Minority Report Recap: A Waste of My Life

Dash (Stark Sands) in Minority Report. Photo: FOX
Minority Report
Episode Title
Editor’s Rating

Okay, so you know how in zombie movies and shows, the characters always seem to exist in a mysterious alternate universe that’s completely devoid of zombie pop-culture? Everyone freaks out, but you never hear a character say, “Oh, okay, so the zombie apocalypse is real after all. Let’s try these defense methods that seemed to work in 28 Days Later.” It’s maddening!

There’s a similar trope in science fiction, and it has to do with seeing the future: Apparently no one on these shows has ever seen/heard a story in which any attempt to prevent future events (seen in glitchy, piecemeal premonitions, no less) is not only misinformed and thus futile; the attempt itself usually brings about those misconstrued events. It’s a narrative tool, of course, one that keeps a movie or show from getting too meta (unless you’re Kevin Smith) and allows characters to react more genuinely and freely than they would if confined by preexisting pop culture. It’s also a perfect example of one of the best explanations of humanity, suggested by sociologist couple W.I. and D.S. Thomas in 1928: “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”

That’s the basic premise for Minority Report, and its TV iteration can’t escape that. This week’s episode — ultrasexy as it was — was completely drowned in the feeling that Agatha is deeply misinterpreting her fragmented vision and will be committing some horrible, extreme act in the name of said misinterpretation any time now.

We begin with a ridiculous cock-block. Dash shows up unannounced at Arthur’s place, when he’s half-naked and about to get busy with a beautiful woman (also half-naked). Dash claims it needs to be right now because Arthur wanted to talk about Vega, so for some reason, Arthur allows this; he tells Dash (who has a good point — even Agatha can’t know for sure what exactly that vision was) to keep Agatha’s vision from Vega until they know more.

At Metro HQ, Blake officially kicks off the Hawk-Eye analyst program with a quick speech to the civilian newbies, and then creepily, “officially” hands Vega off to Dash like he’s her dad at her wedding. Dash excitedly tells Akeela, who’s now been 100 percent compromised, about his seizure bracelet, which is weird — considering how wired the rest of the city is, you’d think talking openly about your precognitive gadget in a police station might attract some unwanted attention ... but I guess not? Vega thinks Dash is being weird (he is) and suggests he get a personal life, but as he points out, “The most significant thing about me is something I can’t share with anyone except you.” So much for work-life balance. Then his bracelet goes off and he has a murder vision in the bathroom. Perfect timing! It’s as though this gift were scripted or something.

Since Akeela’s in on this now, Vega invites her to Wally’s, where the two wonks have a brief, salty tête-à-tête in which Wally reveals that not only does Akeela play the successful video game he made, she’s also a former “Sprawl punk” whose face tattoo (which I thought was just a cool fashion) is actually designed “to fool facial-recognition cameras.” Akeela is officially my new favorite character. Please give us a Teenage Akeela spinoff, dystopia gods! Vega ends the fight by saying, “Knock it off, you’re both pretty,” which didn’t exactly sound natural coming out of Meagan Good’s mouth but is still a great line.

For this week’s crime, we’re stalking rich people: specifically, an old-money dude named Cayman Bello (seriously? Cayman?) whose photos have definitely been featured on @richkidsofinstagram. He’s identified by his rare wolf-type dog, whose name is, unfortunately, Muffy. It just so happens he’s throwing a benefit at his mansion tomorrow; one quick guest-list hack and the detectives are good to go!

The scenery at Cayman’s party features a super-chill future-limo and, ugh, more selfie drones. While Vega is distracted by a hot lawyer, Dash manages to meet a beautiful woman named Fredi Kincaid by staring at statues. Fredi makes a Martha’s Vineyard joke Dash doesn’t get; Dash makes a precog joke Fredi doesn’t get, Dash confesses to never having gone to school, and voilà, they’re in love. Oh, and she works for Cayman, and she’s wearing the bloody bracelet from Dash’s vision. Vega finds them before Dash manages to ask too many serial-killer questions, and she and Fredi exchange really stupid catty female competition looks that I wish would disappear from the pop-culture lexicon forever. It gets worse when, back at HQ, Dash suggests he keep tabs on Fredi by “going undercover” and asking her out; Vega agrees, but only on the condition that he wear that standard-issue earpiece-and-Terminator-style-contact-lens set so she and Akeela can hear and see everything he does. Can’t this just be Vega Does Her Job, without the jealous, more-than-friends vibe?

Dash stalks Fredi where she works, at Cayman’s charitable foundation; they flirt very adorably and she invites him to a barbecue at Cayman’s, where he formally meets the shmuck and his equally shmucky friend Whitman Cho. They think he’s her intern and ask condescendingly if he’s Dash Parker “of the Virginia Parkers,” to which he has a marvelous comeback about having had a drug-addicted mother and being in foster care “and worse” all his life, which shuts them right up. He stalks away very intentionally, and Fredi, who was already drawn to how uneducated he is, takes the bait and suggests they leave.

They go to the Sprawl, apparently a cross between a Moroccan bazaar and your standard impoverished ghetto, where Fredi confesses she’s working for Cayman because she wants revenge for her sister, Alison, who overdosed and was left for dead at Cayman’s Cape Cod beach house two years prior. He offers his (read: Arthur’s) help, and since Arthur wants his brother to get laid by Not Vega, he sends them to a friend in the Sprawl who has a 3-D bio-printer (!) that takes a fingerprint off a glass and makes a full-on replica of Cayman’s eyeball. (Now, that is some good future-tech peacocking. Let’s do more of that, shall we?) The eyeball apparently turns them both on, because afterward, they share a brief yet A+ make-out sesh.

They go back to his place and spend the night together ... and since it seems Dash didn’t take out his contact, Vega might have watched the whole time? She definitely was lurking as they had a super-intimate conversation in which Dash cops to some really dark PTSD, letting Fredi believe it’s from the foster-care system and not the “I see nothing but murder all day” and “being enslaved by the government for a decade” things. It’s actually a very poignant, well-performed scene that touches on real-life, modern-day trauma in the way that good sci-fi ought to.

Fredi also adds to her story: Alison and Cayman were dating, and she wants to get proof that he was there and left her to die. Meanwhile, Akeela and Vega have been on background duty and discover that Alison’s last name is Kerrigan, not Kincade, and Fredi’s name is actually Ricki Kerrigan; she also visited Cayman’s third beach-house friend Matt in rehab the day he “committed suicide” by overdose, which means she’s possibly the killer, not Cayman. Vega goes to Dash’s apartment to interrupt his and Fredi’s intimate moment — OH, HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED, DASH. HOW DOES THAT FEEL? — but he’s convinced she’s not a killer because, duh, he’s super into her. (Side note: This week, Dash and Vega have to insist that they’re not together an awful lot. Hmmmmmmmm.)

Dash is angry, so when he and Fredi head to Cayman’s mansion — in what he thinks is a mission to obtain evidence to get Cayman arrested — he turns off his comm devices, leaving Akeela and Vega blind (and Vega to turn around and race back to Cayman’s herself). Of course, he immediately regrets this upon arrival, when Fredi reveals she actually wants Cayman to confess, at any cost. She all but confesses to having driven the rehab friend, Matt, to suicide with her coercion, then decides Dash can’t be trusted either, and locks him out of Cayman’s room with their magic clone eyeball.

Cayman is at his most vulnerable in a robe and drying his hair off. Fredi turns on the music console on the wall, choosing “Alison” by Elvis Costello, which she reminds him he used to play for her sister. She quickly stifles his security call with ... his own eyeball ... then shoots him in the knee with a tiny pistol after he spouts some nasty James SpaderinPretty in Pink stuff about how she was a slutty try-hard — and right as Elvis Costello sings, “My aim is truuuuuueeeee.”

Give it up for Muffy, by the way: Had she not shown Dash there was a sliding automatic doggie door built into the wall of Cayman’s room, he would never have wriggled in just in time to confess to Fredi (er, Ricki, I guess?) that he’s with the police and convince her to run (and not kill Cayman) before they show up. She kisses him good-bye and disappears, seconds before Vega and her SWAT team show up to ... deny any knowledge of Fredi’s existence and arrest Cayman! Turns out Akeela unearthed some interestingly tampered-with security footage, as well as — get ready for it — some forgotten geotagging in their Spotify-but-not-Spotify app, which he and his friends and Alison all used at the beach house to sync their devices the night of her death. With all the government-led surveillance in this show, it’s easy to forget how bad digital self-reporting will likely have gotten by 2065.

In a final bittersweet exchange, Vega accuses Dash of getting too close to the case (read: Fredi). “You can’t see your own future,” she reminds him. “I didn’t need to. I saw her,” he replies. Then, spitefully, she tells him that, by the way, she was listening in when he told Fredi his darkest secrets earlier that morning. He looks hurt, but gives up the argument and suggests they each go cool off separately. A good idea, all told, though I do think their relationship getting toxic, à la Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler, would be a lot more fun than a will-they-won’t-they vibe.

Back to the whole Agatha thing: She’s on her island doing her extortion thing with Charlie the embezzler-slash-former-DOD-security-expert. He’s mad she has his money, but considering it’s stolen money and she’s, you know, psychic, he’s not really in a position to argue. She will pay him (with what money? Arthur’s?) to infiltrate the CIA and obtain any documented proof that the government is planning to reinstate Precrime. With help from Arthur — whom he pays with stacks of $500 bills with President Obama’s face on them, very clever — he steals an identity and walks right in, where he finds a computer with magical access to schematics of the photonic containment (or “milk”) bath, which I guess is useful to Agatha. In the meantime, Charlie figures out who she really is, but before he can properly blackmail her she breezily informs him that he was sloppy and now the Feds are outside, and he’d better run — right into the line of fire. That really hurt, Charlie! (Sorry.)