Tonight's No Ordinary Family, titled "No Ordinary Quake," felt like two entirely episodes. The first half was awful but the second half engaged me. The narrative moved forward. The characters were more likable and less annoying (in the second half). With November sweeps only two weeks away, it makes sense that the show quit re-telling the same character stories every week and decided to actually move forward in the story.
The show introduced its first non-Powell-with-superpowers character and actually gave the character depth or, at least, as much depth No Ordinary Family will give a character, which isn't much; however, beggars can't be choosers. Rebecca, the new character, went around to various places and created earthquakes because of a vendetta she has with Dr. King. Dr. King locked her up in a cell because of her superpowers. Anyway, Rebecca has trust issues because she was locked in a closet. She also wants Dr. King to take her abilities away because she wants to be normal. Unfortunately, Sylar 2.0 arrives as she tries to kill Jim (again she doesn't trust people though Jim wants to help her). Presumably, she's dragged back to her cell.
The Powells, meanwhile, carry their own individual secrets--except for Daphne. Stephanie grows more curious about her son's possible abilities after he saves the day at the store, when the earthquake hit and nearly killed someone. She asks him to urinate in a cup for testing. The urination in the cup is a waste of time. She eventually finds out from Katie that her son lied about his abilities. Stephanie flips out and bans him from playing football because she considers his knowledge of the game cheating. Jim doesn't tear into his son because he hasn't told his wife that other people with superpowers exist. JJ feels hurt because his parents want him to return to the person he was pre-powers. By episode's end, each secret comes out. Jim tells JJ that he's always been special, that the powers don't his son special. Jim confesses that other superpowered people exist to his wife, and Stephanie tells her husband that she's researched the man who specialized in chromosome mutation. JJ even gets to remain on the football team.
Meanwhile, Daphne thinks her classmate and teacher are having an affair. She reads both minds and draws a conclusion based on vague sentences and statements. Stephanie advises her daughter to tell someone about this. Daphne does. Of course, she was wrong about the entire situation. Daphne ruined the reputation of her classmate and teacher. Blah. This entire story fell flat on its face.
No Ordinary Family is slowly treading into Heroes territory. The pilot of this series featured characters who were delighted and excited by their abilities. The series had the potential to make superpowers fun. Unfortunately, the characters have been miserable with their powers. The family argues more than ever. It is apparent that Dr. King is HRG 2.0 with his own secret facility where he imprisons people with powers. The difference between Heroes and No Ordinary Family is that Heroes had a fantastic beginning and then the show became terrible. No Ordinary Family has not had a fantastic beginning.
The series just received a full season--22 episodes. I'll probably continue writing about it though the reviews might become progressively shorter because the show is very simple in theme.
Some other thoughts:
-I hope the writers abandon the procedural aspect of the show. Whenever Jim is fighting crime, it's going to be terrible.
-The end of tonight's episode indicated the football storyline is done; however, the previews indicated that it isn't. It should be dropped because the actor who portrays JJ is way too small and skinny to play on a varsity football team.
-None of the characters are exactly memorable but Daphne is about to join the ranks of the worst characters in TV history.
-Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer wrote the episode. Timothy Busfield directed it.
SCREENPLAY OF THE DAY
Smallville--"Solitude"--Written By Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer--http://leethomson.myzen.co.uk/Smallville/Smallville_5x08_-_Solitude.pdf
THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK