Monday, June 19, 2017

Powerless - Win, Luthor, Draw

Cancelled because it was too smart, funny, and interesting compared to the rest of NBC's current line-up, one of the remaining unaired episodes of Powerless hit he Internet this weekend. Featuring Adam West (who previously provided the narration for the show's pilot episode) in a guest-role as Wayne Enterprises Chairman West, the episode marks one of the actor's last appearances before his death. While the circumstances for the episode finally seeing the light of day are unfortunate, the episode is one of the show's best and gives us glimpse at where the show could have gone in further exploring the DCU had it not been cancelled.

"Win, Luthor, Draw" begins with a personal tragedy for Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) when her brand-new condo is destroyed during an attack from future aliens (which apparently isn't covered under her insurance), and continues a downfall for the team when trouble at the company's corporate level means cutbacks for someone on Emily's team. Finding the numbers to make the team profitable only gets Chairman West to sell the company to their rival LexCorp where they makes some shocking discoveries about just what the company of the current President of the United States is truly up to.

There's quite a bit to enjoy here starting with West's performance which makes use of his earlier narration on the show in humorous ways. The introduction of an unseen Lex Luthor as a Donald Trump stand-in works wonderfully (I would have loved to have seen this explored more in future episodes). And the team gets into their usual shenanigans as Teddy (Danny Pudi) and Ron (Ron Funches) attempt to give a distraught Van (Alan Tudyk) super-powers through questionable use of science (the follow-up practical joke is priceless). There's also a nice nod to a certain comic writer when it comes time for Charm City to produce the news. While I think the episode misses a chance by not having Emily use the portal to go back in time and stop the sale and save her apartment, "Win, Luthor, Draw" works well to honor both Adam West and the show (each of which left us before their time).

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