Toyman, Winn's homicidal father, escapes from prison, and Alex and Hank investigate Maxwell Lord
The first part of Supergirl‘s season has been focused on Kara finally embracing who she really is and enjoying every moment of that. Well, tonight’s episode finds the people around her, mainly James, Winn, and Hank, grappling with who they are, what they want, and whether or not they are ready for the world to see who they are.
“Childish Things” kicks off with a prison break. Winslow Schott Sr. (Henry Czerny) — a.k.a Toyman, a.k.a. Winn’s crazy father — escapes from a maximum security by using a yo-yo with blades. He’s been serving time for killing six people with a blow-up teddy bear. The bomb was meant for his boss, Chester Dunholz, who stole his toy ideas, but the boss’ assistant opened the package first.
Naturally, the FBI shows up at CatCo the next day to question Winn, which surprises everyone because no one there, not even HR, decided to do a simple Google search. It’s like Winn doesn’t work in an office filled with journalists. But, I digress. The windbreaker-clad feds question Winn and ask him if he knows where his father might be hiding or if his father has tried to contact him. Winn tells them no, like a liar. Winn confides in Kara that his father left a toy on his desk with a message to meet him at their favorite place. Taking note of Kara’s concern, Winn fesses up to the feds, and the feds decide to set up a sting.
(ASIDE: Toyman’s return brings Kara and Winn together for some much needed bonding time. Since the show’s series premiere, we haven’t gotten enough Kara-Winn time. It’s mostly been Kara-Winn-James time. END ASIDE)
Meanwhile, James and Lucy are having some relationship troubles. Cat offered Lucy a job as CatCo’s general counsel (in one of my favorite Cat Grant scenes), and Lucy really wants to take it, especially after finding out that 90 percent of CatCo companies are run by women. Unfortunately, James isn’t as excited about working in the same building with her as she would like. She, like the viewers, assume this is because he’s still unsure about their relationship.
Wearing a wire, Winn heads to the meeting location, which is obviously an abandoned arcade and amusement park. When he arrives, he finds a doll that says “I love you. Do you love me?” which is actually very fitting for tonight’s episode. Eventually, he finds his father, who is very pleased to see his son. However, the FBI interrupts their little reunion with guns blazing. Sadly, Toyman isn’t actually there and was using some kind of hologram/glass contraption. Toyman was prepared for this trap and starts to fill the arcade with some kind of toxic gas, but Supergirl arrives in time and saves everyone.
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Czerny is actually perfectly cast as Toyman. After years of playing the sinister Conrad Grayson on Revenge, he was more than prepared for this role, which finds him dialing Conrad’s creepiness up to 100 as he projects his worst qualities onto his son in the hope that it willl bring them together. At one point he tells Winn that they both share “that genius lesser humans call madness.” You believe Czerny is off his rocker.
Witnessing this encounter between his father and the FBI has Winn worried that the FBI will kill his father if they find him first. Obviously, Winn is conflicted about this. On one hand, he’s disgusted by his father’s actions, but on the other, it’s his father. Kara agrees to help Winn find his father before the FBI. But their conversation is cut short by a text from Cat, summoning Kara back to the office.
At some point in between offering Lucy Lane a job and now, Cat decided to use Google and found out that Toyman’s son works for her. She asks Kara to set up an interview with him, but Kara quickly shuts that down. Surprisingly, Cat backs down without any pushback. Their conversation turns to Lucy’s job offer, and Cat reveals that she’s not blind and has picked up on whatever is going on between James and Kara.
Winn examines the doll his father left for him and figures out his father is hiding out in his old toy company’s warehouse. Supergirl flies out to catch him but fails because of he traps her in quicksand. Yes, quicksand. She uses her freeze breath to free herself, but by that time, he’s fled the scene.
NEXT: Maxwell Lord finds out something he shouldn’t have
While all of this Toyman drama is going on, Alex and Hank try to come up with a plan to figure out what Maxwell Lord is up to. Tonight’s episode fleshes out some of J’onn J’onzz backstory as we find out that he has tried to openly live as Martian, but each time it has led to panic and hysteria. He spent 50 years being hunted and is reluctant to use his powers now to break into Lord Technologies because he doesn’t want to risk exposing himself. I don’t think the show will explore this, but the fact a hunted alien chose to impersonate Hank Henshaw is very interesting (Think about this line: “Your sister looks like a pretty blond cheerleader. J’onn J’onzz looks like a monster who will never be tolerated on Earth,” he says to Alex when she urges him to be open about who he is). Eventually, Hank acquiesces to Alex’s pushing and agrees to use his many abilities.
While Alex distracts Maxwell over a candlelit dinner, Hank shapeshifts into Maxwell and enters Lord Technologies. He’s unable to fool the biometric lock on the door holding Supernatural Demon Eyes Girl, so he just phases through it (which was awesome by the way). He starts taking pictures of everything he sees in the room and tries to free the girl, but a guard catches him. The guard quickly realizes he’s not the real Maxwell Lord and tries to stop him, but Hank handles him and, to protect his identity, wipes his mind.
Hank’s guilt over erasing the guard’s memory is very telling. We learn what kind of hero he is. He’s been on Earth for years now and is well aware of how much power he has and has internalized Uncle Ben’s wise words about power and responsibility. Every time he violates someone’s mind like this he feels as though he loses a part of himself and becomes more like the Martian Manhunter.
Meanwhile, Kara returns to her apartment after her encounter with Winn’s father to find a worried Winn. In the ensuing heart to heart, he opens up about being scared that he’ll lose it one day and snap like his father. Kara is sure this won’t happen because the day his world ended (i.e., when his father went to jail) he didn’t turn to anger and hate. Because of the level of emotional intimacy they’re sharing right now, Winn decides to kiss her, but she pulls away very quickly. Embarrassed, Winn rushes out of the apartment and is immediately kidnapped by his father.
When Winn wakes up, Papa Schott finally reveals why he broke out of prison: to be reuinted with his beloved son and to have his revenge on his old boss, whom he blames for keeping him away from Winn. Toyman wants Winn to use a toy gun he built to murder his old boss, who is presenting at the National Toy Convention. To ensure Wiinn goes through with it, Toyman has planted 10 bombs in 10 toys at the convention and will set them off if Winn doesn’t commit murder.
Thankfully, the FBI and Supergirl arrive right as Winn walks on stage to kill his father’s old boss, and Winslow Sr. sets the bombs’ timers. Using her X-ray vision, Kara finds the 10 bombs. There’s no time to get all of them, so she does the next best thing. She sets off the sprinklers and uses her freeze breath to create a wall of ice to contain the blast. With the bombs handled, she flies off to apprehend Toyman. It’s an awesome sequence, and I love how the show didn’t come out and say “Supergirl has been training” but instead allowed her effective and efficient use of her freeze breath to tells us that.
Back at the office, James finally comes clean to Lucy about why he was acting awkward about her job offer. It’s not that he didn’t want to work with her. It’s that her excitement about the new job made him realize that his job at CatCo didn’t make him happy because his place isn’t behind a desk; it’s behind a camera, and the day of the earthquake brought home to him.
Things don’t quite so smoothly for Winn and Kara. Seeing his father go crazy from bottling up all of his emotions has made Winn realize that he can’t do that, too, so he comes clean with Kara and tells her he’s in love with her. Not knowing how to respond, Kara says she doesn’t want things to change, but that doesn’t work for Winn. At this point, he doesn’t know what this means for their friendship, but it can’t go back to the way it used to be.
After flying around the city to clear her head, Kara returns home and finds her sister waiting there with pizza. Obviously, Alex isn’t at all surprised by Winn’s confession of love because she has eyes. As the sisters catch up, it’s revealed that Maxwell Lord planted a camera on Alex and is currently watching this sisterly bonding. This definitely isn’t good a thing for Kara.
Wall of Weird: