Sunday, January 30, 2011

No Ordinary Family 1.13: "No Ordinary Detention"

Our guest blogger, Sarah, is back for another "No Ordinary Family" recap. This time, it's "No Ordinary Detention." Two Eighties movies will enter, and only one will survive. Or something like that...

“Don’t you see Joshua? Either way, this little flirtation with a normal life will soon be over.”
- Victoria

Upon reflection, I found only one of the three major plots of this episode really interesting. And if you haven’t figured out by now, it’s not the mini Powell plot of the week. Anyway, it will become readily apparent in short order which plotline this week I found intriguing. We start with Stephanie in the kitchen making eggs. She’s hoping for a nice family breakfast, but she is quickly dismissed by the kids. Daphne has a student council meeting and J.J. is meeting Natalie to study. Jim says he’d love to eat breakfast with Stephanie, but of course George has to call and interrupt. There’s four escaped convicts, and Jim has to stop the ringleader before he gets away or hurts anyone. Jim does this rather successfully by knocking the guy off a motorcycle.

Meanwhile Daphne is giving a history presentation that sounds rather boring. She hears Chris (the kid who almost got blamed for his brother’s drug possession) thinking how boring she is. He ends up in detention and Daphne ends up there with him for talking during another student’s presentation. J.J. and Natalie are texting during math class and they both get sent to detention for it. I guess the writers needed to have all the kids in one place [ed. note: or the writers couldn’t resist creating their own version of “The Breakfast Club”]. They end up playing truth or dare. Bailey, the girl Daphne beat out for student council president, is there as well, for some unknown reason.

Anyway, Daphne ends up getting dared to kiss Chris and sees a flash of his memory involving a car accident and him getting arrested (he had just denied ever having been arrested). J.J. finds out that Natalie is a foster kid and doesn’t stay in one place for long. She has to keep her grades up in order to get into a good college to get out of the system. It is why she broke up with J.J. (in detention). J.J. in turn, after some sulking and hanging out with Chris, reveals a secret. He uses his super brain to make fake snow. It’s significant because that was a memory of Natalie’s that made her feel really happy. Unfortunately for J.J., Natalie still doesn’t want to date him. Bailey on the other hand, wouldn’t mind so much. The end of Daphne’s arc for the episode involves Chris explaining that he’d been out with his dad who had had a lot to drink. Chris took the keys and ended up driving home and crashing into a tree. He obviously felt guilty about it and embarrassed and Daphne tries to be nice to him. Who knows where that will be going in the future?

Later that morning, Stephanie gets a call from a rather distraught Katie. “Joshua” is sick and refusing to let Katie take him to the doctor. Stephanie says if Katie can get him to the lab, she’ll take a look. Katie does in fact manage to get him to the lab by saying she left her wallet in her desk. They arrive at the lab and are immediately cornered by Victoria. Victoria feigns interest in why Katie didn’t take the Miami job and acts like she’s never met “Joshua” before. They end up in Stephanie’s lab for maybe two minutes before the entire place goes on lock down because of some sort of radiation leak (which we see Victoria initiate). Katie is freaking out over the lock down while Stephanie examines “Joshua”. He’s really not looking very good. He’s burning up and looking really sweaty and icky. The power comes back on just as Victoria shows up and manages to get Katie to go with her to the specimen room with Stephanie’s key card. That obviously will not end well.

Meanwhile, Jim has gotten to the police station and is filling George in on what happened with the convict. He’s quite proud that he took down the guy without being seen. Unfortunately, IAB is investigating a bunch of the arrests made by the department lately. All arrests instigated by Jim. Naturally, George is protective and tries to keep Jim out of it when he meets with the IAB investigator (played by Joanne Kelly (of SyFy Warehouse 13 fame amongst other things).
Later at the police station, Jim catches sight of the guy he helped bust that morning and hopes he’s not seen. Jim ends up in the bathroom splashing water on his face to try and keep calm. Unfortunately, just as Jim is trying to calm down, the cons escape and take over the squad room. And thus begins the Die Hard reenactment, complete with about five mentions of “Die Hard” in the rest of the episode. The bad guys barricade the squad room and lock all the cops up.

George has managed to get himself tied up with the rest of the hostages. And I have to admit it’s kind of a funny scene where George convinces the lead bad guy that he (George) will be their lawyer. The lead guy is distrusting at first, not believing the cop negotiator will give him the money and airplane he wants. He gets one guy to go get a pregnant woman some food. Jim uses the air vents to ambush lackey #1 and knocks him out (complete with partial Die Hard quote). I mean I’m a fan of the first Die Hard movie because let’s face it; Alan Rickman makes one hell of an awesome bad guy. But really, did we need a recreation? I really don’t think so. Jacobs (the IAB investigator) is complaining to George that she could have sworn Jim was around when the bad guys took over. It gets rather annoying as it goes on.

Katie and Victoria are still gone as Stephanie continues to examine “Joshua’. She makes the comment she’s seen some of his symptoms before and asks what drugs he’s on. He denies being on drugs (which is only kind of true) and basically makes a break for it. He tries to use his powers to open the door when Katie shows up. She tells him she wants him to feel better and kisses him. He’s not fooled though. He pushes her away and she shape shifts back into Victoria. “Joshua” demands to know where Katie is and we see her for a brief glimpse lying unconscious on the floor of the specimen room. “Joshua” and Victoria have a little skirmish but it’s really very one sided. He’s getting weaker by the minute. She says in about twenty minutes he’ll be dead. So she leaves him lying in the hallway, a syringe of the injection used to give him his powers lying on the floor near him. She’s really evil. I think I preferred her on LOST.

Stephanie is still in her lab when Katie shows up and tries to get Stephanie to inject “Joshua” with stuff from the plant but Stephanie says they don’t know how it would affect people. Just as Katie says that Stephanie would do it in a heartbeat if it was Jim, Daphne or J.J., Joshua stumbles into the room and promptly collapse after warning Stephanie to not trust Katie. Stephanie uses her powers to go grab some ice packs to try and bring “Joshua’s” temperature down and Katie looks surprised by it. She tries to hide the shock by rushing off to see what’s taking so long with getting them out.

Back at the police station, Jim takes out another of the bad guys which only makes the lead bad guy angry. Again, Jacobs tells George she thinks Jim is behind taking out the bad guys. George denies it again, but it’s not much use. Jacobs claims that Jim’s actions are hurting the hostages more than helping. Jacobs is trying to reason with the bad guy by saying he’ll never know who is taking out his guys if he shoots her. Unfortunately, she gets shot in the arm for her trouble and Jim reveals himself. We got another Die Hard reference in this scene. I mean, I liked seeing Joanne Kelly on my TV for a little while but her character was rather boring and the bad guys were stereotypical and kind of two-dimensional. The bad guys are getting what they want from the negotiator. He takes Jim and Jacobs to the parking garage and Jim takes them out. Jacobs sees it and tells Jim she thinks he’s a hero and won’t be pursuing her investigation into the department.

And now we get to possibly my favorite exchange in the whole episode. Katie shows up and rambles about waking up on the floor of the specimen room just as a second Katie walks in another door. The two Katies are hilarious. They end up doing a quiz and for the first few questions both of them get them right. Then Stephanie asks what happened for the first time the week before. The real Katie steps forward and Stephanie believes her just as Victoria knocks her out with a pipe. Victoria attacks Katie and it looks pretty bad. Victoria is trying to stab Katie with some sort of syringe. It’s not obvious what is in the syringe but considering Victoria is evil and a lackey of Dr King so it’s not good. Just as things are about to go horribly wrong, Joshua gets to his feet, races to the hallway and injects himself in the arm. His powers are back and he saves Katie by sending Victoria flying through a glass wall. Katie is kind of shocked and confused but she gives very vague details to Stephanie when she wakes up. I’ll be really interested to see what happens next with her and “Joshua”. She knows he has powers now. Will she keep it to herself or share it with Stephanie? And once again, the Katie plot is far more interesting than the entire Powell family put together.

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