Apr 23, 2020
Minority Report “Mr. Nice Guy”
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Previously on Minority Report: Can you see… murder? Future cop Lara Vega was tired of “picking up the pieces” and wanted to stop murders before they happened, so she teamed up with former Precrime precog Dash, even though his fellow precog Agatha warned him that they’re not supposed to interfere. With the help of Dash’s twin Arthur, they stopped an attack by bio-weaponized pigeons, but Dash killed the suspect. Meanwhile, Agatha was having visions of Precrime repossessing the precogs and putting them back in the milk bath.
This episode opens with a flashback to (per the caption) “the last day of Precrime”, as Wally, the precogs’ caretaker, meets with some government stooge about what will happen to the precogs after they’re released. The stooge is surprised to learn the three have names, and I’m pretty sure this flashback was only thrown in to give us exposition about the precogs (Agatha “becomes” the victims she sees, Arthur is like an “antenna” pulling in names and facts, and Dash “sees the horror”), because nothing that happens here gets referenced again.
Cut to the present. Well, it’s still the future. It’s the future present. Dash is in a park playing chess against multiple people, and using his precognitive abilities to beat them all handily. This includes a girl with blue and purple hair who complains she didn’t even get a chance to make a move. And in the movie that this show is allegedly based on, the precogs only had the ability to see murders, but it seems here they have the ability to see pretty much anything that’s about to happen, as long as it moves the plot along and/or sets up a gag.
And now Dash doubles over as he gets another vision of a future murder, where a man ties up a woman and attacks her with a knife. He runs off and someone tries to tell him he forgot his “winnings”, but Twilight Sparkle Girl goes, “Shhh!”
After a brand new title sequence where Meagan Good’s voiceover explains the premise of the show and who the precogs are, and how they were held for six years “against their will” by the government, we find Det. Vega and her boss Lt. Blake in some sort of post-apocalyptic hellscape doing battle with what appear to be Mad Max cosplayers. And the entire time they’re blowing people away, they’re having a casual conversation about current pop music, and how Vega still listens to Beyonce, which Blake refers to as “oldies”, because in case you forgot since last episode, it’s the future.
Vega then uses the thermal setting on her lenses to locate their adversaries, and she has a smile on her face as she shoots them all one by one. Blake then informs her she missed one, as another attacker jumps out of a window and shoots her in the head, and as you may have already guessed from their lighthearted demeanor and the way this scene plays out like a first-person shooter, this was all a big holographic training simulation and they’re both currently inside high-tech hamster balls.
If I ruled the world, I think I’d outlaw all “training sequence” fakeouts from movies and TV now and forever. I don’t think a scene like this has actually surprised an audience since the opening of Wrath of Khan 33 years ago, and as this scene shows, it’s almost always a cheap way to shoehorn in some “action” when it clearly isn’t warranted by the plot.
As they leave the training room, Blake reminds Vega he’s been cleaning up her “mess” from last week’s case, where both suspects ended up dead. And now the “feds are asking questions”, because they think she had help, and Blake has his suspicions, too. Akeela, our Police Science-y Girl (and yes, that is her official title) also has her suspicions, because she knows the forensics don’t match up with Vega’s story. Vega says she can’t tell Akeela what really went down because she’s protecting her.
And now Dash is back at Wally’s place, again using his homemade neural interface to project his visions on a brick wall. Vega shows up and they check out his latest vision, where all they have to go on is the victim’s distinctive pair of silver shoes, a spinning moon/star symbol, and an armband from a singles bar called “Club Alpha”. With no other leads, they once again decide they need Arthur’s help. I sense a formula developing.
Dash goes to Arthur’s office, and Arthur prods Dash about how he killed someone in the previous episode. But Dash only wants the “pieces of the puzzle” that Arthur has about this week’s crime, and Arthur gets the closest thing this show has had to a decent line with, “If you’re planning to stop every murder in the city, you really should consider costumes!”
Arthur, on the other hand, is all done with saving people for free. Now he wants “leverage”, and in exchange for the info, he wants Vega to go pull a specific Metro PD case file and bring it to him. But Dash turns this down, because that would mean breaking the law. So for those keeping track, he’s cool with Vega falsifying a police report about a double homicide, but peeking at personal data is a bridge too far.
Without any other options, Vega and Dash go stake out Club Alpha, where everyone’s wearing holographic arm bands that strangers can tap together to instantly determine how sexually compatible they are. Two guys tap arms and the armbands tell them they’re 91% compatible, and also to “get a room”, so they take off, and you have to wonder how a club stays in business when people only stay long enough to tap armbands and then go off and bone.
As they wait in line outside, Vega warns Dash not to go “rogue” like last time, and hands him something he can use in an emergency: It’s a “Sick Stick”, another obscure callback to the movie, which is a baton that causes people to instantly vomit, which I think was only used one time in the movie.
The two get armbands and tap theirs together, you know, just for fun, and discover they have a 51% compatibility score. Clearly, this is to set up the future possibility of a romance between our leads, if the show lasts that long (the show will not last that long). And we haven’t had a reminder it’s the future in a while, so Vega mentions how in her mom’s day, hooking up was much better because “People used to actually text and swipe pictures! There was interaction!”
They order drinks from a bartender (who stirs drinks with a pair of chopsticks) and Dash makes eye contact with a woman who turns out to be wearing the same shoes as the victim. She starts to leave with some guy, so Dash runs up and hits him with the Sick Stick, causing him to puke all over some other guy’s shoes. Dash tries to tell her he was going to tie her up and kill her, but she reveals that “he’s my brother!”
And all that just blows over, I guess, and now Vega spots a guy who she thinks is the killer, because he’s got that spinning symbol on his wrist. See, in the future, tattoos can be animated gifs. The next morning at Wally’s place, they learn the guy is famous, or least, famous for “a guy who still writes books”.
His name is Tyson Cole, and he’s a pickup artist who writes about “unlocking the secret of seduction”. Dash already has a copy of his book, which has that same spinning logo on it, and I guess in the Minority Report future, every book will be a single, scrolling sheet of paper.
They have their suspect, but Wally points out it’s not the “good old fascist days” when they could arrest the guy for a crime he hasn’t committed, and so they have to catch him in the act. (But apparently pushing a man off a ledge to his death for a crime he hasn’t committed is perfectly fine.)
…And then join me here again next week for my recap of episode three, titled “Hawkeye”, which will most likely not feature a cameo from Jeremy Renner.