No Ordinary Family episode 8 review: No Ordinary Accident

No Ordinary Family reaches episode 8, and Billy’s not impressed. Can the series be saved from its current nosedive?

Warning: the following contains spoilers.

1.8 No Ordinary Accident

I’m rapidly starting to lose patience with No Ordinary Family, because, for every positive step the show takes, it then takes another three in the opposite direction.

Last week, the plot got a welcome shot in the arm when it transpired that the super-human killer, the Watcher, wasn’t quite as two-dimensional as he’s so far been presented.

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No Ordinary Accident is all about Jim losing his powers, which is probably the oldest superhero story there is. And how is this resolved? He was allergic to Stephanie’s lip gloss! No, really. It was that dumb.

But if that was pretty insulting, it was also initially wrapped up like some bizarre metaphor for the loss of sexual virility amongst middle-aged men. What?

The more they plugged on with this, the more uncomfortable it became, but then I’d already had a negative reaction to the romantic setup between Jim and Stephanie. I don’t want to know about their sex life, and frankly, I can’t even see them as a believable couple.

But my biggest complaint this week is the way Jim and Stephanie talk to their children, where they appear to have taken lessons in being hypocritical and condescending. Every week they seem to get into a bind where one of the children does something they don’t approve of, even if they’d have done exactly the same thing themselves. This week, it was a painful diversion where JJ stupidly hacks the school computer and gets caught by the teacher that hates him.

When the teacher gets hurt, JJ, for some reason, feels guilty, in the irrational way that characters in this show do. It turns out the teacher will die, but for some inexplicable reason, JJ decides to save him with the help of super-speed surgery performed by his mother.

The idea that you could just borrow any critically ill patient and perform surgery on them in a hospital without anyone noticing was one that could only happen on this show, and maybe Chuck. Given the nature of litigation in the US, if a hospital couldn’t prove who’d performed the operation, they’d be the target of a massive court action, at the very least.

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None of this made much sense, and the bit where the teacher recovered and didn’t remember anything made me groan out loud.

I won’t even talk about the Daphne subplot, because it was yet another example of how to make her character totally uninteresting and terminally shallow.

If these things weren’t bad enough, they even managed to undo the good work they did last week by revealing that The Watcher is an addict, taking away much of the mystery they’d briefly empowered him with.

Those responsible for No Ordinary Family need to get a grip fast, because currently this is so cliché riddled that I keep having Heroes flashbacks. The show’s logo, of a curtain blowing out of an open bedroom window, has become something of an ironic symbol, considering how it’s progressed. None of the characters in No Ordinary Family can fly, and the show itself has failed to take off in any sense.

I’m beginning to wonder if the Powells all need to use the Kryptonite lip gloss, so they can go back to being the entirely ordinary, bickering and boring family they are at heart.

Read our review of episode 7, No Ordinary Mobster, here.

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