Powerless – Wayne or Lose
By: Jay Smith
“That’s a brilliant idea! Let me summon a wizard. SHAZAM! Aww nothin’!” – Teddy (Danny Pudi)
Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) starts a conversation with a train passenger who isn’t enthusiastic about living in Charm City as she is. It’s her first day and, unlike the other passengers, she’s consumed with the battle between Jack O’Lantern and Crimson Fox (Atlin Mitchell) that’s happening outside the train. The scene freezes and does a small recap to explain how Emily has reached this point. She’s from a small town with little to no superhero interference and lives with her father (Marc McClure) who owns a flower shop. Like every millennial, she went to school and was at an unfulfilling job. Her father gave her the push towards helping people and motivated her to work for Wayne Security. As we’re getting her recap, an evil starfish is scaling the building across the street from her apartment. It gets zapped and leaves its insides all over her window. We get a small Wayne Security background that showcases their product “Anti Venom” for Joker attacks.
Emily finally gets to work and gleefully wants to explain to Jackie (Christina Kirk) why she’s late, but the assistant doesn’t care since she’s alive. Van Wayne (Alan Tudyk) greets Emily while countlessly telling us about Bruce Wayne and how close they really are – little to no truth on the latter. He also showcases the giant picture he has of himself with others in the background behind his desk. He officially gives her the new title as New Director of R&D (research and development), but isn’t really interested in her story about being a people person and fakes a phone call from Bruce Wayne with failed help from Jackie. Emily meets the team leaders Teddy (Danny Pudi), the designer, Wendy (Jennie Pierson), software engineer and Ron (Ron Funches), the head of engineering. Through a demonstration of a “wearbag” from LexCorp, Emily realizes the company has been making cheap knockoffs with no new ideas since the “Anti Venom” aside from reproducing it in a new color. She tries to inspire them to do better in spite of Teddy’s quip to call on Shazam to create a new idea for them. She asks them to “think outside the box,” but Ron produces a box as his next idea.
The employees are not very welcoming to Emily as she hasn’t produced a product of her own. Many others have had her job in the last year alone and their ideas keep getting shut down by corporate. This confuses her so she asks Van why was that information withheld and he explains to her that he doesn’t care about any of it. He wants her to get him to Gotham by any means. He hates being amongst the people and is very upset by someone “taking his spot” at the Gotham office because of his lime light beer. He emphasizes that the idea was literally made over night because the creator left a lime in his beer overnight. Before she attempts to motivate the employees anymore, Van has a meeting and lets them know Bruce has decided to close the company and quotes, “They are obsolete and the products are powerless.” (Shameful name plug).
While the team is packing, Emily goes to Van to try to get more of an understanding and while pleading to keep everyone’s jobs we discover he has been promoted to Gotham like he’s always wanted. He refers to it as “failing up” and doesn’t deny the privilege his last name gives him. Since there is still time, Emily tries one last time to motivate the employees to come up with ideas to save them. Ron makes a suggestion for kryptonite glass to reduce work place accidents from Superman, but not only would it weaken Superman he wouldn’t be able to help the people inside said building. Plus, it’s extremely fragile. Emily becomes defeated and retreats outside where she sees Jackie who has been reading Emily’s motivational book throughout the episode. Jackie explains the enthusiasm dies overtime. And in predictable fashion, Jack O’Lantern (Kimani Ray Smith) makes an appearance and Emily wishes she had an alert to let her know when he is around. The light bulb goes off and reminds her of the product Wendy had created earlier to alert her when she was around the group. She assembles the team to brainstorm how to make the “Emily Alert” bigger and better for distribution. The “Jack Alert” is presented to Van and, of course, he’s reluctant to showcase the new product to Bruce as he already has a job and really doesn’t care. He caves though and the employees are elated to hear they still have their jobs, unlike Van who is upset he still has to remain in Charm City. The team celebrates their victory and gives Emily a bus pass for safer travel to work and officially welcome her. The final scene of the episode is the news reporting on Joker’s apprehension and Batman using a device like the “Jack Alert” to help him do it. They dream about one day working for Batman.