Believe, Season 1, Episode 9: “Prodigy”
Written by Melisa Wallack
Directed by Sam Hill
Airs Sundays at 9pm (ET) on NBC
The capture of Channing in last week’s episode left Winter, Tate, Bo, and their associates the most vulnerable they’ve been. As the security expert, Channing not only was the most adept team member at getting the group out of a jam such as this, she was also likely to know their next steps. This week’s episode sees Skouras try to extract this information from Channing, exposing Agent Ferrell to more of Orchestra’s methods, in a strong outing that reveals some new secrets about certain characters.
Watching Orchestra’s recruitment process is a fascinating aspect of this week’s episode. While the season has shown how Skouras recruited Nina Adams, that happened before Orchestra was born. The presence of a massive organisation, however, ensures that the recruitment process has radically changed, and a look at how they get people with powers to join them now reveals a lot about the inner workings of Orchestra, as well as the image they present to outsiders and potential recruits. It will be interesting to see, going forward, how the other aspects of Orchestra operate. The audience has not been exposed to much inside the organisation that doesn’t relate to finding Winter and bringing Bo back. However, a place as big as Orchestra is likely to be compelling to explore on its own, from seeing how the individuals with power interact with each other, to seeing how those without powers adjust to working with, and even supervising, those who do. It will also be interesting to see, going forward, how other inhabitants of Orchestra feel about the place. While we have previously gotten the perspectives of Winter, Skouras, and Zoe towards the place, noticeably absent has been the feelings of the people with powers towards the facility. An insight into how they feel, and how Orchestra and Skouras react to any negative emotions they may have about the place, is bound to have an effect on the ongoing stories.
The entrance this week of a killer with powers is also a compelling storyline. Most of the individuals with powers who have appeared on the show so far have been well-meaning individuals, with Joshua and Sean both pushed into killing somewhat reluctantly. The biggest example of this has been Bo, and not just with her aversion to guns. Her warmth and ability to make fast friends has been more beneficial to the group than her powers, and her quick relationship with Margaret helps establish that this week as well. It will be intriguing to see how the people react to Dani as her cold-hearted nature becomes more evident. It’s possible Skouras may see in Dani the potential to build his own personal weapon, something he can use as a trump card against all threats, whether they come from Winter, the government, or another source. This, however, will rely on him managing to keep control over Dani, which may be easier said than done. It will also be intriguing to see how the other individuals with power react to Dani once her personality traits become apparent. While they seem to get along with each other, even forming friendships with one another, it’s likely those with power will actively rebel against Dani. This has the potential of starting a fight inside Orchestra, which would have huge ramifications for Skouras, both with the government, and for his ability to keep Orchestra a secret.
Overall, this is a fascinating episode. It continues to be interesting to see Bo make friends with other children, and hopefully some of her friends begin to make repeat appearances soon. How Bo relates to others like her is also something the audience has yet to see, and it’s something that will be worth keeping an eye out for. It’s unclear how Bo views others like herself, as her only interaction with them to date has been Joshua’s attempt to kill the reporter. If she does, in fact, inherently distrust them, it will make for an intriguing conflict if one of them ever ends up in danger and needs Bo to rescue them. In addition, as Winter is aware, Skouras is capable of tracking anyone using powers other than Bo, which means that Winter will for once discourage Bo from helping out a stranger for fear of getting caught, and how Bo handles this is a potentially compelling look at the character. The presence of a second program by Skouras opens up a lot of storytelling possibilities, not the least of which is what Skouras’s ultimate purpose is with a second Orchestra. Skouras has been a shady individual from the start, but his nefarious activities to date have appeared to be in service to his government contract. The presence of a second Orchestra that the government is unaware of, however, opens up a new aspect of the character, and what Skouras’ ultimate plans are, as well as how Orchestra and Bo play into it, will be worth watching for over the course of the series.
– Deepayan Sengupta