Dr. RevCam King and the Powells are spying on each other, although neither side knows it's being spied on… at first. You'd think the side that has a shapeshifter who can look like anyone would have the advantage, right?
Well, what actually happens is that while Charlotte blunders around the Powell homestead, clumsily imitating Stephanie and Daphne, Stephanie is still working at the lab in hopes of getting inside King's super-secret project of evil so she can get the evidence they need to stop him. Not content to let her do the spying alone, Jim has George help him track King's phone records to an apartment that's clearly also an HQ for the Powell surveillance project. It turns out to be Charlotte's, and after a brief confrontation, she escapes from Jim and vanishes into the crowd.
Katie tries to help Joshua with his withdrawal symptoms by trying to make him a batch of serum herself. But Stephanie busts her, learns the truth about Joshua, and decides to help him herself -- by coming up with something that'll get rid of not only his symptoms, but his powers themselves. Thanks?
JJ, meanwhile, has taken it upon himself to solve a mystery for Natalie. Seems her mother was conveniently murdered ten years ago. With the help of Daphne and her new-newbility of Jedi mind tricks, he not only tracks down the killer but recovers the locket that once belonged to Natalie's mother. He might be getting some after all.
Thanks in part to some clever deduction but mostly Charlotte's terrible spycraft, Jim ends up confronting her at the Powell Pad while she's in his form. After some Jim-on-Jim violence, Jim is the last Jim standing, although we're meant to wonder about it (we don't). Joshua gets to repay Stephanie's favor in advance by disposing of Charlotte's body, while Stephanie decides to imitate Charlotte right back -- pretending to be Charlotte-as-Stephanie and talking to King about his crush on actual-Stephanie while convincing him to let actual-Stephanie in on his secrets and send Charlotte-as-Stephanie to Belem to investigate the scene of the Powell's origin story. In fact, she's almost too convincing. But how long can it be before King notices he's short a Stephanie?
Jim: We can't assume anybody is who they seem to be this week.
Stephanie: I know. Speaking of which, who the hell is this guy?
Substitute Recapper: Uh, Cindy's out this week, and I don't think I'm up to attempting that brilliant thing she does with the weecapping in dialogue form. I could try, but it would just be a totally unconvincing imitation that wouldn't fool a brain-damaged fern.
Jim: Like I'm not used to that after this episode.
Michael Oher: MY NAME IS KENNY!
Stephanie comes home at night to find the Powell Pad ransacked and seemingly empty, except for a Jim-looking corpse staring blankly up at the ceiling from a puddle of cranial blood. Given that we already know there's a shapeshifter in the mix, I don't think we need to be too worried (although everyone knows that shapeshifters revert to their default mode after death), but Stephanie falls to her knees next to him in denial.
As if in answer to her pleas, the gods of Kübler-Ross come through with a subtitle "12 Hours Earlier," telling us that this was one of those "how did we get here?" openings. That explains why I don't remember there being a cliffhanger at the end of last week's episode. Well, that and the fact that this is the first episode I've seen.
Anyway, 12 hours in the past, Daphne is asking her mom for an advance on her allowance, but getting nowhere until she goes all Pusher from The X-Files on her and Stephanie quickly gives in. Of course she even manages to do that smugly, all but waving Daphne's landspeeder aside saying, "She can go about her business. Move along." JJ whines about the unfairness of it all, but what he really wants is someone to change Natalie's mind about dating him. Even the date he's planning with Natalie at the coffee shop isn't something that Natalie knows about yet. "Smooth," Daphne says. The kids leave as Jim enters, wondering why Stephanie's going back to work even now that they know her boss is an evil mad scientist. Stephanie says she's doing it to find out what they need to so they can stop him, and after all the bitching she's done about Jim's crimefighting, when he asks her to back off, she says they both know she's the only one who can get them inside. So she's decided to be better at crimefighting than him now too? Leave the man a shred of dignity, for crying out loud.
"I need you to get on the inside," Dr. RevCam King ironically segues to Charlotte in his office. He explains about Jim and Stephanie's newbilities, and she quips, "Quite the power couple." She agrees to take on the task, even though after that horrible joke, she's lucky to still have a job at all.
In the lab, Stephanie is bringing Katie up to speed on King's evil doings and her plan to stop them, with considerable confidence that the lab isn't bugged. I mean, dude runs the place, right? Katie wonders how Stephanie is going to be sneaky enough to gain King's trust while "chock-full of those pesky morals." Oh, I think Katie would be surprised at how un-pesky those morals can get by the last scene.
In the lair, Jim is fretting to George about how to get Stephanie out of there before she gets hurt, and they figure the fastest way to do that is to crack the case before she does. They hit on the idea of finding a disgruntled supervillain of King's to flip on him, and a second later, they pick out a number seemingly at random from King's cell phone records (illegally obtained, of course). I'm sure this number will just be a dead end and not lead to anything significant, because otherwise police work is really easy.
JJ ambushes Natalie at her favorite coffee shop, just as planned, and after he yammers about the probability of randomly running into her there (which she totally doesn't buy, because the probability was 1:1 and they both knew it), she's just about to shoot him down yet again when she happens to glance across the patio and spot a distinctive-looking rectangular locket necklace dangling from the neck of a barista. A locket just like the one that used to belong to her murdered mom. Whoa, heavy. She should ask to look inside it in case there's a picture of her in there. Instead, she just bails.
Later, at home, JJ has gone online and pulled up the old news article about Natalie's mom's death -- an unsolved murder case, of course -- to show Daphne. She says he better not be thinking what she thinks he is. "You already know what I'm thinking," he points out. JJ claims he just wants to help Natalie, and is not at all hoping she'll throw him a bone in gratitude. Yes, I said "bone." Just then they're distracted by a noise from the bathroom, and find Stephanie in there supposedly cleaning. They don't buy it, because she's obviously up to something hinky, but she gets a cell phone call from King and dodges into the living room before she has to explain herself further. King tells her, "Stephanie just left work and she's on her way home." But isn't Stephanie already at home? Nope, she just turned into Charlotte! She was Stephony all along! She thanks King for the warning and says, "I'd hate for us to come face-to-face" before striding out of the house, into the title card, and from there to an episode where Stephanie doesn't come home at all during the day.
Jim leaps onto the balcony of an apartment building, and George remotely guides him to apartment 20B, supposedly the home of a Jeremy Waldron. Seems King's been calling that place a lot in the last three days. Jim's about to give up when nobody answers his knock, but since George committed a federal offense even getting those phone records, he pressures Jim to pop the doorknob. Because having a B&E connected to this illegal search of records makes them less likely to get caught? Jim breaks into a sterile, pre-furnished, completely impersonal office/living space. In fact, the only indication that anyone's up to anything at all is a bulletin board covered with surveillance photos of all four Powells, as well as various documents, and notes on the movements of the whole family. Well, I guess this wasn't a dead end after all.