Our villain this week is Winslow Schott Sr. AKA Toyman (Henry Czerny), who is also Winn’s father. The episode opens with him breaking out of prison using a yo-yo that doubles as a throwing star, which I found to be both ridiculous and kind of awesome.
The FBI, led by Special Agent Cameron Chase (Buffy’s Emma Caulfield) shows up shortly after Toyman’s escape to question Winn. Chase asks Winn if his father has any contact with him since his escape but Winn claims that he hasn’t and Chase lets him go.
Shortly afterward, Kara goes to comfort him and Winn gives her a little backstory about his father. At first, he seemed to be a mostly normal enough guy and that he and Winn would spend a lot of time building and tinkering with toys. Winn admits though that his dad bottled up his anger until one day he completely snapped when his boss stole his toy designs and got rich off them. He attempted to get revenge on his boss by mailing a bomb to his office but his assistant ended up opening the package instead, killing her and five other people in the process. Winn then confesses to Kara and Chase that he found a message from his father asking him to come to their “favorite place” and to come alone.
The favorite place turns out to be an abandoned arcade by the docks and Winn goes there wearing a wire, while being watched by Chase’s team and Kara. Toyman doesn’t seem to suspect anything is amiss despite Winn conspicuously talking into his shirt collar every step of the way. Winn tries talking his dad into turning himself in but he of course refuses and the FBI opens fire on him. The Toyman they shoot at however turns out to be a fake and poison gas in released into the room. Supergirl thankfully flies in just in the neck of time to inhale the gas and gets rid of it in the sky.
After that incident, Winn is afraid the FBI will kill his father, so Kara offers to help find him before the police do and bring him in which Winn reluctantly accepts. Shortly afterward, Kara confronts Toyman at an old toy factory but it ends with him escaping and her almost getting killed by a quicksand trap of all things.
Back at Kara’s apartment, Winn is angry that Kara almost got killed because of him. He’s also afraid that one day, he’ll end up exactly like his dad. Kara does everything she can to comfort him once again but he misreads the situation and kisses her. Noticing how uncomfortable he’s made her, Winn decides to leave but ends up chloroformed by his dad soon after.
Winn wakes up in his dad’s lair and Toyman reveals the reason he broke out of prison. Apart from trying to patch up his relationship with Winn in his own twisted way, he still wants to get revenge on his old boss. His plan is to have Winn either kill his old boss at a toy convention or he’ll detonate a set of bombs at he has hidden at said convention (yeah nothing fixes a father-son relationship like forcing one of them to commit murder). Winn in unable to do it though and is tips Supergirl off about the bombs just in time. Supergirl has all the people at the convention move to one side of the building while she uses her heat vision to set off the building’s water sprinklers and uses her freeze breath to create an ice wall for protection from the bombs (somehow I think projectile ice shards would cause just as much damage as the bombs themselves). Since Kara also discovers that Toyman was hiding in the building’s basement, she’s able to catch him pretty easily.
In the aftermath, Winn apologizes for kissing Kara but he refuses to act like it didn’t happen after his dad reminded him of the negative effects of bottling things up. He confesses that he’s in love with Kara (again, was this supposed to be a secret?), though he can clearly tell she doesn’t feel the same way. When she asks what this means for them going forward, he admits he doesn’t know.
James and Lucy
Meanwhile at CatCo, Cat offers Lucy a job as her general counsel which she happily accepts. When she tells the news to James, his reaction to working with his girlfriend is noticeably lukewarm at best. Lucy notices this too and they end having a huge fight. Cat thinks it’s because James doesn’t want Lucy to notice how he and Kara flirt with each other. However, James eventually admits to Lucy though that his attitude had more to do with being dissatisfied with his own job and he misses being a photographer.
After James’ run-in with Lord in the last episode, Alex is especially anxious to find out what Lord is up to. Given the amount of security at Lord Technologies, she suggests that Hank use his shape shifting abilities to infiltrate the building, though Hank is reluctant to do so. Ever since the incident that killed Jeremiah and the real Henshaw, Hank has tried using his powers as little as possible and still believes that he can do the most good as head of the DEO. Alex tries convincing him that times have changed and people have become more accepting of aliens and uses Kara as proof. Hank counters though that’s mostly because Kara can pass for human while Hank’s Martian form looks more like a monster (I’d also point out that National City turns on Kara every other week but whatever) but of course Hank eventually agrees to do it.
Alex gets Lord out of the office by basically going on a date with him while Hank poses as Lord. Hank inspects the secret room and finds the black-eyed Jane Doe. Shortly afterward, he’s confronted by one of Lord’s security guards and Hank is left with no choice but to erase the guy’s entire memory. As he leaves he promises Jane Doe that he’ll come back for her.
Back at the DEO, Hank and Alex go over what they learned at Lord Tech. It turns out not to be much, besides the fact that Lord is somehow injecting Jane Doe with hydrochloric acid. What’s worse is that Hank is racked with guilt about erasing the security guard’s memory, since he apparently promisedhimself to never do that again.
To make matters worse, despite Hank’s best efforts to erase the security footage of him during the break in, Lord apparently keeps “invisible backups” on the hard drive (somebody help me out, is invisible backup an actual thing?) and they watch the fake Lord walk through the secret door.
Back at Kara’s apartment, she and Alex fill each other in on what happened to them. Kara bemoans her problems with Winn (which doesn’t remotely surprise Alex). Alex then tells Kara that Hank did something at Lord Tech he regrets but he won’t say what. She also admits she went out on a “date” with Lord and Kara rightfully tells her what a horrible idea that was. Alex insists though that there isn’t anything Lord can do that she won’t see coming a mile away. This statement is immediately disproven when we see that Lord has a secret camera planted on Alex’s purse and he just saw and heard Kara and Alex’s entire conversation, effectively outing both Kara and Hank’s identity’s to Lord. Nice going Alex.
I knew going in that this was going to be a Winn focused episode and since I find him to be the dullest character of the Supergirl main cast for the most part, I wasn’t really looking forward to that. I’ve got to say though, this episode was better than I expected. This is unsurprisingly the most character development that Winn has gotten by far, largely because for once his dialogue doesn’t mainly consist of hacker technobabble (I get enough of that from Arrow, thank you very much) and complaining about being stuck in the friend zone with Kara. Sure, there’s still plenty of “just friends” drama here but at least this time it’s better handled. Rather than just sweep the awkwardness between Kara and Winn under the rug like most shows would this early on, the writers opt to confront the issue and for now at least, there doesn’t appear to be an easy fix on the horizon (unlike the asinine secret identity plot with Cat in the last episode).
The big weakness of the episode is the guest stars. As a Buffy fan, I was really disappointed with how much this episode completely wastes Emma Caulfield. Granted, it appears she’s going to be a recurring character but still her first appearance was uneventful at best and felt like she could’ve been played by anybody. As for Toyman, I know he’s a well-established member of Superman’s rogue’s gallery but here he felt like a copy of the Trickster from The Flash and the Batman: The Animated Series version of the Joker but without any of the Mark Hamill charm that made either of those characters fun to watch.
As far as the James and Lucy subplot goes, I know I didn’t write much about it but there’s not much to tell really. I mean it felt rather inevitable that Cat would hire Lucy anyway and James admitting that he missed photography wasn’t exactly a bombshell given how eager he’s been in the last few weeks to start using his camera again.
Tune in next week for ‘Strange Visitor from Another Planet.’