Powerless: You've Got a Friend (Whether You Like it Or Not)
Superheroes are a lot like professional athletes: they are in better shape than 99% of the population, they sign autographs and pose for pictures, people will show up to watch them exhibit their special skills, and they hold press conferences for important announcements.
Crimson Fox, the only superhero (however minor) who was appeared on Powerless so far, announces on the news that she is moving to Metropolis adjacent, probably in hopes of making it to the big leagues. Justice, preferably.
Emily is upset because with Crimson Fox gone, who will protect the city when someone like The Joker attacks? Her other co-workers point out that Charm City isn’t major enough to attract the attentions of major super villains. Yes, The Riddler was mentioned in episode 4 but his henchman got scared off by Van in a Robin costume.
Riddle me this: is it possible to hire smart henchmen in the comic book universe?With a potential increase of crime rate on the horizon and the fact that their male co-workers are equally wimpy and useless, Emily suggests to Jackie that they take self-defense class together. Jackie declines because she’s a busy working mom but Emily promises to take care of everything.
Meanwhile, Van gets frightened by a bug in his office and asks Jackie to kill it. Later, he discovers evidence that someone used his private toilet and calls a floor meeting.
Van threatens to fire the dastardly dumper and unsurprisingly, no one comes forward to confess. After checking the logs, he narrows down the suspects to Teddy, Ron, and Wendy and sets out making one of them confess. He tries to punish them by sending them to the worst office in the building but the three don’t scare because they can screw around in there just as much as they do in their regular cubicles.
He then tries to get them to turn on each other by bribing them or playing mind-games. The mind games work on turning Teddy and Ron on each other although Wendy just thinks Van is “finally” hitting on her. After the three confront each other over the supposed snitching, Ron realizes that Van was just messing with them. He tells Ron that he was the one who pooped in his toilet and touched, Teddy and Wendy also take the blame. Van does not understand their “I am Spartacus” moment and thinks the three shared the toilet. The security tapes come in and reveal that Jackie was the only one who came into the bathroom and that was only to kill a bug. The likely explanation is that Van forgot to flush it down when it was brown.
However, the ending tag reveals that everyone in the office has used Vans private bathroom and the security guard just deleted all of the footage because Van offended him.
Meanwhile, Jackie ditches Emily before it’s time to go to their self-defense lesson, which makes Emily’s “Bitch Imma” T-shirt make no sense. Jackie is supposed to wear a matching one that says “End You” but with Emily by herself, everyone thinks she’s just calling herself a bitch. She finds Jackie sitting in her car and demands to know what happened. Jackie admits that she is an Uber driver during her lunch break because she needs to make extra cash for her daughter’s field trip. Emily points out that its dangerous to be an Uber driver when Jack-O-Lantern is on the loose. She offers to help fund raise the money but Jackie makes her promise not to say anything.
True to form, the rest of the team is disinterested in her schemes and to be fair, this time they have the excuse of dealing with Van’s sudden obsession with their bowel movements. Emily tracks down Jackie’s daughter’s school to secretly donate the funds and the teacher explains that there is no field trip.
Emily is confused as to why Jackie lied to her but not as confused as Jackie is when her daughter tells her some crazy lady came to her school talking about a field trip to Six Flags. Jackie is furious at Emily’s meddling and refuses to speak to her. Emily tries to apologize again and Jackie tells her to stay out of her life. This is hard to do because Jackie’s car gets hit by a fireball and has to go to the emergency room and Emily is her emergency contact.
Seeing Emily rush to her side despite their fight finally makes Jackie open up. She admits that the money is so she can go back to school and get an MBA and do more than be Van’s assistant. Emily is excited for her, which makes Jackie balk. She concedes that too much attention makes her uncomfortable but maybe she needs a friend like Emily who will encourage her. Emily acknowledges that she can use a friend who will tell her when to tone it down. Now friends, Jackie and Emily take their self-defense class together (complete with matching t-shirts!) and together, they beat up the lecherous hot dog salesman on their block.
Who needs Crimson Fox when you have the duo of “Bitch Imma” and “End You”?
Most Powerful Line
“‘I’m a bitch? Appreciate the honest but inappropriate, Emily.” Van, misreading Emily’s work out t-shirt.
Powerless or Powerful?
It falls somewhere in between. Van trying to solve the mystery of who dropped the deuce was boring and you know there’s a problem when poop jokes are boring. However, I think Powerless is learning how to subtly weave the world of superheroes (Crimson Fox announcing she’s leaving the city) to affect the interpersonal relationships at Wayne Corp (Emily trying to befriend Jackie). I also think this episode greatly improved the dynamics between Emily and her co-workers. I know a lot of the jokes come from how the Wayne Crop team barely tolerates her but seeing Emily get shot down over and over makes me wonder why the girl doesn’t just accept that her co-workers are not her friends and try to join a Meetup. Having Jackie be a genuine ally in the workplace (as opposed to a reluctant one) balances out the show because it gives the characters more depth than their current “We hate Emily” dynamics. I’m excited to see Jackie play a big sister role to Emily because like the Teddy-centric episode before, it potentially has the chance to flesh out her cold, aloof character even more.
And I Think to Myself, What a Comic Book World…
After Crimson Fox’s announcement, the team suggests potential superheroes who could move in and be Charm City’s savior. A major superhero would be way cool but it would mean dealing with a ton of crimebut it’s not as impressive to say you saw someone minor like Aqualad stop a bank robbery. This begs the question, if you lived in a comic book world, which super hero (or super villain) would you like to frequent your city?