Why did Jimmy Olsen, played by Mehcad Brooks, leave Supergirl?

Superman’s best friend finds his new calling outside of National City

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If you’ve just finished binge-watching the fifth season of Supergirl on Netflix and are wondering why James “Jimmy” Olsen only appeared in the first four episodes of the season, that’s because actor Mehcad Brooks had actually left the series.

Brooks’ departure from the show was first announced in July 2019, with reports stating that the actor-musician decided to exit the show to focus on feature films and develop a cable series in which he would star.

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Later that same month, Brooks revealed at San Diego Comic-Con that he worked with the series writers to craft a fitting exit for his character. “We talked about this, like there’s this misconception of the missing black male in America, like the missing father or the missing brother ― like one day here, one day gone and so we wanted to do something that was a lot more gracious than that,” Brooks shared at the time. “So I really feel respected for the character getting a gracious exit― and it’s been the time of my life, you know? It’s four years … with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, some of the best writing I’ve had the pleasure of working with and it’s been such a respectful and peaceful and harmonious exit. It’s been really great. Yes, it’s amazing.”

Brooks’ James officially left Supergirl in season 5, episode 4, titled In Plain Sight, in which he realized what exactly he would like to do with his life after resigning from CatCo. The installment started with James and his sister Kelly (Azie Tesfai) returning to Calvin Town where they grew up. As they tried to keep Kelly safe from J’onn’s (David Harewood) brother Malefic (Phil LaMarr), who was targeting her because of her ability to recognize him no matter what disguise he takes, the siblings discovered a private prison where citizens serve exaggerated sentences for petty crimes. After learning that local newspaper Calvin Town Gazette wasn’t doing its job to expose this injustice and corruption, James decided to buy the paper and move home.

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“For now, I’m going back to Calvin Town. I’m going home, and I’m going to show that town that there is somebody who is willing to fight for them. I’m going to buy the Calvin Town Gazette,” James said in the episode after finally finding his calling as a newspaper publisher.

Following his Supergirl exit, Brooks appeared in the Netflix drama thriller A Fall from Grace, and will be next seen as Jackson “Jax” Briggs in Mortal Kombat film set to be released in January 2021.

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Supergirl season 6 has no exact release date yet, but it was reported that its premiere was pushed to midseason 2021 due to the real-life pregnancy of its series star Melissa Benoist.

Sources: CBR, Entertainment Weekly