Perception is back with brainier than average cases to be solved. The midseason opener, Curveball, has Kate and Daniel investigating the death by train of a security guard. The lead suspect is an autistic teenager with a train obsession. As always plenty of twists round out the episode and the cast chemistry is good, especially Daniel and Donnie who had my favorite exchange. While the episode works best in the main case, there is also a pedantic substory about a neuroscience prodigy choosing which college to go to. The kid is your typical brat with a forceful mother, causing Paul and Max to jump through hoops to please them.
Overall this is a typical Perception episode so it's kind of surprising that they are opening with it because while it is good, it is not a sensationalized case or even one that moves the characters forward much. Kate and Donnie try to baby step back into their relationship but keep hitting stumbling blocks. There is a major twist that many crime procedural watchers will get before the characters, but that doesn't make it any less compelling. Probably the best thing about the episode is the guest actors and the heartfelt case of the week. Andre, the autistic kid, is easy to feel compassion for while the NTSB lead has some good lines. If they had dropped the weak substory, the episode would have been greatly improved. Basically this is about as typical an episode of Perception as you can get. While there isn't much attract new viewers, fans will be excited to see such likeable characters back on screen working together to solve interesting cases.
Best Scene - Daniel and Donnie, speaking metaphorically and hypothetically
Best Reason to Watch - In a world of police procedurals, this is one of the smartest
Best Reason to Fast Forward - The subplot with the annoying potential college prospect
Ultimate Truth - "Forced idle chitchat at a dinner party you can't leave because it's in your own home is the very definition of hell."
Biggest Aww Moment - Dan with Andre
Best Manipulator - Paul
Biggest Surprise - I actually like Donnie. He was an adulterous douche when he first came on and I never thought I'd care one iota for him. Surprisingly he is very slowly growing on me. Well done, Perception writers.
Best Twist - ***** - Did you really think I was going to spoil it?
The "Walk of Shame" Award -
"Great, so he's Train Man. "
"Nope, it was the rabbit's foot."
"Watch it. He's retired but he could still kick your a**."
"You know, you're still my favorite hallucination but I think we have to have the boundaries discussion."
"You should be ashamed of yourself." "Thank you. Unfortunately I've done plenty to be ashamed of so you're going to have to be a lot more specific."