Aired 19/11/13 on The CW
This show has been kicking ass at combining being horribly cliché and somehow being different to other shows. We kind of know what’s going to happen, yet the writers pull it off in a way we either don’t expect or by subtly changing one detail to make it different. This week was, as Astrid so elegantly put it, like a typical 80s movie as Stephen went from geek to popular, back to geek, loses the girl, and then made up with the best friend at the end who had been there all along. Yes, it’s been done, and yes, the show somehow made it refreshing. I don’t really understand it; all I know is that I liked it.
In true TP fashion, there was no prolonging of the Cara/Stephen storyline. After having sexy time in a hotel room, Cara shut him down when he suggested doing it again and left pretty sharpish. When she got back to the Lair, John was waiting with a present he had got on the way back from the funeral and while it was exceedingly lame, she pretended to like it. Things were still pretty tense between them as John thought she was still mad about him lying, while she was feeling guilty for sleeping with Stephen, when Tim announced that there was a Breakout prowling the streets and raping women. They understandably wanted to stop him (castration was mentioned) but they all agreed to let Ultra actually capture this guy to stop him. As they couldn’t get a read on him they needed Stephen as the undercover Ultra agent to help them.
Except Stephen was having a pretty tough time this week, bless him. Cara has rejected any ideas of future involvement and he’s finally figured out that he is basically a liability in everything involving his powers. A douchey Ultra agent took great joy in telling this to Stephen’s face as dead partner Darcie’s desk was packed up, and Jedikiah ended up allowing Stephen to take a break from Ultra to chill out a bit. I did feel for Stephen in this episode actually: although I agree with everyone’s assessment of his ability to get in the way, he is pretty new to his powers, and he’s suddenly been thrust into this world full of expectations from two opposing sides to be a saviour of an entire species for one, while pretending to stop and destroy them for the other. No wonder he needs a break.
His down time consisted of teleporting Astrid places, using his powers to cheat in Basketball and accidentally join the Varsity team, and then be tricked into holding a Pep party at his house. Granted, that did involve him getting it on with a girl in his room, but the trashing of his house, plus the accidental overhearing of Astrid being in love with him, meant the night didn’t turn out too great. It was made even worse when Jedikiah turned up to slap a power suppressing bracelet on his wrist as he wasn’t too impressed with his downtime activities.
So now he’s in a bit of a pickle as he still has to play on a Varsity Basketball team who think he’s super amazing at it and do it with no powers to help. Luckily John offered his services, but he took the opportunity to make a fool out of Stephen as he used his powers to make the ball fly in his face etc. Cara had confessed her night of sexy time with Stephen, so John was looking to prove himself the better man, which ended in a pretty funny fist fight as they rolled around on the floor trying to be macho. Cara put a stop to that quickly and Stephen was left as the loser because she left with John.
He did work out that the creepy rapist was taking his victims into the sewers when he saw an environmental badge that the guy wore on his uniform. Running water sometimes blocks the telepathy so it was the perfect place for him to violate women, but Stephen turned up in the nick of time to stop his latest efforts. He then tried to fight the creepy rapist, which didn’t turn out so well as he doesn’t have his powers. He took the beating fairly well but the rapist had the last laugh as he knocked Stephen out and sent him face down in the water.
Stephen managed to telepathically contact Cara before this though, proving that there is some form of connection between them as he’s not supposed to be able to do that with the power suppressor, and she, John and Russell turned up to save the day. John actually ended up giving Stephen CPR, or evening the score as he puts it because now both he and Cara have made out with Stephen, and while Stephen was under he had a vision of his Dad. I thought that this was his Dad in whatever the afterlife is, but Stephen said that he was alive so who knows. His dad basically said that Stephen had to lead them into victory or something. I don’t know, it was one of those ‘I have a lot to say in so little time, so I’m going to uselessly prolong it by never giving a straight answer’ things. I hate those. He did mention the word ‘Thanatos’ though, which is next week’s episode title, so maybe we won’t have to wait that long.
So now there’s slightly more hope in Stephen being the saviour and he got his powers back when he delivered the creepy rapist to Ultra. Jedikiah was still suspicious, especially when the rapist was raving about there being a girl with powers who had stopped him as well, but he let it go with his usual ‘I know you’re lying but I’m biding my time’ attitude. I imagine the tension between John, Cara and Stephen will be present for a while, and possibly the awkwardness between Stephen and Astrid now that he knows she loves him. But so far this show has managed to make every teen drama cliché work in a way that isn’t as cheesy as it should be, so I’m not too worried. It may even be fun!