Perception Review: Guess Who

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Like I mentioned last week, and a good majority of people have commented, Perception just seems like a mash up of every unbalanced yet equally as intelligent character from that other crime shows you watch... or used to watch... or probably will watch again in the future.

True, the general concept is nothing new and at times I've wondered how much the series might change if Eric McCormack's Daniel Pierce was a police officer or FBI agent rather than a professor of neuroscience.

Yet, even so, there is something interesting in learning that these wild and seemingly out there conditions are in fact real and not completely made up for television. Will I encounter someone with face blindness tomorrow? Probably not, but the fact remains that there are people out there with these types of disorders.

PIerce Helps On a Case

While the drama highlights particular ones connected to the case of the episode, it is Dr. Pierce's schizophrenia that remains front and center. For moments of the episode, the viewer gets a chance to be inside Pierce's head and experience his hallucinations, questioning those hallucinations, dealing with uncomfortable social situations, and watching his mind work together all the details that he might have noticed, but just not consciously.

I still fear the hallucinations turning into the "get out of jail free" card to solving crimes and the way the show really wants you to suspend your disbelief on a lot of those hallucination scenes, but there is something intriguing about this brilliant character struggling with schizophrenia and dealing with the day to day.

In fact, I find the moments where Pierce is talking to Natalie or freaking out over security scanners more engrossing than when his hallucinations whisper clues in his ear. They feel less about solving the crime in under an hour and more about studying his character.

And I enjoyed that Pierce's transitions from shining classroom star to nervous and uncomfortable in the FBI office felt more natural and less jarring. There was a sense that it was the same character, just dealing with two situations, whereas last week, I kept wondering at times if the character was supposed to act one way or the other.

Although, does Dr. Pierce have to listen to classical music to calm himself down? Wouldn't it be interesting if it was something a little less expected? Can you imagine if his playlist contained country, rap, or even Katy Perry?

McCormack continues to prove that the character is in capable hands even if the show itself isn't perfect. That likeability factor combined with the heartbreaking flaws make him an interesting character that I hope we really get to explore more of and not simply use as an outlet to solve zany crimes. There's plenty of story to tell surrounding Dr. Pierce and I hope we get to watch McCormack continue to sink his teeth into the role.

But it certainly seems as if "Faces," aside from dealing with mail order brides, the double hallucination, and the maid switcheroo, looked to be planting the seeds for all shipper fans everywhere. Will future love be in the air?

Does Perception need to dangle the "will they, won't they" just yet? I don't think so. But if handled correctly, it could add another fun kicker to the mix down the road

Overall the second episode was an improvement from the pilot, but for the most part toed the same case solving line as its predecessor. There's definitely potential wrapped inside this show as long as it doesn't always rely on Pierce's schizophrenia to solve crimes. I'd rather see him succeed with it than succeed because of it.

Hopefully, Perception can find a groove that allows the show to stand out on its own merits rather than succumb to the incessantly never-ending comparisons.

What did you think of the second episode? Is it like every other crime show or does it feel fresh and new? Will you keep tuning in? Sound off below!


Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (60 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Rachael Leigh Cook is 33, which is certainly old enough to be an FBI field agent. The minimum age is 23 and the maximum age for appointment is 37. She does look perhaps a bit soft for when a get-tough role is required.


I don't see anything wrong with them relying on his schizophrenia to solve crimes. It makes sense. The hallucinations are created by his mind so when they help him figure out a case it is simply just giving us a physical manifestation of his mind trying to figure things out


Just watched the "blank face" episode....amazingly amateur script...what crappy writers....."the killer can't see faces but recognized voices" oh did he then not recognize his own wife's voice??.....why didn't the girly FBI agent get the wife's photo in the first minute of the show?...oh would have killed the rest of the script....and why was the "wife" still wearing the maids outfit at the end of the show??....hubby is in jail and she is still vacuuming?? COME on WRTTERS...EARN YOUR PAYCHECK!


Rachel Leigh Cook looks TOO young to be playing the role of an FBI field agent. She comes off as laughable when she tries to be 'tough' with people. She looks TOO young to be pining after Dr. Pierce, as well, who shouldn't be mooning over her, either--she looks almost like jail-bait. I hope they recast her or kill her off and bring in a more suitable-looking woman--we are thisclose to not watching anymore, solely because of her in that role. It's ruining the show for us.


Well not so sure about it, but contrary to many who made comments on the first show I think it has some potential.
I think they try to blur the lines between reality and imagination, so this is hard to follow, but makes it also very different.
So I am looking forward to see more of this!


I like the show and I'm happy it's a scripted show instead of another reality show.


I thought this was a good episode. Eric McCormack plays this man perfectly, very convinced he has all this stuff, going through his head. I see improvement needed, but it is only the 2nd show. I do see this show and these characters growing with great potential. I'll be around for awhile.


Did it bother anyone else when asked where a character bought her shoes, she responded "Marshall Fields"? Come on folks--if the show is based in Chicago, get it right! MF hasn't been around for years!


Good review. I agree with RandomCommentor. Stupid "Will They or Won't They!"
I was fairly certain that the maid was Oleyna. I strongly suspected the Russian agent was a hallucination.


I agree fully. What I liked about this show was all the potential I saw for it to really be successful in the Pilot. Of course there are a couple things they need to fix, but it is only the second episode. Perception has a lot of time to grow.

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