Action dramedy is the perfect genre of television. The action provides an exciting adrenaline rush. The comedy makes me smile, if not laugh. The drama provides a foundation on which to build interesting character stories and makes me root for the characters.

Based solely on that, No Ordinary Family gets a lot of free passes from me. This episode wasn’t quite as good as the first two, but there was enough good stuff going on that it far outweighed the bad.

Each of the Powells had their own storyline in this episode. Jim’s involved crashing weddings to catch the robbers who stole his wife’s wedding ring. Any storyline that references Wedding Crashers and makes Michael Chiklis shake his booty in a series of increasingly funny dance sequences receives a gold star from me. It’s nice to see that the show has moved beyond Jim being conflicted about using his powers. It’s also nice to see that Jim needs to learn how to harness his powers properly. Sure, he’s superhuman, but he isn’t quite a superhero yet. (We’ll just have to wait and see if he eventually gets his own cape.)

Stephanie’s storyline was also interesting. I found it pretty amusing that Jim was totally okay with his wife correcting one felony with another. It was also ironic that he was going  to stop a robbery while she was going to commit one. Stephanie’s high-speed theft provided a lot of excitement, and it reassures me that this show doesn’t believe in the equation action = fight sequences. The show should continue mixing things up like this.

Daphne also had a good storyline, providing a lot of the episode’s emotional weight. I didn’t mind the show dipping into the angsty-teenager well again because Daphne really had a lot to deal with here. She couldn’t tell anyone the truth, and everyone was lying to her. That kind of situation can be difficult for anyone, not just teenagers. Kay Panabaker has a knack for showing enough restraint not to make her character grating. In the hands of lesser actresses, these kinds of storylines can fall flat, but here, it worked.

JJ’s storyline was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I’m enjoying the fun brother/sister dynamic that JJ and Daphne have right now. Sure, it’s no Chuck-and-Ellie or Ross-and-Monica, but I like it nonetheless. On the other hand, the portion of the storyline that required JJ to act Jewish fell totally flat. I guess that it was intended to be funny, but it ended with JJ having a Yiddish*-filled blow-up at Daphne instead of a reconciliation and an explanation. That didn’t play well with me.

George and Katie are quickly becoming my favourite characters. Romany Malco and Autumn Reeser infuse their characters with such a fun, infectious spirit that I can’t help but smile every time I see them on screen. Both of them provide a lot of comic relief, and they actually make me chuckle, which is more than be said of the characters on most shows of No Ordinary Family’s ilk. Katie dressing up in the thief outfit had me cracking up, as did George pretending to have gone to med school with the groom at the wedding.

A couple of things on the show aren’t working so well right now. I was displeased to see that there wasn’t a greater emotional fallout for Jim over Detective Cho’s death. I also have mixed feelings about JJ keeping his ability a secret from his parents, especially since in the previous episode, he lied outright to his father. I hope that the lies have consequences down the road. I’m also worried that the show may have abandoned what was shaping up to be an interesting mythology. I’m curious to see how Dr. King and the man who could perform telekinesis fit into the larger picture, and this episode didn’t address those questions at all.

On the whole, though, in any given episode of No Ordinary Family, there’s a lot of stuff going on, so even if all of it doesn’t work, enough of it does to make the show an enjoyable viewing experience. I’m looking forward to seeing where all of this is heading.

 

* It might have been Hebrew. I don’t know for sure. I’m not a linguist. Sue me.

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