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Signs of life as we approach the halfway mark.
Again I’m late and again I apologize. The month of November has not been kind to myself or my health. But what it has been kind to is No Ordinary Family. Though this is still nowhere near one of my favorite shows, I’m finding the last few episodes very watchable. Let me know if you feel the same way–I still welcome thoughts from those who want to argue that the show has always been good!
A short photocap of last time, and then we’ll get up to date:
An excellent start: Stephanie’s SEDUCTION face.
Woah, is this No Ordinary Family or the other thing that I usually pay to watch on Tuesday nights?
And hey, wasn’t she dying like five minutes ago?
And then this guy showed us that in addition to being a HUGE dick, he’s also totally racist.
Meanwhile, Daphne continued to drag us back to the days of “Full House” with her completely self-created social problems.
Also, I still don’t fully understand how the Katie’s Blind Date thing worked. How did Will know about JJ’s lying? Doesn’t JJ realize the guy she’s dating isn’t who he says he is?
“Make some trouble. I want to have a larger role than placing evil phone calls from my office.”
“Hey, how is it that I’m even able to continuously impress super-dork Katie? I’m evil. What do we even talk about?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Powell, but until you are presented with a tangible antagonist I have to keep being the worst human being ever.”
AT LEAST UNTIL KARMA STRIKES.
JJ isn’t a doctor, but apparently he plays one on TV.
“How is it even possible we managed to pull this off?”
“I’m really upset you misrepresented yourself to me. Now I’m going to go back to banging the girl I don’t actually love and in fact was minutes away from dumping.”
So after that fairly middle-of-the-road episode, it’s time to turn up the heat!
This week opens with George congratulating Jim on his eighteenth anniversary, because it’s now as though his marriage can vote and have sex. Two socially irresponsible tasks to be avoided at any age, if you ask me. But then a fire at a nearby building causes Jim to spring into action! Yeah, this is what I’m talking about! Superheroics early, superheroics often.
“The real crime here is the poor CGI.”
He rushes in and saves a kid. Hoorah! Then he spots some shady guy in the crowd who quickly moves away. This is more like an inferno of superhero cliches.
Back at Casa Powell, JJ is begging for some computer that Steph denies. Then she reminds them to keep their powers secret when someone named Mrs. Cornbluth comes to visit.
This is definitely what I was picturing.
The kids protest the babysitter, Daphne arguing that if she can operate a car she can operate JJ. The only jokes I can think of are incestuous and probably pedophiliac, so let’s just move on. Jim arrives and excitedly tells Steph of his fireproofing. This news is taken to Katie in the lab, who automatically makes the show better just by being in the scene.
Steph wants to see how much heat her husband can handle (and test his flame-retardancy! ZING!) and Katie wants to talk about boys because science is boring. Just then Jerk Scientist arrives and complains that it sucks being Steph’s lab partner because they don’t work well together. Between Katie’s gossiping and his whining, I’m pretty sure Daphne is causing all parts of this show to resemble a bad 80′s high school movie.
The main characters are all plain as beige towels, but the supporting characters I either love as members of my own family or loath with a passion usually reserved for my exes. Discuss.
At the high school, JJ approaches the normal kids that have been making fun of him (which doesn’t anger me because it’s what I do on a weekly, or lately bimonthly, basis) and proposes they hold their previously canceled poker game at his house. Ho boy, raise your hand if you already know how the next thirty minutes are going to play out.
A young Matthew Fox?
Jim has made Steph a really creepy sculpture of hands clutching at each other, because despite how poorly his character has been fleshed out we’re supposed to remember he’s passionate about art. And then they say goodbye to the kids and leave. So wait, we really don’t get to meet Mrs. Cornbluth?
I definitely have no shortage of these.
George has checked over the episode guide and realized that “arsonist” is the one crime we haven’t had a wave of, so that’s what he wants Jim to tackle tonight. But Jim wants to finally romance his wife instead. But then we see the shady guy from the crowd superheroing some fire and burning down more buildings! So I guess those two guys that Jim beat up last week made up the entirety of that carjacking ring we’re not worried about anymore?
The poker guys show up and Daphne is totally not cool with the plan until she’s promised half of the profits. You’d think after basically forcing JJ to date that guy for her she’d be a little more generous with these things. But she wouldn’t be the Daphne we know and love if that were the case.
Dr. King is speaking with Jerk Scientist, who’s bitching about working with Steph. He’s ordered to spy and refuses, and then Dr. King fires his ass! Who’s skeptical NOW, bitch?
Katie is asked to check in on the kids.
“I need to go play hilariously inept poker with lustful high school boys while you use your powers in a delightfully incongruous way.”
Steph then uses her powers to steal someone’s reservation, which is easily the most evil thing she’s done yet. But then they crack and return the table. HEROES.
BUT THEN. Jim spots the arsonist outside another fire and goes after him! They have an awesome alley fight (though I would have enjoyed more wordplay and fire puns) until Steph clocks him with a pipe. It’s always with the random pipes on this show. And with this show’s writers! Hey-oh!
So now Steph has an adrenaline high and wants to go beat more people up. The crack police force fails to find them behind the corner like two feet away, and so Jim formulates another plan to get the supervillain exposed for what he is.
JJ wins when playing seven card stud, because he can see most of the cards so he can calculate probability, but the switch to five card draw leaves him out and so he calls for Daphne’s mental abilities. She agrees after reading the boys’ minds and finding out they are, in fact, boys.
Jim takes Steph to the lair and this new Superhero Group tries to figure out how to neautralize the fire powers. George echoes the sentiments of America when he wonders aloud why he did not partner with Steph from the beginning.
Jerk Scientist tells Steph he’s been fired and warns her to watch her back. Aaaaand he exits as he arrived, in a burst of awfulness.
In a less hilarious and way more sinister scenario than I had imagined, Katie arrives and her terrifying boyfriend uses his mental suggestions to make the boys leave. Katie, as always, remains adorable.
Even in a suit you can tell that he’s a short-tempered police chief.
At the hospital the Arsonist calls Dr. King and basically extorts him to help rescue him, which I’m sure won’t end with a double-cross murder by the cold-blooded Reverand Camden.
The kids are trying to convince Katie to stay quiet while Scary Murdering Boyfriend Will wanders through the house. He uses his powers to snoop at basically the same speed but much more sinisterly. And then he swipes her science-y notebook!
No Ordinary Family for Dummies.
The gang has a plan to use Steph to distract the cops and then swipe the Arsonist. Then science happens and they take away his powers. Ready…break!
JJ is still trying to bribe Katie when Scary Murderer Boyfriend Will tells Katie he has to go kill someone so they have to cut the date short. Katie asks Daphne to read Will’s mind but it comes up a complete blank, so Daphne just goes ahead and lies and tells Katie that it was indeed just work. Oh, and then that statue got broken. Those poker-playing boys and their shenanigans! So they naturally decide the logical course of action is to break into the school for art supplies.
“It somehow looks even worse than before!”
The Master Plan has been disrupted because Will got there first!
“Between this and getting to date Katie, I’m sort of a badass.”
Thankfully they left a helpful trail of fire to follow, so Steph takes off to see what happened.
JJ explains how he broke into the school using math, and then they’re confronted by a security guard that they give all of JJ’s poker money to as a bribe. Wow, that was such casual corruption.
Steph finds the Arsonist and dodges his fireballs with her speed. Then he freaking TURNS INTO A BALL OF FIRE and they have a high-speed chase that I’m pretty sure blew the entire year’s special effects budget in one shot.
No, no. This is a totally original shot concept.
Then, in a nice reversal of the last fight, Jim shows up to save Steph at the last second. And then, just as Arsonist is about to fry the two, he’s crushed in a (fairly random) pile of sand. Moorels to No Ordinary Family: more epic conflict like that scene, pls.
What a world!
Daphne tells JJ about being blocked by Will. And then Jim and Steph call and tell them they’re on the way home! Time for wackiness!
As Jim and Steph drive it finally hits them that they just watched a mentally unbalanced man suffocate fairly horrifically and worry that he was once like them.
Then there’s the traditional hilarity of grilling the kids and ironically noting how good the statue looks. Oh, No Ordinary Family. You just wouldn’t be the same if your epic clashes between good and evil weren’t followed by dweeby awkwardness.
“We’re both better than this.”
Dr. King meets up with Will in a park and refuses him that weird injection thing. So now he’s going to be “normal again” for awhile. Hmmm. Then Jerk Scientist swoops in and secretly grabs a sample of the hero-ifying liquid! HMMMMM!!!
So overall this episode was much better than previously. I liked the Arsonist and even JJ and Daphne’s antics were semi-interesting. What do you guys think: is this show still too formulaic?