Jul 11, 2018
Supergirl: Never Toy with a Nice Guy's Emotions (S1 E10 RECAP)
Over dinner, Alex talks about the attack on Max’s company in the previous episode, and she wants to know what the aliens were looking for. He deflects, saying they have another dangerous alien in their midst, namely Supergirl. Alex asks why he’s so “obsessed” with her, and since this show is still trying too hard to be “feminist”, she also has to add, “Are you threatened because she’s a woman?” Finally, Max says the aliens didn’t take anything and he doesn’t know why they attacked his company.
A cut from one clock to another shows that while Max is having dinner with Alex, Max is simultaneously in the hallways of Lord Technologies talking to his assistant. Two Max Lords can only mean one thing: Hank is up to his Martian shape-shifting shenanigans again. And we get one of the funniest moments of the season as Hank pretends to be Max and says all sorts of derogatory things about himself, suggesting he struck out with Alex, and it was “my narcissism and ill-kempt facial hair that ruined any chances I had with her!” He also says that getting “so soundly rejected has caused me to question many of my life choices,” which is hilarious, though I have to wonder why the assistant doesn’t find anything odd about his demeanor.
Once the assistant is gone, Hank-Max heads over to Room 52, but even his shape-shifting powers can’t unlock the super-duper security system on this door. So Hank pulls another Martian trick and phase-shifts like in the comics and passes through the door. Once inside, he finds the mysterious Jane Doe that Max is keeping in a hospital bed. She again opens her eyes, and like last episode, they’re solid black.
Suddenly, a guard bursts in, but relaxes when he sees it’s Max. Hank-Max says he wants to bring Jane Doe to see a doctor offsite, but the guard reminds him she’s “Code Phoenix”. When “Max” doesn’t seem to know what that is, the guard pulls his gun and the two get into a fight. Hank briefly considers killing the guy, but instead reveals another Martian trick from the comics where he puts a hand on the guy’s head and wipes his memories. He then promises Jane Doe (who’s just been lying there and staring at the ceiling the whole time) that he’ll come back for her.
Back at CatCo, Winn figures out that his dad is hiding out at his old toy factory, and Supergirl quickly flies over there. She’s confronted by a wind-up Supergirl toy playing the cymbals, and then Winslow shows up standing on a large alphabet block. When Supergirl flies up to grab him, he hits a button that somehow causes a trap door to open below her feet and she drops into quicksand, just as she hears a little girl’s voice coming from a steamer trunk being dangled over a wood chipper. Am I really typing these words? Indeed I am, and it’s just as nonsensical as it sounds.
Supergirl is about to use her heat vision to free herself, but Winslow warns her that the quicksand is “laced with thermite”, and if it gets hot enough, the whole place will blow up. He makes his getaway and Supergirl eventually uses her super-breath to freeze the quicksand. She gets free and catches the steamer trunk in the nick of time, and when she opens it, it’s another “surprise” we all saw coming when the little girl turns out to be a talking Supergirl doll.
Over at the DEO, Hank is showing Alex his photos of Jane Doe. He says Max is pumping the woman full of hydrochloric acid, and yet all of her vital signs are normal. Also, Hank is guilt-ridden because he had to use his powers, but he remains vague on exactly what happened. Then a cut to Lord Technologies shows that he actually wiped out all of the guard’s memories, and the guy doesn’t even recognize photos of his wife and baby. Yikes. So unlike the comics, this version of the Martian Manhunter apparently doesn’t have the ability to selectively manipulate memories. Okay, so I guess he has one good reason for never using his powers, at least.
Max wants to check the security cameras, but his assistant says all the footage was wiped. Luckily, he keeps “invisible backups”, whatever that might mean, and he’s able to watch footage of the other Max phase-shifting through the door of Room 52.
Over at Kara’s apartment, Winn is upset about what happened at the toy factory. But what’s really got him distraught is the possibility that he might become just like his dad, who was normal until the one day he snapped. He’s really getting emotional about this, and okay, it’s a valid concern, but why’s he so stressed out about it right at this particular moment?
But Kara knows Winn would never turn evil, because he made it through one horrible life event (his father going to prison) without snapping and killing anybody. She even draws comparisons between what happened to her as a kid and what happened to him as a kid (“your world was destroyed”). She holds his hand as she reassures him, and then comes another moment we can all see coming from a mile away as Winn suddenly kisses her and Kara pulls away.
He’s totally mortified and runs out of the apartment, and as soon as he’s out in the hallway, he gets ambushed and chloroformed by his dad. And somehow, Kara doesn’t notice or hear any of this going on. Some superhero she is.
Winn wakes up tied to a chair, and Winslow says this is all the fault of his old boss, and they’re going to make him pay. Though, it seems at least he’s no longer after him for stealing his toy designs; now, he blames him for Winslow having to go to prison and lose out on seeing his son grow up. Which is… really just a slightly different shade of crazy, frankly. But Winslow says he’s not going to kill the guy: “You’re gonna kill him for me!”
At CatCo, the Lady FBI Agent is poking around Winn’s desk, and she mentions to Kara that today just happens to be the 2016 National City “Toy Con”. And in fact, Winslow’s old boss is set to receive a lifetime achievement award at this convention. Hmm. And no one figured out until right this very moment that maybe, just maybe, this is the whole reason Winslow broke out of prison in the first place?
Over at his villain hideout, Winslow explains that he’s made a special gun for Winn that looks like a toy and will get through metal detectors, and Winn’s task is to go down to Toy Con and shoot Winslow’s old boss as he accepts his award. And if he doesn’t, Winslow’s going to set off a lot of bombs at the con, even though Winn points out there are going to be children there. So instead of just killing his old boss, he’s going to make his son do it, and then kill a bunch of kids if Winn doesn’t come through? What kind of stupidly overcomplicated plan is this?
Okay, it’s possible that getting his son to turn evil is the whole point here, because Winslow says that if they both end up in prison, it’ll be great, because “we are gonna be together!” Yeah… I don’t think prison works that way. I kind of doubt they assign co-conspirators to the same cell block, but then again, Lex Luthor and Otis shared a cell when Miss Tessmacher busted them out of prison, so I guess anything’s possible in the DC universe.
So Winn heads on down to the convention, walks up on the stage, and aims the toy gun at the boss man, but instead, he shoots high in the air. Then the FBI comes charging in and immediately starts shooting at Winn. Wow, I think they’re even more trigger-happy than real-life law enforcement, which is saying a lot.
But then Supergirl flies onto the scene and blocks all the bullets. There are like, so many bullets. Are they taking down one skinny nerd or a Panzer tank? The shooting goes on for so long that this ends up being a weird extended close-up on Supergirl’s impervious boobs.
Winn tells her about the bombs, so Supergirl cooks up a suitably tortured plan where she gets all the man-children to run to one side of the auditorium, while she uses her heat vision to set off the sprinklers. And then she blows her super-breath at the water, causing it to freeze into an ice shield that protects everybody from the explosions, somehow. Her x-ray vision then shows her that Winslow is down in the basement, and so she goes to apprehend him… off screen.
And then we cap off the Jimmy/Lucy plot where he confesses why he’s really bothered by Lucy working for CatCo. No, it’s not because he’s worried she’ll find out about his sidepiece, but rather her excitement about working for CatCo only reminds him of his total lack of enthusiasm about his own job. He talks about the earthquake from a few episodes ago, and how great it felt being out in the thick of things, and he really thinks he should be out covering news instead of sitting behind a desk. What, all the breaking and entering, and getting tortured by CEOs isn’t enough excitement for him?
And then James and Lucy kiss, just in time for Kara to wander into the background looking lovelorn. And then she goes to talk to Winn, who’s just casually sitting at his desk despite going all Manchurian Candidate at a toy convention earlier in the day.
Winn has decided he’s not going to be like his father, who kept his emotions all bottled up until he exploded. And so he tells Kara that he’s been in love with her for a long time, even before she was Supergirl. Kara is still desperately wanting to be friends with him, but Winn refuses to accept this. He continues to say that he doesn’t want to be like his father, which somehow justifies him acting like a big baby at the moment. And with that, Winn officially becomes a certified Nice Guy, who’s only “nice” until he gets friend-zoned. Congrats, show, I didn’t think I could like this character any less, but you proved me wrong.
Supergirl is sad, so she decides to fly around the city for a while. She eventually gets back to her apartment to hang out with Alex, and they eat some room temperature pizza. Kara talks about her Winn problems, and Alex talks about her J’onn problems, and Kara is very conspicuously not changing out of her Supergirl costume the whole time.
Eventually, Alex mentions that she let Max “wine and dine” her, and Kara is aghast, because she knows Max is an evil creep. But Alex assures her that Max is “not going to do anything that I won’t see coming from a mile away”. Which is instantly followed by the reveal that Max planted a tiny camera on her purse, and now Max is watching a live video feed of Alex having pizza with Supergirl.
And now he knows that the two are sisters, and he presumably knows Kara is Supergirl. Hey, like I said in a previous recap, it was only a matter of time. Though, I kind of wish they had made this just a little tougher for Max; I mean, that camera is barely hidden.
I don’t know exactly what they were trying to do here with the Toyman, but it didn’t work. I guess they wanted to make him a Joker-like mad genius, but his evil schemes were just dumb and nonsensical. And the whole season-long buildup to his appearance did the character no favors. This guy is the reason they named their main character Winslow Schott? I hope we never see Toyman again, but given he’s the father of a regular character, we probably will. Though we’ll also probably be seeing a lot more of Lucy Lane due to her new position at CatCo, and I totally approve of this.
The Hank plotline was interesting, but I feel like it only exists because they’ve painted themselves into a corner with the Martian Manhunter reveal, and now they have to come up with every rationalization possible for why J’onn doesn’t just use his vast array of powers, which would lead to everyone wondering why this show isn’t about him instead of Supergirl. Anyway, J’onn will get to shine again next episode as he deals with an attack by evil White Martians—no really, that’s what they’re called in the comics. That’s right, next week, it’s #MartiansSoWhite.
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