"Girl, Interrupted," is the backstory of SUPE Cara Coburn (Peyton List). We flash back five years in her life, and learn she was a deaf teenager. During her breakout (the show's pet phrase for the SUPES' metamorphosis) a boy tries to rape her. She telekinetically throws him off and is immediately overcome by a screeching sound and passes out.
We next see Cara at the police station. The attempted rapist is dead, which is one of the high points of this show, not just because he's a dead attempted racist, but also because a question is actually answered. While SUPES cannot kill someone with intent, it seems they can kill by accident. Anyhow, Cara is under arrest. Papa Coburn (Al Sapienza) comes to see her. He is concerned, supportive and seems like a dad you'd want in your corner. Still, the cops lead Cara off and tell Papa to get his girl a lawyer.
Just as she's about to be placed in a cell, Cara teleports herself back home. She is soundly rejected by her father, who didn't turn on a dime -- he turned on the head of a pin. Papa doesn't believe Cara when she tells him she can now hear, and doesn't ask her any questions that actually matter. He just hands his traumatized daughter some cash and tells her to go. She bids her previously mentioned little sister goodbye and leaves.
SUPE backstory is necessary -- wanted, even -- since we've been told the veteran SUPES are alienated from their human families. We need to see why they are so willing to think of themselves as a separate species. The thing is, as an alienation story, "Girl, Interrupted," fails to sell itself. This show is too new -- and too untested -- to expect the audience to believe that a man they first present as kind and loving is willing to turn out his daughter on the very night she was nearly raped. His disbelief that she can hear adds insult to our injury. Had Papa Coburn arrived on the scene as a harried parent who had already had enough of Cara's breakout shenanigans, his later rejection of her would have been far easier to accept.
In the present, the SUPES dispatch Stephen to install a device on Ultra's mainframe that will give them access to all of Ultra's intel. Cara's using her telepathy to help Stephen navigate the building and avoid detection, when her powers go on the fritz, because it's the anniversary of her near-rape and subsequent alienation from her family.
Stephen manages to plant the device, but Jed catches him in a restricted area. Stephen lies that he was looking for Jed and tells him about this suicidal girl, Emily (Cali Fredrichs) he wants to help. Jed tells the boy that he can't help Emily, because the risk of exposure is too great.
Once Stephen is gone, Jed has a minion sweep the restricted area, and they find the device. They use it to set up the SUPES and lure them into an ambush. Russell and John escape, but Cara is caught. Back at Ultra, Stephen volunteers to give Cara an injection that will rob her of her superpowers. He then uses his time stopping ability to switch out the anti-SUPE serum with a harmless saline solution. Cara fakes her transition to mundane SAPpiness and is released.
While the SUPES, like Jed, originally said it was too risky for Stephen to help Emily, they soften once he saves Cara. Because Emily's story heavily parallels Cara's, Cara is the one who talks Emily out of killing herself, while Stephen, John and Russell watch from a not-really-hidden spot. Once the good deed is done, the veteran SUPES instantly teleport away. Stephen lingers. Astrid arrives on the scene, because she was also trying to save Emily. She sees Stephen. He, however, doesn't see her, so he teleports away, which does not escape Astrid's notice.
Astrid later confronts Stephen, who denies having been at the site of Emily's suicide attempt. She makes it patently clear that she is on to him, and will not rest until she figures out what he's hiding. What's frustrating (and not in a good way) is that Stephen already tried to tell Astrid the truth, and she wouldn't hear it. I hate when a character I know so little about becomes so unlikable that I don't want to know more about her. Episode 3 is far too soon to be screaming, "Get her off my screen!"
"Girl, Interrupted," is overly pat. Witness the simultaneous anniversaries of Cara and Emily's past tragedies. The guest characters (particularly Papa Coburn and Emily) make little sense. Their motives are completely muddled. And? Cara's flashback bangs are way too heavy for her face. They should have put her hair in a ponytail to "disguise" that Peyton List isn't 17. We're already pretending Robbie Amell is that young. There's no need to detract from Ms. List's beauty, since it's probably why half the audience is tuning in.
Since the pilot, I have been wary that this show would veer toward the facile. This week, it doesn't veer -- it teleports there. Ultra versus the SUPES is, so far, way too black and white. "Girl, Interrupted" further undercuts my trust in this show.
I'll hit this more fully in tomorrow's full weecap. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page, and then come on over to the show thread where we're tying this episode to the train tracks.
Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.
Welcome to the weecap of "Girl, Interrupted," in which Cara Coburn's back story is introduced, and we learn about her traumatic "breakout" from seeming SAP to SUPE. The bones of Cara's back story are so malformed, instead of "Yesterday," I probably should have given it the headline: "Scoliosis: When Good Back Stories Go Bad."
A chyron informs us that we're opening five years ago. With balloon arches, flashing lights, and a disco ball, the setting seems to be a prom, but none of the kids are dressed fancily enough, so let's just call it a dance. Two teen boys enter. One of them spots little wallflower, Cara. I only call her a wallflower, because the show is begging me to. Cara is sitting in a chair against the wall, and while I can't get a good enough look at the pattern of her dress to swear to it, it strikes me as floral. She's wearing glasses, and her hair is styled with overly heavy bangs, to further drive home the point that our now kick-ass Cara was unsuccessful as a SAP. One boy tells the other the nasty things boys say about girls, like, "That girl literally doesn't say no." He pressures his friend into hitting on our girl.
When the boy, whom I'm going to call Randy Rapist, sits next to Cara, the sound fades away, leaving us with little but a heartbeat. Randy's lips are moving, but we can't hear his voice. At first, Cara only shoots him furtive looks, which is weird, because he is right next to her. Finally, she turns to fully face him, and the sound fades back in, just as he's asking if she can read lips. Cara nods. Randy tells her she's not missing anything, because the music sucks. When she smiles, he asks her if she'd like to leave and go somewhere more "quiet." Quiet, really? He couldn't have said private to the deaf girl? He had to say quiet. Ugh.
In his SUV, Randy drives Cara to a secluded spot. It's only a kiss or two before he moves too far too fast. When Cara pushes him off, he calls her a deaf bitch and gets rough. After he rips her dress, Cara runs. Randy chases her through a foggy meadow and tackles her. The sound fades out again as he flips her onto her back and straddles her. The sound returns just in time for Cara to scream. The scream itself seems to lift him and throw him off her. Randy gets to his feet first, but when Cara rises, she holds her hands out and telepathically throws Randy much further, this time. With tearful eyes, she examines her hands as she tries to understand what she's just done. When an owl hoots, Cara looks around in confusion. Crickets chirp and some toads join the chorus. Then the sound turns into a sharp screeching noise. Putting her hands over her ears, Cara pants and then passes out. We flash forward to the...