Written by Megan LaBruna
Whoever said little girls are made of sugar, spice and everything nice clearly hasn’t met Bo (Johnny Sequoyah). As the center of NBC’s new show Believe, she definitely has something a lot more powerful pumping through her veins.
The action-fantasy opens with an almost first person view of a car crash. The family in the car is having a usual conversation when they are purposely knocked of the road. The camera follows the crash as if the audience is right in the thick of the car, tumbling, fumbling and eventually landing top down on the ground. Bo is knocked unconscious and almost taken by the person who caused the car crash, however luckily a passerby indicates he’s a doctor and calls for an ambulance. Once at the hospital we find out Bo is an orphan, she had only been with the family in the car for two weeks when the car crash occurred and her foster parents died. Personally, I found this to be the most interesting part of the pilot. The rest of the episode’s events seemed to pale somewhat in comparison to the intensity of that first scene.
The audience can tell that Bo is not your average child when her dialog with her doctor reveals information that she couldn’t just know by looking at him. It is at that point viewers may suspect Bo has telepathic capabilities. The doctor has lost a patient and is debating on leaving his job. Bo of course tells him the man’s death was not his fault. Her dialogue tend to be somewhat detached from those she is speaking with. She states truths and can tell people’s most inner thoughts, however when she delivers them they seem straightforward and matter of fact. It’s too early to tell if this is being done on purpose to show that she is not like every other child, or if this is a depiction of Sequoyah’s rookie acting abilities.
Somewhat prior to the hospital, we are introduced to the other lead character of the show, Tate (Jake McLaughlin), a man on death row. A priest comes to save him, stating that he believes he is not guilty and will help him break out, but that they require him to complete a job. The priest is clearly not a priest, but is instead Milton Winter (Delroy Lindo), part of an elaborate team of people including Once Upon A Time’s Jamie Chung as Channing. They manage to create a diversion and rescue Tate from his impending fate. Once safe, they slap on a tracking device and send him to rescue Bo. At the hospital Tate predictably runs into trouble when the same people responsible for causing the car accident now hunt the halls for Bo. The woman whom is assigned this task eventually catches up to Tate and Bo, but not before Tate has a touching moment of realization that Bo voices as “knowing he was once a good person.” Again, this further solidifies the fact that Bo is most likely telepathic, or at least can read the emotions of others with eerie precision.
The banter between Tate and Bo is probably meant to lighten most of the more dramatic moments. They’re discussions follow the typical format of reminding viewers that kids say the darndest things and that Tate is the typical grumpy bad boy who is really a good guy deep down. It’s all been done before, yet I’m not willing to give up the characters just yet. It feels as if the pair needs a little more time to settle into their roles before audiences will witness a believable groove to their repartee.
The story of course comes full circle, bringing us back to the doctor who originally helped save Bo and who is about to give up on his career. Bo mentioned to him that he would save a singer named Senga and she would go on to make many people happy with her music in the future because of him. The prediction comes true; however the girls name is Agnes, not Senga. Bo, at one point does mention that she doesn’t always interpret things correctly, which explains the Agnes/Senga mix up and possibly foreshadows some crucial misunderstandings that could be in store this season.
While the show wasn’t the best premiere I’ve seen, I think it has a chance at making it to a second season if the actors can connect with their characters. Not to mention, the last few minutes of the pilot manage to almost match the impressive opening scene, when (Spoiler Alert!) Winters reveals to Channing and the audience that he’s not worried about leaving Bo with the former death row inmate, Tate, because Tate is Bo’s father. Did your jaw just drop? Mine did a bit, which is why I will be tuning in to NBC next Sunday at 9pm to see if I start to Believe.