Born and raised in Lynn, Massachusetts, James O'Riley is at once a traditional Boston police detective, as well as a unique addition to Chase's team. Fiercely loyal and driven by a passionate sense of justice, O'Riley quickly rose to become a highly respected and decorated member of the Boston police force. The son of a State Trooper, O'Riley spent much of his early career setting himself apart, not simply from the shadow of his father, but also the stereotype of an Irish cop in Boston.
Investigating the WellersEditJames was the lead detective investigating the dissapearances of both Elias and Melissa Weller. Not much is known about the details of Elias' dissapearance beyond the fact that it is generally assumed he ran away. At least this is what Colleen believes. James spent much of his early career searching for the boy, but never found him. After Melissa Weller dissapeared, he volunteered for the assignment, out of friendship to her mother, Deborah. When her body is discovered by a couple on a weekend get-away he is brough in as a consultant to assist Chase and Roland.
The first mention of James in the series occurs early on during the pilot episode, when Chase first accepts the case. Roland informs her that James headed up the original investigation, and he will coordinate the transfer of information from James' previous investigation.
After the discovery of Melissa's Tattoo, Chase calls James to see if he was aware of it (SA: Vade Retro). He seems just as puzzled as her and agrees to look into local tattoo places that specialize in UV ink. He is later re-assigned by Doug to fully assist Chase and Roland in their investigation (SA: Sien Souhitent).
While Chase interviews Alexander Weir, James and Roland confront Robin and question him further about Melissa and his involvement with Cassie Meeks. Much to Roland's chagrin, the encounter is less than professional, with Robin and James nearly coming to blows, as the younger detective attempts to anger Robin (SA: Hinc Illae Lacrimae).
Rise of the SyndicateEditJames is slated to be a focal character in the upcoming feature length sequel, which will, in part, focus more on his involvement with Elias Weller's dissapearance.
According to the official blog, while investigating a sudden rise in child abductions, James uncovers a shadowy organization known as The Da'at Syndicate determined to continue Dr. Westryn's research. In a reverse of Salvation, Chase Quinn, who has been on sabatical for several months, assists him in his investigation.
Differences and Similarities to the NovelEdit
Although the series uses the novel Paracelsus as a guide, a number of significant changes occured as a natural result of adapting the work for a web series.
- In the novel, James is a rookie detective assigned to keep an eye on Chase after an attempt is made on her life.
- They develop a romantic relationship, however he is killed in the line of duty protecting her.
- He had no connections to Melissa Weller, nor did he investigate Elias' dissapearance.
- Roland can barely tollerate him in either version.
- He is an accomplished sandwichmaker.
- James was originally scripted to be merely a cameo role, but his involvement in the storyline was increased to compensate for the actor playing Roland Crisp who was scheduled to leave production midway through to get married. This is the primary reason why, as the series progresses, we see more of James and less of Roland.