CliqueClack TV

The Listener – Compelling TV has its flaws


Sebastian’s back Guest-clacking for us again, after reviewing the first episode of The Listener.

Did you spot the two major flaws in this week’s episode? I’m really sorry, I know I promised you that this show would become compelling but I’ll need you to stick with it a little bit longer. I’m going to tell you one of the flaws and leave the comment section up for guesses what the second one was. Main flaw this episode: Toby saw the fire gushing through the ventilator shafts even before the building exploded. So even if this fellow foster kid/meth cooker did see the flames, the explosion would’ve followed immediately afterwards, and not at least half a minute later. I mean honestly, the guy would’ve gotten the propane tank out of the way if he’d already seen the flames coming through the vents.

Let’s just say this whole episode is furthering the characters’ backgrounds. First of all, Toby has a hard time dealing with the fact that he broke up with Emergency Room Doc Olivia (or ‘Livia), who now seems to try to move on with a firefighter. You are allowed to guess where this might be going. Olivia being at the ready to patch Toby up seemed a little all too eager, didn’t it, and it seems said firefighter has a bunch of problems of his own, didn’t he? And Toby might’ve noticed that together with opening up to the thoughts and emotions of the people surrounding him, the fact that the reason for breaking up with his ex-girlfriend might’ve been him trying to shut himself off of those emotions in the first place.

The case of the week wasn’t that interesting if you ask me. So the perp was just some random guy who was insane and started fires. Big whoop. I mean every time there’s a rampage on the news, people later on try to find reasons behind it all and if it’s kids running amok they try to prevent it by enforcing gun controls in schools or making Walmart get 3D-shooters off the shelves.

What this episode of The Listener showed us was in fact that, all in all, it’s most likely just somebody who’s basically insane and that’s just it. Next time you see somebody on the news who went on a rampage remind yourself of this episode. He most likely didn’t get diagnosed early enough about his mental state and that’s it. Sorry for holding up the “Leave my computer games alone” sign but I’m an advocate of the civil right to do what you want to do in your spare time. As long as you don’t play with matches.

That cop lady really was on Toby’s heels this week. Her name’s Charlie Marks, and you have to wonder where all this is going. Is she going to work together with Toby in the near future? Is Toby still interested in Olivia or might the possibility of working “closely” with Charlie lead to something else? You know that I know but just let met toy with you a little bit until things get concrete, will you?

We’ll find out soon enough. It’s not all that yellow in Canada and it’ll all get more interesting. At least as interesting as Reaper (needed to get that one in, sorry guys). See you next week.

Photo Credit: NBC

6 Responses to “The Listener – Compelling TV has its flaws”

June 13, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Is the precognition really a flaw in the show? I thought that was supposed to be one of his abilities. Was it stated somewhere that he was *only* a mind reader?

June 13, 2009 at 10:51 PM

He’s “listening” to thoughts. He’s not supposed to have premonitions. What he also has is flashbacks of his past, which he doesn’t seem to be able to remember that well (yet).

I count this a serious flaw within the show’s logic, but I’m willing to let it slide, it’s not that big of a deal. You get that later on when he talks to the meth cooker/foster kid he knows. That guy says that he saw the flames coming through the vents which fits the things Toby saw but that was a good minute before the explosion which just doesn’t fit the timeline. But hey it took me a second viewing of the episode to find that flaw myself and I only found it because I watched the show again in the “I don’t like this show” mindset to put myself in the shoes of somebody who doesn’t like it as much as I do – to be able to find ways to convince you guys to keep watching :-)

I found that I really enjoy “Lie To Me” even though I dropped it after the third episode and went back to watch the rest after the show got renewed. I totally was with Keith in the “I just don’t get the appeal” way – AND I heavily criticized the science behind it all.

But when you just let it all slide enough you can really enjoy both “The Listener” and “Lie to Me” :-)

June 14, 2009 at 12:37 AM

“He’s not supposed to have premonitions.”

Says who? Does someone in a position to know say that in a later episode? Don’t get me wrong … I agree that precognition is a separate power from mind reading, but your argument seems to be that he can’t do both because he isn’t allowed to have any additional powers not listed in the title of the show.

June 14, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Hmm you are right. Didn’t say so anywhere until now I guess. Wow. Thanks for pointing that out. And you are right, only the title implies it up until now. But the show didn’t explain the premonition and it “said so” in the pilot.

He talks with his doc/psychiatrist/foster father Ray Mercer about the way he now picks up thoughts over longer distances compared to before and yes in future episodes he tells people that he can “read minds” and only that, no premontions.

Because that would be “The Dead Zone” I guess ;-)

But again, you are right. Nobody said so definitely until now, I kinda stand corrected :-)

June 14, 2009 at 3:13 PM

a propane tank won’t explode immediately after being exposed to fire, it would have to heat up enough which would give you your minute back

June 15, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Oh! That’s great sid, you are absolutely right. Ha!

Great :-)

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