Thursday, August 15, 2013

Perception - Asylum

Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) gets himself committed to an psychiatric hospital in order to help an old friend (David Paymer) whose client (Gia Mantegna) is charged with killing a nurse and then swallowing the murder weapon. The troubled young woman admits the second, but not the first, and Pierce recklessly goes inside the sanitarium to investigate the woman's doctor (Peter Jacobson) and members of her group therapy (Marina Benedict, Rob LaBelleLou GeorgeBambadjan Bamba, Johanna Braddy) while being haunted by hallucinations of Sigmund Freud (Judd Hirsch).

After a day inside the loony bin the closest thing Pierce finds to a lead is a ghost story whose roots may involve someone tied to the psychiatric hospital's shady past. In the episode's B-story Donnie (Scott Wolf) gives Kate (Rachael Leigh Cook) a hand when she gets in over her head while running the bar for her father (Dan Lauria) when he takes the weekend off. When Daniel disappears to a similar attack described by one of the other inmates involving the asylum's boogeyman, who turns out to be one of the orderlies (Brian Dietzen), Kate is forced to leave the bar and ride to the rescue.

I'd have to agree with Kate that this by far the dumbest stunt we've seen Pierce pull so far. The situation does allow the doctor to openly talk to his hallucination in public for a change, and even share the other good doctor with another patient. Although the ending is a little over-elaborate, even for a mental institution, the setting provides for a unique set of circumstances. The B-story allows some old sparks to fly between Kate and Donnie, but this is one relationship I'd actually prefer to less, not more, of (although the show's writers would seem to disagree).

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