*SPOILERS WARNING!!*SPOILERS WARNING!!*
Supergirl has stayed the course into the New Year and it continues to impress me. If I am putting all of my cards on the table, I absolutely love the show. The writing is sharp and fresh and makes the Girl of Steel's adventures more exciting than some of the Superman stories I have encountered over the years on the many TV iterations of Kal-El. Melissa Benoist is just perfect and its one of those roles where I literally cannot think of another actress that could make it work the way she does. The supporting cast is more than solid and Calista Flockhart, the one part I worried was a miscast, manages to steal pretty much every scene she is in. Her version of Cat Grant matches her first name with a whole lot of spunk and is light years away from her portrayal of Ally McBeal, the role that made her a star. I am also really enjoying the sisterly relationship between Kara & Alex Danvers. Between the two of them, you would think Alex is the one with the superpowers because of her hardcore, badass attitude and training. Top it off that Hank Henshaw is now embracing his role as the head of the DEO while kinda sorta moonlighting as J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter makes everything on Supergirl that much fun.
How cool was it to see Supergirl getting some flight training from J'Onn J'Onzz himself? Seeing the two of them soar through the air together was seriously awesome! When I read that The Toyman was going to be on the episode as a new antagonist and I did the math in my head and realized that this HAS TO BE Winn's imprisoned father! It was pretty easy to figure it out when he escapes from the National City jail and Winn has a terribly adverse reaction. He is not only humiliated by his father but is scared that all of the feelings he is keeping bottled inside, specifically for Kara are just going to burst in bad fashion thus turning into a killer like his father. Its a stretch but when we find out that Toyman was a toy company executive whose ideas were stolen which then forced his hand to send a stuffed teddy bear to his boss that was really a bomb. The boss never opened it but his assistant did and it killed six people. Winn was just a kid when it happened so it is pretty amazing that he is as well adjusted as he is.
At Catco, despite Cat's distaste for her older sister Lois, she is courting the now unemployed Lucy Lane to work for her media empire after her sudden exit from the JAG Corps. It was interesting to hear Lucy talk about her sister and how they are actually not that close thus giving us more backstory to her character. Cat seems to really like Lucy because she appears to be the exact opposite of Lois and she offers her a job on the spot. However, this means that she would be working on the same floor as her longtime boyfriend James Olsen which causes a number of problems. First of which is that Kara still has a major crush on him despite what she says and second, James really does not seem to be that into Lucy. The guy is obviously unhinged because Lucy is off the charts but he has made it pretty clear, to Winn even last episode, that Kara is a very special girl even if she wasn't Supergirl. When Lucy asks James for his opinion on whether she should take the job, it is one of those classic boyfriend traps where nothing he can say will be right. Boyfriend etiquette says that you have to show equal or more enthusiasm about the pending situation of literally working side by side with your girlfriend and then going right home...to your girlfriend. There's no buffer zone so James is all over the map but Lucy does take the job so I have to assume she is now a full-time cast member to the breakout series. I am totally fine with that as the eye candy of actress Jenna Dewan Tatum.
The Feds show up to question Winn about the escape of his father and his knee-jerk reaction is to immediately lie to them when asked if he has been contacted by the convict. Only after talking to Kara and telling her that the imprisoned father he told her about around Thanksgiving is The Toyman does he tell the FBI that when he arrived at work there was a talking doll that said to meet him at his "favorite place." However, he only agrees to help the law in capturing him if Kara can come with him as support and presumably as Supergirl should things go awry. Winn shows up the at the arcade carnival type place with the Feds & Kara watching from a safe distance. It appears to be his father and they are speaking and his Dad is super creepy asking why Winn has not visited him in jail. The Feds storm in, guns a'blazing shooting the suspect but it is some kind of mechanical glass device and not actually Toyman. All of the prizes hung around the arcade begin to emit deadly gas and Kara springs into action sucking it all in saving the day. It was well orchestrated but all too easy and predictable.
The DEO is having issues getting into "Room 52" at Maxwell Lord's home base and Alex is begging for Hank to use his skills as a powerful Martian to break in but he is reluctant to do so because of being chased and hunted 50 years. Alex tries to rationalize that people have accepted Kara as Supergirl, maybe they will do the same J'Onn J'Onzz. But Hank is quick to point out that Kara "looks like a pretty blonde cheerleader and J'Onn J'Onzz looks like a monster." Since Alex has seemed to be awfully hung up on Lord, she takes it upon herself to set up what appears to be a dinner date but it is really a diversion for Hank to go all Martian and phase into the impenetrable Room 52. He got in by shapeshifting into looking like Maxwell Lord. When he gets into the room, he sees the specimen with the black eyes when a security guard enters. When Hank as Lord says he needs to transport the patient immediately to a doctor, the guard says that the specimen is "Code Phoenix" and suspiciously asks Hank as Lord what Code Phoenix is. The jig is up! Hank has to knock out the guard and wipe his memory of the incident, something he promised himself that he would never do again. But he didn't just wipe the incident from his memory, he wiped the guy's entire memory so that he doesn't even recognize his family. While on her pseudo-date with Lord, Alex asks him to assist with the aliens that attacked his headquarters. Lord objects saying that nothing from the infiltration caused anything at HQ to go missing. It is pretty obvious that Lord is onto Alex but I also think that there is a mutual attraction and that is why the two keep playing this game. It's certainly obvious that they don't disgust each other despite Lord being a very bad dude. After the date, Lord finds out what happened at his labs and naturally, he had backup cameras for his backup cameras and watches himself phase through a door. I have a feeling now he is going to unleash his wrath or has something very sneaky up his sleeve.
Winn is able to extract a clue on the doll that his father left for him and he determines that his homicidal father is at the old Slingschott toy factory. Supergirl flies there and the Toyman engages her in a bunch of arcade & carnival style games that seem pretty easy for a Kryptonian to get out of but she has a pretty hard time against what I thought would be a simple villain to take care of! When she gets back to her apartment, Winn is an absolute mess and breaks down completely and finally makes the inevitable "move in for a kiss move" on Kara and....gets the pull back! A crushing blow to Winn and the viewers as we have all collectively been rooting for the poor guy and this just caps off a really tough couple of days for the kid. Winn leaves, absolutely humiliated but Toyman is waiting and drugs him leading to Winn waking up bound in a chair with his father saying that he wants to get revenge on his old boss that stole his idea. He is going to be accepting an award at TOYCON in National City and has made a plastic toy gun for Winn that will easily get through the metal detectors. During the acceptance speech, Toyman wants his son to walk up onto the stage to shoot and kill the man that ruined his life. Winn tries to appeal to his father by saying that there will be children their, etc. but this guy is way off the reservation. He has even planted 10 random bombs at TOYCON to ensure that some kind of disaster occurs even if Winn tries to defy his Dad.
At Catco, the Feds & Kara are going a little crazy because Winn is now officially missing and combing through everything of Winn's looking for a clue. They come up short but naturally, they are doing a sweep of the TOYCON convention hall because it is pretty obvious that is where Winn & his father are likely to be. Naturally just as Winn is about the pull the trigger on his father's rival, Supergirl swoops in to stop it and all of the FBI's bullets. Toyman then detonates all ten bombs but Kara uses her super-freeze breath to create a big ice cube so that when the bombs go off, they just explode and everyone gets hit with ice shards. However, ice shards kill! Just watch DIE HARD 2! I thought it was actually a little silly but good triumphs over evil and Supergirl finds Toyman in the basement and returns him to prison.
Back at Catco, Kara is trying to pretend "the kiss" never happened and act normal around Winn but he is not having it. I gotta say that Jeremy Jordan as Winn has some serious acting chops and gives Kara an impassioned and emotional speech of how he has loved her since way before she was Supergirl. The guy is in tears and just an emotional mess but Kara does not want things to change which just crushes the guy even more. There is nothing worse than being passed over for no one at all. Lucy and James are even stronger by the end of the episode despite her working at Catco and even on a different floor. So you really feel for Winn, at least I did as I have had this happen to me in real life and it sucks. It really sucks.
The Danvers girls are having TV night at Kara's place and both of them are pretty angst-ridden as they confess to each other what they have done. Alex is upset for forcing Hank to use his Martian powers and Kara for absolutely crushing Winn and losing her best friend in the process. As the shot begins to pull back you realize they are on a monitor, being watched...by Maxwell Lord. Somehow the billionaire planted a camera in Kara's apartment and now knows that Alex and Supergirl are sisters. This is a game changer for the alien-hating Lord who is going to do everything he can to exploit this new nugget of valuable intel.
All in all, it was a good episode but The Toyman was a very weak villain in my opinion and I actually like the character in the comic books. There have been several versions of Toyman in the comic books over the years and I should have recognized Winn's last name from my obsessive roster of character names stored in my memory banks. It was a good episode and an easy one to recommend but it was tough to watch more than twice because of the emotional weight it carried. Still better than a lot of the garbage at 8 PM Monday night.