It's time to rally, Supergirl fans. After four seasons playing James Olsen, actor Mehcad Brooks has decided to call it quits and will leave the show during Season 5.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Mehcad Brooks will exit Supergirl during the first half of Season 5, but no details have been released on how James will leave National City. Brooks made the decision to leave in order to focus on film work and to develop a cable series in which he would star, and he's also currently working on a book.
The former Daily Planet photojournalist has been through a lot since he came to National City to broaden his horizons and keep an eye on good buddy Clark Kent's budding superhero of a cousin. Aside from upping his career game and eventually becoming CEO of CatCo, he also took on his own superhero mantle, Guardian, and used his martial arts and acrobatic skills to fight crime as a masked vigilante. Even though he came very close to getting in some big legal trouble for his masked activities, James did end up becoming a deputized member of the National City police.
Many people were very surprised when Mehcad Brooks got the role of James on Supergirl. It was set to be a very different version of the young, sometimes naive version of the classic character we'd formerly known as Jimmy, who looked up to Clark Kent as a role model. Brooks helped set his version of James apart from that and turned James into a very modern DC character with a sure-footed performance from the very beginning. It certainly made it easy to see why Kara would have a crush on him, depend on him as one of her allies and made it easy for the audience to imagine James as a masked crime fighter.
While it will be hard to imagine Supergirl without Mehcad Brooks and James Olsen, showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller released a statement about Brooks' departure that should give fans some hope for the future of the character on the series:
We love Mehcad and we’re sad to see him leave the show as a series regular, but we’re excited for both Mehcad and James Olsen’s future. He’ll always be a part of our Supergirl family and we look forward to James returning to National City at some point to visit his sister and his super friends.
See? It sounds like Brooks is leaving Supergirl on good terms, and the showrunners seem to believe that he'll be available to appear on the show at some point in the future, so this might not totally be the last of dependable old James Olsen just yet. If we can get Winn back for the latter half of Season 5, there's always hope that James will come back eventually, too.
Supergirl returns this fall on Sunday, October 6 at 9 p.m. EST on The CW, with the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover starting right before winter hiatus. We'll all be able to see just how the show writes off Mehcad Brooks and James Olsen, as well as witness how everyone reacts to Kara's bangs and brand new crime fighting costume.