No Ordinary Family: No Ordinary Animal (

By:Kurt Anthony Krug
Review Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

 After a few weeks on hiatus, No Ordinary Family returns with a new episode that’s better than some of the recent ones, but that’s not saying much.

Lucas (a scruffy-looking Eric Balfour of 24) is a Sabretooth-esque villain who’s targeting super-powered beings per the direction of Mrs. X (guest star Lucy Lawless, Xena: Warrior Princess). He guts Stephanie (Julie Benz) and goes one-on-one with Jim (Michael Chiklis) and loses.

Jim then takes the infirmed Stephanie to Dr. King (Stephen Collins). There, Jim orders King to care for Stephanie. He also tells him he knows all about him and to stop playing games – about bloody time. This cat-and-mouse stuff between King and the Powells was really getting tiresome. Stephanie is injected with a serum that heals her but has some side-effects… which are seen at the very end of the episode as she goes out for a jog.

What hurt this episode are the Katie (Autumn Reeser) subplot and the Daphne (Kay Panabaker) subplot. Katie now has telekinetic powers, a parting gift from her ex Joshua (Josh Stewart). She’s also pregnant (like we didn’t see that one coming). Her panicked babbling, incessant comic book references, and attempts to manifest her powers again really got annoying.

Daphne is using her telepathic powers to skip school, hoodwinking the vice-principal (Robert Picardo, Star Trek: Voyager) She then uses her powers to get a front row seat to the filming of singer Sara Bareilles’ latest video. It really was a waste of Picardo and Bareilles, who just made glorified cameos. There seemed to be no point in their appearances except that they were there for the hell of it, especially Bareilles.

Back to Daphne and her powers, she uses them to get what she wants but you’d think she’d use them on Lucas. Lucas, a complete stranger, lies to Daphne about her mother in order to get her alone to kill her. She willingly goes with him. Yes, she was panicked, but you’d think she’d use her telepathic powers to confirm his intentions, especially regarding her mother, especially regarding the fact that she doesn’t know him and that he looks pretty shady. That was really stupid on her part.

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly stated that this show will end on a cliffhanger this season, but it is unconfirmed if it’ll be a season finale or a series finale. ABC will not announce its 2011-12 schedule until mid-May. The article also went on to say that Chiklis and Benz have been cast in CBS pilot for fall consideration, so perhaps they can see the writing on the wall. 

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Mania Grade: C-
TV Series: No Ordinary Family
Episode: No Ordinary Animal
Starring: Julie Benz, Michael Chiklis, Stephen Collins, Kay Panabaker, Jimmy Bennett
Written by: Zack Estrin, Jon Harmon Feldman
Directed by: Greg Beeman
Network: ABC