The streak continues! Continuing on the strengths of week three, ‘Powerless’ continues to build on its previous success and delivered another episode tonight that focused on the actual premise of the series and contained some solid laughs, making me think this just might be one of those shows that truly just needed some time to settle in and find itself.
Tonight’s episode revolved around Emily going out with the ladies to look for a man since an ex of hers was getting married, and after shooting down every guy at the bar they were at for various reasons (my favorites being flip flops at a bar and eating mozzarella sticks with a fork), she finally meets a guy who claims to be a doctor who hits all of her checkmarks for an acceptable suitor. However, little does she know he is secretly a henchmen for the Riddler, which the gang at work quickly figures out when he comes to visit Emily and they see the Green Lantern ring imprinted on his face, clearly a mark leftover after a fight with the famed hero the night beforehand.
The gang decides not to tell Emily at first so she can figure it out on her own, but eventually Wendy and Jackie tell her what’s going on to stop her from going on a weekend trip to the Riddler’s secret mountain headquarters, and she prepares to tell off the henchmen, but it is too late. He arrives late at night to Wayne Security when most have gone home, and just as Emily starts to tell him off, his crew appears, and he reveals that after hearing about their impenetrable phone invention from Emily, he told Riddler about it and now the super-villain wants to steal the technology to build a tank to break into Arkham Asylum. Jackie and Emily are tied up and have a moment where Jackie shares the wisdom of how dating sucks but you gotta keep trying, and the day is saved when Van returns to work in his Robin costume (more on that later), scaring away all the Riddler goons who think Batman is right behind him.
Meanwhile, Teddy and Ron are investigating how Two-Face managed to break through their supposedly “impregnable” bank security door when they discover Batman left behind a Batarang in the door, and since they are both huge fans, they immediately begin playing with it, which catches the attention of Van. It seems the boss man has a grudge against the Dark Knight for breaking off his side mirror during a high-speed chase just to save “some orphan kids” and owes Van about $30,000 in insurance premiums, so he wants to use the Batarang to lure Batman out and literally make him pay, as he knows all of the Bat tech is rigged with a GPS sensor so the technology can be reclaimed by the hero.
Eventually, Teddy and Ron learn that Van is actually a secret Batman fan and has donned a custom made Robin suit under his business attire in anticipation of meeting the Dark Knight, and hopes Batman will see his potential when they meet. Yet when leaving out milk and cookies on the terrace with the lost weapon does not draw out the hero (after a discussion of the similarities between Batman and Santa), the gang decides to go into Batman’s element and wait for him in a dark alley, where they are promptly robbed by a thug with green pointy hair whose silhouette gave them brief hope that Batman himself might have arrived. Luckily, after the thug escapes with their wallets, we see Batman’s Gatling gun take down the criminal, and almost magically the Batarang in Teddy’s hands disappears and is replaced by the stolen wallets, and the gang rejoices at having “met” Batman.
The episode closes with the guys regaling Emily and Jackie with their tale of meeting Batman, but the ladies see right through their BS and say they know the guys did not actually meet their hero.
FROM THE DC ARCHIVES:
- We ALMOST got a Batman appearance, though the episode was peppered with allusions to him in the form of Van wearing a Robin Costume, Teddy and Ron holding onto a Batarang and discussing Two-Face breaking their security door, Emily dating a Riddler henchmen, and the appearance of one of Batman’s Gatling gun claws to take down the thug in the alley.
- While I would be disappointed that we did not get to actually see the Dark Knight himself save the guys in the alley, I knew that they would not really show Batman on ‘Powerless,’ especially this early in the run of the series, but they came a lot closer than I thought they would
- I also enjoyed the Riddler henchmen storyline, especially since they managed to work in an actual Riddle at the end that Emily figures out for the henchmen. Again, would have been cool to actually see the villain, but I understand the limitations of the series. At least it got us that great moment where we saw the Green Lantern ring imprinted on Emily’s boyfriend’s face (clearly after he had been punched by it), which really made me laugh.
Definitely laughed a lot with this episode, felt the storyline was a lot tighter than previous weeks, and it felt like a story and episode that could only be done by ‘Powerless,’ and took full advantage of the DC comics label, and the potential of a show set in that world, which is exactly what ‘Powerless’ should be focusing on right now. I think after a rough start of playing it safe, the show has finally starting to really take some chances with the comic book material, and I hope they keep going in this direction! See you back here next week!