This week’s POWERS episode takes us back in time and explores the idea of reluctant heroes.
*Disclaimer: as of this posting, I have not read the graphic novel or comics for which POWERS is based upon. Therefore, my observations and opinions do not include how the show compares to its source material, but as a stand-alone TV program. If you have read the comics and have insight to share, feel free to comment!
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
POWERS Season 2, Episode 7: “Origins”
- We find out just how old Retro Girl and SuperShock are
- Pilgrim’s morals are shaken as a police officer
- A very old and dangerous foe returns
- Walker’s physical strength is tested. Does he still have powers?
France, 1918. A young Patrick, aka SuperShock takes cover with his fellow soldiers at the battle of the Argonne Forest in World War 1. His commanding officer is determined and ruthless. Patrick refuses to fight, calling his officer a murdering son of a bitch, then tries to commit suicide by heading into enemy fire. What happens next is bloody and rather confusing. Patrick emerges from the enemy stronghold, bloodied but unhurt and surrounded by German body parts. For someone protesting the murder of soldiers in combat, he went to town on those Germans like a wild animal. His commanding officer looks impressed. “What’s your name, son?”
“You can call me death,” replies Patrick, who turns as if to attack only see the officer fade away like a ghost. I got the impression that this was when Patrick learned he had powers and they just sort of kicked in out of instinct when threatened.
Interwoven into episode 7 is the fragmented back story of how Janice, aka Retro Girl came to see Patrick and tried to convince him to use his powers for good. Patrick feels that his powers are a curse. During WWII, Patrick works at a bomber factory when Janice appears again, asking him to help save the world from the atom bomb. Patrick reluctantly agrees to help President Truman kill Hitler and confiscate the atom bombs from Germany…but only if the bombs are destroyed. Patrick recognized the face of his “ghost” officer from 1918 in a Nazi photo. Truman agrees to destroy the bombs once they’re studied, and Patrick crushes Hitler’s skull “like a grape.” When the bombs drop on Japan, however, Patrick’s distrust of others reaches a new low. He tells Janice that “he,” meaning his old commanding officer, was behind the destruction. “He’s a destroyer.”
Speaking of heads being crushed, Senator Brown’s staff finds his gruesome body and cutthroat reporter, Nicole tracks down the stripper from his sex tape. In exchange for exclusive video footage of the takedown, Nicole helps Walker track down the stripper’s boyfriend, a Power who said he was going to bite the Senator’s head off. Unfortunately for Nicole, the bust goes (somewhat) well, but they nab the wrong man. Although this Power is jealous and dangerous, the Senator’s skull was crushed, not bitten. Nicole starts to show an attraction to Walker, who doesn’t want to get involved.
Walker, meanwhile, is suffering through debilitating headaches, but doctors can find nothing wrong…other than he should have died in the building collapse. This alludes to a remnant of power left in his body that protected him. Captain Cross is protecting Walker in a different way, by ignoring the fact that Conrad Moody III was thrown out the window to his death. This blind eye to justice stirs up conflicted feelings in Pilgrim, who doesn’t want to be a corrupt cop like her father. Despite trying to draw information from Pilgrim under the guise of helping, she sees through his attempts at finding a bartering chip for his own freedom.
Calista, Zora and Tiberio (Sgt. Martinez) agree that they need a senior Power to guide their super troupe. Calista approaches Walker, but he refuses. The episode ends with an unexpected visit from Patrick, who claims he knows who killed Senator Brown. It’s Morrison, aka The Ghost, and Patrick believes he’s going to be the next target.
I can see now why Patrick told Walker he was tired of getting involved in the disputes of normal people. As old as we now know he is, Patrick has seen many wars and the rise and fall of countless governments. We still don’t know why he eventually trusts Janice and joins forces with her as SuperShock, but this Ghost fellow may be the reason Patrick started down that path. If SuperShock is afraid of the Ghost, he has to be one scary mo-fo, so I’m interested to see more about his abilities! It could be that Patrick called him out during the 1918 war because he witnessed Morrison doing some messed up stuff.
The FBI just up and disappeared, so I’m not sure if that’s an abrupt way to end the Retro Girl story or if we’ll learn more about that later. After all, Agent Lang conveniently showed up, apparently after Heavy, and then left once the job was done. Did she know Moody was behind the murder?
Did Ghost really kill Senator Brown, or did Patrick? The flashbacks arouse some suspicion that crushing heads is sort of Patrick’s M.O. Either way, Patrick seemed confused when speaking to Calista, talking to her about memories they never shared, so I’m sure we’ll eventually find out why. (Again, it could be that he knows Calista is the reincarnated Retro Girl, but no one else does!)
I have to give mad props to the casting director for this episode – young Patrick and Janice are very believable, as are the resemblance of Captain Cross’ two sons. The awkward editing of stock footage throughout this episode made the production quality feel cheap, like a student film, but the sets are fantastic, as usual. Overall, the episode flew by, leaving my husband and I literally asking, “that’s it?!” So that’s either a good thing, or not enough happened to feel like a complete episode.