Features TV

REVIEW: Powers 1×05 “Paint it Black”

Alright, here we go, a big showdown with a big bad and you know what for the most part it was tolerable. “Paint it Black” is probably the best example of potential that we have seen out of Powers so far. The episode manages to have a clear purpose, so confident character moments, and a solid working climax. What manages to bring down the episode is pretty much everything around it that we are forced to look at. Sub par graphics, repetitive sequences, lackluster and lacking explanation, for each major step forward this episode takes it somehow manages to take a few steps back. For every moment we actually get to see the powers in action we unfortunately get to see the actual quality of the show on display. I have a feeling this show knows what it wants to be, unfortunately the budget will not allow for it to be anything more than cheap, meaningless entertainment.

So let’s start with the good, we actually had a strong narrative throughout the episode. Watching the heroes do battle with Wolfe and actually stand a chance against added an element that was clearly lacking last week. For Wolfe to be so overpowered was a given, but without anyone to compare him to we were really left just thinking he was a man in a world full of paper. In fact I am pretty sure that this was the first episode that we actually go to see the heroes go all out for any reason. For a show about superheroes there has been a surprising lack of actual use of powers and that has really hampered the quality of the show. I get that this is supposed to be about the issues that these characters face in their everyday lives, but at some point you actually have to show the meaning of your title. Seeing Walker actually get to use his powers or having Zora stall Wolfe added something to this world that has been sorely lacking up to this point, an actual sense of wonder.

To add to the enjoyment was actual story being told of the moment that Walker finally turned on Wolfe and how he began his path to be a hero. Seeing all of our characters in their youths was an excellent way to show just how much they have changed whether it be Wolfe completely losing his mind or the fact that Walker has gained a massive sense of humility. Each little flashback added more and more to the actually story and made me feel like we were actually moving towards something. I especially liked watching Walker interact with Retro Girl at the end of the episode as it managed to inform a lot about who they are and what they see in each other. Where Walker saw a role model and symbol Retro Girl saw someone unlike the other faceless drones who followed her, someone with purpose and vision and that helps to explain if even by a little.

Unfortunately with all of these success there happened to be some faults in the form of all of the special effects not quite looking so special. Retro Girl and Walker flying looked extremely hokey, the blood spray from Wolfe looked like it had fallen out of a C grade horror film, and we constantly used the same shot of Wolfe in a field. If the budget was saved for this one moment the least they could do would be splurge because everything just looked like a joke by the end of everything, and this episode deserved better. More than the graphics I am annoyed by the character of Pilgrim not for anything she has done because she has literally done nothing. She is supposed to be a main character and she is not even on the bench at this point, she is still on the bus waiting to be told she can come play with the rest of the big kids. At this point you either kill her off or give her something to do because she is less than worthless and that is not fair to her character.

Overall it was an ok episode that could have been great.

Final Grade C

+Wolfe vs Triphammer

+Strong character moments

+Solid Plot

-Atrocious special effects

-Pilgrim entirely useless

-Calista sub plot

About the author

Scott Swartz