While the ordinary Stafford family is invaded by masked marauders, the Powells are invaded by Stephanie's parents, Barbara and Allan Crane (Cybill Shepherd and Bruce McGill) who drive no ordinary Mustang (and make me covet it). Jim and the kids want to come clean with Stephanie's folks about their newbilities, but Stephanie is dead set against it. "My parents; my rules. It's just for a few days." Jim reluctantly agrees. This ought to go well, so of course it doesn't. Within minutes, the writers forget that Stephanie is the one against full disclosure and have her treating Jim and the kids as if lying is their choice. This sort of sloppiness makes it hard to stay engaged. Suffice it to say, ADA George lures Jim out of normality to investigate the home invasions, which of course Allan takes as evidence that Jim is cheating on Stephanie.
At school, Daphne connects with Trent Stafford (Jackson Rathbone), a victim of the invasion, and realizes he knows more than he's telling. She not only hears his thoughts, but gets flashes of the crime when she touches him. Millions of Twihard fangirls get flashes when they touch him, too, but there's no crime involved (if we discount statutory ones). Defying her parents' wishes, Daphne spends more time with the Trent to get a clearer picture of the incident. She goes to Jim with what she saw. Jim takes it to Detective Cordero on the down-low, so of course Cordero puts Jim's perp sketch on the nightly news, making Trent a repeat-o target of his assailants.
Meanwhile, JJ uses his magic-math to beat his grandpa at pool. He does this with Jim's blessing, because grandpa never gave Jim his blessing to marry Stephanie. And Grandma? She couldn't be more disapproving of Stephanie being a working wife and mother, were Grandma the pope and Steph Martin Luther. It's too pat. It's too obvious. And with a cast like this? It's too disappointing -- the writing, that is. The cast remains delightful, but they're playing in a shallow puddle of treacle. At any rate, when the grandparents come down on the whole family, Stephanie defends them, noting that JJ is smart and Daphne is intuitive. It's about then that I lose my lunch and any engagement I'd been able to force until now. If you please, Mr. TiVo, bring me back to Mystic Falls, where the women have actual agency.
Jim saves Jasper-Trent. Stephanie takes a run to clear her head from her parental torment. I drink copious amounts of wine, talk to my Canadian cousin about hockey, and pretend there's going to be a seventh season of Lost. Eventually, Steph decides it's time to stop running. That translates into smooches between her and Jim -- with Dad eaves-dropping on their whole conversation. Of course dad doesn't pick up the whole truth and when the Powells try to confess said whole truth, the Cranes can't hear them. They leave their Mustang with JJ, because he has a penis -- I mean -- because he won it off of grandpa during a game of pool. Steph turns it over to Daphne, but only because JJ can't yet drive. In two years, it will be his, on account of his penis. The whole family goes out for a ride. The car breaks down. Steph uses her super-speed to retrieve a torque wrench. Jim lifts the car so JJ can inspect its undercarriage. Daphne stands there and looks pretty, because that's what intuitive girls do. Bah.
I'll be back tomorrow with the full weecap. In the meantime, join the discussion in our show thread, where your intuition is recognized as a component of intelligence.
Let's try something different, this week. If you want to know what happened in the episode, click on the "recaplet" link, above. If you want to read my fevered pissing and moaning, read on.
I mean that 'fevered' part. I'm sick and tired -- thanks to actual germs. But I'm also sick and tired of keeping my fingers crossed for No Ordinary Family. So far, I've kept them crossed for a few reasons: I love the cast; I love the premise; I love having a family show back on my TV; Lost is over; I got tired of covering How I Met Your Mother; and baby needs a new pair of shoes. What's more -- in just a few short weeks, I've become quite fond of the characters. In many cases, that's because of the actors who play them, which goes back to my feelings about the cast, so to say more would be redundant (if I haven't already been redundant -- see FEVERED above). But No Ordinary Family is boring me to tears -- if not death.
What is wrong with this show? I guess it's trying to be a so-called "dramedy" but it's neither funny enough, nor dramatic enough, to make me care. Every single thing that happened in this week's "No Ordinary Visitors" is completely and utterly predictable. There was no twist, no surprise. What I'm saying is -- there is no reason to watch it through to the end -- unless, like me, you're getting paid to do so (and even then, TWoP just doesn't pay all that much for weecaps, yo). And honestly? I spent a good bit of the episode talking hockey online with my Canadian cousin, without missing one important plot point -- BECAUSE THERE ARE NONE. Right now, No Ordinary Family is taking TWoP's "We watch it so you don't have to" philosophy way more literally than it ought. I mean, we provide our service for the viewers, not for the writers. God.
Look at the home-invasion A-plot. Where are the stakes? The invaders don't even appear to be supers (which would at least advance the Powells' arc). Okay, I'll admit at first that I thought the guy who gets the pot of boiling water in his face was a super. But he doesn't heal instantly or anything, so he isn't, so who cares? I already know he'll be caught or otherwise stopped by the end of the episode. In the meantime, he just stalks around with his ugly red face and menaces a teenager with a gun and threats of future violence.
And that teenager, Trent Stafford (played by Jackson Rathbone, aka Twilight's Jasper Cullen) spends the episode looking shell-shocked. In theory, I get the reason for that, but it's boring as hell to watch. While Rathbone is cute (and puts me in mind of a young Jeremy London, here), there's no there there. Rathbone's post-invasion Trent looks exactly like his post-Bella-blood-exposure Jasper, without (thank heaven for small favors) the ridiculous Jasper Cullen wig. There's no reason to think he's going to be a recurring character, so there's no reason to get invested in any chemistry between him and Kay Panabaker's Daphne. Since there's no real chance he's going to be a recurring character, why not up the stakes for Daphne and for the Powells? Why not have Daphne fall for him, then have his home get invaded, then have him do the PTSD shuffle, then have Daphne read his mind, and then kill him off? All I could see while watching him was a metaphor for how much potential this show squanders -- week after week. And you want to talk about waste? Well, then, let's talk about the B-plot.