Minority Report survived fall. Even when ratings for its first few episodes showed that no one was watching, Fox’s sci-fi misfire somehow avoided the chop. Its penance? Three episodes excised from the season. Looking back, that trio might have been worth the risk. Its finale saw many high points edging out its duller elements. And while the story wraps perfectly as both a season and series ender, if it wrangles a second season order here’s what’s going down.
The story will revolve more around the pre-cogs
When they’re together, the pre-cogs are by far the most interesting part of the show. They deserve to be front and center. Season 1 spent too long with Detective Vega and pre-cog Dash’s weekly heroics. The tired procedural format stank. Season 2 needs to take inspiration from the episodes where the murder-of-the-week is abolished, to instead focus on the mythology of the pre-cogs. “Fiddler’s Neck” and “Honor Among Thieves” nurtured that idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t see them. They arrived as the sixth and seventh episodes of the season. The lesson here? Don’t hold back and blow shit up in the first few episodes.
An origin story gets exposed
The opening voiceover takes a giant expositional dump to get viewers up to speed, by retelling the basic outline of the movie up to the start of the series. That needs to be snipped. However, there are gaps in that catch-up that hint at an unknown history. What were the pre-cogs up to before they got milk-dunked?
Spielberg’s movie describes them as the offspring of drug addicts. Philip K. Dick’s origin for them is far more distinct. They’re not attractive — they don’t even look human. They’re intellectually-challenged mutants. All that the series has shown is the trio in a sunny meadow being asked to take part in an experiment. Addict parents may be worth pursuing, but the mutant angle straight-up offers more diversity. What created their abilities?
The world-building becomes adventurous and daring
Minority Report inherited some cool components. The futuristic landscape and ambitious tech created by Spielberg and his think-tank are ripe for examination through long-form storytelling. Why it was relegated as set dressing for stories that other shows have already conquered is beyond me. Chalk that up to the season’s low points — its early procedural loyalty. If the last few episodes proved anything, it’s that the mythology is the better part of its premise. With the pre-cogs on the run and a trio of government corpses in the milk bath, the show cannot divert attention into humdrum antics. It can’t.
This leaves many opportunities to venture into the rest of modern society, not just the sterile world of the police department. “Fiddler’s Neck” showed an alternative lifestyle held by people who abstain from the technological tabs kept on city dwellers. Dash, Arthur, and Agatha evading capture from the authorities have the potential to go anywhere. As the HawkEye program presides over metropolitan zones there’s only one option: rural areas. An element of the brand that’s seldom investigated could be key to switching things up visually. And while we’re at it: fewer lens flares would be nice.
Characters will receive an overhaul
Here’s a thought: For the opening scene of the next season, how about Agatha “accidentally” kicks Vega down a well? Vega’s got to go — she is cliche personified. I feel for Meagan Good, because she’s obviously got skills, but her character is burdened by expositional dialogue in every scene. It’s baffling for a show set in a world where information is so easily accessed.
As for her partner, it’s been clear from the start that Dash lacks charisma. Why he was teamed with Vega for Fox’s big fall show is another head-scratcher. His edgier siblings Arthur and Agatha need to command the story. When they’re onscreen, Dash becomes less boring and more relatable. The dynamic works when meshed with the right story. The pre-cogs’ uniting against the tyrants who forced them into PreCrime, for example, was a solid end note for the season. That cohesion is important, and hopefully the show realizes this.