Minority Report: Hawk-Eye Review

Civil liberties are kicked to the curb in Minority Report, but moral dilemmas can’t hide the derivative crime plot.

This Minority Report review contains spoilers.

Minority Report Season 1, Episode 3

With the advent of the Hawk-Eye program, in which a computerized predictive model takes the place of the precogs of old, Minority Report seeks to recapture some of the ethical explorations of the movie. It’s a smooth trick, and the loss of personal freedom is immediately apparent in this episode. With the secret of Dash helping Vega now taking on new dimensions and with Agatha hatching her own intriguingly mysterious plans, I can see how the show might improve. If only it weren’t for those pesky crimes of the week watering everything down!

There were aspects of the investigation that weren’t run-of-the-mill actually. The idea that a therapist using futuristic mind repair techniques might make a phobic recluse into a fearless danger junkie is a creative way for a professional rival to discredit the head of his company, I’ll admit. I liked that Hawk-Eye’s abuse of power was tied into CEO Mark Massero’s reckless behavior, and his switch from perpetrator to victim was well handled.

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However, with the suspicions of an affair and the eventual outing of the Narcissus exec who masterminded the crime, the procedural element of the show felt just like any other cop show. I could easily have been watching Bones or Law and Order. I suppose these shows garner large viewerships, but the sci-fi elements create different audience expectations. Perhaps a serialized criminal conspiracy is in order or the introduction of a mole inside the Metro PD.

Maybe that will come! Agatha’s visions indicate that the precogs may someday be placed back in their pre-crime milk baths, but so far we’ve only seen an understandably suspicious Lieutenant Blake and an adorably helpful Akeela, whose fears are perfectly reasonable. It’s difficult to embrace the danger of discovery when the stakes are so vague. Even Vega’s presence in the milk-bath vision evokes skepticism – not in Vega’s motives but in the context of why she’s seen in that situation. It doesn’t exactly excite much dramatic tension when we know there’s probably a logical explanation.

A more mysterious circumstance that is much more enticing, though, is Agatha’s exploitation of a criminal, Charlie (played by Lost’s William Mapother), who has fled to the island where Agatha lives after embezzling money from his company. The fact that apparently others on the island call Agatha a witch is interesting enough, but then she takes Charlie’s money and basically gives him no other options other than to do her bidding or die, according to her visions, at the hands of his supposed friends! I’m all in on this story arc, and it’s a shame this type of manipulation was not introduced earlier.

But the major problem isn’t the lack of such plots or the over-emphasis on the procedural elements. It’s the lack of chemistry between the main characters and the blandness of the female lead, Meagan Good. I suppose Vega chiding Dash for taking too much initiative in the field is supposed to be charming, but her saying, “You walk when I walk,” came across as pompous, especially since Dash’s inquiries were usually insightful. She’s just not very likable!

I do like the progression Minority Report has made, however. Dash is now a civilian analyst with Hawk-Eye; he has a bracelet that will warn him before his visions happen; and Akeela is in the circle of trust. I even enjoyed Blake’s suspicions of the identity Arthur created for Dash, especially when Dash clearly, but subtly, missed a key golf reference. The Hawk-Eye program may help bring back some of the sci-fi themes viewers are craving, but there are still plenty of weak spots the show needs to improve. Hopefully, Minority Report will get tuned up before everyone tunes out.

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3 out of 5