Perception Review: Love and Other Drugs
They say that sex sells, right? Well, this week's Perception was fully charged on that subject in one of the more interesting cases of the season.
No, Dr. Pierce and Agent Moretti didn't get it on (yet), but the two discovered a therapist trying to "cure" patients of their homosexuality.
It's funny because for the first half of this episode, the case seemed pretty cookie cutter in development. Somebody killed the therapist out of revenge or anger, etc. and Pierce would simply have to figure out who. Sure, there was the ploy of "staying inside the circle" with respect to the insurance company and bonus money the therapist received, but there's no way either Pierce or Moretti could pass up actually solving a case. They just love it too much.
Even the whole "is it a hallucination or isn't it?" game played itself out, complete with typical black SUV watching paranoia. It is interesting to note how relatively calm Pierce acts when confronted with a potential imaginary person. Although, in this case, the aviator wearing stalker happened to be real.
Yet, the episode took such a sharp turn in content revelation with "curing homosexuality" about halfway through that I had to stop to make sure I heard right.
In fact, Perception hasn't bothered to shy away from topics that could be considered controversial (take last episode's discussion about believing in God). It's a bold move and could certainly alienate viewers, but I like the daring strategy. It's a structure that could definitely set the series apart and really get the audience thinking about a concept that isn't black and white, while at the same time, offering a bit of both sides even if certain characters might be stuck on only one.
This particular episode certainly became compelling as to why the therapist believed he could cure homosexuality, why he'd do it and why someone might kill him because of it.
There were so many different directions the hour could suddenly go and even in interrogating a variety of patients, perky lovers and wives in denial, I wasn't able to guess who the killer might be until right before it was revealed. And it was a character introduced a bit later in the episode, so the "I've only seen three other characters, it has to be him" problem solving was pretty much out. Realistically, a majority of the suspects had compelling motive.
And although the hallucination weather girl gave him a few tips, it was Pierce that solved the crime. Not to mention that he stopped a 'roid raging runner, all while never leaving the car.
It was even humorous the way Pierce acted when talking about sex from clutching his satchel closer and closer, uncomfortably not knowing where to put his hands when comforting his student, and unintentionally flirting and impressing the attractive benefactor at the Gala.
It's been said before, but if you haven't noticed, Eric McCormack knocks his role as Dr. Pierce out of the park every time.
But was anyone surprised about the return of Kate's boyfriend? I honestly thought he was a dropped plot point since we hadn't seen him in so long. At least his appearance helps with a sense of continuation story-wise, giving the episodes not just a one and done type of feel. Whether he's the right "guy" for her is another issue entirely, but at least the show is trying to work in the other characters to round it all out.
Overall, "Lovesick" was an intriguing episode and really encapsulated a feeling of watching a great mind at work in solving a puzzle that was more complex than its base layer. I hope that future episodes follow suit in straying from the storylines we've all seen before, and with Perception renewed for a second season, it looks like we'll surely be seeing Dr. Pierce delving deeper into the human mind.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.