This week’s episode of Minority Report was called “The Present,” so naturally, we start in the past.
It’s 2048, to be exact, in the last months of the pre-PreCrime era. A police officer is strolling in the rain through a neighborhood called the Sprawl, and the name on his badge is “Vega.”
This is the dear, departed dad of Detective Lara Vega, and we’re about to watch him die. There’s a strange noise nearby, and then out of the rain, a gun appears. There’s one shot, then another, and Officer Vega is down — to the apparent satisfaction of a bearded, hooded, eyeless man who strolls away from the scene.
End flashback, roll title credits.
Aaaand we’re back, in the post-PreCrime present, a.k.a. the future, where Agatha is showing to Arthur the plans for a new containment system that her minion found in the system last week. Which is worrisome, yes, but as Arthur points out, the plans are 10 years old — dating back to before the close of PreCrime.
Agatha doesn’t care. In fact, she’s more invested than ever in the idea that Vega can’t be trusted, and she’s coming off more and more like a manipulative lunatic as she digs in on her conspiracy theory, insisting, “She will betray us.” (Dial it back, Aggie. You’re getting a little intense.)
Vega, meanwhile, is doing what she does best: spitting in the face of anyone and everyone who tries to care about her. First she refuses to eat the nice algae frittata her mom made for breakfast on her birthday, and then she gets mad at Dash for bringing her flowers at the office. But not because she’s weird about getting older or anything; she’s just bitter and sad because she shared a birthday with her late dad. Aw.
At police headquarters, Vega gets called away for a walk-and-talk with Henry Blumfield, deputy director of the DIA, at the same time as Dash’s vision thermometer (you know, the one they remind us he’s wearing at the start of every episode) goes off.
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On the murder menu this week: shattering glass, a gun, a logo, a red sports jersey, and a ticking sound. And as always, something sticks out: That jersey is a 2019 Redclouds jersey, from the first year that the team finally decided to stop calling itself a racial slur. (Sidenote: Is this an overly optimistic timeline? Discuss.)
Also of note: It turns out that PreCrime was technically already in effect, being beta tested, the year that Vega’s dad was killed, which means there might actually be a recording somewhere of his murder as the precogs saw it. Were those recordings saved? Wally doubts it, but I doubt Wally. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, the 2019 Redclouds jersey should be easy enough to track down, seeing as they’re vintage and rare. Only when Vega asks Akeela to hunt for it, it turns out there’s no need: Akeela bought Vega the jersey for her birthday.
“Vega, you’re the victim,” Dash gasps. And then they cut to commercial, presumably so we can all scream in horror.
NEXT: Done screaming? Good, there’s a murder to investigate. [pagebreak]
Vega is the only one not freaking out about the fact that she’s been potentially pre-murdered. (Quote of the week goes to Akeela, who moans, “I bought you a death shirt for your birthday! I’m the worst friend ever!”) And Dash? Dash is really upset. Dash goes running to Arthur, who is a little too cavalier about having gotten Vega’s name on the psychic murder wire. Dash punches Arthur in the mouth. It’s weirdly touching.
Assuming that the killer-to-be is probably someone Vega put away, she and Dash track the symbol from his vision back to a criminal rehab facility and a convict named Michael Wynn, a guy she arrested six years ago in a highly embarrassing (for him) manner. They meet with Wynn (Jesse Luken, doing his very best impression of a total slimeball), who claims not to be gunning for Vega — but when she baits him, he takes a run at her. And she takes him down, again, in a highly embarrassing (for him) manner, again.
It seems like the threat should be neutralized, but here’s the next twist: Back in the director’s office, Vega finds her father’s watch in a case full of artifacts belonging to the convicts. This, they realize, is the source of the mysterious ticking noise — and this, Vega says, is what must get her killed because there’s no way she isn’t chasing a clue that might lead to her father’s murderer.
Her first stop is a meeting with Blumfield, which she hopes will lead to a secret pre-PreCrime video archive of Daddy Vega’s death. It doesn’t (although Blumfield does drop a hint about impending terrorist attacks that might be prevented with the use of precogs, which a) will probably matter later and b) might explain why Agatha’s spidey sense is tingling so much lately). According to the deputy director, the lost murdervisions only exist in one place: inside the precogs’ heads. Which is technically three places, dude, but whatever.
The bad news: Dash doesn’t remember Vega’s dad’s death. The good news is, he could! With the help of BIMR (pronounced, “beemer”), a machine that can re-ignite the old paths in his brain that lead to the memory. And Wally just happens to have a BIMR under his stairs, so that’s convenient. There’s just one problem, and you know what it is, because it’s the same problem they have in every single episode, ever: This won’t work without Arthur.
Cue the Convincing-Arthur-to-Help-Us scene: This time, it’s Vega who goes to see him. Dash has told her about Agatha’s vision, and she promises Arthur she would never betray them. Arthur finally gives in, but “only because it’s your damn birthday.” (You hear that, Vega? Because it’s your birthday! And definitely not because we participate in this ridiculous charade every single week, with the same results!)
The excavation of forgotten murder visions works as follows: You take a shot of vodka, they strap you in, you put in your mouth guard, and they dig through your brain. Figuratively, of course, but it might as well be literally, because there is a ton of convulsing and grunting involved. Eventually, Dash and Arthur find Vega’s dad in their psychic archives.
Typically stoic Vega cries as she watches her father die on screen, but she’s still a cop, and she sees it first: There’s a woman in the vision. And they’ve seen her before. She’s Dina Winter, the director of the rehab facility they visited earlier — and despite Dash’s warnings, Vega isn’t going to pass up the chance to confront her and get a confession — which she does, that night, and she doesn’t waste any time.
“This is the watch you took off my father’s body after you killed him,” she says, displaying the timepiece.
And Winters doesn’t deny it, but she doesn’t confess, either. Instead, she keeps talking about the junkie who killed Vega’s father in the third person, infuriating Vega, who pushes Winter to the ground and pulls her gun. Another twist: Nobody ever thought to wonder if Vega might actually be the killer. Is she? And is Winter’s little boy, Bradford, who appears in the room wearing a vintage Redclouds jersey and holding a gun, her victim?
Realizing how close she is to taking an innocent life, Vega puts her gun down. So does the kid. Phew. And with everyone out of danger, Dina Winters reveals the truth: She was told to kill Vega’s father by her dealer, Lycon, the eyeless man (and another recurring character from Minority Report, the movie).
No doubt, Vega will chase this lead, too, with the help of Dash and Arthur. But for now, it’s time to go home. It’s her birthday, and there’s a cupcake waiting.
Dash has a last word of advice: “When you get home, grab the chair.”
And back at Vega’s house, she gives her mother the watch — and then grabs a chair, so the woman can collapse into it. They hug and cry.
“It’s over,” says Mom.
And so is this episode. But for Vega, the hunt for her father’s killer has only just begun.