The acclaimed director/producer has always had a knack for science-fiction, but when it comes to the supernatural ventures he produces for the small-screen, the results have been, well, underwhelming, to put it nicely.
The Whispers, which premiered Monday, shows the same promise that many of his former pilots have, and if you’ve been a viewer of any of the aforementioned shows, you probably have a pretty good idea of whether the Lily Rabe–Barry Sloane starrer is any more satisfying than his previous efforts.
The paranormal drama finds innocent children being coerced into committing violent acts against their parents in the name of an imaginary friend named Drill. The problem is he might not be so imaginary, and his involvement with the innocents might only be the beginning of a much larger scheme for world domination — as proven by some uber-eerie illustrations.
Though the seemingly imagined friend speaks to them through light, and is neither seen nor heard, his power over the show’s precocious tots — and an alleged John Doe — has already led to the death of a 10-year-old boy and the near-death of a six-year-old’s mother.
To best break down the events of the fascinating Episode 1, here’s how all of our lead characters fit into this otherworldly tale:
Claire Bennigan (Rabe, American Horror Story) is an FBI agent who specializes in child crimes. After an extended leave following the death of husband Sean and an extramarital affair with a certain Department of Defense employee (more on that later), she returns to work after six-year-old Harper nearly kills her mother as part of Drill’s dangerous “game.” Her investigation leads her to suspect that Drill isn’t so imaginary, seeing as how tween-turned-suicide bomber Jackson Bellings also asserted he was under the spell of the out-of-sight force.
Wes Lawrence (Sloane, Revenge) is an operative for the Department of Defense who’s called upon to investigate a peculiar crash site in the Sahara Desert. His one-time tryst with Claire (aha!) doesn’t become clear until late into the pilot, but it’s very clear he won’t be able to move on with his wife Lena (Kristen Connolly, House of Cards) and possessed daughter Minx (Kylie Rogers, Private Practice) now that his findings have taught him that the plane that crashed belonged to none other than Claire’s husband, whose body is missing from the scene.
Sean Bennigan (Milo Ventimiglia, Gotham) — as in Claire’s dead husband — is alive. Despite initial reports that his plane crashed in the Arctic on a search for Chinese and Russian military buildup, the jet was somehow rerouted and crashed in Western Africa. He, too, has been relocated — tatted-up and wiped of his memories — back to Baltimore, where he appears to be serving as Drill’s eyes and ears. Speaking of ears, the premiere closes with Henry (Kyle Harrison Breitkopf, Being Human), Sean and Claire’s deaf son, talking to Drill after the omnipresent force has gifted him with the capacity to hear again.
So what will all of this mean moving forward? And is the unexplainable return of Sean and the presence of Drill part of a larger conspiracy involving the Secretary of Defense? Grade The Whispers in our poll below, then discuss your theories in the comments.