Across its pilot and the second episode, “Made of Stone”, NBC’s new paranormal procedural makes something of a case for itself.
This The InBetween recap is based on the first two episodes, titled “Pilot” and “Made of Stone”, and contains some spoilers. Weekly recaps will continue henceforth.
Last week, through no fault of my own, I missed the pilot episode of NBC’s new paranormal procedural The InBetween. You can’t blame me, really. The show’s creator, Moira Kirland, has assembled enough well-worn genre essentials that you could be forgiven for dismissing the show immediately as an unimaginative retread of already-explored ideas. And, frankly, that might end up being true. But after the second episode, “Made of Stone”, there’s also a chance that The InBetween provides just enough welcome diversity and tweaks to an established formula to be worth a cursory look.
First, the familiar. Harriet Dyer plays Cassie Bedford, who can see the dead and puts this peculiar ability to the task of solving Seattle-area crime; her adoptive father Tom Hackett (Paul Blackthorne) is conveniently a detective and uses her spectral tips to close cases. As ever, the dead never stay dead on television, and if they do they at the very least don’t stay silent about it.
Tom also has a new partner, Damien Asante (Justin Cornwell), a high-flying ex-FBI profiler with enigmatic intentions; add that to your network TV bingo card, if you like. And in slightly odder but still not entirely unexpected news, there’s a teenage ghost girl (Sarah Abbott) who hangs around Cassie’s house.
What’s a little bit surprising about The InBetween is how relatively up-front about all this everyone seems to be. The show mostly forgoes that tedious secrecy surrounding its paranormal elements, instead using them to both move the plot along as quickly or slowly as necessary and colour relationships between the characters, particularly between Tom and his husband, Brian (Michael B. Silver), who doesn’t like how Tom is potentially putting Cassie in harm’s way by using her ethereal advice.
Dyer, to her credit, is good here as a hard-drinking hauntee who has nonetheless come to some kind of terms with her abilities and what she considers to be her purpose; the pilot was written and directed by women, while “Made of Stone” wasn’t, but both episodes seem possessed of a woman’s touch in their creative underpinnings, which helps. In a show that trafficks in incredibly familiar ideas, simple notions of perspective matter; what The InBetween offers beyond the restless dead and the usual predictable procedural plotting is the unusual voice in which it speaks; a voice of modernity and diversity that relays an old story in a slightly new way. I wonder how long it’ll be worth listening to?