Now that the midseason break is over for Supergirl, fans of Greg Berlanti’s CBS show are about to get an episode a week for 10-straight weeks without interruption. And Monday night’s return from the break, “Childish Things,” was also a return to form for the series about Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), the Kryptonian cousin of Clark Kent. How so? Because it combined the villain-of-the-week model with a few healthy doses of character development, story progression and fan service to make a pretty good episode. Not perfect, mind you, but pretty good.
Much of the episode centered on Jeremy Jordan’s Winn Schott, whose comic book namesake is the Superman villain, Toyman. Instead of being an early version of the character, however, Jordan’s Schott Jr. is actually the son of Winslow Schott Sr., also known as the Toyman. Played to perfection by Henry Czerny with equal parts sincerity, viciousness and intentional ham, the bad guy of “Childish Things” is everything comic book fans want. Plenty of believability and a touch of development character, particularly Schott Sr.’s loving, but crazed desire to reunite with his son, his “greatest work.” But he’s mostly an absolute baddie for the heroine to battle and eventually defeat.
Though Toyman serves Supergirl in this capacity, Schott Sr.’s biggest moments ultimately go to his son. What results are several opportunities for Jordan to stand out, and stand out he does — especially in two scenes with Czerny. In the first, the pair meets in an arcade populated with games, plush animals and toys of all kinds. Wearing a wire provided by the authorities, Winn attempts to make contact with his father and convince him to go back to prison. Winslow, meanwhile, tries to convince his son that he broke out of prison for him, and that his otherwise malevolent intentions are coming from the right place.
Turns out the Toyman still has a soft spot for his adult son, and he wants to make up for all their lost time together. Of course, he was never really a father to Schott Jr. because, erm, he killed a lot of people, did a lot of other bad things and wound up in prison. And because these are the same tools with which Winslow hopes to repair his damaged relationship with Winn — like orchestrating the death of a former boss whom he deems responsible for his imprisonment — all hope of reconciliation between the two is rendered meaningless. Besides, nothing says “I love you, son” like forcing a child to kill an individual with the threat of killing hundreds more — a scenario Winslow forces Winn into during their second scene.