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'No Ordinary Family' - No Ordinary Love

No man can resist her feminine wiles

This review may contain spoilers.

George (Romany Malco) is smitten! He has finally found the woman of his dreams in Sophie (Tricia Helfer).

Unfortunately, she is a super-powered seductress, able to convince any man to do anything for her, and she is definitely up to no good. Even worse, once she realizes what Jim (Michael Chiklis) is capable of, George is yesterday’s news. Stephanie (Julie Benz) is also cast aside once Sophie asserts her control over Jim.

Sophie is using these men for some purpose, enticing them to steal various materials. The real surprise, however, is not the weapon she is building, but the target of that weapon.

This episode is a treat in that we get to see two additional guest stars: Eric Balfour (Haven) as Lucas, and Lucy Lawless ("Battlestar Galactica," "Xena: Warrior Princess") as Mrs. X. Lucas is obviously being groomed to serve as the newest evil henchman of Dr. King (Stephen Collins.) Mrs. X, however, is a wild card. She is probably evil, but she is not in league with King, so her motives are a mystery. It’s also unclear whether she has powers or not.

In a sadly overshadowed subplot, Stephanie is faced with a moral dilemma. In order to get in Dr. King’s good graces, she must inject an ailing prison inmate with the serum. The inmate turns out to be Lucas, and Steph is not aware until later that he is actually on death row for murder. She has created a monster, and this will most likely come back to haunt the family later on.

Points Of Interest

1. As I watch this show, I continue to see the parallels to the Marvel Comics universe. Sophie seems to be modeled on The Enchantress, an archenemy of Thor, and Lucas is an obvious homage to Wolverine.

2. Whenever a series brings Lucy Lawless in as a recurring character, you know it’s going to be an interesting role. I’m intrigued to see how this storyline develops.

3. The character of Dr. King just keeps getting creepier and creepier, and Collins is doing a great job with the character.

4. The Charlie Sheen reference was very funny and timely, which is surprising considering the episode was probably filmed before his latest blowup.

What Worked

This is one of the darker episodes of the season, and we can only hope the show will continue in this vein. It also helped that the main storyline stood on it’s own, without getting too bogged down in series mythology, as some recent episodes have.

I was recently lamenting that J.J. (Jimmy Bennett) is often given little of substance in terms of plot. In this episode, that all changed, and he was on the front lines helping George solve the mystery. It’s about time!

It was also nice to see Daphne (Kay Panabaker) begin to realize that she was going too far with her mind control powers. Trusting Chris (Luke Kleintank) with her secret is a potentially dangerous move, but it shows some growth for the character.

What Didn’t Work

The technique Stephanie used to break Sophie’s spell over Jim was a bit too “fairy tale” for my tastes. I think the writers could have come up with some sort of scientific cure for this woman’s powers. I know this is supposed to be a family show, but that just seems like bad writing. Also, when George’s spell was broken, he didn’t remember a thing, but Jim seemed to remember everything when he apologized to Steph.

We don’t see much of Katie (Autumn Reeser) this episode. This is unfortunate, as she serves as a stand-in for the geeks in the audience. Her take on events is always a welcome addition to the story, and it is missed here. On the other hand, it is possible the writers felt that she would figure out what was wrong with Jim too quickly.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“No Ordinary Love” was written by Kate Barnow and Elisabeth R. Finch and directed by Peter Werner

"No Ordinary Family" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

About the Author

Michael J. Johnson is an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, and has done some film score work. He is a fan of television, film, books and comics. He lives in Boston.
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