Believe, Season 1, Episode 4: “Defection”
Written by Nick Antosca
Directed by Sam Hill
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on NBC
Bo and Tate’s narrow escape of police custody at the end of last week’s episode served to emphasize the difficulty the group would face in keeping the former away from Skouras, particularly as the FBI managed to find one of their safe houses. This aspect is magnified for Tate, as he perceives himself to be stuck on babysitting duty and facing death row if he’s arrested again. This week’s episode further underscores the strain all three sides are facing in the ongoing tug-of-war over Bo, in an entertaining episode that helps bring Agent Ferrell closer to the truth of the matter.
Watching Joshua’s progress in Skouras’ facility is an intriguing aspect of this week’s episode. Particularly when contrasted with the training methods used on Bo, when Winter was around to contradict Skouras, Joshua’s training offers a new glimpse into how far Skouras is willing to go for results. This further clears up the source of the rift between Skouras and Winter, and while the former has made the case that he’s pushing Joshua so he can find Bo more quickly, his actions with Bo prove that Skouras has been down this road for some time. It will be interesting to see how far Skouras goes in his hunt for Bo this time, and whether it causes any rifts in his own staff. His push towards Joshua’s accelerated development is clearly already causing doubts in the mind of Zoe, and with Winter and co. already setting a precedent, it’s entirely possible that Zoe may soon find herself considering an escape from the facility with someone like Joshua. Zoe’s actions if she reaches such a conclusion will be worth keeping an eye on. With his team already shrinking, it’s possible Winter may try to recruit Zoe and others like her to his side, and whether he’s successful or not will speak volumes about Skouras’ relationship with his employees. However, if Zoe decides to strike out on her own, she would represent a new front in the ongoing fight, which is an exciting prospect in and of itself.
This week’s episode also does a good job of showing how the stress of the task at hand is affecting everyone, particularly Winter and his team. The group has had numerous close brushes in their attempts to evade Skouras, and the presence of the FBI and its resources have significantly complicated matters. It’s understandable that the group is having trouble coping in light of the added pressure, particularly Tate, who is only now starting to be made fully aware of the situation. It will be worth watching to see how the group’s dynamic changes as they begin to turn on each other, as evidenced in this episode with Tate’s reactions to Winter and Channing’s opinions on Tate. Keeping an eye on Agent Ferrell is also an exciting prospect. Despite knowing more than her fellow agents, she has been aware for some time that she hasn’t been given all the facts, and while she’s doing her job for now, the secrecy is bound to weigh down on her, particularly as she becomes less sure of which side is the right one. Skouras, in the meantime, is also clearly getting increasingly frustrated by his inability to send mercenaries after Winter and his group, as well as what he perceives as the incompetence of the FBI in tracking them down. If Joshua progress doesn’t move at the pace Skouras hopes for, what steps he takes, and how Agent Ferrell responds, are bound to have a huge effect on the search and protection of Bo.
Overall, this is another enjoyable episode, and one that manages to keep the tension going. It will be interesting to see, in addition to scientists like Zoe, how people like Joshua react to Skouras’ methods over a period of time. Unlike Bo, who is both a child and has spent nearly her entire life in the facility, Joshua is likely to be aware of what life is like outside Skouras’ control, and will be able to better detect and fight back against negative reinforcement attempts. This has the strong possibility of leading to new problems for Skouras. It’ll be one thing for his staff to act against him, but fighting against the subjects of a facility is something he’ll have a much harder time doing. How he goes about that, as well as what role people like Agent Ferrell and Winter play in such events promise to be exciting developments. How Agent Ferrell’s perceptions of the events change as the season goes on will also be something worth watching out for. Despite still going all out in searching for Bo, learning of her relationship to Tate this week is bound to have an effect on her assessment of the case, adding to her natural suspicion of Skouras. If this continues, it will be difficult for Agent Ferrell to remain impartial to the situation, and what role that plays in the events will be exciting to see. Despite the structure of the main plot remaining somewhat the same over the past two episodes with regards to Tate and Bo just narrowly escaping capture thanks to Bo’s powers, the show continues to have promise. How Skouras’ ability to track Bo’s powers affects Winter’s attempts to hide her, as well as how the relationship between Bo and Tate continues to evolve will be worth watching as the season continues.
– Deepayan Sengupta