Supergirl has always been a family show. That’s not just been in terms of tone but in the theme as well. Many episodes have dealt with the familial ties between the characters through both blood and love. While there have been references to Winn’s family before, they’ve always been in the background. We’ve known for a while that Winn’s father was a criminal, but this episode, “Childish Things,” gives us an up close and personal look at Winn and his relationship with his father.
The microscope look causes Supergirl to have one of its best episodes yet. “Childish Things” takes Winn from a likable but kind of irrelevant character to one of Supergirl‘s very best and most interesting heroes. The episode adds so many wonderful and complicated dimensions to Winn. Jeremy Jordan is asked to do a lot in this episode and he more than rises to the challenge.
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A Pair of Offers
J’onn is taking Kara out for flight lessons. Really, though, it’s just an excuse on Supergirl‘s part to show how awesome Martian Manhunter looks because Martian Manhunter looks really awesome. It’s also an opportunity for Kara to try to convince J’onn to stop being Hank Henshaw and just come out to the world as J’onn J’onnz. He’s not interested.
At CatCo, Cat is offering Lucy a job as her general counsel. Cat is also surprisingly nice to Lucy. This might just be because the two women have a shared feeling of indifference about Lucy’s sister, Lois. In any case, neither James nor Kara seem particularly thrilled about Lucy possibly working in the same building. James, who I generally like, continues to pout about this fact all episode and it’s really boring. Especially because I can’t help but compare James’ non-problem (of his own making) to Winn’s very serious issues.
Winn’s supervillain father, The Toyman, has escaped prison. Winn Schott, Sr. was a mild-mannered toy maker until his boss stole his work. Then Winn’s father turned into a bitter mass murderer and rechristened himself as The Toyman. Y’know, the standard terrorist origin story.
Now that The Toyman is free, he wants to meet with Winn. So Winn works with the authorities to set up a meeting with his father. Winn’s dad is incredibly creepy and unnerving. He tells Winn that they are the same person and that they have the same genius inside of him. During the discussion, the authorities break in and try to capture Winn’s father. The Toyman is not actually there, though, but he’s being represented as a hologram. He then fills the room with gas, apparently, trying to kill everyone involved, but Supergirl arrives to save the day.
Dinner and Some Espionage
Alex is picking up what Kara started, trying to get J’onn to use his powers more. Alex wants information about Maxwell Lord and thinks J’onn out as Martian Manhunter would help. J’onn tells Alex that he tried to be a Martian on Earth once and it didn’t work out. He will never be accepted the same way as Kara because he doesn’t look the same. He’ll always be different. Eventually, he relents to secretly helping Alex get dirt on Maxwell Lord. J’onn agrees to impersonate Lord, while Alex distracts the man by going out with him for dinner.
The dinner date is as creepy as you’d expect, but it’s kind of supposed to be that way. Unfortunately, Supergirl also tries to pretend that there is some real chemistry between Alex and Lord, which is so not working. What does work is the infiltration plan with J’onn pretending to be Lord. J’onn manages to get into the room with Lord’s experiment, Bizarro Girl. J’onn can’t rescue the girl because he is interrupted by a guard. J’onn is forced to wipe the guard’s memory, much to his disgust. J’onn promises to return for the girl.
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Kara and Winn work together to find where Winn’s father might be hiding. Somehow, despite the fact that Kara is pretty much a god, the Toyman manages to trick and escape her. It’s really embarrassing, honestly, but at least the Toyman keeps his eerie evil toymaker aesthetic.
The failed attempt also triggers a breakdown by Winn. He gives up hope that Kara and he will be able to trap his father. Winn also begins to worry about if he will turn out like his father. He is worried that one day he too will snap. Kara reassures Winn that that won’t happen because Winn has her. Misreading the situation, Winn kisses Kara. She pulls back in shock.
Hurt, Winn storms out and into the waiting arms (that are filled with chloroform) of his father. The Toyman ties Winn up and tells Winn why he broke out of prison. Winn’s father wants revenge on his old boss, Chester Dunholz, for taking away Winn’s childhood. The Toyman blames Dunholz for his imprisonment and for him being absent from Winn’s life. The Toyman won’t kill his boss, though; he wants Winn to do it.
This might seem like a bit of a non-issue because Winn is obviously not a murderer, but Toyman has a back-up plan. Winn is supposed to kill Dunholz at a convention center and Toyman has planted 10 bombs inside the building. If Winn doesn’t kill Dunholz, his father will detonate the bombs, killing hundreds of people. Of course, this is also a non-issue when you are best friends with Supergirl. Kara shows up, saving Winn from murdering anyone. She then uses her powers to keep the people safe and throws Toyman back into prison.
The Double Whammy of Depression
Winn and Kara’s relationship still needs repairing, though. Back at CatCo, Winn tells Kara the truth about his feelings. Winn tells Kara that he is in love with her and has been for quite some time. Winn says he can’t keep things bottled up anymore. He doesn’t want to end up like his father. Neither person knows what this revelation means for their friendship, but it’s pretty clear that Kara doesn’t share Winn’s feelings.
If that’s not a depressing enough ending, Maxwell Lord gets a lot of wins. He uses his back-up security cameras to discover that J’onn impersonated him. He also planted a camera on Alex’s purse during their date. The camera allows him to discover, at the end of the episode, that Alex and Kara are sisters and that Kara is Supergirl.
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)