In the above exclusive clip from Supergirl‘s season 5 premiere, airing Sunday on The CW, Kara (Melissa Benoist), James (Mehcad Brooks), and Nia (Nicole Maines) meet CatCo Magazine’s new owner, Andrea Rojas (Veronica Mars’ Julie Gonzalo), a tech billionaire who is making an aggressive push into media and has some disconcerting plans for Cat Grant’s bastion of journalistic excellence — plans that give everyone, especially recent Pulitzer Prize winner Kara, pause.
“Together, we’re gonna create a worldwide media organization that drives consumer cross-platform engagement,” declares Andrea to the entire newsroom. “Eyeballs. Revenue. We’re gonna take your already brilliant work and we’re gonna sharpen it until it’s deadly. And we’re gonna monetize it.”
In other words, Andrea wants revenue to drive to editorial decisions, which is another way of saying she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get clicks.
“The news is not about clicks,” protests Kara, whose reporting on Lex Luthor’s season 4 machinations won her that storied award of journalistic excellence.
“Everything is about clicks,” Andrea authoritatively replies.
It’s worth noting that there’s more to the Central American tech empire heiress that meets the eye. In the comics, Andrea eventually becomes the DC character Acrata, and on Supergirl, we’ll learn that she’s holding a mystical secret.
The entire scene — which you can watch above — feels very much in line with the ethos of season 5, which showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller have dubbed their “Black Mirror season” because of its concern with the ways in which technology affects our lives and can help or hinder engagement.
“What we’re looking at is how technology is impacting the way people engage and giving them an escape not to engage,” Rovner told EW in July. “It seems like nowadays, everyone is kind of on their phones or not really present, and so we wanted to speak to that and kind of how it might be hard to live in the ugliness of what’s going on, and how a character like Kara can try and help us overcome that. It speaks to a lot of the stuff the characters will be going through.”
Supergirl airs Sundays at 9 p.m. — following Batwoman — on The CW.