This includes a scientist named Vera (Shantel VanSanten), who is among those who die and comes back to life. This storyline in particular appears to be central to the show and is a true high point. It's where the suspense and curiosity really comes in and VanSanten's performance as an intelligent woman who seems to have some emotional trauma in her past is very effective. There's also Erin (Sofia Black-D'Elia), a young mother whose death -- though most of these occurrences are thought to be near-death experiences -- winds up upsetting her ongoing custody fight with her daughter's father. Erin has to make a difficult choice that looks to drive a strong portion of the emotional impact of the show, along with the story of a teenage boy, Peter (Joel Courtney), who's bullied and picked on in school both before and after his death incident. He and Erin both show signs of some notable after-effects from their would-be deaths which left me with questions I'm interested to see answered and explained in the future.There's also a preacher named Joshua (Jon Fletcher) tangled up in some family drama with both his overbearing father and his pregnant wife. Admittedly, this wasn't my favorite of the individual storylines, as it seemed a bit strange and soap opera-ish, though we'll see if it unfolds into something different or more nuanced. Vera is presented with an opportunity that appears to put her in opposition to Joshua's mission, which hopefully will elevate Joshua's storyline in the process.
In general, the female characters are a real asset to the show, as Vera and Erin have two of the most complex, dramatic and emotional stories coming out of the pilot episode. Both ended up being the arcs that felt most engaging.
Throughout the pilot, the characters start to slowly hint at moving toward a common place. This is comforting because their distance early on could leave something to be desired concerning how well the story will evolve and how the characters' stories will collide. It seems that problem will likely be solved as Erin encounters Raul (JD Pardo), who was impacted by the blast under much more dangerous and gritty circumstances and is now on the run. It's hard not to ponder what these characters will be like when they all come together and Erin and Raul have a strong onscreen chemistry that could provide for a cool story between them both moving forward.
The religious elements in The Messengers can be a bit heavy handed at times. This makes sense, at least, in regards to Joshua's role as a preacher and the nature of the characters' rebirths, but could feel a bit overwhelming to some if it continues at a high level throughout the series. Though like much of the pilot, it could ultimately play out in a lot of different ways.
Overall, The Messenger's first episode is intriguing. There's a heavy dose of set up, though there's also plenty of uncertainty as to what exactly is going on, perhaps to a fault, as the situation is pretty murky right now. It left me feeling a little uninterested at times, only because I kept feeling like I should have a better understanding of the situation, and the characters being so spread out is a hindrance in the early going. All of that could change quickly, but does reduce the impact of the pilot on its own and the show will hopefully benefit drastically from the potential merging of all of these characters arcs and getting to see them interact with each other in a way that drives the story, rather than following each on their own. Fingers crossed, as there's potential here for an notable, complex plot moving forward.
The Messengers premieres Friday, April 17th on the CW.
Layne Morgan is a writer for IGN TV. You can follow her on Twitter at Was this article informative?
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