No Ordinary Family 1-13: No Ordinary Detention

Feeling trapped? Okay, so I’m not either, but the Powells managed to find themselves in three different lock down type situations. (Okay, so I’m stretching here with the kids. Just work with me.)

After an opening scene where the family is too busy for breakfast, they agree to eat dinner together that night and go on their ways. Who knew what an eventful day each of them would have.

Jim, for example, finds out that there is an internal affairs investigator, Rachel, trying to find out which cop is going rouge and taking down criminals vigilante style. She wants to stop him before the department gets sued. Right on cue, the latest group of villains overpowers their captors and takes the police department hostage. Jim and George were in the bathroom when it happened, so Jim goes through the air duct and George surrenders himself so they can take out the captors Die Hard style. I’ve never seen the movie, but I still caught many of the references. Rachel and the lead criminal both figure out that Jim is there, so they lure him out just as the captors’ demands are met. Jim and Rachel both get taken as shields. At the last second, they shoot Jim, but he was smart enough to put on a bullet proof vest to cover up the fact that he doesn’t get hurt by bullets. As a result, he still manages to save the day. And in the weak ending of the piece, Rachel figures out that Jim is the person she was looking for, but she lets him go because he’s a hero. I mean, please, can we have one of these plots actually hold some consequences from week to week?

Over to Stephanie. She gets locked down at work just as Katie and a very sick “Joshua” show up. Joshua is finally going through his withdrawals, and he’s hoping to keep it secret, but Katie wants Stephanie to take a look at him. Most of the staff is at a conference; the only other person around is HR VP Victoria, aka the shape shifter. She’s the one who triggers the alarm. Early on, she manages to separate Katie and then return to the group as Katie. Stephanie uses her fast powers around here, but “Katie” is only suspicious. Then the real Katie shows up, and Stephanie must try to figure out which one is which. Just as she does, Victoria knocks Stephanie out and prepares to kill the real Katie. There’s been a vial of the serum around that Joshua refused to take because he wants to get through his “detox.” But with Katie’s life in danger, he injects himself and then throws Victoria through a window into a conference room. Naturally, she gets up while no one is looking and leaves, meaning she’ll be back to terrify another day. Finally, Joshua comes clean about the serum and how it gives him powers, but he says he is trying to give all that up for Katie. For once, I actually believe the story he’s telling her. But we’ll see if he can actually keep it up or not.

Finally, we come to Daphne and JJ. Daphne gets detention for talking to Chris (the almost delinquent from last week) during class and JJ and on again off again girlfriend Natalie get detention for texting during class. The foursome are joined by popular girl Bailey, the girl that Daphne defeated to become student body president. What Bailey did to get there is never quite make clear to us. Natalie breaks up with JJ, and then JJ and Chris decide to roam the school for a while. When they come back, we get a game of truth or dare where everyone but Bailey takes a turn. Over the course of the game, we learn that Chris has been arrested for driving without a license, but only to keep his overly drunk father from driving. That experience lead to an accident that most likely left his father paralyzed. We also learn that Natalie is a foster child who thinks her only hope of making a good life for herself is to study hard and get a scholarship to a good college. When it is over, JJ tries to get back together with Natalie, but she walks away from him. That’s when Bailey expresses her interest.

For the final scene, the entire family is home gathered around the table for that promised dinner. Jim is just starting to tell the story of his day as we fade out.

The only thing that really bugged me tonight was Rachel suddenly changing her mind and not turning Jim in. The way she’d been gunning for him all along, this again felt like the plotting cheats they’ve used all season long to write themselves out of corners. I really wish they’d step up their game and have our characters face consequences or have real saves not plot hole saves.

And I said this episode didn’t bother me that much.

Honestly, I thought this was a great way to show off the characters. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I love the Joshua/Katie relationship. Instead of rooting for them to break up like I was a few weeks ago, I’m rooting for them to stay together. Likewise, I like JJ with Natalie. Chris I could take or leave, although if he sticks around for another episode or two, I might grow to like him.

The big question is, what if anything does Victoria know and will Joshua spill more of the beans on Dr. King. This could be something that breaks the entire underlying plot wide open. Odds are, it will just be buried again and we’ll deal with some other kind of plot development next time.

Looks like our next episode isn’t for another three weeks. Hope the time between now and then is anything but ordinary.

And if you miss my writing, take a look at my new reviews blog to find links to the many reviews I’ve written.

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