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Believe, Ep. 1.12, “Second Chance” contrasts Bo and Dani

Believe, Ep. 1.12, “Second Chance” contrasts Bo and Dani
Johnny Sequoyah, Jake McLaughlin

Johnny Sequoyah, Jake McLaughlin

Believe, Season 1, Episode 12: “Second Chance”
Written by Jonas Pate and Hans Tobeason
Directed by Frederick E.O. Toye
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on NBC

When the list of shows for the 2013-2014 television season was announced, a particular show caught the eye of many; Believe, which came from the collaborative efforts of JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron. Unfortunately, after a midseason premiere, the show received a cancellation notice, making its first season the only one, barring a revival down the line. The adventures of Bo, Tate, Winter, Skouras, and Orchestra came to a close with last night’s finale, in an entertaining end to the show that serves to highlight some of its strengths.

The development of the relationship between Bo and Tate has been a strong aspect of the series, and is a highlight of the finale as well. Watching the two develop a bond has revealed a lot about the individual characters, as well as how they relate to people around them. Tate’s natural antagonism towards the world has seen itself recede over the past twelve episodes. While some of it can be attributed to discovering who set him up and put him on death row, it’s clear that the discovery of Bo being his daughter, as well as the knowledge that Nina Adams did love him, played a part in his transformation. Most importantly, however, watching Bo’s unflagging optimism when trying to help others has undoubtedly had an effect on Tate, and this week’s episode provides the strongest evidence of that. While the start of the show had Tate reluctantly running into danger only to ensure Bo’s safety and his continued escape from jail, the finale sees him willingly help Bo in tracking down Dani, which represents a massive shift in Tate’s character that nonetheless doesn’t feel rushed. Tate’s willingness to not exploit Bo’s power for relatively trivial pursuits further drives home how much the character has grown a lot over the course of the show.

Watching the effect of the relationship on Bo has also been fascinating. While Bo’s emphatic nature has been on display since the start, it was clear that her time at Orchestra had negatively affected Bo, and she remained distrustful of others, including Tate. The growing relationship between the two, however, also served to effectively bring the latter out of her shell, and it was heartening to see her form a relationship with her father after seemingly having given up on finding her family. Both father and daughter underwent significant character development over the course of the season, and it’s a testament to the show that the development was well-charted.

Mia Vallet

Mia Vallet

The character of Dani also made for a compelling watch over the past few episodes. Most of the early episodes of the show emphasised the negative aspects of Orchestra, not just from Winter’s words, but also from Skouras’ actions. His determined attempts to get Bo back led to the latter training Sean and Joshua to kill, and leading to the latter’s death, and the way he pushed Bo, and the deals he made with the government put the program in a harsh light. However, the treatment of Dani works well to illustrate the importance of Orchestra. Whatever it has become now, however, the story of Nina Adams illustrated the intentions of Orchestra, and Dani’s story works as a reminder that some individuals could benefit from the existence of a program like Orchestra. It’s clear that the trauma that drives the latter’s actions throughout the finale were caused by a lack of guidance and the negative effects of being able to control her powers. Both of these could have been mitigated with time and care, which Dani would likely have received at Orchestra if she had arrived earlier. In many ways, Dani is like a mirror version of Bo, as it’s not hard to fathom that, without the guidance of Winter, Bo would also have been driven by anger and hate, especially with the loss of her mother and the absence of her father. The fact that Bo and Dani ended up briefly on opposite sides, rather than permanently on the same side, is a testament to the necessity of a program like Orchestra, giving it a balanced view over the course of the series.

Overall, this is a fine finish to a promising show. While the ongoing conflict between Winter and Skouras has been a fun aspect of the show, the role of individuals such as Agent Ferrell and Zoe have also made for a compelling watch, particularly as their allegiances remained uncertain until nearly their final moments on the show. The story of Nina Adams was also affecting, particularly in how Tate and Bo reacted to her, and it’s good to see her make a return in the finale. Watching other patients of Orchestra also served to add depth to the show, particularly in seeing how individuals other than Bo dealt with their powers. Watching how individuals such as Tate and Agent Ferrell react to the knowledge of people with powers such as Bo was also a strong aspect of the show through its run. Credit must also be given to the performers, particularly Kyle MacLachlan, whose Skouras could have been a one-dimensional villain in the wrong hands. MacLachlan, however, added a level of sympathy and conflict to the character, which paved the way for the deepening of the character in the later stages of the show. Johnny Sequoyah and Jake McLaughlin similarly anchored the show well with their charm and chemistry, and Jamie Chung and Delroy Lindo also did fine jobs with the character of Channing and Winter respectively, making the character memorable with their performances. It’s sad to see the series go after just one season, but the participants show a lot of potential, and wherever they pop up next, their presence alone will bode well for future projects.

– Deepayan Sengupta

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