POWERS [Pilot Review]: Who Killed Cable TV?

Geeks unite— Playstation Network has brought a quintessential series to our pop culture repertoire.

Shit. Do you think it will EVER come to Xbox?
Shit. Do you think it will EVER come to Xbox Live?

While sporting some differences from its comic parent, Powers is an immensely entertaining show available through PSN. Produced by the studio that gave us Breaking Bad (so it has a pedigree!), Powers follows detectives Christian Walker (District 9‘s Sharito Copley) and Deena Pilgrim (The Following‘s Susan Heyward) on their duties to quell the abundance of humans with supernatural abilities (or POWERS!). The duo are brought together after a mishap at the police station, killing Walker’s partner.

Formerly the hero Diamond, Walker turned to police-work after his powers were taken away and is evidently tortured by his now lack thereof. Pilgrim, an out-of-state powers detective, recently moved to town and requested partnering with Walker. The two share a rhythmic, apprehensive interaction and their Brian Michael Bendis-driven back-and-forth dialogue plays really well into their characters.

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The pilot episode of Powers sets the stage for the future, introducing not only our heroes on the ground, but powers-wannabe Calista (High School Music‘s Olesya Rulin), and two powers Walker is all-too familiar with, Johnny Royalle (Locke from Game of ThronesNoah Taylor) and Wolfe (Hannibal‘s Eddie Izzard). Calista is doing anything she can to unlock the powers she’s so sure are within her, be it hooking up with an old dude with powers, to jumping off a skyscraper (I said anything, right?).

Royalle, rumored to be deceased, is our resident baddie; the teleporting head honcho of a powers gang is formulating a drug called Sway, designed to accelerate powers. Sway’s track record is unproven in this episode, as it burst the heart of its only tester (Olympia, the old dude mentioned earlier), but Royale is ready to produce more and I can only wait to see who takes it next (without having read ahead in the comic, my money’s on Calista). Wolfe is in confinement and we find out he was Diamond/Walker’s former mentor. That is, until things turned sour, Wolfe went batshit crazy and took Diamond’s powers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt2znyyXt3g

The Powers pilot sets the bar high for things to come. There were some neat little surprises scattered throughout — like Retro Girl (The Killing‘s Michelle Forbes) turning out to be the widow of Walker’s ex-partner — and the pacing is on point. Especially nice is the production team’s scene direction; something I love about, say, Tim Burton film is that you can pause at any time and have an excellent still that looks like it came out of a Michael Avon Oeming comic book. Well…

Powers has that same quality and I can appreciate the thought put into each scene— angular shots off the side of building where Walker and Calista stood, the powers kids showing off on the street and Royalle severing Bug’s head stand out, to name only a few. Episodes two and three are up as well, so do yourself a favor and make the time to check Powers out, it’s a power-ful new series with tons of promise.

4.5 (out of 5) Bibles.
4.5 (out of 5) Bibles.

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