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  4. Saturday, 23 March 2019
There's been talk in the news feed and forum about the DEO and I thought it deserved it's own thread. The overwhelming concensus is after Alex gets her meorories back and Col. Haley's gone making it safe to do so we don't want Supergirl going back to work for the DEO. The question is what if any part do we want the DEO to play in coming seasons.

Some have said they would like to get rid of the DEO entirely and there's merit to that but I don't think it's as simple as having Alex quit. The DEO serves in show and production functions.
  • Communications hub-This has been the DEO's primary function
  • Medical bay-When Supergirl gets injured the equipment and personal to help her is available
  • Science Lab
  • Incarceration of superpowered villains
  • This last one is a production purpose. When the stairs of the "new" DEO were designed for season two they were specifically designed to show Supergirl making dramatic entrances and exits. Those stairs have certainly served that purpose, is that a visual we want t lose. I'll also mention the balcony of deep thoughts.

Here's my solution. Have Brainy build a Supergirl communications hub out of J'onn's PI office. Bonus if a secret switch transforms the space. Taking away it's primary function will significantly reduce the DEO's presence and it happens to be the easiest to replace. There's IMO valid reasons for Alex to stay as director, Kara laid some of them out when Alex wanted to quit earlier this season. Someone should stay in a position to keep tabs on what the government is doing and ensure the alien artifacts in storage aren't misused. The only replacement I can figure out for the med bay and science lab would be L corp and that's IMO not an ideal solution. I can't think of what Supergirl could do with captured supepowered villians without being able to hand them over the the DEO.

Bottom line is I don't advocate getting rid of the DEO in season five at least. Lets move communications away and see if the sisters can function like the heads of two seperate organizations that often work together to save the planet. We'll also still have those stairs for dramatic entrances and exits. If replacements for other DEO functions can be established then it's presence can be reevaluated.
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There was even talk early on that Alex and Jonn would have a relationship....my how things changed....lol
You know, I can remember early in the first season (very early) wondering if that was a direction they were going to go - just based on how their scenes and dialogue were written. I'm glad that if they were thinking of doing that, that they didn't actually go that route. I much prefer the father/daughter relationship between the two of them and Kara, too.

On that note, I also had a strong feeling that they were going to be hooking Alex up at some point with Max Lord. It seemed to be hinted at very strongly, especially toward the end of the season between the two. I have to wonder if the show didn't move from CBS if that would not have been the direction they went.

I found a video where Andrew Kreisberg and David Harewood talk about the timeline of Hank becoming J'onn Jonnz. If I recall correctly the scene where Hank's eyes glow red happened at the end of Episode 2 rather than the Pilot.
Ah! Thanks for that link, Kiwi. So, it does seem as though they changed it after the pilot. That makes sense as I remember that quite a bit of Hank's dialogue in the pilot seemed anti-super hero - which didn't really mesh with the concept of him being friends with Superman as Martian Manhunter, but did jive with him being Hank Henshaw (the bad one anyway). So, if they were originally going to use Hank as the evil one, then the DEO would have likely been an adversarial setting for Supergirl when the show was first being developed. Personally, I'm glad they didn't make Hank a bad guy :)
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From that article it does seem that David’s part changed sometime between when he was hired and when the pilot, where we saw his eyes glow, aired. If I had to guess after the pilot was shot but likely during reshoots/changes before the show premiered which would explain what David said in the article.


I found a video where Andrew Kreisberg and David Harewood talk about the timeline of Hank becoming J'onn Jonnz. If I recall correctly the scene where Hank's eyes glow red happened at the end of Episode 2 rather than the Pilot.

My own opinion on the DEO is that I'm happy enough for it to stay on the show if only to give Alex a chance to be Director. That hasn't happened much in Season 4 as Col. Haley has basically taken over so it would be good for her development to be able to run it for the whole of Season 5. I've liked that Kara/Supergirl hasn't spent much time there in Season 4 after she seemed to spend most of her time there in Season 3 which is what turned me off the DEO. I prefer a nice balance between Catco and the DEO (as per Season 1 of the show).

The other thing to consider is production costs. The DEO set is built and has been in use for 3 years, they may not want to spend the $$$ on totally redesigning the set into something else.
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I did see the leaked pilot when it appeared, and did not notice a lot of changes in S1E1. Actually, I did not notice any, but they were months apart.

Nice sleuthing Sully. From that article it does seem that David’s part changed sometime between when he was hired and when the pilot, where we saw his eyes glow, aired. I remember the pilot was leaked in May 2015 having never seen that leaked version I wonder how much they decided to reshoot and if it was used as an opportunity to make changes. It’s not uncommon for a show to shoot a pilot then make changes before premiering anyway. Eliza told Alex about Jeremiah working for the DEO in S1E4 “Livewire” and J’onn revealed himself to Alex in S1E7 Human for a Day so my gut says the change was made early on. If I had to guess after the pilot was shot but likely during reshoots/changes before the show premiered which would explain what David said in the article.
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There was even talk early on that Alex and Jonn would have a relationship....my how things changed....lol
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Nice sleuthing Sully. From that article it does seem that David’s part changed sometime between when he was hired and when the pilot, where we saw his eyes glow, aired. I remember the pilot was leaked in May 2015 having never seen that leaked version I wonder how much they decided to reshoot and if it was used as an opportunity to make changes. It’s not uncommon for a show to shoot a pilot then make changes before premiering anyway. Eliza told Alex about Jeremiah working for the DEO in S1E4 “Livewire” and J’onn revealed himself to Alex in S1E7 Human for a Day so my gut says the change was made early on. If I had to guess after the pilot was shot but likely during reshoots/changes before the show premiered which would explain what David said in the article.
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Of course, it's been a few years ago, but I could have swore that I saw or read something that gave me the impression that it wasn't always in the plan for Henshaw to be the Martian Manhunter. So, I did a quick search and found this article. I'm not sure if this where I originally heard it, but the way the interview is worded, it still gives me the impression that it wasn't originally in the plan.

If I had my druthers, I would eliminate CatCo and keep the DEO, with some changes made to it. For example, they need to be more specific on how Kara is connected to it in an official capacity. One of the things that I like about Kara working alongside the government is that it distinguishes her from Clark. He was a solo fighter and whenever he did work with anyone else, it was through his Super Friends team. By keeping Kara attached to the DEO in some way, she wouldn't need a Super Friends team and she would have back-up when she needed it - a legitimate source. With all of the other parallels that they already have going on between Kara's story and Clark's, it would be nice to maintain some differences so that she retains a bit of uniqueness in her character.
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I recall David saying that. Right from the start it was the intention for Hank Henshaw to be revealed as J’onn. The DEO worked fine in season one IMO. Season one also had an extended episode order. CBS originally ordered 13 episodes then ordered seven more. FTGWHE was the final of the original 13, that’s why Astra had to die because Laura Benitti had other commitments. I think losing Cat had a lot to do with the DEO becoming more prominent. IMO it was smart moving Winn and then the only one left was James. Balance is the key.
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In regards to Sully's comments about the mid-stream transition of Hank Henshaw and the DEO in Season One;
A couple of years ago I came across an interview that David Harewood did in which he said that he didn't want the role of Hank Henshaw at first because he didn't like the character, but he changed his mind when he was told that the intention, right from the start of that first season, was for that character to later be revealed as J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter.
This was a very good move, but I also agree with Sully that they didn't seem to have a clear idea for how to alter the DEO as well, or how the DEO fitted in with Supergirl's activities after that, or her relationship as an employee either.
In the interests of clarity, maybe someone else who is better up on things can confirm this for all of us?
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I have to wonder if part of the reason why the DEO and Kara's working arrangement has been a bit a bit confusing is because the original plan was to make the DEO more of an adversary with Hank Henshaw in charge. Perhaps the EPs were going to use Alex's connection to it as a detriment rather than a help. Then, when they decided mid-stream to make Hank into J'onn Jones, they had to very quickly revamp the DEO's purpose and figure out how Kara could be integrated into it. And, they never did come up with a great fix.

I do like the idea of Kara still working with the DEO just because it offers a greater range of story possibilities and legitimacy to what she's doing as an individual citizen. But, I don't like it without Kara there and as much as I like Alex, I prefer the arrangement of him being the Director and her an agent.
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As usual for the Forum, many different and good ideas are being shared. Here's my contribution:

Right from Season One, I've had some problems with how the DEO has been presented. To begin with; if it was originally created to figure out how to counter Superman if he turned out to be a threat to Earth after he started working openly, then wouldn't you think that it would have been based in Metropolis on the east coast, rather than in National City, which has always clearly been located in southern California?
And it has sometimes been suggested that the DEO is a military organization; but if this was so, then why don't the people working there have military uniforms, ranks, and insignia, instead of 'civilian' designations, such as "Director" and "Agent"?
And I've always questioned why Supergirl had to be an employee in order to work there?

That having been said, here is how I would re-vamp the DEO:
First, make it more of a defensive and administrative organization, with it's primary objective being to defend Earth from alien threats (which it has done many times in the past); and it's second objective would be to handle the admission to Earth of any aliens who want to visit or live here, and to defend those aliens who just want to live here peacefully, which is what it already does most of the time anyway.
This would allow Alex and Brainy to continue working there (and good-bye to Col. Haley!), with presumably enough occasional threats to justify the DEO's existence. And Supergirl could still work with them as an 'independent consultant', rather than as an employee, and she could also still use the medical lab at the DEO whenever she needed to.

As for the ideas about J'onn's new PI office being a headquarters of sorts; some good ideas have been put forward already, but why not keep it simple? How about just having a 'secret operations office' hidden behind the scenes, or upstairs, as some have suggested? It wouldn't have to be elaborate, seeing as how Supergirl, J'onn, Brainy, and Dreamer are using J'onn's place now; just a safe place for them to organize their own operations from, and co-coordinating with the once-again-friendly DEO as needed.

I agree that the DEO needs a serious overhaul, but I don't think that it has to be thrown out entirely.
And wanting to try to reflect some real-life reality within the show isn't a bad thing either, but if the writers of this show would stop trying to turn it into a platform for social commentary, and get back to the traditional idea of superheroes being about entertainment, then that alone would be a huge improvement.

So much for my ideas - now, let's see what the next person has to add to this interesting string.
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Well, I don't know that the elimination of one means a direct route into the pits of hell as far as story lines go ;) .

Agreed. The storylines are already in the pits of hell with the DEO extant. :D

It does seem a logical next step for the showrunners given their stated goal of addressing social issues, though. And with ad revenue declining from ratings erosion (which even the Flash has to deal with), who could blame them for looking to make do with less?

However, I remain skeptical that a PI firm, even one run by Martian Manhunter, could consistently generate threats that only Supergirl can take care of.

My personal preference would be to keep Alex and Brainy at the DEO as a hook for the end of the world type stuff.

J'onn's business and Kara's role as reporter dovetail nicely for the more personal/topical stories.
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I understand the appeal in their minds of doing so. Switching the focus to J'onn's new occupation would offer many opportunities for street level, socially relevant, and low budget storylines.
Well, I don't know that the elimination of one means a direct route into the pits of hell as far as story lines go ;) .

The DEO is an enforcement division for aliens. They're no different than the regular military and wouldn't be expected to do more than provide support for operations and house captured aliens. Kara drops off captured aliens now and we never see them again. So, I don't really see the agency needing to be a big part of Supergirl's life. If the show runners are thinking about doing away with it, then they could easily end the season making Col. Haley a more sympathetic, willing participant in what Supergirl does and let her run the DEO. They're already hedging that way a bit as it is.

I don't think it's a stretch for them to make J'onn's office into a multi-purpose base for the team. It looks like it has two levels and who knows how far back it stretches. So, they could easily throw up a couple of walls to convert the space into a med-bay. Looking at what they're using now at the DEO for Kara, I think that equipment would fit and Alex is a trained medical professional (I think - it's a bit confusing because sometimes she is and sometimes she's not).

I've always liked the DEO, but that was when we had J'onn, Alex and Kara all working together there. As it is, I really have no desire to see Alex in one place and everyone else at another. I think that would be stretching the setting too far and further isolating the stories that are told. So, if they're not going to bring Kara back into the DEO, then yes, I think it needs to go.
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The showrunners seem to be at least toying with the idea of ditching the DEO.

I understand the appeal in their minds of doing so. Switching the focus to J'onn's new occupation would offer many opportunities for street level, socially relevant, and low budget storylines.

That sounds dreadful to me, but maybe that's the price to pay for a few spectacle heavy episodes per year.
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" Any ideas on what to do with captured superpowered villains."

Well, in my own fan fiction stories, I have Kara (as Supergirl) working closely with the National City Police Dept.(NCPD). Her contact person there is called Capt. Seymour - basically a sort of Commissioner Gordon character, who has access to a specially encrypted "Supergirl Phone" line. I also have the DEO, but it doesn't get too much emphasis in my stories - mostly just a place of employment for Alex, Winn, and Brainy. Action scenes involving Lena also take place at L Corp in my stories. And Dick and Winn often work together at Spencer Data Systems, Dick's employer. (Their top brass is totally on board with Dick, too, and are very much pro-Supergirl). I also have Susan, who teaches chemistry at UCNC (the University of California at National City). Her lab is another location accessible to the Supergirl Team, and often used by them.
Maybe some of these ideas could be adapted to the TV show, too!
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You’re points are valid. If there’s a way to eliminate the DEO I’m on board. I think the challenges to doing that are worth discussion and brainstorming because we haven’t quite figured it all out yet.

You’re correct Alex could get a lab added to J’onn’s office. What’s your idea for a med bay, L Corp. I suppose the converted office could have a sun lamp chair for not too serious situations. That’s a lot of stuff to fit in that space. LOL it’s a TV show so we can pretend the office is big enough, maybe they need to takeover some adjacent space. Any ideas on what to do with captured superpowered villains. Sure it could be said that Supergirl drops them off at the never seen DEO but what if she needs to interrogate them later.
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The problem I see with that is it would do 1 of 2 things....

1. Give a big storyline to an adpect of the show that Supergirl has nothing to do with, which in my opinion is a problem of this season.....or

2. Alienate Alex and she is relegated to showing up for couch sister scenes....or they cross paths here and there in some cases...

IMO, Alex goes to work with Jonn, leaves the military and she gets her own part of his office for the forensics portion of their work.
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