At first glance, Powers‘ seventh episode (“You Are Not It”) feels like little more than a “slow down and catch up” episode; virtually all of the key players have something important (if not exactly action-heavy) to cover. There’s lots of juicy banter between characters about what they’ve done in the past and what they plan to do in the near future. Overall, there’s still a feeling of great relief that the horribly powerful Wolfe is back behind bars and firmly stuck beneath the “Drainer” that keeps him from devouring people left and right.
But once you look past the numerous plot threads, the thematic hook of episode 7 becomes clear: it’s about the rise (or fall) of two young women who take decidedly different paths on the road to success. On one side we have Zora, a brave, tough, and gorgeous young star who sure seems like a hero at heart — but her new-found celebrity status is based on a lie (as in: she didn’t exactly thwart Wolfe all by herself), and the young lady is plainly feeling some guilt about not telling the truth.
On the other side of the equation is poor little Calista, a normal young woman who is just positive that she possesses untapped powers, and is (finally) willing to prove it. While Zora is fielding good advice from Retro Girl, Calista spends her time with the eternally-sneaky Johnny Royalle and his creepy henchman Simons — and we all know what happens when naive young heroes hang out with the wrong crowd: we end up getting more supervillains, of course. How the power-boosting “sway” will actually affect Calista is a plot thread for episode 8, but I bet it turns out to be something initially cool and then ironically horrible. Poor Calista.
Meanwhile over in Krispin country, the kid is finally getting a bit more proactive with his burgeoning career in villainy. Not only does he come to approve of Chaotic Chick’s fraudulent ways, but he may also be directly responsible for the brutal attack on a superheroine known as Jump Striker. (There’s a pretty nasty final scene in this episode, and it’s one I did not see coming.) It seems like Krispin is in the very early stages of becoming a super-duper mega-villain, which helps make his scenes more amusing — even if they generally don’t have much to do with the central plot. (Yet.)
Although it’s not a particularly flashy episode, “You Are Not It” does give most of the characters something fun to do. You want to see Candace getting frustrated with Zora’s irresponsible behavior? OK. You want to see an oddly effective moment of teamwork between Calista and Simons that ends in a pretty wacky chase scene? I do! And (hooray!) we get not one, but two quick appearances from the ever-glib Dr. Death, and he’s probably my favorite of all the Powers exposition providers.
So while episode 7 touches briefly on all sorts of characters and their frequently intertwined plot threads, it’s mostly about the rise(?) of Zora, the fall(?) of Calista, and the still-tentative but blossoming relationship between Walker and Pilgrim. With only three episodes to go, it’s starting to look like a few Powers won’t be making it to season two — and I’m kinda curious to see who won’t be left standing. (Come on, Zerotron X!)
RIP Jump Striker.
Powers is now available for your viewing pleasure on the Playstation Network. What did you think of the latest episode? Let us know in the comments below!