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Believe - 1.03 "Origin" - Review - Lost & Found

Believe's third episode "Origin", written by executive producer Jonas Pate and directed by Stephen Williams, sheds light on the past, gets into fate, and reunites a mother and son ripped apart by The Ayatollah many years ago.

Told in a series of flashbacks from ten years ago, the episode gives us a little bit of an origin story for Bo's abilities, as we meet Bo's mother Nina Adams (Ella Rae Peck), who spent her young adult life as a psychic fortune teller until Roman Skouras seeks her out and convinces her to be apart of his science program "Orchestra". It's also at this time Roman seeks out Milton Winter, who's past includes conscience research for a science division of the CIA and Darpa. It becomes a little clearer when we see Roman's motives push a pregnant Nina away from her boyfriend and towards military-related weapons programs, why it is Milton has left Roman and Orchestra along with his need to keep the promise he made to Nina about protecting Bo, especially since the overuse of those abilities seemed to cost Nina her life right after childbirth. Additionally we learn that there is a natural gene for these kinetic abilities that are inherently passed on from generation to generation, as Nina's mother also had these abilities and had taught her daughter how to use them.

Motherhood is highlighted further by a story of the week that starts off with a woman almost running Bo over on the street, whom William Tate takes the confrontation as an opportunity to pick pocket and lift her wallet. Bo is dismayed by Tate's choice and realist perspective of being jaded, and tells him it serves him right when there is no money to be found. Bo convinces him to give the wallet back and he agrees, again seeing another greedy opportunity. After using some more abilities they are able to get to the living space of the woman named Leona (Shohreh Aghdashkoo). Bo immediately connects with her and understands the loss of her son. Tate then steels a silver necklace with an amulet of a bird. The two soon take off to the apartment Winter had set up for them, but the FBI find them soon after and the two are forced to take off again until Winter can meet up with them. Not sure where to go, the blue butterfly appears and Bo is able to figure out that they need to go to "Half Moon" where there also happens to be a pawn shop. Tate is in the process of trying to sell the necklace when Bo finds Leona's son working in the back of the pawn shop. Bo is able to convince him that she understands and is like him, despite that he says he is not at first, but after Bo shows him the necklace, he knows that Bo is telling the truth. A little later in the episode he takes the necklace to his mother and they reunite at long last.  Motherhood is also lightly touched on too with a reminder that FBI agent Ferrell is mother, which leads me to believe that there will be a good story arc for her character down the line.

Well Zoe (Kerry Condon) being Bo's mom theory is obviously debunked now, but it doesn't disclose that Skouras or Zoe couldn't still be blood relatives, especially since we know that Nina's mom was institutionalized when Nina was 15, and we have no mentioning of whatever happened to her let alone nothing was said about Nina's father. Additionally we see that Skouras has invested in the belief of these people even before Winter joins his project. When the first information about the series came out, it was mentioned, much like Alias and Fringe that Bo's existence and Milton's need to protect her for another 7 years tied into a prophecy. 

It then makes sense to me that there is a story behind Bo's race and that either Skouras just disregards it for his own greed and/or need to control the world, or he and Milton just disagree about interpreting some line of text, but if it's of any consolation, we should take comfort in Bo's belief that there are no coincidences and that everything that happens in this universe is suppose to happen...

Additionally I also loved the way this episode tied back to things seen in the Pilot from the blue butterfly resurfacing to the bird necklace referencing back to the pigeons in the warehouse. It seems entities of flight are going to be highly thematic to the series

And lastly other things I'm pondering, I'm also pretty sure Corey (Arian Moayed), the guy that left Winter's group will become, if he's not already, a member of Skouras' group, as the character's original casting call described him as Moore's "Right Hand" Man. 

Johnny Sequoya and Jake McLaughlin continue to have great chemistry on screen and I felt that both actors have started to ease into their roles, but additionally Delroy Lindo and Kyle MacLachlan also  have an interesting dynamic and more personality came out of both actors in this episode as well. It was also nice to be able to get into the back story behind Bo's mother this early in series, as episodes like this sometimes don't show themselves a little later in the season. Another plus is that there seems to be a lot of characters starting to emerge and that gives the writers an opportunity to shock and amaze viewers with a lot of unexpected plot threads and character development down the road. 

Bad Robot Factor:
Each week after my review I will bring this section relating to many things Bad Robot in relationship to the episode, as I feel certain Bad Robot often makes a point to reference themselves with similar characters, subject matter, riffs, easter eggs, aesthetics, contrasting situations, & occasionally shared pop cultural references. So this section is to explore the possibility of those things, which may provide some and insight speculation and at the very least food for thought and/or trivia. I also think it's just fun to be able to reminisce!

Nina Soft (William and Nina Romance)
Again we hit a few familiar things to look at. Starting with Fringe, we have Bo's mother's name Nina, which Fringe fans surely thought of Nina Sharp. The character herself through wasn't like the Nina Sharp(s) that we know, although in one back story featured in Tales of the Fringe, we learn of a time when Nina lost her and William Bell's baby, due to her arm in relation to a freak lightning storm, which lead her to continue to help William build Massive Dynamic. This back story is meant to be seen as a major turning point for Nina Sharp by not becoming a mother and seeing another effect of Walter's crossing over.. But Nina Adams is more like a cross between Lost's Charlotte Malkin (who's' father Richard may or may not be a psychic) and various other minor characters with psychic abilities such as Maya Vaughn on Almost Human. It might be that Zoe is in a more Nina Sharp kind of role.

Note: The surname Adams could by a play on words for allusions to Adam and Eve and The Book of Genesis, as Adams means: "Son of Adam" and/or could also allude to the basic unit of matter: Atoms

The First People

"With more Corexiphan children, their collective psychic energy could...you know, Belly and I always agreed that, that primal part of the brain which allows us to cross universes is also responsible for a host of -of paranormal activities - pyrokinesis, telepathy, thought control. And that we all had these abilities until...'til there was a moment in history when something was don to us, --and it was shut down." -Walter Bishop "Over There Pt. 1."

Last week I also mentioned how on Fringe Walter Bishop believed that humanity once had genes to have natural kinetic abilities who were eventually wiped out. Fringe never explicitly explored that possibility, despite that one could chuck it up to The First People (people in every blue-sided timelines' future(s) that had to time travel back in time), the Observers, and/or Cortexiphan subjects eventually passing on their abilities as a possible explanations.  This unexplored plot thread seems to be more of the focus here, as we learned that this gene does in fact run in families and that only a small percent of the current population has them.

As mentioned above this leads to me believe that like with either Alias and Milo Rambaldi's works or Fringe with The First People, that the series will explore a mythology centered around some kind of prophecy or manuscript in relation to Bo and other with kinetic abilities.

To See You Again
The reuniting of son and mother also reminded me of Fringe "Over There Part 1", because this is the one episode where Peter is able to reunite with his biological mother, as he was stolen/saved by non biological counterpart of his father, Walter Bishop, of another parallel universe. This is also similar to the ending of Lost where a lot of the characters exist together in an after life or in between and along side ethereal plane, but most importantly it is where Jack finds resolve in finally connecting back with his father again which was a driving force behind Jack's whole story.

Note: Another Fringe wink with "red and green lights" and the Lincoln Tunnel.

New York City Serenade
A pawn shop in New York City is also another thing iconic to Fringe, but the way the episode was set up with all of these groups of people hunting down Bo and Tate --and with so many characters from these groups coming to light and having these people constantly monitoring Bo and Tate, actually felt more like a Person of Interest episode, which has me more than hopeful about the way this series can go.

Director and Producer Stephen Williams has worked on lot of Bad Robot episodes from Lost, Undercovers, and Person of Interest. He also shares another connection with Damion Lindelof whom both worked on Crossing Jordan.

Much like Banshee alumni Trieste Kelly Dunn has guest stared on an episode of Fringe ("Midnight"), so does her Believe character's co-worker Agent Martin played by Banshee alumni Matthew Rauch who's  guest stared on an episode of Person of Interest ("In Extremis").

Winter's past with the science division of the CIA and Darpa is also reminiscent to things heard of or seen in Fringe and Alias, as in Alias there is the CIA science division headed by Agent Kendall (Terry ' O Quinn) called DSR (Department of Special Research) and on Fringe the CIA's science division is occasionally mentioned from Agent Michael's trying to get a hold of the child observer ("Inner Child") and from awareness of projects that slip out into the public like "Project Jellyfish" ("Concentrate and Ask Again"). DARPA is also mentioned as apart of "extra" season 3 tie-in material.

Note: Last Week mentioned a strange science division of the US air force featured in Super 8.

Do Not Mistake Coincidence For Fate
A lot of Bad Robot works tend to exist in fate orientated universes, as the high concept fantasy and/or science fiction elements are ripe for the series to philosophically explore identity with a metaphysical backbone. It appears given both Bo's role in the world to help people and because she states that there are no coincidences, that we are in another fate oriented universe...

So what did you think of 1.03 "Origin"? Do you think Skouras could be related to Bo? Are you mad a Milton for not yet telling Tate the truth about Bo? Did you like some of Bo's newly seen abilities? Did you like this weeks story of the week? Any theories about anything out there? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author - Darthlocke4
Laura Becker (Darthlocke 4) is a long time commentator, TV addict, and aspiring writer participating with other fans on SpoilerTV. She writes reviews and analytic type articles. Some of her other interests include philosophy, cultural anthropology, reading, drawing, and working with animals, as she grew up and continues to work on her family's horse farm.

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