Things are heating up as Christian and Johnny race to find ways to talk to Wolfe, and Simons learns firsthand the effects of the drainers, teenagers cry at each other and oh god I just want all of this to end I am so bored.
Episode Title: You Are Not It
Original Airdate: 4-7-2015
After the transition episode between major plot arcs last week, in which many people hung around a funeral and yammered about ominous things like the “Black Swan,” we’re launching on a high speed collision course with destiny as the mystery unfolds and amazing new developments occur and who am I kidding this is Powers and it has the pacing of a turtle.
I’ve praised the “slow burn” style before, but we’re moving into the last episodes and the show still hasn’t picked up the pace. If anything it’s slowed down even MORE as an entire episode goes by with zero mention of this strange “Black Swan” they hyped up so much last week. Like, not even the protagonists wondering what the hell that was really about.
No, instead we’re getting an episode about legal precedents, superhero publicists, teen romance, and I can’t take this anymore please make the hurting stop it burns my skin like fire.
So, Wolfe has declared he wants to be drained for good so he can stop being a public menace, and given his few lucid moments where he actually asked to die it makes some sense. Except he’s lying, which makes less sense, but very little is making sense lately so hey, let’s run with it! Johnny wants to talk to him for Nebulous Reasons, and finally gets his chance when the drainer causes one of Simons clones to drop dead. Christian wants to talk to him for Nebulous Reasons, and finally gets his chance for Nebulous Reasons, and after thirty five minutes of faffing about we finally get to the good bit this is agony incarnate why are you making me watch this I regret everything I’ve done with my life.
The big reveal ultimately is that Wolfe is tapping into an “unseen reservoir of power” because apparently it’s available in metaphysical liquid form now? (“Ask your doctor if Powers is right for you,” perhaps.) That’s all thanks to Johnny putting his blood in all those Powerz Kidz. How does that work, exactly? Nebulous Reasons. So Wolfe really wants to get out and eat the kiddies all despite all prior characterization showing he apparently regrets things but apparently doesn’t and I can’t make any sense of it and let me out of here I can’t handle it anymore.
Meanwhile, the superhero publicists are being annoying metaphors for celebrity culture and Retro Girl is making some valid points in a storyline that doesn’t really matter and Crispin and Calista is still a thing despite repeatedly making up and breaking up and finally they broke up for good I hope and I could care less ants are crawling under my flesh I can’t take it anymore I accept the sweet embrace of death.
Oh, and someone dies at the end.
I really, really want to like Powers. It had some amazing ideas from the start. It’s got an interesting world to build on. But the storytelling is so vague, so loaded with mystery that never gets adequately explained, so packed with characters I don’t care about, so laced with vivid examples of missed potential… I simply don’t see how they’re going to make this all come together in the next three episodes. The writing talent just isn’t there, the stories just aren’t working.
I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll watch to the bitter end if only for more amazing rants by Wolfe or Johnny Royale, who steal every scene they’re in. I want more Evil Eddie Izzard in my life, absolutely; there are still things I like. But not enough things I like, not mired amidst all the other things that make this tale drag like a man dying of thirst in the desert. If the writers can give him a glass of water before the ten episode run ends I’ll be happy, but I’m lowering my expectations.
If you want a superhero story with your Playstation Plus subscription, Dishonored is free this month and comes highly recommended. A teleporting psychic ninja assassin is way more fun than these dour superhero wannabes.