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'Powers' fan recap: Ex, lies, and videotape

Season 1 | Episode 2 | “Like a Power” | Aired Mar 10, 2015

After the Powers pilot kicked the show off to a flying start, “Like a Power” only drives the momentum forward as it throws Retro Girl—a character we’ve only had a brief glimpse of—into the mix, while also establishing Calista’s relationship with all the major players.

Following her leap of faith off the building, Calista wakes up alive and well in the mansion of none other than Retro Girl (a.k.a. Janis!!!). After some exploration, she finally runs into the mighty hero in the flesh. But while Calista wants to discuss her costume changes and greatest hits, the older woman is only interested in figuring out what her relationship is with Walker. So Calista puts her answer-avoidance skills to good use and fires back with a question about why Retro Girl doesn’t take to the skies and save people anymore. The answer: She only has two hands. To that, Calista lies and tells Retro Girl that Walker took her up there and pushed her off.

Elsewhere, our detective duo is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Deena accidentally knocks herself out while trying to arrest Zerotron X, while Walker … can’t find one of his ties.

Eventually they meet up and question Olympia’s widow. She points them in the direction of Johnny Royalle’s pop-up club, “Here and Gone.” (Note to self: Get a catchphrase. Then use said catchphrase as the name of your new club.) Zora reluctantly helps them locate the space, where they quickly find Bug’s dead body—sans head, of course.

Now with two dead bodies on their hands, Deena insists they go find Calista. So Walker relents and they drive to the house that Olivia Pope probably built. Once there, Walker and Retro Girl have another awkward encounter before swapping news. She tells him that Calista lied to her (which Calista overhears, prompting her to run away); he reveals that Johnny Royalle is back and probably related to Olympia’s death.

When Deena and Walker get back to the station, none other than Johnny Royalle is waiting for them, alive and well. Having proved Walker’s suspicions correct, Royalle proceeds to register his powers (my beloved Simons in tow) before flaunting one of Walker’s custom ties in his face.

This provokes Walker, who attacks Royalle, while Simons tapes the whole thing. As the police captain—and several officers—try to contain the situation, Simons gives us an impressive display of his powers. So far, one of the most entertaining facets of this show has been how good the special effects for the powers have been, right down to the satisfying “pop” of Royalle’s teleportation.

But all their efforts are in vain, as the footage ends up on television during Royalle’s interview with Delia Alexander … where he uses it as proof that he’s changed his ways. Later, Deena puts the whole segment to good use, teasing Walker as they have a much-needed bonding session.

When Royalle returns to his club to celebrate (and teleport-dance), Simons informs him that Calista is waiting for him. She tells him about how Retro Girl betrayed her and asks if he killed Bug. In response, Royalle teleports her to his secret lair, where they are “invisible.” There he admits to killing his former lackey, and gives her a signed confession that she can give to Walker if she ever feels Royalle has wronged her. As far as bold moves on this show go, this might be the boldest one yet. So far, working with Calista has been quite the recipe for trouble.

His business with Calista completed, Royalle then pays a visit to Walker, who is busy relistening to the voicemails Retro Girl has left him. (Maybe Albert the security guard isn’t the only one who wants them to get back together …) Suddenly Walker’s leftover hero senses tingle and he rushes into his bedroom, only to find Royalle returning the missing tie. “Can’t an old friend pop by?” Royalle asks, before making good on his pun and disappearing.

After the wealth of information the pilot was tasked with sharing, this episode’s slower pace is a welcome change, making it easier to track the many storylines currently in the air—especially with Calista’s ever-changing alliances. This made the “superheroes as celebrities” metaphor much clearer, letting us see the effects unchecked powers have on regular people, as well as the superheroes themselves. Olympia’s non-powered wife acknowledges that her husband never had to mature past the 15-year-old kid he was when he first developed his gifts, while Crispin channels his grief into video games.

The episode also serves as a good introduction to Retro Girl—this world’s version of Wonder Woman—who might be one of the series’ more interesting characters: She’s a hero who has come to terms with the fact that she can’t be everywhere, and save everyone, all the time. And whereas we know what drives Walker and Royalle, Retro Girl’s intentions remain a mystery. I can’t wait to discover what her stakes in the whole matter might be.

Observations That Be

  • *Are all the outfits in Walker’s apartment the same thing? So far, it doesn’t look like he owns anything in the way of casual wear.
  • Simons continues to be my hands-down favorite part of the show so far. This episode prompts the question: Did he get his name because he is one Simon who clones himself into multiple Simons?
  • Is making fingerprints disappear a side effect of Johnny Royalle’s teleportation?
  • The fact that Crispin hates powers this much means he’ll definitely develop a set of his own, right?
  • Even superheroes have a hard time calling their exes.
  • Simons wins the award for best conversation of the episode:

Original Simons: You feel like you know me?
Simons Clone #1: Better than most.

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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