Last fall, Supergirl star Azie Tesfai became the first Arrowverse actor to write an episode of their own series when she co-wrote the episode “Blind Spots” with writer J. Holtham. The episode saw Tesfai’s character, Kelly Olsen, dealing with a rapidly worsening tragedy for an underserved community but the situation is compounded by the fact that as things worsen for the those impacted, the heroes–including Supergirl (Melissa Benoist)–aren’t coming to help. The episode was a major turning point for Tesfai’s character, who ultimately went on to take on the Guardian mantle, but also carried an important message about the importance of being your own hero. Now, Tesfai is reflecting on the episode.
During a recent episode of Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast, Tesfai spoke about how she came to realize that she wanted to write an episode and described how she was in the Supergirl writer’s room for months as part of the process. But she also opened up about the episode itself, which sees Kelly directly confront the heroes as being a part of the problem, something that she said was a bit challenging.
“Especially when you’re doing notes calls in rooms and the characters have been built up as the hero that’s the best of everyone and then you have to, you know,” Tesfai said. “It’s interesting to watch how people react to those scenes when they’re reading them because people get very defensive. It’s almost like it’s them that is being attacked but even with our fans, I find a lot of them, we were lacking empowerment of oneself. And it’s like, superheroes aren’t going to save the day. The whole point of this is that, hopefully, you take some of that for yourself and empower yourself.”
She continued, “Stop relying on someone to rescue you in your everyday life. This can be translated to so many things and so, what does it look like when you expect someone to rescue you and they fail you? How painful is that? How do you step up for yourself? How do you show up for yourself?”
Tesfai previously told ComicBook.com that taking on this story with Kelly as the vessel felt like the “best way” to approach things.
“You know, I think for me personally telling this story through other characters and using Kelly as a vessel felt like the best way,” Tesfai told ComicBook.com. “And so, we have some incredible guest stars that come in and actually tell these stories, and Kelly just is a light and a lamp for their storylines to be highlighted. That always felt like the right way to me to do it. And also, tackling these issues is very complicated, and so it was super important to me for it to not be an episode. And this is the beginning of an arc, of a story arc, which felt like the only way to try to approach it. But mainly I think really redirecting, in Kelly’s new career, these heartbreaking storylines through other characters and through our guest stars felt like the best way to start this arc of these timely, heartbreaking, and difficult circumstances that our characters and our society find ourselves in.”
All six seasons of Supergirl are now streaming on Netflix.