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No Ordinary Family: Redefining the "Nuclear" Family


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#1051

torgoman

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Posted Apr 8, 2011 @ 1:52 AM

King's not quite the evil genius we thought if he didn't keep his own private trilsettum reserve, given that he needs it to friggin' live.


Since he was showing signs of ill health, it could be that he had developed a new strand of trilsettum, one with three of the Powells' powers (wouldn't need JJ's since he's already a genius). He was waiting for enough of the old serum to run through his system before injecting himself with the new batch which might have been in another lab. One that would need a key card to enter. Like the one that Helen had taken from him.

Also, wasn't he fired? So what is he still doing in his office? And alive, given Mrs. X's penchant for killing her disappointing employees?


Seeing he was ill, maybe she thought it was only a matter of time, so why bother when there were more important fish to fry. Could be he was in his office trying to figure out a way to get to the new trilsettum formula without a key card because if he leaves the office he'll have to leave the building and then he's really locked out. Ah, but there comes Jim and Steph, and he seizes on an opportunity.....

How crazy is it that King is the one to suggest that the Powells work together as a team?


On second viewing, it becomes apparent how subtly he's manipulating the Powells. Notice earlier in the office he tells Jim and Steph that he tried to "protect" JJ from Helen. She's the bad one. He's just a dying man..cough...cough.... Ah, King, you manipulative bastard, you. Got them to create a diversion for you.

Haven't at least a couple of non-genius supers managed to escape King's facility?


Yes, but what evil genius admits to making mistakes? The way I fanwanked it is that all trilsettum guinea pigs that proved to be unstable or too dangerous were placed in the facility. Teleportation Guy from the second episode was being held deep underground in the facility. But perhaps because he remembered the X-Men story where the mutants were held captive by Dr. Doom and Arcade, he decided to risk a blind teleport much like Nightcrawler did, and was free. But to keep his former jailers preoccupied and off his tail, he popped back into the facility and set several other cellmates free including Quake Girl, Arson Guy, etc.

Interesting that there are consequences to JMTing too far. Hopefully if there's a second season, Daphne will be reluctant to do it. Either that or they will nerf that ability because it makes her too powerful fighting any single super.


There could be ways to keep Daphne from using her voice or being heard. If she doesn't have the element of surprise, that limits her chance of pushing. Of course, if her powers develop even further she could become telekinetic. Wonder if they could take Daphne down the Dark Phoenix route. Joshua told Jim he mindswept Daphne to protect her from herself. While not entirely true, he could have sensed her potential.

Yay for Stephanie finally realizing that at super-speed she could knock the guards out with a gun she grabbed from one of them. That it took a genius scientist this long to realize that she could do that, not to mention to actually do that, is pretty pathetic.


But Steph isn't a fighter. Even when dealing with Arson Guy, she didn't seem to confront him as much as try eluding him. Although a speedster, her first instinct as a scientist is to reason with someone or think of a solution rather than resort to physical confrontations. That was why Jim was surprised when she knocked out all the guards. I would like to see Steph become more of a fighter if there were a second season. It seems like such a waste of a cool power. My biggest complaint about Steph is when she's all "Oh, Jim. *Sob* *Sob*"

Putting aside Stephanie's still inexplicable inaction at this point, how can King possibly show up to save the day right then and not get noticed by Mrs. X?


Perhaps he had gotten a key card from the unconscious guard, injected himself with the new trilsettum and was able to zoop past her or take another route to the cell. It would explain how he was able to reach them after being on the upperlevel just moments before. Also, how he was able to find Joshua and Jim's cells so quickly.

How is it that a) Mrs. X can get to the helicopter before Stephanie can zoop there b) Stephanie seems out of breath from what little zooping she did


She didn't zoop the whole way. She left the cell with Daphne and JJ. Makes sense since you don't want to leave your kids since moments earlier they were about to get shot. Goodness knows how many other guards with guns are around. They might have told her after awhile, especially if they heard the helicopter, to race ahead of them and they'd catch up.

As for b): Not enough carbs that day? Her son has been kidnapped. Can't blame her for not having much of an appetite.

I don't think King literally got the Powell's abilities. No evidence of JJ's brainpower, Stephanie's super-speed or Daphne's mind-reading or pushing.


He's already a genius, so no need for brainpower. (Of course, if he had tried to boost his own brainpower then there might not have been a need to kidnap JJ) He zooped over to Jim and threw him into the fence. Steph instructed Daphne to mentally push King so as to stop him, but King was able to block it and throw some of that telepathic energy back at Daphne so that it hurt her. Now it could be that he just had an ability much like Joshua had to just shield his mind and not the power to push. However, I'd like to think that he could read Steph's mind and knew she was holding the antidote behind her back. However, for his own perverse amusement he pretended to be unaware just so he could hear Steph say she cared for him, and also because it lured her close enough to be caught without a chance of her eluding his grasp.

The antidote originally took some time to wipe out Joshua's powers. Maybe Stephanie whipped up an extraeffective batch?


Joshua had been weaning himself off trilsettum. However, King was loaded with it, so the antidote had no trouble finding the trilsettum in his system, and the reaction was instantaneous.

Edited by torgoman, Apr 8, 2011 @ 1:58 AM.


#1052

Badrobot92

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Posted Apr 8, 2011 @ 11:28 AM

Ok. I only saw Medium a total of twice with my mother, but I've got to say, in my opinion, No Ordinary Family never grasped family dynamics as good as the Dubois did: I never got the sense of which role the spouses played in each other's lives, the Powells looked artificially in love for a couple who had been together that many years, the siblings interaction was completely unrealistic - Daphne goes from "the smart one" of the family to the "dumb sibling" and JJ losses all the attention of the child with special needs yet none of them adressed that much - the teenagers vs adults angle was never explored and they all looked like 4 roomates sharing dinner, not an actual family with distinctive roles (dysfunctional or not).

Take Dr. King for example, in my opinion, there's a distinctive paternal vibe towards Joshua, a weird disfunctional attraction towards Victoria and Stephanie and a clear "you're not good enough for my son!" towards Katie. I know Katie was only dating the father of her son, but there were more hints of an spouses dynamics between them when Joshua shares his secret with her, than I saw between Jim & Stephanie the whole season. George was great as a surrogate brother! Why didn't Jim's actual brother be that way?! Why didn't JJ for that matter?

In my opinion, if there's a second season maybe they should focus on Katie's family more, at least until they get the Powells right.

I think the problem with Greg Berlanti's shows is that the writers spend more time preaching about a "perfect family" than actually writing one, those rare moments that happened almost by accident among the sidekicks were never part of the Powell's lives and even the most simple plots suffered as a result. In my opinion, the show tried too hard to be "Heroes vol. suburbia" instead to find its own tone and, while I think it may be too late for the Powells, it's not too late for Katie, Joshua or George.

If there's a second season I agree it may be best to focus on Katie's family until they get the Powells right.

In my opinion, if only the show would've got closer to Heroes in suburbia that would've been soemthing, but neither Daphne was the cheerleader nor JJ was Hiro Nakamura, whatever that made the Speedster and Parkman so unforgettable as a couple - however mismatched they may have been - wasn't there for Stephanie and Jim, the hopelessly platonic thing between Det. Scanlon and Allison Dubois was somewhat missing between Dr. King and Stephanie so, in my opinion, neither the powers were epic enough to sell their adventures nor the personal relationships were touching enough outside the realm of George's bromance with Jim and Katie & The Watcher's love story.

*ETA:

Oddly this show reminds me of Joan Of Arcadia and it's not because Kay and Amber Tamblyn freakishly look like sisters. Joan meandered along for two years being about a girl who could talk to God, leaking viewers along the way. It was only towards the end of season 2 did they realise a change of gears was needed but when they did so, it was too late. It may also be too late for this show as well but finally they seem to have decided what they are about. I like that the Powells will be working for the gvt to bring other supers under control but this should've been set up way earlier. The idea that the Feds were watching Rev Cam is cool. In the course of their investigations, they should then have discovered the Powells a lot sooner. Then the Watcher (before morphing into Joshua) would have been a Fed, without powers, cleaning after Jim and hiding the evidence.

I don't think there'll be a 2nd season but damn, I found Katie/George spark living up to its potential.

I couldn't agree more. The way I see it, if this show has to end then it did so on the right note, for a change.

Edited by Badrobot92, Apr 8, 2011 @ 11:33 AM.


#1053

ChicagoRedshirt

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Posted Apr 8, 2011 @ 11:45 AM

Since he was showing signs of ill health, it could be that he had developed a new strand of trilsettum, one with three of the Powells' powers (wouldn't need JJ's since he's already a genius). He was waiting for enough of the old serum to run through his system before injecting himself with the new batch which might have been in another lab. One that would need a key card to enter. Like the one that Helen had taken from him.


From what the show has established, it's not as though the formula of trilsettum controls what powers someone gets. Rather, it's the identity of the person, or some sort of wish-fulfillment thing. For instance, Lucas inwardly is an animal, so it makes him into Sabretooth-lite.

Even assuming that he could control what powers he got, it would have been nice for the show to indicate that was what happened instead of leaving it to fanwanking.

...

Part of the inconsistency and craziness that is Mrs. X. In regular corporate America, someone who gets fired is immediately escorted out of the building. Given a few episodes ago, Mrs. X was willing to blow up her own facility in order to get rid of King and his supers, it seems ludicrous that she'd just leave them there to his own devices.

I suppose if they established something like, "I'd kill you, but it looks like it's not worth the effort," that would make some sense.

I wonder if Mrs. X is aware of King's ability to not be killed/dependence on trilsettum, because if so, that either makes more sense of her plot to blow up the facility or less. More because ordinary methods of killing him would not work, and less because there's no guarantee a bomb would either...it would probably be better to just put him in the facility and starve him of trilsettum.

On second viewing, it becomes apparent how subtly he's manipulating the Powells. Notice earlier in the office he tells Jim and Steph that he tried to "protect" JJ from Helen. She's the bad one. He's just a dying man..cough...cough.... Ah, King, you manipulative bastard, you. Got them to create a diversion for you.


But is that his plan, to break into the facility, get some more trilsettum, break out Joshua, kill Jim if he gets the opportunity and win over Stephanie? Really?

But it would have been nice if Jim or someone called King on the various escapees, since he knows (or should know) that at least Quake Girl talked about escaping from a facility IIRC, which I may not.


Re: the Doom/Murderworld story, God, I remember when that came out some 20+ years ago. I'm old.
Re: Stephanie, I don't think you have to be a fighter by inclination to realize that when bad guys are threatening you and yours, you shouldn't just cower behind your husband.

I'll just straight out say it: the character of Stephanie, as displayed this first season, sucks. She is worse than Lana Lang of "Smallville" infamy.

Despite being a scientist and the second smartest in the family, she is made to carry a ton of Idiot Balls each episode. She is a fairly crummy friend/boss to Katie. She doesn't seem to have much in the way of chemistry with any of the other Powell family members. And yet, she has something of the Mary Sue to her as well.

Perhaps he had gotten a key card from the unconscious guard, injected himself with the new trilsettum and was able to zoop past her or take another route to the cell. It would explain how he was able to reach them after being on the upperlevel just moments before. Also, how he was able to find Joshua and Jim's cells so quickly.


Only, from what is established on-screen, he only seemed to get those abilities after injecting himself with a big old honking syringe of trilsettum as we watched.

If he already had the Powells' abilities prior to that injection, there doesn't seem to be any reason why it would have worn off so soon that he would need that additional dose.

She didn't zoop the whole way. She left the cell with Daphne and JJ. Makes sense since you don't want to leave your kids since moments earlier they were about to get shot. Goodness knows how many other guards with guns are around.


She could have taken any guards out at super-speed, then doubled back and said, "Go this route back to the surface."

It seems ludicrous that she would have been zooping a little, and then letting the kids catch up. Especially with the stakes being as high as they were.

Also, why didn't she just chase down the helicopter? She's faster than it.

He's already a genius, so no need for brainpower. (Of course, if he had tried to boost his own brainpower then there might not have been a need to kidnap JJ) He zooped over to Jim and threw him into the fence.


Yeah, somehow I missed that when I watched.

However, I'd like to think that he could read Steph's mind and knew she was holding the antidote behind her back. However, for his own perverse amusement he pretended to be unaware just so he could hear Steph say she cared for him, and also because it lured her close enough to be caught without a chance of her eluding his grasp.


That would have been nice, but it's not played that way.

Another nitpick if King in fact had taken the powers of the Powells somehow: Seems to me that his/Jim's invulnerability would have meant that the syringe wouldn't penetrate his skin. I suppose the eye would be a weak spot, but even still.

#1054

torgoman

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Posted Apr 8, 2011 @ 10:11 PM

But is that his plan, to break into the facility, get some more trilsettum, break out Joshua, kill Jim if he gets the opportunity and win over Stephanie? Really?


No, I believe initially his intention was to retrieve his trilsettum. After doing that he enters the facility, notices all the knocked out guards and a plan just sort of develops from there.

However, I question if they shouldn't have shown the scene when King enters the facility and notices the unconscious guards sooner. That would indicate he was following a few minutes behind the Powells, maybe just as they had entered the elevator. Because while the Powells have been tranqed, dragged from the elevator and placed into two different cells and have had time to wake up, the guards are still lying unconscious upstairs.

Only, from what is established on-screen, he only seemed to get those abilities after injecting himself with a big old honking syringe of trilsettum as we watched.

If he already had the Powells' abilities prior to that injection, there doesn't seem to be any reason why it would have worn off so soon that he would need that additional dose.


My take is that after getting clobbered by Jim and having to face four Powells at once, he was giving himself a boost of trilsettum to increase the powers he already had. That's why he was much stronger than Jim and could keep Daphne from using her telepathy.

Another nitpick if King in fact had taken the powers of the Powells somehow: Seems to me that his/Jim's invulnerability would have meant that the syringe wouldn't penetrate his skin. I suppose the eye would be a weak spot, but even still.


It could be that he had powers similar to the Powells, not identical. He might have had super strength, but not the invulnerability. Otherwise he wouldn't have had the board sticking out of his chest after Jim punched him into the crate.

#1055

Badrobot92

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Posted Apr 15, 2011 @ 4:38 PM

But is that his plan, to break into the facility, get some more trilsettum, break out Joshua, kill Jim if he gets the opportunity and win over Stephanie? Really?

No, I believe initially his intention was to retrieve his trilsettum. After doing that he enters the facility, notices all the knocked out guards and a plan just sort of develops from there.

Personally, I want to believe Dr. King was only planning on helping Joshua and get the trilsettum and neither Stephanie nor Jim enter the plan until later on.

#1056

michellems

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Posted Apr 24, 2011 @ 3:36 PM

It didn't hit me while the show was going on, but it really, really bothers me now. Having Daphne make Chris forget, was a dumb move, because Anthony Michael Hall still remembers, right?

I figure they either didn't do anything about this because they probably can't afford to get him back next season, or because they're planning on using him to bring about the future Stephanie saw. But it's going to be a little weird when Chris goes to visit his Dad, and his Dad is on about "your girlfriend's father put me back in the chair and behind bars," and going through freaky withdrawal and demanding more of the serum. Won't Chris get a little suspicious?

Won't it freak him out that his Dad is in prison and he's living with his Mom all of a sudden? Not to mention the impact losing a whole school year of memories on his academic performance.

I just can't believe they sent poor little Daphne out to mind-wipe her nice boyfriend, and forgot all about the angry guy going through withdrawal in prison.

#1057

bulldawgtownie

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Posted Apr 24, 2011 @ 5:36 PM

The thing is they believed Daphne would be able to erase just the one specific memory of her telling Chris about her powers from his mind. They had no intention of erasing any other memories from his mind. Which was why Daphne was surprised that he didn't remember they were a couple.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Apr 24, 2011 @ 5:37 PM.


#1058

torgoman

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Posted May 8, 2011 @ 11:15 PM

I'll just straight out say it: the character of Stephanie, as displayed this first season, sucks. She is worse than Lana Lang of "Smallville" infamy.

Despite being a scientist and the second smartest in the family, she is made to carry a ton of Idiot Balls each episode. She is a fairly crummy friend/boss to Katie. She doesn't seem to have much in the way of chemistry with any of the other Powell family members. And yet, she has something of the Mary Sue to her as well


After rewatching scenes from the first few episodes, I remembered how more interesting Steph was when she was investigating the deceased scientist's research and trying to fit in with the neighborhood housewives. But starting with the Quake Girl episode and up until the alt-future episode Steph really had nothing to do.

But Jim is the one I've had the most problems with. Chiklis was either miscast, or maybe as co-executive producer he insisted Jim act more like a movie action hero than a regular guy learning how to become a crime fighter.

His artistic background and talents seemed more like excuses for him to be at the police station. But if the police have a computer program that allows them to draw faces, is Jim really needed to work there full time? Couldn't he have been a substitute art teacher as well? Then there might have been some story overlap between the parents and teens. Having at least one scene where Jim dooded in his sketch pad coming up with various costume or mask designs would've been interesting and a nice character touch.

On paper the dynamic between Steph and Jim had potential for interesting scenes. He's supposed to be the impulsive dreamer type and she the rational scientific mind. But how can Steph have a difference of opinion with Jim if there's an unspoken show rule that Jim can't be held accountable for his actions?

That's one reason Daphne became the most popular Powell. Throughout the season she's experienced losses and made mistakes as well as tough choices. She's been the one to learn with great power comes great responsibility.

#1059

pretoriantoo

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Posted May 9, 2011 @ 4:12 PM

...On paper the dynamic between Steph and Jim had potential for interesting scenes. He's supposed to be the impulsive dreamer type and she the rational scientific mind.

I think one of the problems with the Powells was that they never explored the skeptic/believer dynamic of the marriage.

Personally, I saw more intimacy in the dynamic of Fringe's Peter and Olivia during season 1 (before the characters actually developed intimacy) and the Duboius marriage during the entire Medium run (despite the show wasn't focussed on the marriage as much as the crime-of-the-week) than between Jim & Stephanie so far.

Edited by pretoriantoo, May 9, 2011 @ 4:14 PM.


#1060

torgoman

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Posted May 13, 2011 @ 8:20 AM

Autumn Reeser became the proud parent of a baby boy on Tuesday.

#1061

Badrobot92

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Posted May 13, 2011 @ 12:36 PM

Autumn Reeser became the proud parent of a baby boy on Tuesday.

Congratulations!!!

#1062

MarkHB

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Posted May 13, 2011 @ 2:43 PM

Excellent news! Is it telekinetic? (Seriously, best wishes to the whole family!)

#1063

lrdmordain

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Posted May 13, 2011 @ 3:15 PM

Sad news, IGN is reporting that the show has offically been canceled.

Edited by lrdmordain, May 13, 2011 @ 3:16 PM.


#1064

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Posted May 14, 2011 @ 5:54 PM

Sad news, IGN is reporting that the show has offically been canceled.

I think that was expected under the circumstances, I'm just glad we got enough closure from the season finale for it to be a decent series finale.

Autumn Reeser became the proud parent of a baby boy on Tuesday.

Congratulations!

And may the real life family be as happy as Katie's own family the last time we saw them on the show.

Edited by pretoriantoo, May 14, 2011 @ 5:55 PM.


#1065

Vermicious Knid

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Posted May 15, 2011 @ 4:54 AM

They named him Finn.

Is anyone really surprised by this announcement? If it had been on ABC Family from the beginning the ratings would have been fine.

I want to see something starring Autumn Reeser and Summer Glau now, just because.

#1066

MarkHB

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Posted May 15, 2011 @ 5:09 PM

I want to see something starring Autumn Reeser and Summer Glau now, just because.


Can we throw in Laura Vandervoort? She just had two SF series cancelled!

Edited by MarkHB, May 15, 2011 @ 5:10 PM.


#1067

dragonfirelance

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Posted May 16, 2011 @ 3:20 PM

I want to see something starring Autumn Reeser and Summer Glau now, just because.Can we throw in Laura Vandervoort? She just had two SF series cancelled!


This would be awesome

#1068

Badrobot92

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Posted May 16, 2011 @ 8:40 PM

Can we throw in Laura Vandervoort? She just had two SF series cancelled!

Good point. I totally forgot Smallville was supposed to end this week!

#1069

MarkHB

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Posted Oct 15, 2011 @ 9:14 PM

Having saved Hawaii Five-0 for our weekend viewing, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Autumn Reeser apparently has a new recurring role. Her first episode was this past week, and according to her Twitter the next will be in three weeks.

Now Kay needs a job!