'No Ordinary Family' 1x02 Recap: 'No Ordinary Marriage'
October 6th, 2010 1:05pm EDT
The episode opens, and Jim is on the run. He leaps onto the roof of a nearby building and his momentum causes him to skid right off the other side. Thankfully, there's another small ledge beneath that, and he's able to jump safely.
His earpiece rings, and George is on the other line; he chides him on his landing- it must make it difficult to hide a super-human man when he's denting in the pavement all across the city.
Jim wants to spend less time talking about his technique and more time getting directions to the robbery he's apparently on his way to stopping. The cops are still over three minutes away, making Jim the only person close enough to catch them.
The robbers come bursting out of the bank, and shoot a following security guard before climbing into their getaway van. They turn the corner into an alley only to have Jim land in front of them. He prepares to possibly stop the van as it comes driving toward him, but instead of the vehicle crumbling around him like it would in the comics, he just ends up getting run over. By the time he stands back up, the van is already out of sight. Jim is angry with himself for not being able to stop the robbers, but as George says, he's not a superhero yet.
Back at the home, Stephanie is speeding around making lunch as Daphne is finishing her homework, and doesn't hear her mom talking over the sound of her iPod- it turns out earphones are the only thing that keeps her from hearing the thoughts of everyone around her.
Jim notices that even JJ is studying; thanks to his new abilities, he's been actually understanding his schoolwork, and he's obviously proud as he shows his dad the 'A' he got on his last test.
Stephanie is determined to make them a better family, powers or not. She now has time to do the little things, like make the family lunch. She asks Jim to open the jar of mayonnaise, but giving a super-strong guy a tiny glass jar is never a good idea, and the entire thing shatters. Stephanie just smiles and helps him clean it up; when your family becomes the equivalent of the Fantastic Four, you don't really sweat the little things as much.
The kids are heading out the door for school, and Daphne- who had earlier remarked on how weird it was for her mom to be home, let alone making them lunch- refuses hers, saying she'd just pick something up at school. Stephanie is obviously worried about her, but Jim assures her that Daphne is still trying to adjust. It's obvious that Stephanie has though- now that there's time for the little things like taking care of the kids and morning romps in the shower, she is actually happy.
At work, Stephanie's boss, Dr. King is looking forward to seeing her plant research, and they set up a time to meet the next day.
Assistant Katie is just happy to be on the 'in' with Stephanie; she is so curious about what all her powers can do, that she's compiled a list. Stephanie humors her, and listens to her questions about any altering of her genetic makeup, how long the powers will last, and where and how the cause of the biological changes originate from.
Stephanie focuses most on the last question, and tells Katie about the phosphorescence in the water when they crashes. If she's going to be able to understand what happened, she's going to have to get a water sample. Lucky for her, the overenthusiastic Katie already has one on the way.
Jim makes a sketch of one of the robbers from earlier and turns it over to Detective Cho. He tells her than a witness who gave no information came in and gave a description, but Cho tells him that anything they get from a possibly unreliable witness is worthless. There's nothing Jim can say to convince her otherwise, so he finally tells her that he was the witness; while getting cash at the ATM, he was the robbers drive by. Cho remarks on how he's been turning up at a lot of crime scenes lately, and Jim tells her that he's "just trying to do his part."
Stephanie is getting all the can out of all the extra time she now has, and signs up to help with the school fair that weekend. At home, she speedily cleans up around the house, and as she's picking up the dirty laundry, she find the shirt Jim was wearing when he got run over by the van. She confronts Jim about it, who doesn't even bother lying. He had promised her that he wasn't going to be playing hero anymore, and she's upset that he's out risking his life.
They still don't know anything about their powers, and there could be some sort of negative side effects; Jim feels that using his powers to help people is what he's meant to do, "isn't there some part of you that thought 'maybe we were given these powers for a reason'?"
Jim out with George- who had picked up a beaten-up old car on Craigslist- to practice crime-fighting. He's feeling bad about lying to Stephanie about what it is they're doing, but hey- the great good, right?
George backs the car up and floors it into Jim. Once again, Jim gets run over instead of stopping the car. After checking that he's okay, George backs the car up and drive towards Jim again. And again. And again.
Stephanie is venting to Katie about Jim and his crime-fighting. Katie is less than supportive, too psyched about that Jim is "out there on the street and he's kicking ass… Like Batman. You're married to Christian Bale!" Stephanie doesn't want a hero though, she just wants her husband. She doesn't want to worry about wether Jim is bulletproof enough to make it home at night, but all Katie hears is 'he's bulletproof', and her nerd-glee once agains takes over.
Stephanie is anxious to get moving on testing, the more they know about their powers, the more she knows about how safe Jim is (or isn't).
JJ is at the library, going through all the Trigonometry books he can get his hands on. As he reads, the equations light up before his eyes. Daphne is also in the library, the only place where random thoughts are jumping out everywhere. She faintly hears JJ thinking, and follows the sound until she finds him. JJ hasn't told anyone in the family about his new ability, but now he lets Daphne in on his secret. He didn't want to tell their parents though, because when he came home with such good grades, they were so proud; he doesn't want them to stop just because he has a super-brain.
Detective Cho is down at the bank that was robbed to look at their security tapes, but outside, the mysterious bad guy we saw with Dr. King last week - only known as The Watcher- is outside, doing as his name suggests.
Stephanie is planning for the school fair with the rest of the committee, when she gets a call from work. She had forgotten about her meeting with Dr. King about her plant research.
She excuses herself from the committee meeting and begins running to work. She's going so fast that even the people on the street don't notice her, and it's all going fine until she trips over a left-out bike and goes skidding down the street.
Later on, Jim helps her clean up her wounds from the accident, and they notices that she's healing before their eyes. Stephanie believes that her increased metabolism makes everything in her body accelerate, include the healing. She gets up, hoping that Dr. king will still be at the office when she gets there, but Jim sends her off to bed instead. "You had a car accident, without a car." Now that he's been in Stephanie's shoes and been the one watching his souse come home injured, he admits that she was right; they both promise to stop using their powers until they know more about them.
Jim stops by George's place to tell him that he's done with the crime-fighting, and George…does not take it well. As a DA, he sees criminals getting away all the time because the cops can't catch them, but with Geroge's abilities, he can get not only the regular criminals, but also the super-powered ones that the cops would never stand a chance against. If George had Jim's abilities, nothing in the world would stop him from stopping te bad guys; the difference between them though, is George doesn't have a family he needs to think of- Jim does.
The bell rings at school, and JJ is gathering his stuff to leave when his teacher- whose become increasingly suspicious of his new and improved grades- asks to speak with him. He thinks the only way a kid like JJ could do the work he's been doing is because he's been cheating. JJ notices an equation that where three points had been deducted, and does the only thing he can think of to prove he didn't cheat: he shows off. His teacher is still convinced that he's cheating- the math he just explained is at a post-graduate level. He tells JJ that he's going to need to speak to his parents.
Katie comes by the house to see Stephanie; the sample had come in, but it had come to another Dr. S. Powell- one in Flagstaff, Arizona. And normally, they could just send for another sample, but a tropical storm had recently come through the area, and due to that, the water's chemical composition had been altered. If they want that sample, it looks like Stephanie is going to have to go get if from Arizona herself.
Jim receives a call from JJ's teacher about the cheating, and back at home, he sits JJ down to talk. JJ can't believe that Jim believes his teacher over him, but after having seen the work on the test, he doesn't know how JJ could have done it himself. He understands that JJ must be feeling left out- everyone seems to have gotten a new ability but him. JJ is hurt that his dad thinks he's too stupid to have done the work on his own, and storms off. Jim calls Stephanie, whose made it to Flagstaff. She's slightly evasive when Jim asks where she is, but when he presses it, she tells him she's 'about five hundred miles from the drug store around the corner'.
Jim is less that pleased, and when she gets home, they argue over their use of the powers.
The next morning, Jim and Stephanie apologize to each other, and Jim informs the kids that they are going to start spending some time together as a family, starting with going to the school fair. The kids are less than enthusiastic, but Jim promises that they'll have the time of their lives. "You've said that before- right before our plane crashed." JJ retorts.
George comes over as they're getting ready to go; he apologizes to Jim for getting so upset, and when Jim is out of sight, he studies the sketch of the robber that Jim's left on his desk.
At the police station, The Watcher comes to talk to Cho about the Obama Mask robber from last week. He says that they had been friends, and asks if she had noticed anything usual about him. Cho hesitates, and then tells him she doesn't have time to talk, but he can file a grievance with the captain.
The Powells are at the fair, and everyone seems to be having a great time, thanks to all of Stephanie's hard work. When JJ wins at ring toss, Daphne pulls him aside and tells him that he's going to have to work harder at fitting in if he plans on keeping his powers a secret. He takes her advice; standing out is not something you want to do when you have something to hide.
Daphne is once again overwhelmed with the thoughts floating around her, and when Stephanie notices her beginning to freak out, she rushed to her daughter's side. She takes Daphne on the ferris wheel, getting up above the crowd seems to help her hear less. Stephanie tells her that when she's running, the thing that help her concentrate the most is to focus on the one thing that matters most. She has Daphne give it a try, and she's able to finally get some relief, only hearing the thoughts she wants to.
George is in a bank handing out copies of Jim's sketch when he seems three men preparing for a robbery. They come bursting into the bank, and he manages to hide around the corner before they see him.
He calls Jim at the fair, and Stephanie tells Jim he has to go help him. The robbers take George hostage, and as they begin to speed off, Jim jumps in front of the van. As before, he gets run over, but this time he manages to get right back on his feet and hold the onto the back of the van, keeping it from going any further. He flips the van on its side and rescues George, but not before the cops show up.
Detective Cho shows up at the house to confront Jim- she had been at the robbery scene and witnessed him running off. That, along with all the other crime scenes that he had been at recently has her suspicious, and she threatens to arrest him if he doesn't tell her what's going on. He tries to explain, but sometimes a little demonstration can do far more than words, so he lifts up the rear of the family's SUV one-handed. Cho is understandable shaken, and even after Jim tells her that other people also have powers- including the bad guys- she informs Jim that if he shows up at another crime scene, she'll arrest him.
Inside, Stephanie tells him that she can't stop him from doing what he needs to do; for so long he's been lost and unhappy, and if this is what he needs, she'll try to go along with it, for now. She doesn't trust their abilities and plans on working to find a cure. When she does, she's going to make him give up the powers.
Daphne walks through the halls of school once again, the voices everywhere. She tries the focus like her mom taught her, and soon, all she hears is the regular bustle of a busy school, no thoughts.
JJ gets his test back, and this time he's gotten B-. His teacher still thinks he's a cheater, even if he doesn't know how he's doing it.
Stephanie finally gets to take a look at her water sample, but when she does, she finds that there is nothing special about it, it's just water. If that's the case, than where did they get their powers?
Cho comes home to find The Watcher inside, she draws her gun, but the man is apparently telekinetic, and it flies out of her hands. With a flick of his hand, Cho is floating in the air, struggling to breath. The Watcher gets her to admit that she knew that his friend the robber had been special. She tells him no-one else knew about his abilities, and he releases her. As she falls to the ground, gasping for air, the gun flies towards her. He leaves the apartment and calls Dr. King. "It's done" he tells him. In the apartment, the gun fires, and Cho is dead.
So far, 'No Ordinary Family' is definitely on it's way to becoming one of my favorite new shows of the season. I'm very curious to see what Dr. King's end-game is, and I'm just as curious to see if we ever find out how the Powells got their abilities.
The thing that really makes the show enjoyable for me is that even though it's a show about superhuman people, the heart of the story focuses on the Powells and their struggle to stay close as a family. Without that heart, this would become just another 'Heroes', which would be unfortunate for everyone. I can't wait to see how the show progresses throughout the season.
Photo Credits: All photos © American Broadcasting Companies, Inc