Note: This is an in-depth review of a television series that has recently aired. It will reveal major points from the episode. Read at your own discretion!
NBC has brought another science fiction entry to the mid-season premiers, alongside ABC’s Resurrection. The show, Believe, had a special premier last night, but its regular time slot will be Sundays at 9:00pm, the same as Resurrection.
The show opens with a young girl named Bo in a car, singing that came from a dream. The car is then hit off the freeway. The girl’s foster father tells her foster mother to take the girl away, but the two of them are killed by a mysterious woman. A group of bystanders come to the girl’s aid and call an ambulance, forcing the woman to flee before getting Bo. When she arrives at the hospital, Bo congratulates the doctor attending to her on saving a Senga, a person he has never heard of.
At the same time that this is occurring, an operation to break a death row inmate named Tate is underway. Once he’s freed, his saviour, Winter, asks Tate to work for him, to which he agrees. It turns out that the job is to kidnap Bo from the hospital in order to prevent anyone else from taking her and abusing, namely Roman Skouras, who had sent the mysterious woman to kill her foster parents. The woman and Tate both end up in the hospital in disguises, with the same goal in mind, but Tate gets to Bo first. When he sees her, he becomes overwhelmed and begins to cry. Bo tells him that she knows he’s crying, and that it’s because he knew that he was good once. Tate tells her that he’s working with Winter and she prepares to leave with him. However, they bump into the woman, and the two of them first civilly argue about who should have the girl, but eventually she attacks Tate, who turns out to be a surprisingly good fighter. In the end, Tate escapes with Bo. When they meet with Winter, Bo is relieved, showing that she knows Winter and has gone through this process of escape before.
Winter takes the group to a warehouse he owns, and reveals to Tate that he will now be Bo’s guardian, handing him a large sum of money to handle any expenses for the future. Tate objects, but just then, the woman returns, having tracked them down, and shoots at Winter, hitting his hand. She then shoots at Tate, before the two of them engage in hand-to-hand combat while Bo, Winter, and his associate flee. When Tate begins to lose against the woman, Bo becomes upset, screaming and causing a whirlwind of pigeons to attack the woman, allowing Tate to flee, leaving the money.
Winter promises to take care of the money problem, but tells them to get away while they distract the woman, saying that Bo knows where to go. Bo leads him to the doctor’s house, where he dresses Tate’s wound. Bo again reminds the doctor about Senga, and also tells him that she is a singer, but he still doesn’t understand. He gets a page from the hospital summoning him, so Tate and Bo have to leave. As it turns out, Senga was actually a girl named Agnes, and he does save her life. When she awakes from surgery, the doctor hears her singing, the same song as Bo was singing at the beginning of the episode. As Tate and Bo get on a bus, it is revealed that Tate is actually Bo’s biological father, unbeknownst to the two of them, bringing the episode to a close.
The show is fast-paced from start to finish, and at the end of the episode, not much is revealed. Bo’s powers are variant and unexplained, where they’re headed next is not well understood, how Tate ended up on death row is unknown, and the reason that people want Bo is unknown. The subplot within the episode, however, is clearly contained.
The show itself feels extremely familiar, seemingly drawing a lot of inspiration from the Fox television show Touch, which also features a child with superpowers. The boy, Jake, is able to predict the future by seeing patterns in numbers, and his father, Martin, has to protect the two of them from a large company who want to use his predictive power to create a massive monopoly over the companies in the country. This leads the two of them on a wild trail all over the country hiding from these people, much like how Bo and Tate are now on the run. While Bo’s power of prediction isn’t as reliable as Jacob’s, it’s interesting how they managed to affect the course of the episode, leading her to continuously remind the doctor of how he was going to help someone, ignoring everyone else so she could complete her goal. Jake, though mute, would consistently leave his father’s side in order to give these kinds of messages to people throughout the series. In addition to that, the subplots within Touch were never left incomplete, just as the subplot in Believe’s pilot came full circle. In the second season of Touch, Martin and Jake meet a girl named Amelia, who also had the same power as Jake. Amelia was similar in many ways to Bo, being a young blonde girl who was headstrong and was unafraid of being blunt with people, especially in whether or not she liked them. Amelia too was used to life on the run.
Unfortunately, Touch was cancelled after two seasons last May due to low ratings. Despite being well written, subtle and complex, the combination was possibly too much for viewers. If Believe can get the right mix of these elements, then it might be able to keep the audience interested for a little longer. In addition to that, it must compete for views with the other sci-fi show Resurrection, as the two shows occupy the same time slot. If it can’t do either of these things, this show could easily end in the same direction. However, it’s still too early to count this series out, so we’ll have to wait and see where this story goes.
Photo credits: forevergeek.com, sciencefiction.com
Christina Beharry is a Mental Health Studies student at the University of Toronto. She has a passion for writing, gaming, and music, and enjoys sharing her ideas with others.