This episode of Minority Report, titled “The Present,” weirdly enough begins in the past, specifically in The Sprawl in 2042, which is eight months before the PreCrime program came online. A lone cop is walking the beat, whistling a mournful tune. I can’t identify the melody, but I’m guessing the name might be “I’m Gonna Die Soon.” We see his name tag and he’s the soon-to-be slain father of our favorite police detective, Lara Vega. He hears a noise, walks down a lonely alley just before his high-tech police body camera goes on the fritz. He’s shot and a mysterious hooded man walks away from the murder scene.
Agatha shows Arthur the secret government files she blackmailed Charlie into obtaining for her in the previous episode. She says there are plans for a more advanced milk bath, and the government had plans to use the trio to help solve national security problems. Arthur argues that the files are 10 years old, but Agatha insists that this new vitamin-fortified milk bath is the same one she’s been seeing in her dreams. Agatha is sure that Detective Vega is going to be the catalyst for their next imprisonment, but Arthur isn’t convinced.
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It was 17 Years Ago Today
Vega is having her own problems. Her mom has used her spare key to let herself in, which is never a fun way to start the day. It turns out that it’s Vega’s birthday, one that she shares with her slain father. As a result, she’s not thrilled when Dash shows up with flowers. He tells her he loves birthdays, even though “I’ve only had 10 when I was technically conscious.” Vega tells Dash that if PreCrime had only been functioning a few months earlier, her dad’s life might have been saved. But Dash reveals to her that while PreCrime wasn’t officially online, he and the rest of the Milk Bath Squad were already being tested.
Blake shows up with a guest, Henry Blumfeld, the Deputy Director of the DIA. He’s there exploring the success of the HawkEye program and he’s very interested in why Vega’s closure rate is four times higher than anyone else. He invites Vega and Blake to a dinner that evening, but Vega begs off since Dash has had another one of his “visions.” They can’t tell much from the scenes recorded from Dash’s brain, other than some gunshots and the appearance of a rare Washington Red Clouds jersey. Vega does take time to ask Wally if the recordings from before the official start of the PreCrime program might still be available, although she doesn’t explain her interest.
This Birthday Present is a Killer
Vega and Dash ask Akeela to track purchases of the jersey and it turns out that Akeela had bought one as a surprise birthday present for Vega, which makes her the potential murder victim. It’s a good assumption she isn’t going to die, unless Minority Report has suddenly become a miniseries. Dash confronts Arthur over his vision, and after punching him, Arthur tells him about Agatha’s discovery. Arthur doesn’t know anything else about Vega’s potential death and neither does Akeela, who tells Vega, “I just bought you a death shirt … I’m the worst friend ever.” Minority Report is a show with lots of laughs, but this is one of the few times the laughs are intentional.
Based on Dash’s vision, they suspect the murderer might be Michael Wynn, a former Sprawl crime lord Vega arrested seven years ago. He’s still in prison, although in this case that includes customer service call duties and the occasional day trip. They talk to Wynn, who breaks free of the guard and attacks Vega. She stops him, but as she’s leaving the prison she spots a watch in an area used by prisoners to display reminders of their past crimes. It’s her father’s pocket watch and she realizes Wynn isn’t the murderer. Vega decides she needs to see those pre-PreCrime program recordings and ends up visiting DIA headquarters after all.
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Hey, Look! It’s an Upcoming Plot Twist!
Vega and Blake meet with Deputy Director Blumfeld, who tells them that there has been chatter about an upcoming terrorist attack. He also tells them he wishes the DIA still had access to the precogs. Why do I get the feeling this is where Minority Report is headed in the upcoming episodes it has left? Vega mentions the earlier beta testing memories and Blumfeld tells her the only place those visions still exist are in the brains of the precogs. I sense an upcoming plot twist, given Agatha’s insistence that Vega is going to help get the trip of precogs back in the milk bath.
Wally tells them he might be able to retrieve the memories, but they’ll need Arthur’s help to create a connection. Vega manages to convince Arthur to help, and after a lot of angry snark and machine-induced pain, they “see” the murder. It was committed by Dana Winter, the prison psychiatrist they met earlier when they interrogated Michael Wynn. Vega decides to confront her and somehow get her to confess. Or, at the very least, try and kill Vega so she can be charged with attempted murder.
Once Again, Dash’s Vision is Only Partially True
Vega confronts Dana Winter at her home and shows the psychiatrist the pocket watch that came off of her father’s body. At first, Winter talks about the murder in the third person, but after Vega pulls a gun, she admits that she committed the crime. She also reveals she was hired to do the job. But before she can say anything else, Vega realizes Winter’s teenage son is behind her, holding a weapon. Seeing him, she also realizes the boy is wearing a rare Washington Red Clouds jersey. Sure, they only made 500 of them, but why wouldn’t a kid be wearing one around the house like it was a Pokemon pajama shirt? Vega puts down her gun, realizing that this boy might actually be the murder victim from Dash’s vision.
After everything calms down, Winter tells Vega she was hired by her dealer. He was approached by someone to arrange the hit, but she doesn’t know who. Arthur agrees to help track down the mystery man and Vega heads home. She shows her mother the pocket watch and they embrace as this part of their lives come to an end. One mystery is solved, but it will only lead to more questions.
Minority Report airs Mondays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)