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'Perception' 'Paris' recap: Sanity in question

'Perception' season 3 premiere "Paris"
'Perception' season 3 premiere "Paris"
Roger Do Minh, used with permission

The Tuesday, June 17 season 3 premiere of "Perception," "Paris," sees Daniel's time in Paris interrupted by what's either a dangerous international case or one of his hallucinations. Meanwhile, Paul and Max try to figure out a way to get Daniel to come home and get his job back, and Kate and Donnie take a big step. Oh, and of course we have to comment on the incredible use of the gorgeous city of Paris.

"How's Paris?" "It's Paris, Lewicki. That's a stupid question."

"Perception" is one of those shows more people really should be watching. Sure, there may not be the big episodes that will have you talking the next day and disappointed if you miss seeing it live, but instead, if you tune in each week, you're in for consistent television and great performances. Daniel's lectures may very well be the best part of the series, and even though he's in Paris, we still get treated to one of them. Plus, Eric McCormack stands out in the premiere, as Daniel even begins to doubt himself and has to face the end of a relationship that has just begun.

The TNT drama is one in which Daniel's sanity is repeatedly in question, but like we'll get into later in this recap, he's saner than Paul is in "Paris." There's doing everything to get a friend his job back, and then there's what Paul does, and every scene with Paul and Max seems to outdo the last one in going to a whole new level.

Ready to get into what happened in "Paris"? Keep reading for the recap.

Is he crazy? Daniel doesn't get to enjoy sitting in a café for too long before he's roped into what is his life, or at least what was his life and what he had thought he'd gotten away from in Paris. An FBI agent gives him the whole "your government needs your help" line and tells him that a Chinese scientist will be attending his lecture. He needs him to keep the pen the scientist gives him to sign a book after and deliver it to him. It's a matter of national security. Natalie points out that this is a classic paranoid fantasy, and after Daniel meets the agent again and finds out this is all about a "smart pill" and realizes that this is pretty much exactly what he'd want to be involved in, he thinks she's right – until Miranda comments on the man he was talking to.

After that, things get a bit crazy. The Chinese scientist shows up at Daniel's lecture and gives him the pen. Daniel delivers the pen and then is pulled into a laundry van by Chinese thugs who want what he took, and his passport is taken. Miranda's place is trashed. However, at the US Embassy, he finds out the FBI agent he met isn't who he thinks he is; there is an agent Drexler, but she's a woman. Plus, that cobblestone he put the pen under? Not loose. The mime he thought was annoying him? A hallucination. Miranda's apartment? Not trashed. Miranda thinks he needs to talk to someone, and it doesn't help when Daniel begins to talk to Natalie at the same time. Then the Chinese scientist calls him to meet, and when Daniel gets there, he's dead.

The police suspect Daniel of murdering the guy, who's a migrant laborer, not a Chinese scientist, to bolster his story, and even when Kate and Donnie show up in France to help Daniel, the detective doesn't want to release him. He only does after Serge, a friend of Miranda's, makes a call to a friend. That's when Daniel finds out that Miranda was with Serge before she and Daniel reconnected, and she ended things with him to give them a chance because Daniel was the one who got away. However, she can't handle his illness like she thought she could, and so she's going on a tour she had turned down when he showed up in France because his friends are there to take care of him.

Daniel even begins to wonder if everyone else is right about what's going on in France, but Donnie's the one to point out there is a dead guy, so why not do some digging like they would back home? They only get as far as finding out the victim had just been offered a job before Agent Drexler interrupts and tells them to go home immediately. She even has a new passport for Daniel. It's as they're leaving that Daniel puts it all together, thanks to a mime, this one real, unlike his previous hallucinations. "His performance was real," Daniel realizes, and it's off to the train station to stop Miranda and Serge.

As Daniel explains, Serge hired people to put on a performance to make him look crazy. The Chinese man had been offered a job playing a scientist, and the more wild the claims he made, the crazier he seemed. Serge wanted Miranda to go on tour, and so he had to make her want to leave. However, what he really wanted was her cello, as Daniel realizes thanks to another hallucination. It took months to get a Visa, so he couldn't find someone else, and no one would find it suspicious for her to carry her cello through customs. Serge had even "accidentally" broken it so it would need to be repaired so he could get to it before, and when Daniel broke it open, they found out why. Serge was a double agent, bringing advanced technology to a country developing a nuclear device.

So Daniel wasn't crazy, at least not in this case, but as he tells Miranda when she says she should've believed him, "The truth is, I am crazy." One day, he'll have a real break, and now, they know she can't handle it.

And Daniel's the crazy one? Sure, getting Daniel back where he belongs is important, but Paul takes crazy scheming to a whole new level (and takes Max along for the ride) when playing messenger between the Chancellor and Daniel. First, Paul tells the Chancellor that Daniel is going to publish an op-ed (Paul even wrote it!) stating he was forced out due to his mental illness and even "casually" mentions a lawsuit, but that results in the Chancellor wanting an apology from Daniel, a task Paul assigns to Max. Max shouldn't have even bothered trying to bring it up to Daniel, because that is not happening. Plus, Daniel doesn't even want to leave Paris.

That then leads Paul to tell the Chancellor that Daniel wants a raise and more money for research, but things go south when the Chancellor decides they can just countersue for defamation. So what does Paul do? He has Max bring the op-ed to the newspaper for publishing. After that, the Chancellor has no choice but to fix it when donors call threatening to pull their money and the students decide to stage a protest rally, so he wants Paul to fix it. Paul then says Daniel's price has gone up. Sure, in the end Paul and Max get what they want and Daniel's coming back, but Paul went to some pretty extreme lengths to get the job done.

The perfect setting for romance Things are going great for Kate and Donnie when the premiere begins, and he definitely gets points (though really, he doesn't need them) for not complaining about her going to Paris for Daniel and instead telling her he's going with her. Once it's all over, however, he does take advantage of the city to propose again: "There's nothing worse than losing the girl you know in your heart you're meant to be with. …I lost you once. I want to make sure that never happens again." It's a speech worthy of Paris.

"Perception" season 3 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TNT. What did you think of the premiere "Paris"?

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