When Eddie McClintock played Pete Lattimer on Warehouse 13, he dealt with a lot of strange situations. So he should be right at home on Supergirl, where he’s here to put everything in order. We talked to McClintock about playing Jim Harper... and whether he’ll get to play Harper’s alter ego, too.
Fans of the comics know that Jim Harper is a cop who eventually becomes Guardian, the helmet-wearing superhero who frequently teams up with Superman and Superboy. That does not happen in tonight’s episode, “Manhunter,” but McClintock told io9 that his character does have an affiliation with Project Cadmus—which is the secret organization that turns Harper into Guardian in the comics.
“It seems like they’re staying pretty true to the comics,” McClintock said.
As you can see in the preview clip below, Harper comes into the DEO to try and sort things out, now that everyone has realized the DEO’s head, Hank Henshaw, was secretly an alien infiltrator all these years. But will we eventually get to see Harper become Guardian? McClintock is game to come back and unspool more of Harper’s storyline.
“When they approached me about it, they asked me if I would be interested in coming in to do an arc,” he said, “but it was the 17th episode and they only did 20.” So McClintock was told that if Supergirl comes back for a second season, “they had every intention of having this character recur.”
Both series co-creator Andrew Kreisberg and co-executive producer Larry Teng were producers on Warehouse 13, and this episode of Supergirl was also directed by Chris Fisher, who was the supervising director on Warehouse 13. So this was a mini-Warehouse reunion.
McClintock confessed he was nervous about playing such a strait-laced military character. “Pete Lattimer had his moments when he was being serious, but he’s pretty childlike, and this character is just straight-up a hard-nosed, Marine colonel,” he said. “That’s not my natural wheelhouse. I felt like I was doing the doggy paddle a lot.” Especially when he was spitting out tons of military jargon, he kept hoping he sounded okay.
When McClintock saw the sneak peek above, “I was relieved to see that I didn’t look like a complete buffoon.”
But now McClintock is co-starring in a new series on USA, Shooter, where he plays a Marine sniper—so apparently Marines are his new thing. “That may be my new lease on life.” Shooter, starting Omar Epps and Ryan Philippe, just got picked up for 10-episode first season, and filming begins in April.
But meanwhile, we’re just hoping that McClintock can return to Agents of SHIELD at some point—his Kree character Vin-Tak was a lot of fun, and he was one of the few actual aliens that show has featured. His cranky chemistry with the SHIELD team was a lot of fun to watch. McClintock said it probably won’t happen unless Jaime Alexander is willing to return as Lady Sif, since he was last seen with her character. But at least he didn’t die or kill anybody, so he could always come back sometime.
He liked playing Vin-Tak because he got a chance to be a little funny and charming at the end of the episode, and let his Pete Lattimer side show a little bit. Agents of SHIELD producer Drew Z. Greenberg also worked on Warehouse 13, so there’s still a connection there as well.
And finally, I couldn’t talk to McClintock without asking how he felt about the Pete-Myka romance on Warehouse 13. Did he feel like it was a good idea, in retrospect?
“You know, I just felt like, as long as we didn’t lean into that over the years,” it was okay, McClintock said. “I liked the fact—and I spoke throughout the years about the fact—that I loved that they had enough respect for the job and each other to not go there, and it didn’t become the old TV trope, ‘Are they, aren’t they?’ It’s such an old trope.”
At the same time, “now that the Warehouse was being disbanded and they were no longer going to be working together,” he said, “it didn’t bother me” for them to get together in the final episodes. “I had all the faith in the world in the writers, and if that’s the way [Executive Producer] Jack Kenny wanted to take it, then I was okay with it. And I got to make out with Joanne [Kelly].”
“I know some people were bummed, because they thought she should have gotten together with H.G. [Wells],” McClintock added. “I always wanted to pitch this thing where the camera pans down to a rainy night in London, and there’s someone in one of those red kiosks.” We look inside, and it’s Pete.
“He’s on the phone with Myka,” McClintock continued. “‘Mykes, let me back in. I’m sorry. Give me another try.’ And she’s like, ‘No, I’m sorry.’ And you hear another voice, like, ‘Who’s that on the phone?’ And Pete’s like, ‘Is that H.G.?’ Myka’s like, ‘I’m sorry. We’re together now.’ And Pete’s like, ‘Can I come over and watch?’”
Which, to be fair, does sound like something Pete Lattimer would say.
Supergirl airs tonight on CBS at 8 PM.