Perception in Paris? Ooh la la.
The series returned with a foreign case that was ultimately all about Daniel’s schizophrenia.
But with Perception Season 3 Episode 1, focusing heavily on Daniel, while using an actual espionage case, was a positive way to start the season.
Eric McCormack has continuously proven his ability to bring Daniel to life, illustrating the various facets and quirks of the character, all while simultaneously exposing the consequences of having the brain disorder.
So, to put him front and center was exactly what the premiere needed.
And it was great to see the return of actress Perrey Reeves portraying his love interest, even if ultimately she couldn’t handle his breaks with reality and speaking with hallucinations. I wanted to root for them to stay together, but clearly her tearful goodbye meant she just wasn’t able to handle things.
Poor Daniel. Maybe there’s someone else out there for him.
But really, with Perception, aside from trying to follow along with Daniel and figure out who committed whatever crime of the episode, its always a question of who are the hallucinations.
While I did think that the fake Agent Drexler wasn’t a real person, the hour kept me guessing and second guessing what Daniel might be perceiving as real. It allowed for to stay engaged in the story and hope that if Daniel’s sanity continued to deteriorate that Kate and Donnie might be able to help.
So it certainly made a very cool twist that only the mime was his hallucination, and the other people involved in the “pen case” were real, just playing certain people.
But I did, for a moment, feel that tinge of sadness as Daniel smashed the musical instrument to pieces and didn’t see anything come flying out. I really thought that maybe he’d gone over the deep end again.
Lucky for him, the actual item was just very small.
Now, did it seem perhaps a bit contrived and far fetched that the real culprit behind making Daniel seem crazy was actually something of a spy? Perhaps, but its ultimately forgivable with how the series stays light in a certain way. Sure, it can delve into some dark corners for Daniel, but it also has those moments of levity like with Max and the Dean trying to get Daniel’s job back.
Even the whole Donnie and Kate relationship has steamed its way up another notch. Hello, shower sex!
So was I surprised that the hour ended with Donnie proposing? Again? Sure, because it almost felt a bit rushed, especially after the last time we saw the couple together. There’s no way things are perfect, and I’m sure there will be plenty of bumps in the road for those two.
It makes me think the Kate and Daniel relationship sparks might strike up again, since Daniel pointed out that not many women would stick around. Wink. Wink. Kate flew across the ocean for Daniel, so maybe we’ll see them address it again in the future?
But the hour definitely made fantastic use of its setting, providing some lush shots of Paris, scanning around the scenery and making sure to capture as many wide shots of the background as possible. Shooting on location rather than some fake green screen is always a plus, but there’s something very cool about watching the Perception characters walk along the river or stand in front of Notre Dame. You could really feel the city in this episode, and I’m pleased that the series was able to make everything look and feel authentic.
This was a very solid way to sort of restart things, get the “band” back together, touch on Daniel’s disorder and dive into a case that wasn’t exactly what it seemed. And having McCormack show off his singing talents at the close of the hour wasn't a bad way to cap it all off. C'est bon.
Do you wish Perception would have more episodes in Paris?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.