Review – Powerless S01E03: Sinking Day

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Last week on Powerless, Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) had a face off with the head of HR  and Van (Alan Tudyk) tried (and failed) to fix all his problems using Photoshop to guide him. Meanwhile, Teddy (Danny Pudi), Ron (Ron Funches), and Wendy (Jennie Pierson) tried to play their superhero fantasy league without interference and bonded a little with Emily in the process.

(Missed our review of last week’s episode? Catch up here.)

Thoughts on this episode of Powerless:

Powerless S01E03 Sinking DayThis week’s episode gave Emily (and the viewers) a bit of a peek regarding why Van is, while not a Bad Guy, certainly not a good person. That peek was of Van’s father, played by Corbin Bernsen, who mastered the skills of playing a disinterested dad to a goofy son in his line of work on Psych. While Van’s disinterested and awful dad shouldn’t excuse Van’s behavior (you don’t get to blame “daddy issues” as you use your family connections to get out of consequences and prosecution), it goes a fair distance in explaining it, as does the behavior of his friend Royce Kane (Laird Macintosh). Van and Royce clearly grew up in a culture where you get to blame your “lessers” for your mistakes, and one hopes that Van will learn that’s not how the real world should work, especially with Emily to remind him. 

Meanwhile, Jackie (Christina Kirk),  Ron, and Teddy went through seemingly discovering and working to out a superhero in the workplace. They didn’t deal much with the ethics of what revealing someone as a superhero would do (what if said superhero had a nemesis?), although they do discuss how the “outing of a superhero” behavior could be interpreted by normal people. 


Powerless S01E03 Sinking DayPowerless is still trying to find itself but isn’t doing that much differently than a normal office drama. It isn’t digging into the ethics of living in a superhero-populated world, and it’s still making the same pop culture references that another show would make (referencing the recent election and Bill and Melinda Gates, for two examples). I think that we should get more innovation from the show: it should walk the walk and give us something that we actually haven’t seen before.


Images courtesy of NBC/Universal

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About the author

Siobhan Dempsey

Siobhan is a 24 year old MLIS student who prefers to read over socializing and is passionate about diversity and accessibility.{subid}&url=prodinfo.asp?number=FU14012EE

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