Last week, the first ever episode of Minority Report unveiled a promising premise: a weekly procedural cop-and-civilian crime drama, set in a highly detailed and entertaining Metropolis of the Future, in which the civilian half of the central couple just happens to be an endearingly doofy psychic.
And whether you’re on board or not with this departure from the tenor of the original, brooding Minority Report — and the even more original, more brooding Philip K. Dick novel that inspired both that movie and this show — the show’s definitely taking that premise and running with it. In episode 2, “Mr. Nice Guy,” the development of a working relationship between Dash and Lara Vega (and various odd sidekicks) was front and center, with the establishment of a season-long plot arc a distant second.
Oh, and we found out why things are so weird between Vega and her boss, Blake. But that comes later.
To begin, there’s a flashback: We’re back in the heyday of PreCrime, looking down on the precog trio in their underground milk bath.
Oh, excuse me: not milk bath. Photonic containment system. Wally, who was the precogs’ caretaker back then, explains how the bath unites the siblings’ psychic hive mind, harnessing each precog’s unique ability. Agatha disassociates as she sees the murder, her mind melding with the person whose future she sees. Arthur, as we discovered last week, is a beacon for facts: names, addresses. And Dash?
“Dash sees the horror,” Wally says dramatically. Subtext: When the precogs are released into the wild, Dash is going to have the hardest time of it.
Right now, though, Dash seems fine: Not only did he stop a mass murder last week, but he’s also using his psychic skills to dominate the park chess scene. Four games at once!
Alas, like so many idyllic moments in Dash’s life, this one goes on only as long as it takes for someone, somewhere, to not-yet murder someone. A vision of death hits him, hard; he convulses, then flees. The remaining chess players look on, confused. (And I know that D.C. is a big city and PreCrime was a long time ago, but still, it’s starting to strain belief that nobody would make the connection between the retired precogs and the prescient chess-playing weirdo in the park. Dial it back, Dash! They’re going to know!)
Meanwhile, Vega is hunting bad guys with boss Blake, bantering with him about Beyoncé (now a golden oldie) in between laser blasts. Rather than accept Blake’s help, she takes five perps out with confident sass — oops, make that overconfident, as an unseen sixth pops up behind her. No big deal, it’s just a simulation (with a clear message: Vega is a lone wolf with trust issues).
We also learn that the case is not necessarily closed on last week’s murder: Vega’s body camera (yep, they’re a thing now) was not operational during the confrontation that left Mason “Murder Pigeons” Rutledge and his daughter dead, and Blake has questions.
Basically, it’s not an ideal time for anyone to be hunting another pre-murderer, but neither Vega nor Dash can resist the chance to save more lives. Unfortunately, a visit to Wally’s lair and a round with the magic precog helmet yields only fragmented images and no faces; all they can see are a series of symbols, including the logo for an area singles club, and a crazy looking shoe. Too bad there isn’t a second precog around who could give them the name of the would-be vict…oh, right.
Only Dash’s visit to Arthur doesn’t pan out as hoped. For one, Arthur wants to be pickier about who they help and how — and unlike Dash, he seems to grasp that people will eventually notice what they’re doing and come looking for them. Second, Arthur wants something in exchange for his help: an old case file.
It’s a big ask, and Vega can’t arouse any more suspicion when she’s already being watched. So for now, it’ll be just her and Dash, cop and precog, together, teammates. They stake out the club where they know the victim hangs out and where people match (or don’t) instantaneously using “microbiome analyzer” bracelets.
“People used to text, swipe pictures. There was interaction,” says Vega longingly, and let’s all have a moment of silence for the first (and hopefully last) moment of TV nostalgia for Tinder. Dash is out of his element, but he makes promising eye contact with a girl — who turns out to be wearing the shoes from the vision! So he jabs her date with a sick stick (remember those?), because obviously, he won’t be able to murder anyone if he’s too busy projectile vomiting. There’s just one problem: It’s the wrong guy. And at the bar is a man whose forearm bears a unique moving tattoo that was visible in Dash’s vision, which makes him the killer, for sure.
Cut to the next morning: Vega and Dash staked out tattoo guy all night with nothing to show for it. But we know his name (Tyson) and his occupation (professional pickup artist, and cue many, many jokes about Dash “researching” his work, ha, ha).
There’s just one problem: They still have to wait for him to make a move, because unlike in the fascist days of PreCrime, you cannot currently arrest a dude for something he hasn’t done yet. (So concludes Wally’s obligatory cameo as the voice of the show’s tortured moral center.)
NEXT: Vega makes a bold move.