We’ve officially made it past the requisite “three episode try” for new series to grab the audience, smooth out the kinks, and decide what show they really want to be. So Legion, are you still watching Minority Report? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. I am, too! But it might just be us.
Truth is, Minority Report is struggling to find an audience. After premiering at a soft 3.1 million viewers/1.1 rating, the show dropped steadily in the next two weeks, finally hitting “The Dreaded .7” rating that is usually the death knell for a network series. Fox didn’t immediately yank the show, but it has cut the episode order from the standard 13 episodes for new series to 10 episodes, which will make the fall finale serve as a season (and likely series) finale.
Hokay, what actually happened this episode?
Look, I’m as shocked as everyone that it took until episode four for us to finally get some quality shirtless Nick Zano time. If this were on The CW or ABC, this would happen every episode. But here we have it, shirtless Nick Zano aka Arthur is having sexytimes with an attractive barely-clothed lady when Dash (Stark Sands) shows up unannounced to chat about Agatha’s ominous vision. For reasons I don’t understand, he lets Dash in and Arthur/Ladyfriend stand around half-dressed for way too long. Anywho, Arthur is firmly Team Keep Secrets From Vega, and Dash is kinda going along with that.
Blake (Wilmer Valderrama) drops into the episode to talk about how important Hawk-Eye will be to fighting crime. This is his only scene. Valderrama took this job for a paycheck. Also, Vega (Meagan Good) suggests that Dash needs to separate work from his personal life. Apparently it took her this long to realize he has no friends other than her. Possible reason: he keeps having to excuse himself from friendly interactions to deal with his seizure-visions.
AKEELA (Li Jun Li) IS IN THE SCOOBY GANG! Welcome, Akeela. You will still just be Future Siri. Anywho, man in the vision is Cayman Bello (Andrew J. West), who conveniently has a charity event coming up soon, which Vega and Dash will attend.
At the party, there’s another camera drone that the actual camera spends way too much time on. We get it. This is The Future™ and there’s fancy new technology. Also speaking portraits that remind me of Harry Potter more than anything else. Vega is wearing an amazing dress that I can’t imagine a cop owning, and she knows a very attractive party guest so she leaves Dash alone to interact with humans. Alone. Have you not learned yet? Amazingly, this goes pretty well. Fredi Kincaid (Sheila Vand), the woman from the vision, chats up Dash while he checks out Cayman’s terracotta soldier statue. Vega interrupts their flirting because she has no tact, and Cayman complains about an old song that I couldn’t really hear with the sound mix but I’m sure will become relevant at some point.
Dash would like to stay close to Fredi because Dash has a CRUSH. And also the potential murder victim thing. Meagan Good gives great “are you serious?” eyebrow.
She oks the plan if he takes the amazing awesome future contact lenses. Poor Meagan Good is forced to utter the line “just think it with your tongue” to explain how to command the contact lenses, which is both a stupid line and makes no sense since the contacts are nowhere near the tongue. Whatever. Dash asks Fredi out, and she counters by inviting him to Cayman’s barbecue. That was way too easy. Fredi must be the killer.
Cayman’s BBQ is very fancy. The dog from the vision is there, and this pup is one step below a wolf. Cayman’s also got a jerk friend hanging out because jerks of a feather flock together. When asked if he is one of “the Virginia Parkers,” Dash angrily offers a sob story about his childhood that is almost the truth and walks away. Somehow, after displaying no social skills at all, Dash knows that Fredi will take his side and leave with him.
They head to a market and Fredi opens up about her sister Allison, who died under mysterious circumstances on Labor Day 2063. Fredi suspects Cayman was responsible, so she took this job to get proof. Nope. Not buying it. This girl is planning to kill Cayman.
Dash and Fredi visit Arthur’s friend in The Sprawl (WE MADE IT TO THE SPRAWL! And it is underwhelming.) to get a bio-printed eyeball to bypass Cayman’s security system. They did this by getting DNA from his glass. I don’t know that this is how 3D printing eyeballs works. Whatever. Let’s go with it. Fredi, all excited over her shiny new eyeball, kisses Dash. No way this girl isn’t a murderer.
Also, Vega and
Future Siri Akeela discover that there is no Allison Kincaid, but Cayman, his jerk friend, and another guy did rent a house every summer on The Cape until 2 years ago, the year when “Allison” supposedly died.
Fredi slept over at Dash’s place. Seriously, where did he suddenly get all these social skills? They have a heart to heart and Fredi reveals that Allison overdosed and Cayman just left her there to die then claimed they weren’t at The Cape together. Dash, how are you not seeing the murder in this woman’s eyes (and spare eyeball belonging to another dude)?
Future Siri Akeela gives Vega a new piece of information: Allison Kerrigan was at The Cape on Labor Day 2063. Why wouldn’t they have run a search sans last names in the first place? Also, the third guy turned up dead of a pill overdose recently, and his one visitor that day was Ricki Kerrigan aka Fredi Kincaid.
Vega rushes off to convince Dash that Fredi is a killer, but Dash says he “knows killers” and she isn’t one. OOoooh Dash takes out his magic future contact lenses and earwig. Dash and Vega are in a fight.
Vega obviously doesn’t take kindly to having the communication cut off, so she goes after Dash while he is helping Fredi break into Cayman’s house.
Dash finally learns that there is no evidence; Fredi wants Cayman to confess. Dash tells her that he knows about the dead guy, which prompts Fredi to lock Dash out of the room so she can confront Cayman alone. Dash sees the wolf-dog go in through a doggie door that any average adult could fit through and follows, which begs the question of why Fredi went to the trouble of bio-printing an eyeball. Also, Cayman is totally nonplussed that Fredi just walked into his supposedly bio-metrically secured room. This scene makes no sense.
Where was I?
Oh right, Fredi puts on the song from the party and reminds Cayman that he played that song for Allison. She demands that he confess, but Cayman goes into Full Jerk Mode and starts telling her how much Allison loved drugs, so Fredi quite understandably shoots him in the leg.
Meanwhile, Akeela has found the key: Cayman’s fixers tampered with eye-dents to prevent him from being connected to Allison, but they missed the music subscription service that they were streaming. It includes geo-coordinates that place them together. Future Siri FTW. #TeamAkeela
Dash tries to talk Fredi down, telling her that the cops are on the way because he’s working with them. She kisses him and he lets her go. Vega arrives 2 seconds later yet none of the cops try to pursue Fredi. Vega doesn’t mind because she is happy to arrest Cayman for Allison’s murder. No way in hell that they would just let Fredi go. The cops that she shows up with look way too military. And I don’t remember any point at which Vega or Dash even tried to connect this thing back to Hawk-Eye so they could legitimize the case.
Over on the island, Agatha (Laura Regan) meets with Ethan from LOST aka Charlie (William Mapother) to give him his assignment: break in somewhere and steal something. She once again predicts a bunch of stuff to prove to him that she is always one step ahead. Considering how upset she is over Dash and Vega, why is she being so flippant about totally outing herself as a precog to Charlie?
Charlie goes to Arthur to get a new identity with high security clearance including DOD. He plops a bunch of money on the table, which includes bills that have Obama on them and maybe possibly a woman. It’s these small touches that make all the difference – in that I’m sick of the people behind the show spending their time on these moments rather than making more inventive cases of the week.
Surprise! Charlie doesn’t get through the scanner at whatever scary facility he’s been sent to, so he has to give his mother’s maiden name because we aren’t past that in 2065. What if you don’t know who your mother is? What if you have two dads? Or two moms? Or your mother’s maiden name is just her name because it’s 2065 and sometimes women don’t take their husbands’ names? You put Obama on money! Come up with a better security measure than mother’s maiden name.
The info Charlie retrieved was about photonic containment, which is basically a picture of the Pre-Crime milk bath. Agatha gives Charlie the rest of the cash and lets him go, but Charlie wants to renegotiate because he totally recognizes the device has to do with Pre-Crime and has figured out she’s a precog because she was not subtle at all. Sorry Charlie, you tripped an eye-dent while on this mission, and now the U.S. Marshalls are here to kill you. Goodbye, Charlie.
The Cliffs Notes Version: Dash has no social skills until he suddenly becomes an expert at the “I’m a broken man, fix me” style of flirting and lands himself a series of dates (including a sleepover) with the woman in his vision, whom he and Vega initially assume is the victim of the guy from the vision but SHOCKER it turns out she’s the one with murderous intentions. Agatha is still on the island not being useful, and she definitely set up
Ethan from LOST Charlie to die.
Bottom line: Minority Report is procedural MadLibs. Almost every review has noted the rote way that each case unfolds. I’m thinking the Thomas And Friends wall calendar has more built-in suspense – Which OTP will they pick for February? The show is also far too proud of the ideas it has about what The Future™ will look like. So much time is spent pointing to all of the shiny new tech and the frankly non-ground-breaking social change that the show forgets to actually deal with the characters living in the world they clearly spent so much time creating.
Ever since Firefly’s untimely cancellation, fans have complained that Fox fails all of its sci-fi series. Yes, there have been several short-lived sci-fi series on the network, but given the ratings woes of all of those series, there was little reason to justify keeping them on the air. Minority Report, like so many others, had promise in concept but has thus far stumbled in execution. Though I still hold out hope that MR will manage to right the ship and start pushing some boundaries, I will not be upset to see it taken off the air. Especially if it could somehow bring the fun and irreverent Lucifer (slated for midseason) into my life sooner.
Legion contributor Katia Juanita is recapping and reviewing Minority Report for us this season. Follow her on Twitter @katiajuanita