Before I start my review of The InBetween Season 1 Episode 1, “Pilot” there are two things I need to tell you: I believe that intuitive abilities are real and I rarely watch procedurals.
The InBetween caught my interest because of its content and characters first. The fact that its a police procedural with weekly cases to solve is secondary to me.
Lucky for me, that’s the DNA of the show, too.
We meet Cassie in the liquor aisle of a supermarket in Seattle and it soon becomes clear that she has developed a bit of an alcohol problem to cope with her psychic/medium abilities.
Trailers for the episode make it clear that Abigail is a spirit, and their relationship doesn’t give off mother/daughter vibes. But it’s still startling that she gets drunk and angry in front of a little girl at home later that night. No judgment — I like Cassie. Psychic visions cannot be easy to handle.
Especially when your dad is Detective Tom Hackett and you feel responsible to help solve murders, it must be hard. But Cassie’s not a mom, she didn’t ask to take care of an eight-year-old spirit who isn’t ready to deal with her own death.
Yes. Cassie’s methods of self-medicating are understandable.
Her visions don’t make it easy for her to solve crimes. She doesn’t get the whole answer right away. They’re cut up puzzle pieces waiting to be pieced together. It’s a perfect premise for a crime procedural.
As someone who believes in at least the psychic aspect of her abilities, I think it’s rather convenient that while her facts are all jumbled up, they all also end up being correct.
Shannon Bell’s eyes are gouged out, the victim that Cassie sees is Mark Waterman’s mother, but the vision leads police to Mark, the beach, the freezer, the Peter Rabbit song — nothing’s wrong and it all matters.
This gives the case a very contrived feel, which is what you don’t want on a TV show. That is not how most abilities work at all. You can be completely wrong and still be gifted.
If Cassie keeps being right all of the time, I’m going to lose more and more interest each week. But, this case falls short for a completely different reason.
It’s because viewers don’t meet Shannon Bell or any of her family or friends unless you count the cheating, jerk ex-boyfriend. He’s not the best red herring. He smells like fish right away.
I watched the episode twice, and while the second time around I appreciated the structure of the crime story more, both times I yearned to feel more of a connection to the victim.
The InBetween is self-described as character-driven. But the cases also fuel the show, so if they’re hard to connect to, it’s going to affect the quality eventually.
Trauma Control Theory is an interesting motive to begin a series with, so while I want to know more about Shannon, I’m not completely bored by the case.
The end of the case is surprising. James Stark (aka Mark Waterman) does have a creepy vibe — but I have a lot of hindsight so it would be a lie to say I see through him from the first scene.
A pilot is hard to review because there is no history to fall back on and compare. It’s all about potential, and as I said above, where I see the most potential on this series is in the relationships. I want to know more about everyone’s relationship with everyone else.
Detective Hackett and Lieutenant Swanstorm seem to have an interesting working relationship.
Then there’s former FBI Agent Damien Asante. His relationship with Tom is going to grow. Cops have to trust their partners implicitly, and I’m glad the first episode is dedicated to Damien’s journey to believing in Cassie’s abilities. Half of a season of his skepticism would be boring.
There is also a spark between him and Cassie. It might not be romantic. He might need her abilities to communicate with Sally — he totally leans into that forehead kiss when he visits her in the hospital.
So, he’s definitely in Seattle to be closer to Sally. But there is still some kind of spark between him and Cassie.
Is Sally his wife? His girlfriend? What happened to her? Why is she unconscious? These are just a few of the questions I have about Sally.
But I also want to know about Cassie’s other dad Bryon and how his differing opinion about how Tom uses Cassie’s abilities affects his marriage and his relationship with his daughter.
Cassie helping Abigail come to terms with her grandfather murdering her is more interesting to me than the murder case. So, I’m looking forward to Cassie helping more spirits.
A cliff is an interesting way to end a pilot like this. Does Ed Roven want help? Revenge on someone? He’s a serial killer. Does Cassie have to interact with him or help him before he’ll go away?
It’s exciting to have so many questions going into Episode 2 but there is definitely a lot of room for the series to grow.
What did you think of this episode of The InBetween? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The InBetween airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
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