Episode 4 came out today which means we’re 40% into the 10 episode series and, hopefully, closer to a more solid TV show.
Powers: Season 1, Episode 4 “Devil in a Garbage Bag” (Playstation Network)
If you’re just joining us, Wolfe (Eddie Izzard), the protagonist’s arch nemesis, is one step closer to being released from prison. Good for him; he was being tortured every day to keep him weak. Main teleportation villain Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor) closed the last episode by entering Wolfe’s cell and this episode opens where we left off. Meanwhile, previously mentioned protagonist Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) is riding with his partner Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward) minding his own P’s and Q’s talking about the products he endorsed (Trojan for instance). It’s a comical moment that sheds some light on the world and makes a heck of a lot of sense in a world with superpowered people.
Do they always just chill out in prisons? Not in this episode!
These two scenes showcase a recurring problem I’ve had with the show, but it’s starting to grow on me. The issue is how it goes from campy or humorous to graphic and mature. It works alright here because it lightens the mood for the heroes and enhances the fear and danger coming from the bad guys. And boy does the violence and danger ramp up in this issue when it comes to Wolfe and his prison break.
This gives the characters something to do, but what about character development? We get plenty of that from Walker as he attempts to regain his powers by using a drug that’s been driving the plot since the first episode. There’s a good scene between Walker and Pilgrim as he admits he took a drug to rekindle his powers and be the hero he was. This guy just can’t get it through his thick skull that being a good cop is just as good as being a a guy with powers. There’s also some fun stuff between Wolfe and Walker I won’t spoil, albeit it’s not the most revealing as of yet.
The special effects department gets plenty of work to do in this episode. If you’re a fan of blood splatter this is the visual effect video you’ve been dreaming of, because Wolfe’s eating of people ability includes insane amounts of blood geysers. It’s vicious and done incredibly well. There’s also more teleportation from Johnny Royalle and a quick tornado powered effect from a random Power.
Believe me there is a ton of blood off screen flying.
Wolfe gets the most time yet on this show and he’s pretty fantastic. Although he’s a bit loopy having been jailed and reduced to a slower, dumber state, Izzard instills a keen sense of dignity to the character that’s compelling. It’s safe to say more of Izzard is a good thing for the show, but it’s reasonable to argue the main villain should always get more time for a show to work best.
This episode also contains some meaningful answers to questions we’ve been wondering since episode one. Johnny Royalle gets some strong character moments where we’re starting to understand his relationship with Wolfe and we see a side of his humanity. This is another example of the show doing a great job overall blending the morality of the villains and heroes.
Retro girl gets little screen time this episode.
The first action-first episode is done incredibly well with great tension from Wolfe’s grotesque and frightening powers. This is the best episode yet as it had plenty of tension and a good balance of story and purpose for our characters.