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'Powers' fan recap: Olympia has fallen

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “Pilot” | Aired Mar 10, 2015

With great power comes great responsibility. It’s only a shame that Uncle Ben doesn’t exist in the Powers universe, because as the pilot reveals, it’s a lesson most of the show’s characters need to learn.

The show’s first episode kicks off with the arrest of a powered individual named Iron Impact. But as Mario Lopez later reports on Extra, things quickly get out of hand during his booking, resulting in the death of Detective Brian Stockley, and several officers are injured. It’s an effective way to present the show’s premise, while also reminding viewers just what these nonpowered police have to cope with on a daily basis.

But that’s not all. The host formerly known as A.C. Slater also includes a little Extra backstory on the series protagonist, Christian Walker (Chappie‘s Sharlto Copley). Once a superhero named Diamond, Walker lost his powers, forcing him to have to save people as a cop. (Side note: I now want all heavy exposition to be done in the form of a news magazine show hosted by Mario Lopez.)

Detective Stockley’s death means there’s an opening in the Powers Division—the department specifically tasked with dealing with powered individuals—and it’s one that Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward, The Following) gladly steps into. Sadly, Walker, her new partner, isn’t too thrilled with this turn of events. He lets her know this by holding up a pair of Stockley’s old sneakers and saying, “Big shoes.” (Nail, meet Hammer.)

Elsewhere, a young power “wannabe” named Calista (Olesya Rulin, Greek) seduces a famous superhero named Olympia. But their night of passion takes a drastic turn when she slips him a red pill and he dies midcoitus. Later, the cops descend on the crime scene and bring a more-sad-than-traumatized Calista in for questioning. This is also when Walker introduces Deena (and us) to the idea of sexually transmitted temporary superpowers.

Deena puts her considerable social skills (and a stockpile of snacks) to good use questioning Calista, but unfortunately she isn’t interested in talking to the Powers Division. So Walker tags in and takes over— giving us a funny moment when, despite her knowledge of all things powers, Calista doesn’t put together that Walker was once Diamond. (Maybe the key here is a mask that covers the bottom half of your face.) In any case, she soon opens up and starts fangirling over Walker’s ex and her personal (super)hero, Retro Girl.

Meanwhile, Johnny Royalle (Walker’s former nemesis, played by Peaky Blinders‘ Noah Taylor) is revealed to have been behind the plan to drug Olympia (via his goons of course). Instead offering a way out of the Matrix, the red pill is a new power-inducing drug called “Sway.” Information dispensed, Royalle neatly decapitates his unruly henchman by teleporting away with his head. This leads me to my biggest question of the hour: If your remaining henchman can clone himself infinitely, does this mean you have henchmen, or just the very convenient one?

Back in the interrogation room, Calista places a call to the now-beheaded Bug, and Royalle picks up instead. Once she gives him her location, he teleports in and busts her out. The resulting static on the surveillance equipment convinces Walker that Royalle must still be alive, but neither Deena nor the Captain is convinced.

Over in the abandoned warehouse Calista calls home (and where Bug’s dead head rests), Royalle tries to kill her, but Calista tells him she thinks she has powers. So Royalle spares her life and asks her to stay put, giving us this glorious exchange:

Calista: But it’s boring here.
Royalle: Not as boring as jail.

Royalle has a point: Walker and Deena are out looking for her. Once again, Walker uses his former identity to flirt his way into information, this time from a young power named Zora (Logan Browning, Hit the Floor), who “does stuff with light.” He gives her his number and she leaves, but not before repeating Royalle’s catchphrase: “Here and gone.”

Now doubly sure Royale is still alive, Walker and Deena pay a visit to a very naked power named Wolfe (Eddie Izzard, Hannibal). But instead of getting answers, Wolfe simply taunts the former hero about his missing powers. This hits home for Walker, who punches out his car window in a fit of grief. Later, once he calms down, Walker fills Deena in on his backstory. Wolfe had been his and Royalle’s mentor (a “rock-star philosopher badass”). But when Wolfe started killing people, Walker (as Diamond) had put him away—only to lose his powers when Wolfe tried to eat him.

While this is happening, Calista and Zora get into a fight, with the latter declaring that powers are superior to everyone else. Hurt, Calista runs away to the top of the building where Retro Girl is known to hang out. When Walker finds her, she’s standing on the edge preparing to jump. He tries to talk her down, but she’s not buying his argument. Convinced she has powers, Calista leaps, with Walker diving off the ledge straight after her.

The former hero is able to catch up with her while falling, but with the ground approaching quickly he isn’t able to activate his abilities. Now with all her talk about being powered, I really expected Calista to pull a Nathan Petrelli and discover that she can fly. However, at the last second it’s Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes, Orphan Black) who comes to the rescue, swooping in and saving them from harm. She then deposits Walker on the rooftop and flies away, leaving him to mourn the hero he once was.

The Powers pilot is understandably a bit rough, but it sets up a lot of needed exposition and gives us a glimpse into some the more fun aspects of the comic series—as well as the necessary changes that they’ve made. But with most of the heavy lifting out of the way, the show is free to start having fun with its material.

The first three episodes of Powers are currently available for streaming on the PlayStation Network.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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