Walter Spackman, a 26-year-old slacker, is sitting out in the rain on a red couch by the side of the lake. Lightning strikes and hits him.
In Chicago, Walter wakes up in his bed, gets up, and says one word, “Lily.” He then puts out his best clothes and looks at a photo of himself and Lily as teenagers. His mother Belinda comes in with breakfast and sees him looking at the photo, and warns him that it’ll never work out. Walter says that Lily texted him and that he’s finally going to tell her how he feels about her. Belinda tries to warn him but he rides off, ignoring her advice.
Later, Walter is at work washing dogs when his best friend Macklin Sportello arrives to pick him up so they can look at apartments. He tries to set his friend up with some girls but soon realizes that Walter is distracted because Lily is back in town. Macklin drops Walter off at home and he puts on a record to psych himself up for Lily, only to have it jump the groove. Walter then goes next door to Lily’s house and finds her meditating on the lawn. She looks up and smiles.
Walter drives Lily to the park and they take a walk. She points out that Walter has gone through a lot of jobs in the last eight years and suggests that he could do better if he wanted to. Walter insists that it’s all part of his ten-year plan to live in a world that makes sense for him. He tells Lily that everything is about to change and takes her to a red couch on the side of the lake. When Lily thanks him for the surprise, Walter says that it isn’t the surprise and invites her to sit. He then tries to explain that he finally figured out that the purpose of his life is to make her happy because he loves her. Walter admits that he never told her because he was afraid of what she might think, but it’s important to him that she know. Lily admits that it’s the most beautiful thing that anybody has ever said to her and hugs him, but says that she only thinks of Walter as her best friend.
It starts raining and Lily suggests they go in, but Walter gives her the keys and says that he wants to stay there alone for a while. Lightning strikes and hits him in the head.
Later, Walter is in a coma at the hospital. His mother comes to see him and tells him to wake up. Macklin tries to get through to him without success. Lily assures him that she’ll always be there for him. Finally, a mysterious man named Troy Hamilton comes by, studies him for a moment, and leaves. Walter finally wakes up and Belinda goes to his side. He says that he’s not feeling very well and then tells his mother that he’ll never be anything than normal. Belinda points out that he was hit by lightning and he’s not normal.
A few days later, Walter flips through the channels and then examines his broken wristwatch. He tries to reach for a glass of lemonade but finds it just out of reach. Concentrating, the glass suddenly moves into his hand. Surprised and shocked, Walter put the glass down and tries to figure out how it moved. Belinda and Macklin come in to take him out, and Walter says that he’s having hallucinations. The ringing in his ears is gone and he stares at the glass suspiciously.
The next morning, Walter gets up and puts his feet on the floor. When he concentrates, one slipper moves toward his foot. Startled, Walter looks around but can’t find any way that someone could have moved it. He goes down for breakfast and discovers that glasses, silverware, and bowls start moving toward him on their own. Belinda is busy on her laptop and doesn’t notice it, but she does notice him examining the glass of orange juice. When more things start moving, Walter quickly leaves before Belinda can realize anything strange is going on.
Walter goes to see Lily, who hesitantly hugs him. He starts to explain what happened, but her boyfriend Dillon pulls up on his motorcycle. She tells Walter that Dillon is just a friend and Walter hesitantly shakes his hand. Things get uncomfortable and Lily goes to get some lemonade. Walter steps on a crab apple and tries to scrape it off, and then glares up at the tree. Crab apples start falling on Dillon and Walter realizes that he’s controlling them. When Dillon backs away, Walter cracks his sunglasses and then turns on a sprinkler and sprays him. Lily comes back out and shuts off the sprinkler, while Dillon calls Walter a freak. Walter runs off, unaware that Troy is watching him from his parked car.
That night, Walter goes the restaurant where Macklin works and drowns his sorrows. Troy is sitting at the bar nearby and addresses Walter by name. Troy explains that it’s his job to know everything about Walter, and Walter says that there’s not much to know. The agent comes over and asks if he’s tested the limits of his abilities, and says that it’s important to understand what he can and can’t do. Troy explains that he finds people with special abilities, and Walter is very special. He tracks lightning-strike victims, which is how he found Walter. Troy asks for five minutes of his time and Walter reluctantly agrees.
Troy explains that he’s a private contractor and asks Walter what he can do. Walter explains that he can move things with his mind, but has discovered he can only move them three inches at a time. Troy suggests that he needs to start slow and develop his power, and assures him that he’s more than just a mistake of nature. When he tells Walter that he’s a superhero, Walter says that he’s not superhero material and walks away. Troy goes out after him and says that he want to give Walter a chance to have the life that fits the size of who he really is. He suggests that Walter meet the rest of the team before he make up his mind, and says that he’ll like them. Walter agrees to give it a try.
The next day, Troy is out walking his dog and meets with his client’s contact. The man wants Troy and his team of freaks to recover stolen property. Troy insists that they’re not freaks and the representative asks about Jeanie. Rather than answer, Troy walks away.
Belinda brings breakfast up to Walter but discovers that he’s already left for the morning. Troy takes Walter to an apartment in Park Ridge and explains that he was in Army Intelligence and was assigned to investigate psychic phenomena and turn it into a weapon. He decided to quit and build up his own startup from scratch.
One of Troy’s team, Todd, can psychically “see” that Walter is coming in a few seconds. His teammates, Annika and Carlos, gather and figure that Walter must be important. Troy comes in a few seconds later with Walter and introduces him to the others. Annika can duplicate sounds, Ethan can talk with insects, and Todd can see two minutes into the future but gets headaches. Carlos prefers to be called “The Human Smell” and narrates his own actions. The last team member is Watts, no first name given, who can alter and shape emotional states. When Walter hesitates to say what he can do, Troy explains what he can do to the others. Watts jokingly teases him and then assures him that he’ll like it there.
Troy takes Walter up to a room and has him demonstrate his abilities on oranges. As they work, Troy asks her about Lily and whether she knows about his power. Walter assures him that she doesn’t. Troy suggests that he take the long view about her and moves Walter back, and realizes that his range is 17’4”.
Macklin calls Walter with info on another apartment and gets no answer.
Troy reviews lock schematics with Walter, explaining how he can use his ability to open them. Walter still isn’t impressed with his ability but Troy says that it can be useful. He then confirms that Walter has to recharge after moving an object before moving the same object again. Troy points out that a 3” limit makes sense since Walter can access the atom charge but there’s only so much energy to draw upon.
Walter starts practicing on locks but is quickly overwhelmed by the additional complexity. As he struggles with opening the lock, another teammate, Brandon, watches him. When Walter finally succeeds, Brandon slips away.
Belinda notices that Walter is rarely home. Meanwhile, Walter finally links up with Macklin, who is disappointed that his friend hasn’t been around recently. When Macklin wants to go apartment hunting, Walter tells that he doesn’t have time. Troy pulls up to pick him up and Walter tells Macklin not to follow him and then leaves with the government agent, while Macklin yells that the lightning changed him.
Back at the team’s headquarters, Troy leaves Walter with Brandon, who says that the gloves are off. He has Walter exercise his abilities while running loud noises. Walter succeeds despite that and Brandon walks off. Next, Walter opens locks for Brandon. They go out on the street and Walter starts cars as he goes past them until he inadvertently sets off an alarm.
Later, Walter meets with Troy, who tells him the key to happiness is to find people to belong with. He tells Walter to sign the contract and walks away. After a few moment’s consideration, Walter put down the pen and walks out. Watts approaches him and asks how he’s doing, and he admits that he didn’t know what he could do until now. She points out that Troy does that for everyone and suggests that they go out for a beer. Walter agrees but discovers that she wants the entire team to go so he can get to know them.
The team ends up at Macklin’s restaurant and explain how they met Troy. Walter realizes that Troy told them the same thing that he told them. As Walter and Carlos come back from the restroom, Carlos explains how he gave off a stink aroma and couldn’t control it, but Troy taught him how to handle it. He tells Walter that superheroes work in teams because they want family. Todd gets a call from his wife and leaves to get some cough medicine for his baby.
Once Todd returns, Walter wonders what the team does and they explain that Troy has clients and they find things and conduct rescue operations. They’ve heard rumor that they’ll have a new mission in 48 hours but aren’t interested in finding out. Carlos lines everyone up for a photo op and then they go back to drinking. Watts notices that Walter is wearing a broken watch and he explains that it belonged to his father. She explains that her power manifested at puberty and Walter wonders if she’s using her power on him. Before Watts can tell him what her first name is, Brandon shows up and tells Walter to get out of his seat. Walter reluctantly gets up, while Carlos explains out that Brandon doesn’t have a special ability.
Macklin comes out of the kitchen and Walter comes over to apologize. His friend says that he’ll find a place on his own and Walter tells him to lighten up. Walter tries to introduce his new friends, but Macklin says that Walter doesn’t have friends and tells him to go away.
The others take off and a partially drunk Walter insists that he has his life under control. Brandon realizes that the teenage Carlos has hung back and is secretly drinking beer. He starts emitting fumes and Walter, Brandon, and Watts see the customers start to pour out of the restaurant. Carlos comes out and tells Walter that he just used a fraction of his power. Troy calls Brandon while Watts tells Walter that they should get away while they can.
The next day, Walter arrives at HQ in a skintight costume provided by Carlos. He quickly realizes that Carlos is the only other person wearing a costume while the others jokingly applaud. Troy welcomes him to the team and tells him that they’ll be going on a mission in 36 hours.
That night, Walter is at home preparing an email to Macklin explaining what happened. Troy sends a video message to see how Walter is doing. When Walter admits that he’s scared, Troy tells him to go to the window and look at the stars. He assures him that courage is something you can’t see or guess, but you know it’s there. Walter admits that he decided when he was 4 that he would learn the answer to every question and he did, but he never knew his father, who died when he was 3. All he has is some old records, the wristwatch, and a photograph. Walter put away the photo when he realized it didn’t represent any memories or have any meaning to him, and Troy tells him to get it out and get some sleep.
The team begins its operation and sets up in a bar. Todd poses as a bartender and watches their target, Dr. Pavel Husack. He foresees Husack’s bodyguard Junior going to the restroom, and Watts moves in and uses her ability to make him homesick. He talks about a church at home that he visited when he was 8 with his sister. Watts then asks him where the package is. Once she gets the information, she relays it to the rest of the team. Annika uses her ability to impersonate the guard’s comrade and call him inside. When the guard, Mel, checks on his friend Anthony, he discovers it’s Brandon, who knocks him out. The others arrive and Brandon tells them to get in and out, recover the package, and get back to HQ. As they go for the package, a woman on a motorcycle pulls up nearby and watches them.
Walter opens the door and Ethan sends his collection of butterflies inside to swarm Anthony and distract him while they go past the guard station. As Walter runs after the others, he trips and loses them in the maze of hallways. Two guards capture him but Watts arrives and uses her ability to make them burst into laughter long enough for her to gas them unconscious. She takes Walter to the others so he can open the last door, but Walter warns that it’s not like any lock he’s seen. Brandon says he figured that Walter would screw up, but Watts tells him to back up. Walter gets the door open and inside they find the package: a 10-year-old girl.
As the team takes the girl out, Watts and Walter demand to know what’s going on. The guards arrive and order them at gunpoint to turn over the girl. Carlos steps forward and unleashes his body odor while his teammates don gas masks. The guards collapse, choking, and the team heads for the exit. As Walter reassures the girl, Todd gets a vision of Mel waking up and shooting Brandon, but missing and hitting Carlos. The precog warns them and Brandon knocks out Mel again before he can fire. As the team gets to the van, the girl tries to run off but Brandon grabs her and tosses her in the van. When Walter objects, Brandon tells him to drop it and Watts suggests that Walter drop it for now.
As Brandon drives the van back to HQ, Brandon tells them to handcuff the girl. Both Walter and Watts refuse, and Walter insists that they’re the good guys. As they cross an intersection, Mel and the other guards ram them with a car. Brandon attacks Mel but another guard shoots him. Watts tells everyone to run while Annika calls Troy. Walter and Watts run off with the girl and take refuge in a nearby oil refinery. They come to a locked door but Walter realizes that he’s out of energy. He kicks the door in and they hide inside. They pause for breath and the girl tells them that her name is Cassie, and she has no idea why the men abducted her on the way home from school or who they are.
The guards close in and the trio escapes via a loading door dock, closing it and locking it behind them. Walter suggests that Watts use her ability but she admits that has to be close. As they head down the alleyway, the woman on the motorcycle pulls up and draws a gun. Walter advances on her and telekinetically opens a grille as she steps on it. The woman falls into the sewer below and Walter locks the grille and then spots a semi. They drive away but Walter suddenly stops and demands to know why he was mislead. Watts says that they can’t worry about that now, but they also can’t go back to HQ until they know it’s safe. Walter figures the only safe place is the last place that anyone would look and drives away.
Walter takes Watts and Cassie to Macklin’s restaurant and gives him a fake story about how they have to hide while they’re on a scavenger hunt. Macklin agrees to let them crash in the storage room. As Cassie and Watts settle in, Watts notices a series of injection marks on Cassie’s arm. Cassie says that she was given injections every day. Meanwhile, Walter explains to Macklin what has happened in his life. When Macklin doesn’t believe it, Walter demonstrates his ability on the bar taps and admits that Carlos was the one who drove everyone out of the restaurant. Macklin apologizes for not being more understanding, and asks why Troy would have sent them after Cassie. He suggests that Cassie has a superpower and Walter realizes that’s the key. He and Watts talk to Cassie, who admits that she has lots of superpowers but doesn’t know how she got them. Watts figures that they were giving Cassie an inhibitor, and the girl says that she doesn’t want to be different and hopes her powers don’t come back. Walter promises to take care of her.
At the refinery, the woman finally crawls up out of the sewer.
Once Cassie dozes off, Watts insists that she doesn’t know what’s going on and says that they have to call Troy. Walter wonders what Troy’s client wants Cassie for and refuses to turn the girl over. He admits that he doesn’t have a plan but asks Watts until morning to think of something. Watts reluctantly agrees and they go to sleep. However, Cassie sneaks out before they wake up. Macklin is walking down the street when he spots Cassie coming out. He follows the girl down the street.
Troy arrives and Walter and Watts tell him what happened. Brandon is with Troy and explains that he was wearing bulletproof armor. As they discuss the situation, Walter gets a text message from Macklin but keeps it secret. Brandon blames them for letting Cassie escape but Troy tells him to drop it and then orders Walter to come home. Brandon goes off to search for the girl and orders Watts to come with him. Once the others leave, Walter checks the message and goes to find Macklin, who is with Cassie. Cassie is sitting on the steps, and the motorcycle woman arrives. Macklin and Walter try to stop her and she easily knocks out Macklin and then tells Cassie to run. As Cassie runs off, Brandon grabs her and Watts uses her power to restrain Cassie. Brandon and the woman, Cate, fight it out but Brandon wins. Watts ignores Walter’s questions and Brandon tells Walter that they’ll transfer the package to their client in the morning. He takes Cassie to Troy and they all leave.
Walter talks to Cate, who explains that she’s Cassie’s sister. When word got out that Cassie had powers, governments and corporations came after them and they’ve been on the run ever since. Walter insists that he wants to help Cassie, but Cate asks what his client will do to her sister. She goes to get her back and Macklin tells Walter that it’s time for them to go home.
As Walter walks up to his home, Lily comes over and asks where he’s been. He tells her that he’s not okay and walks away. Inside, Belinda asks where he’s been and admits that she’s glad he’s not dead. She asks if he needs anything and Walter says that he doesn’t, and Belinda hugs him.
That night, Walter comes down to get something to eat when Troy calls him. He’s in the backyard and asks to talk to him. Walter tells him what Cate told him, but Troy says he’s there to make sure Walter is all right. He insists that changing the world takes time but Walter isn’t convinced. He quits but Troy says that sometimes being special is hard. Troy assures Walter that Cassie is fine and insists that he’ll handle Cate. As he goes, he tells Walter that they’re transferring Cassie to the client in the morning.
Walter goes to see Macklin and says that he needs help to do something stupid. When Macklin confirms that it’s really stupid, he agrees.
Watts is at a bar drinking as the men around her break into tears. Walter finds her and asks her for help rescuing Cassie. Watts smiles and leaves with Walter.
Walter, Macklin, and Watts head to their HQ and find Cate waiting for them. She asks why they are there and Walter tells her that they’re going to get Cassie back. Watts and Walter go in and distract the guard so that Cate can knock him out. As Watts and Walter confront the next guard and try to bluff their way through, the alarms go off. Walter releases the clip from his gun and then opens the lock to Cassie’s cell, while Watts keeps the guard paralyzed with emotions. As the sisters share a brief embrace and then leave, Brandon checks the monitors and realizes who is responsible for the alarms. He goes after them and orders them to stop, and Watts tells Walter and the others to go on. Brandon threatens to stop her, but Watts makes him feel overwhelming happiness. Smiling, he figures that Watts looks down on him because he’s normal, and she asks what’s wrong with normal, he says, “everything.”
Cate and Cassie prepare to leave town and Cassie thanks them for everything. Walter tells her that now she can be a real girl. When Cassie wonders if he wants to be a real boy, Walter says that he’ll be himself. As the sisters drive off, Cassie glances at the city and temporarily shuts down all of the power with a thought.
The next day, Watts finds Walter sitting on the cliff on his red couch. He explains that it’s his favorite place because that’s where lightning hit him. She wonders what he’s going to do now, and Walter considers running away. Watts asks him to stay, insisting that they need him on the team, and asks him to be her friend. She finally tells Walter that her first name is Tess.
Back at HQ, Troy is telling the others that he has to trust all of them. Walter and Watts come in and Walter tells them that he set Cassie free. Watts accepts the blame as well, and the others all stand up and take responsibility as well. Even Brandon stands up and takes the blame, and apologizes to Troy, calling him “Dad.” Troy calls Walter off to the side and congratulates him. He explains that the client used all of them and he needed Walter to establish plausible deniability. Troy trusted Walter to do the right thing and hopes that he changed his mind about quitting. He offers his hand and Walter takes it.
Later, Troy meets with the client representative, who warns that there will be questions about Troy’s reliability. He threatens to isolate Troy, but Troy tells him to be careful. The man reminds him that they used to be on the same team, and Troy says that he has a new team and he like them better. The representative says that they’ll be in touch and walks away.
Walter goes to see Lily and kisses her... and then turns and walks away without a word. He then goes home and tells Belinda exactly what happened to him, and that now he’s saving the world. Walter then goes upstairs, puts up a photo of his team next to one of his father, telekinetically turns on the record of his father’s that he was listening to earlier, and dances to the music.