Previously on Minority Report, ‘Fredi’
This episode focuses on Vega and the death of her father. It’s important because this event is what pushed her to become a cop, what drew her to Pre-Crime, and basically has shaped how she looks at criminals (which I’ve already pointed out is somewhat problematic). This episode really gets to the heart of all the themes of this show and, as if I didn’t already love it, it was written by a black woman, Shalisha Francis. Now, let’s jump into this #blackgirlmagic.
2048: Eight Months before Pre-Crime
The cold open shows a police officer patrolling a dark alley on a rainy night. Even if you don’t notice that the name on his uniform is Vega, the general ambiance let’s you know he’s not long for this world. He goes to investigate a noise and is shot in the face. A homeless man leaves the alley and walks away.
“I got you a death shirt for your birthday”
It’s morning at Vega’s house and her mom has stopped by to make her breakfast, but she’s not having it. She has to get to work and her plan is to treat this day like any other … until Dash hands her a handful of flowers like a little boy asking a girl on a date in kindergarten. According to Akeela,Vega shares the same birthday as her dad so it’s her least favorite day of the year. They’re talking about how his death could have been prevented if Pre-Crime had been running when Akeela shouts “Narcissist incoming!” and Wil(mer) walks up with someone from the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency).
Although Hawkeye was supposed to be Dash and Vega’s cover for his abilities, they’re the standouts because their rate of arrests is four times higher than everyone else’s and they’ve stopped mostly murders. Good job staying under the radar, guys. Maybe you can let a few go. Vega tries to pawn it all off on Wil(mer)’s leadership and excuses herself cause Dash is having another vision. That leads us to our victim of the week … Lara Vega. She’s having a great birthday, y’all.
“I would never do anything to hurt Dash”
Vega’s investigation of her own murder leads to a prison rehabilitation program. In future prisons, prisoners are customer service reps. I think we can all agree that is the worst punishment imaginable. The head of the rehabilitation program, Deena Winter takes Vega to confront a criminal she put behind bars. In the end, the real find is the watch that Vega’s dad was wearing when he died. It’s in a case where the prisoner leaves mementos of their crimes to let go of the past.
Vega figures her death is a byproduct of trying to find her father’s killer and rather than running in the other direction, she of course tries to find her father’s killer. This leads her to the DIA, then to Wally and finally to Arthur. Wally can access Dash’s memories of past crimes, but they need Arthur to do so. Although he agrees to help, Arthur is salty about it the whole time. The standout of this scene is Meagan Good, who perfectly captures Lara’s heartbreak as she’s forced to watch her father die in their vision.
“Grab the chair”
The vision shows them Ms. Winter from the rehabilitation program killing Vega’s father. When Vega goes to confront Winter and force her to confess, Vega pulls out her gun and nearly ends up killing her in front of her son, who’s wearing the shirt that Vega thought she would die in.
This is where the show gets into some deeper themes about crime and punishment. Vega finds out that Winter was a junkie who was hired by someone else to kill her father. If Pre-Crime had been up and running her dad might have lived but this woman who’s turned her life around, would have been arrested for committing a crime she hadn’t actually committed and the person who hired her would have still gotten away. Similarly, Vega’s anger might have easily taken her from being the victim to being the killer if she’d shot Winter’s son by accident. Everyone has the potential to be either the victim or the killer; it’s all about choices.
The episode ends with a lovely scene of Lara bringing her mother her father’s watch. The scene is beautifully acted with Lara taking Dash’s advice and grabbing a chair for her mother to sit in as she breaks down in tears and the two of them finally grieve.
- Watching Akeela try to be low-key about Dash’s ability and the fact that her codename for Wil(mer) is “narcissist” was a wonderful detail.
- Vega was a cheerleader! Where are my flashbacks and Vega/Dash high school AU fics?
- One of the deeper themes of this show is justice and equity. When they talk about the prisoners, Winter says that their jobs were shipped overseas, they became criminals to survive and now they do the same jobs as prisoners for two cents on the dollar. Not too far from our current criminal justice system.
- Down goes Frazier! Did you cheer when Dash socked Arthur in the jaw? How about when Vega knocked out that skeevy prisoner? Both of them were on fire this week. Having Vega as the potential victim put both of them on their ‘A’ game.
- Memento Mori – It turns out that Agatha is correct that the government does want to revive Pre-Crime to take out a possible terrorist group, called Memento Mori translation “remember you will die”
- Arthur is really touchy about their past as precogs. He’s incredibly rude to Wally who sees the precogs as his family. Arthur’s feelings are somewhat understandable but it’s in contrast to the reluctant caring he shows for Vega.
Minority Report S1E5
Dash, Vega and now Arthur are diving deeper into issues of trust and feeling the ramifications of the Pre-Crime program. The more we learn about Pre-Crime, the more we see how imperfect the system was both to the precogs and to the “criminals”. Also as Dash, Vega and Arthur get closer, it’ll be interesting to see those allegiances be tested.