Supergirl, Season 2, Episode 20, “City of Lost Children”
For the last couple of weeks, Supergirl has placed its most significant plot points on hold while distracting fans, as other storyline elements play out in the foreground.
Last week, it was Alex’s relationship with Maggie made stronger through her kidnapping. All the while Lena is getting wooed by Mon-El’s evil mother, Queen Rhea (played by Terri Hatcher).
This week Lena and Rhea are moving forward with their plan to build their giant space portal. Lena is geeking out while performing fake science with all her might, and Rhea is trying to her best not to twirl her mustache, or evilly wring her hands in front of Lena.
However these important developments take a backseat to the show’s Hail Mary attempt at rehabbing its most troubling character – Jimmy.
This second season has not been kind to Jimmy. The man who was Kara’s love interest and work mentor is neither at this point, because Kara has moved on to Mon-El, and never really goes into the CatCo offices anymore. In an effort to make Jimmy relevant, he’s taken up the armor of Guardian and with Winn’s help, is fighting petty crime at night.
Jimmy’s stint as a costumed hero has been a failure of Laurel Lance proportions and as a result, Mehcad Brooks’s screen time has been drastically reduced, and there have been a handful of recent episodes where Jimmy hasn’t even appeared.
The series seems to recognize this failure ,and used the bulk of one of its final episodes of the season to correct the trajectory of Jimmy’s character.
After he scares a woman he saved, Jimmy has the first inkling of what everyone else already knows – the superhero thing just isn’t working out. It’s not that Jimmy isn’t heroic; his actions in the park when the alien woman’s powers go haywire show his selfless instincts. It’s just that putting on a costume and punching out thugs isn’t the best way to express this heroism.
Jimmy makes a connection with a young alien boy while investigating the incident in the park. It’s a little rocky, but gives Jimmy a chance to tell his life story and why he wanted to be a costumed hero to a different audience.
It turns out that when the gizmo that Lena has built is turned on, the powers of those aliens are triggered and go haywire. When Rhea reveals her true evil self and opens the portal so all the Daxumites in the universe can pour through, Jimmy and Winn are trapped with a dozen of those aliens. Jimmy saves the day by calming the boy, which in turn calms the rest. In case you didn’t understand, Winn sums up the whole point of the episode through his “That’s a hero without a suit” line.
I’m not sure how much this episode is going to change perception of Jimmy. For the fans who like Jimmy, this episode made him no less likable. For the fans who think the show has outgrown Jimmy, there’s nothing that makes him any more relevant to the rest of the story.
This may well be Jimmy’s last significant screentime this season, now that National City has been overrun and there’s not enough time left to focus on anyone but the characters in close Kara orbit. Jimmy pretty much exits the stage the way he occupied it this season – trying hard, but not terribly relevant.