Pilot: Recent Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón's sci-fi thriller is a big yawn, mediocre at best. The only reason NBC greenlighted it was probably because of him and J.J. Abrams, the latter has barely produced a television series in recent years that was above mediocrity. Seriously, this whole show felt a lot like that Kiefer Sutherland fronted short-lived series Touch (I had to google that!). The only aspect of the series that was good was the directing. The plot was boring and absurdly ham-fisted. The lead child actor has potential, but she really is more annoying than endearing. Series lead Jake McLaughlin needs to dig deeper for a personality...and a hair cut! He is trying too hard to be the in anti-hero and is losing all warmth and heart. Interestingly, the henchwomen are more interesting: Jamie Chung and whatever-her-name-is (both character and actress, Wikipedia is not very helpful here, and I really cannot be bothered to search beyond that). Then we have the 2 boss-man who have a seemingly interesting backstory, but seemed more comfortable doling out cryptic instructions than anything else (sounds like Abrams doing). But most of all, the writing got to improve. Too many plot contrivances and plot holes. Will just give it one more episode to try out.
Episode 2, "Beginner's Luck": A bit more backstory to the 2 camps after Bo, and at least they did not paint Kyle MacLachlan's character as an all out bad guy. But it looks like Bo's backstory may evolve to something like Heroes and Orphan Black. Tate finally got a better haircut, don't they know that gruff does not equate to anti-hero? The central relationship between father and daughter needs to be better established for the audience to be really involved in the show. At least the "case-of-the-week" scenario here felt more organic and is more the C-plot rather than A-plot. Bo is a conundrum. As the lead/central figure she sways between annoyingly irritating to sweetly cute to naively stupid to solemnly insightful. The plot itself needs a lot more tightening and there are way too many contrivances and random acts of idiocy. Lastly, with Episode 2, we get another stupid, useless opening credits that JJ Abrams is so damn fond of!