Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Ordinary Family "No Ordinary Future" Review

Sometimes I'd like access to a show's writers room, especially in the event that an episode order's been cut, and the 19th episode becomes the season's penultimate one. Unfortunately, I do not and I can only posit and infer about "No Ordinary Future"--an episode that sought to become HEROES in its nonsensical Stephanie plot, in which the new serum allows her to outrun time itself. "No Ordinary Future" didn't feel particularly urgent in its storytelling. Certainly, nothing happened that would set the stage for a battle between the Powells and Mrs. X/Dr. King. Besides Mrs. X's involvement in Katie's story, the rest of the episode was a stand-alone in which Jim and George tried to solve the murder of a police officer and Steph tried to stop future events from happening.

Stephanie's travels into the future resembled Hiro and Peter' trips into the future in HEROES. The government sought to imprison the super-powered people in both shows. In NOF, the government somehow found out about the Powells' special abilities. The question throughout the story is: why? Stephanie continued to travel into the future despite the growing risks of time-travel to her body. With the help of JJ, though, Stephanie time-traveled to the exact time the rest of the world found out about the Powell family. It turns out, Jim decided to throw a car across the street because the person in the car had aimed a rifle at George. Stephanie simply had to convince her husband to stop the shooter any other way besides throwing the car across the street. Evidently, the propositions difficult for Jim to accept. After all, how else could he stop the shooter? The idea of informing the authorities somehow never entered the conversation even though Stephanie traveled to the future. Anyway, the event that reveals the Powells powers never happen because Jim doesn't throw the car across the street. Stephanie never suffers the effects of her extreme time-traveling. Everything's the same as it was in the beginning of the episode.

If the show received a second season, Stephanie's experience of the future would've happened eventually because superhero shows always introduce the government as villains. I'm once again grateful to ABC that they canceled the series because such a prolonged arc would've only irritated and annoyed me. The story never works in a superhero show yet every show runner uses it. The television industry's full of brilliant storyteller and not one writer knows how to make a show about superheroes interesting without resorting to the age-old 'the government took them captive!' arc. The family had a serious discussion with the children about the importance of keeping their powers a secret which only offers more evidence that Jon Harmon Feldman and his band of writers planned on such a story at some point in the series.

Meanwhile, Frank Cordero returned to the series. If you don't remember him, he and Jim became best friends after Jim saved his life. Cordero received a celebration from the department because he's transferring. Jim and George went and celebrated. Afterwards, three men killed Cordero in a drive-by shooting. As per usual, Jim and George investigate. They uncover a web of police corruption that Cordero was set to expose. The two men assigned to Cordero's case are actually responsible for his death, and key figures in the corruptive business. Jim, naturally, succeeds in catching and stopping the criminals. The story only existed to create tension for the Stephanie story because both stories collided at City Square. As you already know, nothing happened. I appreciate the final act symmetry in both stories but both weren't interesting. The reason is, NOF never actually changes at the end of the hour. If the purpose of the future story was to show what could happen to the Powells then it's a failure but, again, been there and done that.

Mrs. X brought Victoria, the shape-shifting red-headed beauty, back from the dead so she could steal Katie's future child and raise it with her one true love, Sylar II. Obviously, Mrs. X wants the baby because it might possess super powers from the moment of birth. Victoria's only a pawn in Mrs. X's nefarious schemes. Victoria doesn't realize this, and smiles hopefully when Mrs. X tells manipulates her with her desire to be a mother. Mrs. X remains a vague idea of a villain. She behaves and talks like one; however, nothing defines her--even Dr. King has some definition.

Overall, it was another ordinary episode of NOF. I probably wrote that sentence over ten times during the series run. Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer wrote the episode. Milan Cheylov directed it. The episode originally aired on a Saturday night at 10PM.


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.