I thought it was going to another Mentalist…but I was wrong.
I was “deceived” but in a good way. While Deception does share some things in common with The Mentalist, it is clearly its own show. And really enjoyable. Deception is the story of two brothers (see? already different), one in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and one who is doing whatever he can to free him. Their paths intersect with the FBI who help the brothers as the brothers help them. Cameron and Jonathan Black are magicians. Together with their crew, they pull off stunts nobody has been able to figure out – until Jonathan is framed for the murder of a young woman and the world discovers there are two Black brothers. Cameron is able to figure out that the dead woman is not the woman Jonathan was with. But without solid evidence, Jonathan remains locked up in jail. Cameron has dedicated his life to getting his brother out of prison and that means helping the FBI.
When the show was first pitched, it sounded like The Mentalist. A man with astounding “powers” uses his skill to help law enforcement while pursuing his own agenda. The man is aided on his quest by a team, the most prominent of which is a female agent working for the agency. But Deception is not a Mentalist copy cat. More than just superficial plot differences mark it as its own show (Patrick Jane was a fake psychic, Cameron Black is a magician; Teresa Lisbon worked for the fake CBI, Kay Daniels works for the FBI; each show has a big baddie the main characters are trying to capture, Red John for The Mentalist, the mysterious woman for Deception, etc.). The relationship between Cameron, Jonathan, and the mysterious woman is intriguing. From the beginning while we don’t know her name, we do know who she is, and the most intriguing aspect of the show is trying to figure out why she has such a fascination with these two brothers in particular. The brothers background is also something of a puzzle that is slowly being revealed. And through it all, the Black brothers dazzle us with their skill and intelligence.
Each case reveals a little more of the mystery, a little more about this mysterious woman or about the brothers themselves and done so in a way that is intriguing and interesting. The show is intelligently written with some twists and turns that keep the suspense going. Like in the pair of episodes coming up that feature two completely different versions of the same story. It’s fun but also mind-bendingly clever in its execution. One epsiode shows us the story from one brother’s POV and the other from the other brother. And it ends in a “no way” moment! If you haven’t yet checked out freshman show Deception give it a whirl. And be prepared to be dazzled.