Wednesday, May 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'The InBetween' - Tom's New Partner Learns All About Cassie's Psychic Abilities in 'Pilot'

NBC's The InBetween - Episode 1.01 "Pilot"

Cassie helps her father, Detective Tom Hackett, and his partner, Damien Asante, solve a young woman's murder using her unique psychic powers. She also encounters a supernatural spirit, Ed Roven, whose evil transcends time.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the series premiere of NBC's The InBetween.

"Pilot" was written by Moira Kirland and directed by Charlotte Sieling

One has to commend a show for knowing exactly what it wants to be and executing that vision adequately. The InBetween doesn't aspire to be a highly addictive prestige drama. It's just a light and airy procedural with some supernatural elements attached to it. It's the kind of show one would expect to air on a broadcast network during the summer. Sure, the expectations viewers have for the entertainment they watch is no longer as simple as it used to be during these warm months. It's no longer the norm to expect simple and easy to follow shows during the summertime. Big new releases are happening year-round. As such, this may not be a winning strategy for NBC. However, this show absolutely has the potential to be a low-key success for the night. One probably shouldn't expect it to be a massive hit. But it could do a reasonable number. Sure, it could be a massive flop as well because the viewership is lower for the broadcast networks during the summer. That has just been a fact for scripted shows over the last few years. This one doesn't aspire to break from the format in any distinguishable way either. It's a straight-forward procedural in which a murder investigation needs to be solved. The lead character just happens to be a psychic whose foster father goes to her for help with his various investigations. Sure, the show mostly just ignores the concerns about the leads that she provides the detectives and how that could possibly work in a court of law. Right now though, it's all about getting justice for a woman who was kidnapped. Cassie isn't the one actually leading the investigation either. She is deeply connected to it. She provides many helpful clues to Tom and Damien. However, they are the ones who put themselves on the line. They risk their lives in order to get justice. Tom can't ignore the information that could help him solve these cases. Cassie can't either because she wants to help him succeed. It's all about a blanket pursuit of justice in a broad and bland way. Damien doesn't believe in Cassie's abilities at first. He comes around to her assistance very quickly though. It means he establishes a connection between this case and that of a serial killer from the '90s who died in prison a decade ago. Sure, there is the sneaking suspicion that there is some overarching conspiracy as it pertains to the spirits that visit Cassie. They may have a plan over how to help her with these various investigations. She is just content being a bartender who helps her father whenever she can. The visions vary from being upfront about exactly what happened to being more mysterious and opaque. The opening scene that establishes the oddness of Cassie's life just shows some clues that eventually connect together but need a ton of work to find out how. The later one explains that everything the investigation thought was true ultimately turned out to be false. Plus, Cassie is just interacting with a young girl who turns out to be a ghost who hasn't moved on to the next stage of existence. The show wants to play that genuinely at first only for it to build to a major reveal when no one else acknowledges her. She also has the ability to move objects and interact with this world. That too provides a sense of purpose for Cassie. Of course, it means that spirits visit her in many different and eerie ways. This premiere doesn't do a great job in showing how all of this can be absolutely terrifying and life-altering for her. Instead, it's just a useful tool that helps her father solve crimes. It startles her in the moment when it seems like she is the victim of these crimes. But that moment passes a little too quickly when that would absolutely have major psychological consequences.