Supergirl Episode 10 ‘Childish Things’ Recap
Supergirl season one, episode 10 introduces us to this telling’s version of Toyman. In the opening sequences, we see Winslow Schott (yes, Toyman) break out of maximum security prison. We also get to see J’Onn J’Onzz giving Kara a brief flight lesson, and then we begin to see Kara and Alex putting some pressure on J’Onn to spend more time as his true self, the Martian Manhunter, and less time as Hank Henshaw, which Hank/J’Onn resists. Lucy Lane is offered a job as general counsel by Cat Grant, and clearly the idea of having his girlfriend around at all times makes James Olsen squirm a bit.
Toyman’s prison break is televised, and this makes Winn visibly uncomfortable. Federal agents shows up asking for Winslow Schott Junior, and we find out that this is Winn. I feel like we already knew this, but I don’t recall the exact reference. Winn is questioned by the feds, and he’s clearly and understandably bothered by the whole thing. Winn tells Kara the basic backstory here – his father was a toymaker or toy designer, and his plans and ideas were stolen by his boss. Putting a bomb in a teddy bear, Winn’s dad intended to kill his boss, but accidentally blew up his assistant and a few other people. Winn reveals to Kara that his father reached out to him, asking for a meeting, and then he reveals this to the federal agents as well.
The feds send Winn to this meeting, wearing a wire. When Winn sees his father, his dad calls him his “greatest work”. He goes on to say “we’re the same” and “we’re linked”. In other tellings of the Toyman story, it’s actually the toymaker’s son who becomes Toyman; I wonder if Supergirl is setting up a similar storyline. Or maybe Winn is some sort of clone. Or elaborate robot. Or cybernetic organism (you know, living tissue over a metal endoskeleton). How awesome would that be? The conversation doesn’t last long before the feds come in guns blazing, only to realize that Winslow Schott is only some kind of projection. Toys in the room start spewing some kind of gas, but Kara blasts in, inhales all of it and flies off to disperse it at a safe altitude.
Afterward, the feds asks Winn about the whole “you’re my greatest work” thing, and Winn mostly brushes it off, saying that it makes no sense. One wonders if he knows more than he’s letting on. Especially when he expresses to Kara how he’s clearly concerned that the feds are going to kill his dad. His conflict and concern for his own father is understandable, but we’re left to wonder if it’s as simple as that.
Alex slinks into a little black dress to meet with Maxwell Lord, keeping him occupied while Henshaw finds a way into his fortress to find out more about the mysterious “Room 52”. Alex and Lord exchange some intel about Kryptonians, but clearly they don’t trust each other.
J’onn J’onzz masquerades as Maxwell Lord to gain access to his facility. He’s able to fool a staffer, but not a fingerprint scanner. We get to see him phase through a door. Kind of a blah effect, but at least we’re seeing this ability. J’Onzz (still as Max Lord) finds the ‘coma girl’. Then he is discovered by a guard, who is fooled at first, but not for long, and J’onn J’onzz has to overpower him.
The guard asks “please, don’t kill me”, and as we would hope, J’onn simply leaves him unconscious and without memory of the encounter. The guard mentioned that the coma girl was “Code Phoenix”. J’onn (now as Hank Henshaw) tells the girl “I’ll be back for you, I promise.”
Back at CatCo, Winn shows Kara a small etching on a circuit from the toy his father left for him. It looks like the letter Y, but he tells Kara that it’s a slingshot. It signifies “Slingshot Toys”, the company his dad created. He tells Kara that his father must be at its old warehouse, which is still standing. She immediately blasts over there and gets right in. Kara appeals to Schott’s compassion or concern for his son. Toyman is prepared, and traps her in a giant block filled with quicksand. It’s laced with thermite so she can’t use her heat vision to get out. He’s apparently trapped a bunch of kids in trunks (we hear them calling for help). Kara uses her freeze breath to make the quicksand brittle and busts out just in time to open one of the trunks, only to find out that it’s only a doll inside.
One minor bummer here, the “A” on the big block Schott is standing on is backward. Yeah, only a graphic designer would probably notice this, but sadly, I am, and I did. This might be a minor detail, but this kind of thing sticks out for me. On a serif “A” like this, the thicker stroke is on the right, not the left.
J’onn J’onzz shows Alex some spy photos form his encounter with coma girl. Apparently the girl’s IV effectively has hydrochloric acid in it. So they must realize she’s not a normal human, but they don’t know what she is or what Lord is doing with her, or why. He tells Alex that he did something he swore he’d never do again, and he’s apparently referring to erasing the guard’s memory. Cut back to Maxwell Lord’s place, and a doctor is describing the guard’s condition. He didn’t just forget the encounter with the Martian Manhunter – he doesn’t even remember his wife or baby. The doctor cites “severe tissue damage to his frontal and temporal lobes.” This is an interesting wrinkle – perhaps in this universe, the Martian Manhunter can read minds and erase memories, but maybe not without harmful or devastating consequences. Lord’s “invisible backup” security videos reveal that someone (or something) disguised as him was in the hallway and shifted through the door.
Winn nearly reports his father to the feds. And reveals to Kara that he’s afraid of turning into a monster himself, as his father did. He gets pretty weepy and goes in for a kiss with Kara. He takes her by surprise, she backs off, and he bolts. Only to be knocked out outside by his father. Who still blames his old boss for his imprisonment. He tells Winn that he has a plan for Winn to kill. He sends Winn to the National City Toy Convention (“ToyCon”), packing a special plastic gun. Right through metal detectors, right past security. He issues Winn an ultimatum – he has 10 bombs hidden at ToyCon, and if Winn doesn’t kill his old boss, he’ll detonate them. Winn goes to ToyCon, he gets to the stage and points the gun at his Dad’s old boss’s head, but at the last minute he fires into the air. The feds show up, and so does Supergirl. He tells Kara about the bombs. She turns on the sprinklers and creates some kind of field of ice with her cold breath, and somehow this protects everyone from the blast.
James and Lucy make up about the job situation and Kara sees them kiss. Boo hoo. She goes to see Winn and he’s still weepy about trying to kiss her. He equates his fear of sharing his feelings with his father’s bottled feelings and “explosion”. So he tells Kara that he’s in love with her. They don’t really decide what it means, but at least he put himself out there. Kara flies around the city and then back to her apartment, where Alex is waiting with “TV night” which apparently Supergirl has time for. Alex explains to Kara that she pushed Hank into using powers that he didn’t want to. She tells Kara that she had a “date” with Maxwell Lord, and that she can handle him, that he wouldn’t be able to do anything without her seeing it coming. Then we find out that Lord has a hidden camera on her purse and that he now knows that Alex and Supergirl are actually sisters.
All in all, “Childish Things” was a solid episode. We got to see more of the Martian Manhunter, and learned what might be some interesting details about the character in these stories. I didn’t mind this version of Toyman, though I would have liked to have seen a little more of a lunatic who was a little harder to take down. And it would have been interesting to see some twist of this storyline in Winn – – but this was left open enough that we might see some development of that in the future.