Perception – Caleidoscope

by Alan Rapp on July 26, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Perception – Caleidoscope
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Perception - Caleidoscope

While doing his best to try and not celebrate his birthday, despite promising to have dinner with Paul (LeVar Burton), Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) agrees to help Kate (Rachael Leigh Cook) with a murder that takes him into both the life of a young online-obsessed shut-in (Robbie Sublett) who hasn’t spoken aloud in over five years and the virtual reality of a MMO known as Caleidoscope. Although Daniel wants to help the young man find a way to function in the real world the FBI consultant soon finds the lure of the virtual reality, including a charming young woman (Kate Beahan) who takes an immediate shine to him, too irresistible to resist.

As Daniel does some virtual research, Kate talks with both the online girlfriend (Melissa Hayden) of the victim (Dave Shalansky) as well as her ex-husband (Michael Patrick McGill) who was threatened to stay away from the victim. With the help of Agent Fleckner’s (DJ Qualls) expertise, Kate is able to track down the victim’s 15 year-old partner (Sari Arambulo) in an identity theft operation who admits she had her brothers beat the man up the night he died but denies any involvement in the murder.

Perception - Caleidoscope

When Daniel starts to hallucinate elements of the virtual world in the real one, things get complicated, especially once he begins to completely blur the lines of the real world and the virtual one to such an extent he can no longer tell where one ends and the other begins. However, eventually he is able to make his way back to reality along with the answer to who killed their victim and why.

The appeal of Caleidoscope provide unique dangers for Daniel as he begins loosing himself in a completely new type of fantasy. The virtual designs of the world aren’t terribly impressive, but the choice for Daniel’s mind to fill in the surroundings with real people helps to mitigate the limits of the episode’s budget. The cause of the murder is tragic, but some good eventually comes from the situation when the shut-in finally begins to get the help he so desperately needs.

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