No Ordinary Family series 1 episode 7 review: No Ordinary Mobster

No Ordinary Family continues to frustrate Billy, but does this latest episode offer a glimmer of entertainment? Here's his review of No Ordinary Mobster...

Warning: the following contains spoilers.

1.7 No Ordinary MobsterTo paraphrase Charles Dickens, it was the best of episodes, it was the worst of episodes.

If you read any of my recent reviews of this show, you’ll know that I’ve pretty much lost faith in No Ordinary Family, and the writers’ assertion that you can merge The Brady Bunch with the darker side of Heroes and make it work.No Ordinary Mobster continues that schizoid path, and for 95 per cent of its running time I needed a mild electric shock every thirty seconds to stay awake.

I’m talking specifically about one subplot where Daphne uses JJ’s power to help her snag the only male in the universe that she’s decided isn’t a “jerk”, and another where JJ thinks he’s helping Katie by flirting with her and sending her on a date where he can’t turn up. It’s a tough call as to which was the most moronic, but I think JJ’s impossible matchmaking takes the victory for supreme stupidity on almost every level.

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These two indulgences for the younger demographic took up the majority of the episode’s running time, a big disappointment after a pretty strong opening, where George fails to secure a conviction on a mobster’s henchman, and his legal partner pays the price.

I got quite excited that George’s co-worker and romantic interest, District Attorney Amanda Grayson was played by Amy Acker, one of the few redeeming aspects of the abysmal Dollhouse. Yet, she’s given so little to do in this story I’m not sure why they employed someone with her skill level for just a few lines of dialogue. Maybe she’ll get more to do in future stories, because she’s really a very fine actress, and better than the little to do they gave her here.

By now you might be wondering where the redemption came in this episode, because it certainly didn’t come in the scene where Stephanie and Jim used their powers to put up party decorations.

In the very end of the show, Stephen Collins was doing his poor Doctor Death impression as Dr. Dayton King, when something mildly wonderful happened. His henchman, known only in the credits as The Watcher and played by Josh Stewart, was presented with a family picture of the Powell’s and told to keep an eye on them.

Earlier, he’d witnessed Jim tackling hoodlum Silvan Luka, and having his mask pulled off, but when asked if he recognised any of them, he said no.

In an instant, The Watcher became a much more interesting character, and more than just a nameless assassin who uses telekinetic powers to kill people. And while I was still evaluating his motives for not outing Jim, he then did something really chilling when he turned up to the blind date that JJ had schemed for Katie.

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These two events in quick succession really grabbed my attention, although I did wonder why I’d sat through the other forty minutes of complete guff to get here.

So far this series has been a supreme disappointment, but it could be about to take flight if only someone would open that bedroom window in a narrative sense.

The synopsis for the next episode, however, where apparently Jim loses his powers (Chuck, anyone?), doesn’t exactly fill me with optimism…

Read our review of episode 6, No Ordinary Visitors, here.

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