Wednesday, 6 April 2011

No Ordinary Family - S1 E20 - No Ordinary Beginning

JJ is kidnapped by Xena and the rest of the Powells must team up to save him.

Spoilers after the jump.

This episode, the season finale, pretty much told the story of the season - It started in a promising manner, started building pace and then suddenly imploded and devolved into a series of set pieces rooted in escalating stupidity. We can split this into two sections; the George/Katie stuff and the adventure the Powells went on.

Katie discovered she was pregnant two episodes ago, right? We'll keep that in mind for later, because although the fact that she's gigantic could be nitpicking poor production values, the way that is concluded had me banging my head against the wall. In fact almost everything that happened with Katie was totally ridiculous. It seemed like they were trying to set up some Katie/George chemistry but then of course Josh showed up. Even though I was thinking, well how did he hear that Katie was pregnant? But I just figured that Xena Helen Burton got word to him. My bad. It turns out it's Charlotte from Lost in disguise which I probably should have realized but I did totally call her stepping outside Katie's house and without even trying to hide, transforming into her regular self after we discover the real Josh is being held captive by Burton. Apparently whoever writes this show thinks the viewers are total idiots. Then again, I am still watching this show for some reason so maybe they're right.

George goes to pick up Katie's vitamins and discovers the truth about what happened last week. Apparently, the OBGYN wasn't killed, he was just knocked out which as I think I mentioned, isn't the way getting hit with a steel bar usually turns out in real life but whatever. How he finds the plane with all the convicts in it isn't really explained satisfactorily. Meanwhile the real Josh busts out and is able to scare off Charlotte from Lost in the most anti-climactic ever. In all the excitement, Katie's water breaks and she gives birth right there in her own house to a cute widdle dry not-premature baby. Then she's up and running around afterward and stuff. Well not running but she certainly is not exhausted the way moms who just gave birth actually are.

As for the family, let's deal with JJ first. So he gets kidnapped by the electric dude and Helen Burton throws him in a room with a pen and notepad and tells him to solve some formula or SHE'LL KEEEEL HIM! An empty room. With no notes. With no clue what he's actually supposed to be doing. Way to go. The rest of the family were doing ok until we got to the invasion of Global Tech to save JJ. Then it all got very, very silly. After Dr. King tells them the story of why he developed the super serum (to cure himself of cancer) then tells them he has been taking it himself but has no super powers, off they go to the restricted area and Daphne gets the cool new ability to crush people with psychic power and Stephanie apparently learned martial arts somewhere along the way, low sweeping and high kicking all the guards packing very large guns. They're all apparently still knocked out when Dr. King comes ambling by an hour or so later. Right.

Another incredibly anti-climactic showdown takes place between electric dude and Jim. Jim somehow redirects electric dude's lightning bolts back at him. How does he do this? I have no fucking idea, he just holds up his palms and it happens. The trio gets gassed in the lift though and captured. why didn't they just do that in the first place rather than sending electric dude down there to die? Nobody will ever know. Under threat of having his sister killed, JJ finally figures out the incredibly convoluted way to ensure permanent powers for Burton's army of convicts. Burton then orders Stephanie, Daphne and JJ killed - Jim is being kept in a separate room for plot reasons rather than any actual meaning. Thankfully, Dr King enters through the magic door and kills three guards before they can even move. Sokka, why is your forehead all red?

While Stephanie and the kids go off supposedly to stop the evil plane but really to run around aimlessly killing time, Dr King goes around all over everywhere, first freeing Josh so he can go off and deliver Katie's baby, then KILLING JIM! Well shooting him three times in the body anyway, and not putting one between the eyes and leaving before making sure he's actually dead. Conveniently, Jim's powers have returned, so he's just fine. He runs down to confront Dr. King who's with the rest of the fam telling them all about how evil guards shot Jim to death. He punches King through a container at which point King goes Super Saiyan. King's range of powers actually kinda make sense considering Josh is supposedly his son and had similar power before being cured by Stephanie's antidote. She goes to retrieve it while King is beating the shit out of Jim and by the way, killing someone's husband right in front of them is a great way to make them like you.

In pretty much the only genre-savvy moment in this episode, King figures out that Stephanie's declaration of 'love' for him is a ruse but he then fails to keep his eyes on where the needle goes and JJ does his quarterback thing (let's not get back to how stupid that whole storyline was) and throws the needle into King's eye. King promptly collapses and decomposes. The cancer is swallowing his body whole, as Stephanie dispassionately explains. Because I still think of her as Darla from one of my favorite episodes of television ever Angel - S3 E9 - Lullaby, I was loath to buy into what Simmons was saying about Julie Benz, but her acting skills have most definitely eroded in the intervening years. Anyway that was easily the stupidest thing I've seen in 2011.

The family apparently forgets that there's a plane being loaded up with convicts about to be granted permanent superpowers and heads home to play Jenga or something. It goes up, George somehow gets loaded on too and bam! A new army of super powered freaks. George's ability remains unrevealed, if he has one. Why Helen Burton would want an army of convicts as her mercenaries is unexplained. Before she was able to control them because the effects of the super serum were temporary and they needed the fix from her. Now that their powers are permanent what do they need her for? She doesn't even have powers. They'll just kill her and rape her surely. The very end, with the Powells being approached by the NSA to team up with them and round up all the villains is wildly optimistic. This show is not getting renewed next year. It's almost a shame considering how easy it was finding faults.

"No Ordinary Family" aired Tuesdays on ABC at 9:00 pm EST.

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