Powers 1.06: “Raconteur of the Funeral Circuit” Episode Review”

If Episodes 4 and 5 headed into Aliens territory, Episode 6 opens like a tribute to Silence of the Lambs; Wolfe (Eddie Izzard) is back in his cell, which now has a drainer to keep his powers repressed so he doesn't need a daily icepick to the brain anymore.

The drainer's inventor, Triphammer (Andrew Sensenig), pays a visit to Wolfe, who wears a restraining harness that keeps him underneath the drainer's light. Wolfe sees that this drainer technology is intended for a larger purpose than just tamping down his destructing abilities.

Unlike Episode 3, this one does a logical job of getting everyone into the same place. The L.A.P.D.'s Powers division is holding a memorial service/wake for the four officers who died in the attempt to recapture Wolfe (by the way, the fallen officers share names–Chaykin, Golden, Mack, and Argento—with three comic creators and one horror film maestro).

Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) and his partner Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward) are there, and Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes) and Triphammer show up. Also on hand are the department's boss, Cross (Adam Godley), and a new face, Deena's dad Waldo Pilgrim (Gregory Alan Williams), himself a cop who had worked on Powers cases.

The episode quickly establishes itself as firmly rooted in the cop aspect of the show, as opposed to the superhero or celebrity aspects. Cross reminds the assembled officers to not let their anger over their colleagues' deaths take them over. Deena's dad tells cop anecdotes to an appreciative audience, before Deena privately reminds him of something crooked that he did in his past (finally, an interesting Deena subplot!). Toasts are made, and the cops start getting unguarded as the booze goes down.

Cutting to the characters who aren't at the station, we get the first hint from Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor) that despite Wolfe's being once again behind bars, something's still seriously wrong. Sway, we learn, has been distributed across the world, and all that empowering juice boiling in bloodstreams worldwide isn't good.

Over at Krispin's house, his hanging out with Calista finally leads to the two of them getting under the covers, hopefully offering a healthy release for several episodes' worth of teenage angst and moodiness. We can hope.

Back at the precinct, Walker, Retro Girl, and Triphammer survey the holding cell, which will soon have a drainer of its own. Triphammer gets drunk, which makes him about as interesting as he's going to get. Walker tells Retro Girl everything that happened in the Shaft during the previous episode—how he temporarily got his powers back and how it was he, not Zora, who captured Wolfe. The scenes with Forbes and Copley are the best in this series, and it's fun to see Walker's elation when he tells Retro Girl how it felt to be in possession of his powers again (and to hear her reaction).

Speaking of Zora (Logan Browning), she shows up too, with a new manager overseeing everything she does. The new handler is none other than Krispin's mom. Yes, this is a tight, incestuous little community in which we are enmeshed. Zora wants to drink with the cops, but her manager makes sure that doesn't happen.

Calista, in true Calista form, leaves Krispin when she realizes that he's got an anti-Powers agenda, and heads back to Johnny. A drunken Triphammer warns Walker about the coming of “the black swan.” At the end, Wolfe appears in a televised statement, begging to have his powers taken away forever—a suggestion that jolts Walker, who still hopes he can get his abilities back from Wolfe somehow.

One standout thing about this episode is the music, especially during the opening montage in which the characters prepare for the memorial service. “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” by Jim James does a terrific job of setting the mood and linking the various scenes, including one of Deena as she considers putting on a black dress only to put it aside for her usual cop clothes.

One thing that hasn't worked for these past six episodes is the whole Kaotic Chic subplot. We're led to believe there's a public groundswell of resentment against Powers, but we never see it. The only telltale sign of it is Krispin video chatting with Kaotic Chic and then running off to spray paint her name somewhere. But the protest movement against Powers strengthens, numerically and visually, in upcoming episodes.

See also: Powers 1.05: “Paint it Black” Episode Review


Hector DeJean can frequently be found in comic stores, bookshops, and the Eighties. His serialized story of a private detective who only solves food-related crimes is no longer online.

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