[This interview discusses Supergirl season 1, episode 10: 'Childish Things.' There may be mild SPOILERS.]
Family drama seems to be a recurring theme through this first season of Supergirl. Between Kara at odds with her Aunt Astra's revelations about Kara's mother, Alex hunting down what actually happened to her father, and Cat’s shaky relationship with her mother and estranged son, it was a matter of time before we got to Winn and his family. The new episode of Supergirl 'Childish Things' introduces us to Winn’s father and legendary DC villain, Toyman. The episode description teased a little about how Toyman is introduced.
"Kara does her best to support Winn when his father, the supervillain Toyman, breaks out of prison and seeks out his son for unknown reasons. Also, Cat offers Lucy a job at CatCo and Alex asks Hank to use his powers to help uncover Maxwell Lord’s plans, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, Jan. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Henry Czerny guest stars as Winslow Schott, Sr., aka Toyman."
Fans have been speculating about Kara’s best friend and CatCo’s IT guru Winn since the character was first introduced. Could Winn Schott Jr. evolve one day into the infamous toy-making mastermind Toyman? Turns out in a twist from the comics, it’s actually Winn’s father who carries that title. In an exclusive interview with Jeremy Jordan, a.k.a. Winn, we got some details on what version of Toyman we meet and how he differs from the comics.
"Basically, his father comes back and wants to reunite with his son and in doing that, he wants his son to join him in a way. Toyman is a big adversary of Superman in the comics but I don’t think that’s really how they’re playing it [on Supergirl.] Basically, he was a toymaker and he was a genius and had these incredible ideas for toy designs. But at the same time, he was stuck in the past in his idea of what a toy looks like and feels like. He’s trying to sell these designs but no one is buying. His boss basically steals them and I think that’s what leads to his snap. He decides to get revenge and goes on a little bit of a mini killing spree. That’s all he’s really done in terms of crime. He hasn’t been this criminal mastermind or anything. He did a really bad thing and now he’s in prison for it. He’s a damaged genius."
Winn has quickly become a fan favorite, both as comedic relief and Supergirl’s biggest supporter. His role up until now has been largely secondary. This episode comes at a great time when we need to dive more into Winn’s character beyond unrequited feelings for Kara. According to Jeremy, we’ll be learning a lot more about Winn in 'Childish Things.'
"It’s just a very different episode for me. Winn is always cracking jokes, and yeah he might be pining for Kara, but at the same time there’s a lightheartedness about him. There’s a fun, positive energy about him for the most part. In this episode, we get to see Winn’s… I wouldn’t say his dark side, but a darker side of his personality. I think all the jokes and all the laughter is a little bit of a defense mechanism to cover up the pain of the past and the anguish he has in regards to his family. When he’s forced to face that, he can’t really be that fun-loving, wise-cracking best friend guy. It’s a very serious episode for Winn. You see his world start to crumple, which is really interesting."
Until now, Winn has left the heroism up to Supergirl and the DEO, but 'Childish Things' puts Winn in the position to find out what kind of person he really is. The door of speculation is still open as to whether or not Winn could eventually follow his father’s maniacal footsteps. But for the time being, Jeremy assures us there’s a hero in Winn.
"I think Winn is the emotional hero of the episode. Through a few circumstances, Winn is forced to make some really difficult decisions. Luckily he’s best friends with Supergirl so he doesn’t have to do anything too drastic. But I think we see his heroism more in how the episode evolves and how Winn grows throughout the force of it. You know…killing a bad guy or saving the day….it’s not that kind of heroism. It’s a deeper kind of heroism."
Getting to know Toyman and diving deeper into Winn’s story promises a turning point in more ways than one. While the first half of the season put Winn in a holding pattern when it came to his not-so-subtle feelings for Kara, things are going to be changing very quickly after this episode. Winn’s experience with his father has repercussions, Jeremy explained to us.
"We see the aftermath of this. Because of all the stuff that is drudged up, it affects his other relationships. You see Winn and James get closer. [But] especially his relationship with Kara. I think you’ll see the relationship with Winn and Kara come to a head. The fact is that Winn has always been the guy that has taken a backseat and not taken a stance for himself, romantically. We’ll see the apex of that arc for him and the aftermath of it and how it resolves itself. That’s going to go over the next few episodes, for sure."
It seems the back half of Supergirl will be a flurry of new faces and new adversaries. It’s already been announced that we’ll be meeting Indigo, Master Jailer, Bizarro and possibly some new female superheroes. What will Winn’s role be with these new players? More importantly, will he ever get out from behind Catco’s IT desk? Jeremy teased a little bit about how Winn will play with National City’s new (and some old) faces.
"We have a few new characters coming in that are going to be some fun characters for Winn to play off of. We see Winn finally meeting the rest of the cast. In episode 13, Winn meets Hank for the first time. Seeing that relationship is pretty great itself. He also meets Max Lord. Everybody knows Max is up to something."
With the teaser from CBS’s President about a Supergirl/Flash crossover, could some of those fun characters be from Flash or Arrow? Or how about the Man of Steel himself? Jeremy shut down any rumors about Superman popping up in his cousin’s territory, but he’d love to have some face time with the Flash crew.
"They’re just rumors. As far as I know, there’s no Superman thing happening. They’re very adamant about keeping Superman minimal and having Kara have her own journey. That being said, I wouldn’t put it past them to have him come in. I really don’t think they’ll do it anytime soon. I think it’d be smart for them not to do it any time soon.
As for crossovers, I’m one of the people who is really for it. It’s a logistical nightmare because of the networks and the fact that those shows shoot in Vancouver and we shoot in LA. Our schedule is crazy as it is. I think it would be very hard logistically but I would love to go do a week on the Flash. Are you kidding me?"
The Supergirl/Flash crossover rumors haven’t gone away, but no one has confirmed if it will happen this season or next. Supergirl and The Flash may share showrunners in Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, but they cleverly will neither confirm or deny. Not to mention, The Flash and Arrow already had a pretty major crossover event just this season. Crossovers only work when they make sense story-wise and so far, Supergirl has been fighting her own battles just fine. There’s a strong case to be made that it’s too early in Supergirl’s story to worry about bringing in The Flash. It’ll be more interesting to see Supergirl stand on her own with the back up of fellow alien superhero J’onn J’onzz. Even so, Winn and The Flash’s Cisco palling around S.T.A.R. Labs feels like a match made in heaven.
Supergirl continues with 'Childish Things' on Monday, January 18 at 8pm on CBS.