‘Supergirl’ Review – Ep.10 (Childish Things)
By Josh Melo
Childish Things brings Winn front and center while shedding more light on the evil machinations of Maxwell Lord and diving into the mind of a confused and reluctant Martian Manhunter. Where other episodes that have attempted to juggle multiple threads failed, Childish Things is a roaring success. From start to finish, episode 10 is the most emotionally poignant Supergirl adventure that manages to further almost all dangling plot threads in meaningful ways.
With a lead villain named “Toyman” Childish Things could have easily fallen to levels of camp very few shows can pull off. Instead of treading a Joker-esque line like The Trickster (from The Flash), Supergirl chooses to go the dark and serious route. And to my complete surprise, it worked beautifully. Henry Czerny brings a true menace to the Toyman and manages to avoid the usual trappings one-off villains succumb to. Bringing Jeremy Jordan’s Winn into the spotlight and leaning on the history between father and son means that lack of motivation is most definitely not an issue here.
The complex relationship between the Schott’s contributes an emotional gravity to the goings on that episodes of Supergirl typically lack. I have long been a huge fan of the Winn character and to finally see him take the reins for an episode was truly exciting. Once again, having all of this development spawn from an appearance by “The Toyman” could have come off as ridiculous. Thanks to the phenomenal performances by Melissa Benoist and Jeremy Jordan, it goes off without a hitch and makes for the most compelling instalment of the series thus far.
At his weakest moment, Winn decides to lay it all out on the table and kiss Kara. Unfortunately (and expectedly), his affections go unrequited. It was a huge moment for the show, which has been dangling the Kara/Winn/James love triangle over viewers’ heads since the beginning. Where this leaves the two in terms of future episodes is completely up in the air. Winn seems pretty steadfast in his decision to exit Kara’s life, but it probably won’t end up lasting all that long. My only hope is that things don’t return to normal without something truly dramatic going down. How Winn copes with his chaotic feelings and the fallout between him and Kara should be a focal point of upcoming episodes (I hope).
Stepping away from Winn for the moment, J’on J’onzz (Hank Henshaw) and (surprisingly) Maxwell Lord also get a lot of needed development this week. Continuing the trend of embracing ones past, we get to see the Martian Manhunter deal with his otherworldly abilities as well as learn a little bit more about what makes Maxwell Lord tick. As for MM, witnessing his reluctance to embrace his inner alien (or outer, it’s weird) was a big step forward in terms of making him a central focus. Up to this point he hasn’t done much and for him to deal with the guilt of wiping a persons entire memory will surely have lasting effects on his character. I also think that decision was a good move to help differentiate him from Supergirl. Aside from their physical differences, it is interesting to see MM make grey decisions in comparison to Kara’s pure white outlook when it comes to heroics.
Maxwell Lord is still an uninteresting enigma but this episode is a step in the right direction. We still don’t understand his inherent need to stop Supergirl but his plots are beginning to make more sense and are pointing in interesting directions. Bizarro Supergirl was seen in the flesh, which should make for some awesome action. Now it’s up to Lord to fulfill the promise of a compelling motivation. His scene with Alex was definitely the lowlight of the evening but as long as we keep getting glimpses behind the curtain, I’ll put up with them.
The final point I’d like to address concerns James and Lucy. I’ve made it clear a number of times in past reviews that their relationship is too generic and boring for me to find it interesting. Childish Things seems to confirm that the powers behind Supergirl are taking this thing all the way. With Winn’s confession to Kara and Lucy moving to town and working at CatCo, it is looking like “Kimmy” isn’t going to be a thing any time soon. The scenes involving the two of them seemed at odds with the rest of the drama unfolding. It didn’t detract from the episode at all but that time would have been better used giving us more insight into Winn, Kara or even J’on’s emotional state.
I came into this week’s episode expecting camp and filler, what I got was so much more. Arguably the best episode of the season, Childish Things does everything right. Deep, meaningful character beats, a healthy does of inventive action, a compelling villain and furthering main narrative threads, there isn’t a single major issue I could point out.
Overall Childish Things gets a 9.5/10.