By John Hanlon
The InBetween, a new NBC drama, focuses on a woman named Cassie Bishop (Harriet Dyer) who can speak to dead people who are seemingly caught between this world and the world beyond. Raised by a Seattle police officer, Bishop uses her abilities to help police cases. The show incorporates traditional elements of police procedurals alongside its supernatural twist.
Although Cassie opens the show (with a vision she sees), much of the action takes place at the police station. It’s there that detective Tom Hackett (Paul Blackthorne), a father figure who helped raise Cassie, investigates his newest homicide cases. In the series premiere, Hackett partners up with Damien Asante (Justin Cornwell), a former FBI profiler who mysteriously left his position at the Los Angeles Police Department.
Asante believes that Hackett uses traditional methods to solve his cases. He quickly discovers that his new partner relies on Bishop’s psychic abilities — which oftentimes give her glimpses or clues related to the new cases.
In the past, programs like Ghost Whisperer have focused on characters who are haunted by ghosts longing to move on to the next world. The drama Medium featured a psychic as well, who helped law enforcement.
The InBetween relies on a similar concept but it’s effective in standing out on its own. The psychic element adds another layer to an otherwise traditional crime procedural.
In the two episodes that were available for review, the supernatural beings were treated like complicated characters with agendas of their own. They weren’t just there to point out the perps. In the pilot, for instance, one of the apparitions is a little girl who was jealous of the attention her mother gave her younger sibling. This little girl is angry and bitter. At times, her childlike persona is overshadowed by her malevolent agenda and it’s that imbalance that keeps the story more impactful.
Bishop sees other visions in that episode as well. From a little boy standing near his mother’s corpse to a criminal’s attack of a murder victim, these moments help her solve mysteries surrounding her Hackett’s cases.
Each episode unravels like a mystery. There’s a police case at the forefront but there are also little mysteries surrounding Bishop’s visions and what they ultimately symbolize.
The concept of psychics helping police isn’t a new one. Although many police departments don’t oftentimes use them, there have been rare cases where psychics were involved. This program expands on that, crafting a drama that features a detective relying on one to solve puzzles and close cases.
In the early episodes, the threads don’t always come together but the cases — and the clues from Cassie’s visions — keep the story enthralling enough. Add to that the fact that the show offers a few unique surprises of its own. At the end of the first episode, for instance, the apparition of a psychotic killer appears in Cassie’s living room.
What he wants hasn’t been revealed yet but the show’s abundance of mysteries and twists offers enough enticement and intrigue to keep viewers longing for the answers.
The InBetween airs Wednesday nights on NBC.