Believe: Defection, Review

Believe struggles to find consistency as Tate and Bo once again narrowly avoid the FBI.

As we get deeper into the world that is NBC’s Believe, the show is becoming a prime example that repetition is the formula for creating an inconsistence product in television. I suggested last week that Believe could benefit from the stability of its Bo side-plots. I can into some more magic kid hijinks. More showdowns with other special people might also keep my attention. Instead, Believe circles back to its already tired tropes and leaves us wondering if we’re just simply OK with what amounts to a recycled rerun.

You could sense the show’s fourth entry, “Defection,” going downhill when it begins with a regurgitation of information we already know. Bo is Tate’s daughter. They still don’t know it, but Believe can’t give it all away so soon. That’s all fine and dandy, but when we’re immediately told that Bo “has no parents,” the head scratching is inevitable. The girl’s magical mother tragically passes and her father might be a criminal, but there was no immaculate conception here. Tate, who barely has been given a reason to stay with this girl, needs to know the truth. It doesn’t benefit the story in any way to keep it concealed. When you have a raw lead in Jake McLaughlin paired up with a budding child star, you need something to emotionally tie them together. Saving it up for some big reveal isn’t the way to do that, and it isn’t particularly pleasing for the audience since we already know the goods. 

Smaller gripes aside, Tate and Bo have bigger problems. The FBI finally realized they are the FBI. Not only did they decide to be competent, but they also have every police officer in New York on the case.

And it still doesn’t work. Why, you ask?

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Every time Tate and Bo are cornered, Bo saves the day. She makes guns explode. She lifts cars. She summons scary birds. Mere (lesser) mortals (clearly these super special magic people aren’t immortal) don’t stand a chance. That’s why four episodes into the show we’re still standing in the same spot, with the protagonists hunkered down in New York slipping in and out of trouble in nearly the exact same way each time they are confronted.

I did get what I wanted though, another Bo miracle. This time she’s fixated on bringing together a wounded solider with his former girlfriend. I thought it lacked substance, and was a bit too much of a cliché, when compared with the people Bo helped in previous weeks.

Where the show leaves us with some promise is what Roman has stashed away, just waiting to be utilized. The preview for next week show us that he’s set to unleash another special person to confront Bo, with loud noises and ensuring explosions. That could be an interesting wrinkle to the show–and maybe get it out of hate-watch territory–but unless Believe finds a good balance between its sub-plots, the show is too inconsistence to be anything more than a disappointment considering the Alfonso Cuarón/JJ Abrams hype. 


It seems as though Roman started off with good intentions, as the flashbacks shows that he wanted to use Bo to “change the world for the better.” I haven’t gotten the sense that present day Roman is an evil billionaire. Is there a possibility that Believe tries to completely flip the script and have Winter turn out to be the bad guy? It’s a long shot but with this show anything is possible.

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2.5 out of 5