Let’s just get this over with.
Jim is prowling around in some park wearing a hoodie while George berates him for not also wearing glasses and a fake mustache to protect his identity. There’s some playful bald jokes that might have been funny a few weeks ago, but quite frankly all attempts at superhero levity on this show have now officially overstayed their welcome.
George contradicts me (slightly) by reminding Jim that he’s at the only place in the city where one can get poison ivy, crack, and STDs at the same time. Heh. OK, make me laugh like that for the next hour and then we’ll talk, show.
Suddenly Jim hears a woman screaming! It must be 8:00 on a Tuesday! He jumps and, after a standard wacky pratfall landing, confronts some dude stealing a woman’s purse! But then before Jim even has the chance to screw this one up, some other dude shoots the first dude! Dude. The shooter takes off and despite Jim’s best efforts (he takes, like, two steps in that guy’s direction) gets away. After presumably just leaving the assaulted woman to roll around in the dirt, Jim drops off the wounded mugger at the hospital with a note pinned to his chest like a first-grader’s milk money.
The case is airtight.
Back at home, Steph uses super speed to put away dishes. Because I sound like a dumbass recapping things like that, just assume that whenever a character is present but not directly advancing the plot (so 98% of the episode) he or she is using a superpower for a wacky mundane purpose, OK? He mentions that he’s taking JJ camping this weekend as a reward for his good grades and Daphne reminds us just how awful she is by complaining she’s being excluded and also mocking time with parents as a reward all in the same breath. Why do we like ANYONE in this family, again?
The story comes on the news about the shot mugger. JJ gets excited / Steph gets angry (and bitches to Katie) about Jim fighting crime. That was one sentence, but it took like five minutes to happen.
Steph thinks that someone broke into her lab! What sort of devious person could possibly…
Well, well, well. We meet again.
So now they’ve been assigned as lab partners. Oh, man, it’s freshman bio all over again! What a drag, man. She should skip seventh period with Katie and smoke under the bleachers.
Speak of the Devil.
Then the genre-confused No Ordinary Family has ANOTHER identity crisis, and suddenly we’re watching One Tree Hill or something and Daphne and her friends are gossiping about some party but they don’t know where it is. And the cashier took some money from the register. But then Daphne, reading his mind, suddenly remembers she has telepathy. SERIOUSLY? Why do we have to go through this EVERY week? Superpowers aren’t just something you forget that you have. It’s not like a weird bruise on your leg or herpes.
Jim is complaining to George that no one wants to investigate the guy that shot the mugger. Yeah, I can understand why he’s so opposed to pragmatism and tangible results. His method of crime-fighting traditionally takes longer than the Senate passing a bill into law.
They have a fight because George correctly reminds him that he is also a vigilante but this guy is just better. Word, George.
Anyone else find it odd there’s been zero investigation into Detective Cho’s murder?
JJ has the exact same conversation about his grades with that douche teacher that he had in the last two episodes. In fact, I’m not convinced that scene hasn’t just been spliced into each episode. The only difference is that this time it’s a boy who is all over JJ for homework help.
Coincidentally, he only goes for Jews.
Jim randomly decides he needs to ruin JJ’s life and cancel the camping trip. Again, I say, SERIOUSLY? Because you feel slightly unnerved by a vigilante who shoots bad guys? You sir are both a terrible father and a terrible superhero. But while he’s on the phone, JJ is watching some guys play football and makes a discovery. He’s gay? No, his intelligence makes it really easy for him to visualize passing and stuff. And he might be gay.
Stay in school, kids.
So he tells Jim and Steph and Jim continues his father-of-the-year campaign by telling JJ he’ll never make it. “Football? Really?” he asks. Man. Worst protagonist ever.
George gets a name for Jim based on his sketch and he’s some guy that also killed the guy that shot his son. All judgments on plot and general suckiness of this show aside, making Jim a sketch artist was a very clever strategy on the part of the writers.
JJ gives some awful speech to the football coach/history teacher (punctuated by the classic Desperate Hand-flailing from any Drama A class) and they make a deal: if he aces his midterm he can try out. This is not in any way exciting for us, the viewer, but as long as JJ is having a good time, I suppose.
Jim and George are staking out the bar and George urges Jim to go talk to the possible suspect. And to make it as creepy as possible, he says to think of it like a blind date. Jim strikes up a conversation about football and his son and the suspect says something dramatic about being his son’s hero and then walks out. Nice going there, Jimbo.
Man, what are you actually GOOD at?
Steph discovers that whatever is in her plant is the same thing in their new blood samples. You’re about four episodes too late to make us care about this, ABC.
Daphne walks over to some random girls and introduces herself, then reads their minds to get the party location. OH MY GOD I WANT TO SHOVE AN ICE PICK INTO MY BRAIN.
Jim is at the park and there’s another shooting. Surprise surprise, Jim fails to stop it. And AGAIN he doesn’t even run after the shooter. And this time it’s even more awful because some random passersby (just out for a stroll in the worst part of the city) think Jim did it. No, no, he’s far too inept for something like that!
The couple comes in the next day to give their descriptions of the perp. It must be every sketch-artists’ worst nightmare!
It’s SKETCH comedy! HAHAHAHAHAHA
JJ is trying out for football. Hilarity about his shortness ensues.
Skeptical guy is looking at some of Steph’s files and accuses her of hiding something, but then it turns out he’s just referring to some other random study Steph was consulting. He vaguely threatens her with something about research? Or something. And continues to look skeptical.
There’s more hilarity with Jim sketching.
JJ gets his tryout and does really well because of his knowledge of math. Kids, on a show with super-jumping, telepathy, and an evil Rev. Camden, this is the biggest stretch of reality thus far. So now, because he threw one good pass, he’s on the team.
This officially tops Skeptical Guy as my favorite facial expression ever.
Daphne tells his he’s crazy but JJ defends that anyone can play football. What a delightful message for tonight’s Very Special Episode. This, however, has also led to a parent-teacher meeting for his sudden success. The math teacher tells them JJ must be on drugs, which greatly angers Jim.
“Honey, please, let the women talk. You’re too incompetent and he’s way too much of a douche.”
Because the other message tonight is that success should always make you suspicious, they tell Jim and Steph that JJ must be keeping some secret. They confront JJ with the possibility that he actually does have powers that are helping him, which for some reason causes JJ to freak out even though that’s exactly what’s happening. JJ says his only power is that he believes in himself. Raise your hand if you’d like to help me hunt down whoever wrote tonight’s No Ordinary Family.
Oh, and Jim and Steph argue some more about vigilante justice. That’s something else you should assume is always happening unless I say otherwise.
Jim’s new boss is suspicious that the guy in the sketch looks like Jim, but George interrupts and says they should be looking for the other guy that he looked up. They get permission to at least bring the guy in for a lineup. Except then he doesn’t get picked, so he walks. But he sees Jim and remembers him from the bar, so there’s that little bit of dramatic foreshadowing for later.
So over on Gossip Girl, Daphne shows up at the Cool Kidz party and sees JJ there! She gets pissed and tells him that this is another secret of his that she has to keep (uh, you’re there too, bitch). JJ reminds her that she used her powers to get here too and then runs away, and then that Mean Girl blond comes over and tells Daphne to leave. Not that I would ever defend throwing Daphne out of a party, but in my experience if she’s still sober enough to remember who she invited then in her party is a total failure.
Random Jock #4 comes over to tell them that they’re out of beer, and Daphne says she can get more. Please don’t tell me she’s going to try and extort that random clerk.
Oh yeah, this can’t miss.
As predicted, he tells her she has no evidence and calls the cops because she’s underage and trying to buy alcohol. #1: Would they really call the cops? I thought they just told you to beat it. But again, only in my personal experience. #2: Why the hell does she just stand there and wait for the police? Run! He has no idea who you are! Daphne, I want to like you as a hard-partying bitch, but you make it so hard.
Jim and Steph yell at her at home, and Daphne plays the “I just used my powers to get people to like me” card. And JJ steps in and defends her, confessing to being at the party also. Why did that warrant a dramatic commercial break? WHERE THE HELL IS THE SINISTER DR. KING TO SPICE THIS UP?
Katie calls and tells Steph that that other doctor from the other survey was doing great work and then suddenly disappeared, and Katie did a bunch of research and learned he was dead. I can’t believe we have to wade through twenty minutes of JJ playing football to get to this stuff.
Jim confronts his best friend the shooting suspect in yet another bar and tells him to stop. But the guy (a much better actor than any of our principle cast) tells a very relevant story about being away from his son too often and indirectly causing his death. And now it’s all so clear! Jim should trust and spend more time with his kids! Family is the answer to all life’s problems! ABC should cancel this show!
One can only hope, newspaper headline. One can only hope.
So Jim tells his family that he basically does the same thing as Daphne and abuses his powers for personal gain, and then announces that they all need to be like JJ and work harder to be a better person, even with no superpowers. And JJ just sits there! Oh, the irony. Jim concludes that they’re all going to JJ’s football game. What a dramatic episode climax.
Some guy gets hurt so JJ goes in (and isn’t that how it always goes?) and as he rushes in we get a weird musical montage thing of him playing and Mr. Vigilante getting killed in a weird sting operation. But then JJ feels oh-so-guilty.
Where is any of this going?