-Christina Kirk remains one of the shows MVPs.
-Emily’s characterization is finding balance.
-We would still like a bigger taste of the rest of the crew.
Powerless irons out the kinks in a hilariously packed episode.
Van (Alan Tudyk) loses a major client for Wayne Financial just as father Vanderveer Wayne Sr. (Corbin Bernsen) comes to check in. To redeem himself in his father’s eyes Van ropes him and Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) into a last-minute scheme to gain the business of the underwater city of Atlantis.
The R&D team is convinced that one of their colleagues Alex (Matthew Atkinson) is secretly the superhero ‘Olympian’. After one too many coincidences, Ron (Ron Funches) recruits Jackie (Christina Kirk) too catch Alex in the act much to the skepticism of Teddy (Danny Pudi).
Emily attempts to gain more recognition for her work and a higher position but must find a way to help Van from single-handedly sinking the company.
This episode was jam packed with laughs. Let’s look at what we loved best!
Who’s da boss, I’m da boss.
It can’t be said enough that Tudyk really is a highlight of this show as Van Wayne but this episode saw an improvement for Hudgens. We were worried that Emily’s bright and sunny optimism would become grating and tired as the season progressed. This episode we got to see a much more realistic Emily. While her character still is bubbly and optimistic, which is her characterization, it was balanced nicely with other traits. We got to see Emily be sneaky, annoyed, angry and supportive.
We had previously mentioned that Hudgens was not going to be the comedic high point of the show but that’s okay. We want her to be the center and the calm, the one that ties these off the wall characters together and she’s doing a good job of fitting in that slot. We’re excited to see Emily’s storyline take on a more personal note. How she reacts to a nemesis, how she reacts to a crush. Emily provides the structure and we were happy to watch her do that.
There was a nice little ending that featured a duet of sorts between Tudyk and Hudgens that reminded us of Hudgen’s vocal talent. Most of the time they’re either hit or miss but we can’t say we wouldn’t be opposed to a musical episode should the opportunity arise.
The Vanderveer Wayne legacy.
A nice surprise was seeing some of the layers pulled back with Van Wayne. Up until this point he’s been mostly a bumbling idiot and while it’s hysterical we really have no reason to root for the guy. In fact, most times it seems Wayne security is better off without him. However, this episode with the appearance of his father we got to see a more vulnerable and relatable Van.
We must say the plan to capture the business of the Atlanteans was pretty smooth. Van as a character showed what we saw in the first episode. He’s sneaky and will get what he wants by any means necessary. Lying to the Atlanteans about having a friendship with Aquaman and the essentially buying their loyalty with gifts certainly did the job.
Van Sr: “Well just don’t stand there, go and close the deal you piece of s***“
We loved that that in the end he ended up teaching Emily a thing or two about business. It showed the audience that while his position as boss was surely a result of nepotism, Van isn’t as ill equipped for his position as we thought. We wonder what other tricks Van has up his sleeve.
Just your friendly, neighborhood Olympian!
One of our favorite plot lines of the episode was absolutely the mystery of coworker Alex. This is exactly the kind of things we were looking for out of this show. The comedy timing of Funches and Kirk absolutely killed this episode. Ron was also given a very funny bit of background being that he too is from Atlantis.
Emily: “You’re from Atlantis? I thought you said you were from Atlanta.”
Ron: “No, that’s Donald Glover, also it might be a bit racist that you heard that.”
Kirk continues to earn big laughs with great one liners said with a deadpan precision. We loved that the show somehow manages to toe the line between sweet and crass. The team is so fun loving but they also manage to make room for some crass jokes in between. Credit to writer Paul Mather for some of the best jokes so far.
Ron: “I’m telling you guys Alex is the Olympian.”
Jackie: “Well I guess the only way to find out is for someone to sleep with him. Fine I’ll do it!”
The reveal that Alex wasn’t the Olympian had us in hysterics and a nice moment from Wendy (Jennie Pierson) who was scarce this episode.
Final Verdict: Powerless showed us the beginning of what could be a successful comedy, granted it continues this way.
Powerless has a lot of things that work for it. An interesting premise, a built in fanbase with the DC comic crowd, lovable characters and comedic gems in Tudyk and Kirk. This episode certainly amended some of its negative qualities and with a little more fine tuning this season could make an impact.
We can’t say it enough how much we love all the references in this episode, we here are big DC comics fans and caught a few good ones this episode. The company Van loses in the beginning Ace Chemicals is known as the Birthplace of the Joker. The iconic DC villain’s origins were first mentioned in the 1950’s detective batman comics but expanded upon in Alan Moore’s 1980’s classic ‘The Killing Joke’. The Joker a lowly blue collar family is pressured into running crimes for a gang where he falls into a vat of acid at Ace Chemicals and emerges psychotic and villainous as the Joker. So Emily and the R&D team trying to improve of Vat safety are the kind of references that will keep us tuning in for more and more.
Emily: “Last year flaws in our safety grates resulted in one clown villain every 3 months.”
We also heard another Lexcorp reference this episode and we’re sure that when we finally meet the crew over there, the rivalry will have us in stitches.
QUESTION COMMENTS AND CONCERNS
- Now that we know Alex isn’t the Olympian do you think we’ll see more of him?
- Van’s only goal seems to be getting to the Gotham office. We wonder what’s so great about them?
- What kind of superhero gadgets will the team invent next?
- What DC Easter eggs did you guys catch?
- Tweet us anyone ones we may have missed @TVAfterDark
You can catch episodes of Powerless on Thursday’s, 8:30/7:30c. Channel: NBC
‘Powerless’ Review [1×03] “Sinking Day”