The threads of multiple plotlines coalesced on this week’s Minority Report, culminating in a veritable orgy of predictive surveillance.
The Hawk-Eye pilot program (a.k.a. PreCrime by computer) is now watching the D.C. citizenry. Vega and Dash are watching Hawk-Eye and trying to stay a step ahead. Blake is watching Vega because he suspects shenanigans. And Agatha is watching everyone’s future on the psychic TV inside her mind and hoping to unravel the truth before she and her brothers end up back at the mercy of the state in underground-bathtub prison.
Right off the bat, we see Hawk-Eye in action: A guy out for a high-speed joyride with his wife is rudely interrupted by an alert from the program, informing him that a pattern of risky behavior has gotten him flagged as a threat to public safety. And at the same time, back at police headquarters, the cops are getting a similar lesson. In short: Hawk-Eye’s algorithm notices patterns and flags suspicious behavior.
Vega, ever cheeky, points out that this is going to get dicey, fast, when they have to follow and arrest flagged individuals who haven’t actually committed a crime and earns herself an assignment testing out Hawk-Eye in the field for her trouble.
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Meanwhile, Dash and Arthur are off on a brotherly mountain-biking excursion in a local park. But it’s not all fun, fresh air, and tiny plastic packets of marijuana that melts on your tongue like a Listerine strip; Arthur wants to warn Dash about the dangers of trusting Vega.
“Everyone is capable of anything,” Arthur says. As if to prove it, this statement is immediately followed by a sibling psychic vision: The destiny of yet another killer crystallizes, resulting in a name for Arthur and a vision for Dash of the violent crime. Right off the bat, it looks like this murder is different in that it involves a lot of stomping.
A round with Wally’s precog projection helmet confirms: It’s a fistfight, and the murderer is a man named Mark Massero — who just happens to be the same man flagged as a threat at the start of the episode. There’s just one problem: With the Hawk-Eye pilot program operational and with Blake asking questions about Vega’s last two cases, the illicit adventures of cop-and-precog have officially gotten too risky.
But not to worry, Vega has a plan: to get Dash hired on with the police as a civilian analyst. It seems foolproof — Arthur can even give him a new identity — although Dash is not keen on going back in the precog milk bath, or even into the building where the milk bath used to be, really.
Meanwhile, speaking of the milk bath, Agatha is still having ominous visions. She updates Arthur with the latest wrinkle: Vega is, in their future, complicit in their re-enslavement. The two surmise that someone inside the government must be looking for them. Who? We don’t know, but Agatha says she knows who to ask — which is news to Arthur, and to us, since that island she’s living on was supposed to be pretty unpopulated. As it turns out, she has at least one neighbor. His name is Charlie, and he’s a very naughty man, with a history of embezzlement and other unsavories. Agatha’s first move: using her psychic skills to reveal to Charlie that she knows about his past, spooking the hell out of him.
NEXT: Akeela on board.
Back to D.C.: Vega has finally spilled the beans to Akeela that Dash is her secret C.I., and Akeela, who is apparently a bit of a precog fangirl, is super excited. Until she finds out that Vega needs her to pull some strings to get Dash in as an analyst, at which point her adorable enthusiasm is replaced by anguished doubt, and it’s very sad. But she does it, of course, ’cause she’s a good friend and also because the Vega-Dash crime-fighting team just feels so much more complete with Akeela in a support capacity. (Just don’t have her fall in love with Wally, okay, guys?)
With Dash officially on board as a police analyst, it’s time to investigate the death by stomping. First, they visit Narcissus, the tech company where Massero the murderer-to-be works (and where the pop-up “follow the line” technology from those Fidelity commercials is now a real, actual navigational tool.)
They learn that Massero is on the verge of being voted out by his board and that he’s a compulsive risk-taker with a penchant for classic hoverbikes. And when they go to his house, they catch him in the act of strangl…oops, wait, sorry, I mean, violently but consensually having sex with his wife.
A portrait is emerging of Massero as a guy who’s high on testosterone and low on impulse control, but it’s otherwise pretty unclear what’s actually going on, until a visit to his therapist offers some answers. Turns out, “therapy” in 2065 involves getting your brain rewired by a little electric helmet, and Massero’s brain was fine-tuned to make him more spontaneous and exciting to his bored wife. Unfortunately, it also has the side effect of turning him into a ball of unchecked rage when provoked — which Vega and Dash put together just in time to figure out that Massero’s crime is actually a road rage incident spun out of control. They have to steal his hoverbike in order to get there in time, because of course they do, and Dash manages to tackle Massero to the ground right before the pivotal face-stomping moment.
“Oh man, this is bad,” Massero moans as Vega arrests him.
“Believe me, it could’ve been worse!” Dash says cheerfully.
Unfortunately, it is worse because it’s not over. Fresh on the heels of this victory, Dash gets hit with another vision, this time of Massero killing someone else: himself. Only precogs don’t see suicides, which means that Massero’s death has to be murder. Apparently. Somehow. Hey, Arthur! Can you help us out with this?
Arthur does help, giving Dash a name (along with the info that Agatha has had a vision of Vega betraying them, which is nice because the fact that she’s been keeping that a secret has never made any sense). And Vega shows up just in time to keep Massero from hanging himself — and to tell him that it wasn’t really him doing the hanging. Um, what?
Aha! It’s not Massero’s fault because it’s the fault of his quacky psychiatrist! Those fine-tuning treatments impaired Massero’s frontal lobe on purpose, getting rid of his brain’s most basic instincts for self-preservation. And the psychiatrist wasn’t working alone; he was bribed to sabotage his client by Massero’s professional rival at Narcissus. In short: This has all been a very convoluted case of extreme boardroom warfare.
It’s also a case closed and a satisfying job well done for Vega and Akeela. And for Dash, it’s looking like a real fresh start, if he can just get over the weirdness of being back in the place where PreCrime used to be housed…and if he can avoid Agatha’s good pal Charlie because it’s looking likely that he’ll be showing up in D.C. soon.
Because Agatha has taken Charlie’s getaway money, and when he confronts her, she psychically anticipates his every move — all of which end in his untimely death — until there’s nothing to do but whatever she wants.
“What do you want?” he asks.
A guess: It has something to do with finding out about secret government schemes involving precogs.