Disclaimer: This post contains spoilers for the premiere of Season 3 of Supergirl as well as potential spoilers for the season to come.
The inclusion of James Olsen (a.k.a. Jimmy Olsen) in the Supergirl TV series was an interesting one from the get-go. Here was a character who had largely been associated with Superman and Clark Kent, and all of a sudden, he was shifted over for the sake of this series. It almost felt as though the series didn't quite have the confidence to stand on its own just yet. It needed to play up its connection to the better known character in order to be taken seriously by some fans. Even more interesting was the in-show explanation from James himself.
In short, like Supergirl himself, he was growing tired of playing second fiddle to Superman. He was sick of being "that guy who photographs Superman." So he went to National City to expand his career, growing close to Kara in the process, and eventually becoming a potential love interest for her.
The Season 1 finale left us hanging on that note, but last night's premiere brought a surprisingly quick end to the whole affair, with Kara stating she'd much rather be friends than take it to the next level. So what does this mean for James this season? He's the second of two lead men to get friend zoned in the series, and does that mean his importance will be scaled back?
Not at all. In fact, it sounds as though he may be even more interesting.
CBR is claiming that at a CW Q&A, James will turn to fighting crime as a vigilante under the name of The Guardian. DC fans may recognize the name, but Jimmy Olsen himself has never been associated with the moniker. That being said, this is no huge surprise, as the CW has mixed and matched superheroes in the past.
The outlet goes on to quote executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, who says the following regarding James' turn to crimefighting:
“James will decide he can no longer sit back and be a sidekick. [It] will cause massive problem in his relationship with Kara because he has decided not to tell her.”
But don't worry, James won't be alone in this spiritual journey. He'll recruit everyone's favorite tech guru Winn to help him out.
“Winn is his man in the van. Putting Winn and James together is like comedy gold.”
According to CBR, Winn will also have to start covering up his tracks, explaining “why he walks in exhausted, and why he has a black eye.”
Sounds like a good time! While I can definitely see the potential for a lot of fun for the show, I can also see the potential for this subplot becoming a nuisance. Let's just hope the writers are able to deftly work this into the overall plot so that it contributes rather than works against it. That being said, I can definitely see the motivation behind it. There's nothing worse than when a character becomes stagnant, and give James' previously-mentioned insecurities, turning vigilante seems like a natural progression.
Supergirl airs on the CW on Mondays at 8/7c.
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