That’s it folks. Powers season 1 has wrapped up with its tenth and final episode. The first PlayStation Originals show, all ten episodes of Powers are available on the PSN for your binging pleasure, free for PS Plus subscribers. Seriously, if you have PS Plus, give the show a try. Why not, right? It’s free. Anyways…

Following last week’s episode, for which you can find the review here, “F@#k the Big Chiller” picks up not too long after we left off. Wolfe has escaped, and everyone is in a dead scramble to deal with it. And this is how the first part of the episode goes, the second part then concerned with the aftermath following the end of the escape. These two distinct parts characterize the episode as a whole, both operating very well on their own, but the sudden shift in tone and pacing is a jarring change that ultimately hurts the episode overall.

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As Wolfe is on the run, searching out those that took sway, we are treated to some truly well done scenes, Walker, Pilgrim, Cross, and Triphammer arguing amongst themselves, trying to come up with a plan. It was good to see the betrayals and double-crossing from last week were not simply forgotten, every character on edge and distrustful of the others. This gave the whole ordeal a great chaotic feeling to it, none of the characters on the same page or agreeing how to go after Wolfe. All of it was especially poignant when compared to the absolute composer of Wolfe, setting up an intense contrast that was a joy to watch unfold.

It is also worth noting that Calista’s reaction to Wolfe and his escape, her fear and strange admiration for him, was the first time I really got her character and was intrigued by what she was doing. Seeing her suddenly looking up to Wolfe, much in the same way that Walker and Royalle used to, just solidified the gravity and intoxicating presence surrounding Wolfe and everything he does. Calista was a great character to reemphasize this with, her admiration and devotion to Royalle never quite coming through the way it was meant to, but her feelings towards Wolfe really showcasing her need for a leader, speaking to both their characters.

And of course, as you would expect, there was quite the body count during Wolfe’s rampage, just as there should be. Needless to say, the culmination of the conflict was satisfyingly brutal and tense.

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The immediate change, then, to the complete lack of tension in the conflict’s aftermath very much came out of nowhere. Seeing everyone suddenly watching TV and taking walks in the park, after only a minute before seeing them fight for their lives, felt unnatural to watch, the transition not done well enough to move the audience past the violence and chaos.

That said, seeing Walker go around and check in with everyone was a pleasant progression and reminder of just how much of a connection Walker has made with each of the other characters, making the finale’s end that much more of a punch in the stomach. With no word yet on a second season for Powers, sadly, it is hard for there to not be the nagging thought that this all really could be the end, no real resolution ever coming. But pushing that thought away, assuming Powers does get a second season, the set up for each character, all of them starting down a fresh path, especially in the cases of Calista, Zora, and Krispin, served well as a stepping stone and as signifiers towards where the story could go from here, all of it promising, and, most importantly, something I want to see.

Powers’ season 1 finale was not perfect, the cramming of two very different story beats into a single package making the whole feel disjointed. But those story beats worked well on their own, both intriguing and delivering in multiple ways in their own right. In the end, the off beat strangeness of Powers is unlike pretty much any other show out there, and even if only for that reason alone I hope it gets renewed. The world is interesting, its take on superpowers is unique and fun, and, despite some rockiness near the beginning of the season, the characters grow on you. Needless to say, it would be a shame not to see the story allowed to continue.

  • MortonR

    Well, that turned out a little better than I expected. I was glad they resolved the Wolfe situation and thought they set up the characters for a possible second season reasonably well.

    There’s an interesting piece on the Hollywood Reporter web site that has an interview with the showrunner, Charlie Huston. Here’s a quote that ties directly into what we’ve all been saying: “There were also moments in the first five episodes where we almost got tangled up in our own stream. There were so many things we wanted to do at the same time, and we got tripped up by ourselves.”

    Be nice to see a second season to see if they can deliver a more polished product with the benefit of experience.

    • Sean Timm

      You’re right, with experience, and just confidence in their own storytelling, a second season could be great. So many shows have a lot of potential. They just have to get through the awkward set-up phase and find their footing. Powers definitely settled into a groove in the later episodes though. Its always nice to see a showrunner be up front about where a show stumbled.

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