This article may contain spoilers.
As the allure of their unique abilities beckons, the Powells find that there are distinct downsides as well: Jim (Michael Chiklis) may be super strong, but he cannot stop a speeding car; Steph (Julie Benz) is super fast, but can still have an accident; Danielle (Kay Panabaker) can read minds, but cannot figure out how to turn off the steady stream of consciousness; and J.J.’s (Jimmy Bennett) super brain got him accused of cheating.
Having abilities is fun, cool and all, but not when those abilities have blind-sides or open each of them up to a whole new world of problems they had not considered before.
In addition, Steph is worried that their abilities will come at a price. They may all be ticking time-bombs if their bodies cannot handle the powers they suddenly have.
Yet, as they discovered, it is not so easy to stop using their new-found abilities either. The temptation to use their abilities to make their everyday lives easier and to feel like they are “special” is addictive. Jim wants to be a crime-fighter and feel like he matters. Steph wants to be a super-mom and super-employee all at once. J.J. wants to be seen as a smart kid and not the dumb one in the family. However, Danielle is perhaps the only one who would willingly give up her powers if she could — but turning off her telepathic abilities is not as easy as one would expect.
So as the Powells debated whether how they would live with their new abilities, they have not quite realized that their special cocoon may be a bit more vulnerable than they expect with Watcher (Josh Stewart) sniffing around to make sure that no one knows about those like him. If he was willing to so easily kill Detective Cho (Christina Chang), then imagine what he could do to the Powell family? With great power comes great responsibility … and even greater danger.
Each of the scenes with Jim and George (Romany Malco) playing superhero in training is a pure delight. Their child-like glee at being super-heroes trying to fight crime is infectious. It should have not been so fun watching Jim get run over time and time again but because we were invited to play along with them, it was.
Not to be out-done by the boys, Katie (Autumn Reeser) and Stephs bonding is also quite fun. Plus, Katies enthusiasm rivals Georges and her self-appointed best side-kick ever tag was adorable. Her incredulous, “He’s also bullet-proof?! was perfectly done as well. It is pretty cool that the Powells may not be limited to just one ability, and that they may have a combination of abilities.
It was also fascinating watching Steph and Katie as they investigated what may have caused the abilities — particularly the discovery that the Amazonian phosphorescent water was not the trigger. Which begs the question, as Steph noted: if it was not the water, then what in the world happened to them?
Focusing on the positive and heedless of the potential side-effects and danger, Jim pointed out that they need to look past the science and fear, maybe we were given these gifts for a reason.” Were the Powell family specifically targeted by some as yet unknown person or entity? Was it an accident? Or have they been blessed for some unknown reason?
Regardless, they are not the only ones that have been so gifted. As George reminded Jim, there are others who can teleport and do who knows what. It is essential that Jim continue practicing his crime fighting skills so they are prepared for just such an encounter. They may not be looking for trouble — but trouble is undoubtedly going to find them. Especially as George astutely noted, “If the cops can’t catch regular bad guys, how are they supposed to catch super bad guys?” Whether they choose to or not, crime-fighting may just be what they need to do to survive.
Finally, J.J. may not yet have all the fun in exploring his new ability yet, but he did get in the best line when responding to Jims statement “Trust me. We’re going to have the time of our lives, and J.J. retorted, “You said that before — right before our plane crashed.”
What Didn’t Work
If Jim and Steph have such good friends, it would only make sense that their teenage children would have friends too. J.J. cannot be a loner and it is high time that Danielle sought out a friend or two to help her cope with her abilities. These cannot be the two friendless teens in high school. It is high time to get them some friends to hang out with.
Also, it is a shame that Watcher killed Detective Cho so quickly. She might have been just the ally that Jim and George needed to ratchet up their crime-fighting skills.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“No Ordinary Marriage” was written Jon Harmon Feldman and Ali Adler, directed by David Semel. “No Ordinary Family” stars Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Kay Panabaker, Jimmy Bennett, Autumn Reeser, Romany Malco, and Stephen Collins.
“No Ordinary Family” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.