In the wake of his father's death, Winn Schott must work with his estranged mother to thwart the plans of a copycat Toyman. Meanwhile, Alex accidentally discovered a stunning secret about J'onn's father.
The 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (The "Surrender Mary" sky-writing and robot flying monkeys), The Flash comics of The Silver Age (mention of Wiggins Toys) and multiple classic Superman comics involving The Legion of Superheroes and Toyman.
How does James not break his hand punching the metal flying monkey?
Granting that an army of flying robot monkeys is not the sort of thing one can easily prepare for, one would think The DEO would have some kind of defenses to stop something from just flying in through their front door. Or, at least, that once something had flown in through the front door, that they might have trained agents with weapons at the ready to deal with said thing that had flown in through the window.
The conversation about why J'onn continues to live the life of a black man in America when he could shapeshift into anyone, while well-written, is incredibly awkward in its placement and grinds the pace of the episode to a halt.
While The DEO may not have armed guards ready to spring into action at a moment's notice, they do have extensive armories that are not locked and do not require a passkey, retinal scan or any sort of technology that would prevent someone from just walking in and picking up a gun, as Mary Schott does.
Mehcad Brooks and Jeremy Jordan don't always get a chance to shine in this series, much less get a chance to play an understated scene. Yet the scene in which James refuses to leave Winn alone after he leaves the bar after seeing the news report about his father's death as well as the scene in which James opens up about his own mommy issues shows that both actors can play a quiet scene just as well as they can play the action hero and the comic relief respectively.
While Carl Lumbly does not get much time to play the increasingly demented M'yrnn, he does so convincingly and his sudden mood swing when Alex approaches him about seeking help is true to life, as is M'yrnn's denial of his condition because he does not wish to burden his family.
Though the CGI for the robot dinosaur is hardly fantastic, the fight sequence between it and Mon-El is amazing.
The title of this episode is a pun on the title of a 1986 Bon Jovi song - "Shot Through The Heart".
The song Kara sings at Karaoke is Beastie Boys' song "Intergalactic Planetary" - appropriate enough for an alien with a goofy personality.
The song James sings is "Tears Away" - the debut single of James Olsen actor Mehcad Brooks. You can listen to it here.
The song Alex sings is "I Drove All Night" by Celine Dion. An appropriate choice given Alex's recent heartache, given that the song is about wanting to be with someone despite the distance - physical and emotional - between you and them.
The song J'onn sings is "So Emotional" by Whitney Houston. Given J'onn's recent attempts to open up more in the wake of his father's arrival on Earth, this too seems fitting.
The song M'yrnn sings is "Suspicion Minds" by Elvis Presley - a fitting choice given that it's about love and paranoia, which describes M'yrnn's state of mind after centuries of torture at the hands of White Martians only to be saved by the son he thought was dead. It also neatly foreshadows his paranoia at having his dementia discovered.
Mon-El confirms that the DCTVU version of Saturn Girl is only telekinetic, not telepathic. In the original comics, Imra was primarily a telepath who later gained the ability to move things with her mind.
The song Winn is planning to sing is a-ha's "Take On Me". A bouncy, happy song about wanting to be hugged before someone leaves you.Definitely fits Winn's personality and, fittingly, he sings it with his mom at the episode's end.
It is revealed that Mary and Winslow Schott were both students in Ivy Town. This is a nod to Ivy Town - a fictional college town in the DC Comics Universe, where Ray Palmer was a professor at Ivy University.
The parts used to make the flying monkeys that attack Mary and Winn are eventually traced to the Willard Walter Wiggins Game Company. In the original DC Comics, Wiggins Toys was the name of a toy and game company, run by Willard Walter Wiggins, which employed George "Digger" Harkness as a mascot for their line of boomerang toys. They billed Harkness as Captain Boomerang before Harkness turned to a life of crime and began fighting The Flash.
Mary refers to her captor as Buffalo Bill - a reference to the serial killer from The Silence of The Lambs. This is a double reference as the actress playing Toyman's apprentice - Brooke Smith - was one of Buffalo Bill's kidnapping victims in the movie.
The RC cars carrying explosives seem to be a nod to the "Beware The Grey Ghost" episode of Batman: The Animated Series which was based around a villain, similar to The Toyman, who used toys as a delivery system for explosives.
Though not identified by name in the episode, the episode credits name Toyman's apprentice as Jacqueline Nimball. This is a nod to Jack Nimball - the second Toyman in the classic Superman comics - who took up Winslow Schott's name and gimmicks when the original Toyman had reformed. Kimball would eventually be brought to justice when Schott and Superman joined forces, only to be murdered by Winslow Schott when he returned to a life of crime.
Mon-El sings "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas - a song about a man searching for meaning in his life after realizing how little he knows and how much time he wasted pretending to be something he isn't. Again, a fitting choice for Mon-El.
A passing reference is made to the planet Rimbor, when Mon-El says his regular Legion costume was damaged there. In the original comics, Rimbor was part of the United Planets in the Legion of Super Heroes books. Rimbor had a reputation as a lawless world where crime and corruption were commonplace. It was the homeworld of LoSH member Ultra Boy and was populated by several different species, including humans.
J'onn suggests running a full mass-spectrometry on the explosive residue from Toyman's exploding coffin.
Za-alet is a Martian condition similar to dementia in humans. It translates literally into English as "decay of memory." It causes a person to slowly forget words, why they walked into a room and eventually people.
(Kara stares down a line of people including James, Alex, J'onn, M'yrnn and Winn. She walks down them like a drill sergeant, her tone serious.)
Kara: I know some of you are scared. I know some of you have never done this before. I know some of you are ready to get out there and prove yourselves. But just remember why we do this. We do this for the people!
(Winn smiles and holds up a microphone, which Kara takes as she returns the smile.)
(Cut to: A Karaoke Bar. Kara is on stage singing Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic Planetary.")
M'yrnn: Karaoke is not for the weak. It requires either great courage or a complete lack of shame! But I like it!
Winn: Let me set the scene for you. It's the night Dad finally snapped and I'm sitting in the police station, freezing cold, because I'm in my pajamas. When the police came to pick me up from home, I was asleep. Remember? In bed. Alone. And the nice officer, he drapes the coat over my shoulders. I feel a little better. So I'm sitting there, in the cold, little feet are dangling in the air and I'm waiting. I'm waiting for my mom to pick me up. 'Cause they said that they called you. Yeah. Yeah, they said that it was just going to be like, an hour. And then they'd explain everything. And then it was two hours. And then it was the next morning. (grits his teeth) When I lie in bed at night at night, staring up at the ceiling unable to sleep? I'm not wondering why Dad finally, suddenly snapped. No, that doesn't haunt me. What haunts me is you. You, who left me. When I needed you the most, with no explanation. No goodbye.
Mary: I'm so sorry!
Winn: I don't care anymore
Winn: I don't need your excuses. You want to keep me safe? Great.
(Winn walks to the door and holds it open.)
Winn: You know what you should do? Leave. Again.
Mary: I always knew he was brilliant and capable but I worried when I left that he'd go the same way his dad did.
Supergirl: He worried about that too.
Mary: I should have been here to tell him that he and his father were worlds apart. (pauses) Did his friends tell him?
Supergirl: We did.
Mary: Thank you for that.
Supergirl: Well, it was easy. He doesn't always get the credit, but he keeps us going around here. He's always the one with some crazy idea that no one else would possibly dream of.
Mary: (chuckling, shaking her head) My son works with Supergirl. It's just such a relief. He saves lives. I just wish he'd let me tell me how proud I am of him.
Supergirl: I think he will. Eventually.
James tells Mon-El that he is interested in someone (Lena Luthor) but they haven't figured out where their relationship stands yet.
Alex has not seen J'onn and M'yrnn's new apartment yet.
It has been three months since J'on and M'yrnn moved in together.
Winn has not seen his mother, Mary Schott, in 20 years.
Mon-El apologies to Kara for every time he ever lied to her while they were dating.
Mon-El then confesses to Kara that Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5 lied to him about some big Legion business and that he wants to discuss it with Kara later, over drinks, once everything with Winn and his father is settled.
Mon-El says that Brainiac 5 is his best friend.
Mary Schott claims that she left her husband because he threatened to kill Winn if she ever made contact with him or came near him.
Winn claims that he was far more traumatized by his mother failing to come for him following his father's arrest than by his father's crimes.
James has a sister.
James says that he had a falling out with his mother after his father's death, but he eventually reconciled with her.
Alex's grandmother was a music lover who suffered from dementia.
M'yrnn is starting to show signs of dementia. Over the course of the episode, he forgets that he had two granddaughters on Mars, orders a pizza on the night Alex and J'onn are having a dinner party and forgets the word "wine" while in the middle of dinner.
M'yrnn refuses to burden J'onn with the knowledge that he is starting to go senile, despite Alex saying J'onn should know.
Mary Schott helped her husband with building his toys early on, acting as his apprentice.
Mary and Winslow Schott were both students in Ivy Town but they met at a toy store. Mary was the bookeeper and Winslow a stocker.
Mary Schott recalls an incident where she planned to take a nine-year-old Winn to Disneyland. In truth, she was trying to make a break for a women's shelter. She was run off the road by Winslow Schott, who stole a car, ran her off the road (resulting in Winn getting a concussion) and that was when he threatened to kill Winn if she didn't leave.
Lena is not answering James' phone calls or messages and hasn't shown up to work in several days according to her assistant. This suggests that Lena has gone into hiding to help Sam in the wake of Lena discovering that Sam is Reign in 313.
The culprit behind the flying monkeys and exploding casket is revealed to be a maintenance woman at the prison where Winslow Schott was held. He taught her everything he knew and charged her with getting revenge on Schott's wife and son after his death.
This episode confirms that Kara needs to breath like an ordinary human, as she begins to suffocate after being sealed inside a giant plastic toy box.
Mon-El has trained in the art of cape-fighting. His Legion costume in the future has a cape. He offers to teach the art to Kara.
Mon-El cannot sing.
Winn reconciles with his mother.
Kara says that she can't talk about Mon-El's feelings of betrayal being lied to by Saturn Girl given their history. Mon-El understands, but explains that was not why he wanted to talk to her privately about his being lied to.
Mon-El reveals to Kara that The Legion's real mission was to go back in time and kill the third Worldkiller - Pestilence - before she evolves into The Blight (first mentioned in 310) in 1000 years time.
Mon-El says his old costume was damaged om Rimbor.
M'yrnn's favorite food on Earth is ghost pepper macaroni and cheese with a side of jalapeno peppers.
M'yrnn reveals the truth about his dementia to J'onn.
Lena calls James from a lab, saying that she and Sam have been busy working. The episode ends as we see Sam in a hospital bed in Lena's lab.
The Kryptonite Factor
Security at the DEO is made to look really lax, with the flying monkey robots able to get into the building no problem and Mary Schott having no trouble in stealing a gun from the armory so she can go confront Jacqueline Nimball alone.
The Bottom Line
An odd episode to come back to after the show was on hiatus for the better part of two months. Still, the performances manage to sell some dopey dialogue, though it's odd that Laurie Metcalf has the least amount of chemistry with Jeremy Jordan out of all the cast she interacts with. The plot with the new Toywoman is the weakest link in the story.
Thankfully, the writers seem to be aware of this and use all the other subplots to distract away from that, even though there's a lot of logic problems involving the lax security at the DEO and why J'onn throws a dinner party with only Alex being invited. Still, it's an enjoyable bit of filler... probably because this episode is almost entirely free of the nonsense involving The Worldkillers.