ORBzine - Powers TV Review

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Powers


Season 1

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 1] Pilot
Shown 10 Mar 15

This story is based on a comic, so there is a deep backstory. It is set in a world where some people have superpowers. The result is that costume heroes and supervillains are real, but this is a grittier and more realistic take on the tropes than usual. Basically, it is everything that Heroes Reborn should have been. Not only was this produced around the same time, the concept (superpowers are out of the closet) and tropes (a henchman who duplicates himself) are the same.

Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) used to be a superhero named Diamond. Now he is a hard-drinking cop with a young black girl rookie as his sidekick (like in Justified).

A superhero dies while spending the night with a groupie, Calista Secor ( Olesya Rulin ). It turns out she is involved in the scheme of supervillain Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor - Game of Thrones ).

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 2] Like a Power
Shown 10 Mar 15

Retro Girl ( Michelle Forbes ) has saved the day, and takes Calista Secor ( Olesya Rulin ) home with her. Unfortunately Calista is the only witness in Christian's big murder investigation.

Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor - Game of Thrones ) comes out of the shadows, and registers his superpower as the law demands. He is posing as a law-abiding citizen, and the cops have nothing to charge him with. However, Christian knows he is up to something.

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 3] Mickey Rooney Cries No More
Shown 10 Mar 15

The super-villains are held in a securimax prison near the city. Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ) is their most high-security prisoner. He is kept naked, chained to the floor. Because of his mutant healing factor (like Wolverine ) they cannot lobotomize him permanently, so they just lodge a spike in his brain at regular intervals. In the TV show Hannibal Izzard played a cannibalistic doctor, and here he is the super-powered version of the same archetype.

Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) and his partner discover that the mysterious deaths are all linked to a new drug named Sway. The source of this drug is a new night-club, run by Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor - Game of Thrones ).

The cops question Zora ( Logan Browning ) about the death of one of her friends. Despite being only about twenty years old, she has a high-powered celebrity agent acting as her negotiator. In a world where superheroes are the equivalent of sports stars, this makes perfect sense. After all, the best way to monetise their good deeds is by getting endorsements.

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 4] Devil in a Garbage Bag
Shown 17 Mar 15

Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ) has broken out of his cell in the city's most high-security prison. He eats a few guards, which makes him stronger and faster, but if he eats a super-powered person he will absorb their powers. All the other supervillains are only one level above him.

Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) and his partner are called in to help recapture Wolfe. The Powers unit of the Police Department are sent in to search the level. They strap on the minimum amount of body armour (breastplate, no helmet) and walk into the prison in pairs. Unfortunately they have no idea of how to cover each other, so they are easily bumped off one at a time.

We learn a couple of things about superpowers. Firstly, they can be transferred by consuming the user's blood and cerebro-spinal fluid. Secondly, they can be cancelled out by a special energy ray.

Christian's dead partner's son has his own sub-plot. He gets a romantic scene with Calista Secor ( Olesya Rulin ), but he also shares his anti-Powers obsession with his online pal, Chaotic Chik. He even has special access - his mother is head of a major talent agency.

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 5] Paint It Black
Shown 24 Mar 15

Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ) has partial amnesia due to the brain trauma, and forgets what happened between him and Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ). He flashbacks to their previous friendship, twenty years previously, when he mentored Christian and Johnny.

Retro Girl ( Michelle Forbes ) is busy elsewhere, saving people from a tropical hurricane. Zora ( Logan Browning ) turns up at the prison, and joins the B-Team superpowers who are waiting their turn. The brats do not have the strength or experience to kill Wolfe, and will probably end up the same way the cops did in the previous episode.

Christian's dead partner's son hangs out with Calista Secor ( Olesya Rulin ). They watch the TV news together in his bedroom.

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 6] The Raconteur of the Funeral Circuit
Shown 31 Mar 15

Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ) is back in his cell, held by the drainer's power. However, somehow a camera crew gets into the prison to broadcast his speech live on television.

Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) and his new partner attend the Police Department's wake for Wolfe's victims. Zora ( Logan Browning ) turns up at the wake to pay her respects to the family, but despite of the best efforts of her new manager (Christian's dead partner's widow) she is not as classy as Retro Girl ( Michelle Forbes ).

Christian's dead partner's son hangs out with Calista Secor ( Olesya Rulin ). They make videos for the Chaotic Chic website. Calista knows what it is all for, but apparently does not realise how dedicated the Anti-Powers fanatics are.

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 7] You Are Not It
Shown 07 Apr 15

Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ) gets his lawyers to request that his powers be permanently drained. Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor - Game of Thrones ) demands to speak to Wolfe ... and once he works out how dangerous Sway is, he orders Simons to collect every single sample.

Zora ( Logan Browning ) and Retro Girl ( Michelle Forbes ) fall victim to match-making as their managers set them up as mentor and apprentice.

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 8] Aha Shake Heartbreak
Shown 14 Apr 15

The management decide to set up a publicity stunt. They hire an ex-supervillain to fake an attack on Zora ( Logan Browning ). Unfortunately, the manager makes a few mistakes. Firstly, she does not keep track of her teenage son or she would know that he is involved with anti-Powers fanatics. Secondly, she lets him have access to her laptop. Thirdly, she keeps email records of her supposedly secret plans. Fourth, she is on stage when the attack takes place ...

Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor - Game of Thrones ) offers Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) a deal. They can team up again and kill Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ).

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 9] Level 13
Shown 21 Apr 15

Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor - Game of Thrones ) and Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) break into the Shaft to kill Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ). In the flashbacks, Christian's loyalties apparently shift every single time. What side is he really on?

Royalle does not entire trust Christian. He has his own backup plan.

Powers Powers [Season 1, Episode 10] F@#K the Big Chiller
Shown 28 Apr 15

Wolfe (Eddie Izzard - Mystery Men ) has broken out of the Shaft again. Well, this time he makes it all the way into the city above.

Zora ( Logan Browning ) tries to take Wolfe out single-handed. Unfortunately the LAPD cannot risk using the experimental drainer beam until Wolfe is completely distracted.

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Powers

Powers Powers [Season 2 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2016 [Wednesday]

Reviewed in our special supplement Powers

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    Season 2

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 1] Caracas, 1967
    Shown 31 May 16

    With a major Power dead, FBI Agent Trish Helfer is in town to oversee the LAPD Powers Division investigation. Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) is a suspect in the case, as is Triphammer and the boy who got involved with Chaotic Chic.

    Calista Secor ( Olesya Rulin ) is getting used to her new powers. Her first objective is to hunt down and punish her father (William Maprother - Lost ).

    Johnny Royale gets a name-check as a potential suspect, but does not make an appearance. The other major change in the show is the amount of cleavage on display. Calista and the girl cop both show a lot more skin than in Season One, no doubt an attempt to improve viewership ratings.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 2] Funeral of the Century
    Shown 31 May 16

    It turns out that Los Angeles has two dominant street gangs. They are like the South Park version of the Crips and the Bloods. One lot have powers because they were born that way, and the others have been modified into cyborgs. They hate each other with a passion, and now that Retro Girl is not around there is nothing to stop them going to war. Det. Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) volunteers to negotiate a peace between them.

    Calista Secor ( Olesya Rulin ) attends the funeral of her mentor, and finally gets to show off her new powers in public.

    Zora ( Logan Browning ) has released herself from hospital. Her career has gone downhill quite a bit. Her agent quit, her main endorsement is for a stool softener, and there is a laugh-track on her online videos. Hardly fair, since she faced Wolfe one-on-one and lived to talk about it.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 3] Hell Night
    Shown 31 May 16

    Without a world-class superpower like Retro Girl to intimidate the city's low-powered supervillains, there is nothing to stop the street gangs from rioting.

    Zora ( Logan Browning ) tries to build a partnership with Calista ( Olesya Rulin ). However, the new Retro Girl is full of herself. Will they be able to stop the riots by themselves?

    A reporter encourages a mob to loot the HQ of Superhero toy company Colossal Fun, which her news anchor refers to as the nearest thing to a temple. This is a bit more subtle than the cynical satire in Verhoeven's Robocop , but it certainly hits the same spot.

    Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) closes in on Kaotic Chic. But will he get her before the bad guy silences her?

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 4] Stealing Fire
    Shown 07 Jun 16

    The cops try to dig Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) out from under the demolished building. They find him, and enough evidence to continue the investigation. Also, the unusual nature of the demolition gives them a new avenue of inquiry.

    Calista ( Olesya Rulin ) does not hang around to look for Walker. Instead she decides to go low-profile. Rather than get an agent and some endorsements, she adopts the so-called No Personal Gain clause. She hides under a wig and spectacles, and gets a crappy day-job as a waitress.

    FBI Agent Trish Helfer is a major character this episode. It turns out that she used to be Walker's girlfriend. Unfortunately she was a supervillain like Catwoman , with the athleticism and tail of a lepoard. However, it never occurred to her that if she left a trail of bodies someone might put out a warrant on her ... or that her law-enforcer boyfriend might have to bring her to justice.

    Walker seduces his ex in order to distract her. This is probably a bad idea on a number of levels - she is already angry at him for betraying her, and was a supervillain in her own right before this storyline. Now she technically outranks the local cops, including Walker and his boss. The good news is, the seduction fits in with the show's new sexed-up approach.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 5] Shaking the Tree
    Shown 14 Jun 16

    FBI Agent Trish Helfer gives Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) an easy assignment - pick up a parole violator. However, he decides to keep working the Retro Girl case.

    Triphammer recruits Zora ( Logan Browning ) to his new team. She works up a sweat with his pet cyborg. To play up the babe factor, she is in skintight lycra.

    Calista ( Olesya Rulin ) is busy working with the nerdy billionaire (Wesley Crusher). Since we see things from his perspective, we understand what she does not - how taken he is with her. Sooner or later, this will end badly.

    The Feds still have a card to play. Walker's partner always sides with him against authority figures. But her father was involved in police corruption decades ago, and her is an easy target for their house-cleaning exercise.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 6] Requiem
    Shown 21 Jun 16

    Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) has set himself up as bait for the killer. However, he forgets to worry about collateral damage. As a result, he puts the people around him in danger.

    A few recurring characters get written out this episode. The theme of the Season seems to be that the old are being replaced by the new. This is the Swansong of Diamond's generation of superheroes.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 7] Origins
    Shown 28 Jun 16

    The episode starts with a flashback to 1918. The US Expeditionary Force was fighting in northern France. This results in the discovery of the existence of superpowered humans. The storyline is the backstory of Patrick/Super-shock (Michael Madsen - Species ), who in the modern day is disenchanted after serving in two world wars.

    Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) is getting headaches. The doctor cannot find any source, but reminds him that he had a building fall on him and walked away without a scratch.

    Zora ( Logan Browning ) and the new Triphammer have accepted Calista ( Olesya Rulin ) into their team-up. However, they need a mentor - and the obvious choice is Walker himself.

    With the Retro-girl case solved, the Feds have gone home. This leaves the LAPD powers division with another homicide to solve. Despite the victim being a former superpower (the Cobalt Knight) and a sitting US Congressman, the Feds have passed the case back to Walker and his partner.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 8] Chasing Ghosts
    Shown 05 Jul 16

    Super-shock (Michael Madsen - Species ) is back, and be is obsessed with his former arch-enemy The Ghost. Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) investigates, but the Ghost was declared dead fifty years previously. When Walker has another mysterious headache, the somewhat unstable Super-shock helps by taking him off to his fortress of solitude.

    Walker's partner investigates his disappearance, and follows up on a new clue about the Ghost. The Captain orders Cutter, her secret lover, to partner up with her.

    The Captain and the rest of the department have other problems. Calista's estranged father (William Maprother - ) is in town, and uses a makeshift suicide vest to hold up a bank.

    Crispin, son of Walker's dead partner, wakes up in the morgue. He should probably have been buried ages ago, since the case he was involved in is now closed, but it turns out he was on ice the whole time. Perhaps because his parents were both dead, and Walker has been too busy to sign him out for burial. Anyway, despite it taking weeks for his Wolverine-style healing factor to kick in he is now officially back from the dead. His girlfriend, who manipulated him into Kaotic Chic, is back too - but only he can see her.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 9] Slain Dragons
    Shown 12 Jul 16

    Walker (Sharlto Copley - Hardcore Henry ) is back, and is certain that Super-shock (Michael Madsen - Species ) is an insane killer. Meanwhile, his partner is obsessed with catching The Ghost.

    Calista ( Olesya Rulin ) and the young team go out looking for Super-shock. A mentally unstable Level Ten superpower is a disaster waiting to happen. It turns out that Diamond, Walker's alter-ego, was only a Level Seven.

    Someone or something is killing off superpowers in central Los Angeles. How will the cops be able to take down such a dangerous foe? Well, Triphammer's mobile drainer is the obvious answer but everybody seems to forget it even existed.

    The pathologist points out that Powers are a bio-hazard, and constant exposure to them may be the cause of Walker's headaches. Walker prefers to believe that he is getting his powers back. After all, he was able to use the enhancer drug in Season One. And even though sex with a superpower does not transfer powers to groupies, we all know what the drug was made of.

    Powers Powers [Season 2, Episode 10] Legacy
    Shown 19 Jul 16

    The LAPD has a situation with two Powers, a hero and villain who have been arch-enemies for a century. However, the years have not been kind to them. One of them has seen his powers fade into uselessness, while the other has retained his powers but lost his mind. What can one do to save the world from a good man who has the greatest superpowers in the world but who is dangerously insane?

    Calista ( Olesya Rulin ) and the team move in to save the day. They have a name for themselves - New Unity. However, can they take down Super-shock?

    This is the final episode of the show, and there is an apocalyptic feel to it.