Supergirl's fourth season is in full swing on The CW and this year, the heroes of the DC Comics inspired superhero series are taking a topical approach, dealing with issues reflective of the current state of society and culture as anti-alien sentiment sweeps National City and the United States of Supergirl's world.
But while Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) is a central figure fighting hate with hope, James Olsen has an important role to play as well. As the head of CatCo, James is in a unique position to fight with not just his might as Guardian, but with truth in the news as well. For actor Mehcad Brooks, it's an important position for his character and it's something that he describes as an "emotional" journey.
"The writers and I had a conversation very early on, and we were on the same page about James using CatCo as a place where everyday heroics can come from," Brooks said in an interview with Decider. "Shedding light on some of the darkness coming out of the White House. Shedding light on some of the darkness coming out of our society. I think we all know what shedding light can do, exposing the truth can do, at times like this. It can keep us sane. It can keep us balanced. It can help construct a road to the future where we're all going. I think that this is a hell of an emotional journey for James, that he is a news man in this time. He's also somebody who believes in fairness and equality in this time. And I think that those are the two most important things that he can do for the show right now."
James' efforts might be challenged, however. In this week's episode, "Ahimsa", James suited up as Guardian and went to assist Supergirl in fighting an alien attack orchestrated by Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer) and Mercy Graves (Rhona Mitra). While Guardian helped in the situation, his position as a human hero -- not an alien one -- was manipulated by the anti-alien contingent to help fan the flames of their movement. Fortunately, it won't be all challenge for James. Azie Tesfai is joining Supergirl's cast as Kelly Olsen, James' sister, something he says will be a good thing for James.
"Bringing his sister in is going to be a very happy place for him,' Brooks said. "We’ve seen a lot of brooding James, we’ve seen a lot of his passion for saving people and protecting people and safety. So that’s gonna be amazing. Lex coming back… Lex tried to kill me! That’s not a lot of fun. Obviously, there’s gonna be a fraught situation between Lex and James and Lena, but we do drama really well.”
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.