Sunday, March 16, 2014

Believe - Pilot

Created by Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, who also directs the Pilot episode), Believe begins with a double homicide and kidnapping attempt by a hired assassin (Sienna Guillory) and the planned escape of a death row inmate (Jake McLaughlin) only minutes before his scheduled execution by a pair of warring secret groups who both have the same interest - an unusual young girl named Bo (Johnny Sequoyah).

With no other options, Tate (McLaughlin) agrees to go to work for the mysterious Milton Winter (Delroy Lindo) who, after faking his own death, has tried to keep the girl hidden from his former partner (Kyle MacLachlan) who has more nefarious future plans in mind for young Po's burgeoning powers (which are ill-defined in the first episode). We also get Jamie Chung as Winter's most-trusted associate.

As Pilot episodes go, the first episode of Believe is nothing all that special, although Cuarón's direction makes it noteworthy. It sets out the basic premise of the show (protect young Bo from the bad guys) while teasing the young woman's abilities (reading the future, reading minds, causing emotional reactions in others, controlling a swarm of birds) that seem more like a random group of abilities thrown together to fit plot points than a well-thought-out power-set of what the young girl can do. The episode ends with a reveal that's only surprising to Chung's character who, given the set-up established here, may not have much of a supporting role going forward if the idea is to keep Tate and Bo in hiding and on the run for the foreseeable future.

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