Perception “Messenger” Review – Isn’t Science Just Another Kind of Faith?

Perception (TNT) The Messenger Episode 5 (4)

An episode about a possible religious cult with a kid that can actually “hear” God talking to him… not to mention an appearance (or two) by Joan of Arc?? Okay, Perception, you’ve outdone yourself.

This week, Pierce and Moretti are struggling to find the killer of one Jared Baker, an ex druggie that has taken up residence with a religious group called “Haven House”. The group is run by a very nice looking family who happen to have a son, Kyle, that can hear the voice of God. Anyone that joins said community is expected to sign away all of their money, which in Jared’s case, was an inheritance of $500,000. Did Haven House off Jared for his money?

Haven House uses the funds primarily to fund a school in Afghanistan, and barely clears anything for themselves. Moretti checks and double checks with the IRS to confirm that Haven House is actually on the up and up, and the IRS agent (guest star Roger Bart) confirms that everything checks out with the non-profit.

Meanwhile Pierce, who of course is a skeptic of everything religious, is having a hard time coming to terms with Kyle tuning into God radio. He asks the kid a few questions and diagnoses Kyle with a brain tumor that is pressing on one of his temporal lobes. Kyle’s parents are all for running some tests, but Kyle refuses because removing the tumor will cut off his connection with God. He and Pierce have what is actually a pretty great conversation where Pierce struggles to understand how Kyle can be so smart, but still put all his blind faith in something he can’t see.

Cut to a scene between Pierce and Natalie where she compares faith to science and accuses Pierce of wanting to have faith in something and envying those that do. Needless to say, he doesn’t take it very well. It also comes as a complete shock when Kyle is found at the bottom of the stairs, and while his family believes he fell, Pierce and Moretti think he was pushed… based on some scientific chemical level that wasn’t in his blood at the time of his fall.

Queue Joan of Arc making an appearance and helping Pierce to piece together the Jared’s killer and what actually happened to Kyle.

Okay, so. I love a good religious tie in probably more than the next person, so obviously, I adored Perception this week. Not only was Joan of Arc an amazing hallucination for Pierce to see, but her story really tied into Kyle’s and I believe helped Pierce’s love for the kid.

Also, let’s just be honest here, tackling Joan of Arc in a crime show is no easy feat, but the writers of Perception did it brilliantly. She appeared at just the right times, was open enough for Daniel to vent his frustrations to, and also sort of provided a little bit of proof of faith at the end, am I right?

I think Daniel’s progression through “Messenger” was excellent – and maybe, just maybe, Kyle changed the good doctor’s mind and has him believing a little more than he did before.

Perception is taking a break next week, so we’ll have to wait until August 20th to see how the writer’s step up their game and try to top this episode, but I don’t know if that can be done.

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