Supergirl has to deal with “Childish Things” in this week’s episode. Since I first learned what Winn’s full name was, I was pretty sure this was coming. Winn’s father is Winslow Schott, the Toyman, usually a Superman foe. Here, he kills several guards as he escapes from prison.
The Toyman could almost be a Batman foe. He has a fixation with turning toys into deadly weapons. We get his backstory in this version throughout the episode, with a few nice nods along the way. Two of the toys he uses reflect past versions of the character- one that looks like the one from Superman’s animated series, and one from the classic Legion of Doom on the old Superfriends cartoon.
Supergirl and J’Onn are flying around together. She tries to talk him into using his powers more and openly. He says he’s just teaching her proper flying technique. He is very resistant to her advice, and Alex’s when she tries the same approach later.
After Schott’s escape from prison, the FBI comes after Winn looking for any clues about his father’s plans. Leading the FBI is Cameron Chase, another familiar name to DC Comics fans. Chase starred in her own series for a time as an agent of the DEO. Hopefully, we’ll see more of her later. Kara is doing her best to be supportive while Winn worries about his father’s plans.
As Kara and Winn go after his dad, Alex and Hank plan out how to go after Max Lord. They know he’s hiding something, since the Fort Rozz prisoners attacked his company. They concoct a decent scheme hinging on Max’s attraction to Alex and Hank’s powers. It goes decently, but Hank’s concern about his use of powers proves to be well-founded.
Toyman has a series of elaborate traps to take care of the FBI, and even Supergirl. I won’t detail them so I don’t spoil things, but, while the first one worked decently, the second one really didn’t make any sense at all. That was some bad writing and some bad staging.
There’s a very amusing scene with Cat being annoyed that her “computer elf” is Toyman’s son and she didn’t know. It’s pretty much Cat’s only scene this week. At a guess, the rest of the cast was too busy to give her much air time, and she has had a lot so far. Cat does play into…
James and Lucy have several scenes revolving around Lucy getting a new job offer. There’s a lot of tension between them, and it seems like drama for the sake of drama to me. What they finally resolve is that James is happy about her new opportunity, and not happy about his current job.
Winn gets a lot of good scenes this week. He’s always been worried that he’d end up like his father, who was apparently a good and normal person until he finally snapped. Kara also finally stops taking him for granted, which is a nice change. Winn also finally tells Kara how he feels. I give them points for not having a simple, trite resolution to that development.
Schott, Senior manages to get his hands on Winn, and reveals an elaborate plan for revenge. It’s a weird one, foiled, of course, by the intervention of Supergirl. This, too, was a badly done scene that didn’t make a lot of sense. Speaking of badly done, the last scene shows another step in Max’s plan to learn about Supergirl. He pulls off something marginally clever, but it only worked because of the stupidity of two of the characters.
What I liked: Winn got some decent screen time where he wasn’t being treated horribly. It really says something that it took the return of his homicidal, insane father to get him treated better. Toyman isn’t a knock off of Joker or Trickster. They have a certain upbeat manic glee to their insanity, Toyman is more cold and controlled, which was a nice difference. I liked seeing more of J’Onn.
What I didn’t: The James and Lucy subplot seemed utterly unnecessary. It was like the writers had to come up with something for them to do and said, “Oh, I don’t know, let’s try this.” The second trap from Toyman was ridiculously bad. The stupidity that led to Max’s plan working at the end was horribly out of character for those involved. The weird, arbitrary limits on J’Onn’s power seem strained at best.
I’m really torn on a rating for this. I like what they did with Winn and Toyman. I don’t like most of the rest of the episode. I’m going to go with a 2.5 out of 5 on balance. It could have been a lot better with a few simple tweaks.