While I appreciate that a show called Supergirl is centered around our titular hero, Kara, it’s nice when we get episodes that allow us to explore other characters that make up this ensemble show. One of the characters that I’ve liked but haven’t had the opportunity to love because we haven’t gotten to know him is Winslow Schott Jr.
“Childish Things” served as the coming out for Winn Schott on this show. While he’s been a part of this show from its pilot — albeit a small part — this was the first episode that we really got to examine his character for who he is as more than Kara’s adorakable best friend that’s secretly harboring feelings for her.
From the start, this episode was about exploring Winn’s past, more specifically his father, who we learned during the Thanksgiving episode was in prison. But the man they call Toyman, due to his craftiness when it comes to making toys, escaped prison to reunite with his son, who he hadn’t seen since Winn was 11-years old.
It was evident from Winn’s initial reaction when he learned that his father had escaped that this was an issue that has long haunted Winn. It unveiled a certain vulnerability and darkness to the character that we didn’t know was there, but a storyline like this allowed for us to explore.
In the first of several heart-to-hearts with Kara in this episode (bless this newfound Kara/Winn shipper’s heart), Winn revealed exactly why his father was in prison. Turns out he killed half a dozen people with a bomb implant inside of a toy that was meant for his former boss that stole his idea for a toy. He simply snapped and became this maniacal prisoner who become obsessed with seeking revenge. Revenge for stealing his life, for stealing Winn’s childhood, for keeping his son away from him. We even saw a bit of compassion from Winn towards his father in this episode, which is only natural. He is still his father. We’ve seen it with Kara and Astra. You can’t simply turn off your feelings for your loved ones no matter how many times you say it to try and convince yourself.
The important theme that this episode brought forth was whether or not your fate is predetermined by your blood, by your genes. Are you destined to become your parents? Are you strong enough to face hardships as yourself? Better yet, are you able to understand that you are the one that forges your own path? That’s what Winn struggled to understand in this episode.
“You’re a good person.” – Kara
“That’s what people said about him. And then he cracked.” – Winn
That was the important distinction in this episode. While Winn knew that he wasn’t a homicidal maniac with a penchant for creating deadly toys, he did understand that his father wasn’t always that way. At one point his father was just a loving dad who spent time with his son. More than that, his father was once exactly like him. Kind, intelligent, and loving. Until something snapped within him.
Here we have Winn, a remarkably intelligent young man, examining this situation for what it is and coming to what would be an obvious question: what’s to stop that from happening to him?
As sons and daughters we’ve all experienced that during some part of our lives. Sometimes it’s been good, and sometimes it’s been bad. But we are our mother and father’s child. We grow up with them, we learn from them, we look up to them, we model ourselves after them. So what happens when that kind, loving parent one day becomes someone you don’t recognize? Who becomes a threat? You start thinking to yourself: Could that be me one day?
But the important lesson here is learning that your fate isn’t predestined by your lineage. You are the master of your own destiny. The decisions you make shape the person that you are. That’s something that Winn is just beginning to learn, but it’s something he’s going to need to continue to work on.
Here is a look at some more highlights from “Childish Things”:
Kara and Winn Take A Step Toward Romance
I started Supergirl confident that I’d be riding the Kara/James train to the end. While I still like the pair, this was the episode where I officially began shipping Kara and Winn. Like hard core. And I know it’s probably destined to end badly. But the potential has always been there: the two best friends who eventually come to a point where they realize the only thing to do is take that natural step into romance. And that potential is still there, and I feel like we’re getting even closer to that point especially now that Kara is aware of Winn’s feelings.
While Kara might’ve rejected Winn when he kissed her, as she comforted him in a time of need, and later stood stunned silent when he confessed his love for her, this isn’t the end of the romance between Kara and Winn. This is just the beginning.
There was a moment in the episode when I was truly hit with the Kara/Winn feels and there was no going back. It came when Kara was consoling Winn and telling him how important he is to her.
“I know what it’s like to feel isolated and alone. I relive that feeling in my darkest moments, but when I’m with you, I never feel that way. When your dad says he misses you, I believe him because if you weren’t in my life, I’d be lost too.” -Kara
I was a goner after that.
God bless Kara, but that girl has no idea that love has been staring her in the face for so long. While she had an instant attraction to James Olsen something that she doesn’t have is that deep bond with Winn. She’s always looked at him as a friend because nothing happened to change that viewpoint. While Winn has been in love with Kara for awhile he’s remained silent about it from the start. So how was a romance to go somewhere when one person loves the other but the other has no idea?
But now Winn has laid his feelings out on the table: he loves her; he’s loved her for a long time. Now you’re going to start to see Kara think. Think about what Winn told her; think about how she feels about that; think about the possibility of having those kind of romantic feelings for Winn. The seed is planted. Now it’s time to watch it grow.
Maxwell Lord Takes Evil To A Whole New Level
Maxwell Lord continues to be my least favorite character on this show but one of the more intriguing villains on DC Comics television. On a show where people assume aliens would be the greatest threat, the biggest threat is a tech billionaire with a God complex.
We saw Alex take one for the team and go on a date with Max in order to let Hank infiltrate his company and find out what he could be hiding. It’s hard to know if Max is legitimately smitten with Alex or if he’s just a damn good actor who knew he was getting close to a breakthrough. But in the final scene we learned that Max got down and dirty when it comes to getting information that he wants. Max planted a camera on Alex’s purse, which allowed him to take a peek at the Danver sisters’ evening of pizza and Game of Thrones. But most importantly, he learned that Supergirl is Alex’s cousin. Something tells me it’s not long before Max connects the dots and learns that Kara is Supergirl.
Hank Henshaw Treads The Moral Line
Hank Henshaw aka J’onn J’onzz struggled to tread the moral line in this week’s episode. Alex continued to pressure him to use his powers to help them catch what Maxwell Lord was planning, but he warned her about the consequence that comes with them. And we finally saw what consequence he was talking about. After Henshaw broke into Lord’s secret room and one of Lord’s guards knew that the man that looked with Maxwell wasn’t Maxwell, Henshaw was forced to use his powers to wipe his memory. While we thought it was simply the memory of that event it turns out that Henshaw erased a significant amount of memories and permanently altered his memory. How will this affect him moving forward? Is this showing his power? Or is this a hint at more darkness to come?
Lucy Lane Gets A Job At CatCo
It’s not often that someone has said that Cat Grant is nice. In fact, only one person has said that and that was Lucy Lane after Cat Grant worked her charm — yep, she’s totally capable of being nice — to offer Lucy a job at CatCo as her advisor of sorts. While it took a while for her to accept it, she eventually did.
Lucy’s new job offer caused some tension between her and James, which at first glance appeared to be because James didn’t want her working in the same building, the same floor as him. While that might’ve been the case to some degree, James admitted that he was sort of jealous that Lucy had found a job that she felt so passionate about, and that he missed that feeling. Apparently his job at CatCo doesn’t inspire him the way his photography gig at the Daily Planet did. Sounds like James should pick up that camera again.
NEXT TIME ON “SUPERGIRL”
Episode 1×11 “Strange Visitor From Another Planet”
Monday, January 25, 8/7c, CBS
Supergirl airs Mondays at 8/7c on CBS.