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Unlike the multitude of other superhero drama shows sprinkled throughout every network and platform imaginable, Powerless is more interested in the average joe than the heroes or the villains. The first episode, “Wayne or Lose” introduces Emily Locke, her nightmare of a boss, and the ragtag team of geniuses who all come together to make Wayne Security’s Charm City office. Written by Ben Queen and directed by Michael Patrick Jann, here is what went down in the first episode of the newest take on a workplace comedy.
FLYOVER STATES NO MORE | Bright eyed and bushy tailed, Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) heads to her very first day at her new job as head of R&D at Wayne Security. She doesn’t get far however, when her train gets caught (literally) in the middle of a battle between cereal box villain Jack-O-Lantern and his nemesis The Crimson Fox. All is well because this is a sitcom after all and Emily makes it to work, if a little late. She meets her new (and next level uninspiring) boss, Van Wayne (Alan Tudyk), cousin of Bruce Wayne. He needs her to inspire the team to create the next big product in civilian protection. Her team isn’t over the moon about yet another boss and is just waiting around for her to be replaced too. There is Teddy (Danny Pudi), chief design officer and resident color enthusiast, Ron (Ron Funches), head of engineering and wielder of baseball bats, and Wendy (Jennie Pierson), lead software engineer and deliverer of snide comments. Emily is convinced all they need is a motivational speech or two but is brought back down to earth when they inform her she is just the next name on a long list of bosses that have come and gone. Van throws another wrench in her plan to steer the team to greatness when he informs them all that they’ve been fired as Bruce sees them as obsolete. Emily refuses to take it lying down and with the help of her team, comes up with that next big product proving they still have value.
SMELT IT DEALT IT | After Van tells them they are all about to be out of a job, Emily’s constant optimism takes a serious hit and she confides in everyone’s favorite sarcastic secretary, Jackie (Christina Kirk). Jackie used to be just like Emily until the real world broke her. Emily refuses to give up and reminisces about growing up with a florist for a father and how she could smell him coming long before he arrived. Jackie makes a comment about wishing they could tell if a villain was coming and Emily’s brain bulb lights up. Using the programming behind Wendy’s “Emily Alert” – a device that looks like a crude sculpture of BB-8 that is designed to beep when someone you don’t like is near – they create a bracelet that uses each villain’s unique scent profile to act as an early detection system. They present it to Van who begrudgingly passes it up to Bruce. The head Wayne in charge loves the device and decides to keep the office open, leaving Van in charge. No one is angrier about that change in plans than Van, who was expecting to be promoted to the Gotham Office.
BUT WE’RE FAMILY | Where Bruce Wayne is a genius, motivated, secret superhero, and billionaire, his cousin, Van Wayne is more concerned with doing as little as humanly possible while also getting everything he wants. When he is not desperately trying to get ahold of Bruce and pretend they are the chummiest of chums, he is enjoying the lavish perks of his last name. Even when Bruce actually calls him (and immediately puts him on hold), it is only to tell him the office is being shut down.
• Batman has time to watch HBO Go. I don’t know what to do with that information but I feel it is critical.
• Where did Ron get enough Kryptonite to make Kryptonite glass?
• I hope the recurring joke of the absurd quotes from “Wayne or Lose” continues throughout the series and I hope Jackie gets to deliver them all in her most monotone voice.
So what did you think? What got you laughing the hardest? Would you want to live in a city full of super battles? What should the team’s next super product be? Let us know in the comments below!
Tune in to Powerless Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on NBC!