Deception 1×01 Pilot Recap and Review
Deception 1×01 Synopsis: The series pilot follows Detective Joanna Locasto as she goes undercover in the Bowers’ household to investigate the mysterious death of a childhood friend.
Deception stars Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto; Tate Donovan as Edward Bowers; Victor Garber as Robert Bowers; Laz Alonso as FBI agent Will Moreno; Wes Brown plays Julian and Ella Rae Peck plays Mia Bowers. Sofia Bowers is portrayed by Katherine LaNasa
I have been waiting for Deception and can honestly say that I was not disappointed. The series has the same feel as watching the prime time soaps of the late 70s and early 80s. It’s kind of the Dallas of San Francisco. Instead of an Oil family, it’s a pharmaceutical family. While many have speculated that you can’t go very far investigating a single murder, Deception offers other crimes that need to be solved.
Deception 1×01 opens with Vivian Bower walking alone down a rain soaked street. She is wearing high heels and a red dress; she suddenly gets the feeling that she is being followed and quickens her pace. She gets into her car quickly and then a man presses his hands and face to the driver’s side window. She looks up and exhales with relief; “You scared me… Hi; get in, where’re we going?” she asks. The next scene shows her lying dead on a floor, her face looks as though she took a couple of punches.
Deception moves quickly, introducing characters as they learn of Vivian’s death. First is Robert Bowers who is in a meeting about a new cancer drug. Bowers calls his second wife, Sofia who is being examined; the doctor wants to set up a mammogram for her. She tells Robert that she’ll take care of everything. She calls Julian, who calls his elder brother Edward to go and identify the body before heading to youngest sister Mia’s school to tell her.
An employee at the morgue has Vivian exposed and plans to sell pictures of her dead body to TMZ when Edward enters, confronts him, smashes the phone and throws him out. He looks at his sister and says “I’m sorry honey, I tried.” Edward pulls the sheet up to cover his sister’s face.
Detective Joanna Locasto enters a drug den with SFPD. She chases down a fleeing suspect, a woman, who punches her in the face after being caught. She says “Really?” and then punches the woman in the face; lights out.
Joanna is on the phone with the assisted living facility where her mother is living. FBI agent Will Moreno knocks on the door. He catches up with his old friend and then informs her of Vivian’s death. She heads to the bathroom and remembers Vivian tearfully before coming to ask Will why he is here. He has a plan for her to infiltrate the Bowers’ home and wear a wire. The Bowers’ have been under investigation for nine years; longer if you count the murder case in which Edward was a suspect. Once Joanna sees the crime scene photo of her old friend, the wheels start turning and she is easily reeled in. The bruise on Vivian’s face; it is just one of the mysteries the coroner is trying to solve.
At the memorial service, Joanna is recognized at once by Julian Bowers, her high school boyfriend. She remembers his kiss; Julian invites her in, his father is about to speak.
Robert describes his daughter’s appetite for life; Vivian wanted to take in as much life as she could. In the end, that was what killed her. Joanna remembers helping Vivian through her mother’s funeral “I’m eating my dead mother’s Xanax.” Vivian had said.
Joanna meets Robert Bowers outside and offers up the cover story that Will devised. It works and Robert takes pity on her. He invites her to dinner, where we are introduced to the family members and given insight into their relationships. Edward and Julian fight over Robert’s insistence that Joanna stay with the family; Mia is stricken that no one is talking about Vivian. She wonders out loud whether the reports on TMZ are correct; that Vivian was murdered. Sofia is quick to let her know that Viv died of an overdose; while Robert says not to pay attention to the gossip.
The show moves so quickly that if you aren’t careful, you might miss an important detail. Don’t worry; they will fill you in on what you missed as Joanna follows up those leads. She listens in as Edward argues with his estranged wife, Callie, in the driveway. She plans to move away with their children. His daughter is old enough to research him on the internet and found out about the girl who was murdered.
When Edward leaves for work in the morning, Joanna starts to go through the house looking for clues. She talks to Moreno on the phone who advises against her aggressive action; she says the house is empty. She speculates that the mark on Vivian’s face could have been made by a ring and asks Will’s opinion. She has flashbacks of life with Vivian, being in this house; eventually she heads up to the roof and has more flashbacks. They have a secret hiding place on the roof; Joanna reaches up and finds that Vivian has left something there, a zip drive.
Once inside the house, Joanna encounters a fight between Mia and a strange man. After he leaves, Joanna follows Mia to find out who he was. Mia acts as though he is a student, as she downs a pill “One of Vivian’s Xanax.” She says. As Mia makes herself an ice cream sundae, Joanna extracts little information other than the fact that Viv was going to AA meetings.
When Joanna rendezvous with Will, he asks why she and Vivian were no longer friends. Joanna remembers the last fight she had with Vivian. The girl planned to run away and Joanna thought she must be drunk. Vivian threw insults about Joanna’s relationship with Julian, and then started to vomit. Joanna asked Vivian what she had taken; getting no response, she called for Mr. Bowers, in spite of Vivian’s protests.
Joanna witnesses another argument; this time Sofia confronts Mia about going to school. Mia storms off to her room and Joanna tries to gain Sophia’s confidence by being agreeable, but Sophie doesn’t buy it; she offers only veiled threats.
In her room, Joanna watches a sex video that was on the zip drive; Vivian is talking to her boyfriend and it seems she is pregnant. The man in the video tells her that it will be different “this time” because it will be on her terms. She calls the Moreno.
Joanna encounters a photographer outside in a tree who is taking pictures outside Mia’s window. She throws rocks at him to get him down then chases him until she catches him. Remy Coleville tells her that he knows she’s a cop. She and Remy go somewhere to talk; her phone keeps going off because she is missing her meeting with Moreno. Remy says that he was working for Vivian; she wanted to blow the whistle on Bowers Pharmaceuticals for marketing drugs that kill people. Joanna asks if he has any proof; of course Vivian was supposed to give it to him but was murdered before she could.
When Joanna speaks with Moreno, she confronts him about Viv’s pregnancy. She tells Will what she heard on the tape, that it would be different this time, as if Vivian had been pregnant before. By the time Joanna gets back to the Bowers house, she is locked out. Julian could let her in, but he talks her into having a bottle of wine with him instead. Joanna learns that after she left, Robert sent Vivian to a rehab camp in Montana. Julian says he never got to say goodbye to Joanna. As she starts to remember how she once felt for Julian, her handlers find her wire has stopped working. Joanna remembers herself before she lets Julian kiss her.
As Joanna heads upstairs, she is confronted by Edward who tells her in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t trust her. If she and Vivian were such good friends, where has she been? If she cares so much about the family, why haven’t they seen her for seventeen years?
Joanna makes a call to the camp where Vivian spent time in recovery from 97 to 98 and leaves a message for callback. As she does, she witnesses Mia’s return and goes to ask her about Remy. Mia says the photographer showed her photos of her dad with his assistant. She doesn’t like him because he makes her feel as though her father is a bad guy.
Out of the blue, Robert offers Joanna a job. It turns out to be Julian’s idea, but Robert thinks it’s great. He says he owes it to her mother to help her out in her time of need, and she would be perfectly qualified, based on what she has told him.
Joanna receives a call from Remy; he has found Vivian’s contact in Bowers Pharmaceuticals. He tells her where to meet him and then starts his car. Suddenly his car is hit from behind. He looks in the rear view mirror and sees the car back into the space across from him. Suddenly the car accelerates towards his; he screams no before everything goes black.
Joanna pulls into the parking lot and finds the evidence of the car wreck. She follows the clues as they lead her over the embankment and she sees Remy’s car upside down, but he isn’t inside. She finds him in the lake.
As flashing lights fill the background, Will Moreno tells Joanna that she is officially off of the case. She tells him this thing is huge, but he says it’s not her problem any more. He doesn’t know who else may have found out that she is a cop. He instructs her to call the Bowers and says she is spending the night at a friend’s house in the city.
At Will’s apartment he prepares a steak dinner for the two of them. Joanna jokes about the dinner until he asks her to stop talking about steak. He kisses her and their old feelings for one another ignite. There is no stopping it. When she awakens in the morning, Joanna tells Will that she doesn’t want things to get weird between them. Moreno wants this to be a permanent thing. While he is in the shower, however, Joanna receives a call from “Beacon of Change” and the woman says that Vivian Bowers did not spend her year with them; she was at a home for unwed mothers. She gave birth to a baby girl on November 19th, 1997. Joanna makes a call to find out Mia’s birthday; November 19th, 1997. Mia is Vivian’s daughter. The night she called Mr. Bowers because Vivian was vomiting; she hadn’t overdosed, she was pregnant.
Joanna tells Will that she wants to accept the job. Mia is Vivian’s daughter and that may be putting the teenage girl in danger. Will takes her choice personally; she says she has to do this first. “I’ll call Robert; let him know I’ll take the job. I’ll go back today.” Joanna says.
Meanwhile, Julian is at the dock; he is visibly upset and crying. He holds a ring in his hand and looks at it before dropping it into the lake.
The Series Pilot/Premiere of Deception has been up and running on On Demand services and NBC.com since mid-December. I look forward to next week’s episode and hope that it is as captivating as the first. NBC seems to be pulling out all the stops to hang on to the number 1 rating they received late last year.
Deception 1×02, Nothing’s Free, Little Girl, airs Monday, January 14th, 2013 on NBC at 10:/9: Central.
Deception 1×01 Full Pilot Episode
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