The No Ordinary Family season 1 finale, entitled “No Ordinary Beginning,” beautifully demonstrates what a superhero television series can be when it decides to replicate familiar comic book style story-arcs and superhuman reasoning.
Tasked with concluding the numerous seasonal story-lines that have been presented throughout No Ordinary Family’s initial 20-episode run, one would expect a finale such as this to convolute and/or delay the expected resolutions. Fortunately, the series continued with its proven ability to manage a string of overlapping story-arcs and was not only able to create an extremely satisfying ending to No Ordinary Family’s first season, but also foreshadowed a terrific second season that will most likely not occur.
As Global Tech’s CEO, Helen Burton (Lucy Lawless), becomes even more persistent about finding the secret to the Powell’s superpower longevity, the focus turns to JJ Powell’s genius mind for the solution. With the previous episode revealing that Dr. Dayton King (Stephen Collins) was attempting to protect JJ (Jimmy Bennett) from Burton’s wrath, the No Ordinary Family season 1 finale expanded on King’s intent and provided one of the most refreshing, least-used character elements on television: he was victim of circumstance.
This element, while present in many comic books, rarely finds its way to the television medium – especially in relation to a villain. If it were not for No Ordinary Family’s intended and continual comic book focus on the series’ execution, King’s proverbial redemption (of sorts) would have almost certainly come across as illogical and convoluted. While there’s no doubt that many viewers may still feel that way about King and his character development, one cannot deny that it fits perfectly within the series mythos.
Continuing No Ordinary Family’s season 1 finale plot of attempting to save JJ from Burton, the entire Powell family must use all of their powers together and face their arch-nemesis head on. Even though this final act of the finale is more or less a string of scenes where each family member is allowed to prove themselves with the use of their powers, something about it still feels earnest in regards to its inception, and entertaining in its presentation.
Despite the fact that its almost certain that no harm would come to any member of the Powell family (even though they series is known for killing characters off), the scenes still progressed in such a way that the lack of angst that would come from the belief that a character was in eminent danger, was replaced with intrigue about how the family will eventually free themselves.
Sure, there were moments where certain story elements felt superfluous, but again: these things are expected when one is looking for a true comic book inspired series. Make no mistake; the convenient, illogical resolutions that many view as negatives in relation to No Ordinary Family’s execution are absolutely true to what one would expect to see in a comic book telling the same story.
For better or worse, this is the reason why No Ordinary Family is not only a wonderful comic book style inspired series, but one that audiences – especially on ABC – will tend to shy away from (hence its low ratings).
With George’s (Romany Malco) plight of his new-found super powers, Katie (Autumn Reeser) and Joshua’s (Josh Stewart) super baby and the Powell’s invitation from the NSA serving to round out No Ordinary Family’s season one finale as wonderful foreshadowing for what might come, it’s extremely unfortunate that the series will almost certainly be coming to an end.
No Ordinary Family airs on ABC. While a second has yet to be announced, Disney has already removed the series' set from the lot and placed it in storage.
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