Supergirl Review: Season 1 Episode 10 – Childish Things
The Toyman (Henry Czerny, Revenge, The Tudors) escapes from jail and reaches out to his son Winn to exact revenge on the person he feels ruined his life. Alex and Hank dig deeper into the mystery of Room 52 at Lord Technologies. Jimmy and Lucy clash over Cat's job offer, an offer that would place Lucy, Jimmy, and Kara all in close proximity.
In this yo-yo of a season we are back up! This episode was much better than the previous episode. We had more storyline development, a lesson on the problematic nature of privilege, and the reveal that Alex is deeply stupid (oh wait, we already knew that). Henry Czerny was captivating as Winslow Schlott Sr., Winn's father. Winn and Kara were magical on screen together, and I felt every pang of hurt when Winn was promptly drop kicked into the friend zone. For all their pushing, Hank firmly put the girls in their place, explaining that their privilege was not his privilege. I am increasingly curious about what is going on in Room 52, and how the end reveal of the episode will impact the Scoobies and the DEO.
Under Pressure: Kara in all her well meaning glory insists that J'onn could feel as free as he does teaching her to fly if he would just reveal himself to the world. She waxes poetic about how liberating it was for her to let her cape fly free. J'onn promptly shuts her down with the words "That's you." Then he strolls off screen. Two words were all he needed to tell the audience that your privilege isn't my privilege. But then here comes Alex, trying to guilt J'onn into using his abilities, saying the fight had to be hard, they had to use every weapon in their arsenal, that by refusing she was leaving Kara out there on her own. J'onn again tries to explain, gently but firmly, why it doesn't work like that. We get a sense of the pain and loss that J'onn has dealt with over 50 years. He talks about the panic his natural appearance causes mankind. He talks about how even those he loved tried to kill him when he revelaed himself. He talks about how every time he returns to the natural form he was born with it is more and more difficult to come back. He is best and most useful as Hank Henshaw. The sisters don't see it-which causes him to use his powers to infiltrate Lord Technologies and Room 52. The result is catastrophic and everything he wanted to avoid-he is found out, and to avoid detection, he erases the memory from guard, which causes irreversible brain damage. Looking deeper into J'onn's pain and his fear was needed this episode, even if it was under the annoying pressure of Alex and Kara. They are so busy worrying about their needs and their cause that they don't realize that pushing others is causing more pain and opening them up to more risks of exposure. It was well done.
Somebody's Watching Me: Backups on backups on backups! Alex lures Max away with promise of a dinner and mutual information exchange to give J'onn the chance to infiltrate the DEO. We learn that the Jane Doe that we met in the previous episode is part of a project called Code Phoenix. Her IV drip? Hydrochloric acid. The kind that should be melting her from the inside out, but instead is giving her a serious case of black cataracts. That coupled with Red Tornado's arm have us wondering what our dear Max is up to. Of course, they forget Max is not only brilliant, but deeply paranoid. So while J'onn erases the drives of security footage, we learn that, of course, Max has top secret backups. On these backups, he sees someone who looks like him phase through the wall. Later, while she is going on and on about how much more savvy than Max she is, we learn that Max has planted the most obvious camera ever on Alex's purse. This lovely little device captures Alex snuggling up with Supergirl, her sister, talking about a kiss from Winn, and worrying over Hank being strong enough, but recognizing that J'onn is stronger. In other words, Max, who is very smart, will soon know all the secret identities. Alex's stupidity only further highlights Max's brilliance. The real question is, what will he do with this newfound knowledge?
Cat's in the Cradle: The Toyman is such a compelling character! Henry Czerny played the hell out of the role, and watching him try to exact revenge on the man he blames for his own failings and cowardice was truly enjoyable. Deeper than that, watching the parallels between father and son in their choices of expression, the ways they dealt with their emotions, and the fallout from their failure to truly confront what they were feeling and fearing made for a compelling episode. It also allowed the unrequited romance between Kara and Winn to come to a head. What I loved the most about this part of the episode was how real Winn was and how real Kara was for with him. Instead of the typical television trope where the girl decides to give the relationship a go since she can't have the man she wants, Kara was honest with him about her feelings and desire to remain friends only. Instead of pretending that he could set it aside and be her friend, Winn was honest that he couldn't just pretend what happened didn't happen, because that would only put him back on the path his father walked, and he had to do differently to escape the madness that eventually destroyed his family. This was great storytelling and character development in action.
Nothing Really Matters: Jimmy and Lucy. Yeah...this was the dullest and most unnecessary part of the episode. Lucy gets a job offer from Cat. Jimmy couldn't act less excited than if he got word he needed a root canal and five crowns installed in his mouth. Lucy and Jimmy go back and forth about this the entire episode. In the end, he reveals he is jealous that she is following his passion and the he was stuck behind his desk instead of in the field with his camera where he feels most alive.
First of all, it was pretty evident to everyone, including Cat, that Jimmy's real issue was being with one woman when he was clearly enamored with another one (Kara). This wasn't even filmed in a way that made us think he was giving her a BS excuse. I do not understand the point of this at all. I am glad to see Jenna Tatum back on the show as her character can add a lot to the series. I do not like they way they are using her to setup a convoluted love triangle with Kara and Jimmy. She has way more potential than that.
This was a really good episode. I don't need to repeat that the CGI still leaves a lot to be desired. There were some parts of the episode that made no logical sense (Winn, after pulling a gun on a man at a convention and being fired on by the FBI, is back at work the next day like nothing happened-where does this happen?). This was definitely a stronger episode than last week's, and next week we get the White Martians! Onward and upward!