Captain Maldonado attends the trial of the ego-maniacal Ethan Avery, a man she helped arrest for murder. When one of two eye witnesses to the crime is killed, its up to Kennex and Dorian to keep the second witness, a psychic-medium, from the same fate. Rudy discovers through voice recognition analysis that Ethan Avery killed the witness, but now they must discover how he managed to be in two places at once.
Dorian is sleeping among the standard issue MX’s. Kennex waits for him impatiently in front of an elevator. It appears he’s late. Kennex eventually gets tired of waiting and decides to check out the android’s living quarters. Kennex finds Dorian in the android locker room, but not before he catches a glimpse of an MX’s androgynous nether regions. As they are driving together, Kennex can’t get the image out of his head, calling them “life size Ken dolls”. Dorian complains about having to live with the MX’s and expresses a desire for his own place. Kennex hesitantly inquires about Dorian’s anatomical design, and Dorian awkward reassures him by show him his equipment, which is apparently generous. Dorian then teases Kennex about Stahl and how they obviously like each other.
Maldonado testifies at the trial of Ethan Avery, who is accused of murdering the fertility specialist Dr. Liam Fuller. While there is no physical evidence or discernible motive linking Avery to the crime, there are two unrelated eye witnesses who saw Avery commit the murder. Meanwhile, those two eye witnesses, Haley Meyers and Maya Vaughn, await their time to testify at an undisclosed location. As Haley and Maya talk, it becomes clear that Maya is an outgoing and eccentric psychic-medium, which somewhat unnerves the straight laced, meek Haley. To maintain the safety of these two high profile witnesses, their testimonies are transmitted remotely to the courtroom via hologram. Haley is first to testify, but just as she is ready to identify the murderer, someone bursts into her location and kills her. Maya hears all this from the bathroom and jumps out the window and runs away.
Later, Dorian locates Maya hiding in the woods while Kennex investigates the scene of the crime. Turns out that someone planted a tracker on the bailiff protecting the witnesses and followed him to the safehouse. Kennex flirts with Stahl as she collects pieces of a damaged MX unit and finds out that she’s a soccer fan. Meanwhile, Maldonado talks with Avery and tells him that he won’t get away with his plan and that the other witness is still alive. He taunts her about her age, her career, and her love life – all of which upset her, but she keeps her cool, promising to see to it personally that he never sees freedom again.
Kennex and Dorian interview Maya about the murder. She never saw the shooter because she ran away and never turned back. However, now that Haley is dead and she has her scarf, Maya can communicate with her. Haley tells Maya that it was Ethan Avery who killed her. Kennex is skeptical, but Maya has had the Cerebellex Procedure – an experimental and unproven procedure that is meant to heighten ESP and intelligence in its subjects. Problem is, that Avery was in the courtroom at his trial when the murder took place, so how did he kill Haley? Rudy provides evidence that it was indeed Avery who killed Haley, and the possibility of clones is introduced. The connection is made between an Avery clone and Dr. Fuller being a fertility specialist – opening up the possibility of a motive for the original murder.
Meanwhile, Maya entertains the policemen with her medium skills. Detective Paul hands her a necklace and she says she doesn’t get anything from it. He says it belongs to his ex-wife and that he just hoped she was dead. Maya is not amused, says she has to deliver a message. She leaves the police station. Stahl interviews Dr. Fuller’s old research assistant and finds out that any old cloning research would be kept at Fuller’s mother’s house. Kennex and Dorian find her a few blocks away, trying to deliver a message to Haley’s parents. Kennex is frustrated and threatens to arrest her to make her cooperate.
While in the car, Maya talks about Kennex’s aura and how its red and angry, and also how Kennex needs to learn how to listen – something Dorian heartily agrees with. Maya makes some kind of vague prediction involving bourbon, darkness, someone special, and people running that Kennex dismisses as nonsense. Suddenly, they are ambushed by masked men in a van. They manage to chase them off after shooting down one of the members, but not before Maya is shot in the shoulder. A look under the mask reveals that the ambusher is a much younger Ethan Avery – a clone. Chances are, the rest of the gang were clones too.
Maldonado and Kennex discuss the ambush and possible methods of how they were tracked. Meanwhile, Dorian watches over Maya at the hospital, where she tells him about her parents’ death when she was 19, her decision to get the Cerebellex Procedure in order to communicate with her parents, but how her house burnt to the ground while she was recovering from the procedure. Everything she needed to communicate with her parents had been reduced to ash. Kennex sweeps the car for tracking devices, but none are discovered.
Kennex has an idea and has an MX make his phone a secure line. He calls Rudy and asks if the damaged MX from Haley’s murder is missing its com-tech. Turns out that the Avery clone took the MX’s whole ear in order to eavesdrop on all police communications – which means that the clones know that Stahl went to Fuller’s mother’s house to uncover evidence of the cloning experiments.
Stahl does find an amazing amount of evidence regarding the development of Avery clones and a letter revealing the Dr. Fuller was going to go public about the experiments, not only connecting Avery to Fuller, but giving Avery motive for the murder. However, the clones swarm the house and take Stahl hostage. They call Kennex and ask to bargain for the original Avery’s release. Maldonado comes up with a plan. Kennex and Dorian get a police van and go to drop point. Rudy sets up hologram transmitters along the hallway in the prison where Avery is being kept.
Maldonado convinces Avery that he’s being released and walks him along the hallway, transmitting that image to the drop point, making the clones believe that they brought Avery to trade for Stahl. It works until a flock of birds fly through the image, making it ripple and distort. There is a firefight where Stahl is able to run to safety and the clones are shot down. One clone tries to escape in the van, but Dorian flips it over and it explodes.
Later, Maya testifies at Avery’s trial and positively identifies him as the killer of Dr. Fuller. Maldonado tells Avery that he will diminish in the public’s imagination into a novelty before being forgotten completely. The prosecuting lawyer tells Maldonado she looks nice, disproving what Avery said earlier about how no man would ever notice her. Dorian brings Maya a box of evidence from her house fire years earlier, and she finds an item that allows her to talk with her parents. Kennex stays late at the office, watching the soccer game he recorded earlier. Stahl comes by with some bourbon and joins him in the dark to watch people running. Kennex remembers Maya’s premonition and smiles at the realization that Stahl really is someone special to him.
It was especially excellent this week to see Maldonado kick some ass and get a chance to show off who she is as a character. She is a deadly smart, tough as nails, no nonsense kind of person, but who cares deeply for the people on her watch and is tenaciously dedicated to the outcome of her cases. We don’t get an in depth back story about Ethan Avery and Maldonado’s relationship, or how their intimate rivalry began, but the tension between them is wicked. There is a kind of Hannibal Lecter/Clarice Starling feeling to it, except Maldonado is no rookie and Avery is sickeningly smug and utterly despicable. It is delicious to see him fall from his high horse of invulnerability, and especially sweet to have his downfall come at the hands of Maldonado.
There is an unfortunate stereotype about powerful, career minded women – that they must cut themselves off from the possibility of love and their sexuality in order to make it in a man’s world. Avery tells Maldonado that no matter how much she may want it, no one will ever notice her, or want her, or love her. That she’s traded all that for a little meaningless success in her workplace. Refreshingly, as it turns out, not only isn’t her success meaningless – she did, after all, just catch a killer – but that she hasn’t traded her attractiveness or sexuality for that success. As women, we’re told that we have to choose one or the other. Perhaps not directly, but the message is there in our media, our culture, and every Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy ever conceived. You can have a high-power, successful career, or you can have love and a family, but you can’t have it both ways. Men can have both, of course.
These first few episodes have been interesting in the way they go about exploring the various recurring characters. Kennex and Dorian will always be central to the show, and therefore will constantly be focused on, not only as characters, but as partners. But for characters like Rudy, Maldonado, Stahl, and Paul, it is important that they are getting character central storylines so early in the series. Not only does that create a more three-dimensional world populated by real people, but it helps make the two main characters of the series that much more credible. If they can interact with characters we can accept as real people, it makes their realness that much more vivid, and gives their interactions a depth and honesty you can’t get with characters you know nothing about. It will be interesting to see just how much more we learn about the supporting characters during the course of the first season, and whether we’ll ever find out just what makes Detective Paul such an obnoxious curmudgeon.