Saturday, March 12, 2011

No Ordinary Family 1.17: "No Ordinary Love"

"Your dad stole a girl from me? See I know something's crazy now."

Yes, I’m back to blogging “No Ordinary Family” thanks to many shows going on March hiatus. Overall, I found “No Ordinary Love” to be a rather middling episode, which really isn’t saying much considering “No Ordinary Family” is a rather middling show overall. Maybe it’s that I’ve never been a fan of misunderstanding plots, and this episode was built almost entirely around that trope. I did appreciate that we got an expansion of the mythology. We finally figured out “who watches the watcher,” as it were, meeting the mysterious woman who seems to be Dr. King’s boss. The whole thing suffered somewhat without Joshua, though. He brought a sympathetic element to the whole situation. We could see how Dr. King’s experiments had deeply affected him. In this episode, we get a new convert who is happy and willing to use his new found powers for evil. That can be compelling too, but Joshua provided a needed balance. Here’s hoping he’s back sooner rather than later.

As I’ve already alluded to, the episode opens with Dr. King finding a new recruit. There’s a very dangerous prisoner who is also very sick. The prisoner is going to allow Dr. King to experiment on him, because Dr. King has told him that he can cure him. Dr. King conveniently doesn’t mention that the “cure” will also give him a random superpower and force him to use that superpower to do Dr. King’s bidding. Dr. King agrees to administer the “cure,” but he wants someone new to help with the process. It’s painfully obvious that the “someone new” is Stephanie, sine Dr. King wants to find out more about her powers and also has a really creepy crush on her. Stephanie agrees to it when asked, even though she knows what Dr. King and the experiments are capable of, because she thinks getting on the inside might be the only way to put a stop to it.

In lighter news, the Powells are having a game night. They’ve invited Katie because they know she’s not taking the break-up with Joshua well, and she drives them all a bit nuts. The Powells are saved by the bell, or more specifically, George calling Jim’s cell phone with a tip about a crime in progress. A silent alarm has gone off at a local drug store, and Jim decides to try to stop it. The thief, Jonah, tries to run Jim over when he sees him, but Jim, naturally, being super strong, causes the car to crash instead. George thinks the case will be really easy to prosecute thanks to CCTV footage, but Jim is confused. Why would a seemingly normal family guy rob a drug store and steal, of all things, cough syrup? The only reasonable explanation for stealing certain cold medicines is to make meth. I am not at all fan of whoever discovered this connection, since Sudafed is pretty much the only thing that helps when I have a cold, and now it’s much more difficult to get when I’m sick, but I digress. Anyway, Jonah doesn’t seem like a methhead, so Jim’s convinced there’s another explanation.

A mysterious woman shows up at the police station and tries to convince George to drop the charges against Jonah, but George is not having it. Later that evening, Jim is extremely surprised when George breezily announces he’s dropping the case after all, especially considering how George had been bragging earlier about how it was a slam dunk case. George doesn’t want to talk about the case, though. He wants to talk about the woman he’s going to be going out with. It’s the woman from the police station, and her name is Sophie. George thinks she’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I’m wondering whatever happened to Amanda (Amy Acker). I liked her. George arrives at Sophie’s apartment, and not surprisingly, the first thing she has him do is go steal some cough syrup. She uses a superpower to do it, too.

Meanwhile, in teen land (which, if you forgot, I’m not a fan of), Daphne is still using her Jedi mind trick powers. She plants a suggestion in one of her teachers’ heads to get Christ out of detention. This isn’t the first time Chris has seen Daphne go Jedi, and he’s getting suspicious. He tells Daphne that he’s noticed all of her family members seem to have special abilities, and he’s wondering if she does too. Daphne, in a panic, deals with the situation in the only way she knows how. She Jedi mind tricks Chris and suggests he forget the whole thing and go get dinner instead. The kernel of the thought is still in Chris’ mind though, just waiting to be brought up again. And boy is it brought up. Over. And over. And over. Time and time again, Chris starts to voice his theory, and Daphne Jedi mind tricks him. Constantly redirecting Chris becomes quite exhausting for Daphne. Near the end of the episode, she finally just tells the truth. And it turns out not to be a problem at all. Chris is extremely flattered that she told him her deepest secret. And that’s enough about teen land.

Back to the main plot of this episode, Jim interviews the store clerk from the most recent drug store robbery, and the sketch he produces looks suspiciously like George. Jim confronts George about this, but George insists Jim is being ridiculous. Jim and Stephanie have to meet George’s new woman, Sophie, of course, so they all go on a double date. George is an eager puppy around Sophie, and Jim doesn’t like it. He doesn’t like how much of a hold she has on George, and he confronts George about it. George doesn’t take kindly to the criticism and storms out. Sophie follows him and promises George she’ll make things right. She returns to the restaurant, ostensibly to apologize to Jim and Stephanie, but she ends up working her magic on Jim. This can’t possibly end well.

Soon enough, Jim and George both show up at Sophie’s apartment bearing flowers. They have a confrontation, and Jim throws George clear across the room. Sophie is impressed by Jim’s super strength and figures out she has a new, better errand boy. She gets Jim to steal some MRE bags from a nearby military facility. Jim gets home as the story of the theft is playing on the evening news, and he tries to play it cool with Stephanie so she won’t realize he’s responsible. Before he and Stephanie have much time to talk, Jim receives a phone call from Sophie. He tries to pretend it’s George and tells Stephanie he has to go out for a little while. As he leaves, Daphne reads Jim’s mind and hears him think about going to see Sophie. Daphne alerts her mom, who follows Jim all the way to Sophie’s and sees him go into her apartment and be very close to her.

Stephanie doesn’t stop and think about what’s going on. She just sees her husband cheating, and she throws him out of the house. Sadly, thanks to Sophie’s special power, Jim doesn’t really care. In fact, he thinks it’s for the best. He goes over to George’s house and asks to crash there for a while. Strangely, George doesn’t even remember Sophie. I guess only one person can be under her spell at a time. George goes over to the Powell house and finds a rather upset J.J., who brings him up to speed on what’s been happening. George is very surprised that Jim has managed to steal “his” woman. Together, George and J.J. speculate that Sophie must have super pheromones. A reluctant George takes J.J. along with him on a trip to investigate Sophie’s apartment, and they find materials needed to make a bomb.

We see Sophie waiting by the side of the road as a limo pulls up. A mysterious woman (played by Lucy Lawless) rolls down the window and has a very vague conversation with Sophie. Sophie is getting a package ready to deliver to Dr. King, and she assures the mysterious woman that she has found just the right person to deliver it. Soon enough, we see Jim heading for Global Tech with a threatening-looking backpack which is obviously filled with a bomb. Meanwhile, Stephanie is doing something equally as creepy. She’s injecting the prisoner Dr. King found with the serum. Dr. King is acting creepy, too, telling Stephanie he heard about some family problems. The prisoner has a bad reaction to the serum, and Stephanie leaves the room to get some air. At that moment, she gets a phone call from George. He explains what has happened to Jim and tells Stephanie that Jim is at Global Tech.

Stephanie thinks she can confront Jim and get him out of Sophie’s spell. She thinks reminding him of true love will make him realize how shallow Sophie’s power is. Jim starts to place the bomb anyway, but Stephanie tries her best to remind Jim of what they had. Finally, she decides to kiss him. It does the trick, breaking Jim out of the spell, but Jim’s reaction is the most tame, lame turnaround ever. They hug, and he’s basically like “sorry, I’m glad that’s over with.” Meanwhile, the bomb is still about to go off. Jim picks it up and tosses it into the air right before it explodes. It explodes safely in the sky, harming no one.

The rest of the episode is pretty much devoted to adding twists to the big conspiracy. Sophie talks to the mysterious woman in the limo again, and the mysterious woman says she’s very disappointed in Sophie. Sophie walks to her own car, gets in, and the car blows up. The prisoner, who Stephanie later finds out was actually a murderer on death row, has a meeting with Dr. King. Dr. King wants to find out what power the serum gave the prisoner. Turns out he’s got claws that come out of his fingers. The prisoner agrees to do some work for Dr. King in exchange for keeping his powers and his health. After he leaves Global Tech, the prisoner encounters the mysterious woman and her limo. She wants to recruit him too, and he agrees.

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