A family is getting ready for dinner, only to have a masked group of thugs attack them in their home. They tie up the husband and wife, and the leader seems very interested in the teenager who was playing videogames with headphones on and not hearing anything going on. The Powells have something equally scary at their door: Stephanie's parents. (Cybill Shepherd
and Bruce McGill
). They were thinking of helping out the Powells for a few days as they went by on the way to a convention. And apparently, Stephanie's father, Allan Crane, is very happy Jim (Michael Chiklis
) is finally lifting some weights, judging by the handshake. Stephanie (Julie Benz
) doesn't want anybody to give any indication to them they have any sort of superpowers. Of course, Jim wants to show them off because Allan never liked him, and Stephanie is already having a hissy fit about it. (gotta side with her on that one)
STEPHANIE: When your mother and stepdad came to visit, I agreed not to have sex while they were in the house.
JIM: OK, as much as I would like to believe sex is one of my superpowers, I'm sure this falls under a completely different argument.
But it's like the DH in baseball: home team decides. In this case, her parents, her rules. Although her mother, Barbara, baiting her about having a full refrigerator and a clean house is tempting her beyond the straining point. Thankfully for Jim, George (Romany Malco
) saves him from "Satan's branch of the AARP" by telling him about the real home invasion that happened last night. Stephanie vaguely remembered Jim taking a few days off from work with her parents there, and Jim vaguely forgot he said that." She's so thankful for GlobalTech all of a sudden. But George gives him both barrels at work when Jim tries to weasel out.
GEORGE: You do know if you're holding back because of your in-laws, you're letting the terrorists win.
JIM: They're not terrorists.
GEORGE: Yes they are! Emotional terrorists. And they've been waging war on your marriage for years! THEY HATE YOUR FREEDOM!
George has a point, as Barbara and Allan commit a MAJOR invasion of the Powell's privacy. And they want answers from Jim and Stephanie. The running shoes, the hole in the wall, and the candy bars by their bed. Jim and Stephanie keep it quiet, but her parents aren't swayed so easily.
At school, Daphne (Kay Panabaker
) finds Trent, whose house got broken into. She tries to talk to him, but he was very tight-lipped. He said he didn't see anything, but she mind-read that he lied to the police. Even more, when she grabbed his arm, she went The Dead Zone
on him, seeing what he saw. Daphne's powers are starting to improve.
JJ (Jimmy Bennett
) talks to Grandpa about his car not working properly. Allan tells him to find a skill he's good at if he isn't good in school, like auto repair. Of course, he's tinkering away at his car and JJ already has it figured out. But since they promised Jim and Stephanie not to reveal their powers, JJ lets him work on his own.
Daphne discusses what happened with Trent to her parents. Jim is excited because he could sketch the crook Daphne saw that Trent wouldn't talk about, but she didn't see enough of it when she touched Trent. Stephanie immediately vetoes any thought of Daphne trying to find out more. In the meantime, Jim and JJ will run block with Allan while Stephanie deals with her mother. Daphne isn't thrilled about having to go to school while JJ gets to ditch, but her only other choice is to help Stephanie.
George calls in the middle of the night and guilts Jim into going out on night patrol...which Allan sees him do. However, the worst that happens is George gets stopped for DWB (Driving While Black), which an Assistant District Attorney can easily get out of.
Daphne goes "undercover" to find Trent and bribes Trent with grandma's cookies and some sympathy for whatever Trent had to go through. She puts her hand on his, and it works. Trent DID see his assailant, who threatened to kill his parents if he ever said a word. She tracks down Jim at the police station. Jim doesn't want her getting involved, but she pointed out it was already too late. Jim relents and sketches the perp Daphne saw. Jim walks it into his boss, who wonders how Jim could have gotten a description of the man from Trent when Trent told the police he was wearing a mask. Jim told his boss to keep it in house because Trent was scared, which he begrudginly agreed. Of course, Detective Cordero is a jerk, and the sketch is on the evening news.
Stephanie takes Barbara to work, and Katie (Autumn Reeser
) immediately puts her lips on Barbara's caboose. ("Your womb was the gestation point for scientific greatness!") However, Barbara likes the way Katie's lab coat looks on her (we all do), and Stephanie has no trouble wanting to snare Katie into having dinner with the family. Katie thinks Stephanie should open up to her mother more.
Jim and JJ take Grandpa out to shoot some pool, and Granpa's antagonization is testing JJ on not using his powers. Granpa is playing JJ for money and making him pay up.
ALLAN: When you make a mistake, you gotta live with the consequences. Just like I told Stephanie when I walked her down the aisle.
Jim tells Allan to play JJ one more time, and Jim signals JJ to take the gloves off. But Allan is too thick-headed, even when JJ starts beating the pants off of him. He wagers his car on JJ finishing the game, three balls plus the 8-ball, on a single shot. You can guess how that went.
Stephanie sees the newscast and goes off on Jim, as does Daphne. She is understandably upset, since Trent is now in danger as an eyewitness and she's scared what she did will get him hurt. Cordero doesn't give a crap, although he did at least put a uniformed officer on Trent's house for protection. Jim and George leap to Trent's house, with Jim carrying George. ("You just made me feel all girly inside.") But Stephanie texts him and tells him to get home immediately, as even her Martha-Stewart-at-Warp-Speed imitation won't stop her overly-antagonizing mother. At least JJ is trying to help by bragging he took Grandpa's car. But Allan is at full boil and takes it out on Jim because he was a few minutes late and constantly taking phone calls. Allan accuses Jim of cheating on Stephanie. And Barbara twists the knife further by telling Stephanie that if she wasn't so obsessed with work, she would have seen the signs. Jim is bursting to tell the truth, but Stephanie finally lashes out at her parents for always criticizing her decisions, her husband, and her kids. And she doesn't want to wait around for them to get a clue. She walks out of the house.
KATIE: (awkward) So, who wants cake?
Stephanie has to blow off some steam, so she goes running. All the way to the Grand Canyon.
George finally figured out how to get down from the roof...rather painfully. However, he discovers the cop assigned to protect Trent unconscious in his squad car. He calls Jim as the crook who committed the home invasion breaks into Trent's house. He quickly finds Trent, who swears he never said anything. The crook puts a gun to his head, but Jim gets there just in the nick of time to take the bullet and dive out of the window with him. Trent is shocked. The next day, Daphne assures him he can still talk to her. Trent is still too shocked to register what happened, but a touch of his arm by Daphne reveals what her father did.
Stephanie finally makes it home and gives Jim a big kiss. He wonders what she did.
STEPHANIE: I saw something tonight...a big chasm. Two sides so...far apart. Families...we start as a unit. Together, united. Over time, life happens, people change, and pretty soon you're so far apart you can't even see the person sitting next to you at dinner. That's what happened with me and my parents. That table might as well have been the Grand Canyon. They don't know who we really are. But that's because we really haven't told them. There are a lot of things I can run from, Jim, but I can't run away from what we are.
She finally agrees it's time to stop running. They agree to tell them, but Allan overheard everything they said. Allan finally figures out Jim and Stephanie must have been volunteering to help others. The shoes were likely for the homeless, and they didn't want to brag about it. It wasn't the truth, but anything to get the parents off their backs. Allan and Barbara apologize for their behavior. And Jim asks for retroactive permission to marry his daughter. He still doesn't give it, but Stephanie was going to do it anyway, and she's happy, so Jim should just keep doing what he's doing. And JJ gets to keep Grandpa's vintage convertible...once he gets his license in two years. Until then, it's Daphne's. Of course, it breaks down on the road, but JJ can fix it if someone can lift the car for him and fetch a torque wrench from home so he can get under the car. Problem solved.