Friday, February 28, 2014

Perception - Curveball

Perception returns from its mid-season break with Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook) bringing Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) in on a case involving an autistic train-obsessed teen (Nate Hartley) who is facing murder chargers after he stole a train and ran over a train yard security guard (Andrew Lawrence). Although Pierce sees no intent in the young man's actions he is forced to go to Donnie (Scott Wolf) for a legal excuse to save the young man from a life sentence (which turns out not to be necessary as the episode quickly abandons the autistic killer plot thread in favor of a more complex, but ultimately less original or interesting, murder).

After proving the teen's actions saved lives by preventing a train crash involving a full passenger train and the fact that the security guard was dead long before being run over by the train, Pierce and Moretti turn their attention to finding the guard's real killer which involves Moretti talking with the victim's bookie (Joe Cortese) and twin brother (Lawrence) as Daniel is visited by visions of former Cubs Hall of Fame pitcher Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown (Brad Beyer).

The episode's B-story involves Dean Haley (LeVar Burton) working to woo a genius wiz kid (Kenny Ridwan) and his mother (Nicole Bilderback) which isn't helped when Pierce blows off the planned dinner, Lewicki (Arjay Smith) accidentally lets the kid down a fistful of marijuana brownies, and Haley getting caught sleeping with the genius' mother.

Although the episode balances some nice twists and turns early on, the introduction of the twin angle makes the outcome rather obvious (despite the momentary wall Pierce runs into not being able to explain the ballplayer's broken wrist). The B-story is mostly fluff as the show still hasn't found a way to properly use Burton for more than temporary comic relief. And, on the love front, it appears that Kate and Donnie will attempt to give their relationship another go this year and we get mention of Pierce's relationship with Miranda (Perrey Reeves) but no clear idea of its exact status, although the absence of Natalie (Kelly Rowan) in the episode suggests things may be going well.

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