Perception: Season 1, Episode 4

Cipher (30 Jul. 2012)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 188 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

Pierce tries to crack a coded message left in a newspaper.



(created by) (as Ken Biller) , (created by) (as Mike Sussman) , 1 more credit »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Fredrick James Dafoe
Dr. Elaine Steinman
Paul Leviseur
Prof. Arthur Wei
Eddie Leviseur
British Intelligence Officer
Patty Dafoe
SWAT Leader
Noel Conlon ...
Charles Dafoe


While Pearce reads the newspaper, he sees a cryptographer who tells him that there's a secret message in the paper. Pearce looks at a letter sent to the editor and sees something and goes to Kate. The message says that he killed someone and four more will follow. Initially she's not sure but they get word that a lawyer was killed. They assume that it may have had something to do with one of his cases but can't find it. So Daniel decides that he should send a letter saying he's a fan of the one who sent the letter. The guy responds but when Pearce assumption of the man's motivation is wrong, the man cuts off contact. But the cryptographer shows up again and points Daniel in the right direction. Written by

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Release Date:

30 July 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Pierce is jokingly called "Doctor Strange", a classic Marvel Comics character who would eventually get his own movie in 2016. See more »

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User Reviews

31 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Been a little iffy about this series; first couple of episodes were interesting, regulars attractive but hallucinatory alter egos seem a bit much, more a quirky plot device than organic element, introduced by writers desperate to stand out.

This episode not only integrated all of the show's elements, it did so in a moral context that has dogged Western Humanism since it was invented by that ancient rabbi: the impulse towards personal gain even at the expense of your peers and the impulse to value those peers as you value yourself.

The story centers around packages of sarin sent to carefully selected victims and then expands like roses petals into broader and broader blossoms until that central issue blooms and becomes the point of the episode, all without becoming preachy or maudlin or heavy-handed, as each petal emerges just as organically as that of a rose.

Will this one episode turns out to be a single pearl or the precursor of riches? That's a question whose answer I'll be looking forward to discovering.

P.S. Yes, there are elements of Humanism in Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and, yes, that rabbi may have been directly influenced by Persia's religion but his emphasis on the individual as the arbiter of morality based on our commonality and the value of our separate existences defined Western Humanism as a very different creature. We should value one another, not because some authority (God, Caesar) orders us to, but because we are, in a non-collective sense, one another.

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