“No Power Part I” has the show’s usual expert ability to switch around themes and tones, and the usual dense collection of hysterical lines, but it also builds to a darker-than-usual conclusion that suggests not everything can be made all hunky-dory in the span of a single episode.
This recap of Breeders season 2, episode 9, “No Power Part I”, contains spoilers.
There are so many great lines in the first few scenes of “No Power Part I” that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Jim and Jackie are in particularly fine form, especially since they have been unwillingly displaced and Jim can see their old garden through binoculars from one of the windows. Everything from his thoughts on cheese to his ability to decimate a chicken like a kestrel is legitimately hilarious, and their upcoming 50th-anniversary celebrations — the episode starts during them and winds back — make for one of the focal points of this penultimate half-hour.
Another, slightly more serious topic is Luke, whose burgeoning friendship with toff aesthete Jacob lands him in some trouble when he doesn’t realize that Paul can see his messages and organizes a drug deal. He’s only planning to buy weed, but you know how Paul is, something which Allie is quick to point out. (“Jihadi daddy” is another great line.) Naturally, Paul immediately confronts him about it, confiscates all his devices, and threatens to tell Jacob’s parents, which Luke is understandably concerned about given things have only just started going well for him. His desperate, “Then I’ll kill myself!” is so typical of teenagers that it’s easy to feel a bit sorry for him, but then he goes against Paul’s wishes by using Ava’s computer to message Jacob anyway, which Paul discovers during the anniversary party we glimpsed at the beginning of Breeders season 2, episode 9.
A borough-wide power cut threatens to make a catastrophe of the party, but that’s if Paul doesn’t do so first. He gets even more annoyed than usual, snaps at everyone, and viciously berates Luke in front of everyone to the extent that he runs away, prompting Ally to go out looking for him when he doesn’t return. “No Power Part I” exemplifies this show’s expert ability to switch tones at a moment’s notice, sliding humour into tragedy and finding the funny in looming disaster. Things don’t get any easier when Paul, with Ava’s help, manages to find Luke and tries to calm him down. Luke, after blaming his dad and his temper for everything wrong in his life, punches him right on the nose and runs off again. There’s no wonder this is a two-parter.