When Supergirl announced that Winn Schott would be in the main cast of the show, many comic book fans began to theorize. Winn Schott is the same name as a character from the comics who is an adversary to Superman. Yet when Supergirl premiered Winn couldn’t have been a nicer or a more innocent guy — leaving many confused. As of the episode “Childish Things” Supergirl revealed that Winn Schott is in fact Toyman but it’s Winn Schott Sr., Winn’s father.
While episode 10 confirmed Toyman’s identity it also left the door open for Winn becoming an evil criminal in the future and “snapping” like his father. Is this something that Supergirl should do? Is it even something Supergirl could do in the wake of the end of “Childish Things”?
The Pros of an Evil Crazy Winn
Right now it might be unthinkable to think anything good could come from Winn losing his mind but that might not be necessarily true. Supergirl has not shied away from hard topics. The show has an undeniably feminist bend. The early season 1 episodes didn’t treat that subject with a lot of reverence (it was more lip service than saying anything important) but later episodes corrected themselves. Supergirl still has the occasionally cheesy line but it is way more mature than it was in the first couple episodes.
Supergirl has also started to tackle racism and xenophobia a bit with Martian Manhunter. This was always a bit of the factor because some characters objected to Supergirl on the basis of her being an alien but it didn’t really stick. As J’onn pointed out in “Childish Things” Kara doesn’t look like an alien. Kara doesn’t look “other” in the same way that J’onn does in his true form. When it comes to J’onn though, Supergirl has handled his feelings of isolation with a lot of tact.
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So there is no reason to think that Supergirl wouldn’t approach mental health in the same way. If Winn were to turn evil, Supergirl has established it would come about because of the mental illness that hides inside him that he inherited from his father. The arena of mental illness is still very stigmatized. People are very quick to write people with mental illnesses as just plain crazy. If Supergirl really had Winn succumb to his illness they got have a real opportunity to have a real, responsible conversation about mental health.
It would also give Kara a very worthy and interesting villain to go up against. Supergirl is still majorly lacking in the villain department. Maxwell Lord is more of a one-dimensional mustache twirler than anything. There are some interesting ideas between Max but he’s more a mad scientist than a complicated Machiavellian businessman. Astra is even worse and at this point she’s barely a villain and more a shaky ally for Kara. Kara’s best friend becoming one of her greatest enemies wouldn’t exactly be new ground but it could set the stage for some really great dramatic fodder.
The Cons of an Evil Crazy Winn
All that being said, Supergirl doesn’t necessarily need to make Winn evil to have a conversation about mental health. In fact, it would probably be better if Supergirl didn’t mess with Winn’s morality if they want their message to be as effective as possible. Winn could still struggle with mental illness and aggression but he could fight against it. Supergirl could use Winn as an example that just because you are suffering from some mental disease doesn’t mean you have to turn violent. It’s a common held belief and it would be better for the show to subvert the expectation than confirm it.
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While it would make for a very dramatic and effective arc, Winn being evil isn’t necessary for him to be interesting. There’s no doubt that Jeremy Jordan could play Winn’s descent into madness. If nothing else “Childish Things” proved that Jeremy Jordan can do pretty much anything Supergirl could throw at him. It would be more compelling for Winn to feel the urge to be like his father but resist it.
An evil Winn could also undermine Winn’s character as a whole. It could feel cheap and rushed if not done in exactly the right way. Winn resolved to not become his father at the end of “Childish Things” and to go back on that promise could be problematic. Winn’s mental health struggles should be a continuing aspect of his character but they don’t need to be his defining aspect.
But what do you think? Do you want to Winn stay good or take a trip to the dark side? What did you think of the Toyman’s debut? Do you think Winn’s mental health will be a continuing aspect to his story or “Childish Things” an one-off? What did you think of “Childish Things” as a whole?
Supergirl season 1 airs Mondays at 8pm on CBS.
(Images courtesy of CBS)