Believe: "Pilot" Review
Alfonso Cuaron is an acclaimed director and now with Believe he is taking his talents to the small screen. Cuaron recently one multiple awards for his work on Gravity, most notably taking home an Oscar for Best Director. JJ Abrams apparently was the one that suggested Cuaron try his hand on the small screen and the two are now collaborating on this television show known as, Believe. Cuaron has a terrific talent for holding long shots which increase the drama and tension in a scene. On television, this technique is rarely used, so it was nice to see in the very first scene he used that exact technique. As for the show at hand, it follows a little girl named Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) who has some sort of amazing power that a corrupt organization wants to use for what we can only believe would be that of horrible consequences to everyone. Milton Winters (Delroy Lindo) recruits a young man, Tate, filled with hate and rage to protect Bo from those people. Tate is reluctant to do so but his rough exterior seemed to break when he first met Bo which seems to be the driving force in why he is staying on the job aside from the money that Milton offered.
The dynamic between Bo and Tate will inevitable be the main source of drama of the show. Sequoyah does an amazing job as she hits all the right notes in the role of Bo, Sequoyah does a wonderful job being fragile, innocent and heartfelt. Bo's character of course is the complete opposite of Tate. Tate is ugly, rough and mean. At times it can be really annoying how mean he is, especially towards Bo which I can assume he is this way due to some horrible loss he suffered earlier in his life. Whether he lost a child or in his own childhood he lost a brother or sister. If it is the latter of the two, then he may just see his lost sister in Bo. Jake McLaughlin fits the rugged Tate, but at times he can be a bit unbearable to watch but that is more due to his actually character. It can be a bit hard to believe (no pun intended) how mean he is not just to Bo but to everyone. Hopefully, all of this will be understandable in the next few episodes. Also, what makes Milton truly believe that Tate is the man for the job. All of these things are serious questions we ask ourselves but tend to overlook it due to how engaging the actual story truly is.
The assassin that Skouras (Kyle MacLachan) sent after Bo and Tate is seemingly dealt away with now as she most likely was a "villain of the week" that the series will have to handle. Skouras does not seem to be the type to get his hands dirty as the one scene we have of him shows that he is accepting a humanitarian award. This leads me to believe that he is some sort of corrupt business leader that has plenty of pull and plenty of power. It is an interesting twist that they spoke of in the final minutes that he and Milton used to be partners. The two seem to be complete opposites of each other, paralleling the relationship between Bo and Tate.
The show of course will hinge on the evolution of Tate's character and his kinship to Bo while the bigger story will be what exactly Bo is. The villains in the show are a bit generic, but it was not their intention to divulge into their story. This pilot did what you want out of a pilot and that was to draw you into the story and the protagonists which they did successfully. The pilot made me want to come back next week despite my worries of McLaughlin's portrayal of Tate but Cuaron must see something in him to place him in such a integral role. Hell, the two of them worked together on Safe House, so there has to be some sort of familiarity. The show is in good hands with Cuaron and JJ Abrams working on the script and behind the camera while also hitting gold by casting Johnny Sequoyah in the role of Bo. In future episodes, I would hope that the show would dig more into the once friendship between Milton and the villainous Skouras. It will be interesting to see what exactly the two men also knows about Bo and what exactly her powers are.