Powerless recap, Season 1 — Episode 7, “Van V Emily: Dawn of Justice,” Aired Apr. 6, 2017
In this episode of Powerless, we discover that Van has spent his whole life coddled (which isn’t much of a surprise), that Teddy falls way too easily in love with superheroes, and that Emily may be as competitive and petty as Van.
Ever since she was a little girl, Emily has dreamed of having an office. As Senior Vice President of Wayne Security, her cubicle desk is commonly mistaken for the receptionist’s desk. Fed up with having to reimburse visitors with parking stickers, she marches into Van’s office and demands an office space of her own.
Obviously, Van denies her request. He’s far too busy waxing nostalgic over his childhood toys after his mother had shipped them to him to clear out his room. (His room is being renovated into the butler’s second pantry.)
Emily tries to set up shop in a conference room that Van had sealed off because of a few spiders that had set up residence there. Van immediately tells her he had plans of turning that conference room into storage and kicks her out of there. Annoyed, Emily challenges him to a Green Arrow archery contest. Winner decides what to do with that room.
The Green Arrow archery contest is basically the rubber version of darts. Apparently, Emily has never not hit the bullseye and is confident she’ll win, no problem.
Sensing disruption, Jackie runs to Emily and tells her she has to lose, on purpose. Van’s ego is fragile enough that he fired the one employee who won Employee of the Month. Hence, his winning that title four years straight is not a merit-based accomplished. Imagine what will happen if he loses the game to Emily?!
Emily grumbles and acquiesces. However, Van’s sore winning tactics quickly grates on her nerves and Emily can’t take it anymore. So she quickly racks up points until she’s 20 points to Van’s 20 points. She’s way too cocky, though, and flubs up her last arrow.
The next day, high on his victory, Van waltzes into the office, pastries in hand. He had outfitted the entire company with comfy new office chairs and he’s even remembered the majority of the employees’ names. He even gives Emily the office she’s wanted.
However, Emily’s pride is sorely rankled. So she takes this opportunity to tell Van that everyone has lied to him in his entire life and given him all his trophies — most perceptive baby of 1971, better rapper than Dr. Dre, Prom King, etc. — because they were tiptoeing around his ego. Devastated, Van holes up in his office.
Jackie can’t believe that Emily would stoop to humiliating Van just because her own pride was hurt. After all, Van had given her the office space she’d wanted, and wasn’t that all she had wanted out of this charade? Suitably chagrined, Emily goes back to Van and apologizes.
Shenanigans of the Week
Early on in the episode, Teddy and Ron are having drinks on the rooftop outside the office. They’re discussing Teddy’s successful dates with Hannah, a very pretty girl who shares Teddy’s particular love of design. As they stand up to head back into the office, Charm City’s resident villain, Jack O’Lantern, throws his regular firebombs at them and Teddy falls off the balcony. He’s saved by Green Fury, a sarcastic superhero dressed in a tight green catsuit.
He immediately falls in love.
Ron spends the rest of the episode persuading Teddy to not dump Hannah for the nonexistent possibility that Green Fury is equally in love with Teddy. Obviously, Teddy doesn’t listen and even sets up a Batman signal-like high-powered beam to grab Green Fury’s attention. (Hysterically, he tries to orchestrate a fall off the balcony, only to be saved by the Olympian. Teddy thanks the Olympian in a clearly lackluster voice and the Olympian, rightly, takes offense at the lack of enthusiasm.)
After the Green Fury signal catches on fire, Teddy calls it quits, gives up his dream of dating a superhero, and calls Hannah to set up another date. However, only minutes after Hannah calls him out on his B.S., Green Fury intercepts her purse stealer, and Teddy blusters that he is not, in fact, dating Hannah.
Green Fury, sensing the awkward tension, zooms away and Hannah stands there, annoyed, at Teddy’s complete lack of transparency.
I really liked this episode. I realize I say that about every episode, but this one was great. We got to see a bit of humanity in Van and that Emily’s desire to prove herself in the workplace, to be recognized for her intellect and skill set, could quickly morph her into the worst version of herself. Additionally, while Teddy proclaimed he wasn’t as big of a superhero geek as Ron, he still succumbs to the whole falling-in-love-with-your-savior trope. We also see Jackie as someone who’s been around Van long enough that many of the things she does isn’t just to save Van from his own stupidity. It’s to prop his self-worth up when he so obviously falters in the Wayne legacy spotlight.
All in all, this was a stupendous episode. 10/10 would recommend to use this episode as the one to advocate this show to newcomers.
Tune into Powerless every Thursday at 8:30/7:30c on NBC.
(Photo courtesy Evans Vestal Ward/NBC)