TRICKING THE BRAIN – Hosted by Dean Cain, Masters of Illusion features amazing magic performed by cutting-edge illusionists, escape artists and performers displaying skills ranging from perplexing interactive mind magic to hilarious comedy routines – all in front of a studio audience. Magicians featured in this episode include Tommy Wind, Jason Andrews, Mark Bennick, Barry & Stuart, Murray SawChuck, Farrell Dillion and Jonathan Pendragon.
Pierce tracks the killer of a student while defending the victim’s boyfriend, who is suspected of being mentally ill and guilty of the crime. Meanwhile, Pierce faces his feelings as Moretti’s wedding approaches.
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Donnie and Moretti are caught in the crossfire when a sniper shoots up the lobby of the Federal Building. When Pierce determines that the shooter is afraid of Extreme Low Frequency radio waves, he and Moretti take a trip to the Quiet Zone in Virginia, where they think the shooter is hiding out. Meanwhile, an alluring woman named Shelby Buchanan courts Donnie to run for political office.
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In the first half of the two-part First Season finale Professor Pierce (Eric McCormack) is presented with information from a former student (Freddy Rodríguez) suggesting a cover-up and conspiracy surrounding the apparently accidental death of a U.S. Senator. After witnessing the death of the student (which may or may not have actually happened, given his tendency to hallucinate), Pierce finds himself lead down the rabbit hole by a hallucination of JFK (Steven Culp) that involves Greek mythology, a star constellation, a secret society, and a shadowy conspiracy.
Wesley claims that Ryland’s predecessor’s plane was sabotaged, and Crawford, a CEO, is responsible because Paulson chaired a committee that was going to pass a clean energy bill that would’ve cost his company billions. An engineer, Brian, died after he found out about the sabotage, and Wesley thinks it was murder. A reporter believed him, but he drove his car off the road. Wesley gives him an envelope with evidence before an arrow strikes him in the eye. Daniel calls Kate in a panic, but when Probert gets to the scene, there’s no body.
At the same time, viewers were left trying to guess or be surprised by characters that might or might not be hallucinations. Even if there were certain lapses in Pierce’s stability, there was a certain “fun” element to having him see these people around him.
“Shadow” broke the whole concept down and captured the reality, if you will, of that darker side to having schizophrenia and how heartbreaking it is to see someone fold underneath the illness.
Although she wants to believe in her friend Kate (Rachael Leigh Cook) is forced to accept the possibility that Pierce may have hallucinated the entire event, as well as his relationship with the student which she can find no evidence of. Although they can’t find the young man’s body, a little investigation does suggest a crime was committed and that it may have been tied to a dead reporter who was also investigating the death of the Senator.
Perception season 1 continues with episode 8, “Kilimanjaro.” “How bad do you want it?” Daniel asks his class. Ambition drives everyone. He wakes Brian up as he ends class and is surprised later when Lewicki says he turned in a good midterm paper. He brings an accusation of plagiarism to Haley, who points to his other good grades and admits that it does partly have to do with him being a good football player. Their conversation is interrupted by news of a murder on campus.
It’s been a series with plenty of promise that I’ve just been waiting to break out of the typical mold. Which is why “Kilimanjaro” was a fantastic new page. It that set the bar far higher than I had expected, providing an engaging episode from the central case to the side plots that surrounded it. This was a solid outing and probably one of the best of the season.
Pierce first encounters DJ (who looks remarkably like a young Adam Brody) on campus and threatens to fail the brilliant student if he doesn’t turn in his term paper now. Turns out that DJ isn’t actually a student, but is the manifestation of Pierce 25 years earlier – before he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Apparently Pierce was “cocky and confident” in his college years – smarter than his teachers, and wanted to be on the cover of Rolling Stone with med school as his back up plan. He wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, and his dreams were pretty much killed with his diagnosis.
Daniel and Lewicki talk to Brian about his paper, and he admits he bought it. He can’t concentrate anymore. Daniel notes a disparity in his pupils, and Brian says he’s been having trouble breathing and headaches. A scan shows he has a subdural hematoma. He’s done with football, meaning the loss of his scholarship, or he risks permanent brain damage. Thanks to TMZ, Kate finds Karl and convinces Irene to let her fly to get him. He claims he didn’t kill Christina. The student brings his paper to Daniel, who says it’s not his work. He wrote it when he was an undergrad. The kid calls Daniel’s life sad and pathetic and tells him his name is DJ—Daniel J. Pierce. He’s Daniel before he forgot how to have a life.
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Perception continues with episode 6, “Lovesick.” Daniel asks his class if free will exists. Neuroscientific data suggests it’s an illusion. As his class leaves, Haley finds Daniel to make sure he’s attending a gala because the widow of someone who verbally promised funding will be there and is a fan of Daniel’s. He refuses.
Like anyone that has suffered from depression (or known someone that has), obviously four hours and a day in the hospital are not enough to treat this major disease, and the kid ends up committing suicide. His doctor is found days later shot in the head. Is it a murder of revenge? It’s up to Moretti to find out!
It’s funny because for the first half of this episode, the case seemed pretty cookie cutter in development. Somebody killed the therapist out of revenge or anger, etc. and Pierce would simply have to figure out who. Sure, there was the ploy of “staying inside the circle” with respect to the insurance company and bonus money the therapist received, but there’s no way either Pierce or Moretti could pass up actually solving a case. They just love it too much.
After being authorized to “go outside the circle” based on Pierce’s findings in Dr. Corvis’ medicaljournals, Moretti and Pierce question several of the good doctor’s other patients, mainly those that were diagnosed with “transferential dopamine deficiency” which isn’t actually something a person can be diagnosed with because it’s not actually a real thing. However, Corvis was treating patients with a new drug that wasn’t released on the market yet for said issues.
Perception continues with episode 5, “Messenger.” It begins with Daniel having the day off, only for Haley to call him in to accept an award that includes a check. It’s a big deal, and Daniel walks out. Haley follows, but Kate interrupts with a case. She only has her victim’s religious tattoos to go on and wants Haley to look at them because of his background. However, while Haley thinks Kate should look into local Hindu temples, it’s Daniel who’s right that she should look into methadone clinics. Jared’s mother says that he claimed to have found the voice of God and was getting clean.
Pierce’s break with reality noticeably paralleled that of the episode’s case focus on a young man named Kyle who could talk to God. Surprisingly, Pierce immediately jumped towards Temporal Lobe Epilepsy as the problem (the condition that has been said to have affected Joan of Arc) rather than spend the episode trying to figure it all out.
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.
Daniel talks to Kyle alone and finds out God first started talking to him when he was 12 and he gets headaches and feels nauseated. Daniel explains these are signs of temporal lobe epilepsy and he has a tumor. He wants to run tests, but Kyle thinks God gave it to him so he could talk to him. He refuses to get rid of it, and his parents aren’t going to force him to.
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