Supergirl Recap – Episode Ten: “Childish Things”
On this week of Supergirl, “Childish Things,” it seemed like every character except for Kara had a conflict to deal with (until the end). Being both a good friend and Supergirl, she was involved in helping her friends and the DEO face their problems, however, her focus was more on the challenges faced by Winn. With new conflicts, relationships will be challenged and tested in new ways.
Three big things happen in this episode, the Winn story, the DEO Story, and the Lucy Lane story, so, like last time, I’ve broken things up by the story arcs. First up, Winn and his story.
YOU WINN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME
We open “Childish Things” at Van Kull Maximum Security Prison where a guard is headed to give breakfast to one of the inmates. When he doesn’t receive any response and sees the prisoner lying on the ground, he opens the door to investigate. Like in most high-security DC prisons, however, this is a trap and he is hit with what I can only describe as the “yo-yo of death.” Taking his uniform, the prisoner escapes, killing two other guards in the process.
While Jimmy, Kara, and Winn are waiting to see what Cat and Lucy are up to (see below for more information on that plotline), a piece about the escaped convict, the Toyman, is played. Winn reacts badly, and leaves the room, only returning when Special Agent Chase of the FBI comes in, looking for Winslow Schott Jr.
Agent Chase proceeds to ask Winn about his father, if he had heard from him or if he had any friends that he would go to. Angrily, Winn tells her that his father stopped being his father the day he killed six people. Talking to Kara later, Winn opens up and tells her that his dad was a good dad until something snapped.
When he was cheated by his boss, Chester Dunholtz, Winslow Sr. was a coward. Instead of standing up for himself, he created a bomb and mailed it to Chester. Sadly, an assistant opened the package by mistake, and she and five other people were killed. Winn admits to trying to put his dad out of his mind because he is so angry at him. It just works better, he points out if he can forget him.
Winn reveals to Kara that something that has been bugging him; his dad was in contact with him. The Toyman left him a message that morning, asking to meet with him. Despite his wanting to not be involved at all, when Kara encourages him to tell the FBI about the message, he does.
Winn is sent to meet with his father in their old favorite place, an arcade by the docks, with an FBI team prepared to go in after him and recapture the Toyman. In the arcade, Winn is confronted by his father who tells Winn that he is the greatest thing he ever created and that they are the same.
Rejecting this, but fearing that his father might be right, Winn nevertheless tries to convince the Toyman to turn himself in. When the FBI tack team arrives, he even tries to save his father’s life, despite watching him being arrested for murder when he (Winn) was 11.
Luckily, when the tack team opens fire, it turns out that his father wasn’t really there, just a mirrored image of him. Unluckily, the destruction of the hologram sets off an outpouring of poisonous gas from a selection of toys. Luckily again, Supergirl is near at hand and inhales all the gas, saving Winn and the FBI team.
Winn, although he hates his father, doesn’t want to see him killed and Kara, because Winn has done so much for her, informs him that she will help him in this battle. She’ll be there for him like he is always there for her because they need each other. To me, the Winn/Kara interactions in this episode are very sweet (at least in the beginning), particularly when she tells him that if he wasn’t in her life, she’d be lost.
Taking the toy his father left, Winn is able to figure out where his father is hiding. Kara, as Supergirl, goes to confront him. Appealing to his love of his son, Kara tries to convince the Toyman to turn himself in, to no avail. Trapping Supergirl in quicksand, he disappears into the night.
Winn is angry that his father would try to hurt Kara and wants to call the police. When Kara reminds him that they will kill his father, he argues that the world will be a better place. When she reminds him that he doesn’t want that on his conscience, Winn says that his father must have something wrong inside of him.
At the idea that sometimes people just snap, however, Winn is horrified and confesses to Kara his deepest fear, that, like his father, he has something rotten inside of him and that, one day, he too will snap. He worries that he is inherently evil, and admits that every time he gets angry, he is afraid that this will be the time he can’t go back.
Kara tells him that no, he won’t. What makes people like them different from her aunt and his father is that when their worlds came crashing down on them, they didn’t give into the rage and hate. Instead, they decided to give back and try to make things better. When she tells him that they are linked and that she’s not going to let anything change that, he kisses her.
It was clearly just an impulse, but one that he regrets almost immediately, especially when she doesn’t reciprocate. Was she just surprised? We’ll find out, I’m sure, if not in this episode then coming up.
After he leaves, embarrassed both at having shared deep-seated fears and accidentally kissing his best friend, his father kidnaps him before he can reach the elevator. The Toyman’s plan is simple, revenge on his old boss, Chester Dunholtz. Using the threat of ten bombs placed around a convention center full of innocent people that will detonate unless Winn cooperates, Winn agrees to shoot Chester Dunholtz to save the hundreds of people at the convention center.
Agent Chase and her team arrive in time to stop Winn, but they try to do it by killing him. Kara swoops in to save him, and, because she is Supergirl, is also able to find the bombs, saving everyone else. In the end, she tries to go back to business as normal, but Winn doesn’t know if he can. He knows he might have ruined their friendship by kissing her, but he hopes not.
He apologizes for it and brushes off her insistence that it was nothing. He also says that he can no longer bottle up his feelings like a coward, telling Kara that he is in love with her, and has been for a long time. She says that she doesn’t want things to change, and while he sees the appeal in that, he doesn’t know if he can live like that anymore. Wondering where that leaves the two of them, Kara goes for a flight to try to work out her tangled emotions and Winn goes back to work.
NEW GIRL ON THE BLOCK
During tea, Cat asks Lucy Lane (attorney, Army, and Jimmy Olsen’s girlfriend) numerous noisy questions. Since these include why Lucy attended Harvard Law AND WestPoint, and where does Lucy see herself in five years, Lucy realizes that this is a job interview. When she begins to decline the offer, Cat sees right through her, reminding her that smart women do not do well when bored.
We learn later that Cat wants Lucy to become her general counsel, starting as soon as possible. While he is excited for her, Jimmy seems to be less thrilled on hearing that she would be working in the same building and on the same floor as him.
When Lucy asks Jimmy if he thinks she should take the job at CatCo, and if he thinks it would be fun to work together, his response is vague. He tells her that it is her choice, but never really answers the question. Lucy is clearly hurt by his lack of excitement for her, especially since she moved to a new place and has landed what is, at the very least, a great opportunity of a job. Lucy also reminds Jimmy that, technically, she doesn’t need his permission and is taking the job.
Of course, Kara is torn about Lucy working at CatCo, seeing as she has a crush on Jimmy. This fact does not go unnoticed by Cat, who reminds her that he is taken, regardless of whatever it is that’s between the two of them. Like most scenes with Kara and Cat, it is short, sweet, and punch-packing.
In the end, it turns out that Jimmy really is happy for Lucy, but her success and happiness reminded him of how much he disliked his own job, being stuck behind a desk. Lucy encourages him to do what makes him happy and to talk to Cat. Their fight resolved, they kiss and make up. From inside CatCo, Kara sees them and her emotions, already confused by Winn, are thrown into a further tailspin.
MAXWELL AND THE (MARTIAN) MANHUNTER
We first see Supergirl in “Childish Things,” however, when J’onn J’onzz is teaching her the proper way to fly. When pressed to reveal his true self, (both for his own freedom and to use his powers to break into Maxwell Lord’s facility, specifically Room 52), he tells the Danvers sisters that he feels that the world needs Hank Henshaw more than J’onn J’onzz, and that he will not use his powers for missions.
As Alex and Hank plan their investigation of Lord Technologies, Alex puts the pressure on Hank to use his powers to assist. Pointing out that they are paid to take risks and defend the planet, Alex argues that by using his powers Hank can do more good than ever before.
Hank counters by reminding her that an alien cannot be in charge of the DEO and that by being J’onn J’onzz, he was hunted and feared. By staying Hank Henshaw, he is able to keep the darker parts of his past at bay. He reasons that it’s safer for everyone that way, himself included. Alex’s response, however, seems to give Hank pause. She reminds him that Kara needs him as J’onn J’onzz, especially with Maxwell Lord out to get her.
To get Maxwell Lord out of Lord Technologies so that Hank/J’onn J’onzz can infiltrate Room 52, Alex calls to arrange an exchange of information that, as Maxwell put it, seems remarkably like a date. During dinner, Maxwell tells Alex that he doesn’t know what the aliens were after in episodes 7 and 8 because nothing was taken from his lab. Since they are exchanging information, he asks about Supergirl. Although Alex doesn’t tell him the whole truth about her relationship with Supergirl, she admits that her organization is working with her.
Meanwhile, disguised as Maxwell, J’onn J’onzz is about to enter Room 52 to uncover its secrets. After finally shaking off a persistently helpful assistant, he simply walks through the wall. He photographs everything, including the Jane Doe, but is caught when a security guard enters.
The silent alarm, it turns out, was tripped and, although he learns that Jane Doe is part of Code Phoenix or Operation Phoenix, J’onn J’onzz is unable to convince the guard he is Maxwell. Faced with exposure or having to kill the man, J’onn J’onzz instead wipes his memories.
Back at DEO Headquarters, Hank and Alex examine the readout for Jane Doe, and their examination leads to more questions than before. Meanwhile, back at Lord Technologies, Maxwell is surprised to see himself on camera when he knows he was out with Alex. The knowledge that the security guard had his memory wiped and that the imposter can walk through walls raises more questions in his mind as well.
Conflicted about the situation with Winn, Kara confides in her sister during sister bonding time. Alex mentions that she is also having a hard time. She encouraged Hank to use his powers and as a result, he had to do something terrible.
The conversation turns to Maxwell, and when Kara says that he is a monster, Alex tells her that he’s just a “reformed nerd with a God-complex,” and she is confident she can stay a step ahead of him. Unknown to the Danvers sisters, however, Maxwell Lord put a camera on Alex’s purse during their date and has been watching their entire conversation. He chuckles, now aware of Alex’s real relationship to Supergirl.
So, this week of Supergirl in “Childish Things,” we have the Toyman. According to the DC Wikia page, it’s not the name of just one guy, there have been several Toymen (Toymans? Toymani?) in DC lore. Although he mostly fights Superman, it does make sense to bump him over to fight Supergirl, especially because her friend Winn is the son of one of the incarnations, Winslow Schott.
The DC Wikia page says that the Toyman is always a “sociopathic mechanical genius.” Furthermore, it tells me that he served in the Injustice League and the Legion of Doom, among other villainous groups. Although the end of the episode saw him back in prison, could he break out again? Or could this all be a set up for his son, Winn, to take up the mantel? I hope not, I like Winn as a good guy, but it’s possible.
Kara’s feelings seem confused in “Childish Things.” On the one hand, she has an established crush on Jimmy Olsen and that comes across as something she is wrestling with. On the other hand, she tells Winn that she could not imagine her life without him and that she needs him. One line was something to the effect of, “When I’m with you, I don’t feel alone.”
Maybe it’s because I like the idea of Kara realizing that she was in love with her friend all along, but I thought that the scenes with Winn seemed more real, in a lot of ways, then her interactions with Jimmy.
Another thing I loved was how Winn’s story and J’onn J’onzz’s story were paralleled. While Winn was fighting the fear that he could someday turn into his father, J’onn J’onzz’s fear is to be misunderstood and brought back into a past that clearly pains him. To escape what they fear, they both have to let go of something.
Winn has to stop bottling things up, while J’onn J’onzz feels that there are things in his past he cannot repeat, like using his powers. Both acted in new ways than usual this episode, and both of those actions will, I’m sure, have lasting consequences.
By the way, the Winn thing is either a wonderful way to give Winn more depth and a back-story, or a wonderfully tragic way to set him up as a new villain.
CAT GRANT-ISMS OF THE WEEK
In many shows, there is one character who always says the funniest things. For Supergirl, I think that Cat Grant is that character. So, here are my favorite things that Cat said during “Childish Things.”
“You are a smart and accomplished woman who needs to work, or you will lose your confidence, your sense of identity, and most importantly, your mind.”
“He seems like a very sensitive boy. Do you think he can cry on cue?”
“Fine. But if I see him talking to Diane Sawyer, he’s fired.”
What did you think of “Childish Things?” What is Code Phoenix?
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