Thursday, January 30, 2020

Supergirl Episode 511: Back From The Future Pt 1

Supergirl episode 511, titled 'Back From The Future Part One' aired earlier this week and was another interesting chapter in this season. Two things have been a constant so far in season 5. One is that the overall big stories of the season have been moving forward at a very brisk pace. The other is that the writers are really looking back at the history of this show in the earlier seasons and bringing that continuity into play.

This episode we get a lot of Winn history and his legacy as son of the Toyman. It is a great way to bring Jeremy Jordan back for a couple of episodes. Here he has gets to play two versions of Winn and it is a wild ride. It also makes me feel like Supergirl as a show has a foundation and a timeline that it can draw from. I like that.

Add to that some fun action sequences, a couple of comic/Legion of Super-Heroes name drops, a hinted new romance for Kara, and the (now standard) delicious Luthor interactions and you get a solid episode.

This episode was also directed by David Harewood and I like that e got two great little moments for J'onn as well.

On to the particulars.

The show starts with the new, calculating and less inhibited Brainy working some mathematical magic. He sets up a branch and a rock on a winding road which through the magic of ricochets and physics leads to a National City jail transfer bus getting into an accident and tipping over.

He then quotes the Terminator (nice little fun Easter Egg) as he frees the prisoner on board ... Winn Schott. But the Winn Schott from another world.

I love how the Crisis is still rippling through all the CW shows. Just like it did in the comics!

Jeremy Jordan definitely hams it up with his role as another universe's evil Winn Schott, one who embraced his family legacy and became that world's Toyman.

And Luthor just seems eager to let this super-villain run amok. He tells this Schott about the National City ToyCon, happening that weekend. And who is there but Chester Dunholz, the toymaker who betrayed the elder Schott, even on this prime earth way back in episode 10 of the first season! Nice call back!

And yes, this means that Brainy is working with Lex.

In fact we get a conclave of villainy for a second. Lena, Lex, and Brainy all meet up.

Lena is upset because q-waves work on a different frequency on the new Earth. Without Malefic, she can't continue Non Nocere. She is shocked Brainy is working with Lex but Brainy says Leviathan is the bigger threat. And Lex makes a deal. If Lena will ask Andrea Rojas about Leviathan, he promises her q-wave data.

A Luthor/Brainiac team-up. It is always scary.

At the ToyCon, Lex giggles at a new action figure of him which is now on sale.

But he is interrupted by Kara and William, covering the convention for CatCo. William gets a little bit too nosy, asking Lex about his plans to take over Shelley Island and his involvement with the disappearance of William's buddy Russell.

Upset by this, Lex pulls Kara aside. On this Earth he has supposedly turned a new leaf. He won't be cornered like that again. He'll kill William. And then, for fun, he reminds Kara he knows her identity, saying it in her recorder.

Boy o boy, Jon Cryer just crushes it as Lex.Kara does a classic 'walk behind a big prop as Kara and come out the other side as Supergirl' costume change only to see exploding monkey toys and Winn/Toyman wielding a rifle!

But the sniper shot is blocked by our Winn flying in with a Legion cruiser.

And he is sporting a cool costume and domino mask!

In the skirmish and insanity, the Toyman escapes.

Why is Winn back from the future? Well in this new timeline, the Toyman kills Dunholtz. Winn is a wanted man in the future. He has come back to capture his doppelganger.

And it looks like in the future he is married to Ayla and they have a daughter Mary.

Now I have to assume Ayla is Ayla Ranzz. So it is a name drop. But the Ayla/Vi romance is such a key part of the comic character it seems like they could have picked another Legionnaire to be his wife. That said, Ayla dated Brin, was with Vi, flirted with Pol Krinn. I wouldn't have minded if his wife was Luornu or Tasmia or even Jeckie.

I think everyone just loves Ayla.

I'll remind people she was linked to Star Boy in the recent Fatal Five movie.

The Legion ship is parked at a top secret military base rather than the DEO. Alex won't let Lex have access to the ship.

But now we know the plot. Lex released evil Winn to lure good Winn back from the future so that Lex could have access to Legion tech and history. (I suppose Brainy doesn't know the new universe's timeline so he can't give Lex the info?)

The Andrea lead on Leviathan is a dead end. On this world, she wasn't activated.

I know it is silly but the fact that the word 'post-Crisis' was used as a historical break point on a live action TV show makes me giddy.

And then we get another reunion.

Winn is brought to J'onn's new secret Super Friend HQ in National City. He calls it 'The Tower' and it looks sort of BoP-ish.

How great to see Winn and J'onn meet again. I love how they hug and Winn calls him Papa Bear.

And I also love how Winn uncontrollably vomits when faced with the history of the old universe, the pre-Crisis history.

Jordan must have had a blast playing goofy (now gallant) Winn and the evil, creepy Toyman.

Brainy gives Lex the information about where the Legion ship is hiding and gives Lex a strand of Winn's hair to give him access to the ship's database.

Now that he has what he wants, Lex doesn't care what the Toyman does. He figures that Supergirl will stop the villain.

You can see that Brainy realizes he has been duped. Never work with a Luthor.

And things get worse.

The Toyman goes on line and says if he gets 1 million followers on-line he'll give a bigger bang. The likes and follows rack up.

It allows the writers to talk about how the 'anonymity of the internet brings out people's basic instincts'. It also lets Winn say that in 2126 anti-troll laws are passed in all countries.

I can't break 2100 followers on Twitter. I must be doing something wrong.

The heroes team up.

The team will follow leads while J'onn scans the city.

J'onn points out they have a nice communication board in the Tower. Each is marked with a hero symbol. It's like a mini-Legion monitor board!

That's cool!

Meanwhile, Andrea is thrilled that she will unveil Obsidian Platinum, the new VR, at National City University, her father's alma mater. She asks William to cover the story and Kara pushes him into it, hoping to keep him safe from Lex.

Andrea asks Kara to write a sizzle piece on her relationship with Winn. After all, the Toyman is nearing the million followers. CatCo should jump on that bandwagon. And she doesn't care if William and Kara think that is inciting violence, promoting bloodshed for a byline. She is there to sell clicks.

Journalistic integrity and on-line reality is a nice undercurrent going through this season.

When the search for Toyman comes up empty, the team brings in Nia to try and dream a clue.

We get a nice Nura Nal name drop (we heard it last year).

Nia tries to dream up a clue but only sees Brainy transform into a white tiger.

Upset that she is still letting Brainy rent space in her mental attic, Nia retreats to the tower's balcony. This show has always loved balcony scenes. In this one, Winn assures Nia she is strong and she shouldn't let anyone else dictate how she sees her own worth.

And then we get a Winn/Kara moment. But this time, Winn is the voice of mentor. He loves his family. He named his daughter Mary after his mom.

Also, Kara shouldn't compromise her journalism by pushing William out of danger. After all, he was in danger all the time but he was inspired by her.

That inspiration thought leads the team to the elder Toyman's old HQ where they see that evil Winn has the Rojas family in his sights now. And, to link to Nia's clue, the National City University is a tiger. That is where the attack is going to be.

Lex sneaks on to the Legion ship and asks for information about Leviathan. There he gets to see an old oil painting of Gemenae, the Leviathan member on Obsidian's board. He has his link now. He can fight.

At the college, Toyman tries to kill Andrea, first by sneaking up close to her in the mascot uniform and then by releasing two giant robot tigers.  Luckily Supergirl and the team are there to stop him.

It is a great action scene made greater by the Toyman juking around maniacally while Survivor's Eye of the Tiger blares.

This scene was so much fun. Jordan really seems to get into it.

And then we get to see a scene I never expected to see.

Winn vs. Winn.

We always wondered who would win in a fight.

But we won't get a great answer. The Toyman says he will 'live forever' and detonates all the explosives he has in the building, leveling it.

Luckily, Supergirl evacuates everyone. And, it seems Toyman is dead.

Nothing left but the wrap-up.

Kara decides the best way to keep William safe is to investigate Lex with him. Keep him close.

William wasn't at the NCU event because he was at Fort Harrison and has pictures of Lex going into the bunker where the Legion ship was.

Recognizing a new ally, she invites William to game night.

I said things happen fast this season.

I thought the Brainy/Lex team-up would percolate for a bit. But at the end of this episode, Brainy already realizes it is wrong. He can't control or contain Lex. He can't believe he helped release Toyman and how people could be killed. He ruined his relationship with Nia. He is terrified he is becoming the bad guy.

Despite all that Winn (whose future is now reset to being safe) forgives Brainy.

Lex gives Lena the Legion ship database. She now has access to the q-wave info she needs.

How long is Jon Cryer staying on the show? I hope the rest of the season. His Lex is brilliant.

And at game night, Kara gives William a look of attraction.

Hmmm ....

Give me some Kara/Brainy romance already!!!

As for the Toyman, he seems to have uploaded himself into the cloud.

I think his tagline is 'Let's play to Winn' but I could be wrong.

But another storyline about VR and artificial intelligence and life. Hmmm ..

At least it means we get more Jeremy Jordan.

I think I liked this episode more than others did. But one thing to say, there is no slowing the train of season five. The storylines move quickly from week to week. That makes me happy!

What did you think!
27) VR


Bostondreams said...

LOVED it, though like you I wish they had selected a different Legion character for Winn's wife. And Cryer is just eating it up.

I still hope that Lena does not ultimately break bad all the way. It's just so...predictable. :/

Anonymous said...

I think I like Win Schott better as a villain than a hero, he exudes that dangerous air of a shrewd geek who has been pushed too far. As "the good"Win Schott he is superfluous, he isn't dating Kara so he is no more than the "Future DEO"...This is one case where I'm hoping the dark version predominates.