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"Perception" Ch-Ch-Changes (2013)

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Low Key and Flawless

10/10
Author: kols from United States
30 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent start for the new season - virtually flawless. The 'issue' addressed, what do we do with a criminal (or anyone else) once they've morphed into a totally different person, is both obviously simple and and irresolvably complex. As individuals, we are unique both in place and time, meaning that we are not nor can ever be the 'same person' that we were even a moment ago.

In this episode, a really nasty, violent and worthless as a human being biker has flipped, thanks to a head injury, into his exact opposite; so is he still liable for his crimes? The script answers no (the humane answer) but that isn't the heart of the matter; once the former biker's guilt is expunged the real 'issue' emerges: the duality of the question, both simple and complex.

That complexity is expressed by the Brother's murder of the newly released former biker but what I really enjoyed was how the episode expressed its simplicity: Natalie Vincent is my favorite of Pierce's imaginary foils but when Caroline emerged as a real flesh and blood character as well as Natalie's template, I was afraid Natalie would be banished. And Pierce's evolving relationship with Caroline seemed to emphasize that possibility.

She's Back, thankfully, as the expression of the simplicity side of this episode's theme. Both Natalie and Caroline, while based on the same template, are separate individuals, just as the Old Biker and the New Biker, so there's no contradiction and neither precludes the other. Personally, I don't care about the logic of it all, I'm just really glad to see both characters co-existing.

This is all played out in a very low-key, measured cadence which counterpoints with the seriousness and innate drama of the 'issue'. The script is as polished as a well-written short short story and the performances are just as economical and precise; seen it twice and those characteristics just strengthen with the second viewing.

Added seasoning: Donnie, Moretti's Ex and one of those "What the hell did she ever see in him?", love-to-hate but like him anyway characters, like Ben Grogan in Fairly Legal.

Finally, I'm comfortable revealing all of these plot points because the fun is the process of the plot unfolding, doesn't matter if you know how it all ends-up.

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