After airing its first season on CBS, Supergirl‘s sophomore run on The CW is in full swing. The change in network has worked well, and the series appears to be hitting its stride with a variety of compelling storylines and fresh plot developments. One of the interesting new developments this season has been the changing role of Jimmy Olsen (played by Mehcad Brooks), who has evolved from boyfriend-to-be to masked vigilante. Fans may recall that Olsen’s initial character arc in season 1 was that of Kara Danver’s (played by Melissa Benoist) love interest – a role that was seemingly cemented in last year’s finale.
Perhaps due to the change in network, the second season immediately backtracked on Jimmy Olsen’s role, with Kara determining that the two were better off as friends. This revelation left little for Olsen to do, resulting in the character receiving diminished screen time for several episodes. Love it or hate it, Olsen’s character was recently given a jump start in the form of pursuing the life of a vigilante. We finally saw Olsen as Guardian, the mantle traditionally held by James Harper, in Supergirl‘s most recent episode, ‘Changing‘. Thanks to Winn, Olsen not only has a highly effective suit, but can keep his identity secret from Kara with lead coating.
This leaves open the question: when will Kara, and some of Supergirl‘s other characters, find out about Olsen’s new extracurricular role? EW was recently asked in its Spoiler Room specifically “When will Kara find out about James being Guardian on Supergirl?” Well, EW is reporting that according to producer Andrew Kreisberg:
“It’s a little bit like when Chandler and Monica started dating [on Friends], every episode somebody else found out and they had a surprising reaction…Not everybody is going to find out at once. Some people are going to be supportive; who’s supportive is going to be surprising. Some people are going to be incredibly unsupportive thinking James and Winn have lost their minds; their identities will be interesting.”
While it certainly is refreshing to see Jimmy Olsen in a role outside of romantic interest or “damsel in distress,” there has been some fan backlash over the decision to have him become Guardian – though, throughout the character’s DC comic book history, Jimmy has had his fair share of weird superhero identities. However, with Guardian traditionally connected to Cadmus, it does make sense that Supergirl would introduce the character in a season where the organization plays a large role.
As for how the characters will react to finding out Olsen is operating as a vigilante, it is not surprising that there will be some mixed reactions. It is not unlikely that Kara will be largely against Olsen fighting crime without any superpowers. What is more intriguing is: who will think it is a good idea? The conflict between those different ideologies could make for some compelling television going forward.
Based on previous reports, it sounds like Alex, and not Kara, will be the first person to discover that Olsen is Guardian. Supergirl actor, Jeremy Jordan, who plays Winn, recently opened up to EW in a separate interview, stating that Winn is going to have to confront Alex in the next episode, when Maggie starts calling for Guardian’s arrest. Specifically, Jordan states that Winn will explain to Alex:
“‘Hey, you gotta tell your friend Maggie to stop spreading all of this crap about Guardian. That’s not him. He’s a good person. I know he is.’ And, she’s like, ‘How do you know?’ Winn isn’t the best at keeping secrets, as we will find out very shortly in the next episode, so it’s fun to watch how he handles other people sort of discovering the secret of Guardian.
Whether Kara and J’onn eventually accept Guardian’s help to form a Team Supergirl (a la Team Arrow and Flash) is yet to be seen. However, given the route the other Arrowverse shows have taken, it would not be surprising. Then, of course, there is also Mon-El and whether he decides to take on a more heroic role going forward.
Supergirl continues Monday November 21 with ‘The Darkest Place’ at 8pm on The CW.