Tonight’s Powerless parodied Elon Musk and SpaceX with the Wayne Innovation Prize. Awarded to the Wayne Industries employee whose invention “most embodies the triumph of the human spirit,” the $100,000 reward stoked corporate rivalries between the beloved and beleaguered Wayne Securities team and WayneX.
While Emily tries to motivate the team, two WayneX minions swing by to remind Wayne Securities that they just make dumb widgets and are scientific nobodies. The two bullies remind them who the top dogs are: the super elite WayneX scientists who invent cutting edge technology that shapes the future.
Emily (Vanessa Hudgens), anxious to prove that the team is doing important work, manipulates a reluctant Teddy (Danny Pudi) into entering his miraculous heat gloves — a nifty invention that keeps hands warm, defrosts car doors and reheats coffee during cold season. Since Teddy’s unmoved by her sincere appeals, Emily changes tactics and calls him a Hobbit movie, aka something she built up too much in her head and was subsequently disappointed with.
No man could withstand such a heartless taunt, so Teddy dives into working out all the bugs in his heat gloves for the competition. He starts to spiral, obsessed with perfection. Sensing a tragic backstory, and an uncontrollable employee, Emily enters the imperfect gloves in the contest without Teddy’s knowledge. Teddy’s heat gloves make it to the finals — despite their inability to pop all the kernels in a popcorn bag — but lose to WayneX as predicted.
When Teddy comes face to face with WayneX’s winning invention, a humanoid robot so real it took a second for him to realize he was talking to a machine, he admits feeling second-tier not just professionally, but in his personal life as well. Emily’s comforting him on a balcony at Wayne industries when suddenly Crimson Fox arrives, protecting them from Frost Bite. With Crimson Fox gets stuck in a deep freeze, only Teddy can save the day. Using his heat gloves, he de-ices Crimson Fox and she borrows them to defeat the frigid villain. Teddy might not have won $100k but he saved the lives of countless people with his invention. Secondbest isn’t so bad anymore.
While the WayneX assholes were a great gag in their own right, it’s undoubtedly even more hilarious when you remember who the Elon Musk of this world is: Batman. Somehow, between saving Gotham, running a billion-dollar corporation with multiple businesses, and insisting he’s not in love with Superman, Bruce Wayne found time to launch his own personal SpaceX. After all, the Watchtower, a space base that doubles as the Justice League headquarters, isn’t going to build itself. The DC universe apparently found the perfect man for the job. He just happens to employ a lot of assholes.