Perception Review: Guess Who
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.
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!
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.