STAKEOUT is one of the first times we get to see the severity of Anika’s powers connected to someone important in her life. With Bailey, it’s walking the thin line of starting to utilize Anika’s powers for selfish reasons. I wanted to play with the idea of what they might actually be training Anika for — why is it so important to Bailey that Anika learn how to harness her powers? When they first discover Anika’s powers, there isn’t really an impending threat of any kind. Bailey doesn’t necessarily see a need, at the beginning, to protect themselves from anything external; instead, Anika’s powers are a chance to protect others. There’s a moral compass that is played with in every superhero narrative (with great power comes great responsibility blah blah blah), but rarely do we talk about the moral compass of those who are close to powers. 

Bailey, to me, is the big adult in this narrative so far. She’s confronting a problem head on, supporting a friend in every way that she can, and is the calming force in a very not-calm story. But Bailey is just as much a teenager as Anika is, though she doesn’t present as much, keeping her head together so that Anika can start to get hers together. In some way, Bailey has this deep idea about what Anika’s powers mean for the two of them as a pair, rather than just Anika alone. They’re a team in every sense of the word, and now that they’re starting to have a little bit of progress, Bailey sees a chance to save her mom. 

This episode was also a big turning point for exactly how Anika’s powers work, and the breadth of them. Everything before this moment was small, silly experiments in Bailey’s garage. But now, it’s buildings coming down, and guns coming apart, and car alarms blaring. Anika, in a weird way, does finally fix a bad situation, but she can’t really harness it in any way that makes it worthwhile. 

For Bailey, she finally sees the severity of what Anika’s powers might really be, and her connection to being the only way for Anika to keep herself from harming people. And in the face of that, she chooses to stay in danger to help her, regardless of what that might mean for her personally.