Episode 2 – “Badge! Gun!”
The show is currently firing on all cylinders like Brian on NZT. I am enjoying the ride and want the show to succeed, but I can’t help but be apprehensive expecting the inevitable neurotropic crash. Executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have quite a pedigree with shows like Fringe and the recent Star Trek film reboots as examples. The story is on point, delivering character growth, a dash of humor, engaging crimes and the building blocks of great drama. It might feel a bit light on intensity to some, but I feel the path to meaningful conflict has been cleared.
The show picks up with the ending scene from episode one featuring Brain and Rebecca on a rooftop finalizing their agreement to work together. Next we see Brian daydreaming about what working for the FBI is like. He imagines smoke filled casinos, beautiful women and shadowy adversaries. The reality is quite drab by comparison
Brian is poked, prodded and tested while using NZT to determine why he and he alone is immune to the deadly side effects of the drug. Brian will struggle to keep his promise of secrecy to Morra, risking his new place at the FBI and his families trust. Eventually the show will have to reveal Morra’s true agenda and Brain’s place in it, building a strong dramatic arc for the show.
Daily life at the FBI turns out to be about as exciting as his temp jobs. Locked in a room, guarded and forbidden to venture outside while using the neurotropic puts a frown on Brian’s face. Determined to not be left out he digs around online to construct a theory about the bombing case Rebecca and her partner Spellman Boyle (Hill Harper) are working. We see a lot more of Boyle this episode.
Brain boosted, he is still a bit late developing the theory that Rebecca and Spellman have on their own. However, he does have an idea about what types of explosives could have been used, but needs to get out of his day prison. Boldly he breaks through the wall and evades capture to embark on a energetic trip around the city.
His adventure lands him in Nasreen’s office with a stern warning. His mockups point the team towards a suspect. This is where the episode gets really interesting and shows how the writers are stepping up to the challenge of creating stories for a super intelligent lead. Brian’s NZT exploration of the bombs uncovers the bomber and leads to a larger crackdown on related suspects. More importantly, it uncovers an entirely different theory about the targets death.
The next day Brian is again on lockdown, but unsatisfied believing the story has not yet fully unfolded. He feels the urge to tug at the thread he has uncovered. Again he breaks protocol and escapes the office to vet his theory. Turning up in Rebecca’s apartment after he has come down from NZT having built a compelling case that points to something far more sinister.
Returning to the FBI, Narseen is preparing to fire him when Rebecca finds evidence that he might be right about a deeper reason for the bombing victim’s death. Pulling surveillance footage, she finds that the CEO of a biotech firm is field-testing a lethal gene-targeting enzyme to assassinate select individuals. Given this new corroborating data, Narseen reluctantly allows Brian to work in the field with Rebecca.
Confronting the immoral CEO they face stout denial even in the face of video evidence of his tests. It takes Brian’s quick thinking to relatable personality to convince the employees of the firm to blow the whistle on their corrupt boss. A landslide of evidence confirms guilt and closes the case. But earning a new lease on his FBI consultancy, a bit more freedom and a shiny badge cannot pick up Brian’s spirits. He is troubled by a confrontation with his father earlier in the day.
Rebecca clues him into a loophole that might just allow Brian to confess the truth to his father and mending their relationship. Back at his parents’ house just as Brian is about to relieve the heavy burden of deceiving his family, he meets his father’s new post-op nurse. He is shocked to his core to see it’s the same nurse, employed by Morra, who gave him his NZT side effect free shot.
The message is subtle, but clear: Brain is being watched closely and his life will remain complicated.
Set your DVR’s for Episode 3 – “The Legend of Marcos Ramos” Airs on Tuesday, October 6th at 10pm on CBS.