal story”. Sure, Supergirl can leap tall buildings in a single bound, but by exploring Alex’s journey into motherhood, the show is taking larger strides forward for the queer community than even someone with Kryptonian strength could manage.