First of all, RIP Adam West. Second of all, his death "forced" DC to air the 11th episode if Powerless on YouTube on June 16 as a tribute to Mr. West. I'll link to it at the bottom of the review,

It's a pity that "Win, Luthor, or Draw" was never aired, because it's actually one of the funniest episodes of the bunch. It also seemed to capture the mix of comedy and superheroing that they purportedly were aiming for but failed so many times. We got references to the Blight and Skataris, as well as Flash and the Justice League.


The plot? Aliens attack Charm City and... the world! This leads to Emily's new condo being destroyed, which doesn't serve any real purpose other than for her teammates to come together and give her a CARE package. And Wendy's godawful cat sweater, mostly to set up an injoke later. And set up the "theme" of co-workers = family that they get back to in the final act.

Then Adam West arrives as Chairman Dean West, to tell Van that he's not getting a seat on the board after one member was killed in the alien attack. This leads to a bout of depression for Van because money and family connections are useless to him. He agrees to let Teddy and Ron douse him with chemicals and then electrocute him in the hopes that he'll get superspeed like Flash. For Teddy's podcast.


Meanwhile, Chairman West says that Emily has to fire a department head to meet the new budget after the alien devastation. She ends up figuring out other ways to make the company profitable, which leads to WayneTech selling the division to LexCorp. Chairman West also sees Emily's new cat sweater and calls Emily "Cat Woman." Ho ho. He also starts addressing the viewers directly in stentorian "Tune in next week" tones, and admits that he's only there for a gratuitous cameo. Meta humor!

The plot turns again as the team worries that they're going to get fired. Which seems likely when they meet their team of replacements: Emma, Don, Freddy, and Wanda. Wanda and Wendy even have the same parole officer. Then they're off to LexCorp, where it turns out they're all getting new jobs except for Jackie, who is being fired. This is a little second-hand, since we never actually see Jackie. We do get to see Alan Tudyk in a bald cap as Van shaves his head to suck up to his new boss., Lex Luthor. Who is President of the U.S., hangs out at his hotel/resort, Tweets a lot, and promises to make the aliens pay for a wall to keep them out. Topical!


Although Lex hasn't been President since... 2009? If you count the direct-to-video movie Public Enemies. So if you consider the writers using a storyline eight years old as "topical." That's represents what I've often thought about Powerless: that it's written by people that haven't read a comic in almost a decade. The Global Guardians? President Luthor?

The team soon stumbles across the wormhole, which Lex Luthor is holding open so that the aliens can invade. The HR rep, Russell, catches them and offers them their chance of euthanasia scents. However, Jackie has stepped in Teddy's bucket of chemicals and hit by lightning, and actually got superspeed. She rescues the team and pulls the plug on the wormhole (literally). The GOP votes not to impeach Luthor--Topical!--and Chairman West shows up to tell a plant to tune in and see what happens to the team. Everyone shares a laugh, and... the end. At least until the DVD comes out and we get the other two "lost" episodes.


"Win..." captured the feel of normal humans in a superpowered world. Yes, once word of how Flash got his powers out, you'd have dopes on YouTube mixing chemicals and electrocuting themselves to get superspeed. Yes, you'd have insurance companies avoiding paying for alien invasions. The aliens are from the future, so technically it hasn't happened yet.

The primary fault with the episode is that there's a lot crammed into it. Van is depressed, then he isn't. He tries to get superpowers, and then he's shaving his head to suck up to Lex Luthor. Emily loses her condo, then has to decide who to fire, then saved the company, then endangers the company, then has to wrap it all up with a tribute to the friends that are your family.


There's also a lot of short gags. i liked the bit with Wendy going through the wormhole, and coming out a few seconds later wearing a Xena-like costume after two years have passed for her in Skataris and she saved a bunch of slaves. And only came back to catch Game of Thrones. There's also the running gag about Wendy's having a restraining order against her going to a petting zoo near Emily's ex-condo. Although she was never a show star, Jennie Pierson was probably the MVP of the series along with Alan Tudyk.


And Tudyk was always game for acting like a complete jerk and an idiot. Like here, where he strips down to a t-shirt and underwear to first lounge on his couch and eat Cheetos, and later get doused with chemicals and run around the office and yelling that he has superspeed. Not to mention trying to pass as Lex Luthor. And his donning a Robin costume a few episodes back.

Adam West is no stranger to Powerless, having done voice work for the premiere episode. He looks a little befuddled to appear in person in this episode. But if nothing else, Mr. West was always a trooper and he seems to be having fun poking holes in his own career, what with the two direct-to-camera voiceover narrations. Even if he's parodying the narrator on Batman, not his Bruce Wayne/Batman character.


There's the uncomfortable sense that the main cast aren't in on the joke. You can see them thinking, "Who is this weird guy who wandered onto the set? And why is he saying these weird things that make no sense." They seem to be laughing at Mr. West, rather than with him.

Everyone else is... everyone else. Danny Pudi is kind of non-descript as Teddy, but Vanessa Hudgens, Christina Kirk, and Ron Funches are game for whatever the writers toss at them.

Overall, "Win..." makes a fitting conclusion to the Powerless saga. But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?

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And here's the episode on YouTube.



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Jun 26, 2017
I was trying to find your review some days ago, but they managed to bury it really deep. So you haven't caught the other two episodes? Pity. I was hoping for a review of the others as well. Just for the record, they are available on the Internet, somewhere...

This and No Consequence Day were good ones. The finale was a bit meh.

When the alien ray hit Emily's building, I was expecting the whole building to come down. Yet, her apartment was the only one to be destroyed. Talk about bad luck! As opposed to everyone else in that building, because they are the lucky ones! Well... No. In a situation like that the building would have to be evacuated anyway, and would probably end being demolished due to serious structural damages. Still, it wa a good gag.

So... If the President is a woman it's going to be Wonder Woman. If it's a man, it's Luthor. Hmmm... I think there's a subliminar political message here somewhere, but I can't figure out which. I'll get back on that once I've solved this puzzle.

So, the wormhole was something so secret anyone who found it would have to be killed and turned into dog food or something. But not secret enough so they didn't even feel the need to even lock the door. so random people could just walk in there by accident. And I was surprised the wormhole was so small, considering an entire fleet of spaceships came through it. Inside a room, on top of that.

I can't stand Wendy. She's definitely a character I won't miss. In American sitcoms like this there's always a character who's supposed to be "openly funny" and that usually gets into my nerves. This time it was not different.

Jackie getting superspeed was a nice twist. How does that cleverly affect the final episode? Well, you'll have to wait and see.

This was an OK farewell for West. I mean, it could've been much worse. Most likely, he would've died long after people remembered him in anything instead. But poor Mr. West was clearly in his last breath.

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Jun 26, 2017
Which episode is the last episode?
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Jun 26, 2017
Van of the Year
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Jun 26, 2017
Plus Crimson Fox is in "Van." Even though she supposedly left the city a few episodes back in "Green Furious." Indicating "Van" was supposed to air before "Green Furious."
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Jun 26, 2017
Well, I found that and "No Consequences", so we'll see.

"Van" originally was supposed to air much easier in the season. At least according to the press releases. But then they pre-empted it, and pre-empted it...
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Jun 17, 2017
I think it was a nice ending though admittedly not the highlight of the episode. I agree that many things there were felt rushed, I can't help but wonder if they originally thought this would be a 2 parter or something.

I think there are many shows that had not so great start during their first season but given a second chance they bumped all the way to the top. Look at Parks and Recreation. Heck, look at Cheers, who went from the worst new show of the year to be the top of the food chain.

Powerless might have also greatly benefited from a second season. Looking a bit into what people actually respond to and deciding what they want to be might have put this on the right track. But alas, that isn't going to happen.

Also, if they didn't know they were cancelled at this point - where they going to let Jackie keep her powers? Guess we'll never know until some comic con future panel will spill some secrets.
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