– Spoiler Review –
Powers delves into an important theme for the series in “Like a Power,” which builds off the strengths of the first episode and carries plot and characters forward in an entertaining way.
Michelle Forbes (lovely, as ever) gets to spend some actual time on screen as Retro Girl and she doesn’t disappoint. She has a refined air to her, but as we’ve learned regarding Powers, there’s a hint she hasn’t completely grown up. Retro Girl might go about saving the world as best as she can, which she explains to Calista regarding a hurricane disaster, but she’s as grown up as a high school kid when calling Walker/around him. He’s the same way on the phone, despite being the one who told us Powers never grow up or change.
It’s a great theme to explore regarding people with super powers, something a lot of other superhero entertainment doesn’t touch on. In the MCU, nearly all the heroes step up to the plate when needed and live a pretty selfless life (besides maybe Iron Man, but that’s his appeal). In Powers, they are as human as we are, just gifted with abilities. But as Olympia’s wife says, “Why change when everyone loves you exactly the way you are?” I look forward to seeing the show give us answers to that question as the season goes on, and just how much it relates to Walker’s slow change to normalcy as a cop. Because after being Diamond for so many years, can he ever grow up/change?
Other than his hair, I’m really starting to enjoy the character of Johnny Royalle. He’s very enigmatic, but it’s obvious he has a plan and he seems to enjoy setting it into motion. The glee and satisfaction he gets from goading Walker with the tie at the police station and returning it to his apartment was not only fun to watch, but felt like the part of Royalle that never grew up/changed (even villains aren’t above being part of this series’ theme, it seems). It should be interesting to see how he’ll use what Calista considers betrayal by both Retro Girl and Walker to his advantage, who he makes a sort of pact with by taking her to his secret doorless lair. But what I really want to know the most is, what exactly was he doing with his powers to make those pills? Creepy and intriguing.
I was caught off guard with the show following Krispin (Max Fowler), the son of Walker’s previous partner killed by Iron Impact in the opening moments of the “Pilot,” as he begins to deal with the grief of his father’s death. What plays out a lot like you’d expect, brooding while listening to indie music, trying to use video games to act out the fantasy of killing Iron Impact (who was patched out of the game due to what he did, something that happens in real life to games too), and getting fixated on a girl. But what might initially come off as throwaway scenes could lead to some important material, as his online friend Chaotic Girl has made some big promises towards Krispin fulfilling his unhealthy revenge fantasy. Could he become a villain or maybe Powers serial killer? Or will this lead to a less benign outcome?
It was great to have both of the important people in Walker’s life, Retro Girl and Pilgrim, grill him about his semi-suicide act at the end of the first episode. He admits he wasn’t exactly sure what he meant to do, but it’s obvious that surviving that incident has given him a renewed purchase on life. As he and Pilgrim bond over her accident obtaining Zerotron X, they both struggle with a way to bring Royalle to justice for Olympia’s death, settling on a resolution to try more “cop shit.” Pilgrim teaches Walker more about being a cop, helping him change/grow up, while Walker helps Pilgrim become better suited to dealing with Powers. But will it be enough for them to stop whatever Royalle, and his boss, have planned?
Here are a few other things:
- Loved how Simons was able to replicate himself during the fight at the police station, causing a distraction so one of his newly created bodies could get away with the evidence. So far the villains have the best abilities on this show.
- And Dr. Death? Hilarious! He’s kind of an audience surrogate, calling out the same things we’d disbelieve if we suddenly got stuck in their world of super powered beings. His scene here tops his appearance in the first episode.
- Got to say, my favorite scene was with Oympia’s wife. It’s like hearing your grandma swear and tell dirty stories: surprising, but hilarious and insightful!
In scene with Krispin playing video games, it has some interesting tweaks to a PlayStation game called Infamous: Second Son (which I own). In the show, the game is multiplayer, the character he’s controlling is skinned like Diamond, and he is able to have in-game video chat. Second Son isn’t multiplayer, there isn’t a skin to play looking like Diamond (but would be a really good idea), and currently the PS4 doesn’t support in-game video chat. If it this is a tease of that functionality eventually coming to the PS4, it’d be definitely welcomed. In the end, it was just weird to see the game played completely differently than the way I played it/can play it.
If there’s one really important thing to note about my slowly evolving enjoyment of Powers, it’s that after an episode is over, I find myself not only thinking about certain moments, but uncovering and getting excited by the hidden possibilities with each character’s arc and the overall story. “Like a Power” does of good job of keeping the path this story could unfold with wide open, inviting viewers in before it wraps them up.
+ Having fun with its themes
+ Johnny Royalle making moves
+ Sense of history
– Did Retro Girl not think Calista would run away?
Season One: Ep. 1: “Pilot” | Ep. 3: “Mickey Rooney Cries No More” | Ep. 4: “Devil in a Garbage Bag” | Ep. 5 “Paint it Black” | Ep. 6: “The Raconteur of the Funeral Circuit” | Ep. 7: “You Are Not It” | Ep. 8: “Aha Shake Heartbreak” | Ep. 9: “Level 13” | Ep. 10: “F@#K the Big Chiller“