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No Ordinary Family 1-9: No Ordinary Anniversary

For the first time, we had two A stories in tonight’s episode, with just a little bit thrown in related to the ongoing story of the season. Both were rather predictable, but they were better than last week’s.

Jim and Stephanie are celebrating their 18th anniversary just as a serial arsonist hits town. Jim has identified him at the scene of the last fire, but he is trying to take a night off to spend with Stephanie. In fact, they intend to spend the night alone away from the kids. Their dinner plans go wrong, so they wind up eating at a hot dog stand, right next to the scene of the next fire. That’s when Jim finds out they are fighting no ordinary arsonist. (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist). Yep, this is a super powered man who can turn his body into fire. Stephanie gets into the act when she whacks the arsonist over the head with a pipe, causing the guy to be arrested. But Jim starts to fear that when the man wakes up in the hospital, he’ll set it on fire to escape, dooming all the patients inside. So Stephanie sets about concocting something to neutralize, possibly even take away permanently, his powers. Before they can break him out to use it on him, he escapes. They track him to a warehouse, where a big confrontation leads to him accidentally getting a huge pile of sand dumped on him before he can kill Jim and Stephanie. They decide to return home, and Stephanie decides that, even though she enjoyed the crime fighting, she should give it up so something doesn’t happen to both of them.

Meanwhile, Daphne and JJ have convinced their parents to leave them home alone over night. When some older guys at school start picking on him before talking about trying to set up a poker night, JJ decides to invite them over. He can get revenge and earn some money toward the super fast computer he wants to buy. At first he’s winning, but they switch games to something where he can’t count cards, so he gets Daphne involved reading minds. Everything is going well until Katie and “Will” (aka The Watcher) show up to check on them. Everyone leaves, and Will goes off to search and see what Stephanie knows about people with super powers. He finds the journal where Stephanie has been taking notes on the family. Fortunately, she’s been using code, so Will doesn’t know for sure who she’s talking about. I bet he suspects, however, when Daphne tries to read his mind after he is called into work, thereby ending his date with Katie before it even begins.

And the work Will is called in to do? Break the arsonist out of police custody. Yes, the arsonist is one of Dr. King’s guys. I think he saw Jim freeing the police officers from their wrecked car afterward, too, but if he did, he’s keeping quiet about it.

But back to the kids. After everyone has left (with a promise from Katie to keep the party quiet), they discover that the sculpture that Jim had made Stephanie for their anniversary is broken. JJ realizes he can fix it, but he needs supplies from the art department at school. They break in, only to have to use their poker winnings to pay off the night guard. (I mean, really, how did the kids expect to explain their sudden influx of cash to their parents?) As they are just finishing putting it together, they get a call that Mom and Dad are coming back that night after all. They rush home, where they manage to make them think it was just a night, quiet night at home.

Now, in my previous recaps, I haven’t mentioned Dr. Chiles. He is supposed to be Stephanie’s research partner, but since he usually walks in and Stephanie stone walls him, I hadn’t found him worth mentioning. This week, he actually had the B story. Since he wasn’t willing to spy on Stephanie for Dr. King, Dr. King fired him. Naturally, he was quite bitter about that.

Once again, the final scene proved most interesting. Will and Dr. King met on a park bench. Will apologized for letting the arsonist die. And as punishment, Dr. King threw out Will’s next vile of the green liquid that gives him his powers, telling him that some time ordinary would remind him to not mess up again. Both men get up and walk away, but then someone walks up and wipes some of that green liquid up with a handkerchief. The camera pans up so we can see it is…Dr. Chiles.

So, it looks like Dr. Chiles is going to get something major to do, at least for one or two more episodes. If he actually goes to Stephanie and tells her about that substance, that could make things very interesting. Or maybe he’ll spend some time trying it out on himself. Meanwhile, I think Will is getting enough pieces to know that Stephanie knows something about people with powers. I don’t know if he knows all the Powell’s have powers, but he’s got to suspect. How quickly will he turn them into Dr. King, and what will be the result when he does? Poor Katie is going to get her heart broken either way this story turns out. I feel very sorry for her already.

How about you?  What did you think was the most interesting development from this week’s episode?

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