Rachel Bellwoar reviews the ninth episode of Powerless…
To answer the question last week’s “Green Fury” proposed, about whether meanness passes for comedy these days, we have Van saying, in reference to a senior coworker, “Dorothy can ride in my chopper. I mean, she’s so old maybe I’ll just drop her off in heaven.”
What’s worse, and what prevents us from blaming his sense of humor, is that he’s not the author of his own material. He’s the voice box. Jokes are being earpiece fed to Van by writers for the Harvard Lampoon and Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Whatever regard you have for Zack & Cody, there’s a credibility to having outside writers provide Van with his lines. As professional comedians they should know what they’re talking about and their results would agree. Van’s employees laugh, and their chuckles aren’t ‘let’s appease the boss’ guffaws, but actual snickers at death. Van’s jokes don’t reflect poorly on him but the entire condition of comedy as Powerless knows it.
Not that niceness takes Emily and her team far. In waiting for Dorothy (Dorothy Schock) to show up, before heading to the corporate retreat, they miss their chance to board the bus before Dr. Psycho strikes. Different alarms indicate different drills,and it takes a moment for them to identify what kind of attack they’re under. One option considered has, “giant spider robots from another dimension where the Nazis won,” assailing. The actual culprit is much tamer: an unknown gas spread across Charm City, where they have to wait the threat out at Wayne Security. The building goes into quarantine and they’re stuck in the office instead of on their way to a lazy vacation.
With a far too comprehensive array of decorations, Emily tries to boost morale by bringing vacation to them. From the first karaoke groan, the ending is sealed for Vanessa Hudgens singing. At least some sweet justice is served when they receive photos of Dorothy living it up at the retreat, in a Breaking Bad costume. While they’re turning a friendly game of “Which co-worker would you rather be stuck on a deserted island with?” into an insult match with cannibalism, she’s basking in shirtless beach boys. Serves them right for thinking her dying the right topic for a joke. Between that, and spoiling the ending of ‘Making a Supervillain’ (Powerless‘ riff on Making a Murderer) for Ron, Dorothy is dishing out the “extreme punch-up” of this episode’s title.