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No Ordinary Family 1-5: No Ordinary Quake

I’m a California native, and if there is one cliché I hate about my state it is the earthquake. They show up way too frequently on TV. Way more frequently than they actually happen to us. But I didn’t mind at all on tonight’s episode of No Ordinary Family. And why is that? Because they weren’t real earthquakes.

In fact, this was pretty much a perfect episode of the show as far as I am concerned.

The episode starts with the entire Powell family at a drug store. Stephanie is buying a new pair of shoes – again. She seems to be going through them very quickly these days for some reason. Meanwhile, Jim and JJ are looking at cleats for the new football star. Just as it looks like JJ is going to spill the beans about his powers, an earthquake hits. An employee is trapped beneath some debris, and JJ guides Jim to the piece he needs to remove to save her. That immediately makes Stephanie suspicious that JJ just might be hiding something, and she sets about trying to trap him by asking for a urine sample. He gets around it be getting it from a teammate, who takes it from a girlfriend, who happens to be pregnant. Oops! Meanwhile, JJ has helped Katie decode a heavily encrypted file. And that proves to be his undoing when Katie tells Stephanie. She’s mad about the lies that were being told, and even wants him off the team. But JJ stays on the team. After a pre-game talk with Jim, he runs the ball instead of throwing it, trying to be a star in his own right instead of relying on his powers.

Daphne? She gets the predictable, filler story for the episode. She runs into a teacher and a student at a coffee shop across town. She accidentally overhears their thoughts, and it kinda sounds like they are more than teacher/student. But the lines were also very obviously written to lead us astray without truly misleading us. After Daphne turns the teacher in, she learns that the teacher had been dating the student’s mother and they had just broken up. The coffee meeting was a chance for him to say goodbye to the student on good terms.

Stephanie didn’t have much of a storyline of her own this week. Mainly, she was working on cracking JJ. She and Katie did unlock the file, but so far all they’ve found are some detailed drawings of a building.

But back to the earthquakes. Jim’s friend George discovers that the earthquake the family got caught in at the beginning of the episode was weird. It was only felt for a couple of blocks. Through some video footage from another such earthquake, they see someone robbing the drugstore. Jim tracks her down, but she shoots shockwaves out of her hands, knocking him over and she escapes. She shows up at a big reception at Stephanie’s work to confront Stephanie’s boss Dr. King. But some of his goons try to take her away, back to “the dormitory,” which really sounds like a prison for others with powers. She manages to escape in the parking garage, only to be confronted by Jim. She knocks him out again after Jim withstands her first attempts, but then is knocked out herself by The Watcher, the only name I’ve seen so far for the henchman who killed the police officer in episode two. So, the question is, did The Watcher see Jim standing up to her? Does he now know that Jim has powers? Or that Jim knows about people with powers? Because either could mean a direct confrontation is coming soon between the two of them.

I did find it funny that even after last week, where it looked like Jim was giving up on fighting crime, he was right back in the thick of things without so much as a reason why. That’s why I think JJ will still be on the football team next time even though it looked like he was quitting at the end tonight.

As long as I’m nitpicking? That teacher in tonight’s episode didn’t look any older than the students. Seriously, if they had set him up as another high school student, I would have bought it. So I had a bit of a hard time believing he was dating a student’s mother.

But I mentioned this was pretty much a perfect episode. Why do I say that? Outside of Daphne, I felt that many of the storylines were advanced and advanced pretty well. We got a little bit more about Dr. King and his henchman, at least enough to make me more intrigued. JJ’s secret is out. And the villain was someone with superpowers again. Plus I felt that the family was really clicking and developing with real stories and not forced conflict.

The show has been picked up for a full first season, and if this episode is any indication of what’s to come, I’m thrilled. It’s not on next week so ABC can bring us election results. But I’ll be back in two weeks with another episode.

Until then, please visit me at my on-line home, Random Ramblings from Sunny Southern California.

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