The most amusing thing about Powers — aside from its colorful characters, rampant profanity, and sudden graphic violence — is that you never know what sort of episode you’re going to get each time out. The first three chapters were basically set-up, and then #4 and #5 were sort of a complementary and action-heavy “two-parter” that played rather well if you watched them back-to-back. So now that Wolfe (Eddie Izzard) is back in chains, where is the series headed next?
Fans will be pleased to learn that episode 6 (“The Raconteur of the Funeral Circuit”) is mostly dedicated to A) honoring fallen heroes, B) keeping the viewer up-to-speed on a wide array of potential plot contortions, and C) doling out some (rather welcome) character development. One of the cleverer conceits of Powers (and its ilk) is that while it’s fun to see superheroes dealing with real-life issues, we’re always hungry for the juicy details regarding the heroes’ invariably checkered past.
Much of episode 6 takes place during a wake at the Powers Division office, which means that Walker, Cross, Pilgrim, Kutter, and a wide array of visitors get to hang around, discuss the dangers of being heroic, get drunk, and drop a few clues about why certain people don’t get along anymore. Triphammer, for example, is not only completely over the awful beating he received at the hands of Wolfe (in the previous episode), but in episode 6 he becomes a considerably more interesting character. (A jail cell conversation between Triphammer, Walker, and Retro Girl might be the best moment in the series so far.)
Meanwhile, over in Royalle country, everyone’s least favorite teleporter is hatching a scheme with his duplicitous pal Simons. Something nefarious that involves Calista, who has taken to making out with Krispin rather frequently by the way, Wolfe, who still has one nasty trick up his sleeve, and the rapidly dwindling supply of Power-boosting “Sway” — but most of these moments feel more like preparations for impending lunacy. (Also it seems like “Chaotic Chick” is about to cause all sorts of trouble, but more on that later.)
The most important stuff in this episode takes place back at Powers Division: the widely-adored Zora stops by to pay her respects to the fallen officers, and hey — it looks like Candace (a.k.a. Krispin’s mom) is on board as her new publicist. Didn’t see that one coming. Another pleasant surprise arises in the form of Waldo Pilgrim (Gregory Alan Williams), Deena’s highly-regarded and hard-drinking retired cop of a father, who regales the mourners with a series of old Powers anecdotes, bickers with a bunch of folks, and pisses his daughter off, big time.
The old-school former cop adds a nice sense of history to the proceedings (he and Triphammer do not get along!), and the actor adds a nice dash of energy to a specifically dialogue (and exposition) heavy episode. But just when this “The Raconteur of the Funeral Circuit” starts to feel like a placeholder/recap episode, we get a new mystery thread (who is Black Swan?) and a new bombshell just waiting to explode. Something tells me that Chaotic Chick’s doctored video is going to be pretty scandalous. Just a hunch I got.
Oh, and also Wolfe goes on television and asks for permission to kill himself. Again: something you probably didn’t see coming. If you haven’t read the book(s), I mean, which I haven’t.
Note: still no sign of Zerotron X.
Powers is available for your viewing pleasure on the Playstation Network.