Shock to the System

I know you guys were all incredibly disappointed when you checked things out this morning, only to find that my Static review was not yet completed. Well don’t worry! Because now I’m here and I’m ready to disappoint you more! Your disappointment quotas will be filled and then some.

This is only my second Static review and I wanted to do a third season one but everything was dumb and it wouldn’t work. So I’m gonna do the first episode instead. Static’s humble beginnings.

The episode starts with some crooks robbing a warehouse. Among the many other things I would like to find a grand total of (Wonder Woman saying “Hera!”, Batman swooping down to save someone who is falling), I would really like some numbers as to how many episodes start with criminals robbing something.

The hoodlums are once again surprisingly coordinated, all wearing matching trenchcoats of different colors. Do they all go shopping together what the hell?

“Dibs on the red coat.”
“Aw fuck you Rick! I get blue then!”
“Jimmy already called blue, you have to wear green.”
“Well, how ’bout yellow?”
“Yellow? Yellow? Why don’t you just cover yourself in glowsticks for the heist, you fucking moron.”

As they’re stealing stuff, one of the TVs the guy is carrying suddenly turns on despite not being plugged into anything. It also seems to be getting an incredibly good broadcast signal. Purple-ish electricity starts zipping around everywhere, sending the crooks into a panic, when Static comes swooshing in! One of them exclaims that it is “a kid on a manhole cover!” and Static inquires, “shocking, isn’t it?”

They say “shock” a lot in this episode. Not like, constantly, but enough to make you go “they say ‘shock’ a lot in this episode.”

After pummeling the thugs, he zaps ’em full of static so they stick to the ceiling. Electricity powers are great because no one understands electricity, you see.

He sends a shock up into the sky, making a big sign.

Which, I thought was pretty amusing.

(I named that file badguysexit, meaning Bad Guys Exit but realized now that it could be “Bad Guy Sex It.” Totally hot.)

A little bit of Static’s narration and we cut to two days earlier, before he had any crazy powers.

It’s the morning and Virgil is in the bathroom checking himself out in the mirror. He is using a giant razor that is approximately the size of his entire cheek. He’s also rapping. I would “diss his rhymes” but I’m the person who brought the world “Fat ‘n’ Sassy” so who the hell am I to talk?

He bickers with his sister a bit and slides down the railing of the stairs to turn and run smack into his dad. He completely falls backwards on his ass. Does this actually happen to people? Do people run into other people hard enough to actually fall down? I have never in my life walked so fiercely. He also makes mention of the static electricity he built up from his menacing charge across the living room.

In the kitchen he discusses his plans to ask his friend Frieda to the prom. Isn’t that cute? His sister has made eggs, but Virgil disapproves of them. He looks upward, asking his dead mother to use her magic dead powers and get him out of eating. At that point, the phone rings and it’s a boy calling for his sister. Virgil mocks her buy kissing a tiny house decoration.

“Lookit sis, this fake house is getting more action than you.”

While she’s distracted, Virg dumps the eggs in the trash and makes a break for it.

At school, Virgil is talking to his friend Richie, who also knows of his prom-asking plans. He has some pretty hokey (but adorably sincere) plans that involve the phrase “do me the honor” but he says it with such a dopey grin, how could anyone say no?

As he’s prepping his speech, the lucky lady runs up to tell Virg about the million other guys that apparently want to ask her and she wants his advice about who to go with. I’m a little impressed her that he doesn’t just “oh gosh” and completely give up on asking. As he’s working the words out though, Francis, a total asshole, comes over to start putting his incredibly aggressive and downright angry moves on Frieda. Frieda’s not really turned on by guy just shouting in her face, so Virgil steps in. Francis gets a wee bit pissed so he grabs Virg and chucks him against a bunch of lockers. Like, into the air then he slams into the lockers. That would hurt a lot more than they make it look.

Francis is working him over some when a huge guy with the whole “bandana on backwards, just the top button done on his shirt” look going on, and tells Francis to get lost. The huge guy is Wade and he leers at Virg before wandering off again.

After school, Richie and Virgil are walking and talking and multi-tasking like nobody’s business. They get to Richie’s stop and he turns to head a different direction. Virgil’s walking by himself when he sees Francis waiting for him up ahead. He turns around to find one of Francis’s buddies. He takes a turn and is again cornered. They grab him, and two of the guys hold him while Francis pounds away on him, and a fourth guy keeps watch.

They give Virg a nasty black eye.


Blacker eye.

Wade (the big guy) shows up again, and the F Gang scatters. Wade and his friend tell Virgil to meet them tonight, and even though these guys have conveniently showed up twice now, you get the definite feeling that this is not cool. He goes to meet them that night and Wade tells him that he likes him. Which, heh, uh…ok. It’s kinda like a creepy old guy telling you he thinks you’re pretty. I mean, it’s a compliment but…please leave me alone old guy. Wade tells Virg that he won’t always be around to save him from Francis. And that if he wants to be safe, he needs to join their gang. They’re all but threatening to injure him themselves, and Virgil’s nervous and terrified head slightly nods in an effort to keep huge guys from beating the shit out of him.

He gets home that night and the black eye is less noticeable, but his face now has a large bruise on the side, and a bandage farther up. And not a “I’m wearing a band-aid to be hip” type of bandage. He sits at the kitchen table, eyes down, telling his dad that his injuries are from playing football. His dad doesn’t press him for more answers and V heads for his room.

The next morning, Richie calls Virgil asking what’s going on because word on the street is that he joined a gang. Virgil tells him what happened, and Richie is going all kinds of nuts because Virgil’s dad hates gangs. Not that other dads really love and encourage them and are involved in organizing stuff for their kids’ gangs like a troop leader or something. Virgil’s dad has a bit more to make him hate gangs though: Virgil’s mother was killed in gang fire.

So. Fuck.

Virgil gets another call from Wade telling him to meet them by the docks. Every fucking town in the DCAU has docks, I swear to christ. Wade says that they’re going to take care of the problem which is disconcerting. When he gets there, Wade hands him his bandana, which has a lovely gun wrapped up in it.

I don’t know if you guys are aware, but Virgil is four-fucking-teen.

And he’s got this in his hands.

He chucks the gun into the water where maybe a drowning hobo will find it, or a shark will use it to kill other sharks. He heads towards sounds of fighting to find “his” gang fighting with Francis’s. In the middle of all this, cops show up in helicopters and one of the gang members shoots out the spotlight a chopper. At this, the cops start firing stuff at them and break some poorly protected biohazard barrels. Gas starts spewing out everywhere and a bunch of the kids aren’t doing so hot. Virgil collapses on a fence.

The next morning he’s at home with no recollection of how he got there. He doesn’t think about it for too long though, as he suddenly discovers he’s got fucking electricity powers. I think maybe if I got crazy powers out of nowhere and was unsure of what had happened the previous night, I would take a moment to ponder what might’ve happened. Not for very long though because HOLY SHIT SUPER POWERS!

At least he loves his powers. I get so sick of people getting powers on shows and declaring themselves “freaks.” Shut the fuck up, you whiny bitch. People are only allowed to call themselves that if their powers also make them terribly ugly. Or like, if they completely fuck up your ability to do normal stuff. Then you can complain. That fucking cheerleader on Heroes though? Jesus christ, shut up! You can magically heal!


He tells Richie to meet him at the auto junkyard and when he gets there, he starts showing off his powers by floating metal shit everywhere. He’s gotten really good with them really fast, which is impressive, until he crashes the car he was flying around on. I have no idea if his insurance covers that. He tells Richie that he wants to be a superhero and Richie says that they should get him some gear! Some gear? Oh ho ho.

He tries on some outfits including this one:

Which Richie says makes him look like he’s from a battery commercial and I laughed pretty hard at that.

Back in the present, Static lets the guys off the ceiling and they fall like 40 ft onto hard concrete, but whatever. In the warehouse he finds they were stealing computers for the school and decides to just deliver them himself. He probably wants to keep them out of impound. He also uses it as an excuse to show off.

At the school, they’re preparing for the dance. Frieda asks Richie where Virgil is and Richie is terrible at excuses because he tells Frieda that he’s at home, fixing his VCR because it keeps going 12:00 12:00 12:00. Man, I love Static’s little white friend.

Right around then, Static comes flying in and uses his magic to finish the decorating that involves metal and electricity which seemed to involve putting up the disco ball and then turning some lights on. Really tough stuff. He zips up to Frieda and puts some shockin’ moves on her.

He lamets that it’s way harder to do that when he’s not flying around on a manhole cover because he usually lacks that musky manhole cover aroma that makes him feel strong and burly. He zips back out of the gym…to freedom.

At the hospital, we see that the other kids at the docks that night aren’t doing so hot. Well except for Francis, who is doing way too hot. He’s got some wicked fire powers, and he busts out of the hospital even though it’s a hospital and I don’t think you really have to bust out.

The episode ends with him walking down the street, looking to definitely start shit.

Let me go on a bit longer here for a second. I know I say this every time, but despite getting a lot of shit, Static is a good show. I know there’s hokey lines. Hokey lines that I love. But this episode, with all the gang shit, is done so fucking well. The episode really has some dark streaks in it. The scene with him getting beat up in particular, is more violent than you would expect from a show that not 10 minutes earlier had the main character rapping in the mirror. It’s a good fucking show though and screw you guys!

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