Two of the big pieces of news for the upcoming third season of Supergirl involved a recasting and someone staying around. Erica Durance, once Lois Lane on Smallville, was cast to replace Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El, the mother of Kara (Melissa Benoist) and the woman who put all the prisoners into the Phantom Zone. Benanti has appeared in 10 episodes in either flashbacks or as a hologram, so why such a high-profile recasting? New showrunners Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner told EW.com:
We wanted to keep Alura's presence on the show because it really connects Kara to Krypton and her roots and what it meant to see her family and her planet destroyed. It's an emotional grounding that's always important.
The other new was that Chris Wood continues as a series regular even though Mon-El disappeared into a portal at the end of season two. The EP's were asked if Alura had anything to do with that.
Where Mon-El is and how he comes back is the central mystery of our season. But the theme of this season is what does it mean to be human? Kara is going to be especially grappling with that, and all of the characters are. The loss of her family and Krypton impacts that a lot. The mother-daughter relationship is something we still want to explore in whatever fashion.
Supergirl returns October 9th to the CW.