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'Powers' - The Season One Review

So the last episode of Season 1 aired last night, and 'Powers' has (temporarily?) come to an end. So how was it?

For those just coming in, 'Powers' is based on a comic book series and features a world where supertypes ("Powers") are relatively commonplace. Christian Walker (Shalto Copley) is a former Power, Diamond, who lost his powers after a battle with his mentor Wolfe. Now Christian works in the Powers Division of the LAPD, dealing with super-powered crime. He has a partner, Deena Pilgrim, and a love-hate relationship with teleporter Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor), a former friend.

In the first season, several deaths are traced to a drug called Sway. Sway gives low-powered Powers more power, but it has a few unpleasant side effects.

The show itself had so-so special effects: no worse than 'Alphas' or 'Mutant X'. Clearly they didn't have the big budget of 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' or 'Heroes' behind them, but I always thought the F/X were adequate. There were a few embarrassing ones, like Red Hawk soaring down from a balcony. And they mostly used wire work instead of CGI, which avoided giving it a video game feel but perhaps didn't look as believable as it could.

Pacing went back and forth. Sometimes they seemed to dwell forever on certain things (like Calista), and sometimes they just zipped right on by a plot point and kept on moving.

As far as the characters, the main drive of the season was Wolfe (Eddie Izzard): his being captured, his taking Christian's powers and forcing Christian to become a police detective; his first escape from The Shaft; Johnny and Christian trying to kill him and releasing him a second time; and then Wolfe apparently unleashing Calista's powers. Whatever the heck they are. Now that he's really most sincerely dead, the question is, what will they do for a Big Bad if they get a season 2?

Also in with the body count is Retro Girl, who is (somehow) killed by Kaotic Chic in the season finale. The implication is that Krispin killed her, but it's not clear how he finished off Supergirl-Lite.

Christian seems to have accepted that he isn't going to get his powers back. That's driven him throughout season 1, and it's really his primary reason for existing. Now that his girlfriend is dead, that will presumably be his impetus to find the killer in season 2. That seems to put him at odds with Krispin, who is the prime suspect in Retro Girl's murder. Of course, Krispin is the son of Christian's old partner...

Deena didn't get much to do except swear a lot and eventually come around as the loyal partner for Christian. The subplot with her father as a corrupt ex-cop came and went, and not much there. Captain Cross also didn't have much to do. Triphammer, although a recurring character, seemed to have enough to him to warrant a jump to main star status in season 2. Ditto for Zora (Logan Browning), who had more of a story arc than most of the main characters. And her mentor is dead, so she's got something to work for.

That brings us to Calista (). The Mary Sue character of the series, everyone seemed attracted to her, even Wolfe in the season finale. I won't spoil it for people who haven't read the comics, but it'll be interesting to see if they follow that storyline now that Retro Girl is dead.

Noah Taylor as Johnny Royalle remains the fascinating anti-hero of the piece. He's now the hero of Los Angeles, has near-infinite power, and is still a chain-smoking sour-mood bad-ass who plays by his own rules. One of his best friends, Simons, is dead; Calista has left him; and who knows what's going on with Christian?

Overall the season was enjoyable enough that I'd like to see it get renewed. It's not like Playstation has anything else to put out there. Here's hoping that it comes back.


- Playstation
- Noah Taylor
- Eddie Izzard
- Logan Browning
- Sharlto Copley
- Powers

Written by: Van Troughton
Apr 28th, 2015, 11:32 pm

Images courtesy of Playstation

(Site Moderator)

Level 100 (99%)
Points: 180556.7
Mood: frustrated
Since: 13/Dec/05
Message Posted On Apr 29th, 2015, 3:11 pm

I enjoyed it, as it seemed to be a more "adult" superhero show. Not necssarily with the nudity (or lack thereof) and the bloody violence (of which there was a great deal). It just seemed aimed at a somewhat older viewership


They can always bring Izzard back for flashbacks.


Level 2 (27%)
Since: 20/Feb/08
Message Posted On Apr 29th, 2015, 10:30 am

Not having read the comics I felt it was fairly interesting overall. I really hated to see Wolf (Eddie Issard) get killed off. Other than Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor), he was probably the most interesting character in the entire show. 

There are enough plot threads to pick up so a second season would be nice. Now all we have to see is whether Sony feels it's bottom line warrants it.

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