Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of Supergirl Episode 10: “Childish Things.”
Until this week, Winn Schott did not feel like a complete character. He felt like a Caucasian version of The Flash’s Cisco combined with a more classical version of the comic book Jimmy Olsen. While likable, good old Winn felt like a bit of retread. This week, the brain trust behind Supergirl added the wrinkle Winn needed to make him a more complete character and that wrinkle was a very classic Superman villain, the diabolical Toyman.
Now, the coolest thing about the Toyman’s inclusion, besides upping the ante on Winn’s character arc, was that the episode included just about every version of the villain. We had the 70s Super Friends jester version of Toyman in the form of the doll he sent Winn and we had the 90s creepy bobble-head dummy version of Toyman. But we also had a very new version of Toyman masterfully played by Henry Czerny. Czerny gave the character a quiet bit of menace with a layer of manic danger as he made life difficult for all of National City. The episode stuck pretty close to the classic Toyman origin with the villain driven mad after his corporate boss stole the senior Schott’s toy designs. The episode opened with Toyman escaping prison and trying to reunite with his son in order to get his revenge on his former boss. In truth, Toyman wasn’t much of a match for Supergirl, but that wasn’t what the episode was about. The episode was about Winn and his fear that somewhere buried deep inside his heart lies the same capacity for evil as his father. So now, every time Kara rebukes Winn’s romantic advances, there is this new hidden layer of menace. Will Winn go full Toyman? Will the Schott curse rear its ugly head if Kara keeps making moon eyes at James Olsen? This episode seems to suggest that it’s certainly a possibility.
And there certainly was romantic tension all around this episode. From Winn trying to kiss Kara in the midst of the Toyman crisis to Lucy Lane getting a job at Cat Co. (much to Olsen’s chagrin), and to Alex Danvers and Maxwell Lord going out on a date, there was more than enough romantic drama to go around. Now, Kara just doesn’t want any part of Winn as a BF, she wants James but her and Lucy’s bond grew stronger as Lucy’s career success made James realize he wants to go back to being a field photographer. Oh, and the sparks continued to fly between Danvers and Lord even if the whole date was just a ruse. Whew, got all that? So where do we begin to unravel this? Well, Toyman wanted to use his son in a twisted revenge scheme. Using hidden bombs, the senior Schott forced his son to shoot Toyman’s rival at a toy convention. Winn resisted and Supergirl saved the day with a very innovative use of her super-breath. And man, it’s nice to see this show utilize the full Kryptonian power set.
Once Supergirl confronted Toyman full on, the villain was all but finished but the damage to Winn might be irreparable. Now, he knows that a future of madness could be waiting for him and as he grows to love Kara more and more, he might be pushed into becoming a new generation of evil. Good stuff, and as I said, it makes Winn so much more than just white Cisco.
As for our other romantic entanglements, the relationship of James and Lucy took the next step as Lucy took a job as Cat Grant’s legal assistant. This will give James and Kara less opportunity to make moony eyes at each other but it also drove James to make some career adjustments. Hopefully, this won’t lead to forced workplace drama. But with the new wrinkle of insanity added to Winn’s character, that workplace drama just got more dramatic.
And then we had Alex and Maxwell Lord. There is sexual tension between the two to be sure but the only reason Alex went on her date with the evil CEO was to allow J’onn J’onzz to sneak into Lord’s HQ and get a good look at room 52. Now, let me tell you guys something; seeing Supergirl and J’onn J’onzz soar through the air together made my little nerd heart skip a few beats and if it didn’t do the same to you, perhaps you need to take your pulse to make sure you’re still alive. J’onn J’onzz is just the most perfect mentor figure for Kara and holy crap, we are watching a show focusing on the Martian Manhunter, you guys! On a major network!
J’onn, or shall we still call him Henshaw, did indeed sneak into room 52 and witnessed that strange black-eyed girl trapped there (along with Red Tornado’s arm). Henshaw had some problems of his own as he is running from his Martian identity. He does not want to use his alien powers lest people grow afraid of his alien form and hunt him once again. This conflict is really fascinating as Henshaw is desperately trying to remain human so he can protect a species that will fear and hunt him. Thankfully, Henshaw did indeed have to use some of his powers, including his phasing ability (awesome!) and his ability to erase minds. Sadly, this left the victim of his mind wipe with severe brain issues as J’onn was further horrified by his own power. This should be a riveting plot thread to watch unfold.
So we end with Winn fearing his family curse, J’onn fearing his Martian heritage, and Alex and Kara eating pizza while watching Game of Thrones. The sight of Kara cuddled up in a blanket, munching on a slice while wearing her Supergirl uniform optimizes what is so great about this series. It’s so darn engagingly human while still spotlighting some of the cooler aspects of the DC Universe. For real, Toyman was legit threatening but it’s all about those little slice of life moments that makes Kara such a fun character.
And speaking of threatening, the episode ended with Maxwell Lord monitoring Kara and Alex’s binge watching. Uh-oh, secrets revealed.