Perception Review: Are You There God? It's Me, Daniel Pierce.

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If you thought Daniel Pierce seeing hallucinations of World War I code breakers was crazy, "Messenger" upped the ante with visions of Joan of Arc.

Yes, Joan of Arc, with her bowl haircut and drab tunic graced the television screen, but no Milla Jovovich was anywhere to be found.

Pierce's break with reality noticeably paralleled that of the episode's case focus on a young man named Kyle who could talk to God. Surprisingly, Pierce immediately jumped towards Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as the problem (the condition that has been said to have affected Joan of Arc) rather than spend the episode trying to figure it all out.

Pierce Vs. the Cult

Which is an interesting direction to take because the prime focus lay in figuring out the identity of the killer rather than a neurological mystery. Unfortunately, that meant for a bland hunt for the murderer who could have only been one of the other side characters for the episode. I'm just surprised Scooby and the gang didn't help.

Pierce spent more time debating science vs. faith, but the concept was thought provoking because of the fact that he has hallucinations. In a way, he's a lot like Kyle.

He might have been adamant in wanting to fix Kyle's "problem," but if the same thing was turned on Pierce, I've got a feeling he'd be at a loss for words. He doesn't want to be fixed or take his medicine, despite science saying that it can help. Frankly, I'm a little amazed no one said anything to him about it, but I guess not everyone knows that he's seeing messengers from God.

And while I recognize that Joan of Arc, and similarly all of Pierce's other visions, are essentially his subconscious helping him solve problems, sometimes it feels as if it is being too spelled out. I mean, Joan of Arc literally told him everything.

Sure, you could argue that Pierce is really just telling himself the answer and we get to see his head at work, but it'd be nice to have a more clever reveal than Joan of Arc smiling and saying something like, "She did it. Don't you see?"

It felt like a little too much exposition for the episode and, really, Joan of Arc just wasn't able to stop it.

I wonder if the show would be able to stand on its own without the hallucinations. I think it can and if anything, it could be entertaining to have visions that weren't helpful or just popped in to make comments rather than explain everything.

Eric McCormack still lays down a great foundation with his acting as Pierce, that while it'll be hard to ever forget him on Will & Grace, he's really creating a character that is its own. It's not Will on Perception, it's Daniel Pierce on Perception.

Which makes me wish that the same could be said for the other characters. They work in their own rights, Kate Moretti as the determined FBI agent or Max Lewicki as the helpful assistant, but I want to see more. I don't want cookie cutter. I just hope the show really fleshes them out so they have more to do than just be counterparts to Pierce. 

For the most part, the episode remained pretty average, although certain aspects were underwhelming for me. Truthfully, there's plenty to like about Perception from McCormack to the concept itself, but I'm still waiting for the show to become about more than just those two.


Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (39 Votes)

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


Yet anothermentally defective crime solver. How original


This is not the first time they recycled a House Plotline. A few weeks ago, they used a House disease with the murder victim's widow (the one who believed/remembered anything she was told). As soon as I saw her being interviewed and agreeing with everything, I remembered this being used as the "Disease of the Week" on House.


Justwondering...... I thought the same thing. I've seen this before. It's House in an episode called "House vs.God".


More boring than entertaining. Joan flat out told him the killer! I like Jaime Alexander.


I thought this was a great episode. I loved that no one on either side of the religious issue changed anyone's mind. That is reality. As for Joan of Arc, I think these are great hallucinations, and yes, I do think its his own subconscious telling him what he already thinks. Has this been done before? Of course, along with everything else in Hollywood, over and over. This is the first time I've seen an entire show on it though. That's not a reason to not like something because its been done before. If you did that with everything, then what joy would you get in life? I wish people would let that go. I'm still interested in this show, and I think Eric is doing a great job.


The episode Messenger seems awfully familiar to me. I swear I have seen the same storyline on a different TV show. With minor changes. Like maybe House or the Mentalist or one of the other crime dramas. Anyone else notice this?


Great review as always. The Joan of Arc hallucination did make it worse - I too wonder what it would be like to have them actually steer him in the wrong direction for once, or at least grant a bit of intelligence to the viewer. Kate's lines are so stale... would have been the same with Robin Tunney or similar in the role. The FBI in general feels forced still. Still, I like several things about the show, and it has potential and a good cast. The question is where is the writing, directing, and more to back them up? The latest ratings are starting to dive a bit. Still in renewal territory.

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