Believe, Season 1, Episode 2: “Beginner’s Luck”
Written by Jonas Pate and Bobby Arnot
Directed by Omar Madha
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on NBC
The series premiere of Believe presented two major groups fighting to get to Bo and her supernatural powers. While the connection of Winter and his team to Bo was clear, the involvement of Skouras was murkier, as the audience saw Winter’s ex-partner primarily as the employer of a mercenary sent to retrieve Bo. This week’s episode delves further into Skouras and his motivations with regards to Bo, in a solid episode that, while lacking the visual flair of the pilot, does a good job furthering the story and adding new complications.
The clear affection that Skouras displays towards Bo this week adds an interesting wrinkle to the proceedings. The way both Winter and Skouras talk about Bo makes it clear that they both are doing what they think is the right thing for her. This means that while the two may differ on the way they do things, ultimately they agree that the well-being of Bo is the top priority, which makes neither of them the clear antagonist in Bo’s life. It will be interesting to see how the two groups react once Bo learns of the situation surrounding her. Regardless of what side she ultimately chooses, the knowledge that she’s the cause of friction is bound to cause her a level of distress, and whether or not Winter and Skouras are willing to entertain the idea of a truce for her sake will say a lot about how truthful they’re being with regards to their current intentions. It will also be intriguing to see how Tate reacts once he learns of the full picture surrounding Bo. While he knows of her capabilities, his emotional attachment to her is clearly growing, and is only bound to get stronger once he learns of their biological connection. A bigger investment in Bo’s well-being may cause Tate to choose a side, and which side he chooses is likely to affect Bo’s path, particularly if she comes to trust him the way she currently trusts Winter and his team.
The inclusion of the FBI in the hunt for Tate and Bo also effectively increases the scope of the show. Were Tate only on the run from Skouras and his group, he would soon learn to spot whoever had been sent after them, or learn how they were being tracked and alter his pattern. Having to escape from a larger group, however, goes a long way towards complicating matters and limiting the options of both Tate and Winter with regards to Bo. As the season continues, the FBI and Farrell are likely to intensify their search for the duo, and how that affects everyone involved will be worth keeping an eye on. As Farrell points out this week, she is interested only in the capture and retrieval of Tate and Bo, which means she is neither on Winter’s side, nor on that of Skouras, which makes her and the agency a wild card in the whole situation. In addition, Tate’s evasion of the public eye with the Amber Alert in full swing is also bound to get more difficult with time, and how he and Winter’s group reacts as the pressure increases on them to stay hidden from the public will be worth keeping an eye on. Hurting well-meaning bystanders who recognise Bo, as the group on the bus did this week, may soon become inevitable, or the only alternative to Bo inadvertently revealing her powers, and which path they select will be promising to watch. How the people helped by Bo react to the FBI’s pursuit of her and Tate also has the potential to be fascinating.
Overall, this is a worthy follow-up to the show’s pilot, and an interesting way to expand the world of the show. The revelation that Bo knew her mother and has memories of her is a fascinating development which explains Winter’s knowledge of who her father is. It will be interesting to see whether she opens up to Tate about her mother, and if Tate is able to recognise her and put the pieces together regarding his true relationship to Bo. The presence of Trieste Kelly Dunn and Matthew Rauch as coworkers is an amusing aspect of this week’s episode, as both performers also play prominent roles on the Cinemax show Banshee. The reveal that Bo is not the only child with special capabilities also has the potential to be a compelling aspect of the show. It’s very conceivable that Winter may decide at some point to try and liberate other children from the care of Skouras and his group. As there’s no indication that Bo is any more special than the others, she may be the first one Winter has attempted to free, and how Winter tries to get the rest of them out, as well as how the others react to unexpected liberation, is bound to affect Winter’s standing with both Skouras and the FBI. On the other hand, Skouras may eventually get the idea to use someone with similar skills as Bo to track her down, and how the two children may react negatively to being pitted against each other, which would also affect the course of the story. How Tate and Bo deal with the tightening noose of the FBI, as well what steps Skouras takes to try and get Bo back, will be worth watching the show for as this season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta