Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Ordinary Family 1.12: "No Ordinary Brother"

It's time once again to welcome back (increasingly frequent) guest blogger Sarah for another "No Ordinary Family" recap!


“You once said you were given these powers to protect people. Who's more important to protect than family?”
- Stephanie

This week’s episode picks up pretty much where “No Ordinary Friends” left off. We find Jim and Stephanie in bed when a noise wakes Stephanie. She makes Jim go see what it is (possible burglar), and they find Mike, Jim’s younger brother, rummaging through the kitchen. The next morning, we find the family enjoying breakfast, and Mike says his latest job venture has fallen through but he’s got a new one; footwear repurposement. Basically, he takes defect shoes and sells them for a low price. Stephanie doesn’t seem impressed and it becomes quite clear she’s not overly fond of Mike.

Next, we find Katie confronting “Joshua” (have I mentioned I hope we learn his real name soon?) about Stephanie’s journal. “Joshua” uses his powers to change the writing on the page and makes it look like he wrote it about her. She apologizes for her freak out just in time to get a very important phone call. Global Tech is giving her a promotion that comes with her own lab. In Miami. Stephanie is kind of bummed and confronts Dr. King about why she wasn’t consulted before such a significant move was made. He feigns ignorance and summons the new VP of HR. Enter Victoria Morrow (or for those who are “Lost” fans, Charlotte!).

We have to drop into teen land now for Daphne’s episode arc. It’s not as obnoxious as some previous episodes. Now that she’s student body president, she is on the disciplinary committee. She uses her power to judge the students by reading their minds. Until she gets to a kid named Chris Minor who was found with illegal meds on him. He admits to it, but she reads his mind and finds out they weren’t his. Throughout the episode, she tries to figure out whose pills they are. She ends up enlisting JJ’s help to break into Chris’s brother’s locker, and they find the drugs there. Chris has been protecting his brother. Based on previews for next week’s episode, there may be some sort of romance brewing here.

Jim, Mike and George have gone out for a guy’s night (which Mike claims he will pay for), when Mike ditches. Jim finds Mike getting the crap beat out of him, and even though Jim beats up a couple guys, he gets hit by a car and flies off a building. Mike’s freaking out when Jim gets up and says he’s fine. And thus Mike finds out about Jim’s powers. In short order, he knows about everyone because Stephanie zips in without realizing Mike was there. Mike thinks their powers are pretty awesome and Jim even takes him to “the Lair”. Unfortunately, pretty much right after Mike leaves; “the Lair” is burglarized. George and Jim suspect Mike, and of course Mike denies it.

Uncle Mike is linked to J.J.’s storyline as well. I’m not a fan of J.J.’s storyline and I think you’ll see why shortly. Mike takes J.J. to the horse races and J.J. ends up picking winner after winner with his ability. And, J.J. finds it all really cool. Needless to say, Jim and Stephanie aren’t pleased with this and Jim finds out that Mike owes a big time loan shark $15,000. Jim goes to try and make a deal to take on Mike’s debt, but Mr. Loan Shark laughs in Jim’s face. Mike owes $150,000- quite a lot more than he originally let on, to say the least.

Mike just can’t get a break with Jim. First Jim chews him out about the money, and then things get real personal. When their father had a heart attack, Jim was there at his bedside. Mike wasn’t. Jim demands to know where Mike was, but Mike can’t give an answer. Instead, Jim basically throws him out. As he’s leaving, Daphne tries to get him to stay. He says he can’t do that. She gives him a hug and ends up seeing him at an ultrasound appointment on the day and time of the burglary. She tells Jim what she saw just in time to find out Mike’s been kidnapped. They have twenty-four hours to get $150,000.

The Powells don’t have much choice in what to do about the situation. They don’t have $150 grand lying around. So, J.J. makes the suggestion that they go to the race track, and he can pick the winners like last time. They could easily make the money. Jim (mercifully) hates the idea. I have to say I agree with Jim. Why let your 15-year-old son get into gambling when it obviously has been a problem with other family members? But, Stephanie talks Jim into it. Too bad the last race they pick (after putting their huge pile of cash on it) loses. So Jim goes to the warehouse, knowing at least he can’t be hurt, and says he’ll trade his life for Mike’s. Kind of nice I guess. It works because Mr. Loan Shark lets Mike go and the brothers Powell kick some ass. Turns out Mike even gets a nice check for apprehending Mr. Loan Shark. Now he’ll have plenty of money to take care of the baby his girlfriend is having.

Returning to Katie’s storyline of the episode, she’s not pleased that Stephanie was trying to ruin her promotion. But, as they’re sharing coffee before Katie heads to Miami, a big sheet of glass falls from a crane. It would have killed Katie if Stephanie hadn’t saved her. The construction guys act like it was an accident, but obviously it wasn’t. It turns out Ms. Morrow (the HR rep) is one of Dr. King’s lackeys. She’s a shape shifter, and it was really her that dropped the glass. “Joshua” is kind of going off the rails in trying to distance himself from King (even though he keeps popping up at the office). He says he’s going to Miami with Katie and that King can’t stop him. “Joshua” makes it pretty clear that, serum or no, he’s going to make King pay for everything he’s done to Katie and to him, including all the horrible things King made him do.

I have to say, this kind of reminds me a little bit of Spike in “Destiny” (season 5 of “Angel”). Spike says that while it may have been Drusilla that sired him and made him a vampire, it was Angel(us) that made him a monster. I can see the parallel here. It was Dr. King that made “Joshua” a monster. And in the same way that Spike went and got a soul in an attempt to be a better person, it seems “Joshua” is trying to do something similar to find redemption for the evils he has committed. He’ll take whatever the withdrawal symptoms are so he can be with Katie. I have to say, I find his storyline and back story far more interesting most of the time than the Powells. It seems even though he’s slowly shifting over to the light, he’s still in a massive gray area. He’ll use whatever means necessary for revenge on the way there. And that uncertainty of character is what I really like.

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