The show's main character, Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley, District 9, Chappie, Elysium), is a former Power known as Diamond. When a major villain named Wolfe (Eddie Izzard) broke out of prison some years back, the effort to recapture the mass murderer left Diamond without his powers. It was then that he joined the policing force known as Powers Division. The change not only gave Walker some direction in his new life, but it also gave PD a nice publicity boost.
That was all several years ago though. The show starts off when one of Walker's former teammates, Olympia (Adam Boyer), is found dead with a strange chemical in his system. The only possible witness to the death is a young girl named Calista (Olesya Rulin, the High School Musical series). While all of the Kidz (the term used for young Powers) know Calista, they all call her a wanna-be. She claims that she has unawakened powers, but no one seems to believe her, which makes sense, really. While powers do manifest during the teenage years, no one really knows who will or who will not end up being just a normal human.
While Walker deals with the start of Olympia's investigation, he also has to break in a new partner. Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward, The Following) is a transfer from another department who feels that she can really make a difference in the under-funded division, and she has requested to work alongside Walker. From her first day, she starts to learn things about the Powers world that she never imagined, and she starts to get the idea that even the "heroes" in the world aren't much more than people with better publicists.
As Walker and Pilgrim make progress in their investigation, they learn of a new drug that is hitting the streets. This strange substance seems to work as a power booster for those that have powers, but also provides instant and painful death for any normal human that takes it. The investigation starts to take a darker turn when all signs point to a former friend of Walker's who supposedly died during the same event that lost Walker his abilities.
Johnny Royalle (Noah Taylor, Game of Thrones, Predestination) is a teleporter that supposedly broke Wolfe out of prison all those years ago, and in the massive destruction that was the aftermath of that event, it looked like Royalle was dead. With the possibility that Royalle is still alive, Walker must talk to Wolfe, and we start to learn that Walker and Wolfe's past is a bit more closely tied than originally thought.
Before the shows twisty plot plays out, Walker will have to deal with a lot of bits of his past he has been trying to bury. Not only does he have to work alongside a former teammate, Triphammer (Andrew Sensenig), as the man works on developing a device to turn off people's powers, but Walker must also confront an old flame, Retro Girl (Michelle Forbes, The Killing, True Blood).
The Blu-ray's special features include a couple of featurettes, one about how closely the show tried to capture the look and feel of the comics and one about the show itself. Both are interesting, and as someone who hasn't had a chance to read the Powers comics (yet), it was really interesting to hear about what the show runners were going for while trying to cast the different main characters. The release also contains an amusing outtake reel and several deleted scenes.
I have mixed feelings about Powers: The Complete First Season. The story was slow to start, and didn't really grab me until the last four or five episodes, but all of the build-up leading to those final events was necessary. Also, the production quality wasn't quite as high as I was hoping for. Powers might have been on par with expectations as recently as five years ago, but with superhero shows like Arrow and Daredevil being as high quality as they are, Powers just doesn't quite look all that good. And while there might be some excuse about the quality given that the show was released to the PlayStation Network first, I'll remind readers that Sony is the name behind this show, and it should have enough money to throw at the show if it wanted the higher end visuals its competition has.
Powers has been renewed for a second season, so here's hoping that Season 2's production quality is upped enough to make it more impressive. In the meantime, Season 1 is a good enough offering to interest anyone who likes both superheroes and crime dramas.