No Ordinary Family, Season 1 – No Ordinary Proposal – Episode review

It’s generally agreed that No Ordinary Family is showing signs of improvement in recent episodes, and No Ordinary Proposal seems to confirm that. The general story arc for this first season seems to be running at a decent pace now, and the characters themselves seem to be more settled in their powers. 

No Ordinary Proposal sees Jim Powell accidentally injure a man when he deflects a bullet through a window. I’ve seen a variation of this story in a Superman comic once, when a hyper-conservative Daily Planet journalist blamed the hero when a bullet passed straight through him and hit a bystander. (He was going through a powers crisis at the time). The notion however was that Superman was a menace and dangerous to the public.

And that’s where Jim finds himself – too afraid to use the full extent of his powers to fight tonight’s bad guy. Who just happens to be Daphne’s boyfriend Chris’ father.

That’s right – what happens is Chris goes along to an engagement party at Casa Powell and overhears the adults talking about the healing powers of the serum Stephanie keeps carelessly in an unlocked drawer. With a crippled father to care for, Chris takes it home, hoping it’ll cure his father. It does. And then some. Daddy Criminal realises he can simply punch through ATM machines and make withdrawals by the fistful.

Reality check #1: I thought those ATMs came with a special dye to ‘ruin’ the cash and mark the thief in the event of the machine being broken into. I’ve heard of instances where ATMs have been smashed up by diggers. And also – no CCTV cameras anywhere near that bank? Oh, that’s right, he was wearing a helmet.

With Chris and his father we get two quite topical stories rolled into one – how teenagers often end up responsible for their incapactitated parents and a touch on domestic violence when his father throws Chris through a window.

Jim Powell quickly works out who the culprit is (after rightly accusing Chris of the theft) and tries to apprehend Roy. The first time doesn’t go so well and Jim gets thrown through a wall. But George teaches him a few sparring tricks to wear Roy out next time – and by wearing him out, reducing the effects of the serum until he’s normal again. Which leads quite nicely into a battle royale in an underground car park.

Reality check #2: How was Roy Minor going to explain punching into an ATM without mentioning the powers to the police? And presumably he’d end up crippled after the serum wore off? How does a cripple rob a bank?

In some weirdly dull scenes, JJ gets blackmailed into joining an academic decathalon by his teacher. Said teacher then turns out to be in league with Evil Dr King. Okaaayyyy…

And in some heartbreaking scenes (if you’re really invested in No Ordinary Family), Katie gets engaged to Joshua, then finds out via Stephanie that Joshua’s modified her and Daphne’s memories. It seems to be too creepy a thing to just ‘get over’, so she calls off the engagement and sends her super-powered fiancee packing.

Except he’s no longer super-powered! Stephanie’s antidote starts to work and we see Joshua leaving town, unable to use his telekinesis to close the box on the engagement ring. Will they ever find out that their antidote is a success? Probably…

No Ordinary Family is starting to make some strides towards having a fairly passable first season story. It has – as Michael Chiklis recently pointed out – been too slow to get into its stride, but the show is steadily improving. Certainly a lot more than fellow supe-drama The Cape. And I hear Lucy Lawless is due to make an appearance as a villain shortly as well….

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