Thursday, March 3, 2011

No Ordinary Family 1.16: "No Ordinary Proposal"

Sarah's back with another "No Ordinary Family" recap. Enjoy!

“How can I love you, when I don’t even know you? You’ve lied to me since the day I met you.”
- Katie

This week begins with Jim chasing a suspect on foot for once through a crowd. George admonishes Jim that he should have stayed on the rooftops, but it’s kind of a moot point once the guy runs into a dead end alley. Jim corners the guy who pulls a gun. The suspect gets off about four or five shots and Jim deflects them all, including one that ricochets through a window and seriously injures a boy nearby. Jim’s really shook up with guilt over the whole thing and I can see why. I’d be pretty upset if I caused some innocent kid to get shot.

Meanwhile, Katie wakes up to find Joshua awake first (I have decided that since we are unlikely to learn his real name any time soon, the quotes are just annoying now and shall no longer be used). He’s got a surprise for her, an engagement ring. She’s excited and it’s a really sweet proposal (though not so different from what he’s been telling Katie all along). At the office later, Katie is a little worried that she doesn’t deserve the ring or the engagement and there’s a Batman reference (and a possible allusion that Robin is gay). But Stephanie is going to throw her an awesome engagement party. And hopefully their trials with the antidote to the serum will work on their test rat so that it will work for Joshua.

Daphne stops by Chris’s place because he wasn’t at school and finds him and his dad home. His dad, now wheelchair-bound, is kind of a whiny/angry jerk who is bossing Chris around. But Chris agrees to spend a little time with Daphne at the engagement party to get out of the house and his newfound responsibility as breadwinner. The party seems to be going well until Stephanie sees Jim is rather unhappy. She quickly learns it’s about the kid who got hit by the stray bullet and she tries to make Jim see that it wasn’t his fault and there was nothing he could do. He tells her they should use the serum that she brought home from the lab because it could cure the kid. Steph pretty much vetoes that before it even leaves Jim’s mouth, saying she won’t play God. Too bad someone else doesn’t have the problem. After the party, they discover the serum is missing, and before the act break, we see someone inject themselves. The party also takes a slight unhappy turn when Dr. King shows up and insists on giving a speech in honor of Katie and Joshua. I get the feeling that there is more history between King and Joshua. As King leaves he whispers in Joshua’s ear about his father being proud. I’m not sure if that means King or not.

So Steph and Jim are going through the list of party attendees to try and solve the mystery of the missing serum. They go through the obvious choices first; Dr. King and Joshua. But Dr. King has his own supply and wouldn’t need it, and after a chat with Joshua, Steph determines he didn’t take it either since he’s trying to get rid of his powers. Jim thinks he’s figured out who took it while he and George are at the Lair. They zero in on Chris. I mean it is easy to blame the kid with a criminal record. As Jim is ranting about “gateway crimes” an alert goes up on the police scanner about an ATM robbery. But there’s no evidence of a bomb or other explosive at the scene when they arrive. So it had to be a super crime. The only witness saw someone ride off on a blue motorcycle, like the one Chris drives. Jim confronts Chris but decides he’s not responsible when George calls to tell him there was a second robbery.

In other teen news, J.J’s asked by Mr. Litchfield to join the academic decathlon team, but J.J. has no interest. He knows he wouldn’t be challenged in any way. As he leaves class, he runs into Natalie who is still putting up the “I like you but I have to focus on schoolwork” routine. She’s applying for a $10,000 scholarship and needs to focus so she can get it. I’m getting tired of this plotline, honestly. Mr. Lichfield eventually chooses a much more devious tactic to get what he wants, and he tells J.J. that if he joins the decathlon team, Natalie’s chances will go way up in the scholarship pool. I find this rather disgusting and evil. You don’t blackmail a 15-year-old. You just don’t.

Over at Global Tech, Joshua drops by to surprise King. It works. They have one of their usual banters but with some interesting information. We learn that Joshua was given the serum at age six and that it supposedly saved his life. And turned him into a killer. So in a way, I guess Dr. King was like a father, even if Joshua refuses to see it that way. Unfortunately, in espousing that he is going to be powers-free soon, Joshua has to admit (even though he doesn’t actually say it, King does), Steph is helping him. Later, Joshua is again at the lab to get the antidote Steph created. He’s a little worried that Katie’s only known him with his powers, and he doesn’t want her to look at him any differently. She promises that she will love him no matter what. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the antidote is working. He gets all wobbly and beakers start smashing, like his powers went on overdrive. One he settles down, Steph tells him to try and use his powers. He can still use them and bitterly says he didn’t know he thought they could make him something he’d never been.

We briefly see Jim try to apologize to Daphne for getting all in Chris’s face, but she hurriedly leaves the house to go see Chris. He tells her it’s cool and that he didn’t take the serum. But Daphne’s trusty picto-vision rewind shows her Chris giving his dad the serum and his dad walking again. Which obviously means it wore off because when we see Chris’s dad, he’s sitting at a table. Or he’s just faking it. Daphne runs home and tells Jim he was right. Which leads pretty much directly to Chris tossing a wad of bills in front of his dad and demanding to know where it came from. They get into a rather big fight about what his dad is doing and the fact that he’s drinking again. Chris’s dad seems like a really violent guy, and I kind of hope we don’t see him for much longer. He’s got no qualms about pushing his kid around and being physical. Maybe it’s that I just don’t like people hitting their kids.

Meanwhile, Jim stops by Chris’s house looking for his dad. He tries to get Chris to help them stop his dad, but Chris is obviously scared of what his dad can do. So Jim goes after the guy alone and gets thrown through a cement wall for his trouble. Guess Chris’s dad’s super strength is a little more crazy than Jim thought. He’s complaining about it to Steph and George when comes up with an idea of how Jim might be able to beat Chris’s dad. He’s got to be quicker. Chris tries to confront his dad again but gets thrown out a window for his trouble. Poor kid. Someone needs to take his dad down hard. So George is teaching Jim to box, sort of. George explains that it is all about making the other guy miss. Making him miss uses up his energy (and in Chris’s dad’s case, the serum). Just after Jim manages to knock George down he gets a call from Daphne that Chris is in the hospital. After a little persuasion, Chris tells them his dad went to Global Tech to get more serum.

At the lab the next day, Stephanie learns some disturbing thing about Joshua courtesy of Dr. King, namely that he can erase memories. Which clicks in her head because of Daphne’s memory loss. At this point, I’m kind of intrigued to see what happens. Will she confront him? Will she tell Katie? I mean, obviously it’s not a good thing to just erase unhappy conversations from the mind of the woman you claim to love. I’m really trying to root for Joshua here to overcome what he was. Just as Stephanie is going to tell Katie about Joshua, Chris’s dad walks in with his arm clamped around Katie’s neck. And he’ll kill her if Stephanie doesn’t give him more of the serum. Am I wrong in kind of hoping Joshua randomly shows up to save the day? Well I would be wrong because Steph tries to stop him and gets knocked down for her trouble. But Jim takes care of him in the parking garage. One super villain down, one to go. Jim busts in on Joshua and nearly pummels him for what he did to Daphne. But Katie arrives and gets her own digs in. She returns the engagement ring. She can’t trust Joshua and she wants him out of her life forever. I can understand where she’s coming from, but it makes me sad to know he couldn’t overcome all the things that had happened to him.

So we wrap up pretty much all the storylines of the episode about 5 or 6 minutes. The kid that got hit by the bullet is going to be okay and because of being hit by the bullet, the doctors found a small tumor that they were able to remove before it got too bad. Daphne is spending time with Chris and hears him thinking that he loves her. J.J. finds out that Natalie got the scholarship and so he’s basically forced to join the decathlon team so she won’t lose it. And it turns out the test problem Mr. Litchfield gave him to solve was courtesy of Dr. King. Jerk! Katie and Steph are sharing a good cry at the lab over Katie dumping Joshua. And Joshua is on a bus leaving town. He’s staring at the engagement ring in its little box and he tries t use his powers to close it when he discovers he no longer has them. Guess Steph’s antidote worked after all.

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