This article may contain spoilers.
In a case of crossed-wires, this episode focused on whether Katie (Autumn Reeser) and George (Romany Malco) are merely the sidekicks in their relationships with Jim (Michael Chiklis) and Steph (Julie Benz).
Prior to becoming super-human, Jim and George were on an equal plateau of friendship; and Katie and Steph were not even friends, but rather just co-workers. So did the discovery of their super-powers change their relationships too such a degree that neither George nor Katie are colleagues, but are instead just sidekicks?
As the episode proved, both George and Katie may act like sidekicks from time to time, but their true role is one of a partner-in-crime. Jim is unable to navigate or get access to information that George can readily provide and Steph would similarly be hindered without Katie’s capable assistance in researching the cause of their abilities and what elements may act as “kryptonite” and nullify their newly acquired abilities. All super-heroes need someone to be wingman.
But wingmen in their world cannot just be arm candy. A super-hero’s wing-man must have special skills of their own and those skills makes them invaluable. After all, it is George’s ability to provide GPS coordinates or safe-landing areas that keeps Jim out of swimming pools and the ability to access police intel and a figure out which location criminals will strike that keeps Jim from accosting the wrong train conductors. It may be funny to see Jim flail about without George’s guidance, but the real lesson is that he needs George’s help. Just like Steph needs Katie’s assistance to watch her back at the lab with Dr. King (Stephen Collins) sniffing around.
For as Dr. Chiles (Reggie Lee) warned Steph as he gave her the vial of potion, “Open your eyes, Dr. Powell. Everything is not as it seems. This evidence will cause you to question everything you know to be true. You will try to convince yourself it is not happening, but it wont matter because the facts will speak for themselves.”
The danger is not at arm’s length any more. It has gotten closer and more intimately involved in the Powells’ daily lives. Sidekicks, partners or simply allies, it is time to rally the troops as there is a war coming. Time to get prepared before Dr. King strikes next.
Ramping up Will a.k.a. Joshua’s (Josh Stewart) presence has made the show much more taut and exciting. No longer is the danger out there; it is now amongst their inner, trusted circle. The fact that no one is really questioning his presence outside of Daphne (Kay Panabaker) makes is all that more alarming and suspenseful.
In addition, even without the injection that Dr. King threw away, Will is still quite powerful. His telekinesis abilities seem stronger than ever and he does not hesitate to use them. Just when we were beginning to wonder if he had a glimmer of a heart of gold because he had not fully informed Dr. King about the extent of the Powells’ abilities, we then saw that the glimmer was not of gold, but of black coal.
There is a darkness inside of him that he keeps carefully concealed. It is the aura of danger and creepiness that Daphne picked up on. Now that Daphne has no recollection of the past few months of her life, will she still sense the dark side of Will? Even if she doesn’t, we have seen it.
So unleashing Will and having him mind-wipe Daphne is electrifying. It is a demonstration of power that even Dr. King may not be aware of. We are left wondering not only how powerful Will is and what he can do, but if actually took Daphne’s ability away, or of that is only temporary. For as he told Daphne, she is special and she is the only one of her family whose ability has not failed or gone on the fritz.
On another note, George had an interesting role to play in this episode. He got to be the hero. But by taking credit for Jim’s handiwork, it caused a bit of a rift between the two previously inseparable friends as Jim wanted to have his efforts appreciated too. It is not fun to be the guy to saves everyone, and no one knows about it. However, as George reminded Jim, “The minute your secret identity loses its secret, you’re in for a whole mess trouble.”
Plus, George’s 15-minutes of fame will quickly expire. For as he will likely soon find out, playing the hero-card more than once could be a problem. It would seem suspicious if George were suddenly to appear at every crime scene to save the day (or take credit for Jim saving the day).
On the flip side, even Jim was a bit overwhelmed by Det. Cordero’s (Guillermo Diaz) effusive gratitude after he discovered it was Jim who pulled him from the burning car. Though it touching when Cordero noted, “You wanted to be anonymous. You’re not some glory hound like your friend St. Cloud. You are a real hero.”
It was also cool that George remembered to wipe Jim’s fingerprints from the lead pipe at the drycleaners. Super-heroes do not like to have to remember the small details that could incriminate themselves or blow their cover.
Finally, it was interesting to see that J.J. (Jimmy Bennett) has begun to feel the weight of being super-smart. It can not only make people wonder whether you are cheating, but it also means J.J. does not relate to his friends. He is now the odd-man-out because his brain is thinking at a level above his social circle. Being a super-hero or a super-human can be lonely unless you can find someone who can be trusted with your secret or who can relate at your level. It was a nice look out how social ostracism runs both ways. If you are not smart enough, you can be shunned, and if you are too smart, you feel like you do not fit in.
What Didn’t Work
By now Katie would have done the typical geek thing and run a full background check on her new beau. The fact that she has not feels less credible and makes her appear too love-sick to notice the inconsistencies in Will’s behavior. As a research scientist, Katie would have sought out more information and zeroed in on the inconsistencies. She would not have swept them under the rug.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“No Ordinary Sidekick” was written by Zack Estrin and Jon Harman Feldman, and directed by Wendey Stranzler. “No Ordinary Family” stars Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Kay Panabaker, Jimmy Bennett, Autumn Reeser, Romany Malco, Stephen Collins, Josh Stewart.
“No Ordinary Family” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.