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Supergirl James Episode

Supergirl: Pivotal James Olsen Episode Casts This Is Us' Young Randall

Supergirl has enlisted one of This is Us‘ flashback tykes for a big episode about aspiring hero James Olsen.

TVLine has learned that Lonnie Chavis aka Young Randall on NBC’s freshman hit will guest-star on the CW superhero series as Marcus, a young alien boy who bonds with James (played by Mehcad Brooks) after the rugrat’s mother attacks National City.

The episode, titled “City of Lost Children” and airing Monday, May 8, promises to find CatCo’s interim CEO at a crossroads, as he grapples with his extracurricular destiny.

“There’s a lovely moment that I have with Mehcad, about accepting who you are,” shares David Harewood, who plays DEO boss man Hank Henshaw aka “Martian Manhunter” J’onn J’onzz. “James is reluctant to step in and help somebody, and I persuade him, as a hero, that sometimes you have to go against your own instincts and do something that’s right, as opposed to what you think might be right.”

In success, might National City’s Guardian eventually suit up for Hank & Co.? “I really want to see James in the DEO,” Harewood says. “Winn has been a real find in the DEO, so maybe one day we can get James in there, as well.”

Supergirl resumes Season 2 on Monday, April 24 at 8/7c, with the Lena/Kara-centric episode “Ace Reporter.”

Want more scoop on Supergirl, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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28 Comments
  1. T.W.S.S. says:

    The mere mention of Lonnie Chavis has made James’s story line 100 percent more interesting.

    • Wordsmith says:

      I have to agree. I don’t necessarily dislike James, but whatever he’s got going on is almost always the least interesting part of the episode.

  2. Lucy says:

    I don’t care for James, he is one of the more bland and boring characters, but I am glad that he is getting a storyline and a centric episode – part of me wonders if this is because he dies. But regardless of whether I like or not like a character, I do hate it when they are a regular and have no storyline or development and are either a love interest or a glorified background extra. Because of this part of me hopes he gets demoted to recurring only because at least when he’d appear it actually benefits the character and/or plot.

    • Toni says:

      Well, I think this will give his character some depth and perhaps provide some insight to what his role is, going forward because these days he just shows up to get his ass kicked or hang out with Winn.

      I’ll be looking forward to this but given how close it is to the finale, hope the episode will also be connected to the main plot.

      • Lucy says:

        As long as they give him something to do and that he has his own storyline, I’m happy for him to stay – I never liked him and Kara, they had no chemistry and at times he felt too mature and adult for Kara and I think that Kara needs someone fun or opposite of her that enables her to have fun, let her have a normal life once in a while and not be Supergirl. But other than the ill-fated Kara/James romance he didn’t contribute too much and didn’t really have a personality that stood out – I’m glad that they introduced Guardian but it is still being done wrong, it’s kind of like what they did with Black Canary. But I hope that they fix the James problem or if they realise that he is underused or not needed to give him a good exit, the problem with Arrow was that they did nothing for Laurel for so long, then they made her the Black Canary then once that was done she had no storyline and it was sacrificed for other characters so they killed her off.

        I also hope in S3 that they give some screen time to the other characters, I know the show is Supergirl but I don’t want it to be like Arrow where everything is about Oliver saving the day, being in the right and only him and a few get storylines. I’d like for other characters to have storylines and scenes that aren’t about Supergirl or interacts with characters they wouldn’t usually do. If they can work the ensemble well with the lead it can go far, because in S1, I couldn’t stand Kara because it was too focused on her when you have all these other characters that I want to know more about, but S2 Kara, I’ve enjoyed more, I don’t know why – she’s annoyed me less and the show has found its footing.

        But going forward, I would like to see a more flawed Kara, something to make her more relatable as a hero or a Kara that goes into conflict with her friends – a theory is that they have different ways or going about the same thing – I think this can work well with Kara and Lena.

        I’ve gone off topic, the point is that I only want main cast members that actually contribute to the plot and have a role, James is a problem and Maggie is – Maggie was introduced as a love interest and while I love Sanvers she doesn’t contribute to much. She needs a role in the team and more interactions outside of Alex and to an extent Kara – at least so I can buy that she’s (sort of) friends with the others.

  3. ninergrl6 says:

    If James doesn’t start working for the DEO, there’s really no purpose for his character anymore. Everything is based at the DEO now and CatCo isn’t really relevant.

  4. jason says:

    makes me think cat is coming back to fire james, or sell cat co

  5. Mara says:

    It’s not going to be kara/Lena centric!! Of course since you seem to be biased as usual you hardly mention mon-el. Just because Lena has scenes with kara does not make it kara/Lena centric. They are opening up a big story for Lena for season 3. There’s big stuff coming up but Karas relationship with Mon-el is a centric part of the show!

    • Nicole says:

      Your ugly is showing. Not once in this article is Kara or Lena mentioned. You just want to blast the chemistry they have as opposed to Mon who is a awful dude bro. He’s useless and bland too so go sit in your corner with all the other toxic boyfriend fans.

    • Bryan87 says:

      Why in the name of all things holy should Mon-El be mentioned in an article about James Olsen and an upcoming episode about a different dynamic? Some of you seriously need to get over your weird obsession with some people shipping Kara/Lena romantically, otherwise you wouldn’t feel so threatened by a mere mention of the show’s canon dynamic being featured heavily in an upcoming episode, which is a mere fact.

    • kath says:

      Most of the episodes this season have been about Kara and Mon-El. They risk permanently losing viewers like me for whom Mon-El is a total turn-off.

  6. ALM says:

    In my opinion, the biggest problem with James is that the character was ill-conceived from the beginning. Winn is basically a version of the real Jimmy Olsen, and his character fits in well, as would have a true representation of Jimmy Olsen. The character does not work as a love interest for Kara, and the Guardian storyline is just painful to watch. I have liked Mehcad Brooks in other roles, but this character is dead in the water. While I am enough of a comic book person to not want Jimmy Olsen to die, I hope they send James back to Metropolis, and the sooner the better.

    • Pedro says:

      Mehcad Brooks was SO miscast as James Olsen. And it’s not a race matter. He’s too tall, muscular, good-looking, suave to be Jimmy Olsen. They had to revert his name to James because even the character’s name didn’t really fit his persona. Brooks could play Superman himself, but not Olsen.

      • JFINN says:

        Yes it is a race matter. When the show was being cast they had open ethnicity for the characters except Kara. James was always suppose to be older and mature. If a white actor was cast and portrayed James the same way it will be no complaints. You might be racist but others in the fandom are who don’t like seeing a strong positive black male romancing a white female, be CEO, or become a superhero/vigilante.

        • Pedro says:

          There would be plenty of complaints if they had cast a White actor that was completely unsuitable for the part. Imagine they had cast Justin Hartley.

          What is sad is that you go around calling people racist just because they disagree with your point of view.

          And by the way, being a CEO and a vigilante only happened in season 2, long after people had complained about casting.

        • murley says:

          In my opinion making the character older and more serious and mature was where they went wrong. Not the open ethnicity. It takes away the essense of Jimmy Olsen. Why bother having the character of you change him that much? Someone like Echo Kellum or Donald Glover or Percy DaggsIII would have been great as Jimmy. I love the casting of Iris and Wally and Joe West- all three actors embody their comic counterparts while bringing their own energy and have fantastic chemistry with each other and the rest of the cast. The casting is only part of the issue. The way they write and direct James Olsen has been a major misstep in my opinion. No fault to Mehcad Brooks.

    • kath says:

      I think the problem is less that he isn’t the Jimmy Olsen of the comics than that they don’t know what to do with the character.
      Jimmy worked in the comics because he is the sidekick to the alpha male character, Superman and Winn could have fulfilled the same function here if there were an alpha character to be a sidekick to. But the closest thing this show has to a male hero is J’onn.
      You can have a show that is dominated by a female hero with a decent consort, look at Charming and Hook on Once Upon A Time. But for some reason this show refuses to give Kara a decent love interest or write the story well and with Catco out of the picture, there nothing they’ve given James to do other than the D plot.
      Even when there should have been a role for James/Guardian like when the DEO went looking for Kara and Mon El on the slavers planet, they’ve left James out of it so Kara can focus on the (off-putting IMO) Mon El.

    • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

      In retrospect it would have worked better if the Winn character were named Jimmy Olsen and the James character were named Winn. Nothing really would have needed to change personality wise, except in the Childish things of course Toyman would be African American and it would be Mehcad who played the son.

  7. Joey Padron says:

    Happy the actor who plays young Randall on This Is Us will be guest starring on the show, He’s a good actor. Looking forward to see him on the show.

  8. Pedro says:

    I hope it’s his send-off. James has been just there this season. And he didn’t really live up to his promise last season either.

  9. Tai says:

    I’m very excited to FINALLY have an episode that not only has James around for more than a few (barebones) moments but gives his character steady development. And with possibly deep scenes with J’onn!! Yes. Adding the stellar Lonnie Chavis makes a potential excellent episode even better :-D

  10. Kar says:

    wonder if james dies this episode

  11. kath says:

    This is good news for me. I’ve liked the James character from the start of the series but they really don’t know what to do with him this season.
    I now some viewers like Kara/Mon El but the sleazy frat boy has never interested me and while I like Lena she’s only recurring and Alex/Maggie is not enough to get me to watch.

    • Pedro says:

      Funny thing is that Mon-El is completely dedicated to Kara while James was the one juggling two girls.

    • Emily says:

      why do people keep calling mon el a frat boy? that is a college thing. i don’t understand that description of him. and theirs nothing sleazy about him.