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'Perception' 'Shiver' review: Fathers and sons and forgiveness

'Perception' season 3 episode 2 "Shiver"
'Perception' season 3 episode 2 "Shiver"
Trae Patton, used with permission

The Tuesday, July 1 episode of "Perception," 303, "Shiver," sees Daniel called in to help Kate with a series of robberies. Meanwhile, Daniel's estranged father comes back into his life with a secret.

Before we get into the strongest parts of the episode – the scenes between Eric McCormack's Daniel and his father, played by Peter Coyote – we have to ask: is cannibalism the hot new thing on TV lately? "Perception" joins the other shows (besides "Hannibal," of course) that have jumped on that train in the past couple of years, with this weird "eat someone and their spirit lives on in you" thing from New Guinea. Honestly, it's probably best to not look too closely at that whole thing because it makes about as much sense as everyone thinks it does (zero).

The case isn't the best one they've done on the show, but it does lead to Daniel and Dylan playing music together at the end, so it's not a total loss. The FBI has been tracking a robber hitting multiple banks, and it just so happens that his neck stop is the one Kate's staking out, only she can't catch him because he takes a kid hostage. He leaves the kid on a bus with the stack of money containing the GPS tracker, and Dylan tells them what he knows. They're able to put together that there's an inside man and they identify Shane because he's been home sick for almost two months, and while Shane thinks he's dying of an untreatable disease he got from eating human flesh almost two decades ago, he's not. He has the very treatable Lyme disease, and while he tries to make a deal, that goes out the window when the truth comes out.

Though Shane identifies his partner as his old friend Josh, and Josh's father speaks to the media in an attempt to get his son he hasn't seen in 17 years to turn himself in, it's all a lie – and they find out the truth after Josh is supposedly killed and burned in an abandoned garage by none other than his father, who confesses. He says he killed him because he couldn't forgive him for not showing up when his mother was dying. However, he didn't kill his son; he killed Shane's real partner, Mick, and he only confessed to get into prison so he could kill Shane, the other person he blames for his son's death. It turns out Josh died back in New Guinea after he was shot when they failed to rob a check-cashing place. Mick "put him out of his misery" and then declared he and Shane should honor him and keep his spirit alive.

Meanwhile, Daniel's father comes to visit to get him to sign papers to take the "mansion big enough to raise the von Trapp family," as Daniel describes his childhood home. In case all the mentions about their estrangement aren't enough, every conversation the two have emphasize it. It's only when Daniel speaks to his father's wife that he finds out that his father hasn't been doing well and has been getting lost. While they may be estranged, Daniel's still the one who figures out where he is: their house. "Congratulations, you figured it out. I have Alzheimer's. You must have a PhD in brain science," his father tells him when he confronts him. "There's nothing anyone can do for me. There's no cure, right?" That conversation ends poorly, with Daniel wondering if the house is a grand gesture to earn his forgiveness before he's too far gone to care, and it's not the only one that does.

Even after a conversation with Natalie about it, with her suggesting his father is looking for help from his brilliant neuroscientist son, and Daniel offering his father a long-shot in a clinical trial, Daniel still can't forgive him, and his father throws down the trial packet. That doesn't stop him from ending the episode looking at a scrapbook from Daniel's childhood. It's good to see that this isn't just wrapped up neatly with a bow by the end of the hour. There's too much hurt and too much time has passed for that to happen, and this episode doesn't sugarcoat Daniel's relationship with his father. Will they ever get past the past? Probably not, and that's not a bad thing – especially when it means performances like we see from McCormack and Coyote in "Shiver."

Once again, the hallucination is very obvious (maybe that will change with an upcoming episode, maybe it won't), and from the moment Annie the realtor shows up at the door, there's no way she can be real as she pushes her way into his house and begins talking about selling it instead. She is, at least, entertaining, especially the final time we see her as she tells him the real reason (not because they're not real) won't be buying the house, leading to the answer Daniel needs to solve the case.

"Perception" season 3 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TNT. What did you think of episode 3 "Shiver"?

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