I've been kind of down on "No Ordinary Family" of late, and while I don't think Tuesday's episode was great by any means, "No Ordinary Proposal" did at least take care of resolving some lingering plot-lines that I think were holding the show back.
First, the episode took its title from Joshua proposing to Katie, but by the end of the episode, everything about Joshua had been laid out on the table, and he was on his way out of town, having been threatened by Jim and dumped by Katie. In the interim, he was administered Stephanie's experimental antidote to the serum, which didn't seem to work at first, but by the end of the episode appeared to have stripped him of his powers. While I don't think this is the last we've seen of Joshua -- in fact, I'd hope it's not -- I do think pushing his convoluted story aside for a few episodes can only be a good thing for the show. It was also incredibly satisfying to see the Powells finally learn of his removal of Daphne's memories, and Jim's reaction to that was exactly what I'd hoped for.
The episode's "villain of the week" story involved Chris (Daphne's psuedo-boyfriend) and his dad. Basically, Chris stole a sample of the serum from the Powells' house (why Stephanie didn't have it secured in a safe at least is beyond me), then gave it to his wheelchair-bound dad to heal him, only the dad went kinda crazy (as most people who've been given the serum do) and started punching through ATMs and beating up Chris. As it turned out, the dad -- played pretty well by Anthony Michael Hall -- had been kind of an ass before the accident, so the serum only "amped up" his bad traits, rather than making him evil, which is also something different for this show. Plus, it led to a scene in which George and Jim broke down the sport of boxing, which is always a plus in my book.
The one negative of that storyline is that it seems like the Powells are starting to get a little fast and loose with who knows things about them. While they may not have revealed all the details to Chris, it shouldn't be hard for him to put two-and-two together. Add in the way JJ's teacher has been roped into Dr. King's evil scheme (in a plot that threatened to bring the episode down a notch), and it seems like the cone of silence is widening. They're not quite the Fantastic Four yet when it comes to public profile, but they're not really on the down low either.
Really, aside from the JJ thing, the only thing that fell flat for me in this episode was the story in which Jim accidentally knocked a bullet from a mugger into a bystander, resulting in collateral damage that was potentially life threatening for the innocent victim. I have no problem with that kind of story in general, but it would have been so much better if it had been the main focus of an episode, instead of an afterthought, which is what it felt like for most of the hour. Plus, it was resolved way too perfectly, with the lucky discovery of a tumor that wouldn't have been found if not for the surgery to remove the bullett. Again, the show drifts toward black and white, instead of shades of gray.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.