I half-expected "No Ordinary Proposal" to be a bit of a letdown after last week's action packed episode, but to my surprise it turned out to be another solid outing with good story movement across the board. For the most part.
I was seconds away from complaining that everytime we detoured to the J.J. thread, the episode would begin to grind its gears. I didn't much care about whether or not he joined the academic decathlon, and couldn't believe we were wasting precious clobberin' time on such a throwaway plot.
After the way the story has progressed over the last few episodes, though, you'd think I would have learned not to take anything for granted. Of course Dr. King was behind it. I should have figured that any math teacher who is so quick to blackmail one of his students was having his strings pulled by the diabolical mastermind.
I feel certain I'm correct in thinking that the equation King wanted J.J. to solve has to do with tweaking his serum in order to make the abilities permanent - and I still contend that King has a power of his own we have yet to learn.
As we delve deeper into the murky recesses of whatever it is King is working towards, we uncover more and more darkness - and I'm feasting on it. The fact that he turned a then six-year old Joshua into a murderer and simply calls that a "detail" means he's far worse than just a villain; he's a mad man. Stephen Collins is playing this role fluidly and with such a menacing joy that I eagerly await every moment he's on screen.
It's rather fitting that King, having destroyed Joshua's life by giving him the abilities in the first place, did so again by taking away his happiness with Katie. Yes, Joshua deserved to be dumped after what he did to her and Daphne, but I kind of expected them to rationalize it and make everything okay with Katie. I'm much happier with the way it turned out, even if Katie isn't. I have a feeling Joshua will return at some point, with powers intact, and play an integral part in a rescue, causing Katie's cardiac organ to levitate once again.
As for the revelation to Stephanie that Joshua had erased both Daphne and Katie's memories, it did leave me slightly underwhelmed in the way it played out, as I had hoped to see Daphne experience something to indicate she was regaining the memories or at least recognize something was wrong. For having served as the turning point of the series, for me, the resolution to that cliffhanger seemed to sort of peter out here. Hopefully I'm only jumping to conclusions and there is more to come on that front.
Anthony Michael Hall plays a decent brute, but I couldn't help but think of his bully character from Community the entire time, to the point where I was hoping someone would slam a stapler into his forehead just so I could laugh and get it over with. Still, it gave us a great banter-boxing scene between George and Jim. I was kind of impressed that George figured out how to beat Roy, though something tells me he ducked a bully or two in his day.
The biggest disappointment of the episode, for me, was that Jim's collateral damage ended up having a positive result. I know, NOF functions within a "heightened" reality, and given the fact that it's a family-centric show, it probably makes sense that it all wrapped up in a tidy package by the end. I can't help feeling a little cheated though. Realizing that vigilante efforts can have repercussions, despite good intentions, was an important thing for Jim to learn, I thought.
Overall I did enjoy the episode, but I'm really looking forward to Tricia Helfer bringing the sexy next week, replete with a Poison Ivy-esque ability to seduce men.
Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.