This Minority Report review contains spoilers.
I was happy when I found out this week’s episode title, “Fiddler’s Neck,” referred to the island to which the precognitives retreated after the days of precrime. Agatha, the eldest psychic sibling, has always been the most interesting character in Minority Report, and I was ready for more political intrigue as she manipulated those around her to get what she wanted. Alas, there was nothing like that for Agatha. Instead, she participated in yet another crime-of-the-week, this time among militia-style gangsters on the secluded island.
So, I get that Agatha doesn’t see many murders in her isolated home, and Dash and Arthur springing to her assistance is certainly understandable. But the inclusion of Vega made little sense for the brothers and even less sense for the detective. The warnings about the future in which Vega stands over the three pre-cogs having been returned to the milk bath continues to be unheeded. Arthur alludes to impending conflict once Agatha finds out Vega is along for the ride, and I was ready for sparks to fly.
They never did. If Vega was on a mission to prove she was trustworthy, she did a great job of it as she assisted Agatha. I thought for sure her intrusion into Agatha’s previous love life, a secret she had kept from her brothers, would ignite anger. Yet instead, Agatha’s respect for Vega appears to grow. I’m all for it, and Vega at least voices my question about her appearance in the milk bath vision; perhaps she’s there to help! But even at the end, as Agatha bids Vega farewell on the docks, she warns, “We’ll see who’s right,” with about as much impact as a Nerf toy.
And speaking of lack of impact, the crime itself was a mish-mash of red herrings, and the perpetrators were unrealistically brazen about poisoning the family’s water tank. So, the girl having malaria was all a ruse to get us to believe the doctor or parents were killing the daughter? Quite a coincidence! The country bumpkin criminals provided some interesting history and political background to the future setting away from the city, but they were no masterminds, that’s for sure.
Actually, the most interesting story was with the subplot once again, this time concerning Lieutenant Blake as he is being investigated by the DIA, which is curious about his amazing arrest rate attributed to Hawkeye. The interplay between Akeela and Wally as they discover the extent of the scrutiny Vega and Dash have brought upon their superior was amusing. Hacker competition and boastful banter is a lot of fun, and these two characters do it well.
The same cannot be said for the show’s protagonists. Vega and Dash continue to be overshadowed by the characters that surround them. Although Agatha wasn’t as interesting as she usually is, her backstory, including a lost love, was at least as eye-opening as details about Vega’s father last week. And Arthur has more range of emotion than the perpetually worried, red-eyed, perspiring Dash. Arthur’s trick with the padlock combination and Dash’s prediction of when one of the thugs would reach the barn door elicited mild interest at best and bored familiarity at worst.
It’s becoming clear that Minority Report is checkered with moments of unfulfilled potential that are also then surrounded by derivative crime stories—as well as sometimes the enlightening historical or societal change. Extinct animals, rising sea levels, and frontier justice add ingredients to the rich background this week, but in the foreground there remains a cop show with sci-fi window dressing.