Believe Review by John Keegan

Believe 1.03: Origin

Believe 1.03: Origin

Written By:
Jonas Pate
Directed By:
Stephen Williams

My hope was that this episode of Believe might transcend the mold of the first two episodes, if only to give the audience a reason to come back.  For whatever reason, it was decided to run this series against the powerhouse that is The Walking Dead and the more ratings-robust Resurrection.  It’s a shame, because this has a great production pedigree, and in the hands of Abrams and Cuaron, this should be a crowd pleaser.  Instead, it’s lost half the audience of its series premiere.


Part of the problem is that the show is struggling to balance the overall mythology of the series with its somewhat tired episodic style.  The mythology is actually quite interesting, and seems like a perfect blend of Heroes and Touch.  The idea of a genetic ability for superpowers is nothing new, but the streamlined conflict between the man who wants to exploit those with abilities in the name of protection and his protégé with more heart is compelling.


I like the idea that Skouras saw Nina, Bo’s mother, as a commodity, even as Winter came to see Nina more and more as a person.  It seems simple enough, but Skouras is becoming far more than the “black hat” he was in the series premiere.  I would probably enjoy watching a series about the formation and struggles of that period “ten years earlier” more than what we are seeing with Bo and Tate.


Bo and Tate continue on to the next city of choice, this time New York City, where Winter believes they can simply “hide in plain sight”.  Unfortunately, he didn’t put them in the middle of Brooklyn or Staten Island, where hiding might have actually been possible.  Trying to avoid the attention of law enforcement in the middle of Manhattan is ridiculous, especially when there is an Amber Alert manhunt underway!


But Tate has to be foolish enough to get them in trouble, and of course it has to lead to Bo resolving someone’s emotional scars.  I get that it’s part of the series’ conceit, but it has been so predictable in format over the first three episodes that I’m rapidly losing interest.  In some ways, this is precisely the problem that has faced shows like Elementary or Agents of SHIELD, where procedural or episodic formats seem to trump creativity.  Believe might benefit from taking a page out of the Person of Interest playbook and quickly evolve into something more than what it seems.


The fact that so much of the narrative is driven by the FBI hunting down Tate, getting ever closer to capturing him, is actually a terrible crutch.  It’s already wearing very thin, as there are only so way times and ways that Tate can elude capture, even with Bo helping him out.  It is getting terribly predictable, while also making the FBI look inept.  If this happens again in the next episode, the audience can’t be faulted for feeling like they’ve already seen all that Believe has to offer.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • The flashbacks with Skouras and Winter
  • The sinister treatment of those with abilities
  • Your Mom
The Bad:
  • Yet another episode with the same format
  • Why try to hide in the most monitored city in the US?

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Believe by - 3/23/2014 9:58 AM173 views

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