What started out as a light-hearted caper quickly turned darker and delivered a few disturbing moments, the implications of which are very disconcerting.
As we began "No Ordinary Double Standard," it looked like Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz were having a ball as Steph and Jim tried to outmaneuver each other to see who had the better abilities, and I was enjoying it as much as they were.
I get why each wanted to prove themselves to the other, given Jim's pre-superpowered admission of an inferiority complex in comparison to Stephanie, as well as her struggles in the male-dominated world of science to constantly have to defend her position and demonstrate her value. As amusing as it was, though, to see them try to stay one step ahead of the other - and usually Steph was the one with the leg up, so to speak - it was better when they realized the stronger they would be as a united force. As Steph said "What good is super speed without super strength?"
What timing that they learned that lesson when they did, because the episode took the aforementioned dark turn when they realized the "steamer" guy was actually a former inmate who had been in prison along with some of the other superpowered freaks they've battled. If they hadn't have worked together, they would not have found out about King's involvement with these super villains. Of course, he also wouldn't have discovered that the Powell's have their abilities either.
I wish I had Daphne's right now because I'm having a great deal of trouble trying to figure out why King would super-size a bunch of criminals only to release them at will on to the street. As each week passes, the pixels continue to slowly interpolate, adding a bit more clarity to the bigger picture of Dr. King's master plan, but we still seem a good distance from determining exactly what that is.
If he were trying to put together some sort of mutant militia, wouldn't he keep a tighter leash on them? Or is he really so deluded he actually believes, as he told the steamer, that it was out of a compassionate spirit that he gave him these abilities? Either way, how horrifying is it to learn that these powers of his would-be minions have no effect on him? I wonder if the same goes for the Powell's abilities?
Whatever his endgame, the double exposure has now clearly drawn the lines between good and evil, and it's going to be interesting to see where things go from here. It's a good thing Jim and Steph have their "anchors" George and Katie locked in at their sides. They're going to need every resource at their disposal to battle King.
Speaking of the splendid sidekicks, it's always a hoot when George and Katie serve as wisecracking sounding boards for Jim and Steph, but having them in the same room bantering off of each other was just papaya-smoothie cool. Katie has lamented before about her lack of prowess when it comes to men, but from the way she played George, she's got absolutely nothing to worry about it. Well, that is except from Joshua.
Now that Joshua has messed with Katie's head, literally, what else is he going to do to protect his secrets? Clearly, he isn't as reformed as he tried so adamantly to convince both King and Katie, though it appears the one he really failed to convince was himself. I wonder, though, if he actually removed her memories or just blocked them somehow. Maybe a handshake with Daphne is all she needs to unlock them, and in a ripple effect bringing total recall to Daphne as well?
Oh Daphne - just what is happening to you? Sure, she's only a teenager, but she's developing a pattern of using her abilities to her advantage, and now she has a shiny new toy with which to play. The look on her face after she realized she had been able to mentally persuade the gunman to walk away quickly faded to one I found to be, quite frankly, disturbing when she did the same thing to her father to escape punishment. I don't anticipate the writers trying to turn her into a villain, but she needs to learn the lesson right quick that this opportunistic streak is not a hero's path.
One last thought: I considered that the ability to turn into steam might be a rather lame power to have, but after Stephanie's shower scene, I've had a change of heart. Now I can see the value.
No Ordinary Family continues to be a joy to watch. It hits my superhero sweet spot week after week.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.