Police detective Maggie Sawyer, a longtime member of the Superman character roster, made her Supergirl debut in the October 24 episode, “Welcome to Earth.” She is played by Floriana Lima, who joined the show as a regular cast member.
At the start of “Welcome to Earth,” she was a thorn in Alex Danvers‘ side during an investigation into an attack on the President’s life in National City. However, they learned to work together to stop the assassin, who turned out to be Scorcher (Nadine Crocker). Lima also appeared in the October 31 episode, “Survivors” and her chemistry with Alex was on full display.
During the rest of the first half of Supergirl‘s second season, Alex revealed that she is gay and hoped to date Maggie. At first, Maggie turned her away, but at the end of the fall finale “Medusa,” Maggie went back to Alex’s apartment. They shared a kiss, and she revealed that she wanted to be with Alex.
Here’s a look at the character and Lima.
1. Maggie Sawyer Was Introduced in 1987 & Is a Lesbian Character
Maggie Sawyer was introduced in the comics in the April 1987 issue of Superman and created by John Byrne. She was born in Star City and moved to Metropolis after getting a divorce from her husband and revealing that she is a lesbian. Initially, she was skeptical of Superman, but after he saved her, their relationship was smoothed out. Later, she moved to Gotham City and became romantically involved with Batwoman.
There have been various versions of Sawyer over the years. She appeared in Superman: The Animated Series and was played by Jill Teed in Smallville.
The Supergirl version of Sawyer will be a detective in National City with a special interest in aliens. In “Welcome to Earth, she teams up with Alex (Chyler Leigh) to investigate an attempted attack on the President (Lynda Carter), who is promoting more openness towards aliens on earth.
In “Welcome to Earth,” there was noticeable chemistry between Maggie and Alex, so some have suspected that there will be a relationship between the two. The closest Alex has ever come to having a relationship on the show is her flirtations with Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli).
“If people suspected chemistry, they’ve got good instincts,” Berlanti told Entertainment Weekly. “I love that people are already really invested in their dynamic. If they are, they’ll hopefully continue to be really pleased.”
Unfortunately for poor Alex, Maggie already had a girlfriend, as revealed at the end of “Survivors.” But by “Luthors,” which airs on February 13, the two are a couple after Maggie broke up with her previous girlfriend.
2. In ‘Supergirl,’ Sawyer Says She Felt Like an Alien Growing Up
In an Entertainment Weekly interview, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained that their Sawyer is an advocate for alien rights because she feels a connection to them.
“She says in her introductory episode that growing up gay and Latina in Nebraska made her ideally sympathetic to people who are different and people who don’t quite fit in,'” Kreisberg said.
Executive producer Greg Berlanti, who oversees the Arrowverse at The CW, told the Hollywood Reporter in May that it has been important to him to show how all-inclusive the DC Comics universe can be. He has shown a willingness to change the race and sexual orientation of characters. For example, they’ve made Iris West on The Flash and James Olsen African-American.
Of the things that are personal to me, they’re not necessarily fights but they’re choices we made that were different that became conversations. For instance, in The Flash, Iris West was never black in the comic books, and for Supergirl, James Olsen was never black in the comics. So I wanted to contemporize these comics that I loved growing up and have them reflect the society that we live in now. Those have all been conversations. There’s a character we just added to Arrow, Mr. Terrific, who is African-American and gay, and then of course we had one of our original Black Canaries [on Arrow] be bisexual. So I’m doing it in a way that’s not as overt now, but it’s still about working in some of those very real qualities so that everyone feels represented. And in the last couple of years, we’ve been focusing on doing it behind the camera as well.
3. Lima Also Played a Lesbian Character on ABC’s ‘The Family’
During the previous TV season, Lima starred on ABC’s short-lived The Family with Joan Allen. The series centered on a community that is surprised to see the son of a politician return after being missing for a decade.
Lima starred on the series as lesbian lifestyle blogger Bridey Cruz. The character was desperate to get out of that blog and be considered a legitimate journalist. When After Ellen asked Lima what being a lesbian means for her character, she explained:
Well, OK, so when I first got this, Jenna Bans, the creator of the show, was like, “Your character’s omnisexual.” Omni means she’s cool; she doesn’t discriminate or whatever. I personally think she leans towards women, and you’re gonna see throughout the season that— yeah, I can’t really tell you much.
Lima also starred on Allegiance and The Mob Doctor, two other shows that lasted just a season. She earned her first starring role on Poor Paul, a web series that lasted two seasons.
4. Lima Is From Cincinnati & Studied Communications at Ohio State
Lima is a Cincinnati, Ohio native and went to Ohio State. She was first interested in journalism, so she earned a degree in communications and first worked as a production assistant at NBC4 in Columbus, Ohio, notes Gladys Magazine.
The 33-year-old actress decided that she wanted to be in front of the camera and act, so she switched careers and moved to Los Angeles. She started getting one-off roles in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, How I Met Your Mother, Ghost Whisperer and many others before her role on The Mob Doctor.
This season, Lima also appeared on Fox’s Lethal Weapon, a new series based on the hit movie franchise of the same name. She played Miranda Riggs in the pilot and the third episode, “Best Buds.” The show was recently picked up for an 18-episode freshman season and stars Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford.
5. Lima Is Currently Dating Casey Affleck
Lima is currently dating Casey Affleck, Ben Affleck’s brother and the star of Manchester By The Sea. In March 2016, Affleck and Summer Phoenix, his wife of 10 years, announced plans to split. They are parents to two children.
Affleck and Lima were seen together in October 2016 in Malibu. It’s not known when the couple met, but they’ve been seen walking around Malibu together in recent days.