Saturday, January 15, 2011

No Ordinary Family 1.10: "No Ordinary Sidekick"

Sarah is taking over "No Ordinary Family" duties until I can get a little more caught up on the rest of the shows I cover here at MTVP, so here's her take on the show's fall finale, "No Ordinary Sidekick."


“I just wish for once you would consider-”
“Where you’d be without me.”
- Katie and George

So I was also pretty pleased with most of “No Ordinary Sidekick”. The JJ storyline was kind of stupid, but Daphne actually had a reason to exist this week! And as usual, I liked that we saw the powers conspiracy get pushed further. The episode begins with the Powells plus Katie and George out for a night of bowling. Jim uses his super strength to knock a whole mass of pins, including some in another person’s lane. JJ, using his super brain, lands yet another strike, and Stephanie only gets 8 pins down but uses her speed to make it look like a strike. Everyone is in relatively high spirits, though George is a little grumpy when “Will” arrives. Katie introduces him to Jim and reintroduces him to Stephanie and the kids. Once again, Daphne tries to read “Will’s” mind and gets static.

While the rest of the group is schmoozing, George is listening to his police scanner. He ends up convincing Jim to go check out a dry cleaner robbery two blocks away. Jim handily takes out the three bad guys. The shop owner is down for the count and doesn’t see Jim’s face. Jim is about to take a swing at what he thinks is another bad guy, only to narrowly avoid hitting George upside the head. Jim takes off just as the cops arrive, and they find George holding a piece of metal bar. At first, George is worried that he’s about to be arrested, but instead, he becomes a hero.

Jim and Stephanie are watching George give an interview and talking about how at least someone got the credit, even though it would be nice for Jim to be recognized for his efforts. Cordero still treats Jim like crap even though Jim saved his life. Over in teen land, JJ is complaining that he’s basically too smart for all his friends now. They have nothing to talk about. And, Daphne is still concerned that she can’t read “Will’s” mind. It’s the usual Powell family angst all around.

On the conspiracy front, we find “Will” talking to Dr. King. Dr. King is not pleased with “Will’s” progress, or lack thereof. As Dr. King reaches his car, he finds Dr. Chiles, the scientist whose purpose seemed only to be scoffing at Stephanie’s work in the early episodes, waiting for him. Dr. Chiles found a vial of the stuff Dr. King has been injecting into “Will” and threatens to expose it. Unfortunately for him, Dr. King is ready and makes the point that Dr. Chiles was on the team that was doing all the plant research. Things are really not looking good for Dr. Chiles, whose first name is Francis.

The next day at the police station, George shows up and gets lots of applause. Jim warns that George to lay off the publicity because the case got a lot more complicated. The robbers are all career bank robbers. Meanwhile, Cordero is trying to ID the man who saved him and it doesn’t take long to ID Jim. Later, Jim shows up at the dry cleaner to follow up with some questions of his own. He learns from the owner that in addition to some cash being taken, a man’s dry cleaning was also stolen. Jim finds that odd, and when he heads back to the police station, he finds George getting ready to do yet another interview. It’s quite obvious the fame is going to George’s head.

JJ ends up checking out a smart people’s club and feels horribly out of place. For one thing, everyone is older than him. He ends up seeing a cute girl, Natalie, playing chess, and when he sits down to play, his powers fail him. Talk about impotence issues. Later on, JJ offers to help Natalie with homework and fails again. It finally takes a talk with Jim to figure out that JJ needs to think about something other than how cute Natalie is when he’s around her. By the end of the episode, he’s thinking about baseball stats and he can play chess and flirt with the best of the geeky teenage boys. You may have noticed I wrapped JJ’s plot up quickly. It’s pretty stupid and we could have done without the storyline completely in this episode and would have been far better off.

Stephanie walks into the lab to find Katie smiling happily while doing her work, and they end up talking about how much Katie likes “Will”. Dr. King shows up before the conversation can go any further (though Stephanie did explain that Katie mentioning she hadn’t felt so strongly about a guy since she fell for a metrosexual Wookie was too much information) sporting a nasty black eye. He says that it was courtesy of Dr. Chiles and that since his discharge, Frances has been unstable. He informs Stephanie that if she sees Chiles at the office, she should call security. Later, while Stephanie isn’t around, Daphne stops by the lab to chat with Katie. Daphne ends up reading Katie’s mind to find out where she met Will. Obviously, it was the dating site where JJ set up the fake profile. Which becomes the subject of discussion between the mini Powells. They’ll find out more of the pieces of the puzzle by the end of the episode.

Dr. Chiles shows up all crazy and jabbering about the vial. He hands it over to Stephanie and tells her to test it. And boy is she surprised by what she finds. She injects it into a rat and waits. It ends up developing super speed. Just as she’s about to head over to talk with Dr. Chiles at his house, he gets a surprise visitor. “Will” shows up and kills him (makes it look like a suicide, complete with note). It’s rather violent and it makes me sad that “Will” seems to be taking such joy in making Chiles do things against his will. Stephanie shows up not long after and is horrified to find Chiles dead.

With George so preoccupied with his new-found status as “hero”, Jim has to hop rooftops on his own with only the aid of the GPS which lands him in the pool. He finds out that the man whose dry cleaning was stolen works for the transit authority. Meanwhile, Daphne spills the beans about “Will” to Stephanie, who brings it to Katie. Katie can’t believe Stephanie is saying these things and basically quits being her sidekick. At the same time, George ditches Jim, too. Stephanie and Jim briefly commiserate about their being dumped by their respective sidekicks, and Jim makes the comment that sidekicks don’t have to last forever. The next day, Jim goes to work and buddies up to Cordero (which isn’t hard since Cordero is treating Jim like a king for saving his life) and finds out that a few years back there was a train robbery with the same elements as what Jim has found in his snooping around the dry cleaner robbery.

Katie and “Will” are out to lunch, and Katie tells him about her fight with Stephanie. It looks like she’s figured out his lie when he admits he was just sitting at the bar and watched her look up as every guy walked by. So he figured he’d sit down. He says his name is Joshua (which is obviously a lie because you see him look at the nearest waiter’s nametag). So now we have yet another name for our mysterious Watcher. Have to say, Joshua isn’t as amusing as Will. See, Josh Stewart played a character named Will on Criminal Minds so it just makes me giggle whenever I hear someone call him that on this show.

Jim has gone to the train station to try and avert a robbery and is leaving a rather obnoxious message for George (who is off being given a key to the city or something). Jim ends up actually tackling real train conductors with lunches (not automatic weapons concealed in conductor duffels). It’s kind of a funny scene really. It ends up that George gets over himself and decides to help Jim after all. It turned out that Cordero’s intelligence was off and now Jim’s got to stop a train from leaving the station. Too bad it’s already left. This part is really amusing because you’ve got Jim standing on a bridge above the train tracks and George telling him to stop the train. Great dialogue. So Jim ends up jumping onto the tracks and miraculously stops the train and takes out the bad guys.

At Dr. Chiles’ apartment, Dr. King shows up and lies outright to Stephanie about Dr. Chiles. He says Chiles was working on Volson’s research and that he was using human test subjects. He produces what appear to be Dr. Chiles’ notes. And that’s all not entirely false. We know that Dr. King has been injecting people (i.e. Pyro and “Will/Joshua”) with the stuff to give them abilities.

Meanwhile, Daphne’s big moment finally happens. “Joshua” has shown up at the Powell house looking for Stephanie, but he says Daphne will do fine. She tries to read his mind again, and when she touches his hand, she sees him killing Dr. Chiles. She tries to say she won’t tell anyone and he gives her this creepy smile and says he knows she won’t and grabs her. The next thing we know, Jim and Stephanie are sitting on the couch, and Daphne comes down complaining about not wanting to be dragged to Brazil. Everything that she’s experienced over the last three months is completely gone. What a way to end the first half of the season.

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