James Olsen Is Getting The “Full Laurel” Treatment
James Olsen spent the entirety of Season 1 in a dance of “will they or won’t they” with Kara Danvers that culminated in the final episode of the season with the two photogenic employees of CatCo Media deciding to give a romantic relationship a go. Fast forward to Episode 1 of Season 2, the move to The CW and a year of build up gets tossed in the garbage with a badly written scene where Kara decides it would be for the best if they just remained friends. Now I don’t want to go all racially sensitive conspiracy theorist on anyone but the fact that Kara’s new (and super duper white guy) love interest was already cast without the show ever even giving Kara/James a try really does look extremely problematic.
It gets even more problematic when James is also sidelined for the majority of the season while the new guy is featured prominently in nearly every episode. So Kara and James are not an item. OK, I don’t agree with how the show handled it but I can accept it. Why does that mean James and Kara as friends and co-workers has to be tossed in the trash with their romantic relationship? I can answer my own question on that one too. James and Kara aren’t shown as co-workers because Kara (and every other character except for James) spends almost all of their time just hanging out at the top secret DEO headquarters. And Kara and James aren’t shown as friends because Kara doesn’t have time for anyone else but Mon-el.
The scraps that were thrown at James came in the form of James deciding he wanted to become a crimefighter himself so he recruited Wynn to design a battle suit for him and James became The Guardian. Now The Guardian is a character from the comics but he is not a hero persona that James “Jimmy” Olsen ever used. This was a pretty random choice and even this was handled pretty badly with Supergirl initially being a bit of a hard ass against James being a hero and then coming around to it without much screentime given to resolving the conflict because that would have meant taking time away from Mon-el and this show seems incapable of doing that. So what we have now is a character in James Olsen that is a rarely seen neophyte vigilante whose connections to all the characters on the canvas have been usurped by another character. This strikes me as all being very similar to what happened on ARROW with Laurel Lance/The Black Canary and I am wondering if the next step in this show pulling the “Full Laurel” on James is to kill him off.