This week on “Supergirl,” Winn gets a moment in the spotlight when his homicidal father escapes from maximum security prison and terrorizes the city (talk about an unlucky genes); Alex Danvers convinces Hank Henshaw to embrace his inner Martian and find out just what Maxwell Lord is hiding, and Cat Grant makes Lucy Lane an offer she can’t refuse.
Until this week, Winn served a secondary role as CatCo’s tech geek, and the more puppyish of Kara’s two suitors. But in “Childish Things,” his father’s prison break puts Winn front and center. Kara’s civilian bestie previously mentioned that his father was in prison, but, oh yeah, he somehow forgot to add the part about being the child of a psychotic supervillain named Toyman, who uses (you guessed it) toys as weapons.
While some villains this season have lacked depth (here’s looking at you, Jemm), and the battle sequences sometimes feel like a distraction from the otherwise highly entertaining CatCo office banter, Toyman (played by Henry Czerny) is a seriously creepy, and welcome addition to the show. But he’s not the only new face — the episode also introduced FBI agent Cameron Chase, played by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum Emma Caulfield, who arrives to help take down the bad guy.
Despite being on the run from the FBI, Toyman has enough time on his hands to invent elaborate weapons including carnival prizes that eject poison gas, giant ABC blocks filled with quicksand and bombs carefully planted inside toys.
But in the final showdown we really have to suspend our disbelief — even in a show about superheroes. First, our villain drugs Winn and tries to force his son to murder Toyman’s former boss at the National Toy Convention (you’d think maybe they would postpone that kind of event with a toy-themed supervillain on the loose). When Supergirl swoops in to save the day, Toyman detonates a series of ten bombs which he has placed throughout the convention center. Supergirl sets off the sprinkler system and constructs an ice wall to protect civilians from the bombs with her ice breath. Explosions shatter the wall into a million shards, but somehow everyone is safe. Supergirl captures Toyman and sends him back to prison.
Now, let’s talk about that kiss. With his father back in jail, Winn opens up to Kara about his ongoing daddy issues. “You and your father aren’t the only ones linked,” Kara tells Winn. “We are too and I’m not going to let anyone mess with that.” Winn takes this as a cue to go in for a kiss, aaaaand… he’s rejected. Hardcore. It’s really awkward. Later on, when, instead of ignoring the rejection, he opens up about his feelings for her, Kara adds inadvertent insult to injury by friend-zoning him again, leaving their relationship in doubt, since Winn insists he can’t go back to hanging out with her like nothing has happened. Toyman spent much of the episode trying to convince his son that they were more alike than Winn wanted to admit — could Kara’s rejection push our tech guru to the dark side?
The usual CatCo banter is sorely missed this episode, but Cat gets a moment to shine by offering Lucy Lane a job, something that neither Kara nor James seems particularly enthusiastic about. It certainly hasn’t escaped Cat’s notice that there’s some chemistry between her assistant and CatCo’s art director, and if Lucy’s in the building, it’s a fair bet she’ll pick up on it sooner or later too.
In the beginning of the episode, we see Supergirl and J’onn J’onzz flying together above National City, a scene that will likely please DC Comics fans everywhere. The martian gives Supergirl a tactical lesson, but now that he has outed his identity to both Danvers sisters, complications ensue. Alex pressures Hank to use his shape-shifting powers to assume Maxwell Lord’s form and uncover whatever evil things he’s cooking up in his lab, discovering Lord’s black-eyed Bizarro Supergirl before being forced to use his memory-wiping abilities on an unfortunate guard. Not only does the encounter leave J’onn guilt-ridden, it also allows Lord to plant a bug on Alex while she’s trying to keep him occupied during a dinner that toes the line between flirtatious and dangerous.
Even worse — Alex gets back from her date for a night of “Game of Thrones” and pizza with Kara, who comes home in costume — revealing her secret identity and the connection between the sisters to Lord. Ruh roh! Now that two secrets are out, it seems likely the Martian Manhunter will have to decide who National City needs more — Hank Henshaw, or J’onn J’onzz.