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No Ordinary Family – “No Ordinary Friends” – review
Oh, dear. We let No Ordinary Family have a short break, and this is what they come up with?
It’s been a while since we hung out with the Powells. If you remember, things were really heating up in their superpowered world. We were seeing the family take on a familiar mantra of ”with great power comes great responsibility,” and alliances were beginning to form between the older and younger Powells. They had bonded in new and sweet ways, and finally accepted who they were. It was just in time too, since the darkness that emanates from Dr. King was beginning to creep closer to their family in the form of Joshua/Will/Hot Assassin, who was using cute geeky Katie as his in. When we left the Powells, Daphne’s entire memory from Brazil to the present had been wiped. Oh noes!
Now, wiping a character’s memory in a comic book is the stuff of multibook arcs. Wolverine’s entire series has been based on his shifting memory. His spin-offs are based on his memory. One entire Marvel event (House of M) was based on memory alteration, and ended with mutants being stripped of their powers. This is heavy stuff.
Unless you’re writing for No Ordinary Family. Then it can be dispensed with in a goofy pre-credit sequence with no lasting effect. Seriously. After some goofy tricks (Daddy is strong! Mommy is fast!), they held hands with Daphne, and she was fine. She suffered no trauma, and Stephanie only brought it up once. It was the definition of weak.
Instead, Episode 12 spent all of its goodwill in a silly plot involving art theft. Oh, who could the thieves be? The new family the Powells befriended? Yep. This is, after all, a one-street town with a population of 10. Somehow, it magically has a grimy downtown and a rising crime rate, but it’s small enough that you can befriend the art thieves. It was a disappointing blow to the Powells, though, who desperately need positive relationships in their lives. While it didn’t do Stephanie and Jim any good, it did seem to have a good effect on Daphne and JJ. Their encounters with the Cotten children made them more confident, happy, and popular in their school. It’s exactly what they needed, and I’d actually like these young Cottens to stick around. But since follow through remains this show’s weak point, they probably will vanish, and will never be mentioned again.
The best part of this episode was Katie. I just want a show about Katie, the lonely geek, who haunts conventions and Internet forums trying to find friendship and love. It turned out Katie was a virgin (and that Stephanie only half listens to her), and was nervous about telling Joshua/Will/Assassin. She can also mix a mean Star Wars drink. I think I’m in love with this girl and Joshua/Will/Assassin. Let’s live in a commune, guys!
Katie finally tells her dark and troubled boyfriend, and he runs out on her. It was horrible. But the reason he ran out on her was because he wanted to go to Dr. King and quit. He loves Katie, and he doesn’t want to lie, steal, or kill for Dr. King anymore. He wanted to be worthy of her love. And he was! At least for an hour. Then a post-coital Katie discovered Stephanie’s diary in his pants.
Disaster. It’s just like when Buffy slept with Angel for the first time. (Now, where’s my brooding bad guy?)
Now that was a show that could follow through with its tangled plot lines, and keep the blend of comedy, suspense, heroics, and darkness. Given that next week’s episode is another wacky mccracky “The Powells use their powers for hijinks!” episode, I’m about ready to send this show on another break. This time, they won’t be eating Christmas cookies and forgetting their awesome cliffhanger. They’ll be studying Writing 101.